LONG BEACH — If there is such a thing as a typical Long Beach voter, it would be an older, well-educated, white woman who commutes to work in an automobile and has lived in the city at least 20 years.
That theoretical profile emerged last month from data collected in a Los Angeles Times Poll. On May 8, poll officials placed random telephone calls to 621 city residents and found that most of the 440 who identified themselves as registered voters favored Ernie Kell over Jan Hall in Tuesday's mayoral runoff.
In the process, demographic details also painted a portrait of those voters. Although it may not be a mirror of the general population, this picture provides fresh evidence that Long Beach is shifting from its "Iowa-by-the-Sea" past and becoming a younger, more mobile, more diverse community. The poll, which has an error rate of plus or minus 5%, found that:
Nearly half of the voters surveyed have lived in Long Beach more than 20 years. But the next largest group--22%--have lived in the city five years or less.