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Californians strongly oppose Trump — and 53 percent say state's members of Congress should 'never' work with him

Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- A year after his election, President Donald Trump remains wildly unpopular in California, and the state's voters are split over whether members of Congress should work with him when possible, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll has found.

The percentage of voters seeking cooperation overall -- 47 percent -- dropped somewhat when it came to Trump's immigration policies, which the state's Democratic officeholders have fought with legislation and lawsuits.

Most California voters praised immigrants and rejected negative characterizations of them that have come from the president and some of his supporters. Eight in 10 said immigrants here without proper documentation were seeking work, not "a handout," and that they improve the communities in which they live.

Those sentiments were not shared by the bulk of Republicans, a strong majority of whom remain loyal to Trump. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans said they approved of the job he was doing as president; overall only 22 percent of California voters gave Trump positive marks as president.

The diversity of views pointed to a continuing truth about California: Under its lopsided support for Democrats in statewide offices rests a state with persistent political schisms.

Voters who are older and white, and who live in inland California, represent the president's most loyal supporters here and wanted most for their representatives to work with him. That said, they were more enthusiastic about Trump's policies than about Trump himself.

Younger and more diverse voters, who have propelled California in one generation from reliably Republican in statewide races to an ocean of political blue, were far harsher in their verdict on Trump and strongly opposed their elected officials cooperating with him.

Among those ages 45 and over, for example, majorities believed that representatives should work with Trump on either immigration or other fronts.

Yet of those under age 35, 62 percent said elected officials should "never" cooperate with Trump, and more than 7 in 10 said California should not work with him on immigration.

The USC/Times poll questioned 1,504 Californians, including 1,296 registered voters, online from Oct. 27 through Nov. 6, a year before the 2018 midterm election. The poll has a margin of sampling error of 4 points in either direction for registered voters; larger margins apply to smaller voter groups.

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