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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_316MBR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "961453" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(51532) "California’s Exclusive Electorate Who Votes and Why It Matters March 2016 Mark Baldassare with research support from Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation PPIC.ORG © 2016 Public Policy Institute of California. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data are available for this publication. ISBN: 978-1-58213-162-7 Cover image: iStock CONTENTS Introduction 4 Political Participation Has Not Kept Pace with Population Growth and Change 5 Voters Do Not Reflect the State’s Racial Diversity 6 Voters and Nonvoters: The Haves and the Have Nots 7 Likely Voters and Nonvoters See the Political World Differently 7 Policy Options and Future Consequences 13 Conclusion 15 Notes 17 References 19 About the Author 21 Acknowledgments 21 SUMMARY The people who go to the polls in California are very different from those who don't; they vary widely across key demographic indicators such as race, age, education, homeownership, and income. They also have very different political attitudes and policy preferences. As California's population continues to expand and change, its voting rolls are not keeping pace and its voters have become unrepresentative of its population. Voters in California tend to be older, white, college educated, affluent, and homeowners. They also tend to identify themselves as “haves”—rather than “have nots”—when asked to choose between these two economic categories. Nonvoters tend to be younger, Latino, renters, less affluent, and less likely to be college educated than likely voters—and they generally identify themselves as have nots. The economic differences between voters and nonvoters reflect the growing economic divide that has surfaced as one of the most important policy issues in the 2016 election year—and they have important implications for policymaking. Voters and nonvoters vary noticeably in their attitudes toward the role of government, government spending, ballot choices, and elected officials—all of which come into play during an election year and influence governing choices in the long term. California has recently taken steps to encourage voter participation, but our research suggests that the divide between voters and nonvoters is deep and persistent. What more can the state do to diversify its electorate? Further changes in the voter registration and voting process may help, but only to a limited degree. Civic engagement is critical—as is building confidence in elections and trust in government. Public and private efforts, including targeted drives to increase civics education, voter registration, and voting in underrepresented communities, could result in broader representation of Californians’ views. These efforts will not be easy—there are powerful socioeconomic factors in determining political participation. Broader endeavors to increase economic opportunity, such as policies that produce high-paying jobs, affordable housing, and higher college graduation rates, could also help lead to a larger, more diverse voting population. Efforts are also needed to encourage more non­ citizens to become citizens so that they can join the voter rolls. In a state that increasingly relies on the ballot box to make major policy decisions—and is expected to have a large number of initiatives on the November 2016 ballot— a more engaged and representative electorate would be a source of long-term stability, helping to create a stronger, more united future for California. Introduction California’s electorate does not reflect the size, the growth, or the diversity of California’s population. These disparities could be a problem for any state and are not unique to California.1 However, for California, a state that calls on its voters not only to elect representatives but also to make so much policy through ballot initiatives, these disparities raise real concerns. Today, 82 percent of California’s adults are eligible to vote, but only 57 percent are registered to do so. Less than half (41%) of adults are registered with one of the two major political parties. Based on the track record since 2000, about half of the adults in California can be expected to vote in the November 2016 presidential election. California’s electorate does not reflect the size, the growth, or the diversity of California’s population. Voter registration has grown at a slower rate than the adult population has. As a result, 12.8 million of the state’s 30.1 million adults are not registered to vote. What does this mean for policymaking? Because the number of nonvoting California adults is so large, their attitudes often drive overall public opinion on issues. Yet voters often have very different views from nonvoters, and their preferences prevail at the ballot box. The presence of an economic divide behind this voting gap has profound implications for the state. This report outlines the very different political perspectives of likely voters and nonvoters on the role of government, government spending, ballot choices, and elected officials. We find that likely voters have more mixed views than nonvoters about the role of government because likely voters are divided along party lines. Likely voters are also generally more satisfied with a limited government when it comes to addressing the needs of the state’s lower-income and immigrant populations, more ambivalent and divided along party lines on ballot measures that would increase spending on education, and more knowledgeable and negative about the state’s elected leaders. In contrast, the state’s nonvoters want a more active role for government, prefer more state government spending, support ballot measures to increase school funding, and are less knowledgeable about elected officials but more approving of them. These are some of the key facts about California’s electorate. They are similar in nature to the results and conclusions of a Public Policy Institute of California report a decade ago and demonstrate the resilience of these trends.2 However, using more recent data, the new findings underscore the combined role of economic and political inequality in the state today. This report shows the trends in political participation from the 2000 presidential election to the 2016 presidential election. We provide details on the demographic and economic profiles—as well as the political and policy preferences—of likely (i.e., frequent) voters, those not registered to vote (i.e., nonvoters), and the overall adult population. The facts provided are based on analyses of state data sources and the results from the 2015 PPIC Statewide Surveys.3 4  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Political Participation Has Not Kept Pace with Population Growth and Change Since 2000, California’s total population has increased by about 16 percent and the percentage of adults age 18 and older—the base for registered voters—has increased by 22 percent.4 Yet voter registration has increased by only about 10 percent. As a result, 57 percent of adults are registered to vote in California elections today, compared to 63 percent in October 2000 (Figure 1).5 Based on recent presidential election years, we can expect the share of adults who are registered to vote to increase somewhat between the publication of this report and Election Day. Immigration’s ongoing contribution to the state’s growth explains some of this discrepancy, since registered voters must be either US born or naturalized citizens. Registration as a share of eligible adults has been pretty flat in this time period; most of the decline mentioned above is related to the increase in ineligible adults. In fact, the percent of adults eligible to vote in 2016 is five points lower than in 2000 (2000, 87%; 2016, 82%). Some of this decline may reflect the increasing share of noncitizens in the adult population: among the 12.8 million nonvoters today, 7.3 million are eligible to vote but 5.5 million are not eligible. Despite the increase in those who are ineligible, the vast majority of California adults are eligible to register and vote in elections. In 2000, 21.5 million Californians were eligible to vote; today, 24.6 million are (Table 1). Yet voter turnout has dropped to new lows in recent years.6 Since 2000, an average of 32 percent (ranging from 26% to 37%) of all adults have voted in the four November general elections that included the gubernatorial race at the top of the statewide ballot and other statewide executive branch offices, federal and state legislators, and many state propositions. Presidential elections have had much higher turnouts, with an average of 47 percent (ranging from 45% to 50%) of all adults voting in the four November general elections, which included the presidential race at the top of the statewide ballot since 2000. However, the California primaries in presidential and gubernatorial years have had much lower turnouts. Percent California adults Figure 1. Voter eligibility is high, but participation lags Eligible to vote Registered to vote Registered to major party 100 Election voters 80 60 40 20 0 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 SOURCE: California Secretary of State and Department of Finance. Table 1. Political participation by the numbers Adults 18+ Eligible to vote Registered to vote Registered to major party Election voters Millions of participants 2000 2016 24.8 30.1 21.5 24.6 15.7 17.3 12.6 12.2 11.1 – SOURCE: California Secretary of State and Department of Finance. P P I C . O R G  5 Political party registration has also declined over the past 16 years. The percentage of California adults registered as major party voters has dropped from 51 percent to 41 percent. There were 12.6 million voters registered as Democrats and Republicans in 2000; there are 12.2 million today. The only growth in registration rolls has been in “no party preference”—independent voters who choose not to declare registration in one of the two major parties. Nearly one in four voters are registered as independents today. In all, a total of 17.9 million California adults are not registered with one of the two major parties. Voters Do Not Reflect the State’s Racial Diversity In a democracy, low political participation is cause for worry in and of itself. It could be a symptom of the public’s feelings of alienation from the political system and distrust in its government and leaders. If a small electorate is not representative of the population—as is the case in California—there is even greater cause for concern. Analysis of thousands of interviews from the PPIC Statewide Survey shows that California’s likely voters are disproportionately white and US born. By 2000, California had become the first large majority minority state—that is, a state in which no ethnic or racial group constitutes the majority. However, California’s elections have not made this demographic transition. Today, California’s adult population is 42 percent white and 36 percent Latino; the remainder are Asian (14%), black (6%), and other (3%). Yet six in 10 California likely voters are white, only 18 percent are Latino, and the balance are Asian, black, and other (Figure 2). Moreover, even though one in three adults are foreign born, 83 percent of Californians who frequently vote in state elections are US born. Among nonvoters, six in 10 are Latino, only 22 percent are white, and just one in three are US born.7 Figure 2. Voters do not represent state’s racial diversity Likely voters 4 6 12 Not registered to vote 1 3 14 22 60 18 SOURCE: 2015 PPIC Statewide Surveys. 