Survey: 87 percent of Latino voters will go to polls

Both Republicans and Democrats have been targeting local Latinos in this eleciton, a voting bloc that’s traditionally hard to get to the polls.

A survey released this week indicates 87 percent of Latinos nationwide are “almost certain” they will vote next Tuesday.

The survey also found that 45 percent of Latinos are more excited about this election than they were the 2008 presidential vote.

The polling was done by inpreMedia and Latino Decisions, a project of Pacific Market Research and scholars at Stanford University and the University of Washington.

“The poll shows that this year we can anticipate record participation among Latino voters,” impreMedia CEO Monica Lozano said in a statement.

“However, Latinos are also realistic about what it will take to make real progress on the issues they care about, especially given the lack of cooperation among our elected representatives in Congress.”

Update: Population figures show that roughly 47 percent of all residents in the 36th Congressional District are Latino. However, the Riverside County registrar does not provide a breakdown of its voter registration figures by race.


New Dem poll shows Raul Ruiz widens lead

The campaign for Democratic congressional candidate Raul Ruiz released a poll today showing the emergency room physician has a six point lead over Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

The poll, conducted Oct. 20-22, has Ruiz getting support from 48 percent of people who are likely to vote or have already voted. Bono Mack had 42 percent of the vote, and another 7 percent were undecided, the poll showed.

The survey also indicates Ruiz had an 11 point lead among people who had yet to vote, according to the Lake Research Partners’ polling memo.

The survey contacted 409 voters in both Spanish and English. It has a 4.9 percent margin of error. And it shows Ruiz has widened the lead by three points since Lake polled in early October.

Today is the first time either candidate has released polling done after their Oct. 12 televised debate.

Republican polling conducted in early October showed Bono Mack with a nearly 17 percentage point lead.

Battle of the polls

As the 36th Congressional race reaches full mudslinging mode, both the Republicans and the Democrats are insisting their candidate is ahead in the polls.

Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz this week released an internal poll that shows the emergency room physician from Palm Desert is leading Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack by 3 percentage points.

The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, surveyed 406 likely voters between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4. Ruiz garnered 46 percent to Bono Mack’s 43 percent. The margin of error was 4.9 percent.

Hours after the poll was released, Bono Mack’s campaign released its own poll that shows the Palm Springs incumbent is leading Ruiz by more than 16 percentage points.

That survey, done of 300 likely voters on Oct. 9, had Bono Mack with 54.7 percent to Ruiz’s 38 percent. It has a margin of error of 5.6 percent.

Regardless of which poll you believe, it appears Ruiz is gaining ground.

An August poll by the Republicans indicated Bono Mack was up by 21 points and Democrats last month had Ruiz down by 3 points.

Analysts: 36th Congressional no longer likely GOP seat

This hasn’t been the best week for Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s campaign.

First, a Democratic poll showed challenger Raul Ruiz has pulled within three percentage points of Bono Mack’s standing with voters.

Then, a 2006 email re-surfaced that showed Bono Mack thought it was “funny” that a talk radio host described squalor in the east valley a “Third World toilet.”

Now the latest blow: Two political watchdogs have re-evaluated the likelihood of her re-election this November.

Both the non-partisan Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato out of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics had previously determined that the 36th Congressional District was a likely Republican seat.

Now they’ve switched the ratings to say the district leans Republican,  increasing the chances of a competitive race.

In political terms, the rating change also means the race is now just one step up from being categorized as a toss-up race.

“The Mary Bono Mack campaign, on every level, is the strongest its ever been,” campaign manager John Pezzullo said in an email this afternoon. “Our poll numbers are solid and Mary is working hard as she always does.”

Poll: Raul Ruiz within 3 points of Mary Bono Mack

Democrats today released a poll that indicates congressional challenger Raul Ruiz is within striking distance of Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

The poll – funded by Democracy for America and conducted by Public Policy Polling – found Bono Mack is leading 47 percent to Ruiz’s 44 percent. Another nine percent of the 1,281 likely voters surveyed said they were undecided.

The spread between Ruiz and Bono Mack is roughly equal to the the poll’s 2.74 percent margin of error.

The poll, conducted last week, will inevitably rally Democratic support for Ruiz, an emergency room physician who is in his first political bid.

You can see more results here.

But Republicans will be quick to point out that Democrats have expressed similar optimism around Bono Mack’s previous opponents.

The Palm Springs Republican often beats her opponents by double-digit margins. Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, her 2010 challenger, came closest but still lost by more than 9 percentage points in a year when a third-party challenger was on the ballot.

Republicans have not publicly released any polling in the district.

Bono Mack and Ruiz are campaigning for the new 36th Congressional seat. The redrawn district, which includes the entire Coachella Valley, gives Republicans a small advantage in terms of voter registration.

New poll doesn’t bode well for Feinstein

A new Field Poll shows voters are “less enthusiastic than usual” to reelect U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The poll, released this morning, indicates only 43 percent are inclined to support the veteran Democrat. But another 39 percent of those surveyed are not supportive of her reelection bid.

The 4 point margin is “considerably smaller” than what Feinstein faced in previous election cycles, where she would benefit from a polling spread that ranged between 19 and 29 points.

“Despite this less than enthusiastic level of reelection support, Feinstein still continues to receive favorable job performance ratings from this state’s voters,” the Field Poll noted.

Feinstein was first elected in 1992 and is up for reelection in 2012.

You can see the entire Field Poll analysis here.