03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

New California Poll: Hillary's "Negative Drag'

A new California Field Poll released todays warns, in the words of its director, that while Hillary Clinton stills leads widely among Democratic presidential contenders she has nevertheless accumulated a "negatve drag" of voters who absolutely will not support her.

While one third of California voters say they would "definitely" vote for Clinton, a near equal number say they have already made up their minds that they won't. No other major Democratic candidate, according to the poll, evokes such intense polarization. According to the poll, 48 percent of California voters said they have a favorable view of Hillary Clinton, with 39 percent having an unfavorable view.

Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said the survey showed "there's really been a solidification of voter opinions on Hillary" and what he called "a negative drag" unique in the presidential race - the solid third who don't like her, won't support her and see her negatively.

"Judging from the length of time we've seen the same proportions, I don't think there's a high probability they will change their minds," he said... She almost has to write off at least a third of the voters who are unlikely to vote for her," DiCamillo said. "No other candidates have this kind of solidification of negative votes."

Some Republican strategists are taking today's poll as relatively good news, a suggestion that a Clinton-led national ticket might find winning vote-rich California something less than a cakewalk come next November.

On the other hand, more than 7 out of 10 Californians polled said that Bill Clinton's support of his wife's campaign would help her "a lot" or somewhat.

A similar California Field Poll last week showed Clinton leading second place rival Barack Obama by a wide 20% margin.

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