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Why is Bernie Sanders the unofficial face of Proposition 61? Because in California, he's more popular than Obama

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd at a rally in Hollywood in support of Proposition 61. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to the crowd at a rally in Hollywood in support of Proposition 61. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders seem to be all over California these days. He's criss-crossed the state for rallies, has been featured in television ads and infomercials, and has written editorials in the state's major newspapers, all in support of Proposition 61.

Proponents of the measure, which seeks to limit the price state agencies pay for prescription drugs, have good reason to feature Sanders so prominently in their campaign.

In California, Sanders has higher favorability ratings than President Obama, according to a new statewide USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Among voters surveyed between Oct. 22 and Oct. 30, 66% had a favorable view of Sanders, while just 27% reported an unfavorable opinion of him. A full 40% of those surveyed reported a "very favorable" opinion of the former presidential candidate. Among Latino voters, Sanders' support increased to 73% favorable compared to 16% unfavorable.

Obama, on the other hand, enjoys a relatively high 49% "very favorable" rating, with an overall favorable rating from 65% of survey participants.

The survey of 1,500 registered voters was conducted for USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and American Viewpoint. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 2.3 percentage points.

Sanders, who has called Proposition 61 a "profound moral issue" is expected to do some last-minute campaigning for the initiative on Monday, when he will appear at two more rallies in Los Angeles and Sacramento. 

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