Erika Johnsen

Yikes - when reality starts to penetrate even the sunshine-addled minds of California's resident leftists, you know you've got problems. In a new USC Dorsife/Los Angeles Times poll, an overwhelming number of Californians said they believed that both their state and their country are currently on the wrong track. Nearly three of four Californians said that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and nearly half reported that they'd like to see the federal government slash spending.

Funnily enough, President Obama is fond of pointing out that conservatives need to start putting "country before party," but whatever that elusive foible means exactly, it is not unique to the right-wing. From the Los Angeles Times:

California voters are increasingly downcast about the direction of the country, but — like their leaders in Washington — many would rather adhere to party orthodoxy than compromise to address the current economic problems, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows. ...

Although Obama has previously called for strategic government investments to stimulate the economy, only 37% of California voters said they favor such an approach. Instead, the Republican view — that slashing government spending to restrain the deficit will better lead to prosperity — was preferred by 49% of respondents, according to the survey sponsored by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and The Times. ...

With California unemployment mired at 12%, the electorate is clearly dissatisfied with the status quo. Nearly 3 in 4 voters say the country is on the wrong track, up sharply from the 55% who felt that way in November 2009. ...

Dissatisfaction with the nation's trajectory topped 60% across every age range, party, region and level of education, and among women and men. But sharp disagreements remain over how the federal government should guide the country away from the recent recession. And neither side wants to give ground.

California Republicans and Democrats alike said they would prefer their leaders stick to their guns when it comes to core issues — rejecting tax hikes for Republicans, avoiding cuts to Social Security and Medicare for Democrats — even if concessions are needed to tame the federal deficit or lure the other side out of its ideological corner.

Republicans preferred the hard-line stance, 50% to 35%, and Democrats concurred by an even larger ratio, 57% to 32%.

While of course that haven of progressivism, that bastion of blue, California, is always sure to house some stubborn left-wingers unwilling to give up on their Keynesian-esque, infrastructure projects-galore, New Deal-type delusions of grandeur for President Obama, it appears that conservatives are gaining at least a little bit of ground on the West Coast. And although neither ideological side is likely to start waving white flags anytime soon, the pressure is mounting for President Obama's Thursday 'jobs' speech to produce something, anything, more tangible than just words, words, words.

The fact that more and more Californians are becoming disheartened with President Obama is an encouraging trend, and unsurprisingly, the President's popularity with the country as a whole continues to slide. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted late last week, 51% of those polled disapprove of the President, and only 44% approve. In a separate ABC News/Washington Post poll released this morning, 53% Americans disapprove of the President, with only 43% approving. Now that's some 'change' I can believe in!


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.