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Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 103rd PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 220,000 Californians . This survey is the 38 th in the Californians and Their Government series, which is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. This survey seeks to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about important state and national issues. This survey was conducted as California’s 2010 gubernatorial race takes shape and as many initiative measures circulat e for qualification on the 2010 statewide ballot. As 2009 ends, news about the state’s budget deficit and unemployment rate is still very grim. Nationally, the U.S. Senate debates health care reform, President Obama announced a troop surge for Afghanistan, and job loss slowed slightly. This survey presents the responses of 2,004 adult residents throughout the state, interviewed in English or Spanish and reached by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the se topics:  The June 2010 primary, including Republican primary likely voter preferences in the choice for gubernatorial candidate; likely voters’ preferences in potential match- ups in the November gubernatorial election; favorability ratings of candidates and satisfaction with candidate choices; and attention to news about the candidates. The survey also examines the perceived importance of six issues , dealing with elections, governance, and social matters , that could end up as 2010 ballot measures.  State and national issues, including the overall mood and outlook for California and the country; perceptions of the state economy; approval ratings of state and federal elected officials ; perceived serious ness of the state budget deficit, general preferences for handling it, and concerns about spending cuts in local services; assessments of r egional water s upplies and the perceived importance of passing a state water bond; and attitudes toward federal policies on the economy , health care reform, and Afghanistan. The survey also examines residents’ concerns about their own housing and financial situation.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians —based on their political party affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics —may differ with regard to perceptions, attitudes, and preferences involving the June 2010 primary and state and national issues. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org ). For questions about the sur vey, please contact survey@ppic.org . View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. December 2009 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday , December 16 , 2009 . Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Whitman Leading , But Most GOP Voters Undecided BROWN TOPS REPUBLICANS IN POTENTIAL MATCHUPS— BUT FALLS SHORT OF MAJORITY SAN FRANCISCO , December 16, 2009— Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman leads the field among likely voters in the GOP gubernatorial primary with 32 percent support, compared to 12 percent for former Congressman Tom Campbell and 8 percent for state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. But the hig hest percentage of likely GOP voters —44 percent —is undecided, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. In hypothetical head- to-head matchups for the November general election, the prospective Democratic candidate and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown bests all three Republicans. But he does so with less than majority support . Six months before the gubernatorial primary, the four major party candidates expected to be on the ballot are attracting little enthusiasm or attention among Californians likely to vote. Only 10 percent of likely voters are very closely following news about the candidates, and 33 percent are fairly closely following the news (36% not too closely, 20% not at all closely). Just 32 percent of likely voters are satisfied with their choices of candidates in the primary, and 42 percent are not (26% don’t know) . Democrats are more likely to express satisfaction (38%) than independents (29%) or Republicans (25%). But across parties and ideological groups, more likely voters are unsatisfied with their choices than satisfied. “ Voters have more immediate concerns than who is going to be the next governor,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “ Despite all the advertising in this early stage of the campaign, Republican primary voters are more likely to say they are undecided than to favor one of the three GOP c andidates . At the same time, the Democrats’ likely candidate falls short of majority support when matched up ag ainst the Republican contenders.” REPUBLICANS FAIL TO MAKE BIG IMPRESSION, AND BROWN MAKES A MIXED ONE At least half of likely voters across parties and demographic groups don’t know enough about Whitman to have an opinion about her or haven’t heard of her. Her highest favorability ratings are among Republicans, independents, and conservatives (28% of each) and men (27%). Sixty-eight percent of w omen are unable to give an opinion of Whitman— the only woman in the race— compared to 51 percent of men. Seventy percent of likely voters have no opinion of Campbell. His highest ratings are among Republicans (21%), San Francisco Bay Area likely voters (24%), men (20%), those with household incomes of at least $80,000 (20%), and renters (21%). Seventy- three percent of likely voters have no opinion of Poizner, who has no more than a 12 percent favorability rating in any group. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 4 Opinion is evenly divided on Brown (35% favorable, 36% unfavorable). A majority of Democratic likely voters (52%) have a favorable opinion of him, a majority of Republicans (59%) have an unfavorable one, and independents lean toward unfavorable ( 39% unfavorable, 34% favorable). A sizeable 69 percent of likely voter s under age 35 cannot give an opinion of the former two-term governor. In potential November matchups, Brown leads Whitman by 6 points (43% to 37%), Campbell by 12 (46% to 34%), and Poizner by 16 (47% to 31%) among likely voters. Partisan preferences are key in these leads. Independent likely voters are divided in a race between Whitman (37%) and Brown (36%), and they support Brown over Campbell (40% to 25%) and Poizner (42% to 23%). Among female likely voters, Brown has a 12- point lead over Whitman, a 21- point lead over Campbell, and a 22- point lead over Poizner. MORE VOTERS PREFER CANDIDATES TO RAISE MONEY THAN SPE ND THEIR OWN What qualities do likely voters value in a candidate for statewide office? Half (49%) view a candidate more positively for using mostly money from supporters in a campaign, and 39 percent hold a more positive view of a candidate who uses his or her own money. Pluralities of Republicans (55%), independents (50%), and Democrats (46%) view a candidate who uses supporters’ money more positively. California’s likely voters are evenly split on whether it’s more important for a candidate to have experience in elected office (43%) or runni ng a business (43%). The fault lines are ideological and political, with Democrats (60%) and liberals (63%) valuing experience in office, and Republicans (61%) and conservatives (61%) valuing experience in business. TWO-THIRDS VOTE ON BUDGET, GAY MARRI AGE ARE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES At a time when many initiatives are circulating to qualify for the 2010 ballots, the survey asked likely voters to assess the importance of a half- dozen issues that may be up for a vote. Which issues are v iewed as very important —either because they are favored or opposed?  Lowering the vote requirement for the legislature to pass a state budget: 54 percent  Allowing same- sex couples to m arry in California: 51 percent  Allowing voters to select any candidat e, regardless of party, in state primaries: 47 percent  Legalizing marijuana in California: 38 percent  Allowing voter s to call a constitutional convention in California: 35 percent  Allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California: 32 percent Given the importance likely voters place on the issue of lowering the legislative threshold to pass a state budget, it’s not surprising that 88 percent of them call the budget situation a big problem. When asked how they would prefer the state to deal with a multibillion-dollar gap between revenues and spending, 44 percent say mostly through spending cuts, while 39 percent would prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Since January, the preference for dealing with the budget gap mainly through cuts has increased 12 points (32%) among likely voters and for the mixed approach has declined 9 points (48%). In the aftermath of the legislature’s passage of a package of bills designed to address the state’s water crisis, the survey asked about the $11.1 bi llion water bond measure that is part of the package and is slated to be on the November ballot. How important is it that voters pass the measure? Most likely voters say it is very important (43%) or somewhat important (31%). 61% APPROVE OF OBAMA—FEWER BACK ECONOMIC, HEALTH CARE, AFGHAN PLANS Turning to Californians’ assessments of federal leaders and issues, most Californians (61%) approve of the way President Obama is handling his job— similar to their views in September (63%) and more approving than adults nationwide, according to a CBS News/ New York Times poll (50% approve, PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 5 39% disapprove). Californians are much more approving of Obama’s performance than they are of Congress. They give Congress a 38 percent approval rating, also similar to September (39%). About half (51%) approve of the job their own member of the U.S. House of Representatives is doing, a 5-point drop from September (56%). But California residents are less satisfied with Obama’s handling of the economy. Only 31 percent say hi s economic policies have made economic conditions better. By comparison, 42 percent say his policies have made no difference and 21 percent say they’ve made economic conditions worse. Californians are split over whether the federal government’s response to the financial crisis will help the state, with 46 percent saying it will and the same percentage saying it will not. And although a majority of California residents were satisfied with the first federal stimulus package, they are less willing to support more spending to stimulate the economy: just 39 percent would support it, and 53 percent would oppose it. Half of Californians support (52% vs. 39% oppose) proposed changes to the health care system —a top domestic priority for Obama— given what they know about the legislation. Their views have changed little since September (51% support, 38% oppose). Californians’ support declines sharply with age and is lowest among those 65 and older (42%). Californians are more supportive (61% vs. 33% oppose) of creating a government health insurance plan to compete with private insurers, as they were in September (62% support, 33% oppose). Californians take a pessimistic view of the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan. Just 6 percent say things are going very well, with 26 percent saying they are going fairly well and the majority saying things are going not too well (32%) or not at all well (29%). A plurality (44%) say U.S. troops in Afghanistan should be decreased, while just 33 percent say they should be increased. In the wake of Obama’s December 1 speech announcing an increase in U.S. troops and setting a timetable for withdrawal, Californians are divided on his plan: 49 percent favor it and 45 percent are opposed. The results are similar to Americans nationwide in a USA Today/Gallup poll (51% favor, 40% oppose). Across parties, a majority of Democrats (55%) favor the president’s plan, Republicans (54%) oppose it, and independents are split (46% favor, 46% oppose ). MORE KEY FINDINGS  Jobs, economy dwarf other issues — page 13 As it has since January 2008, jobs and the economy top the list of Californians’ concerns, with 61 percent calling it the most important issue facing the state in an open- ended question. The state budget, deficit, and taxes come in a distant second (13%), and water (2%) is further down the list.  Governor, legislature approval ratings at record lows — page 15 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval rating of 27 percent sinks to a new low among all adults. It’s been at 40 percent or below since August 2008. The legislature’s approval rating is lower still and matches its record of 17 percent, first recorded in July 2009.  For Californians, the recession is still up close and personal — pages 14, 22, and 23 Repor ts about the end of the recession are unconvincing to most Californians: 91 percent say the state is in a recession and 60 percent say it is a serious one. Half of the state’s residents are very (34%) or somewhat (16%) concerned that they or someone in their family will lose a job in the next year, and another 11 percent volunteer that their family has already experienced job loss. And 65 percent of residents say they are very (45%) or somewhat (20%) concerned that they will not have enough money to pay the rent or mortgage. Nevertheless, 53 percent expect their financial situation to improve a lot (6%) or some (47%) over the next year. December 2009 Californians and Their Government 6 2010 CALIFORNIA ELECTION KEY FINDINGS  Meg Whitman currently leads among Republican primary likely voters in the 2010 gubernatorial primary with 32 percent support against Tom Campbell and Steve Poizner; a higher percentage are undecided. G ubernatorial candidates are attracting very close attention by only one in 10 likely voters and just one in three are satisfied with their candidate choices. (page 7 )  If the November general election were held today, the presumed Democratic candidate Jerry Brown bea ts all three possible Republican candidates; still, Brown leads each with less than majority support. ( page 8 )  Likely voters are evenly divided in their opinions of Jerry Brown, while most haven’t heard of or don’t know enough to have an impression of the three Republicans . ( page 9)  When it comes to candidate qualities, likely voters are sharply divided along partisan and ideological lines about whether it’s more important if a candidate has experience in elected office or in run ning a business . A majority of likely voters view more positively a candidate campaigning with money from supporters than one using his or her own money. (page 10)  Of issues that may appear on 2010 ballots, over half of likely voters say the issues of lowering the legislative vote threshold to pass a state budget and allowing same-sex marriage are very important ; almost half say the issue of allowing voters in primaries to select any candidate regardless of party is very important. Marijuana legalization, a constitutional convention, and public campaign financing are viewed as less important issues . (page 11 ) 10 33 36 20 1 Very close Fairly close Not too close Not at all close Don't know Attention to News About Gubernatorial Candidates 383532 242935 0 20 40 60 80 100 Legalizing marijuanaAllowing constitutional convention Allowing public funding of campaigns Percent likely voters Somewhat important Very important Importance of Potential Ballot Issues 545147 28 1732 0 20 40 60 80 100 Loweringthresholdto passbudget Allowingsame-sexmarriage Allowing voteon anycandidate inprimaries Percent likely voters Somewhat important Very important Importance of Potential Ballot Issues Likely voters PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 7 JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY Six months before the June 2010 California gubernatorial primary election, 32 percent of likely voters in the Republican primary would cast a vote for former e Bay CEO Meg Whitman, while a higher percentage (44%) is undecided. Republican primary likely voters include the 15 percent of independent (decline- to- state) voters who say they will vote a Republican ballot . (Independents may also choose a Dem ocratic or non- partisan ballot). Twelve percent of Republican primary likely voters would vote for former Congressman Tom Campbell and 8 percent for California State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Men are more likely than women (37% to 26%) to support Whitman, while half of women are undecided. Among the reasons that many likely voters may be undecided: in favorability questions (reported on page 9), 41 percent of Republican primary likely voters have either not heard of or don’t know enough to have an opinion of any of the three candidates. Among those able to say whether they feel favorably or unfavorably about any of the three, support increases to 46 percent for Whitman , to 18 percent for Campbell, and to 11 percent for Poizner, with 21 percent u ndecided. “If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only All Likely Voters Age Gender 18–54 55 and older Men Women Meg Whitman 32% 34 % 31 % 37 % 26 % Tom Campbell 12 10 15 13 11 Steve Poizner 8 7 8 7 8 Someone else 4 4 4 4 4 Don’t know 44 45 42 39 51 The June primary election is attracting little attention from likely California voters . Just 10 percent are following news about the gubernatorial candidates very closely, with 33 percent following fairly closely. A majority are not too closely (36%) or not at all closely (20%) following candidate news . How does t he current level of attention compare with past gubernatorial elections ? Two months before the March 2002 primary, 12 percent were very closely and 39 percent were fairly closely following news. T hree months before the June 2006 primary, 13 percent were paying very close and 39 percent fairly close attention to candidates. The 2003 recall of Governor Davis was an exception: in August (two months prior ), 45 percent were very closely and 44 percent fairly closely following news. With the field down to four individuals in the two major parties , 42 percent of likely voters say they are not satisfied with their choices of gubernatorial candidates. One in three are satisfied; 26 percent are unsure. Across parties and ideological groups, more likely voters say they are dissatisfied than satisfied with their choices, but Democrats (38% ) are more satisfied than independents (29%) or Republicans (25%). “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Satisfied 32% 38 % 25 % 29 % 35 % 31 % 32 % Not satisfied 42 41 43 45 45 49 37 Don’t know 26 21 32 26 20 20 31 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 8 POTENTIAL NOVEMBER GUBERNATORIAL MATCHUPS There are currently no declared candidates in the Democratic primary, although former governor and current California State Attorney Gen eral Jerry Brown has all but formally declared his candidacy. Brown currently leads all three Republican candidates , though falling short of majority support, in hypothetical November election matchups. He has a 6-point lead over Meg Whitman (43% to 37%), a 12- point lead over Tom Campbell (46% to 34%), and a 16 -point edge over Steve Poizner (47% to 31%). Partisan preferences are a major factor in these leads. In each potential contest, more than seven in 10 Democratic likely voters express support for Brown, while about two in three Republican likely voters express support for the Republican candidate. Independent likely voters are divided in a race featuring Whitman (37%) and Brown (36%), while they would support Brown over Campbell (40% to 25%) and Brown over Poizner (42% to 23%). Likely voters who describe themselves as politically liberal support Brown over each of the three Republicans candidates by a wide margin. C onservatives favor the Republican candidates and moderates express more support for Brown. Women would vote for Brown in each case (by 12 points over Whitman, 21 points over Campbell, and 22 points over Poizner). Men are divided between Brown and Whitman (41% vs. 41%) and Brown and Campbell (42% vs. 39%), while they support Brown over Poizner (44% vs. 35%). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Meg Whitman, the Republican 37% 11 % 67 % 37 % 41 % 33 % Jerry Brown, the Democrat 43 73 13 36 41 45 Don't know 20 16 20 27 18 22 Tom Campbell, the Republican 34 9 68 25 39 29 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 46 78 12 40 42 50 Someone else (volunteered) 1 – 1 2 1 1 Don't know 19 13 19 33 18 20 Steve Poizner, the Republican 31 7 65 23 35 28 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 47 79 13 42 44 50 Someone else (volunteered) 1 – 1 2 1 1 Don't know 21 14 21 33 20 21 More than six in 10 Latino likely voters support Br own in all three matchups. Whites are slightly more likely to favor Whitman over Brown (43% vs. 38%), but favor Brown over Poizner (42% vs. 38%), and are divided between Campbell and Brown (41% vs. 40%). Support for Brown over both Campbell and Poizner declines with age, but against Whitman, support for Brown is higher among likely voters age 35 and older. At least half in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles support Brown each time. Likely voters in the Other Southern California region prefer both Campbell and Whitman over Brown, but are divided between Poizner and Brown. The sample size for Central Valley likely voters is too small to analyze. CANDIDATE FAVORABILI TY Before being asked about primary or general elect ions, voters were asked to give their impressions of the four gubernatorial candidates. They were provided with each person’s name and commonly used title ( the official titles that will appear on ballots have not yet been decided) and asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion, or whether they didn’t know enough to have an opinion. Most likely PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 9 CANDIDATE FAVORABILITY (CONTINUED) voters cannot give an opinion about the Republican candidates. While more likely voters can give an opinion of Jerr y Brown, that opinion is divided (35% favorable to 36% unfavorable). Fifty -two percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of Brown, while one in three cannot give an opinion. A majority of Republicans (59%) see him unfavorably and independents lean toward the unfavorable view (39% unfavorable to 34% favorable). Men and women are both divided. In light of a long history in government, including serving as California secretary of state, California governor, mayor of Oakland, and currently as attorney gener al, likely voters aged 35– 54 (36% favorable, 39% unfavorable) and 55 and older (40% favorable, 42% unfavorable) are much more likely to express an opinion of Brown than likely voters under age 35, of whom 69 percent cannot give an opinion. At least half of likely voters across parties and demographic groups don’t know enough to have an opinion or have not heard of businesswoman Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay. Her highest favorability ratings are among Republicans, independents, and conservatives (28% of each) and among men (27%). Women are far more likely to be unable to give an opinion of Whitman than men are (68% to 51%). A bility to give an opinion on Whitman increases with education and income level. Seventy percent of likely voters are unable to give an opinion of former Congressman Tom Campbell , who also served as California d irector of finance and as state senator. Fewer than one in five across most groups can articulate an impression of Campbell. His highest ratings are among Republicans (21%), San Fr ancisco Bay Area likely voters (24%), men (20%), those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (20%), and renters (21%). Seventy- three percent of likely voters and more than two in three across parties and demographic groups are unable to comment on California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner , a businessman who also served on the National Security Council . He receives at most 12 percent favorability from any group. “Please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these candidates for governor, or don’t you know enough about him or her to have an opinio n?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women How about Jerry Brown, California state attorney general? Favorable 35% 52 % 17 % 34 % 36 % 35 % Unfavorable 36 16 59 39 39 32 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 3 3 3 4 2 4 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 26 29 21 23 23 29 How about Meg Whitman, businesswoman? Favorable 22 13 28 28 27 16 Unfavorable 19 26 12 18 22 16 Haven’t heard of her (volunteered) 10 11 9 10 8 13 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 49 50 51 44 43 55 How about Tom Campbell, former congressman? Favorable 16 16 21 11 20 12 Unfavorable 14 16 10 12 15 13 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 11 11 11 14 9 13 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 59 57 58 63 56 62 How about Steve Poizner, California state insurance c ommissioner? Favorable 9 8 12 5 10 8 Unfavorable 18 19 14 24 23 14 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 10 10 10 15 10 11 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 63 63 64 56 57 67 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 10 CANDIDATE QUALITIES California’s likely voters are evenly divided on whether they think it’s more important for a candidate running for statewide office to have experience in elected office (43%) or experience running a busine ss (43%). These findings are similar to August 2002 (44% experience in office, 42% experience in business) and April 1998 (44 % elected office, 40% business) although in May 1998, 46 percent said experience in office was more important than business experience (36%). Today a political and ideological rift divides likely voters on the question of the more important qualification. Democrats and liberals value experience in office, while Republicans and conservatives value business experience. Independents emphasize business experience over time in office (50% to 32%), but moderates lean toward experience in elected office (44% to 39%). Supporters of Jerry Brown stress the importance of elected experience, of which Brown has a great deal, while the supporters of the Republican candidates stress the importance of experience running a business, which Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner posses s. Among those who place importance on time in elected office, about two in three support Brown over any of the three Republicans. Among those preferring a candidate to have experience running a business, 61 percent favor Whitman over Brown, 55 percent Campbell over Brown, and 53 percent Poizner over Brown. “People have different ideas about the qualifications they want when they vote for candidates for statewide office, such as governor or U.S. senator. Which of these is most important to you…?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Experience in elected office 43% 60 % 27 % 32 % 63 % 44 % 30 % Experience running a business 43 26 61 50 23 39 61 Neither (volunteered) 4 5 2 5 5 5 1 Both (volunteered) 6 5 6 8 5 9 4 Don’t know 4 4 4 5 4 3 4 When it comes to financing election campaigns, half of likely voters (49%) view more positively a candidate using mostly money from his or her supporters rather than a candidate using his or her own m oney (39%). In May 1998, views of candidates using supporters’ money were similar (52% to 49% today); candidates using their own money were viewed somewhat less positively (34% to 39% today). Republicans (55%) are more likely than independents (50%) and Democrats (46%) to view the candidate using supporters’ money more positively. A majority of liberals (56%) prefer the use of contributor money, as do 50 percent of conservatives. Moderates are divided . Whether they prefer the use of contributor money or candidates’ own money, Brown wins out in matchups —except against Whitman, among those favoring a candidate using his or her own money (40% Whitman, 41% Brown). “People have different ideas on how candidates for statewide office should pay for their political campaigns. Which of these do you view most positively? A candidate using mostly…” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative …his or her own money to pay for political campaigning 39% 42 % 38 % 29 % 33 % 42 % 41 % …money collected from his or her supporters to pay for political campaigning 49 46 55 50 56 45 50 Don’t know 12 12 7 21 11 13 9 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 11 BALLOT ISSUES Do Californians view the issues that are likely to surface on the 2010 ballots as relevant to their concerns? We asked voters to assess the importance of six issues that could be on the ballot if some of the initiatives currently circulating qualify . Because specific, official ballot titles and labels for these initiatives have not yet been finalized or made public, likely voters were asked only to assess the importance of each of these issues, keeping in mind that they could appear on one of the 2010 ballots. A majority of likely voters (54%) say the issue of lowering the two-thirds vote threshold for the state legislature to pass a budget is very important. Half (51%) also consider the issue of allowing same -sex couples to marry in California to be very important. Nearly half (47%) say the same on the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries. They are less likely to call the following issues very important: legalizi ng marijuana in California (38%), allowing voters to call a constitutional convention (35%), or allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California (32%). Over half of Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike believe the issue of lowering the two-thirds vote requirement for passing a budget is very important. Across demographic groups, the percentage calling this issue very important increases with age, is higher among men than among women (58% to 49%), and is somewhat higher among Latinos than whites (58% to 52%). Independents (40%) are much less likely than Democrats or Republicans (52% each) to consider the issue of allowing same -sex couples to marry to be very important. Whites are more likely than Latinos (53% to 40%) and women are more l ikely than men (58% to 44%) to hold this view. Evangelical Christians are much more likely than others (60% to 48%) to consider this issue very important. Aside from independents (52%), fewer than half across parties and demographic groups consider the is sue of allowing voters to select any primary candidate very important. Importance also tapers off for the issues of legalizing marijuana, calling a constitutional convention, and allowing public funding of statewide campaigns: Each is considered very impor tant by fewer than 45 percent across most groups. “Several issues will be decided by California voters in the June 2010 election and others may be headed to the November 2010 ballot. Please tell me how important each of the following issues is to you. How about…” Likely voters only Percent saying issue is very important Lowering the vote requirement for the California state legislature to pass a state budget ? Allowing same- sex couples to marry in California ? Allowing voters to select any candidate, regardl ess of party, in California’s primaries ? Legalizing marijuana in California ? Allowing voters to call a constitu tional convention in California ? Allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California? All Likely Voters 54 % 51% 47% 38% 35% 32% Party Democrat 57 52 47 39 35 37 Republican 52 52 47 39 36 29 Independent 54 40 52 31 28 32 Age 18– 34 44 56 41 44 48 31 35– 54 54 49 49 35 32 31 55 and older 57 51 48 40 33 34 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 58 40 44 40 35 38 Whites 52 53 48 37 34 29 Gender Men 58 44 47 38 40 33 Women 49 58 47 39 30 31 December 2009 Californians and Their Government 12 STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  Heading into what will likely be a difficult budget year, approval ratings of the governor and legislature show no signs of improvement, while concerns about the economy and budget are high. (pages 13, 15)  Forty-four percent of Californians and half of Central Valley residents say the water supply in their part of California is a big problem and majorities say the supply will be inadequate for future needs; 43 percent of likely voters say it’s very important that voters pass an $11.1 billion water bond. (page 17)  Approval of President Obama is far higher than approval of Congress; ratings of both have held steady since September. (page 18)  About half of Californians support the overall health care proposal under discussion in Congress; they express greater support for a public option and for mandating that all Americans have health insurance. On each proposal, voters are deeply divided along party lines. (page 20)  Most Californians say the military effort in Afghanistan is not going well. Although only one in three think the number of troops should be increased, half support Obama’s plans for a troop surge and a withdrawal timetable. A majority of Democrats favor Obama’s plan, while a majority of Republicans oppose it. (page 21) 7071 7072 65 63 61 374347 39 38 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jul Sep Dec Percent all adults President Congres s 2009 Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officals 40 33 32 3234 2830 28 27 21 21 1823 21 1721 18 17 0 20 40 60 80 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jul Sep Nov Dec Percent all adults Governor Legislature 2009 Approval Ratings of State Elected Officals 49 456 Favor Oppos e Don't know President Obama's Plans for Afghanistan All adults PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 13 OVERALL MOOD The economy remains uppermost in the minds of Californians, with six in 10 citing jobs and the economy (61%) as the most important issues facing the state, in an open-ended question; 13 percent cite the state budget. The economy has topped the list of concerns among Californians since January 2008, and has increased 19 points since January 2009 (42% January, 63% February, 58% March, 59% April, 54% May, 52% September, 61% today). At least half across parties, regions, and demographic groups cite the economy as the top issue, but mention of this issue declines sharply as income rises. Californians continue to be negative about the state’s direction. Seventy-five percent of Californians say the state is headed in the wrong direction, while just one in five say it is headed in the right direction. Likely voters are even more pessimistic (11% right, 82% wrong). Over two in three Californians have held a negative view since June 2008. Today, more than two in three across parties, regions, and demographic groups say California is heading in the wrong direction, with Latinos (68%) and younger adults aged 18 to 34 (67%) least likely to hold this view. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 19% 17% 13% 17% 11% Wrong direction 75 75 82 77 82 Don’t know 6 8 5 6 7 Californians are much more optimistic about the direction the United States is heading, with four in 10 saying the U .S. is heading in the right direction (42%); still, a majority say things are going in the wrong direction (53%). The perception that the country is headed in the right direction has increased 10 points since January (32%), but decreased 15 points since May (57%). Californians are only slightly more optimistic than adults nationwide (37% right direction, 56% wrong track) according to a similar question in a recent CBS News/ New York Times poll. Unlike Californians ’ perceptions of the direction of the state, there is a partisan divide on this national question, with 56 percent of Democrats saying the country is headed in the right direc tion, and 78 percent of Republicans saying it is going in the wrong direction. Independents are more likely to say wrong direction (53%). Whites (60% wrong direction) are much more pessimistic than Latinos (46%). P essimism increases as age increases. “Do you think that things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 42% 56% 19% 39% 39% Wrong direction 53 39 78 53 56 Don’t know 5 5 3 8 5 Nearly six in 10 Californians (58%) think that the United States will experience bad economic times during the next 12 months, while 35 percent expect good times. The perception that good times are coming has in creased 11 points since January (24%), and is similar to May ( 33%). Today, Republicans (76%) are much more likely than independents (58%) and Democrats (56%) to say bad times are coming. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (51%) are the least likely to hold this negative view while residents in the Other Southern California region (61%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) are the most likely. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 14 CALIFORNIA ECONOMY Californians’ negative perceptions of the U.S. economy are mirrored in their expectations of the state’s economic conditions in the next year. Two in three Californians (66%) expect bad times during the next 12 months, whi le 28 percent expect good times. Since January 2008, at least two in three Californians have held this negative view, although it has decreased 11 points since January 2009 (77%). Today, while strong majorities across parties think the state can expect bad economic times, Republicans (75%) are more likely than Democrats (69%) and independents (63%) to hold this view. More than six in 10 across regions expect bad times. Whites (74%) are far more likely than Latinos (54%) to hold this negative view and expect ations of bad times increase as age, education, and income rise. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 28% 26 % 18 % 32 % 20 % Bad times 66 69 75 63 73 Don’t know 6 5 7 5 7 Nine in 10 Californians say the stat e is in a recession, with 60 percent saying it’s a serious recession . Since January, a majority of Californians have called the r ecession serious (59% January, 63% March, 53% May, 57% September, 60% today). Likely voters (67%) are more likely than residents overall (60%) to call the recession serious. The perception that California is in a serious economic recession is held by a solid majority across parties (67% Democrats, 61% Republicans, 58% independents) and regions. Whites (65%) are much more likely than Latinos (49%) to say the recession is serious. The belief that California is in a serious recession is higher among residents age 35 and older, those with at least some college education, and those with annual household incomes of $40,000 or more. Homeowners are much more likely than renters (65% to 53%) to say the state is in a serious recession. “Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? (if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?)” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Serious recession 60% 67 % 61 % 58 % 67 % Moderate recession 26 21 30 26 22 Mild recession 5 4 3 5 4 Not in a recession 7 6 5 9 5 Don’t know 2 2 1 2 2 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 15 STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Californians’ negative views of the state ’s condition are reflected in low approval ratings of state elected officials. Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval rating (27%) drops to a record low, while his disapproval rating (60%) is near the record high reached in September (61%). His approval ratings among likely voters are similar. The governor’s approval rating among Californians has been at 40 percent or bel ow and his disapproval rating at least 50 percent since August 2008. Today, at least half of partisans disapprove of the governor’s performance (68% Democrats, 50% Republicans, 54% independents). Disapproval is high across regions , with residents in Los An geles (66%) most likely to disapprove. Latinos (71%) are far more likely than whites (53%) and women (64%) are more likely than men (56%) to disapprove of the governor. Approval is greater among more educated and wealthier Californians. The California L egislature’s approval ratings continue to be much lower than the governor’s and match its record low of 17 percent first reached in July; 70 percent disapprove. Likely voters are even more negative (10% approve, 83% disapprove). Approval ratings of the California Legislature have been below 30 percent since April 2008. Today, strong majorities of Californians across parties (71% Democrats, 80% Republicans, 76% independents) and regions disapprov e of the legislature. Whites (78%) are far more likely than Latinos (55%) to disapprove of the legislature and disapproval increases sharply with rising age, education, and income. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handl ing his job as governor of California? Approve 27% 22 % 35 % 29 % 30 % Disapprove 60 68 50 54 60 Don't know 13 10 15 17 10 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 17 14 11 15 10 Disapprove 70 71 80 76 83 Don't know 13 15 9 9 7 Californians’ approval (30%) of their individual state legislators is also at a record low, while disapproval (53%) matches the record high first reached in September. Approval ratings among likely voters today are more negative than among all adults. At least half of Democrats (53%), Republicans (61%), independents (55%), and residents across regions disapprove of their own legislators. Whites (59%) are far more disapproving than Latinos (44%), and men (56%) more disapproving than women (50%). Disappr oval is higher among residents with incomes of $40,000 or more and increases as age and education rise. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 30% 28 % 23 % 27 % 25 % Disapprove 53 53 61 55 63 Don’t know 17 19 16 18 12 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 16 STATE BUDGET Nearly all Californians (96%) recognize the state budget situation as a problem in California. Seventy -eight percent of Californians call it a big problem, while 18 percent call it somewhat of a problem. The 78- percent figure matches the record high first reached September 2008 and again in September 2009. Since March 2008, at least two in three Californians have said the budget situation is a big problem. Today, at least eight in 10 across parties and over seven in 10 across regions call the budget situation a big problem. Whites (88%) are far more likely than Latinos (62%) to call it a big problem. The perception of the state budget as a big problem increases sharply with rising age and education and income levels. “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? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 78% 83 % 91 % 80 % 88 % Somewhat of a problem 18 14 8 16 10 Not a problem 2 1 1 2 1 Don’t know 2 2 – 2 1 The current state budget faces a multibillion -dollar gap between revenues and spending; as state officials plan for next year’s budget, this gap is only projected to grow. When Californians are asked how they would prefer to deal with the state’s budget gap, 39 percent say mostly through spending cuts, and 37 percent say a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Far fewer say mostly through tax increases (8%) or that it is okay to borrow money and run a deficit (8%). Likely voters (44%) are somewhat more likely than all Californians (39%) to prefer spending cuts; among likely voters , the preference for dealing with the budget gap mostly through spending cuts has increased 12 points since January, while preference for a mix ed approach has declined 9 points . Today, nearly half of Democrats (48%) prefer a mix, while 58 percent of Republicans prefer mostly spending cuts , and independents favor cuts (45%) over a mix (36%). “How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Mostly spending cuts 39% 26 % 58 % 45 % 44 % Mostly tax increases 8 13 3 6 8 Mix of spending cuts and tax increases 37 48 32 36 39 Okay to borrow money and run a deficit 8 7 2 6 4 Other 2 2 2 3 2 Don’t know 6 4 3 4 3 Over eight in 10 C alifornians are very (55%) or somewhat concerned (28%) about the effect of spending cuts on their local government services —those provided by city and county governments and public schools . Sixty percent were very concerned in September. San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to be very concerned, but over half of residents across regions say the same. Democrats (67%) are far more likely than Republicans and independents (50% each) to be very concerned. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 17 WATER POLICY Earlier this year the governor called a special session of the legislature to address the state’s water crisis . How do Californians view the water supply in their part of California? Nearly three in four Californians say that their water supply is a big (44%) or somewhat of a problem (29%). Across regions, residents in the Centr al Valley (50%) are the most likely to view water supply as a big problem, followed by residents in the Other Southern California region (47%), Los Angeles (45%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (32%). About half of Democrats (48%) and Republicans (50%) say water supply is a big problem, while fewer independents (41%) hold this view. Homeowners (50%) are much more likely than renters are (37%) to call the water supply in their region a big problem. This view increases with age. “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Big problem 44% 50 % 32 % 45 % 47 % 52 % Somewhat of a problem 29 25 33 29 28 26 Not much of a problem 25 22 34 23 22 20 Don’t know 2 3 1 3 3 2 Californians were asked if the water supply in their part of the state would be adequate or inadequate for what will be needed in 10 years. Only one in three Californians say adequate (32%), while nearly six in 10 say inadequate (28% somewhat, 29% very). Democrats (38%) are the most likely to say very inadequate, while fewer Republicans (29%) and independents (27%) hold this view. Across regions, majorities believe their area water supply will be inadequate for future needs. As part of the special session, the governor and legis lature passed a water package that includes conservation requirements, plans for new storage, water quality clean-up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta. This package includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is the passage of this bond measure to California ns? Nearly eight in 10 Californians view passage as very (47%) or somewhat important (32%). Likely voters are somewhat similar (43% very, 31% somewhat). Democrats (52%) are far more likely than Republicans (37%) and independents (36%) to view the passage of the water bond as very important. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (54%) are the most likely to say it is very important, while residents in the Other Southern California r egion (43%) are the least likely. Latinos (60%) are far more likely than whites (40%) to view the bond passage as very important. “The governor and legislature recently passed a water package that includ es water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean-up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This package includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very important 47% 52 % 37 % 36 % 43 % Somewhat important 32 31 32 37 31 Not too important 7 7 10 6 9 Not at all important 8 3 13 14 10 Don’t know 6 7 8 7 7 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Six in 10 Californians (61%) continue to approve of President Obama’s job performance, similar to September (63%) and July (65%), but down 11 points since May (72%). Californians today are more approving of the president than adults nationwide, according to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll ( 50% approve, 39% disapprove). In California, strong majorities of Democrats (82%) approve of the president, 56 percent of independents approve, while just a quarter of Republicans (25%) approve. A majority of likely voters (54%) approve of President Obama. Across regions, strong major ities of residents in Los Angeles (67%), the San Francisco Bay Area (67%), and the Central Valley (60%) approve, compared to 52 percent of Other Southern California residents. The president’s approval ratings decline as age increases . Latinos are far more likely than whites to approve of President Obama (75% to 49%). A pproval ratings of Congress (38%) remain well below Obama’s , are similar to September ’s (39%), but have fallen 9 points since May (47%). Just three in 10 likely voters approve of congressional performance today. Californians are much more likely to approve of Congress than adults nationwide, according to a November CBS News poll (26% approve, 60% disapprove). In California, strong majorities of Republicans (78%) and 55 percent of independents disapprove of Congress, while Democrats remain divided (46% approve, 45% disapprove). Approval ratings of Congress decline with rising age, education, and income. Latinos (55%) are twice as likely as whites (27%) to say they approve of Congress. Among Californians who approve of Obama, 56 percent approve of Congress. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 61% 82 % 25 % 56 % 54 % Disapprove 33 14 69 37 40 Don't know 6 4 6 7 6 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 38 46 18 37 29 Disapprove 54 45 78 55 66 Don't know 8 9 4 8 5 When it comes to their o wn House members , half of Californians approve (51%) of their performance, while 34 percent disapprove. Approval today is 5 points lower than in September (56%), but similar to September 2008 (49%). Among likely voters today, 49 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove. Since September, approval ratings for House representatives have declined across parties. Among Republicans, approval ratings have fallen 10 points (50% September, 40% today) and among independents approval has declined 6 points (53% to 47%). Ratings are relatively unchanged among Democrats (62% to 58%). Among Californians who approve of Obama, 64 percent approve of their representative; among those who approve of Congress, 77 percent approve of their representative. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 51% 58 % 40 % 47 % 49 % Disapprove 34 28 46 35 40 Don’t know 15 14 14 18 11 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 19 ECONOMIC POLICY Although a solid majority of Californians today are positive about the overall job Barack Obama is doing as president, only 31 percent say his economic policies have made economic conditions better. Forty-two percent s ay his economic policies have had no effect and 21 percent say they have made economic conditions worse. Likely voters are divided on the effects of Obama’s economic policies (30% better, 29% worse, 35% no effect so far). Californians are similar to adults nationwide, according to an October Pew Research Center survey (31% better, 20% worse, 42% no effect so far). California voters are divided along partisan lines. While 43 percent of Democrats believe Obama’s economic policies have made conditions better, 49 percent of Republicans say they’ve made conditions worse. About four in 10 in each party say his policies have had no effect thus far. A plurality of independents (40%) say they’ve had no effect. Among those who approve of the president, 47 percent say better conditions; 44 percent say no effect. “Since taking office, have Barack Obama’s economic policies made economic conditions better, worse, or not had an effect so far?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Better 31% 43 % 9 % 33 % 30 % Worse 21 9 49 21 29 No effect so far 42 42 37 40 35 Too soon to tell (volunteered) 4 4 3 4 4 Don’t know 2 2 2 2 2 Californians are divided about the effect the federal government’s response to the current financial crisis will have on California. Forty -six percent think the actions taken by the federal government will help the California economy, while 46 percent say they will not help. Findings today are similar to January’s (44% will help, 43% will not help), and mark a 7- point increase in positive perceptions since October 2008 (39% help, 47% not help). Likely voters are pessimistic in their assessment of the impact federal actions will have on California (40% help, 54% not help). Democrats (55%) are more likely to say they will help, and independents (50%) and Republicans (72%) more likely to say they won’t . “Do you think the federal government’s actions in dealing with the current financial crisis will help the California economy, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes, will help 46% 55 % 22 % 42 % 40 % No, wi ll not help 46 35 72 50 54 Don’t know 8 10 6 8 6 Although Californians expressed satisfaction (57%) with the first economic stimulus package in January, today they are not as willing to support additional federal spending above the $787 billion already set aside to stimulate the economy; just 39 percent support, and 53 percent oppose such spending. Findings today are similar to September ’s (38% support, 56% oppose). Six in 10 likely voters say they oppose additional federal stimulus spending. Across part ies, Democrats (50%) are more likely to support additional stimulus spending , while majorities of independents (64%) and Republicans (79%) oppose it. Opposition to additional stimulus spending increases with rising age, education, and income. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 20 HEALTH CARE REFORM Health care reform has regained national importance since President Obama took office. Early last month the House approved reform legislation, and debate continues in the Senate. In California, given what residents know about the changes being developed by Congress and the Obama administration, 52 percent are in favor and 39 percent oppose them. Likely voters are divided (46% support, 48% oppose). Support among both residents and likely voters is nearly identical to September (51% adults, 46% likely voters). Democrats (71%) support these changes, while Republicans (76%) oppose them. Independents are more likely to support (48%) than oppose (39%) the changes. Californians are similar to adults nationwide in their support, according to a November ABC News/ Washington Post poll (48% support, 49% oppose). Today in California, men (56%) are somewhat more likely than women (49%) to say they support the plans being developed, and support is higher among Latinos (68%) than among whites (40%). Support declines sharply with rising age and is lowest among those age 65 and older (42%). “Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by Congress and the Obama administration?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Support 52% 71 % 18 % 48 % 46 % Oppose 39 20 76 39 48 Don’t know 9 9 6 13 6 Californians continue to be more supportive when asked specifically about the creation of a new government health insur ance plan that would compete with private health insurance plans. Sixty- one percent of adults and 57 percent of likely voters say they would support a new government health insurance plan. Support today among adults and likely voters is similar to September (62% adults, 59% likely voters). Support is far hi gher among Democrats (77%) and independents (62%) than among Republicans (30%). Support declines with age— those aged 65 and older are least supportive (48%). Californians are more supportive of a government health insurance plan than adults nationwide, according to the ABC News/ Washington Post poll, (53% support, 43% oppose). “Would you support or oppose a government health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Support 61% 77 % 30 % 62 % 57 % Oppose 33 16 64 31 38 Don’t know 6 7 6 7 5 In a separate question, Californians were asked if they would support or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance, with the g overnment providing financial help for those who cannot afford it; 68 percent support this idea while 28 percent oppose it. Californians are as likely as adults nationwide to say they favor requiring health insurance, with government help to those who need it (66% favor, 30% oppose), according to an October Pew survey. In California, strong partisan divisions are evident in levels of support (82% Democrat, 66% independent, 35% Republican). Among residents who support a public option, 86 percent support an individual health mandate. Support, again, declines sharply with rising age and is lowest among those age 65 and older (59%). PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 21 AFGHANISTAN The U.S. military effort in Afghanistan began after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with the goal of eliminating Al Qaeda operations there. While much has happened in the past eight years in Afghanistan—including the removal of the Taliban from political power, a new constitution, and presidential elections—insurgent forces and charges of political corruption continue to erode Afghan stability. This month we asked residents how well they think the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going. Six percent of Californians say things are goin g very well, 26 percent say fairly well, 32 percent say not too well, and 29 percent say not at all well. Findings among likely voters are similar. Strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups say things are going not too well or not at all well. Californians are more likely than adults nationwide to say the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going not at all well (29% to 16%), according to a November Pew survey. “Thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very well 6% 7% 4% 4% 5% Fairly well 26 20 35 23 28 Not too well 32 36 31 39 36 Not at all well 29 29 21 28 25 Don’t know 7 8 9 6 6 When asked specifically about the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a plurality of Californians say that over the next year, they think the number should be decreased (44%), while 33 percent think it should be increased, and 14 percent think it should stay the same. Likely voters are more likely to think troop levels should increase (44%). Californians are similar to adults nationwide, according to the Pew survey (32% increase, 40% decrease, 19% kept the same). Across parties, Republicans (54%) think the number of troops should be increased, while Democrats (49%) and independents (48%) think it should be decreased. Support for increasing troop numbers increases with rising age, education, and income. “Over the next year, do you think the number of troops in Afghanistan should be increased, decreased, or kept the same as it is now?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Increased 33% 29% 54% 32% 44% Decreased 44 49 25 48 35 Kept the same 14 15 13 12 12 Don’t know 9 7 8 8 9 President Obama announced a plan on December 1 for deploying an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and setting a timetable for withdrawal. In response, we began asking residents on December 4 whether they favored or opposed his plan. Californians are divided (49% favor, 45% oppose). Support is similar to that among adults nationwide, according to a recent USA Today /Gallup poll (51% favor, 40% oppose). California’s likely voters are more likely to favor (52%) than oppose (42%) the Obama plan. Across parties, Democrats (55%) favor it, Republicans (54%) oppose it, and independ ents are divided (46% favor, 46% oppose). Among those who say t he number of troops should be increased, 64 percent favor the plan; among those who think it should be decreased, 36 percent favor it. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 22 PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION With 91 percent of Californians saying the state is in a recession, and 60 percent saying it is a serious one, half of Californians say they are very (34%) or somewhat concerned (16%) that they or someone in their family will lose their job in the next year; another 11 percent volunteer that their family has already experienced job loss. Overall concern about job loss has been similar since March (51%). Although this month marks an 8 -point decline in concern since January (58% to 50% today) , the percentage volunteering that their family has already experienced job loss is up 6 point s (5% to 11%). Today, residents with annual household incomes below $40,000 are nearly twice as likely as residents with $80,000 or more in income to say they are very concerned about job loss (41% to 22%). Latinos (47%) are far more likely than whites (27%) to say they are very concerned, and high levels of concern are also expressed by those without any college education (44%), those with children 18 or under (42%), and renters (39%). Men (33%) and women (35%) are si milarly likely to say they are very concerned about job loss. “Are you concerned that you or someone in your family will lose their job in the next year, or not? (if yes: Are you very concerned or somewhat concerned?)” All Adults Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latino White Very concerned 34% 41 % 35 % 22 % 47 % 27 % Somewhat concerned 16 18 15 16 20 14 Not concerned 38 24 39 56 21 47 Lost job already (volunteered) 11 16 10 6 10 12 Don’t know 1 1 1 – 2 – When asked specifically about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage, 65 percent of residents say they are very (45%) or somewhat concerned (20%). The percentage saying very concerned is up 6 points since May and March (39% each). Renters (60%) are far more likely than homeowners (35%) to say they are very concerned about falling behind in their payments. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (52%), the Central Valley (49%), and the Other Southern California region (44%) are more likely than San Francisco Bay Ar ea residents (35%) to say they are very concerned. Across income groups, residents in households earning less than $40,000 a year are more than twice as likely as those in households earning more than $80,000 to say they are very concerned (61% to 23%). “How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage?” All Adults Region Homeownership Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Owners Renters Very concerned 45% 49 % 35 % 52 % 44 % 35 % 60 % Somewhat concerned 20 13 18 21 22 19 19 Not too concerned 14 13 18 9 14 16 10 Not at all concerned 21 22 28 17 20 29 10 Already behind (vol) / Don’t know – 3 1 1 – 1 1 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 23 PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION (CONTINUED) When it comes to Californians’ perceptions of their own personal financial situation, just 35 percent would rate it as excellent (6%) or good (29%); most describe it as only fair (39%) or poor (25%). Californians’ perceptions of their own financial situation are similar t o those of adults nationwide, according to a November Pew survey (5% excellent, 30% good, 40% fair, 25% poor). In California today, 40 percent of those in households earning less than $40,000 say their situation is poor, compared to just 8 percent of those in households earning $80,000 or more. Across racial/ethnic groups, 17 percent of Latinos call their financial situation excellent or good, compared to 48 percent of whites saying the same. Across regions, Los Angeles (26%) residents are the least likely to say their situation is excellent or good, while residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (44%) are the most likely. Excellent or good financial self-ratings increase as age and education increase. “Thinking about your own personal finances, how would you rate your own personal financial situation? Would you say you are in excellent shape, good shape, only fair shape, o r poor shape financially?” All Adults Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latino White Excellent 6% 2 % 5 % 12 % 1 % 10 % Good 29 13 30 51 16 38 Only fair 39 45 42 28 47 33 Poor 25 40 23 8 36 19 Don’t know 1 – – 1 – – When asked in a separate question to assess their financial situation compared to a year ago, 53 percent of Californians say they are worse off, 36 percent say they are about the same, and only 9 percent say they are better off. In September 2002, after the dot -com bubble burst and amidst financial market uncertainty, Californians were much less negative about their financial situation compared to the previous year (30% better, 23% worse, 45% about the same). Today, pluralities of residents across most political, regional, and demographic groups say their situation is worse compared to a year ago. Californians are more optimistic when thinking about their financial situation over the next year . Fifty -three percent say their situation will improve a lot (6%) or improve some (47%), 29 percent say it will get a little worse (22%), or a lot worse (7%), and 13 percent volunteer that it will stay the same. Californians are similar to adults nationwide, according to the Pew survey (6% improve a lot, 50% improve some, 19% a little worse, 8% a lot worse, 13% same). Pluralities of residents across political, regional, income, and other demographic groups say their financial situation will improve over the course of the next year . “Over the course of the next year, do you think the financial situation o f you and your family will improve a lot, improve some, get a little worse, or get a lot worse?” All Adults Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latino White Improve a lot 6% 6 % 7 % 5 % 7 % 3 % Improve some 47 50 47 43 53 43 Get a little worse 22 23 22 20 19 23 Get a lot worse 7 7 10 6 8 8 Stay the same (volunteered) 13 7 11 22 7 18 Don’t know 5 7 3 4 6 5 December 2009 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP December 2009 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Sonja Petek , project manager for this survey, and from survey research associates Dean Bonner and Jennifer Paluch. The Californians and T heir Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, fo undation staff, and other policy experts; however , the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a surv ey of 2,004 C alifornia adult residents , reached on landline telephones and cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days between December 1 and December 8 , 2009. Interviews took an average of 18 min utes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. A total of 200 cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cel l phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone s ervice only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interv iewing was conducted in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc conducted the telephone interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demo- graphic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2007 and 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005 –2007 American Com munity Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,004 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,565 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 963 likely voters, it is ±3 percent ; for the 352 Republican primary likely voters , it is ± 5 percent . Sampling error i s only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 26 Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes A lameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, an d likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. Sample sizes for African Americans and Asian Americans are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (those who are registered as “decline to state”). We also include the responses of “likely voters” — those who are most likely to vote in the state’s elections based on their past voting, current interest, and voting intentions. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/ Washington Post, CBS News, CBS News/New York Times , the Pew Research Center, and USA Today/Gallup. December 2009 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT December 1– 8 , 2009 2,004 California Adult Residents: English , Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ± 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE 1. First, thinking about the st ate as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue faci ng people in California today? [code, don’t read ] 61% jobs, economy 13 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 education, schools 4 health care, health costs 3 immigration, illegal immigration 2 government reform 2 water, water supply, drought 9 other 1 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 27% approve 60 disapprove 13 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 17% approve 70 disapprove 13 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and s enate districts are doing at this time? 30% approve 53 disapprove 17 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 19% right direction 75 wrong direction 6 don’t know 6. Turning t o economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 28% good times 66 bad times 6 don’t know 7. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? ( if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 60% yes, serious recession 26 yes, moderate recession 5 yes, mild recession 7 no 2 don’t know 8. Are you concerned that you or someone in your family will lose their job in the next year, or not? ( if yes: Are you very concerned or somewhat concerned?) 34% yes, very concerned 16 yes, somewhat 38 no 11 have lost job already (volunteered) 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 28 9. How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage: very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this? 45% very concerned 20 somewhat concerned 14 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned Now thinking about your own personal finances… 10. How would you rate your own personal financial situation? Would you say you are in excellent shape, good shape, only fair shape, or poor shape financially? 6% excellent 29 good 39 only fair 25 poor 1 don’t know 11. Would you say that you and your family are financially better off, worse off, or just about the same as you were a year ago? 9% better off 53 worse off 36 same 2 don’t know 12. Over the course of the next year, do you think the financial situation of you and your family will improve a lot, improve some, get a little worse, or get a lot worse? 6% improve a lot 47 improve some 22 get a little worse 7 get a lot worse 13 stay the same (volunteered) 5 don’t know 13. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are regi stered to vote in California? 79% yes [ask q 13a] 21 no [skip to q14b ] 13a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q14] 31 Republican [skip to q14a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q 15] 20 independent [skip to q14b ] 14. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 51% strong 45 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q15 ] 14a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 50% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q15 ] 14b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 23% Republican Party 52 Democratic Party 20 neither (volunteered) 5 don’t know [responses recorded for questions 15 to 30 are for likely voters only] Next, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these candidates for governor, or don’t you know enough about him or her to have an opinion? [ rotate questions 15 to 18] 15. How about Jerry Brown, California State Attorney General? 35% favorable 36 unfavorable 3 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 26 don’t know enough to have an opinion PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 29 16. How about Tom Campbell, former c ongressman? 16% favorable 14 unfavorable 11 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 59 don’t know enough to have an opinion 17. How about Steve Poizner, California State Insurance Commissioner ? 9% favorable 18 unfavorable 10 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 63 don’t know enough to have an opinion 18. How about Meg Whitman, businesswoman ? 22% favorable 19 unfavorable 10 haven’t heard of her (volunteered) 49 don’t know enough to have an opinion [delayed skip: if q13a =independent , ask q19, if q13a =Republican , skip to q 20, otherwise skip to q21] 19. California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 8th. All three ballots include state proposition measures. Do you plan to vote in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or on the nonpartisan ballot? 15% Republican primary [ask q 20] 19 Democratic primary [skip to q21] 58 nonpartis an ballot [skip to q 21] 8 don’t know [skip to q21] 20. If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 32% Meg Whitman 12 Tom Campbell 8 Steve Poizner 4 or someone else (specify) 44 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor’s election…. [ rotate questions 21 to 23] 21. Would you vote for…[rotate names ] 34% Tom Campbell, the Republican 46 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 1 someone else (s pecify) 19 don’t know 22. Would you vote for… [rotate names] 31% Steve Poizner, the Republican 47 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 1 someone else (s pecify) 21 don’t know 23. Would you vote for… [rotate names] 37% Meg Whitman, the Republican 43 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 20 don’t know 24. How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2010 governor’s election? 10% very closely 33 fairly closely 36 not too closely 20 not at all closely 1 don’t know 25. In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June? 32% satisfied 42 not satisfied 26 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 30 [ rotate questions 26 and 26a] 26. People have different ideas about the qualificati ons they want when they vote for candidates for statewide office, such as governor or U.S. senator. Which of these is most important to you? [ rotate 1 and 2] (1) that the candidate has experience in elected office, [ or ] (2) that the candidate has experience running a business? 43% experience in elected office 43 experience running a business 4 neither (volunteered) 6 both (volunteered) 4 don’t know 26a.People have different ideas on how candidates for statewide office should pay for their political campaigns. Which of these do you view most positively? [rotate 1 and 2] (1) a candidate using mostly his or her own money to pay for political campaigning, [or] (2) a candidate using mostly money collected from his or her supporters to pay for political campaigning. 39% own money 49 money from supporters 12 don’t know Next, several issues will be decided by California voters in the June 2010 election and others may be headed to the November 2010 ballot. Please tell me how important each of the following issues is to you. [ rotate questions 27 to 30] 27. How about allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 47% very important 32 somewhat important 8 not too important 9 not at all important 4 don’t know 27a.How about allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 32% very important 35 somewhat important 14 not too important 13 not at all important 6 don’t know 28. How about allowing voters to call a constitutional convention in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 35% very important 29 somewhat important 15 not too important 11 not at all important 10 don’t know 28a.How about lowering the vote requirement for the California State Legislature to pass a state budget? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 54% very important 28 somewhat important 7 not too important 6 not at all important 5 don’t know 29. How about legalizing marijuana in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 38% very important 24 somewhat important 13 not too important 24 not at all important 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 31 30. How about allowing same -sex couples to marry in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 51% very important 17 somewhat important 10 not too important 21 not at all important 1 don’t know 31. Changing topics, 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? 78% big problem 18 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 2 don’t know 32. As you may know, the state government currently has an annual budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap— mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 39% mostly through spending cuts 8 mostly through tax increases 37 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 8 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 2 other (specify) 6 don’t know 33. How concerned are you about the effects of spending cuts on your local government services —those provided by city and county governments and public schools? 55% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 6 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 34. Next, would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 44% big problem 29 somewhat of a problem 25 not much of a problem 2 don’t know 35. Do you think that the water supply that i s available for your part of California will be adequate or inadequate for what is needed ten years from now? ( if inadequate : is that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate? ) 32% adequate 28 somewhat inadequate 29 very inadequate 11 don’t know 36. The governor and legislature recently passed a water package that includes water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean- up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta. This pac kage includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure? 47% very important 32 somewhat important 7 not too important 8 not at all important 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 32 37. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 61% approve 33 disapprove 6 don’t know 38. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 38% approve 54 disapprove 8 don’t know 39. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 51% approve 34 disapprove 15 don’t know 40. Do you think that things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 42% right direction 53 wrong direction 5 don’t know 41. Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 35% good times 58 bad times 7 don’t know 42. Next, since taking office, have Barack Obama’s economic policies made economic conditions better, worse, or not had an effect so far? 31% bette r 21 worse 42 no effect so far 4 too soon to tell (volunteered) 2 don’t know 43. Do you think the federal government’s actions in dealing with the current financial crisis will help the California economy, or not? 46% yes, will help 46 no, will not help 8 don’t know 44. Would you support or oppose additional federal spending above the $787 billion already set aside to try to stimulate the economy? 39% support 53 oppose 8 don’t know 45. Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by [rotate ] [1] Congress [ and ] [2] the Obama administration? 52% support 39 oppose 9 don’t know [rotate questions 46 and 46a] 46. Would you support or oppose a government health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans? 61% support 33 oppose 6 don’t know 46a.Would you support or oppose requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help for those who can’t afford it? 68% support 28 oppose 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 33 47. Now thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going: very well, fairly well, not too well, or not at all well? 6% very well 26 fairly well 32 not too well 29 not at all well 7 don’t know 48. Over the next year, do you think the number of troops in Afghanistan should be increased, decreased, or kept the same as it is now? 33% increased 44 decreased 14 kept the same 9 don’t know 48a. [asked starting December 4] As you may know, President Obama has decided to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by 30,000 while also setting a timetable that calls for the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from that country in 2011. In general, do you favor or oppose this plan? 49% favor 45 oppose 6 don’t know 49. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 18 somewhat liberal 32 middle -of- the -road 23 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 2 don’t know 50. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 25% great deal 39 fair amount 29 only a little 7 none [d1 to d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Pac kard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine C ompany Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy I nstitute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public pol icy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. 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. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Copyright © 2009 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(104) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(113) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-december-2009/s_1209mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8744) ["ID"]=> int(8744) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:25" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4058) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(9) "S 1209MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(9) "s_1209mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(13) "S_1209MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "517281" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(95209) "& p p i c s t a t e w i d e s u r v e y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Jennifer Paluch Sonja Petek in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 2010 California Election 6 State and National Issues 12 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 their government d e c e m b e r 2 0 0 9 December 2009 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey series provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 103rd PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 220,000 Californians . This survey is the 38 th in the Californians and Their Government series, which is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. This survey seeks to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about important state and national issues. This survey was conducted as California’s 2010 gubernatorial race takes shape and as many initiative measures circulat e for qualification on the 2010 statewide ballot. As 2009 ends, news about the state’s budget deficit and unemployment rate is still very grim. Nationally, the U.S. Senate debates health care reform, President Obama announced a troop surge for Afghanistan, and job loss slowed slightly. This survey presents the responses of 2,004 adult residents throughout the state, interviewed in English or Spanish and reached by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the se topics:  The June 2010 primary, including Republican primary likely voter preferences in the choice for gubernatorial candidate; likely voters’ preferences in potential match- ups in the November gubernatorial election; favorability ratings of candidates and satisfaction with candidate choices; and attention to news about the candidates. The survey also examines the perceived importance of six issues , dealing with elections, governance, and social matters , that could end up as 2010 ballot measures.  State and national issues, including the overall mood and outlook for California and the country; perceptions of the state economy; approval ratings of state and federal elected officials ; perceived serious ness of the state budget deficit, general preferences for handling it, and concerns about spending cuts in local services; assessments of r egional water s upplies and the perceived importance of passing a state water bond; and attitudes toward federal policies on the economy , health care reform, and Afghanistan. The survey also examines residents’ concerns about their own housing and financial situation.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians —based on their political party affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics —may differ with regard to perceptions, attitudes, and preferences involving the June 2010 primary and state and national issues. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org ). For questions about the sur vey, please contact survey@ppic.org . View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. December 2009 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday , December 16 , 2009 . Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Whitman Leading , But Most GOP Voters Undecided BROWN TOPS REPUBLICANS IN POTENTIAL MATCHUPS— BUT FALLS SHORT OF MAJORITY SAN FRANCISCO , December 16, 2009— Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman leads the field among likely voters in the GOP gubernatorial primary with 32 percent support, compared to 12 percent for former Congressman Tom Campbell and 8 percent for state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. But the hig hest percentage of likely GOP voters —44 percent —is undecided, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. In hypothetical head- to-head matchups for the November general election, the prospective Democratic candidate and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown bests all three Republicans. But he does so with less than majority support . Six months before the gubernatorial primary, the four major party candidates expected to be on the ballot are attracting little enthusiasm or attention among Californians likely to vote. Only 10 percent of likely voters are very closely following news about the candidates, and 33 percent are fairly closely following the news (36% not too closely, 20% not at all closely). Just 32 percent of likely voters are satisfied with their choices of candidates in the primary, and 42 percent are not (26% don’t know) . Democrats are more likely to express satisfaction (38%) than independents (29%) or Republicans (25%). But across parties and ideological groups, more likely voters are unsatisfied with their choices than satisfied. “ Voters have more immediate concerns than who is going to be the next governor,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “ Despite all the advertising in this early stage of the campaign, Republican primary voters are more likely to say they are undecided than to favor one of the three GOP c andidates . At the same time, the Democrats’ likely candidate falls short of majority support when matched up ag ainst the Republican contenders.” REPUBLICANS FAIL TO MAKE BIG IMPRESSION, AND BROWN MAKES A MIXED ONE At least half of likely voters across parties and demographic groups don’t know enough about Whitman to have an opinion about her or haven’t heard of her. Her highest favorability ratings are among Republicans, independents, and conservatives (28% of each) and men (27%). Sixty-eight percent of w omen are unable to give an opinion of Whitman— the only woman in the race— compared to 51 percent of men. Seventy percent of likely voters have no opinion of Campbell. His highest ratings are among Republicans (21%), San Francisco Bay Area likely voters (24%), men (20%), those with household incomes of at least $80,000 (20%), and renters (21%). Seventy- three percent of likely voters have no opinion of Poizner, who has no more than a 12 percent favorability rating in any group. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 4 Opinion is evenly divided on Brown (35% favorable, 36% unfavorable). A majority of Democratic likely voters (52%) have a favorable opinion of him, a majority of Republicans (59%) have an unfavorable one, and independents lean toward unfavorable ( 39% unfavorable, 34% favorable). A sizeable 69 percent of likely voter s under age 35 cannot give an opinion of the former two-term governor. In potential November matchups, Brown leads Whitman by 6 points (43% to 37%), Campbell by 12 (46% to 34%), and Poizner by 16 (47% to 31%) among likely voters. Partisan preferences are key in these leads. Independent likely voters are divided in a race between Whitman (37%) and Brown (36%), and they support Brown over Campbell (40% to 25%) and Poizner (42% to 23%). Among female likely voters, Brown has a 12- point lead over Whitman, a 21- point lead over Campbell, and a 22- point lead over Poizner. MORE VOTERS PREFER CANDIDATES TO RAISE MONEY THAN SPE ND THEIR OWN What qualities do likely voters value in a candidate for statewide office? Half (49%) view a candidate more positively for using mostly money from supporters in a campaign, and 39 percent hold a more positive view of a candidate who uses his or her own money. Pluralities of Republicans (55%), independents (50%), and Democrats (46%) view a candidate who uses supporters’ money more positively. California’s likely voters are evenly split on whether it’s more important for a candidate to have experience in elected office (43%) or runni ng a business (43%). The fault lines are ideological and political, with Democrats (60%) and liberals (63%) valuing experience in office, and Republicans (61%) and conservatives (61%) valuing experience in business. TWO-THIRDS VOTE ON BUDGET, GAY MARRI AGE ARE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES At a time when many initiatives are circulating to qualify for the 2010 ballots, the survey asked likely voters to assess the importance of a half- dozen issues that may be up for a vote. Which issues are v iewed as very important —either because they are favored or opposed?  Lowering the vote requirement for the legislature to pass a state budget: 54 percent  Allowing same- sex couples to m arry in California: 51 percent  Allowing voters to select any candidat e, regardless of party, in state primaries: 47 percent  Legalizing marijuana in California: 38 percent  Allowing voter s to call a constitutional convention in California: 35 percent  Allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California: 32 percent Given the importance likely voters place on the issue of lowering the legislative threshold to pass a state budget, it’s not surprising that 88 percent of them call the budget situation a big problem. When asked how they would prefer the state to deal with a multibillion-dollar gap between revenues and spending, 44 percent say mostly through spending cuts, while 39 percent would prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Since January, the preference for dealing with the budget gap mainly through cuts has increased 12 points (32%) among likely voters and for the mixed approach has declined 9 points (48%). In the aftermath of the legislature’s passage of a package of bills designed to address the state’s water crisis, the survey asked about the $11.1 bi llion water bond measure that is part of the package and is slated to be on the November ballot. How important is it that voters pass the measure? Most likely voters say it is very important (43%) or somewhat important (31%). 61% APPROVE OF OBAMA—FEWER BACK ECONOMIC, HEALTH CARE, AFGHAN PLANS Turning to Californians’ assessments of federal leaders and issues, most Californians (61%) approve of the way President Obama is handling his job— similar to their views in September (63%) and more approving than adults nationwide, according to a CBS News/ New York Times poll (50% approve, PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 5 39% disapprove). Californians are much more approving of Obama’s performance than they are of Congress. They give Congress a 38 percent approval rating, also similar to September (39%). About half (51%) approve of the job their own member of the U.S. House of Representatives is doing, a 5-point drop from September (56%). But California residents are less satisfied with Obama’s handling of the economy. Only 31 percent say hi s economic policies have made economic conditions better. By comparison, 42 percent say his policies have made no difference and 21 percent say they’ve made economic conditions worse. Californians are split over whether the federal government’s response to the financial crisis will help the state, with 46 percent saying it will and the same percentage saying it will not. And although a majority of California residents were satisfied with the first federal stimulus package, they are less willing to support more spending to stimulate the economy: just 39 percent would support it, and 53 percent would oppose it. Half of Californians support (52% vs. 39% oppose) proposed changes to the health care system —a top domestic priority for Obama— given what they know about the legislation. Their views have changed little since September (51% support, 38% oppose). Californians’ support declines sharply with age and is lowest among those 65 and older (42%). Californians are more supportive (61% vs. 33% oppose) of creating a government health insurance plan to compete with private insurers, as they were in September (62% support, 33% oppose). Californians take a pessimistic view of the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan. Just 6 percent say things are going very well, with 26 percent saying they are going fairly well and the majority saying things are going not too well (32%) or not at all well (29%). A plurality (44%) say U.S. troops in Afghanistan should be decreased, while just 33 percent say they should be increased. In the wake of Obama’s December 1 speech announcing an increase in U.S. troops and setting a timetable for withdrawal, Californians are divided on his plan: 49 percent favor it and 45 percent are opposed. The results are similar to Americans nationwide in a USA Today/Gallup poll (51% favor, 40% oppose). Across parties, a majority of Democrats (55%) favor the president’s plan, Republicans (54%) oppose it, and independents are split (46% favor, 46% oppose ). MORE KEY FINDINGS  Jobs, economy dwarf other issues — page 13 As it has since January 2008, jobs and the economy top the list of Californians’ concerns, with 61 percent calling it the most important issue facing the state in an open- ended question. The state budget, deficit, and taxes come in a distant second (13%), and water (2%) is further down the list.  Governor, legislature approval ratings at record lows — page 15 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval rating of 27 percent sinks to a new low among all adults. It’s been at 40 percent or below since August 2008. The legislature’s approval rating is lower still and matches its record of 17 percent, first recorded in July 2009.  For Californians, the recession is still up close and personal — pages 14, 22, and 23 Repor ts about the end of the recession are unconvincing to most Californians: 91 percent say the state is in a recession and 60 percent say it is a serious one. Half of the state’s residents are very (34%) or somewhat (16%) concerned that they or someone in their family will lose a job in the next year, and another 11 percent volunteer that their family has already experienced job loss. And 65 percent of residents say they are very (45%) or somewhat (20%) concerned that they will not have enough money to pay the rent or mortgage. Nevertheless, 53 percent expect their financial situation to improve a lot (6%) or some (47%) over the next year. December 2009 Californians and Their Government 6 2010 CALIFORNIA ELECTION KEY FINDINGS  Meg Whitman currently leads among Republican primary likely voters in the 2010 gubernatorial primary with 32 percent support against Tom Campbell and Steve Poizner; a higher percentage are undecided. G ubernatorial candidates are attracting very close attention by only one in 10 likely voters and just one in three are satisfied with their candidate choices. (page 7 )  If the November general election were held today, the presumed Democratic candidate Jerry Brown bea ts all three possible Republican candidates; still, Brown leads each with less than majority support. ( page 8 )  Likely voters are evenly divided in their opinions of Jerry Brown, while most haven’t heard of or don’t know enough to have an impression of the three Republicans . ( page 9)  When it comes to candidate qualities, likely voters are sharply divided along partisan and ideological lines about whether it’s more important if a candidate has experience in elected office or in run ning a business . A majority of likely voters view more positively a candidate campaigning with money from supporters than one using his or her own money. (page 10)  Of issues that may appear on 2010 ballots, over half of likely voters say the issues of lowering the legislative vote threshold to pass a state budget and allowing same-sex marriage are very important ; almost half say the issue of allowing voters in primaries to select any candidate regardless of party is very important. Marijuana legalization, a constitutional convention, and public campaign financing are viewed as less important issues . (page 11 ) 10 33 36 20 1 Very close Fairly close Not too close Not at all close Don't know Attention to News About Gubernatorial Candidates 383532 242935 0 20 40 60 80 100 Legalizing marijuanaAllowing constitutional convention Allowing public funding of campaigns Percent likely voters Somewhat important Very important Importance of Potential Ballot Issues 545147 28 1732 0 20 40 60 80 100 Loweringthresholdto passbudget Allowingsame-sexmarriage Allowing voteon anycandidate inprimaries Percent likely voters Somewhat important Very important Importance of Potential Ballot Issues Likely voters PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 7 JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY Six months before the June 2010 California gubernatorial primary election, 32 percent of likely voters in the Republican primary would cast a vote for former e Bay CEO Meg Whitman, while a higher percentage (44%) is undecided. Republican primary likely voters include the 15 percent of independent (decline- to- state) voters who say they will vote a Republican ballot . (Independents may also choose a Dem ocratic or non- partisan ballot). Twelve percent of Republican primary likely voters would vote for former Congressman Tom Campbell and 8 percent for California State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Men are more likely than women (37% to 26%) to support Whitman, while half of women are undecided. Among the reasons that many likely voters may be undecided: in favorability questions (reported on page 9), 41 percent of Republican primary likely voters have either not heard of or don’t know enough to have an opinion of any of the three candidates. Among those able to say whether they feel favorably or unfavorably about any of the three, support increases to 46 percent for Whitman , to 18 percent for Campbell, and to 11 percent for Poizner, with 21 percent u ndecided. “If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only All Likely Voters Age Gender 18–54 55 and older Men Women Meg Whitman 32% 34 % 31 % 37 % 26 % Tom Campbell 12 10 15 13 11 Steve Poizner 8 7 8 7 8 Someone else 4 4 4 4 4 Don’t know 44 45 42 39 51 The June primary election is attracting little attention from likely California voters . Just 10 percent are following news about the gubernatorial candidates very closely, with 33 percent following fairly closely. A majority are not too closely (36%) or not at all closely (20%) following candidate news . How does t he current level of attention compare with past gubernatorial elections ? Two months before the March 2002 primary, 12 percent were very closely and 39 percent were fairly closely following news. T hree months before the June 2006 primary, 13 percent were paying very close and 39 percent fairly close attention to candidates. The 2003 recall of Governor Davis was an exception: in August (two months prior ), 45 percent were very closely and 44 percent fairly closely following news. With the field down to four individuals in the two major parties , 42 percent of likely voters say they are not satisfied with their choices of gubernatorial candidates. One in three are satisfied; 26 percent are unsure. Across parties and ideological groups, more likely voters say they are dissatisfied than satisfied with their choices, but Democrats (38% ) are more satisfied than independents (29%) or Republicans (25%). “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Satisfied 32% 38 % 25 % 29 % 35 % 31 % 32 % Not satisfied 42 41 43 45 45 49 37 Don’t know 26 21 32 26 20 20 31 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 8 POTENTIAL NOVEMBER GUBERNATORIAL MATCHUPS There are currently no declared candidates in the Democratic primary, although former governor and current California State Attorney Gen eral Jerry Brown has all but formally declared his candidacy. Brown currently leads all three Republican candidates , though falling short of majority support, in hypothetical November election matchups. He has a 6-point lead over Meg Whitman (43% to 37%), a 12- point lead over Tom Campbell (46% to 34%), and a 16 -point edge over Steve Poizner (47% to 31%). Partisan preferences are a major factor in these leads. In each potential contest, more than seven in 10 Democratic likely voters express support for Brown, while about two in three Republican likely voters express support for the Republican candidate. Independent likely voters are divided in a race featuring Whitman (37%) and Brown (36%), while they would support Brown over Campbell (40% to 25%) and Brown over Poizner (42% to 23%). Likely voters who describe themselves as politically liberal support Brown over each of the three Republicans candidates by a wide margin. C onservatives favor the Republican candidates and moderates express more support for Brown. Women would vote for Brown in each case (by 12 points over Whitman, 21 points over Campbell, and 22 points over Poizner). Men are divided between Brown and Whitman (41% vs. 41%) and Brown and Campbell (42% vs. 39%), while they support Brown over Poizner (44% vs. 35%). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Meg Whitman, the Republican 37% 11 % 67 % 37 % 41 % 33 % Jerry Brown, the Democrat 43 73 13 36 41 45 Don't know 20 16 20 27 18 22 Tom Campbell, the Republican 34 9 68 25 39 29 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 46 78 12 40 42 50 Someone else (volunteered) 1 – 1 2 1 1 Don't know 19 13 19 33 18 20 Steve Poizner, the Republican 31 7 65 23 35 28 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 47 79 13 42 44 50 Someone else (volunteered) 1 – 1 2 1 1 Don't know 21 14 21 33 20 21 More than six in 10 Latino likely voters support Br own in all three matchups. Whites are slightly more likely to favor Whitman over Brown (43% vs. 38%), but favor Brown over Poizner (42% vs. 38%), and are divided between Campbell and Brown (41% vs. 40%). Support for Brown over both Campbell and Poizner declines with age, but against Whitman, support for Brown is higher among likely voters age 35 and older. At least half in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles support Brown each time. Likely voters in the Other Southern California region prefer both Campbell and Whitman over Brown, but are divided between Poizner and Brown. The sample size for Central Valley likely voters is too small to analyze. CANDIDATE FAVORABILI TY Before being asked about primary or general elect ions, voters were asked to give their impressions of the four gubernatorial candidates. They were provided with each person’s name and commonly used title ( the official titles that will appear on ballots have not yet been decided) and asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion, or whether they didn’t know enough to have an opinion. Most likely PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 9 CANDIDATE FAVORABILITY (CONTINUED) voters cannot give an opinion about the Republican candidates. While more likely voters can give an opinion of Jerr y Brown, that opinion is divided (35% favorable to 36% unfavorable). Fifty -two percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of Brown, while one in three cannot give an opinion. A majority of Republicans (59%) see him unfavorably and independents lean toward the unfavorable view (39% unfavorable to 34% favorable). Men and women are both divided. In light of a long history in government, including serving as California secretary of state, California governor, mayor of Oakland, and currently as attorney gener al, likely voters aged 35– 54 (36% favorable, 39% unfavorable) and 55 and older (40% favorable, 42% unfavorable) are much more likely to express an opinion of Brown than likely voters under age 35, of whom 69 percent cannot give an opinion. At least half of likely voters across parties and demographic groups don’t know enough to have an opinion or have not heard of businesswoman Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay. Her highest favorability ratings are among Republicans, independents, and conservatives (28% of each) and among men (27%). Women are far more likely to be unable to give an opinion of Whitman than men are (68% to 51%). A bility to give an opinion on Whitman increases with education and income level. Seventy percent of likely voters are unable to give an opinion of former Congressman Tom Campbell , who also served as California d irector of finance and as state senator. Fewer than one in five across most groups can articulate an impression of Campbell. His highest ratings are among Republicans (21%), San Fr ancisco Bay Area likely voters (24%), men (20%), those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (20%), and renters (21%). Seventy- three percent of likely voters and more than two in three across parties and demographic groups are unable to comment on California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner , a businessman who also served on the National Security Council . He receives at most 12 percent favorability from any group. “Please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these candidates for governor, or don’t you know enough about him or her to have an opinio n?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women How about Jerry Brown, California state attorney general? Favorable 35% 52 % 17 % 34 % 36 % 35 % Unfavorable 36 16 59 39 39 32 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 3 3 3 4 2 4 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 26 29 21 23 23 29 How about Meg Whitman, businesswoman? Favorable 22 13 28 28 27 16 Unfavorable 19 26 12 18 22 16 Haven’t heard of her (volunteered) 10 11 9 10 8 13 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 49 50 51 44 43 55 How about Tom Campbell, former congressman? Favorable 16 16 21 11 20 12 Unfavorable 14 16 10 12 15 13 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 11 11 11 14 9 13 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 59 57 58 63 56 62 How about Steve Poizner, California state insurance c ommissioner? Favorable 9 8 12 5 10 8 Unfavorable 18 19 14 24 23 14 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 10 10 10 15 10 11 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 63 63 64 56 57 67 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 10 CANDIDATE QUALITIES California’s likely voters are evenly divided on whether they think it’s more important for a candidate running for statewide office to have experience in elected office (43%) or experience running a busine ss (43%). These findings are similar to August 2002 (44% experience in office, 42% experience in business) and April 1998 (44 % elected office, 40% business) although in May 1998, 46 percent said experience in office was more important than business experience (36%). Today a political and ideological rift divides likely voters on the question of the more important qualification. Democrats and liberals value experience in office, while Republicans and conservatives value business experience. Independents emphasize business experience over time in office (50% to 32%), but moderates lean toward experience in elected office (44% to 39%). Supporters of Jerry Brown stress the importance of elected experience, of which Brown has a great deal, while the supporters of the Republican candidates stress the importance of experience running a business, which Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner posses s. Among those who place importance on time in elected office, about two in three support Brown over any of the three Republicans. Among those preferring a candidate to have experience running a business, 61 percent favor Whitman over Brown, 55 percent Campbell over Brown, and 53 percent Poizner over Brown. “People have different ideas about the qualifications they want when they vote for candidates for statewide office, such as governor or U.S. senator. Which of these is most important to you…?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Experience in elected office 43% 60 % 27 % 32 % 63 % 44 % 30 % Experience running a business 43 26 61 50 23 39 61 Neither (volunteered) 4 5 2 5 5 5 1 Both (volunteered) 6 5 6 8 5 9 4 Don’t know 4 4 4 5 4 3 4 When it comes to financing election campaigns, half of likely voters (49%) view more positively a candidate using mostly money from his or her supporters rather than a candidate using his or her own m oney (39%). In May 1998, views of candidates using supporters’ money were similar (52% to 49% today); candidates using their own money were viewed somewhat less positively (34% to 39% today). Republicans (55%) are more likely than independents (50%) and Democrats (46%) to view the candidate using supporters’ money more positively. A majority of liberals (56%) prefer the use of contributor money, as do 50 percent of conservatives. Moderates are divided . Whether they prefer the use of contributor money or candidates’ own money, Brown wins out in matchups —except against Whitman, among those favoring a candidate using his or her own money (40% Whitman, 41% Brown). “People have different ideas on how candidates for statewide office should pay for their political campaigns. Which of these do you view most positively? A candidate using mostly…” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative …his or her own money to pay for political campaigning 39% 42 % 38 % 29 % 33 % 42 % 41 % …money collected from his or her supporters to pay for political campaigning 49 46 55 50 56 45 50 Don’t know 12 12 7 21 11 13 9 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 11 BALLOT ISSUES Do Californians view the issues that are likely to surface on the 2010 ballots as relevant to their concerns? We asked voters to assess the importance of six issues that could be on the ballot if some of the initiatives currently circulating qualify . Because specific, official ballot titles and labels for these initiatives have not yet been finalized or made public, likely voters were asked only to assess the importance of each of these issues, keeping in mind that they could appear on one of the 2010 ballots. A majority of likely voters (54%) say the issue of lowering the two-thirds vote threshold for the state legislature to pass a budget is very important. Half (51%) also consider the issue of allowing same -sex couples to marry in California to be very important. Nearly half (47%) say the same on the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries. They are less likely to call the following issues very important: legalizi ng marijuana in California (38%), allowing voters to call a constitutional convention (35%), or allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California (32%). Over half of Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike believe the issue of lowering the two-thirds vote requirement for passing a budget is very important. Across demographic groups, the percentage calling this issue very important increases with age, is higher among men than among women (58% to 49%), and is somewhat higher among Latinos than whites (58% to 52%). Independents (40%) are much less likely than Democrats or Republicans (52% each) to consider the issue of allowing same -sex couples to marry to be very important. Whites are more likely than Latinos (53% to 40%) and women are more l ikely than men (58% to 44%) to hold this view. Evangelical Christians are much more likely than others (60% to 48%) to consider this issue very important. Aside from independents (52%), fewer than half across parties and demographic groups consider the is sue of allowing voters to select any primary candidate very important. Importance also tapers off for the issues of legalizing marijuana, calling a constitutional convention, and allowing public funding of statewide campaigns: Each is considered very impor tant by fewer than 45 percent across most groups. “Several issues will be decided by California voters in the June 2010 election and others may be headed to the November 2010 ballot. Please tell me how important each of the following issues is to you. How about…” Likely voters only Percent saying issue is very important Lowering the vote requirement for the California state legislature to pass a state budget ? Allowing same- sex couples to marry in California ? Allowing voters to select any candidate, regardl ess of party, in California’s primaries ? Legalizing marijuana in California ? Allowing voters to call a constitu tional convention in California ? Allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California? All Likely Voters 54 % 51% 47% 38% 35% 32% Party Democrat 57 52 47 39 35 37 Republican 52 52 47 39 36 29 Independent 54 40 52 31 28 32 Age 18– 34 44 56 41 44 48 31 35– 54 54 49 49 35 32 31 55 and older 57 51 48 40 33 34 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 58 40 44 40 35 38 Whites 52 53 48 37 34 29 Gender Men 58 44 47 38 40 33 Women 49 58 47 39 30 31 December 2009 Californians and Their Government 12 STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  Heading into what will likely be a difficult budget year, approval ratings of the governor and legislature show no signs of improvement, while concerns about the economy and budget are high. (pages 13, 15)  Forty-four percent of Californians and half of Central Valley residents say the water supply in their part of California is a big problem and majorities say the supply will be inadequate for future needs; 43 percent of likely voters say it’s very important that voters pass an $11.1 billion water bond. (page 17)  Approval of President Obama is far higher than approval of Congress; ratings of both have held steady since September. (page 18)  About half of Californians support the overall health care proposal under discussion in Congress; they express greater support for a public option and for mandating that all Americans have health insurance. On each proposal, voters are deeply divided along party lines. (page 20)  Most Californians say the military effort in Afghanistan is not going well. Although only one in three think the number of troops should be increased, half support Obama’s plans for a troop surge and a withdrawal timetable. A majority of Democrats favor Obama’s plan, while a majority of Republicans oppose it. (page 21) 7071 7072 65 63 61 374347 39 38 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jul Sep Dec Percent all adults President Congres s 2009 Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officals 40 33 32 3234 2830 28 27 21 21 1823 21 1721 18 17 0 20 40 60 80 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jul Sep Nov Dec Percent all adults Governor Legislature 2009 Approval Ratings of State Elected Officals 49 456 Favor Oppos e Don't know President Obama's Plans for Afghanistan All adults PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 13 OVERALL MOOD The economy remains uppermost in the minds of Californians, with six in 10 citing jobs and the economy (61%) as the most important issues facing the state, in an open-ended question; 13 percent cite the state budget. The economy has topped the list of concerns among Californians since January 2008, and has increased 19 points since January 2009 (42% January, 63% February, 58% March, 59% April, 54% May, 52% September, 61% today). At least half across parties, regions, and demographic groups cite the economy as the top issue, but mention of this issue declines sharply as income rises. Californians continue to be negative about the state’s direction. Seventy-five percent of Californians say the state is headed in the wrong direction, while just one in five say it is headed in the right direction. Likely voters are even more pessimistic (11% right, 82% wrong). Over two in three Californians have held a negative view since June 2008. Today, more than two in three across parties, regions, and demographic groups say California is heading in the wrong direction, with Latinos (68%) and younger adults aged 18 to 34 (67%) least likely to hold this view. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 19% 17% 13% 17% 11% Wrong direction 75 75 82 77 82 Don’t know 6 8 5 6 7 Californians are much more optimistic about the direction the United States is heading, with four in 10 saying the U .S. is heading in the right direction (42%); still, a majority say things are going in the wrong direction (53%). The perception that the country is headed in the right direction has increased 10 points since January (32%), but decreased 15 points since May (57%). Californians are only slightly more optimistic than adults nationwide (37% right direction, 56% wrong track) according to a similar question in a recent CBS News/ New York Times poll. Unlike Californians ’ perceptions of the direction of the state, there is a partisan divide on this national question, with 56 percent of Democrats saying the country is headed in the right direc tion, and 78 percent of Republicans saying it is going in the wrong direction. Independents are more likely to say wrong direction (53%). Whites (60% wrong direction) are much more pessimistic than Latinos (46%). P essimism increases as age increases. “Do you think that things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 42% 56% 19% 39% 39% Wrong direction 53 39 78 53 56 Don’t know 5 5 3 8 5 Nearly six in 10 Californians (58%) think that the United States will experience bad economic times during the next 12 months, while 35 percent expect good times. The perception that good times are coming has in creased 11 points since January (24%), and is similar to May ( 33%). Today, Republicans (76%) are much more likely than independents (58%) and Democrats (56%) to say bad times are coming. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (51%) are the least likely to hold this negative view while residents in the Other Southern California region (61%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) are the most likely. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 14 CALIFORNIA ECONOMY Californians’ negative perceptions of the U.S. economy are mirrored in their expectations of the state’s economic conditions in the next year. Two in three Californians (66%) expect bad times during the next 12 months, whi le 28 percent expect good times. Since January 2008, at least two in three Californians have held this negative view, although it has decreased 11 points since January 2009 (77%). Today, while strong majorities across parties think the state can expect bad economic times, Republicans (75%) are more likely than Democrats (69%) and independents (63%) to hold this view. More than six in 10 across regions expect bad times. Whites (74%) are far more likely than Latinos (54%) to hold this negative view and expect ations of bad times increase as age, education, and income rise. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 28% 26 % 18 % 32 % 20 % Bad times 66 69 75 63 73 Don’t know 6 5 7 5 7 Nine in 10 Californians say the stat e is in a recession, with 60 percent saying it’s a serious recession . Since January, a majority of Californians have called the r ecession serious (59% January, 63% March, 53% May, 57% September, 60% today). Likely voters (67%) are more likely than residents overall (60%) to call the recession serious. The perception that California is in a serious economic recession is held by a solid majority across parties (67% Democrats, 61% Republicans, 58% independents) and regions. Whites (65%) are much more likely than Latinos (49%) to say the recession is serious. The belief that California is in a serious recession is higher among residents age 35 and older, those with at least some college education, and those with annual household incomes of $40,000 or more. Homeowners are much more likely than renters (65% to 53%) to say the state is in a serious recession. “Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? (if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?)” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Serious recession 60% 67 % 61 % 58 % 67 % Moderate recession 26 21 30 26 22 Mild recession 5 4 3 5 4 Not in a recession 7 6 5 9 5 Don’t know 2 2 1 2 2 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 15 STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Californians’ negative views of the state ’s condition are reflected in low approval ratings of state elected officials. Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval rating (27%) drops to a record low, while his disapproval rating (60%) is near the record high reached in September (61%). His approval ratings among likely voters are similar. The governor’s approval rating among Californians has been at 40 percent or bel ow and his disapproval rating at least 50 percent since August 2008. Today, at least half of partisans disapprove of the governor’s performance (68% Democrats, 50% Republicans, 54% independents). Disapproval is high across regions , with residents in Los An geles (66%) most likely to disapprove. Latinos (71%) are far more likely than whites (53%) and women (64%) are more likely than men (56%) to disapprove of the governor. Approval is greater among more educated and wealthier Californians. The California L egislature’s approval ratings continue to be much lower than the governor’s and match its record low of 17 percent first reached in July; 70 percent disapprove. Likely voters are even more negative (10% approve, 83% disapprove). Approval ratings of the California Legislature have been below 30 percent since April 2008. Today, strong majorities of Californians across parties (71% Democrats, 80% Republicans, 76% independents) and regions disapprov e of the legislature. Whites (78%) are far more likely than Latinos (55%) to disapprove of the legislature and disapproval increases sharply with rising age, education, and income. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handl ing his job as governor of California? Approve 27% 22 % 35 % 29 % 30 % Disapprove 60 68 50 54 60 Don't know 13 10 15 17 10 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 17 14 11 15 10 Disapprove 70 71 80 76 83 Don't know 13 15 9 9 7 Californians’ approval (30%) of their individual state legislators is also at a record low, while disapproval (53%) matches the record high first reached in September. Approval ratings among likely voters today are more negative than among all adults. At least half of Democrats (53%), Republicans (61%), independents (55%), and residents across regions disapprove of their own legislators. Whites (59%) are far more disapproving than Latinos (44%), and men (56%) more disapproving than women (50%). Disappr oval is higher among residents with incomes of $40,000 or more and increases as age and education rise. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 30% 28 % 23 % 27 % 25 % Disapprove 53 53 61 55 63 Don’t know 17 19 16 18 12 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 16 STATE BUDGET Nearly all Californians (96%) recognize the state budget situation as a problem in California. Seventy -eight percent of Californians call it a big problem, while 18 percent call it somewhat of a problem. The 78- percent figure matches the record high first reached September 2008 and again in September 2009. Since March 2008, at least two in three Californians have said the budget situation is a big problem. Today, at least eight in 10 across parties and over seven in 10 across regions call the budget situation a big problem. Whites (88%) are far more likely than Latinos (62%) to call it a big problem. The perception of the state budget as a big problem increases sharply with rising age and education and income levels. “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? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 78% 83 % 91 % 80 % 88 % Somewhat of a problem 18 14 8 16 10 Not a problem 2 1 1 2 1 Don’t know 2 2 – 2 1 The current state budget faces a multibillion -dollar gap between revenues and spending; as state officials plan for next year’s budget, this gap is only projected to grow. When Californians are asked how they would prefer to deal with the state’s budget gap, 39 percent say mostly through spending cuts, and 37 percent say a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Far fewer say mostly through tax increases (8%) or that it is okay to borrow money and run a deficit (8%). Likely voters (44%) are somewhat more likely than all Californians (39%) to prefer spending cuts; among likely voters , the preference for dealing with the budget gap mostly through spending cuts has increased 12 points since January, while preference for a mix ed approach has declined 9 points . Today, nearly half of Democrats (48%) prefer a mix, while 58 percent of Republicans prefer mostly spending cuts , and independents favor cuts (45%) over a mix (36%). “How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Mostly spending cuts 39% 26 % 58 % 45 % 44 % Mostly tax increases 8 13 3 6 8 Mix of spending cuts and tax increases 37 48 32 36 39 Okay to borrow money and run a deficit 8 7 2 6 4 Other 2 2 2 3 2 Don’t know 6 4 3 4 3 Over eight in 10 C alifornians are very (55%) or somewhat concerned (28%) about the effect of spending cuts on their local government services —those provided by city and county governments and public schools . Sixty percent were very concerned in September. San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to be very concerned, but over half of residents across regions say the same. Democrats (67%) are far more likely than Republicans and independents (50% each) to be very concerned. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 17 WATER POLICY Earlier this year the governor called a special session of the legislature to address the state’s water crisis . How do Californians view the water supply in their part of California? Nearly three in four Californians say that their water supply is a big (44%) or somewhat of a problem (29%). Across regions, residents in the Centr al Valley (50%) are the most likely to view water supply as a big problem, followed by residents in the Other Southern California region (47%), Los Angeles (45%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (32%). About half of Democrats (48%) and Republicans (50%) say water supply is a big problem, while fewer independents (41%) hold this view. Homeowners (50%) are much more likely than renters are (37%) to call the water supply in their region a big problem. This view increases with age. “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Big problem 44% 50 % 32 % 45 % 47 % 52 % Somewhat of a problem 29 25 33 29 28 26 Not much of a problem 25 22 34 23 22 20 Don’t know 2 3 1 3 3 2 Californians were asked if the water supply in their part of the state would be adequate or inadequate for what will be needed in 10 years. Only one in three Californians say adequate (32%), while nearly six in 10 say inadequate (28% somewhat, 29% very). Democrats (38%) are the most likely to say very inadequate, while fewer Republicans (29%) and independents (27%) hold this view. Across regions, majorities believe their area water supply will be inadequate for future needs. As part of the special session, the governor and legis lature passed a water package that includes conservation requirements, plans for new storage, water quality clean-up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta. This package includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is the passage of this bond measure to California ns? Nearly eight in 10 Californians view passage as very (47%) or somewhat important (32%). Likely voters are somewhat similar (43% very, 31% somewhat). Democrats (52%) are far more likely than Republicans (37%) and independents (36%) to view the passage of the water bond as very important. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (54%) are the most likely to say it is very important, while residents in the Other Southern California r egion (43%) are the least likely. Latinos (60%) are far more likely than whites (40%) to view the bond passage as very important. “The governor and legislature recently passed a water package that includ es water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean-up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This package includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very important 47% 52 % 37 % 36 % 43 % Somewhat important 32 31 32 37 31 Not too important 7 7 10 6 9 Not at all important 8 3 13 14 10 Don’t know 6 7 8 7 7 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Six in 10 Californians (61%) continue to approve of President Obama’s job performance, similar to September (63%) and July (65%), but down 11 points since May (72%). Californians today are more approving of the president than adults nationwide, according to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll ( 50% approve, 39% disapprove). In California, strong majorities of Democrats (82%) approve of the president, 56 percent of independents approve, while just a quarter of Republicans (25%) approve. A majority of likely voters (54%) approve of President Obama. Across regions, strong major ities of residents in Los Angeles (67%), the San Francisco Bay Area (67%), and the Central Valley (60%) approve, compared to 52 percent of Other Southern California residents. The president’s approval ratings decline as age increases . Latinos are far more likely than whites to approve of President Obama (75% to 49%). A pproval ratings of Congress (38%) remain well below Obama’s , are similar to September ’s (39%), but have fallen 9 points since May (47%). Just three in 10 likely voters approve of congressional performance today. Californians are much more likely to approve of Congress than adults nationwide, according to a November CBS News poll (26% approve, 60% disapprove). In California, strong majorities of Republicans (78%) and 55 percent of independents disapprove of Congress, while Democrats remain divided (46% approve, 45% disapprove). Approval ratings of Congress decline with rising age, education, and income. Latinos (55%) are twice as likely as whites (27%) to say they approve of Congress. Among Californians who approve of Obama, 56 percent approve of Congress. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 61% 82 % 25 % 56 % 54 % Disapprove 33 14 69 37 40 Don't know 6 4 6 7 6 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 38 46 18 37 29 Disapprove 54 45 78 55 66 Don't know 8 9 4 8 5 When it comes to their o wn House members , half of Californians approve (51%) of their performance, while 34 percent disapprove. Approval today is 5 points lower than in September (56%), but similar to September 2008 (49%). Among likely voters today, 49 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove. Since September, approval ratings for House representatives have declined across parties. Among Republicans, approval ratings have fallen 10 points (50% September, 40% today) and among independents approval has declined 6 points (53% to 47%). Ratings are relatively unchanged among Democrats (62% to 58%). Among Californians who approve of Obama, 64 percent approve of their representative; among those who approve of Congress, 77 percent approve of their representative. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 51% 58 % 40 % 47 % 49 % Disapprove 34 28 46 35 40 Don’t know 15 14 14 18 11 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 19 ECONOMIC POLICY Although a solid majority of Californians today are positive about the overall job Barack Obama is doing as president, only 31 percent say his economic policies have made economic conditions better. Forty-two percent s ay his economic policies have had no effect and 21 percent say they have made economic conditions worse. Likely voters are divided on the effects of Obama’s economic policies (30% better, 29% worse, 35% no effect so far). Californians are similar to adults nationwide, according to an October Pew Research Center survey (31% better, 20% worse, 42% no effect so far). California voters are divided along partisan lines. While 43 percent of Democrats believe Obama’s economic policies have made conditions better, 49 percent of Republicans say they’ve made conditions worse. About four in 10 in each party say his policies have had no effect thus far. A plurality of independents (40%) say they’ve had no effect. Among those who approve of the president, 47 percent say better conditions; 44 percent say no effect. “Since taking office, have Barack Obama’s economic policies made economic conditions better, worse, or not had an effect so far?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Better 31% 43 % 9 % 33 % 30 % Worse 21 9 49 21 29 No effect so far 42 42 37 40 35 Too soon to tell (volunteered) 4 4 3 4 4 Don’t know 2 2 2 2 2 Californians are divided about the effect the federal government’s response to the current financial crisis will have on California. Forty -six percent think the actions taken by the federal government will help the California economy, while 46 percent say they will not help. Findings today are similar to January’s (44% will help, 43% will not help), and mark a 7- point increase in positive perceptions since October 2008 (39% help, 47% not help). Likely voters are pessimistic in their assessment of the impact federal actions will have on California (40% help, 54% not help). Democrats (55%) are more likely to say they will help, and independents (50%) and Republicans (72%) more likely to say they won’t . “Do you think the federal government’s actions in dealing with the current financial crisis will help the California economy, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes, will help 46% 55 % 22 % 42 % 40 % No, wi ll not help 46 35 72 50 54 Don’t know 8 10 6 8 6 Although Californians expressed satisfaction (57%) with the first economic stimulus package in January, today they are not as willing to support additional federal spending above the $787 billion already set aside to stimulate the economy; just 39 percent support, and 53 percent oppose such spending. Findings today are similar to September ’s (38% support, 56% oppose). Six in 10 likely voters say they oppose additional federal stimulus spending. Across part ies, Democrats (50%) are more likely to support additional stimulus spending , while majorities of independents (64%) and Republicans (79%) oppose it. Opposition to additional stimulus spending increases with rising age, education, and income. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 20 HEALTH CARE REFORM Health care reform has regained national importance since President Obama took office. Early last month the House approved reform legislation, and debate continues in the Senate. In California, given what residents know about the changes being developed by Congress and the Obama administration, 52 percent are in favor and 39 percent oppose them. Likely voters are divided (46% support, 48% oppose). Support among both residents and likely voters is nearly identical to September (51% adults, 46% likely voters). Democrats (71%) support these changes, while Republicans (76%) oppose them. Independents are more likely to support (48%) than oppose (39%) the changes. Californians are similar to adults nationwide in their support, according to a November ABC News/ Washington Post poll (48% support, 49% oppose). Today in California, men (56%) are somewhat more likely than women (49%) to say they support the plans being developed, and support is higher among Latinos (68%) than among whites (40%). Support declines sharply with rising age and is lowest among those age 65 and older (42%). “Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by Congress and the Obama administration?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Support 52% 71 % 18 % 48 % 46 % Oppose 39 20 76 39 48 Don’t know 9 9 6 13 6 Californians continue to be more supportive when asked specifically about the creation of a new government health insur ance plan that would compete with private health insurance plans. Sixty- one percent of adults and 57 percent of likely voters say they would support a new government health insurance plan. Support today among adults and likely voters is similar to September (62% adults, 59% likely voters). Support is far hi gher among Democrats (77%) and independents (62%) than among Republicans (30%). Support declines with age— those aged 65 and older are least supportive (48%). Californians are more supportive of a government health insurance plan than adults nationwide, according to the ABC News/ Washington Post poll, (53% support, 43% oppose). “Would you support or oppose a government health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Support 61% 77 % 30 % 62 % 57 % Oppose 33 16 64 31 38 Don’t know 6 7 6 7 5 In a separate question, Californians were asked if they would support or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance, with the g overnment providing financial help for those who cannot afford it; 68 percent support this idea while 28 percent oppose it. Californians are as likely as adults nationwide to say they favor requiring health insurance, with government help to those who need it (66% favor, 30% oppose), according to an October Pew survey. In California, strong partisan divisions are evident in levels of support (82% Democrat, 66% independent, 35% Republican). Among residents who support a public option, 86 percent support an individual health mandate. Support, again, declines sharply with rising age and is lowest among those age 65 and older (59%). PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 21 AFGHANISTAN The U.S. military effort in Afghanistan began after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with the goal of eliminating Al Qaeda operations there. While much has happened in the past eight years in Afghanistan—including the removal of the Taliban from political power, a new constitution, and presidential elections—insurgent forces and charges of political corruption continue to erode Afghan stability. This month we asked residents how well they think the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going. Six percent of Californians say things are goin g very well, 26 percent say fairly well, 32 percent say not too well, and 29 percent say not at all well. Findings among likely voters are similar. Strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups say things are going not too well or not at all well. Californians are more likely than adults nationwide to say the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going not at all well (29% to 16%), according to a November Pew survey. “Thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very well 6% 7% 4% 4% 5% Fairly well 26 20 35 23 28 Not too well 32 36 31 39 36 Not at all well 29 29 21 28 25 Don’t know 7 8 9 6 6 When asked specifically about the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a plurality of Californians say that over the next year, they think the number should be decreased (44%), while 33 percent think it should be increased, and 14 percent think it should stay the same. Likely voters are more likely to think troop levels should increase (44%). Californians are similar to adults nationwide, according to the Pew survey (32% increase, 40% decrease, 19% kept the same). Across parties, Republicans (54%) think the number of troops should be increased, while Democrats (49%) and independents (48%) think it should be decreased. Support for increasing troop numbers increases with rising age, education, and income. “Over the next year, do you think the number of troops in Afghanistan should be increased, decreased, or kept the same as it is now?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Increased 33% 29% 54% 32% 44% Decreased 44 49 25 48 35 Kept the same 14 15 13 12 12 Don’t know 9 7 8 8 9 President Obama announced a plan on December 1 for deploying an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and setting a timetable for withdrawal. In response, we began asking residents on December 4 whether they favored or opposed his plan. Californians are divided (49% favor, 45% oppose). Support is similar to that among adults nationwide, according to a recent USA Today /Gallup poll (51% favor, 40% oppose). California’s likely voters are more likely to favor (52%) than oppose (42%) the Obama plan. Across parties, Democrats (55%) favor it, Republicans (54%) oppose it, and independ ents are divided (46% favor, 46% oppose). Among those who say t he number of troops should be increased, 64 percent favor the plan; among those who think it should be decreased, 36 percent favor it. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 22 PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION With 91 percent of Californians saying the state is in a recession, and 60 percent saying it is a serious one, half of Californians say they are very (34%) or somewhat concerned (16%) that they or someone in their family will lose their job in the next year; another 11 percent volunteer that their family has already experienced job loss. Overall concern about job loss has been similar since March (51%). Although this month marks an 8 -point decline in concern since January (58% to 50% today) , the percentage volunteering that their family has already experienced job loss is up 6 point s (5% to 11%). Today, residents with annual household incomes below $40,000 are nearly twice as likely as residents with $80,000 or more in income to say they are very concerned about job loss (41% to 22%). Latinos (47%) are far more likely than whites (27%) to say they are very concerned, and high levels of concern are also expressed by those without any college education (44%), those with children 18 or under (42%), and renters (39%). Men (33%) and women (35%) are si milarly likely to say they are very concerned about job loss. “Are you concerned that you or someone in your family will lose their job in the next year, or not? (if yes: Are you very concerned or somewhat concerned?)” All Adults Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latino White Very concerned 34% 41 % 35 % 22 % 47 % 27 % Somewhat concerned 16 18 15 16 20 14 Not concerned 38 24 39 56 21 47 Lost job already (volunteered) 11 16 10 6 10 12 Don’t know 1 1 1 – 2 – When asked specifically about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage, 65 percent of residents say they are very (45%) or somewhat concerned (20%). The percentage saying very concerned is up 6 points since May and March (39% each). Renters (60%) are far more likely than homeowners (35%) to say they are very concerned about falling behind in their payments. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (52%), the Central Valley (49%), and the Other Southern California region (44%) are more likely than San Francisco Bay Ar ea residents (35%) to say they are very concerned. Across income groups, residents in households earning less than $40,000 a year are more than twice as likely as those in households earning more than $80,000 to say they are very concerned (61% to 23%). “How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage?” All Adults Region Homeownership Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Owners Renters Very concerned 45% 49 % 35 % 52 % 44 % 35 % 60 % Somewhat concerned 20 13 18 21 22 19 19 Not too concerned 14 13 18 9 14 16 10 Not at all concerned 21 22 28 17 20 29 10 Already behind (vol) / Don’t know – 3 1 1 – 1 1 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 23 PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION (CONTINUED) When it comes to Californians’ perceptions of their own personal financial situation, just 35 percent would rate it as excellent (6%) or good (29%); most describe it as only fair (39%) or poor (25%). Californians’ perceptions of their own financial situation are similar t o those of adults nationwide, according to a November Pew survey (5% excellent, 30% good, 40% fair, 25% poor). In California today, 40 percent of those in households earning less than $40,000 say their situation is poor, compared to just 8 percent of those in households earning $80,000 or more. Across racial/ethnic groups, 17 percent of Latinos call their financial situation excellent or good, compared to 48 percent of whites saying the same. Across regions, Los Angeles (26%) residents are the least likely to say their situation is excellent or good, while residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (44%) are the most likely. Excellent or good financial self-ratings increase as age and education increase. “Thinking about your own personal finances, how would you rate your own personal financial situation? Would you say you are in excellent shape, good shape, only fair shape, o r poor shape financially?” All Adults Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latino White Excellent 6% 2 % 5 % 12 % 1 % 10 % Good 29 13 30 51 16 38 Only fair 39 45 42 28 47 33 Poor 25 40 23 8 36 19 Don’t know 1 – – 1 – – When asked in a separate question to assess their financial situation compared to a year ago, 53 percent of Californians say they are worse off, 36 percent say they are about the same, and only 9 percent say they are better off. In September 2002, after the dot -com bubble burst and amidst financial market uncertainty, Californians were much less negative about their financial situation compared to the previous year (30% better, 23% worse, 45% about the same). Today, pluralities of residents across most political, regional, and demographic groups say their situation is worse compared to a year ago. Californians are more optimistic when thinking about their financial situation over the next year . Fifty -three percent say their situation will improve a lot (6%) or improve some (47%), 29 percent say it will get a little worse (22%), or a lot worse (7%), and 13 percent volunteer that it will stay the same. Californians are similar to adults nationwide, according to the Pew survey (6% improve a lot, 50% improve some, 19% a little worse, 8% a lot worse, 13% same). Pluralities of residents across political, regional, income, and other demographic groups say their financial situation will improve over the course of the next year . “Over the course of the next year, do you think the financial situation o f you and your family will improve a lot, improve some, get a little worse, or get a lot worse?” All Adults Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latino White Improve a lot 6% 6 % 7 % 5 % 7 % 3 % Improve some 47 50 47 43 53 43 Get a little worse 22 23 22 20 19 23 Get a lot worse 7 7 10 6 8 8 Stay the same (volunteered) 13 7 11 22 7 18 Don’t know 5 7 3 4 6 5 December 2009 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP December 2009 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Sonja Petek , project manager for this survey, and from survey research associates Dean Bonner and Jennifer Paluch. The Californians and T heir Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, fo undation staff, and other policy experts; however , the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a surv ey of 2,004 C alifornia adult residents , reached on landline telephones and cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days between December 1 and December 8 , 2009. Interviews took an average of 18 min utes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. A total of 200 cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cel l phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone s ervice only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interv iewing was conducted in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc conducted the telephone interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demo- graphic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2007 and 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005 –2007 American Com munity Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,004 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,565 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 963 likely voters, it is ±3 percent ; for the 352 Republican primary likely voters , it is ± 5 percent . Sampling error i s only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 26 Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes A lameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, an d likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. Sample sizes for African Americans and Asian Americans are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (those who are registered as “decline to state”). We also include the responses of “likely voters” — those who are most likely to vote in the state’s elections based on their past voting, current interest, and voting intentions. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/ Washington Post, CBS News, CBS News/New York Times , the Pew Research Center, and USA Today/Gallup. December 2009 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT December 1– 8 , 2009 2,004 California Adult Residents: English , Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ± 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE 1. First, thinking about the st ate as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue faci ng people in California today? [code, don’t read ] 61% jobs, economy 13 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 education, schools 4 health care, health costs 3 immigration, illegal immigration 2 government reform 2 water, water supply, drought 9 other 1 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 27% approve 60 disapprove 13 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 17% approve 70 disapprove 13 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and s enate districts are doing at this time? 30% approve 53 disapprove 17 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 19% right direction 75 wrong direction 6 don’t know 6. Turning t o economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 28% good times 66 bad times 6 don’t know 7. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? ( if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 60% yes, serious recession 26 yes, moderate recession 5 yes, mild recession 7 no 2 don’t know 8. Are you concerned that you or someone in your family will lose their job in the next year, or not? ( if yes: Are you very concerned or somewhat concerned?) 34% yes, very concerned 16 yes, somewhat 38 no 11 have lost job already (volunteered) 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 28 9. How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage: very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this? 45% very concerned 20 somewhat concerned 14 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned Now thinking about your own personal finances… 10. How would you rate your own personal financial situation? Would you say you are in excellent shape, good shape, only fair shape, or poor shape financially? 6% excellent 29 good 39 only fair 25 poor 1 don’t know 11. Would you say that you and your family are financially better off, worse off, or just about the same as you were a year ago? 9% better off 53 worse off 36 same 2 don’t know 12. Over the course of the next year, do you think the financial situation of you and your family will improve a lot, improve some, get a little worse, or get a lot worse? 6% improve a lot 47 improve some 22 get a little worse 7 get a lot worse 13 stay the same (volunteered) 5 don’t know 13. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are regi stered to vote in California? 79% yes [ask q 13a] 21 no [skip to q14b ] 13a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q14] 31 Republican [skip to q14a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q 15] 20 independent [skip to q14b ] 14. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 51% strong 45 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q15 ] 14a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 50% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q15 ] 14b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 23% Republican Party 52 Democratic Party 20 neither (volunteered) 5 don’t know [responses recorded for questions 15 to 30 are for likely voters only] Next, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these candidates for governor, or don’t you know enough about him or her to have an opinion? [ rotate questions 15 to 18] 15. How about Jerry Brown, California State Attorney General? 35% favorable 36 unfavorable 3 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 26 don’t know enough to have an opinion PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 29 16. How about Tom Campbell, former c ongressman? 16% favorable 14 unfavorable 11 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 59 don’t know enough to have an opinion 17. How about Steve Poizner, California State Insurance Commissioner ? 9% favorable 18 unfavorable 10 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 63 don’t know enough to have an opinion 18. How about Meg Whitman, businesswoman ? 22% favorable 19 unfavorable 10 haven’t heard of her (volunteered) 49 don’t know enough to have an opinion [delayed skip: if q13a =independent , ask q19, if q13a =Republican , skip to q 20, otherwise skip to q21] 19. California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 8th. All three ballots include state proposition measures. Do you plan to vote in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or on the nonpartisan ballot? 15% Republican primary [ask q 20] 19 Democratic primary [skip to q21] 58 nonpartis an ballot [skip to q 21] 8 don’t know [skip to q21] 20. If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 32% Meg Whitman 12 Tom Campbell 8 Steve Poizner 4 or someone else (specify) 44 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor’s election…. [ rotate questions 21 to 23] 21. Would you vote for…[rotate names ] 34% Tom Campbell, the Republican 46 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 1 someone else (s pecify) 19 don’t know 22. Would you vote for… [rotate names] 31% Steve Poizner, the Republican 47 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 1 someone else (s pecify) 21 don’t know 23. Would you vote for… [rotate names] 37% Meg Whitman, the Republican 43 Jerry Brown, the Democrat 20 don’t know 24. How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2010 governor’s election? 10% very closely 33 fairly closely 36 not too closely 20 not at all closely 1 don’t know 25. In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June? 32% satisfied 42 not satisfied 26 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 30 [ rotate questions 26 and 26a] 26. People have different ideas about the qualificati ons they want when they vote for candidates for statewide office, such as governor or U.S. senator. Which of these is most important to you? [ rotate 1 and 2] (1) that the candidate has experience in elected office, [ or ] (2) that the candidate has experience running a business? 43% experience in elected office 43 experience running a business 4 neither (volunteered) 6 both (volunteered) 4 don’t know 26a.People have different ideas on how candidates for statewide office should pay for their political campaigns. Which of these do you view most positively? [rotate 1 and 2] (1) a candidate using mostly his or her own money to pay for political campaigning, [or] (2) a candidate using mostly money collected from his or her supporters to pay for political campaigning. 39% own money 49 money from supporters 12 don’t know Next, several issues will be decided by California voters in the June 2010 election and others may be headed to the November 2010 ballot. Please tell me how important each of the following issues is to you. [ rotate questions 27 to 30] 27. How about allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 47% very important 32 somewhat important 8 not too important 9 not at all important 4 don’t know 27a.How about allowing public funding of statewide campaigns in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 32% very important 35 somewhat important 14 not too important 13 not at all important 6 don’t know 28. How about allowing voters to call a constitutional convention in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 35% very important 29 somewhat important 15 not too important 11 not at all important 10 don’t know 28a.How about lowering the vote requirement for the California State Legislature to pass a state budget? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 54% very important 28 somewhat important 7 not too important 6 not at all important 5 don’t know 29. How about legalizing marijuana in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 38% very important 24 somewhat important 13 not too important 24 not at all important 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 31 30. How about allowing same -sex couples to marry in California? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 51% very important 17 somewhat important 10 not too important 21 not at all important 1 don’t know 31. Changing topics, 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? 78% big problem 18 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 2 don’t know 32. As you may know, the state government currently has an annual budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap— mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 39% mostly through spending cuts 8 mostly through tax increases 37 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 8 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 2 other (specify) 6 don’t know 33. How concerned are you about the effects of spending cuts on your local government services —those provided by city and county governments and public schools? 55% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 6 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 34. Next, would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 44% big problem 29 somewhat of a problem 25 not much of a problem 2 don’t know 35. Do you think that the water supply that i s available for your part of California will be adequate or inadequate for what is needed ten years from now? ( if inadequate : is that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate? ) 32% adequate 28 somewhat inadequate 29 very inadequate 11 don’t know 36. The governor and legislature recently passed a water package that includes water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean- up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta. This pac kage includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure? 47% very important 32 somewhat important 7 not too important 8 not at all important 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 32 37. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 61% approve 33 disapprove 6 don’t know 38. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 38% approve 54 disapprove 8 don’t know 39. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 51% approve 34 disapprove 15 don’t know 40. Do you think that things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 42% right direction 53 wrong direction 5 don’t know 41. Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 35% good times 58 bad times 7 don’t know 42. Next, since taking office, have Barack Obama’s economic policies made economic conditions better, worse, or not had an effect so far? 31% bette r 21 worse 42 no effect so far 4 too soon to tell (volunteered) 2 don’t know 43. Do you think the federal government’s actions in dealing with the current financial crisis will help the California economy, or not? 46% yes, will help 46 no, will not help 8 don’t know 44. Would you support or oppose additional federal spending above the $787 billion already set aside to try to stimulate the economy? 39% support 53 oppose 8 don’t know 45. Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by [rotate ] [1] Congress [ and ] [2] the Obama administration? 52% support 39 oppose 9 don’t know [rotate questions 46 and 46a] 46. Would you support or oppose a government health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans? 61% support 33 oppose 6 don’t know 46a.Would you support or oppose requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help for those who can’t afford it? 68% support 28 oppose 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2009 Californians and Their Government 33 47. Now thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going: very well, fairly well, not too well, or not at all well? 6% very well 26 fairly well 32 not too well 29 not at all well 7 don’t know 48. Over the next year, do you think the number of troops in Afghanistan should be increased, decreased, or kept the same as it is now? 33% increased 44 decreased 14 kept the same 9 don’t know 48a. [asked starting December 4] As you may know, President Obama has decided to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by 30,000 while also setting a timetable that calls for the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from that country in 2011. In general, do you favor or oppose this plan? 49% favor 45 oppose 6 don’t know 49. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 18 somewhat liberal 32 middle -of- the -road 23 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 2 don’t know 50. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 25% great deal 39 fair amount 29 only a little 7 none [d1 to d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Pac kard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine C ompany Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy I nstitute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public pol icy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. 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. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Copyright © 2009 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:25" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(9) "s_1209mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:25" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:25" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(51) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_1209MBS.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) }