59 White Latino Asian Black Other 6  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Voters and Nonvoters: The Haves and the Have Nots Likely voters and nonvoters differ significantly in socioeconomic status (Figure 3). The majority of Californians who frequently vote are age 45 and older (68%), homeowners (68%), have either attended (40%) or graduated (42%) college, and have annual household incomes of $60,000 or more (55%). The majority of California nonvoters are younger than age 45 (67%) and renters (66%); and about one in five are college graduates (17%) or earn $60,000 or more (20%). On all these dimensions, both likely voters and nonvoters are distinct from all California adults (49% age 45 and older, 47% homeowners, 29% college graduates, 37% have annual household incomes of $60,000 or more).8 Figure 3. Voters’ relative affluence College graduate $60K or more annual income Homeowner Likely voters The public’s perceptions reflect these differences. When survey respondents were asked to identify their social class, 71 percent of likely voters said they were in the Not registered to vote middle class, upper-middle class, or upper class; while 50 percent of nonvoters said they were in the lower-­ middle class or lower class. When asked to choose 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 which of the two economic groups they are in, likely Percent voters lean toward identifying with the haves rather than the have nots (50% to 34%); while nonvoters lean toward the have nots rather than the haves (53% to SOURCE: 2015 PPIC Statewide Surveys. 31%).9 Today, some of the key issues facing the state involve economic disparities between voters and nonvoters, such as housing affordability, college opportunity, and funding for health and social services, and political disparities in civic engagement. Likely Voters and Nonvoters See the Political World Differently Voters and nonvoters not only differ in their demographic and economic backgrounds, but they also generally have different political perceptions and attitudes. Because there are so many nonvoters in the state, their attitudes and preferences are often reflected in public opinion on particular issues or topics. However, likely voters’ views prevail at the ballot box on important matters that impact all Californians. This is particularly ironic given that nonvoters are more positive than likely voters in their attitudes about making policy through California’s citizens’ initiative process. For example, nonvoters are more likely than likely voters to say they are very or somewhat satisfied with the way that the initiative process is working in California today (72% to 62%); while likely voters are more likely than nonvoters to say that the initiative process is controlled a lot by special interests (66% to 42%).10 P P I C . O R G  7 In the following sections, we consider differences between voters and nonvoters on four key issues: the role of government, spending preferences, ballot choices, and the approval of elected officials. The Role of Government Today, 67 percent of California adults say that the state is divided into two economic groups: the haves and the have nots. Likely voters (68%) and nonvoters (67%) both hold similar perceptions of living in a two-tier society. But, reflecting their different economic conditions as members of either the haves or the have nots, voters and nonvoters have markedly different views on what government should do about poverty and inequality.11 A strong majority of California adults believe that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, while one in three believe that this is not something that the government should be doing (61% to 34%) (Figure 4). Among nonvoters, seven in 10 say the government should do more to reduce income inequality; about one in four say the government should not do more. By contrast, likely voters are divided on this issue, with a slim majority in favor of the government doing more (51% to 44%). There are large differences of opinion between Democrats and Republicans in the preference for government doing more (72% to 27%).12 How much government involvement do Californians want? Specifically, would they prefer a more active role for government when it comes to providing opportunities for all people to get ahead— or are they satisfied with a more limited role? A slim majority of California adults think that government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead, while fewer than half believe that all people have an opportunity to get ahead in California today (51% to 42%) (Figure 5). There is a wide gap between voters and nonvoters on these issues—again, reflecting their differing economic conditions and identification as haves or have nots. California’s likely voters are evenly divided when asked if the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead (46% to 46%). Again, there is a deep division between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of whether the government should be doing more to ensure equal opportunity (63% to 28%). Among nonvoters, there is a 21-point gap between those who want to see the government do more and those who think that all people have an equal opportunity to get ahead (58% to 37%).13 These differences over the role of government in addressing the needs of the haves and the have nots are also reflected in overall attitudes toward specific policies, such as the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). By a nine-point margin, California adults have a favorable rather than an unfavorable view (51% to 42%) of this federal health reform (Figure 6). Likely voters are divided (49% to 46%) when asked if they have a generally favorable or unfavorable view of the ACA. Once again, voters are deeply split along party lines on this issue. Among nonvoters, favorable views outnumber unfavorable views by a 21-point margin (56% to 35%). Even more striking are the differences in attitudes toward providing health care coverage for undocumented immigrants in California. This is a proposed state policy change that would expand the adult population served by the ACA. Among all California adults, 54 percent are in favor of this expansion of health coverage. The majority of likely voters (who are mostly US born) are opposed (55%) to providing health coverage for undocumented immigrants in California. Nonvoters (who are mostly not US born) overwhelmingly favor the idea (75%).14 8  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Figure 4. The preference gap on addressing income inequality “Should the government do more to reduce the gap between the rich and poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent saying government should do more SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, March 2015. Figure 5. The preference gap on government’s role “Do you think that in California today all people have an equal opportunity to get ahead or that the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. Percent saying government should do more Figure 6. The preference gap on health care “Do you favor or oppose providing health care coverage for undocumented immigrants in California?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Percent saying favor SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. 80 P P I C . O R G  9 Spending Preferences Similar tensions are evident in spending preferences—views about how much state funding there is and where the state funding should be spent (Figure 7). The perception of tight budget conditions is down sharply from a few years ago when large deficits were common in California. When asked about the balance between government spending and tax revenues, 45 percent of California adults think the state budget is a big problem, while just 34 percent of nonvoters share this view. By contrast, half of likely voters think the state budget situation is a big problem. Again, there are large differences in the views of Democrats and Republicans.15 The differing views of voters and nonvoters about where to allocate a projected state budget surplus over the next few years clearly reflect the economic conditions of the haves and the have nots. California adults are divided in their preference for paying down the debt as opposed to restoring some funds to social service programs that have been cut in recent years (52% to 44%). By contrast, nonvoters lean in the direction of restoring funds to social services rather than paying down the debt (50% to 44%). Likely voters are strongly in favor of paying down the debt rather than restoring funds to social services (59% to 38%). An even starker difference surfaces when higher education funding is at stake. California adults lean toward restoring funding for higher education rather than paying down the debt (56% to 39%), while nonvoters are overwhelmingly in favor of restoring this funding rather than paying down debt (70% to 25%). Likely voters are evenly divided between these two choices (47% to 48%).16 Ballot Choices Californians frequently vote on state propositions that make important fiscal and economic policies. A large number of initiatives are expected in the November 2016 election. Likely voters are often divided—with deeply different partisan views—on initiatives aimed at spending and programs that benefit low-income groups. Nonvoters, in stark contrast, are solid supporters of these initiatives.17 This trend is evident in the importance voters and nonvoters place on a citizens’ initiative that is headed for the November 2016 ballot. Specifically, just under half of likely voters (49%) say that the issue of increasing the state’s minimum wage is very important to them, with Democrats much more likely to hold this view than Republicans. By contrast, solid majorities of all California adults (57%) and nonvoters (69%) identify this issue as very important to them. The economic divide between the haves and the have nots is also clearly reflected in the different views of likely voters and nonvoters on ballot choices that have important policy impacts on K–12 school spending and taxes. It is worth noting that nonvoters are more likely than likely voters to have children under age 18 living at home (48% to 32%) and would thus benefit directly from increased K–12 school funding. A citizens’ initiative that has qualified for the November 2016 ballot calls for a $9 billion state bond to fund school construction projects. Fifty-five percent of likely voters say that the issue of state bonds for schools is very important to them. A strong majority of all California adults (63%) and an even larger majority of nonvoters (68%) identify this issue as very important to them.18 State bonds require a simple majority vote to pass. If a state bond measure to pay for school 10  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE construction projects were on the ballot, strong majorities of adults (66% yes, 30% no) and overwhelming majorities of nonvoters (75% yes, 23% no) would vote yes (Figure 8). Unlike state bonds, local school construction bonds require a 55 percent vote to pass in California. Among all California adults, a hypothetical local school bond easily clears the 55 percent hurdle for passing (65% yes, 31% no), with nonvoters overwhelmingly in favor (73% yes, 25% no). Fifty-three percent of likely voters would vote yes (and 42% no) on a hypothetical local school bond—just below the threshold needed for passing. Again, Democrats show stronger support than Republicans when it comes to local school funding measures. Lastly, local parcel taxes require a two-thirds majority vote to pass. A hypothetical local parcel tax for school funding has solid majority support but falls below the two-thirds majority threshold among all California adults (57% yes, 39% no). But it receives close to the two-thirds majority among nonvoters (64% yes, 31% no). For this type of school funding measure, support falls below a majority among likely voters (49% yes, 46% no).19 Figure 7. The perception gap on government spending “Do you think the state budget situation in California, that is, the balance between government spending and revenues, is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today?” SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent saying big problem SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. Figure 8. The preference gap on education funding “If the state had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for school construction projects, would you vote yes or no?