Poll: Obama leads Romney by 18 points in California

President Barack Obama maintains a double-digit edge over Republican Mitt Romney in California heading into the summer months, leading 55 percent to 37 percent among likely voters, according to a Field Poll released today.

The results affirm predictions that Obama is on his way to winning blue California in his quest for a second term.

In addition to winning Democrats, the poll gives Obama an edge among independent, young and ethnic voters.

Even Romney's supporters in California have Obama on the mind. Sixty percent of surveyed voters backing the former Massachusetts governor said their decision is influenced primarily by their desire to get Obama out of office, not by their affinity for the GOP nominee.

"It's really this intense feeling about Obama that is pretty much driving this race," Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said.

That's the case for Manteca Republican Mary Hildebrand. The 80-year-old retiree said while she would have preferred another Republican to Romney as the party's nominee, her vote will reflect her desire to get the federal health care overhaul and other policies pushed by the president "done away with."

"I don't like anything I can think of (in) the measures that Obama has done," she said.

Such desires to oust Obama mean the margin between the two candidates has stayed roughly the same, even as voters develop more negative views of Romney.

Fifty-five percent of voters surveyed said they hold an unfavorable view of the Republican nominee, compared with 44 percent in May.

"Even though Romney's own image rating has declined, the antipathy (toward Obama) of those who are backing Romney still overrides any concerns they have with Romney," DiCamillo said.

The share of voters with an unfavorable view of Obama stayed about the same at 39 percent, while the percentage of those reporting a favorable rating of the president increased slightly to 58 percent.