As California heads into an election year, the PPIC Statewide Survey looks at residents’ views on a broad range of issues that are already flashpoints in the presidential primary races and will likely surface in statewide campaigns next year.
PPIC research associate Lunna Lopes presented the survey’s key findings at a Sacramento briefing last week. She was joined by Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO, for a question and answer session afterward. He noted a link between Californians’ “modestly optimistic view of the economy,” their belief that there is income inequality in the state, and their attitudes about which ballot issues are important. Twice as many residents say that increasing the state minimum wage is very important than say legalizing marijuana is very important.
“In California, the belief that this state is divided into the haves and have-nots—and the feeling among many Californians that they are among the have-nots—are going to be driving forces in the election,” he said. The survey briefing was held just after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, and the briefing touched on Californians’ views about gun laws. PPIC research associate David Kordus provided findings from the September survey on this issue: Compared to adults nationwide, Californians are more likely to favor stricter laws than we have now. Most also say that controlling gun ownership is more important than protecting the right of Americans to own guns.