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Mitt Romney leads GOP field in California

January 24, 2012 |  5:05 pm

Mitt Romney, left, and Newt Gingrich
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a wide lead among California Republicans in the Republican presidential primary, a survey finds.

A poll released Tuesday from the Public Policy Institute of California shows Romney with double-digit leads over his GOP rivals. He is backed by 37% of likely GOP voters followed by former Speaker Newt Gingrich with 18% and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 15%. Ron Paul was the choice of 11% of those surveyed and another 17% said they were undecided.

But whoever wins the GOP nomination will face an uphill climb in Democratic California, where President Obama remains popular. The same poll found 54% of those surveyed said they approve of the job the president is doing, while 42% said they disapprove.

Obama’s approval ratings are down from their high to 70% in February 2009.

Californians are still pessimistic about the state’s direction. Only 37% of those surveyed said the state was generally headed in the right direction, while 57% said the state was on the wrong track.

You can download the entire poll here.

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California Republicans favor Romney, poll finds

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-- Anthony York in Sacramento

Photo: Mitt Romney, left, and Newt Gingrich. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand /AFP/Getty Images

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