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent saying yes SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, April 2015. PPIC.ORG 11 Elected Officials’ Ratings Californians will go to the polls in November 2016 to select a president, a US senator, and a large number of federal and state legislators. Because likely voters and nonvoters have very different attitudes toward elected officials, some candidates’ fortunes will depend on who does and who does not show up at the polls. While divided along party lines, likely voters tend to hold more negative views than nonvoters do about elected officials. In fact, many nonvoters have no opinions about the state’s elected officials. The overall result is that the views of all California adults tend to be more positive than those of the voters who determine our elections. An area of public consensus over time has been the relatively low approval rating of the California Legislature. Likely voters lean toward negative evaluations (38% approve, 48% disapprove), while all adults give mixed reviews (41% approve, 40% disapprove) to the legislative branch of state government (Figure 9). Nonvoters offer the most positive assessments and provide the fewest negative ratings of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job (46% approve, 29% disapprove), while 25 percent say they don’t know enough to evaluate its performance. When it comes to the performance of the US Congress, approval ratings are even lower. Just 26 percent of all California adults approve, which puts them squarely between likely voters and nonvoters. Among likely voters, only 14 percent approve and 81 percent disapprove (5% don’t know), with solid majorities across party lines expressing disapproval. Among nonvoters, however, 36 percent approve and 54 percent disapprove (11% don’t know) of the way that Congress is handling its job. Figure 9. The perception gap on elected officials’ ratings “Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” Likely voters Not registered to vote Approve Disapprove Don’t know All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. 12  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE President Barack Obama’s approval rating follows a similar pattern, with less negativity among nonvoters than among likely voters. As he enters his last year in office, 61 percent of all adults approve and 36 percent disapprove of the job he is doing. Among likely voters the president’s positive ratings are somewhat lower (56% approve, 43% disapprove), with most Democrats approving and most Republicans disapproving of his job performance. In contrast, nonvoters are overwhelmingly approving (68% approve, 27% disapprove, and 5% don’t know). Governor Jerry Brown’s ratings deviate slightly from this pattern and reveal a significant sense of disconnection among nonvoters. Among all adults, 51 percent approve and 29 percent disapprove of the job that Brown is doing in office. Among likely voters, 54 percent approve and 35 percent disapprove of his job performance, with strong majorities of Democrats approving and Republicans disapproving. Among nonvoters, 48 percent approve while only 24 percent disapprove—and a notable 28 percent say they don’t know about their recently reelected, four-term governor.20 Policy Options and Future Consequences Large gaps in voter participation—across race, age, and economic groups—are an ongoing cause for concern. Even more troubling, voters and nonvoters have very different views of key political issues. In a state where important policy decisions are made at the ballot box, these differences can have far-reaching consequences. California has been addressing the issue of political participation through a number of policy choices that could result in broader engagement in the democratic process, by increasing both the size and diversity of its electorate. Recently enacted state election laws have been aimed at making it easier for eligible adults to register to vote and for registered voters to cast ballots. For instance, online voter registration has been available since the 2012 presidential election, and it has clearly been a popular new tool for voter registration. However, considering the voter registration and participation figures cited above, this policy has not had a big impact on voting trends throughout the 2000s. Moreover, our findings today are consistent with the profiles of likely voters and nonvoters that we first reported a decade ago. Another reform—Election Day registration—passed in 2012, and eligible adults will soon be able to register to vote on the same day that ballots are cast. Unfortunately, experts predict that these process changes will not produce big increases in voter registration and voting.21 The record low turnout in November 2014 has been a stimulus for another set of state election laws seeking to increase political participation. The passage of Assembly Bill 1461 in 2015 means that eligible adults who are not registered will be more easily registered to vote by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The legislation, which is currently being implemented, calls for an “opt out” system that will register those eligible adults who are not registered to vote when they have an encounter with the Department of Motor Vehicles (similar to a system in Oregon). Forty-four percent of eligible nonvoters say they are very likely to vote after being registered automatically. In addition, Senate Bill 450, pending in 2016, would result in the automatic distribution of mail ballots to all registered voters and the creation of ballot drop-off spots at local vote centers (similar to a system in Colorado). Sixty-six percent of registered voters who are not currently frequent voters say they would be very likely to vote if they automatically received a mail ballot and had easy access to vote centers. PPIC.ORG 13 These are thoughtful and well-intentioned steps that may increase the ranks of likely voters. However, we find that an “expanded” likely voter group would not be that different from current likely voters in number, demographic and economic profiles, policy preferences, and ballot choices. Nonvoters will continue to be a large and distinct group despite all of the good ideas and intentions of the new election laws in the 2010s.22 To understand the views of the nonvoter group, elected representatives will need to continue relying on public opinion surveys of all adults for a full accounting of the needs and preferences of all Californians. Likely voter surveys and election results offer a politically expedient but partial view that is tilted toward reflecting the views of the haves and underrepresenting those of the have nots. Why has the California exclusive electorate phenomenon that we identified 10 years ago been so resistant to change? Civic engagement is a critical factor. When eligible adults are asked why they are not registered to vote, most cite a lack of confidence or a lack of interest in elections, a lack of trust in government, and a lack of time to vote. When registered voters are asked why they do not always vote, their top reasons are also a lack of interest and time as well as little confidence and trust. Public and private efforts, including targeted drives to increase civics education, voter registration, and voting among underrepresented groups (such as Latino, Asian, low-income, renters, and youth communities) could result in more diversity in the electorate.23 More fundamentally, the broad demographic and economic shifts underway in the state are major factors in producing the size, profile, and form of the divide between California’s voters and nonvoters today. Immigration is one important element. Millions of California adults are documented and undocumented noncitizens. The share of the adult population that is undocumented is on the decline but it is still a large segment of California society. Public and private efforts are needed to encourage more noncitizens to become citizens and join the voter rolls. Federal comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship is another key ingredient in creating a larger and more diverse electorate. And there are other powerful socioeconomic factors in determining political participation. California has a large population living in poverty, high housing costs in its coastal regions, and is predicted to face a shortage of college-educated workers in the near future. Efforts to increase economic opportunity through policies that produce high-paying jobs, provide affordable housing, and increase college graduation rates would also grow and diversify the electorate.24 Gaps in voting participation, demographic profile, and policy preferences are occurring in the midst of ongoing change in the 21st century. For example, although whites are projected to be a smaller share of the state’s adults by 2040, they will still be the largest group of state election voters.25 State experts point to the fact that California is in the middle of a demographic and economic transition that reflects a combination of powerful forces including immigration, globalization, information technology, and the aging of the white population. The political effects of these changes will continue for decades. 14  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Conclusion The 2016 presidential election will likely include only half of California adults, and these voters will not reflect the state’s demographic profile, as recent voting trends are expected to persist. What are the larger consequences of uneven participation rates and low voter turnout? First, the fact that a relatively small group of voters is making decisions about elected representatives and public policy can raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the democratic system. Next, because the haves in society are the frequent voters, and many of the have nots are not registered to vote or voting, the voting preferences in our elections do not reflect the broad economic and political interests of all adults. Last, likely voters and nonvoters have very different perspectives on the role of government, government spending, ballot choices, and the state’s elected representatives. Once again this fall, when a large number of initiatives are expected on the ballot, California faces the prospect of an electorate making policy decisions that neglect the realities and problems facing large and growing segments of society. What might happen if voters were more representative of California’s adult population? That would depend on how the decision to vote relates to socioeconomic differences and whether new voters’ attitudes are different California faces the prospect of an electorate making policy from those of current voters. For ballot measures, there could be more voter support for policies that increase spending for health care and education, and expand government’s role in improving the lives of immigrants decisions that neglect the realities and problems facing large and growing segments and the less economically advantaged. For candidate elections, it is difficult to say if an expanded electorate of society. would benefit the Republicans or Democrats because so many newly registered voters are not registered to the major parties today. Since most new voters are registering as “no party preference,” the power of independent voters in determining election outcomes could be bolstered if this group continues to grow and the proportion of major party voters continues to shrink. Interestingly, incumbents could face a less critical and more approving electorate. Finally, growth and change in the electorate could initially result in more political instability, as elected officials, candidates, parties, and initiative campaigns reach out to a larger and more diverse electorate.26 In the long run, having a larger and more engaged electorate that is more broadly representative of the people of California would be a source of political stability for a state that increasingly relies on the ballot box to make its major policy decisions. PPIC.ORG 15 NOTES 1 Raymond E. Wolfinger and Steven J. Rosenstone, Who Votes? (Yale University Press, 1980); Eric Plutzer, “Becoming a Habitual Voter: Inertia, Resources, and Growth in Young Adulthood,” American Political Science Review 96 (1): 41–56; Karthick Ramakrishnan, Democracy in Immigrant America (Stanford University Press, 2005); Mark Baldassare, At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy (Public Policy Institute of California, October 2012); Jan E. Leighley and Jonathan Nagler, Who Votes Now? (Princeton University Press, 2014). 2 Mark Baldassare, At Issue: California’s Exclusive Electorate (PPIC, September 2006). 