According to the published results of a Field Poll (pdf) looking at the California race for United States Senator that pits incumbent Dianne Feinstein against business woman Elizabeth Emken, Senator Feinstein appears to be coasting towards a fourth full term.
Voters affiliated with a particular party break down along party lines, with 77% of Democrats preferring Feinstin and 71% of Republicans preferring Emken.
Beyond the disadvantage of a larger number of registered Democrats, what really drags down Emken’s numbers is that 55% of unaffiliated voters go for Feinstein.
Only 25% of unaffiliated voters stated that they would likely vote for Emken. A goodly chunk — 20% — of unaffiliated voters remain undecided.
Coastal counties — meaning overwhelmingly Los Angeles County plus the greater San Francisco area — favor Feinstein over Emken56% to 27% with 17% undecided.
Inland counties, with lower population density, are more evenly divided, favoring Emken over Feinstein by only 44% to 40% with 16% undecided.
In a race with a female opponnent challenging a female incumbent, the incumbent is favored by both men and women.
Men prefer Feinstein 47% to 35% with 18% undecided.
Women prefer Feinstein 55% to 29% with 16% undecided.
From the report summary:
Incumbent Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein leads Republican businesswoman Elizabeth Emken
by a margin of 51% to 32% in this year’s U.S. Senate race.
Feinstein, who was first elected in 1992, is seeking her fourth full term. Feinstein easily captured
the top spot in the June open primary election. Unofficial tallies give her just under half of the
primary vote (49.3%) in a field of 24 candidates. Danville Republican Emken secured a runoff spot
in the general election by winning 12.7% of the vote and coming in second.
The Poll finds that Feinstein is very well-known to voters, with more Californians having a positive
than negative view of her (52% favorable and 36% unfavorable). In addition, a plurality (45%)
approves of the job she is doing in office, while 32% disapprove.
While Emken ran and lost a previous 2010 Congressional race, she is not well-known to voters
statewide. Only about one in three likely voters (35%) can offer an opinion of her, with 22% having
a favorable view and 13% an unfavorable view.