Obama’s Jobs Promotion Can Skip California

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Assuming that he follows through with his promise to campaign from one end of the nation to the other on his new jobs bill, President Barack Obama can skip California.

No need to waste time in a state where so many people think he practically walks on water.

Comparing the popularity of the president nationally with his standing in California is almost like comparing night and day--the differences are fairly dramatic.

Although Obama's standing has fallen considerably on the national stage, he remains strong here.

Read an alternate view here: Obama's Re-Election Blues

The data tell the story. According to the most recent NBC poll, 44 percent of the nation approve of the president's performance in office, whereas 51 percent disapprove.

Yet in California, the most recent PPIC poll has Obama with 52 percent support, compared with 42 percent who disapprove of the president's work.

With 12 percent officially unemployed, California has a higher percentage of residents out of work than every state except Nevada.

You would expect the president to be in big trouble with those kind of numbers. So how is it that Obama has maintained his popularity here, even if it isn't as high as in the past?

Several factors come into play.

First, California has a high percentage of minorities, particularly Latinos. This fast-rising group voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008.

Second, Obama has backed legislation that would end the immigration stalemate; immigration is a huge issue in California, and most of the state's voters these days are comfortable with some kind of reconciliation.

Third, infrastructure repair has been a big element of Obama's post-election platform.

Whatever the state's economic problems, they would have been considerably worse had it not been for the badly needed funds from the Economic Recovery Act.

The distribution formula for those funds was much more friendly to California than the formulas set up during the Bush administration.

No doubt, there are other factors. And we don't want to overlook that Obama's standing in California has diminished in the past year--but it still remains positive.

Of course, the president will be in California over the coming months, but to collect money rather than spend it.

That's because as the 2012 presidential campaign comes into focus, we can expect the president to benefit from his popularity here in the form of generous campaign contributions.

So we will see the president after all, only selling himself not his programs.

If the past is any indication, most Californians will be buyers. 

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