3 The PPIC Statewide Survey is an ongoing series directed by the author that uses random-digit dial telephone interviewing methods with at least 1,700 California adults per wave. Some of the analyses that follow include individual survey waves; for more information on the methodology see the PPIC Statewide Survey reports or our detailed survey methodology at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf. Some of the analyses involve data aggregated over 7 survey waves conducted from January 2015 to December 2015 in order to provide a large and representative sample of all adults (n=11,936), likely voters in elections (n=7,437), and those who say they are not registered to vote (n=2,058). Likely voters are determined from survey questions on voter registration, election participation, and political interest. We exclude a sample of the “infrequent voters” (n=2,302) and those who did not answer the voter registration question (n=139) in our comparisons that focus on differences between likely voters and those not registered to vote, though they are included in the responses for all adults. Infrequent voters are similar to likely voters in their immigrant status, and similar to nonvoters in their age, and in between these two groups in socioeconomic status as reported in Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes, “California’s Likely Voters” (PPIC, August 2015). 4 Population sources for Figure 1 and Table 1 and some numbers in text in this section are from the State of California, Department of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 2000–2010 (September 2012); California Department of Finance, Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity and Detailed Age: 2010 through 2060, (December 2014). 5 Voter statistics for Figure 1 and Table 1 and the numbers in the text in this section are from California Secretary of State, 154-Day Report of Registration, January 2016; California Secretary of State, Statement of Vote, November 2014; California Secretary of State, 15-Day Report of Registration, October 2014; California Secretary of State, 15-Day Report of Registration, October 2012. 6 Eric McGhee, California’s Future: Political Landscape, (PPIC, January 2016); Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes, “Voter Participation in California” (PPIC, September 2015). 7 California Department of Finance, Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity and Detailed Age: 2010 through 2060, (December 2014); US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-year Estimate, 2010–2014 (2015); the data on likely voters and nonvoters in Figure 2 and in this paragraph are from the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys, January 2015 to December 2015. 8 The data reported in Figure 3 and in this footnote and in the paragraph in the text are from the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys, January 2015 to December 2015. 9 The data reported in this paragraph are, in order, from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, September 2015 (1,708 adults, 1,066 likely voters, 292 nonvoters) and the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 10 The data reported in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 11 The data reported in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 12 The data reported in Figure 4 and in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, March 2015 (1,706 adults, 1,064 likely voters, 264 nonvoters). 13 The data reported in Figure 5 and in the paragraphs above are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 14 The data reported in Figure 6 and in the text for this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). The proportion who say they do not have health insurance is 5 percent among the likely voters and 23 percent among the nonvoters. PPIC.ORG 17 15 The data reported in Figure 7 and in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 16 The data reported in this paragraph are from, in order, the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, January 2015 (1,705 adults, 1,011 likely voters, 311 nonvoters) and the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, March 2015 (1,706 adults, 1,064 likely voters, 264 nonvoters). 17 Mark Baldassare, Renatta DeFever, and Kristi Michaud, Making Health Policy at the Ballot Box (PPIC, February 2005); Andrew Kohut, Carroll Dougherty, Michael Dimock, and Scott Keeter, Nonvoters: Who They Are, What They Think (Pew Research Center, November 2012); Jan E. Leighley and Jonathan Nagler, Who Votes Now? (Princeton University Press, 2014). 18 The data reported in the text of this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). The data reported for nonvoters and likely voters with children under the age of 18 living at home are from data aggregated over 7 survey waves conducted from January 2015 to December 2015. 19 The data reported in Figure 8 and in the text of this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Education, April 2015 (1,706 adults, 1,069 likely voters, 289 nonvoters). 20 The data reported in Figure 9 and in the text for this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 21 Eric McGhee, Expanding California’s Electorate (PPIC, January 2014); the data reported for the trends over time in this paragraph are from the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys. May 2005 to May 2006, used in the 2006 report of the same name and the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys, January 2015 to December 2015. 22 The data reported in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 23 Baldassare et al., “Voter Participation in California” (PPIC, September 2015). 24 Laura Hill and Joseph Hayes, “Undocumented Immigrants” (PPIC, June 2015); Sarah Bohn, Caroline Danielson, and Monica Bandy, “Poverty in California” (PPIC, December 2015); Hans Johnson, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, and Sarah Bohn, Will California Run Out of College Graduates? (PPIC, October 2015); Hans Johnson and Marisol Cuellar Mejia, California’s Future: Housing (PPIC, February 2015). 25 Jack Citrin and Benjamin Highton, How Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Shape the California Electorate (PPIC, December 2002); Mindy Romero, Is Demography Political Destiny? Population Change and California’s Future Electorate (UC Davis Center for Regional Change, January 2014). 26 Jack Citrin, Eric Schickler, and John Sides, “What If Everyone Voted?” American Journal of Political Science 47 (1): 75-90; Mark Baldassare, At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy, (PPIC, October 2012); Jan E. Leighley and Jonathan Nagler, Who Votes Now? (Princeton University Press, 2014). 18  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE REFERENCES Baldassare, Mark. 2006. At Issue: California’s Exclusive Electorate. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark. 2012. At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes. 2015. “California’s Likely Voters.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes. 2015. “Voter Participation in California.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark, Renatta DeFever, and Kristi Michaud. 2005. Making Health Policy at the Ballot Box. Public Policy Institute of California. Bohn, Sarah, Caroline Danielson, and Monica Bandy. 2015. “Poverty in California.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Citrin, Jack, and Benjamin Highton. 2002. How Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Shape the California Electorate. Public Policy Institute of California. Citrin, Jack, Eric Schickler, and John Sides. 2003. “What If Everyone Voted?” American Journal of Political Science 47 (1): 75–90. California Department of Finance. 2012. Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 2000–2010. California Department of Finance. 2014. Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity and Detailed Age: 2010 through 2060. California Secretary of State. 2012. 15-Day Report of Registration (October). California Secretary of State. 2014. 15-Day Report of Registration (October). California Secretary of State. 2016. 154-Day Report of Registration (January). California Secretary of State. 2014. Statement of Vote (November). Hill, Laura, and Joseph Hayes. 2015. “Undocumented Immigrants.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Johnson, Hans, and Marisol Cuellar Mejia. 2015. California’s Future: Housing. Public Policy Institute of California. Johnson, Hans, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, and Sarah Bohn. 2015. Will California Run Out of College Graduates? Public Policy Institute of California. Kohut, Andrew, Carroll Dougherty, Michael Dimock, and Scott Keeter. 2012. Nonvoters: Who They Are, What They Think. Pew Research Center. Leighley, Jan E., and Jonathan Nagler. 2014. Who Votes Now? Princeton University Press. Plutzer, Eric. 2002. “Becoming a Habitual Voter: Inertia, Resources, and Growth in Young Adulthood,” American Political Science Review 96 (1): 41–56. Ramakrishnan, Karthick. 2005. Democracy in Immigrant America. Stanford University Press. Romero, Mindy. 2014. Is Demography Political Destiny? Population Change and California’s Future Electorate. UC Davis Center for Regional Change. McGhee, Eric. 2014. Expanding California’s Electorate. Public Policy Institute of California. McGhee, Eric. 2016. California’s Future: Political Landscape. Public Policy Institute of California. US Census Bureau. 2015. American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, 2010­–2014. Wolfinger, Raymond E., and Steven J. Rosenstone. 1980. Who Votes? Yale University Press. PPIC.ORG 19 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is a leading expert on public opinion and survey methodology, and has directed the PPIC Statewide Survey since 1998. He is an authority on elections, voter behavior, and political and fiscal reform, authoring ten books and numerous reports on these topics. He often provides testimony before legislative committees and state commissions, and regularly hosts PPIC’s Speaker Series, a public forum featuring in-depth interviews with state and national leaders. Previously, he served as PPIC’s director of research. Before joining PPIC, he was a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of California, Irvine, where he held the Johnson Chair in Civic Governance. He has conducted surveys for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the California Business Roundtable. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes for research support for this report and on the PPIC Statewide Surveys. The James Irvine Foundation provided generous funding for this report and the 2015 PPIC Statewide Survey: California and Their Government series. These public opinion data serve as the basis for much of the analysis reported here. I also acknowledge Jon Cohen, Joe Hayes, Paul Lewis, Eric McGhee, and Lynette Ubois for reviews of earlier drafts. PPIC.ORG 21 BOARD OF DIRECTORS DONNA LUCAS, CHAIR Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs MARK BALDASSARE President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California RUBEN BARRALES President and CEO GROW Elect MARÍA BLANCO Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President LOUISE HENRY BRYSON Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust A. MARISA CHUN Partner McDermott Will & Emery LLP PHIL ISENBERG Vice Chair Delta Stewardship Council MAS MASUMOTO Author and Farmer STEVEN A. MERKSAMER Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP GERALD L. PARSKY Chairman Aurora Capital Group KIM POLESE Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. GADDI H. VASQUEZ Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Edison International Southern California Edison The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94111 T 415.291.4400 F 415.291.4401 PPIC.ORG PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, CA 95814 T 916.440.1120 F 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(104) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-exclusive-electorate-who-votes-and-why-it-matters/r_316mbr/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8562) ["ID"]=> int(8562) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:38:42" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3784) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "R 316MBR" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "r_316mbr" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_316MBR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "961453" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(51532) "California’s Exclusive Electorate Who Votes and Why It Matters March 2016 Mark Baldassare with research support from Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation PPIC.ORG © 2016 Public Policy Institute of California. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data are available for this publication. ISBN: 978-1-58213-162-7 Cover image: iStock CONTENTS Introduction 4 Political Participation Has Not Kept Pace with Population Growth and Change 5 Voters Do Not Reflect the State’s Racial Diversity 6 Voters and Nonvoters: The Haves and the Have Nots 7 Likely Voters and Nonvoters See the Political World Differently 7 Policy Options and Future Consequences 13 Conclusion 15 Notes 17 References 19 About the Author 21 Acknowledgments 21 SUMMARY The people who go to the polls in California are very different from those who don't; they vary widely across key demographic indicators such as race, age, education, homeownership, and income. They also have very different political attitudes and policy preferences. As California's population continues to expand and change, its voting rolls are not keeping pace and its voters have become unrepresentative of its population. Voters in California tend to be older, white, college educated, affluent, and homeowners. They also tend to identify themselves as “haves”—rather than “have nots”—when asked to choose between these two economic categories. Nonvoters tend to be younger, Latino, renters, less affluent, and less likely to be college educated than likely voters—and they generally identify themselves as have nots. The economic differences between voters and nonvoters reflect the growing economic divide that has surfaced as one of the most important policy issues in the 2016 election year—and they have important implications for policymaking. Voters and nonvoters vary noticeably in their attitudes toward the role of government, government spending, ballot choices, and elected officials—all of which come into play during an election year and influence governing choices in the long term. California has recently taken steps to encourage voter participation, but our research suggests that the divide between voters and nonvoters is deep and persistent. What more can the state do to diversify its electorate? Further changes in the voter registration and voting process may help, but only to a limited degree. Civic engagement is critical—as is building confidence in elections and trust in government. Public and private efforts, including targeted drives to increase civics education, voter registration, and voting in underrepresented communities, could result in broader representation of Californians’ views. These efforts will not be easy—there are powerful socioeconomic factors in determining political participation. Broader endeavors to increase economic opportunity, such as policies that produce high-paying jobs, affordable housing, and higher college graduation rates, could also help lead to a larger, more diverse voting population. Efforts are also needed to encourage more non­ citizens to become citizens so that they can join the voter rolls. In a state that increasingly relies on the ballot box to make major policy decisions—and is expected to have a large number of initiatives on the November 2016 ballot— a more engaged and representative electorate would be a source of long-term stability, helping to create a stronger, more united future for California. Introduction California’s electorate does not reflect the size, the growth, or the diversity of California’s population. These disparities could be a problem for any state and are not unique to California.1 However, for California, a state that calls on its voters not only to elect representatives but also to make so much policy through ballot initiatives, these disparities raise real concerns. Today, 82 percent of California’s adults are eligible to vote, but only 57 percent are registered to do so. Less than half (41%) of adults are registered with one of the two major political parties. Based on the track record since 2000, about half of the adults in California can be expected to vote in the November 2016 presidential election. California’s electorate does not reflect the size, the growth, or the diversity of California’s population. Voter registration has grown at a slower rate than the adult population has. As a result, 12.8 million of the state’s 30.1 million adults are not registered to vote. What does this mean for policymaking? Because the number of nonvoting California adults is so large, their attitudes often drive overall public opinion on issues. Yet voters often have very different views from nonvoters, and their preferences prevail at the ballot box. The presence of an economic divide behind this voting gap has profound implications for the state. This report outlines the very different political perspectives of likely voters and nonvoters on the role of government, government spending, ballot choices, and elected officials. We find that likely voters have more mixed views than nonvoters about the role of government because likely voters are divided along party lines. Likely voters are also generally more satisfied with a limited government when it comes to addressing the needs of the state’s lower-income and immigrant populations, more ambivalent and divided along party lines on ballot measures that would increase spending on education, and more knowledgeable and negative about the state’s elected leaders. In contrast, the state’s nonvoters want a more active role for government, prefer more state government spending, support ballot measures to increase school funding, and are less knowledgeable about elected officials but more approving of them. These are some of the key facts about California’s electorate. They are similar in nature to the results and conclusions of a Public Policy Institute of California report a decade ago and demonstrate the resilience of these trends.2 However, using more recent data, the new findings underscore the combined role of economic and political inequality in the state today. This report shows the trends in political participation from the 2000 presidential election to the 2016 presidential election. We provide details on the demographic and economic profiles—as well as the political and policy preferences—of likely (i.e., frequent) voters, those not registered to vote (i.e., nonvoters), and the overall adult population. The facts provided are based on analyses of state data sources and the results from the 2015 PPIC Statewide Surveys.3 4  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Political Participation Has Not Kept Pace with Population Growth and Change Since 2000, California’s total population has increased by about 16 percent and the percentage of adults age 18 and older—the base for registered voters—has increased by 22 percent.4 Yet voter registration has increased by only about 10 percent. As a result, 57 percent of adults are registered to vote in California elections today, compared to 63 percent in October 2000 (Figure 1).5 Based on recent presidential election years, we can expect the share of adults who are registered to vote to increase somewhat between the publication of this report and Election Day. Immigration’s ongoing contribution to the state’s growth explains some of this discrepancy, since registered voters must be either US born or naturalized citizens. Registration as a share of eligible adults has been pretty flat in this time period; most of the decline mentioned above is related to the increase in ineligible adults. In fact, the percent of adults eligible to vote in 2016 is five points lower than in 2000 (2000, 87%; 2016, 82%). Some of this decline may reflect the increasing share of noncitizens in the adult population: among the 12.8 million nonvoters today, 7.3 million are eligible to vote but 5.5 million are not eligible. Despite the increase in those who are ineligible, the vast majority of California adults are eligible to register and vote in elections. In 2000, 21.5 million Californians were eligible to vote; today, 24.6 million are (Table 1). Yet voter turnout has dropped to new lows in recent years.6 Since 2000, an average of 32 percent (ranging from 26% to 37%) of all adults have voted in the four November general elections that included the gubernatorial race at the top of the statewide ballot and other statewide executive branch offices, federal and state legislators, and many state propositions. Presidential elections have had much higher turnouts, with an average of 47 percent (ranging from 45% to 50%) of all adults voting in the four November general elections, which included the presidential race at the top of the statewide ballot since 2000. However, the California primaries in presidential and gubernatorial years have had much lower turnouts. Percent California adults Figure 1. Voter eligibility is high, but participation lags Eligible to vote Registered to vote Registered to major party 100 Election voters 80 60 40 20 0 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 SOURCE: California Secretary of State and Department of Finance. Table 1. Political participation by the numbers Adults 18+ Eligible to vote Registered to vote Registered to major party Election voters Millions of participants 2000 2016 24.8 30.1 21.5 24.6 15.7 17.3 12.6 12.2 11.1 – SOURCE: California Secretary of State and Department of Finance. P P I C . O R G  5 Political party registration has also declined over the past 16 years. The percentage of California adults registered as major party voters has dropped from 51 percent to 41 percent. There were 12.6 million voters registered as Democrats and Republicans in 2000; there are 12.2 million today. The only growth in registration rolls has been in “no party preference”—independent voters who choose not to declare registration in one of the two major parties. Nearly one in four voters are registered as independents today. In all, a total of 17.9 million California adults are not registered with one of the two major parties. Voters Do Not Reflect the State’s Racial Diversity In a democracy, low political participation is cause for worry in and of itself. It could be a symptom of the public’s feelings of alienation from the political system and distrust in its government and leaders. If a small electorate is not representative of the population—as is the case in California—there is even greater cause for concern. Analysis of thousands of interviews from the PPIC Statewide Survey shows that California’s likely voters are disproportionately white and US born. By 2000, California had become the first large majority minority state—that is, a state in which no ethnic or racial group constitutes the majority. However, California’s elections have not made this demographic transition. Today, California’s adult population is 42 percent white and 36 percent Latino; the remainder are Asian (14%), black (6%), and other (3%). Yet six in 10 California likely voters are white, only 18 percent are Latino, and the balance are Asian, black, and other (Figure 2). Moreover, even though one in three adults are foreign born, 83 percent of Californians who frequently vote in state elections are US born. Among nonvoters, six in 10 are Latino, only 22 percent are white, and just one in three are US born.7 Figure 2. Voters do not represent state’s racial diversity Likely voters 4 6 12 Not registered to vote 1 3 14 22 60 18 SOURCE: 2015 PPIC Statewide Surveys. 