SAN FRANCISCO — Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Republican Vice President George Bush were favored by California voters who were asked for their early preferences for candidates in the 1988 presidential campaign, according to a California Poll released Friday.
"Although the next presidential election is more than three years away, a number of political figures already have been making the early required moves needed to be considered as prospective candidates," according to pollster Mervin Field.
The results showed Kennedy leading a list of seven Democrats but also disclosed that he "engenders a relatively high proportion of negative votes," according to the survey.
The Massachusetts senator was favored by 33% of those questioned, but 15% saw him as "most difficult to vote for."
Bush was the first choice of 39%, while 10% found him "most difficult to vote for."
Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado was second behind Kennedy, with New York Governor Mario Cuomo third. However, "those saying it would be difficult to vote for either Hart or Cuomo are proportionately much lower than in the case of Kennedy."
Hart had 27%, with 7% finding him difficult to vote for, while Cuomo was favored by 21%. Five percent found the New York governor difficult to vote for.
Among Republicans, Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas was the closest to Bush--but only with 14%.