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Report · September 2002

A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World

Mark Baldassare

Based on the findings of the most comprehensive public opinion surveys in the state, this volume focuses on the political climate in California at the turn of the century-a climate that was and still is largely influenced by Californians’ deeply ingrained distrust of government and lack of faith in elected officials.  The state’s electricity crisis, recent corporate scandals, and current state budget deficit have only served to deepen this distrust.  Baldassare offers examples of the ways in which voter distrust distorts the state’s policymaking efforts and hampers California’s ability to prepare for its challenging future.  He shows how distrust is being expressed today in the ballot choices voters are making in statewide elections, the demands they are making for reform of government, and the restrictions they are imposing on government in the absence of that reform.


Political Landscape