59 White Latino Asian Black Other 6  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Voters and Nonvoters: The Haves and the Have Nots Likely voters and nonvoters differ significantly in socioeconomic status (Figure 3). The majority of Californians who frequently vote are age 45 and older (68%), homeowners (68%), have either attended (40%) or graduated (42%) college, and have annual household incomes of $60,000 or more (55%). The majority of California nonvoters are younger than age 45 (67%) and renters (66%); and about one in five are college graduates (17%) or earn $60,000 or more (20%). On all these dimensions, both likely voters and nonvoters are distinct from all California adults (49% age 45 and older, 47% homeowners, 29% college graduates, 37% have annual household incomes of $60,000 or more).8 Figure 3. Voters’ relative affluence College graduate $60K or more annual income Homeowner Likely voters The public’s perceptions reflect these differences. When survey respondents were asked to identify their social class, 71 percent of likely voters said they were in the Not registered to vote middle class, upper-middle class, or upper class; while 50 percent of nonvoters said they were in the lower-­ middle class or lower class. When asked to choose 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 which of the two economic groups they are in, likely Percent voters lean toward identifying with the haves rather than the have nots (50% to 34%); while nonvoters lean toward the have nots rather than the haves (53% to SOURCE: 2015 PPIC Statewide Surveys. 31%).9 Today, some of the key issues facing the state involve economic disparities between voters and nonvoters, such as housing affordability, college opportunity, and funding for health and social services, and political disparities in civic engagement. Likely Voters and Nonvoters See the Political World Differently Voters and nonvoters not only differ in their demographic and economic backgrounds, but they also generally have different political perceptions and attitudes. Because there are so many nonvoters in the state, their attitudes and preferences are often reflected in public opinion on particular issues or topics. However, likely voters’ views prevail at the ballot box on important matters that impact all Californians. This is particularly ironic given that nonvoters are more positive than likely voters in their attitudes about making policy through California’s citizens’ initiative process. For example, nonvoters are more likely than likely voters to say they are very or somewhat satisfied with the way that the initiative process is working in California today (72% to 62%); while likely voters are more likely than nonvoters to say that the initiative process is controlled a lot by special interests (66% to 42%).10 P P I C . O R G  7 In the following sections, we consider differences between voters and nonvoters on four key issues: the role of government, spending preferences, ballot choices, and the approval of elected officials. The Role of Government Today, 67 percent of California adults say that the state is divided into two economic groups: the haves and the have nots. Likely voters (68%) and nonvoters (67%) both hold similar perceptions of living in a two-tier society. But, reflecting their different economic conditions as members of either the haves or the have nots, voters and nonvoters have markedly different views on what government should do about poverty and inequality.11 A strong majority of California adults believe that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, while one in three believe that this is not something that the government should be doing (61% to 34%) (Figure 4). Among nonvoters, seven in 10 say the government should do more to reduce income inequality; about one in four say the government should not do more. By contrast, likely voters are divided on this issue, with a slim majority in favor of the government doing more (51% to 44%). There are large differences of opinion between Democrats and Republicans in the preference for government doing more (72% to 27%).12 How much government involvement do Californians want? Specifically, would they prefer a more active role for government when it comes to providing opportunities for all people to get ahead— or are they satisfied with a more limited role? A slim majority of California adults think that government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead, while fewer than half believe that all people have an opportunity to get ahead in California today (51% to 42%) (Figure 5). There is a wide gap between voters and nonvoters on these issues—again, reflecting their differing economic conditions and identification as haves or have nots. California’s likely voters are evenly divided when asked if the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead (46% to 46%). Again, there is a deep division between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of whether the government should be doing more to ensure equal opportunity (63% to 28%). Among nonvoters, there is a 21-point gap between those who want to see the government do more and those who think that all people have an equal opportunity to get ahead (58% to 37%).13 These differences over the role of government in addressing the needs of the haves and the have nots are also reflected in overall attitudes toward specific policies, such as the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). By a nine-point margin, California adults have a favorable rather than an unfavorable view (51% to 42%) of this federal health reform (Figure 6). Likely voters are divided (49% to 46%) when asked if they have a generally favorable or unfavorable view of the ACA. Once again, voters are deeply split along party lines on this issue. Among nonvoters, favorable views outnumber unfavorable views by a 21-point margin (56% to 35%). Even more striking are the differences in attitudes toward providing health care coverage for undocumented immigrants in California. This is a proposed state policy change that would expand the adult population served by the ACA. Among all California adults, 54 percent are in favor of this expansion of health coverage. The majority of likely voters (who are mostly US born) are opposed (55%) to providing health coverage for undocumented immigrants in California. Nonvoters (who are mostly not US born) overwhelmingly favor the idea (75%).14 8  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Figure 4. The preference gap on addressing income inequality “Should the government do more to reduce the gap between the rich and poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent saying government should do more SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, March 2015. Figure 5. The preference gap on government’s role “Do you think that in California today all people have an equal opportunity to get ahead or that the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. Percent saying government should do more Figure 6. The preference gap on health care “Do you favor or oppose providing health care coverage for undocumented immigrants in California?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Percent saying favor SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. 80 P P I C . O R G  9 Spending Preferences Similar tensions are evident in spending preferences—views about how much state funding there is and where the state funding should be spent (Figure 7). The perception of tight budget conditions is down sharply from a few years ago when large deficits were common in California. When asked about the balance between government spending and tax revenues, 45 percent of California adults think the state budget is a big problem, while just 34 percent of nonvoters share this view. By contrast, half of likely voters think the state budget situation is a big problem. Again, there are large differences in the views of Democrats and Republicans.15 The differing views of voters and nonvoters about where to allocate a projected state budget surplus over the next few years clearly reflect the economic conditions of the haves and the have nots. California adults are divided in their preference for paying down the debt as opposed to restoring some funds to social service programs that have been cut in recent years (52% to 44%). By contrast, nonvoters lean in the direction of restoring funds to social services rather than paying down the debt (50% to 44%). Likely voters are strongly in favor of paying down the debt rather than restoring funds to social services (59% to 38%). An even starker difference surfaces when higher education funding is at stake. California adults lean toward restoring funding for higher education rather than paying down the debt (56% to 39%), while nonvoters are overwhelmingly in favor of restoring this funding rather than paying down debt (70% to 25%). Likely voters are evenly divided between these two choices (47% to 48%).16 Ballot Choices Californians frequently vote on state propositions that make important fiscal and economic policies. A large number of initiatives are expected in the November 2016 election. Likely voters are often divided—with deeply different partisan views—on initiatives aimed at spending and programs that benefit low-income groups. Nonvoters, in stark contrast, are solid supporters of these initiatives.17 This trend is evident in the importance voters and nonvoters place on a citizens’ initiative that is headed for the November 2016 ballot. Specifically, just under half of likely voters (49%) say that the issue of increasing the state’s minimum wage is very important to them, with Democrats much more likely to hold this view than Republicans. By contrast, solid majorities of all California adults (57%) and nonvoters (69%) identify this issue as very important to them. The economic divide between the haves and the have nots is also clearly reflected in the different views of likely voters and nonvoters on ballot choices that have important policy impacts on K–12 school spending and taxes. It is worth noting that nonvoters are more likely than likely voters to have children under age 18 living at home (48% to 32%) and would thus benefit directly from increased K–12 school funding. A citizens’ initiative that has qualified for the November 2016 ballot calls for a $9 billion state bond to fund school construction projects. Fifty-five percent of likely voters say that the issue of state bonds for schools is very important to them. A strong majority of all California adults (63%) and an even larger majority of nonvoters (68%) identify this issue as very important to them.18 State bonds require a simple majority vote to pass. If a state bond measure to pay for school 10  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE construction projects were on the ballot, strong majorities of adults (66% yes, 30% no) and overwhelming majorities of nonvoters (75% yes, 23% no) would vote yes (Figure 8). Unlike state bonds, local school construction bonds require a 55 percent vote to pass in California. Among all California adults, a hypothetical local school bond easily clears the 55 percent hurdle for passing (65% yes, 31% no), with nonvoters overwhelmingly in favor (73% yes, 25% no). Fifty-three percent of likely voters would vote yes (and 42% no) on a hypothetical local school bond—just below the threshold needed for passing. Again, Democrats show stronger support than Republicans when it comes to local school funding measures. Lastly, local parcel taxes require a two-thirds majority vote to pass. A hypothetical local parcel tax for school funding has solid majority support but falls below the two-thirds majority threshold among all California adults (57% yes, 39% no). But it receives close to the two-thirds majority among nonvoters (64% yes, 31% no). For this type of school funding measure, support falls below a majority among likely voters (49% yes, 46% no).19 Figure 7. The perception gap on government spending “Do you think the state budget situation in California, that is, the balance between government spending and revenues, is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today?” SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent saying big problem SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. Figure 8. The preference gap on education funding “If the state had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for school construction projects, would you vote yes or no?” Likely voters Not registered to vote All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent saying yes SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, April 2015. PPIC.ORG 11 Elected Officials’ Ratings Californians will go to the polls in November 2016 to select a president, a US senator, and a large number of federal and state legislators. Because likely voters and nonvoters have very different attitudes toward elected officials, some candidates’ fortunes will depend on who does and who does not show up at the polls. While divided along party lines, likely voters tend to hold more negative views than nonvoters do about elected officials. In fact, many nonvoters have no opinions about the state’s elected officials. The overall result is that the views of all California adults tend to be more positive than those of the voters who determine our elections. An area of public consensus over time has been the relatively low approval rating of the California Legislature. Likely voters lean toward negative evaluations (38% approve, 48% disapprove), while all adults give mixed reviews (41% approve, 40% disapprove) to the legislative branch of state government (Figure 9). Nonvoters offer the most positive assessments and provide the fewest negative ratings of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job (46% approve, 29% disapprove), while 25 percent say they don’t know enough to evaluate its performance. When it comes to the performance of the US Congress, approval ratings are even lower. Just 26 percent of all California adults approve, which puts them squarely between likely voters and nonvoters. Among likely voters, only 14 percent approve and 81 percent disapprove (5% don’t know), with solid majorities across party lines expressing disapproval. Among nonvoters, however, 36 percent approve and 54 percent disapprove (11% don’t know) of the way that Congress is handling its job. Figure 9. The perception gap on elected officials’ ratings “Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” Likely voters Not registered to vote Approve Disapprove Don’t know All adults 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percent SOURCE: PPIC Statewide Survey, December 2015. 