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Video: Californians and Their Government

Mary Severance June 14, 2019
California State Capital

Less than a year before California’s presidential primary, likely voters who are Democrats or who lean Democratic are divided on strategy: is it more important for the party to nominate the candidate who seems mostly likely to defeat President Trump or the candidate whose positions align most closely their views? But almost all Californians see voting in the 2020 elections as very important. At a lunchtime briefing in Sacramento last Thursday, PPIC researcher Dean Bonner outlined these and other key findings from the latest statewide survey.

Two in three California likely voters say they will definitely or probably choose a candidate other than Trump. There is a huge partisan divide on this question: 93% of Democrats and 66% of independents would definitely or probably vote for another candidate if the election were held today, while 82% of Republicans would definitely or probably vote for Trump.

Most Californians say that the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller did not clear the president of wrongdoing, and Californians are more likely that the nation as a whole to say impeachment proceedings should begin. But here, too, there is a partisan divide: 66% of Democrats say Congress should begin the process, compared to only 39% of independents and 9% of Republicans.

Other survey highlights:

  • A majority of Californians say their housing costs cause a financial strain; six in ten favor the governor’s plan to allocate $1 billion to address homelessness, and similar shares favor proposed new rules intended to create more affordable housing.
  • Three-quarters of Californians see participation in the 2020 Census as very important—but most have concerns about confidentiality.
  • An overwhelming majority are concerned about rising electricity bills in the wake of the PG&E bankruptcy.
  • Californians are concerned that the recent outbreak of measles could spread; most believe that vaccines are very safe and an overwhelming majority say vaccination against measles and other diseases should be required.
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