State residents are feeling more optimistic than they have in years—about California’s elected leaders, the direction of the state, and their own economic futures. Dean Bonner, associate survey director, presented these and other key findings at a briefing last week in Sacramento. In addition to asking about government and fiscal issues, the January survey gauged opinions on four important issues being debated at the state and federal level. Among the findings:
- Crime, police, and race relations. A solid majority of Californians say the police are doing either an excellent job or good job controlling crime in their communities. But blacks are much less likely than others to hold this view.
- Water and drought. A majority of Californians say the supply of water is a big problem in their region, and most say the state and local governments are not doing enough to respond to the current drought.
- Health care reform. A record-high 51 percent of Californians have a generally favorable view of the 2010 health care reform law, while 41 percent have an unfavorable view.
- Immigration reform. A solid majority of residents support President Obama’s executive action to shield as many as 4 million immigrants from deportation, while about a third are opposed.