12  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE President Barack Obama’s approval rating follows a similar pattern, with less negativity among nonvoters than among likely voters. As he enters his last year in office, 61 percent of all adults approve and 36 percent disapprove of the job he is doing. Among likely voters the president’s positive ratings are somewhat lower (56% approve, 43% disapprove), with most Democrats approving and most Republicans disapproving of his job performance. In contrast, nonvoters are overwhelmingly approving (68% approve, 27% disapprove, and 5% don’t know). Governor Jerry Brown’s ratings deviate slightly from this pattern and reveal a significant sense of disconnection among nonvoters. Among all adults, 51 percent approve and 29 percent disapprove of the job that Brown is doing in office. Among likely voters, 54 percent approve and 35 percent disapprove of his job performance, with strong majorities of Democrats approving and Republicans disapproving. Among nonvoters, 48 percent approve while only 24 percent disapprove—and a notable 28 percent say they don’t know about their recently reelected, four-term governor.20 Policy Options and Future Consequences Large gaps in voter participation—across race, age, and economic groups—are an ongoing cause for concern. Even more troubling, voters and nonvoters have very different views of key political issues. In a state where important policy decisions are made at the ballot box, these differences can have far-reaching consequences. California has been addressing the issue of political participation through a number of policy choices that could result in broader engagement in the democratic process, by increasing both the size and diversity of its electorate. Recently enacted state election laws have been aimed at making it easier for eligible adults to register to vote and for registered voters to cast ballots. For instance, online voter registration has been available since the 2012 presidential election, and it has clearly been a popular new tool for voter registration. However, considering the voter registration and participation figures cited above, this policy has not had a big impact on voting trends throughout the 2000s. Moreover, our findings today are consistent with the profiles of likely voters and nonvoters that we first reported a decade ago. Another reform—Election Day registration—passed in 2012, and eligible adults will soon be able to register to vote on the same day that ballots are cast. Unfortunately, experts predict that these process changes will not produce big increases in voter registration and voting.21 The record low turnout in November 2014 has been a stimulus for another set of state election laws seeking to increase political participation. The passage of Assembly Bill 1461 in 2015 means that eligible adults who are not registered will be more easily registered to vote by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The legislation, which is currently being implemented, calls for an “opt out” system that will register those eligible adults who are not registered to vote when they have an encounter with the Department of Motor Vehicles (similar to a system in Oregon). Forty-four percent of eligible nonvoters say they are very likely to vote after being registered automatically. In addition, Senate Bill 450, pending in 2016, would result in the automatic distribution of mail ballots to all registered voters and the creation of ballot drop-off spots at local vote centers (similar to a system in Colorado). Sixty-six percent of registered voters who are not currently frequent voters say they would be very likely to vote if they automatically received a mail ballot and had easy access to vote centers. PPIC.ORG 13 These are thoughtful and well-intentioned steps that may increase the ranks of likely voters. However, we find that an “expanded” likely voter group would not be that different from current likely voters in number, demographic and economic profiles, policy preferences, and ballot choices. Nonvoters will continue to be a large and distinct group despite all of the good ideas and intentions of the new election laws in the 2010s.22 To understand the views of the nonvoter group, elected representatives will need to continue relying on public opinion surveys of all adults for a full accounting of the needs and preferences of all Californians. Likely voter surveys and election results offer a politically expedient but partial view that is tilted toward reflecting the views of the haves and underrepresenting those of the have nots. Why has the California exclusive electorate phenomenon that we identified 10 years ago been so resistant to change? Civic engagement is a critical factor. When eligible adults are asked why they are not registered to vote, most cite a lack of confidence or a lack of interest in elections, a lack of trust in government, and a lack of time to vote. When registered voters are asked why they do not always vote, their top reasons are also a lack of interest and time as well as little confidence and trust. Public and private efforts, including targeted drives to increase civics education, voter registration, and voting among underrepresented groups (such as Latino, Asian, low-income, renters, and youth communities) could result in more diversity in the electorate.23 More fundamentally, the broad demographic and economic shifts underway in the state are major factors in producing the size, profile, and form of the divide between California’s voters and nonvoters today. Immigration is one important element. Millions of California adults are documented and undocumented noncitizens. The share of the adult population that is undocumented is on the decline but it is still a large segment of California society. Public and private efforts are needed to encourage more noncitizens to become citizens and join the voter rolls. Federal comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship is another key ingredient in creating a larger and more diverse electorate. And there are other powerful socioeconomic factors in determining political participation. California has a large population living in poverty, high housing costs in its coastal regions, and is predicted to face a shortage of college-educated workers in the near future. Efforts to increase economic opportunity through policies that produce high-paying jobs, provide affordable housing, and increase college graduation rates would also grow and diversify the electorate.24 Gaps in voting participation, demographic profile, and policy preferences are occurring in the midst of ongoing change in the 21st century. For example, although whites are projected to be a smaller share of the state’s adults by 2040, they will still be the largest group of state election voters.25 State experts point to the fact that California is in the middle of a demographic and economic transition that reflects a combination of powerful forces including immigration, globalization, information technology, and the aging of the white population. The political effects of these changes will continue for decades. 14  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE Conclusion The 2016 presidential election will likely include only half of California adults, and these voters will not reflect the state’s demographic profile, as recent voting trends are expected to persist. What are the larger consequences of uneven participation rates and low voter turnout? First, the fact that a relatively small group of voters is making decisions about elected representatives and public policy can raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the democratic system. Next, because the haves in society are the frequent voters, and many of the have nots are not registered to vote or voting, the voting preferences in our elections do not reflect the broad economic and political interests of all adults. Last, likely voters and nonvoters have very different perspectives on the role of government, government spending, ballot choices, and the state’s elected representatives. Once again this fall, when a large number of initiatives are expected on the ballot, California faces the prospect of an electorate making policy decisions that neglect the realities and problems facing large and growing segments of society. What might happen if voters were more representative of California’s adult population? That would depend on how the decision to vote relates to socioeconomic differences and whether new voters’ attitudes are different California faces the prospect of an electorate making policy from those of current voters. For ballot measures, there could be more voter support for policies that increase spending for health care and education, and expand government’s role in improving the lives of immigrants decisions that neglect the realities and problems facing large and growing segments and the less economically advantaged. For candidate elections, it is difficult to say if an expanded electorate of society. would benefit the Republicans or Democrats because so many newly registered voters are not registered to the major parties today. Since most new voters are registering as “no party preference,” the power of independent voters in determining election outcomes could be bolstered if this group continues to grow and the proportion of major party voters continues to shrink. Interestingly, incumbents could face a less critical and more approving electorate. Finally, growth and change in the electorate could initially result in more political instability, as elected officials, candidates, parties, and initiative campaigns reach out to a larger and more diverse electorate.26 In the long run, having a larger and more engaged electorate that is more broadly representative of the people of California would be a source of political stability for a state that increasingly relies on the ballot box to make its major policy decisions. PPIC.ORG 15 NOTES 1 Raymond E. Wolfinger and Steven J. Rosenstone, Who Votes? (Yale University Press, 1980); Eric Plutzer, “Becoming a Habitual Voter: Inertia, Resources, and Growth in Young Adulthood,” American Political Science Review 96 (1): 41–56; Karthick Ramakrishnan, Democracy in Immigrant America (Stanford University Press, 2005); Mark Baldassare, At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy (Public Policy Institute of California, October 2012); Jan E. Leighley and Jonathan Nagler, Who Votes Now? (Princeton University Press, 2014). 2 Mark Baldassare, At Issue: California’s Exclusive Electorate (PPIC, September 2006). 3 The PPIC Statewide Survey is an ongoing series directed by the author that uses random-digit dial telephone interviewing methods with at least 1,700 California adults per wave. Some of the analyses that follow include individual survey waves; for more information on the methodology see the PPIC Statewide Survey reports or our detailed survey methodology at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf. Some of the analyses involve data aggregated over 7 survey waves conducted from January 2015 to December 2015 in order to provide a large and representative sample of all adults (n=11,936), likely voters in elections (n=7,437), and those who say they are not registered to vote (n=2,058). Likely voters are determined from survey questions on voter registration, election participation, and political interest. We exclude a sample of the “infrequent voters” (n=2,302) and those who did not answer the voter registration question (n=139) in our comparisons that focus on differences between likely voters and those not registered to vote, though they are included in the responses for all adults. Infrequent voters are similar to likely voters in their immigrant status, and similar to nonvoters in their age, and in between these two groups in socioeconomic status as reported in Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes, “California’s Likely Voters” (PPIC, August 2015). 4 Population sources for Figure 1 and Table 1 and some numbers in text in this section are from the State of California, Department of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 2000–2010 (September 2012); California Department of Finance, Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity and Detailed Age: 2010 through 2060, (December 2014). 5 Voter statistics for Figure 1 and Table 1 and the numbers in the text in this section are from California Secretary of State, 154-Day Report of Registration, January 2016; California Secretary of State, Statement of Vote, November 2014; California Secretary of State, 15-Day Report of Registration, October 2014; California Secretary of State, 15-Day Report of Registration, October 2012. 6 Eric McGhee, California’s Future: Political Landscape, (PPIC, January 2016); Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes, “Voter Participation in California” (PPIC, September 2015). 7 California Department of Finance, Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity and Detailed Age: 2010 through 2060, (December 2014); US Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-year Estimate, 2010–2014 (2015); the data on likely voters and nonvoters in Figure 2 and in this paragraph are from the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys, January 2015 to December 2015. 8 The data reported in Figure 3 and in this footnote and in the paragraph in the text are from the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys, January 2015 to December 2015. 9 The data reported in this paragraph are, in order, from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, September 2015 (1,708 adults, 1,066 likely voters, 292 nonvoters) and the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 10 The data reported in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 11 The data reported in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 12 The data reported in Figure 4 and in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, March 2015 (1,706 adults, 1,064 likely voters, 264 nonvoters). 13 The data reported in Figure 5 and in the paragraphs above are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 14 The data reported in Figure 6 and in the text for this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). The proportion who say they do not have health insurance is 5 percent among the likely voters and 23 percent among the nonvoters. PPIC.ORG 17 15 The data reported in Figure 7 and in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 16 The data reported in this paragraph are from, in order, the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, January 2015 (1,705 adults, 1,011 likely voters, 311 nonvoters) and the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, March 2015 (1,706 adults, 1,064 likely voters, 264 nonvoters). 17 Mark Baldassare, Renatta DeFever, and Kristi Michaud, Making Health Policy at the Ballot Box (PPIC, February 2005); Andrew Kohut, Carroll Dougherty, Michael Dimock, and Scott Keeter, Nonvoters: Who They Are, What They Think (Pew Research Center, November 2012); Jan E. Leighley and Jonathan Nagler, Who Votes Now? (Princeton University Press, 2014). 18 The data reported in the text of this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). The data reported for nonvoters and likely voters with children under the age of 18 living at home are from data aggregated over 7 survey waves conducted from January 2015 to December 2015. 19 The data reported in Figure 8 and in the text of this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Education, April 2015 (1,706 adults, 1,069 likely voters, 289 nonvoters). 20 The data reported in Figure 9 and in the text for this section are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 21 Eric McGhee, Expanding California’s Electorate (PPIC, January 2014); the data reported for the trends over time in this paragraph are from the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys. May 2005 to May 2006, used in the 2006 report of the same name and the combined PPIC Statewide Surveys, January 2015 to December 2015. 22 The data reported in this paragraph are from the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, December 2015 (1,703 adults, 1,115 likely voters, 266 nonvoters). 23 Baldassare et al., “Voter Participation in California” (PPIC, September 2015). 24 Laura Hill and Joseph Hayes, “Undocumented Immigrants” (PPIC, June 2015); Sarah Bohn, Caroline Danielson, and Monica Bandy, “Poverty in California” (PPIC, December 2015); Hans Johnson, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, and Sarah Bohn, Will California Run Out of College Graduates? (PPIC, October 2015); Hans Johnson and Marisol Cuellar Mejia, California’s Future: Housing (PPIC, February 2015). 25 Jack Citrin and Benjamin Highton, How Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Shape the California Electorate (PPIC, December 2002); Mindy Romero, Is Demography Political Destiny? Population Change and California’s Future Electorate (UC Davis Center for Regional Change, January 2014). 26 Jack Citrin, Eric Schickler, and John Sides, “What If Everyone Voted?” American Journal of Political Science 47 (1): 75-90; Mark Baldassare, At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy, (PPIC, October 2012); Jan E. Leighley and Jonathan Nagler, Who Votes Now? (Princeton University Press, 2014). 18  CALIFORNIA'S EXCLUSIVE ELECTORATE REFERENCES Baldassare, Mark. 2006. At Issue: California’s Exclusive Electorate. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark. 2012. At Issue: Improving California’s Democracy. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes. 2015. “California’s Likely Voters.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark, Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes. 2015. “Voter Participation in California.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Baldassare, Mark, Renatta DeFever, and Kristi Michaud. 2005. Making Health Policy at the Ballot Box. Public Policy Institute of California. Bohn, Sarah, Caroline Danielson, and Monica Bandy. 2015. “Poverty in California.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Citrin, Jack, and Benjamin Highton. 2002. How Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Shape the California Electorate. Public Policy Institute of California. Citrin, Jack, Eric Schickler, and John Sides. 2003. “What If Everyone Voted?” American Journal of Political Science 47 (1): 75–90. California Department of Finance. 2012. Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 2000–2010. California Department of Finance. 2014. Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity and Detailed Age: 2010 through 2060. California Secretary of State. 2012. 15-Day Report of Registration (October). California Secretary of State. 2014. 15-Day Report of Registration (October). California Secretary of State. 2016. 154-Day Report of Registration (January). California Secretary of State. 2014. Statement of Vote (November). Hill, Laura, and Joseph Hayes. 2015. “Undocumented Immigrants.” Just the Facts. Public Policy Institute of California. Johnson, Hans, and Marisol Cuellar Mejia. 2015. California’s Future: Housing. Public Policy Institute of California. Johnson, Hans, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, and Sarah Bohn. 2015. Will California Run Out of College Graduates? Public Policy Institute of California. Kohut, Andrew, Carroll Dougherty, Michael Dimock, and Scott Keeter. 2012. Nonvoters: Who They Are, What They Think. Pew Research Center. Leighley, Jan E., and Jonathan Nagler. 2014. Who Votes Now? Princeton University Press. Plutzer, Eric. 2002. “Becoming a Habitual Voter: Inertia, Resources, and Growth in Young Adulthood,” American Political Science Review 96 (1): 41–56. Ramakrishnan, Karthick. 2005. Democracy in Immigrant America. Stanford University Press. Romero, Mindy. 2014. Is Demography Political Destiny? Population Change and California’s Future Electorate. UC Davis Center for Regional Change. McGhee, Eric. 2014. Expanding California’s Electorate. Public Policy Institute of California. McGhee, Eric. 2016. California’s Future: Political Landscape. Public Policy Institute of California. US Census Bureau. 2015. American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, 2010­–2014. Wolfinger, Raymond E., and Steven J. Rosenstone. 1980. Who Votes? Yale University Press. PPIC.ORG 19 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is a leading expert on public opinion and survey methodology, and has directed the PPIC Statewide Survey since 1998. He is an authority on elections, voter behavior, and political and fiscal reform, authoring ten books and numerous reports on these topics. He often provides testimony before legislative committees and state commissions, and regularly hosts PPIC’s Speaker Series, a public forum featuring in-depth interviews with state and national leaders. Previously, he served as PPIC’s director of research. Before joining PPIC, he was a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of California, Irvine, where he held the Johnson Chair in Civic Governance. He has conducted surveys for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the California Business Roundtable. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to Dean Bonner, David Kordus, and Lunna Lopes for research support for this report and on the PPIC Statewide Surveys. The James Irvine Foundation provided generous funding for this report and the 2015 PPIC Statewide Survey: California and Their Government series. These public opinion data serve as the basis for much of the analysis reported here. I also acknowledge Jon Cohen, Joe Hayes, Paul Lewis, Eric McGhee, and Lynette Ubois for reviews of earlier drafts. PPIC.ORG 21 BOARD OF DIRECTORS DONNA LUCAS, CHAIR Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs MARK BALDASSARE President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California RUBEN BARRALES President and CEO GROW Elect MARÍA BLANCO Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President LOUISE HENRY BRYSON Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust A. MARISA CHUN Partner McDermott Will & Emery LLP PHIL ISENBERG Vice Chair Delta Stewardship Council MAS MASUMOTO Author and Farmer STEVEN A. MERKSAMER Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP GERALD L. PARSKY Chairman Aurora Capital Group KIM POLESE Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. GADDI H. VASQUEZ Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Edison International Southern California Edison The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94111 T 415.291.4400 F 415.291.4401 PPIC.ORG PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, CA 95814 T 916.440.1120 F 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:38:42" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "r_316mbr" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:38:42" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:38:42" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/R_316MBR.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }