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This is the 138 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 290,000 Californians. This is the 59 th in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. The sur vey was conducted in the month after the Affordable Care Act enrollment began and as a national debate about the implementation of the online health insurance marketplace was taking place. In the wake of the 16 -day government shutdown, a bipar tisan conference committee began meeting to avert another debt cei ling crisis and government shutdown. As Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients cope with newly reduced benefits , Congress is seeking a compromise on a farm bill that both funds SNAP and provides assistance to farmers . At the state leve l, the 2014 gubernatorial election is entering its initial stage. Jerr y Brown has not officially announced that he is seeking reelection, but two Republican challengers have entered the race. Also, Governor Brown and the legislature are searching for a solution to prison overcrowding. Looking ahead to Januar y, Governor Brown can anticipate a rosier budget situation compared with recent years and legislative leaders have begun discussing next year’s legislative agenda. In this context, this sur vey presents the responses of 1,701 adult residents throughout California, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including overall mood; approval rat ings of state elected officials; assessment s of current and future personal finances; perceptions of income inequality and preferences for government involvement in economic mobility; trust in state government; likely voters’ preferences for governor in the 2014 June primar y; favorability ratings of candidates and satisfaction with candidate choices; and attention to news about the candidates.  Federal government, including overall mood; approval ratings of federal elected officials; assessment of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; trust in federal government; views on healthcare reform and awareness of the Covered California online health insurance exchange; perceptions of the role of government in alleviating poverty; opinions of the major political par ties’ handling of health care, the economy, the federal budget, and immigration; perceptions of the political par ties, incuding whether a third party is needed; and preferred outcome of the 2014 congressional elections .  Tim e trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government based on political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. December 2013 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 4, 2013. 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 Residents Split on Health Reform Law—Most Are Aware of State Exchange JOB APPROVAL FALLS FOR OBAMA, CONGRESS BUT HOLDS STEADY FOR BRO WN, LEGISLATURE SAN FRANCISCO , December 4, 2013 —Most Californians are aware of the state health care exchange, and a majority of those without insurance say they plan to get it by 2014. But residents are divided in their assessment of the Affordable Care Act itself. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The survey —conducted in the month after the beginning of enrollment under the law —finds t hat 68 percent of Californians correctly say there is a health insurance exchange available to people in the state. About a third say that there is not (14%) or don’t know (18%). Across parties, regions, and demographic groups, s olid majorities are aware of the state insurance exchange. Among the unins ured, 63 percent are aware of it (19% say there is no exchange, 18% don’t know). When uninsured residents are asked if they will get health insurance in accordance with the law or pay a fine, 66 percent say they will get insurance. A quarter (24%) say they will remain uninsured, and 11 percent are uncertain. Enrollment of younger, relatively healthy residents is considered important to the law’s success . In the survey, uninsured residents 18 –44 years old are far more likely to say they will get in insurance (72%) than are those age 45 years or older (51%). Yet Californians are split in their view of the law itself : 44 percent favor it and 44 percent have an unfavorable opinion (13% don’t know). Likely voters assess the law more negati vely than Californians overall. Half (51%) view it unfavorably and 42 percent favorably. Among uninsured Californians, half (50%) favor the law and 43 percent have unfavorable views . Those with insurance are evenly divided (43% favorable, 43% unfavorable). There are deep partisan differences on this question : 60 percent of Democrats have favorable views and 80 percent of Republicans view it unfavorably. H alf of independents (51%) have an unfavorable opinion (40% favorable). “Californians are evenly split and deeply divided along party l ines on federal health care reform,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “While public awareness of the state's effort is high, there is room for improvement among those in need of health insurance.” PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 SHARP DROP IN APPROVAL RATINGS FOR OBAMA, CONGRESS In the aftermath of the federal shutdown and the troubled rollout of the national health insurance exchange, President Obama’s job approval rating among Californians (51%) is down 10 points since July (61%) and matches his record low in September 2011. Likely voters today are divided (48% approve, 50% disapprove), also near the record low (47%, September 2011). Approval of Congress among Californians (18%) has dropped below 20 percent for the first time. Among likely voters today, approval of Congress (10%) is near the record low of (9%) in December 2011. And, in a near reversal of opinion since January— when 56 percent of Californians said the U.S. was going in the right direction— 57 percent today say the nation is going in the wrong direction. Asked about how the president and congressional Republicans are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, Californians are more negative than they were in January. Obama’s approval rating on this question is 42 percent, down 14 points (January: 56%). Approval of congressional Republicans is at 17 percent, down 9 points (January: 26%). An overwhelming 74 percent of Californians and likely voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the government will shut down again in January. “Approval ratings of both the president and Congress have taken a hit this fall,” Baldassare said. “And most Californians have lost confidence that their leaders in Washington will be able to avoid another fiscal crisis.” Lack of trust in Washington is reflected in Californians’ responses to other survey questions. Only 24 percent say they can trust the federal government to do what is right just about always or most of the time, near the record -low 20 percent in December 2011. And 73 percent say the federal government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, while just 22 percent say it is run for the benefit of all the people. Most (61%) say the people in federal government waste a lot of taxpayer money. The survey asks which political party could do a better job of handling four key national issues: the economy, federal budget, health care, and immigration. Californians are divided on the handling of the economy (39% Republican Party, 40% Democratic Party) and federal budget (38% Republican Party, 39% Democratic Party). On health care, they are more likely to choose the Democrats (45%) than the Republicans (33%). They are also more likely to choose the Democrats on immigration (33% Republican, 44% Democrat ic). Looking ahead to congressional elections next year, more likely voters say they would prefer Congress to be controlled by Democrats (49%) than by Republicans (39%). They are divided on whether it is better for the president’s political party to have a controlling majority in Congress (26%) or for one party t o be in the White House and the other controlling Congress (29%). A larger share —36 percent —say it doesn’t matter too much one way or the other. Responses to this question have changed little since it was last asked in September 2000 (27% president’s party controls Congress, 31% one party controls each, 36% doesn’t matter too much). How do Californians view the two major parties? A slim majority (52%) have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while 57 percent have an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party. Strong majorities view their own party favorably, but Democrats are more likely to express favorable opinions of their party (77%) than Republicans are of theirs (66%). Asked about the Tea Party movement, 52 percent of Californians view it unfavorably. They are as likely to be uncertain about it (25%) as they are to view it favorabl y (23%). BROWN’S JOB RATING S TABLE: NEARLY HALF APPROVE With the gubernatorial election a year away, nearly half of adults (47%) and likely voters (49%) approve of the way Jerry Brown is handling his job. This is similar to his approval rating in the eight PPIC surveys conducted since December 2012. In an early look at the gubernatorial primary, we included Brown and the two Republican candidates. If the prima ry were held today, Brown, with the support of 46 percent of PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 likely voters, and state assemblyman Tim Donnelly, with the support of 16 percent, would advance under the state’s top -two primary system. Former l ieutenant governor Abel Maldonado has the suppor t of 7 percent of likely voters. Another 29 percent of likely voters are undecided. When likely voters are asked how they feel about the three, 46 percent have a favorable opinion of Brown and 40 percent have an unfavorable one , while most have no opinion of Donnelly (15% haven’t heard of him, 70% don’t know enough about him to have an opinion) or Maldonado (11% haven’t heard of him, 61% don’t know enough to have an opinion). Maldonado is viewed unfavorably by a quarter of Republican (23%) and independent ( 26%) likely voters. The state legislature ’s job approval rating is identical to September ’s rating: 38 percent among Californians and 32 percent among likely voters. OPTIMISM RISING ABOUT STATE’S DIRECT ION, BUT ECONOMIC WO RRIES PERSIST In contrast to Calif ornians’ pessimism about the direction of the nation, they feel better about the direction of their state than they did two years ago. Today, 45 percent say California is going in the right direction and 46 percent say it is going in the wrong direction— a big improvement since December 2011 (30% right direction, 61% wrong direction). However, Californians’ faith in state government remains about as low as their level of trust in the federal government. A strong majority say they trust state government to do what is right only some of the time (63%) or none of the time (8%). A quarter say state government can be trusted most of the time (20%) or just about always (5%). The economy continues to weigh on Californians, although they see conditions improving: 66 percent say the state is in a recession. The percentage saying the state is in a serious recession— 22 percent—is down from 43 percent two years ago. As ked about the economic outlook for the next year, 43 percent say the state will have good times, and 48% predict bad times. Just 31 percent predicted good times in December 2011. Slightly more than half of Californians (54%) say they and their families are about the same financially as they were a year ago, with 22 percent saying they are better off and 24 percent saying they are worse off. In December 2009, the midst of the Great Recession, 53 percent of Califo rnians said they were worse off than in the previous year. STRONG MAJORITY SAY STATE IS SPLIT BETWEEN HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS As a sluggish economic recovery has focused attention on income inequality, a record -high 66 percent of Californians say that the state is divided into haves and have -nots (30% say it is not divided that way). Results were similar in December 2011 (63% divided, 34% not divided) . In January 1999 , 56 percent said the state was divided and 41 percent said it was not. When asked to characterize themselves , 40 percent of Californians today say they are among the haves, and 45 percent say they are have -nots. In 1999 , the results were very different: 57 percent said they were among the haves, and 35 percent said they were have -nots. What is the government’s role in easing poverty? Half of Californians (49%) say the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead, while 43 percent say people already have an equal opportunity. This is a reversal from January 1999: 45 percent said the govern ment should do more and 52 percent said people already have an equal opportunity. A majority of residents (63%) agree (24% completely, 39% mostly) with the statement that the government is responsible for taking care of people who can’t care for themselves . About a third disagree ( 22% mostly, 12% completely). Half of Californians (51%) say poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently; 35 percent say poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return. Likely voters are divided (40% easy, 46% hard). In the five previous surveys that included this question, more than half of Californians have said that poor people have hard lives because benefits don’t go far enough. December 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Forty -seven percent of Californians approve of Governor Brown, while 38 percent approve of the legislature . (page 7)  Slightly less than half of Californians say the state is heading in the wrong dir ection and expect bad times financially. Sixty -six percent say California is in an economic recession , with 22 percent say ing it is a serious one (down 18 points since October 2012 ). (page 8)  Thirty -nine percent of Californians rate their own personal financial situation as excellent or good. Fifty -four percent say it is about the same as a year ago. Looking ahead, six in 10 expect their financial situation to improve a lo t or some. (page 9)  Two in three Californians think that the state is divided into haves and have -nots; 40 percent say they belong to the haves and 45 percent the have -nots . (page 10)  Most Californians say that the state government in Sacramento can be trusted to do what is right only some of the time or never. Sixty -five percent say state government is run by a few big interests and 54 percent say state government wastes a lot of taxpayer money . (page 11)  Jerry Brown has the support of 46 percent of likely voters in t he 2014 gubernatorial primary. Forty -six percent of likely voters also have a favorable opinion of Governor Brown, while most don’t know enough to have an opinion of Tim Donnell y or Abel Maldonado . (page 12) 69 49 37 Rep Ind Dem 020406080100 Belief ThatAll Californians Have an Equal Opportunity to Get Ahead 34 41424041 48494847 242625253034343838 0 20 40 60 80 Mar11Sep11Dec11Mar12Sep12Dec12Mar13Sep13Dec13 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 46 16 71 29 Jerry Brown Tim Donnelly Abel Maldonado Someone else (vol) Don't know 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Likely voters Percent registered voters PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS With the 2014 gubernatorial election still almost a year away, nearly half of all adults (47%) and likely voters (49%) approve of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California. The governor’s approval rating has been similar in our last eight polls (48% December 2012, 51% January 2013 , 49% March, 46% April, 48% May, 48% July, 48% September, 47% today). Prior to the November 2012 election, approval ratings ranged from a low of 34 percent in February and March 2011 to a high of 46 percent in January 2012. Today, the governor’s approval rating stands at 62 percent among Democrats, 47 percent among independents, and 27 percent among Republicans. Asians (53%) are the most likely to approve , followed by whites (47%), blacks (46%), and Latinos (45%). App roval of the governor is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%) and Los Angeles (50%) than in the Central Valley (44%), Orange/San Diego (38%), and Inland Empire (36%). Women (46%) and men (48%) give similar approval ratings and there are no significant differences across age groups. Across socioeconomic groups in California, the governor’s approval rating is highest among college graduates (58%) and those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (60%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 47% 62% 27% 47% 49% Disapprove 28 18 58 37 38 Don ’t know 25 21 15 16 13 Thirty -eight percent of California adults and 32 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the legislature is handling its job. Results among all adults were identical in our September survey (38% ) and similar in December 2012 (34 %). Approval was much lower in December 2011 (25%) and far lower in November 2010 (14%) and December 2009 (17%). Today, 49 percent of Democrats express approval of the legislature, compared to 34 percent of independents and only 20 percent of Republicans. Latinos (50%) and blacks (46%) are more likely than Asians (38%) and whites (31%) to approve of the legislature. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (44%) are the most likely to express approval, follow ed by those in the Central Valley (41%), Los Angeles (39%), the Inland Empire (34%), and Orange/San Diego (31%). Around four in 10 across income groups approve. A pproval decreases as age increases (45% 18 to 34, 38% 35 to 54, 32% 55 and older) and is higher among those with a high school education or less (44%) than among those with more education (34% some college, 37% college graduates) . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 38% 49% 20% 34% 32% Disapprove 43 34 69 54 56 Don ’t know 19 17 12 12 12 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 OVERALL MOOD Reflecting improv ed conditions, less than half of California adults (44%) name jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing people in California today, compared to 53 percent in December 2012 and 63 percent in December 2011. Still, at least four in 10 adults across age, education, and income groups say it is the top issue facing the state. Across regions, Orange/San Diego residents (38%) are the least likely to say that the economy is the top issue facing Californians. Far fewer Californians name h ealth care and health care reform (11%, up from 3% in September ), education and schools (7%), the state budget (6%), immigration (5%), or crime (4%) as the top issue . Californians are divided over the state’s overall direction, with 45 percent saying that things are going in the right direction and 46 percent saying that they are going in the wrong direction. Lik ely voters have somewhat more negative perceptions (55% wrong direction, 41% right direction). A year ago, Californians were similarly divided in their views (44% right direction, 50% wrong direction), while two years ago they were much more negative (30% right direction, 61% wrong direction). Today, Democrats (57%) are much more likely than independents (43%) and Republicans (20%) to say that things are going in the right direction. Half of those in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) and Los Angeles (51%) say right direction, but fewer say so in Orange/San Diego (45%), the Central Valley (39%), and the Inland Empire (38%). Half of Latinos (51%) and slightly fewer blacks (47%), Asians (45%) , and whites (43%) say that things are going in the right direction. “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 45% 57% 20% 43% 41% Wrong direction 46 36 75 49 55 Don’t know 8 7 5 8 4 In terms of economic conditions, 66 percent say that California is in a recession (22% serious, 33% moderate, 11% mild) and 30 percent say that it is not. The proportion saying that California is in a serious recession is much lower today (22%) than last fal l (40% October 2012) or two years ago (43% December 2011). As for the 12 -month economic outlook, 43 percent say the state will have good times and 48 percent say it will have bad times. Likely voters hold similar views (38% good times, 52% bad times). Cali fornians were similarly likely to predict good economic times this September (46%) and last December (41%) but much less likely to predict good economic times in December 2011 (31%). Today, Democrats (50%) and independents (44%) are far more likely than Republicans (23%) to expect good economic times ahead. San Francisco Bay Area residents (54%) are more likely than those in Los Angeles (44%), the Central Valley (43%), Orange/San Diego (41%) , or the Inland Empire (34%) to have a positive outlook. Fewer than half of Latinos (47%), blacks (45%), Asians (44%), and whites (41%) expect good economic times . Residents age 18 to 34 are more positive than older Californians. “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 43% 50% 23% 44% 38% Bad times 48 38 66 49 52 Don’t know 9 12 10 7 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION Four in 10 Californians consider their personal financial situation excellent (5%) or good (34%), while six in 10 say their situation is only fair (40%) or poor (20%). Californians were similarly likely to rate their fi nances as excellent or good in earlier years (35% December 2009, 33% December 2011, 39% today). Positive assessments increase sharply as income and education levels rise . Latinos (28%) and blacks (31%) are much less likely than Asians (44 %) or whites (49%) to rate their finances as excellent or good. In a sign that the economy has improved, slightly more than half of Californians (54%) say that they and their family are about the same financially as they were a year ago , while 22 percent say they are better off and 24 percent say they are worse off. In December 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession, 53 percent of Californians said they were worse off , while only 9 percent said they were better off and 36 percent said their finances were about the same. In December 2011, the share saying they were worse off had dropped to 35 percent , while 15 percent said they were better off and half (49%) said their financial situation was unchanged. In earlier surveys (beginning in 1998), Californians most often reported no change. Today, at least 48 percent of Californians across regions and demographic groups say their finances are about the same as last year . “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?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Better off 22% 20% 23% 27% 16% 21% 25% 21% Worse off 24 28 21 18 26 26 25 21 Just about the same 54 52 55 55 56 52 50 58 Don’t know 1 – 1 – 2 – – – Looking ahead to next year, most Californians think their financial situation will improve a lot (8%) or some (51%), while one in four say their situation will get a little worse (17%) or a lot worse (6%) and 15 percent volunteer that their situation will stay the same. Optimism has increased slightly in recent years (53% in December 2009 and December 2011, 59% today). Blacks (71%) are the most likely to be optimistic about their financial situation, followed by Latinos (67%), Asians (60%), and whites (51%). Younger Californians age 18 to 34 (74 %) are much more optimistic than those age 35 to 54 (60%) and far more optimistic than Californians age 55 and older (41%). About six in 10 across income and e ducation groups say their finances will improve at least some. Democrats (65%) are much more likely than independents (52%) or Republicans (44%) to be optimistic about their financial situation in the next year. Renters (66%) are much more likely than homeowners (52%) to be optimistic. “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?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Improve a lot 8% 8% 8% 8% 3% 21% 11% 6% Improve some 51 51 55 51 57 50 56 45 Get a little worse 17 16 14 17 21 12 11 20 Get a lot worse 6 7 6 2 4 3 5 7 Stay the same (volunteered) 15 13 15 18 11 5 12 21 Don’t know 4 5 1 4 3 9 5 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 INCOME INEQUALITY IN CALIFORNIA As the economy has struggled to recover after the Great Recession, attention has increasingly focused on income inequality. Today, a record -high 66 percent of Californians think that California is divided into haves and have -nots, while 30 percent think it is not divided that way. Still, results were similar in December 2011 (63% divided; 34% not divided) and September 2002 (61% divided; 34% n ot divided), while fewer thought the state was divided in January 1999 (56% divided; 41% not divided). More than six in 10 adults across age, education, and income groups think the state is divided into haves and have- nots . Most adults across racial/ethnic groups hold this view, but blacks (79%) and Latinos (70%) are slightly more likely than whites (64%) and Asians (59%) to say this. At least six in 10 across parties (71% Democrats, 64% independents, 60% Republicans) think California is divided into haves and have- nots. “Some people think that California is divided into economic groups, the haves and have-nots, while others think it is not divided that way. Do you think that California is divided into haves and have-nots, or do you think that California is not divided that way?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Divided into haves and have-nots 66% 68% 65% 67% 59% 79% 70% 64% Not divided this way 30 29 31 30 36 20 28 31 Don’t know 4 3 4 3 5 1 2 5 When asked to place themselves in either the haves or the have -nots, Californians are split (40% haves, 45 % h ave-nots ). Findings today are similar to those in December 2011 (39% haves, 48% have -nots) , but much different than in September 2002 (60% haves, 32% have -nots) and January 1999 (57% haves, 35% have -nots). There are vast differences in perceptions across income groups: those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (77%) are three times as likely as those in lower -income households (21%) to say they are part of the haves. Whites (55%) are the most likely racial/ethnic group to view themselves as haves , followed by Asians (45%), blacks (30%), and Latinos (24%). “If you had to choose, which of these groups are you in—the haves or have-nots?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites The haves 40% 21% 41% 77% 45% 30% 24% 55% The have-nots 45 67 41 14 38 54 67 31 Neither (volunteered) 9 7 14 6 7 3 5 10 Don’t know 5 5 4 3 10 12 4 4 Half of Californians (49%) think that government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equ al opportunity to get ahead , while 43 percent say people already have an equal opportunity. In December 2011, 54 percent said the government should do more, but fewer said this in January 1999 (45% do more) and September 2002 (43% do more). Most Democrats (58%) think the government should do more, while most Republicans (69%) say there is equal opportunity. Independents are more divided (49% have equal opportunity, 45% do more). The belief that government should do more is held by six in 10 Latinos (62%) and blacks (60%), while Asians (52% have equal opportunity, 45% do more) an d whites (47% have equal opportunity, 40% do more) are somewhat more likely to say people have an equal opportunity than to say the government should do more. The belief that government should do more decreases sharply as income increases. Among those who view themselves as part of the have- nots, 60 percent say government should do more. PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 TRUST IN STATE GOVERNMENT A strong majority of Californians continue to say that they trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is ri ght only some of the time (63%) or never (8%); one in four say it can be trusted just about always (5%) or most of the time (20%). Likely vote rs are even more distrustful (76% distrust, 23% trust). Distrust among all adults today is similar to our findings in May (66%) . At least six in 10 have expressed distrust since August 2002. While most across parties express distrust today , Republicans (82%) are more likely to do so than independents (74%) and Democrats (67%). More than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups think the state government can be trusted only some or none of the time. “How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Just about always 5% 5% – 1% 2% Most of the time 20 25 17 % 24 21 Only some of the time 63 64 63 62 64 None of the time (volunteered) 8 3 19 12 12 Don’t know 3 3 1 1 1 Strong majorities of adults (65%) and likely voters (71%) say that state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, while about one in four adults (25%) and likely voters (22%) say it is run for the benefit of all the people. Findings were similar in May (61% big interest s), and since we first asked this question in January 1999 at least six in 10 have held this view except in January 2002 (54%). Republicans (76%) and independents (70%) are more likely than Democrats (59%) to say state government is run by a few big interests. Inland Empire residents (74%) are the most likely —and San Francisco Bay Area residents (54%) the l east likely—to hold this view. Blacks (70%), Latinos (67%), and whites (67%) are much more likely than Asians (48%) to hold this view . Across age, education, and income groups, at least 58 percent say that the state government is run by a few big interests . Slightly more than half of Californians (54%) and six in 10 likely voters (60%) think the people in state government was te a lot of tax money. One in three (34% adults, 33% likely votes) say they was te some , and few think that state government doesn’t waste very much. Findings are nearly identical to those in May (54% a lot, 32% some) , and since February 2003 at least half have said a lot of taxpayer money is wasted. Republicans (70%) are much more likely than independents (55%) and Democrats (47%) to say that a lot of tax money is wasted. Majorities of blacks (58%), whites (56%) , and Latinos (55%) say a lot of tax es are wasted, while only 38 percent of Asians hold this view. “Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind A lot 54% 47% 70% 55% 60% Some 34 41 25 36 33 Don’t waste very much 6 8 3 4 6 Don’t know 5 4 2 5 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY With the June primary for governor still seven months away, and with Governor Brown likely to run, it should not be too surprising that only one in four likely voters are closely following news (5% very, 17% fairly) about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election; three in four are following news not too (40%) or not at all (37%) closely. California will be using the top- two primary system in a gubernatorial election for the first time in 2014. In our question about the primary, we included Brown and the two Republican candidates. If the primary were held today, Governor Brown, with the support of 46 percent of likely voters, and Tim Donnelly, with the support of 16 percent of likely voters, would advance to the November general election. Seven percent of likely voters support Abel Maldonado and 29 percent are unsure. Most Democratic likely voters (75%) support Governor Brown, while Republican likely voters are more divided (36% Donnelly, 15% Mald onado, 12% Brown, 36% unsure). A plurality of independent likely voters support Brown (42%), while 31 percent are unsure and fewer support Donnelly (17%) or Maldonado (8%). Across regions, pluralities of likely voters would vote for Governor Brown, except in the Inland Empire, wh ere they are as likely to be unsure (40%) as to favor Governor Brown (39%). Governor Brown has the support of pluralities of Latinos (50%) and whites (44%), but more than one in four in both groups are unsure. ( Sample sizes for Asian and black likely voters are too small for separate analysis .) A plurality of likely voters across age, education, and income groups support Governor Brown, although at least 22 percent in each group are unsure of who m they will support. Half of women (50%) and four in 10 men (42%) support Brown, but three in 10 in both groups are undecided. “As you may know, California now has a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes— regardless of party—will advance to the general election. If the primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Jerry Brown, a Democrat 46% 75% 12% 42% 50% 44% Tim Donnelly, a Republican 16 4 36 17 16 20 Abel Maldonado, a Republican 7 2 15 8 8 6 Someone else (volunteered) 1 1 1 3 – 1 Don’t know 29 18 36 31 26 29 Four in 10 likely voters are satisfied with their choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June , 32 percent are not satisfied, and 29 percent are unsure. Half of Democratic lik ely voters (52%) are satisfied. Republicans are as likely to be satisfi ed (31%) as dissatisfied (33%), and 35 percent are unsure. Independent likely voters are somewhat more likely to be dissatisfied (43%) than satisfied (34%); 23 percent are unsure. Latino likely voters ( 49%) are more likely than white likely voters (38%) to be satisfied. Satisfaction is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (46%) and lowest in the Inland Empire (34%). “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 Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Satisfied 40% 52% 31% 34% 49% 38% Not satisfied 32 23 33 43 25 31 Don’t know 29 24 35 23 26 31 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 FAVORABILITY OF CANDIDATES Most California likely voters have some opinion of Governor Brown (46% favorable, 40% unfavorable), but no opinion of California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (15% haven’t heard of him, 70% don’t know enough to have an opinion) or former California Lieutenant Governor Abe l Maldonado (11% haven’t heard of him, 61% don’t know enough to have an opinion). By comparison, in December 2009 likely voters were as likely to view Jerry Brown favorably (35%) as unfavorably (36%), while three in 10 had not heard of him (3%) or didn’t know enough to have an opinion (26%). Seven in 10 Democratic likely voters (69%) currently have a favorable opinion of Governor Brown, while seven in 10 Republican likely voters (71%) have an unfavorable opinion of him. Independent likely voters are divided (42% favorable, 47% unfavorable). Governor Brown is viewed favorably by 45 percent of Latino and white likely voters—however, 45 percent of whit e likely voters also have an unfavorable opinion of him. Among Latino likely voters 21 percent have an unfavorable opinion, but 33 percen t don’t know enough to have an opinion. Across regions, Governor Brown is viewed most favorably by likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (54%), while he is viewed unfavorably by pluralities of likely voters in Orange/San Diego (48%), the Inland Empire (48%), and the Central Valley (51%). Half of female likely voters view Governor Brown favorably, wh ile male likely voters are about as likely to view him favorably (42%) as unfavorably (46%). More than six in 10 likely voters across parties, regions, and demographic groups either haven’t heard of Tim Donnelly or Abel Maldonado or don’t know enough to have an opinion of them. About one in four Republican (23%) and independent (26%) likely voters have an unfavorable opinion of Abel Maldonado. “Please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the se candidates for governor, or don’t you know enough about him to have an opinion? How about…? Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Jerry Brown, California Governor? Favorable 46% 69% 18% 42% 45% 45% Unfavorable 40 14 71 47 21 45 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 1 2 – – – – Don’t know enough to have an opinion 13 15 11 11 33 10 Tim Donnelly, California State Assemblyman? Favorable 7 7 8 7 6 7 Unfavorable 8 8 5 9 9 9 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 15 16 13 14 18 16 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 70 68 74 69 67 69 Abel Maldonado, former California Lieutenant Governor? Favorable 10 9 9 5 10 8 Unfavorable 19 12 23 26 17 20 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 11 12 9 12 14 11 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 61 66 59 56 59 61 December 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of President Obama (51%) matches the record low from September 2011 and approval of Congress (18%) has dropped below 20 percent for the first time. In a near reversal of opinion since Januar y, 57 percent say the U.S. is going in the wrong direction and 48 percent expect bad times financially. (page s 15, 16 )  Three in four Californians say the federal government in Washington can be trusted to do what is right only some of the time or never. Three in four say federal government is run by a few big interests and six in 10 say it wastes a lot of taxpayer money. ( page 17)  Approval of the way bo th President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling ha s fallen since January. Three in four say it is likely that another government shutdown will occur in January. (page 18)  Californians are divided on the 2010 health reform bill ; most (68%) are aware that there is a health care exchange in California . ( page 19)  Fifty -two percent of Californians view the Democratic Party favorably ; similar shares view the Republican Party and the Tea Party unfavorably. (page 21 )  Californians are divided on which party could do a better job of handling the economy and federal budget deficit, but pluralities say the Democratic Party can better handle health care and immigration. (page 22 )  Half of likely voters prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats as the outcome of next year’s elections . ( page 23 ) 72 615955565156 6362 51 47 38 31313027222631 18 0 20 40 60 80 100 May09Dec09May10Oct10Mar11Sep11May12Oct12May13Dec13 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 33 444944 0 20 40 60 80 100 Adults nationwide*Californians Percent all adults Favorable Unfavorable Attitudes towardthe Health Reform Bill *Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, November2013 49 39 84 Congress controlled by Democrats Congress controlled by Republicans Neither (vol) Don't know Preferred Outcomeof 2014 Congressional Elections Likely voters PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating among Californians (51%) matches a record low from September 2011 and is down 10 points since July (61%). His approval rating among adults nationwide has also slipped: a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found 42 percent approving (55% disapproving), down 7 points from July (49% approve, 44% disapprove). Although some of the overall decline is likely associated with the fumbled implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s rating among Californians was not much higher in September (55%) , before enrollment in health care exchanges began. Likely voters are divided (48% approve, 50% disapprove) and their approval is also near a record low. Since July, approval has dropped by double digits among both Democrats (86% July, 80% September, 76% today) and Republicans (24% July, 19% September, 12% today). Approval among independents (46%) has held steady. Across regions, about six in 10 express approval in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) and Los Angeles (57%), while closer to four in 10 approve in the Inland Empire (44%), Orange/San Diego (44%), and the Central Valley (42%). An overwhelming majority of blacks (86%) approve of the president’s job performance; smaller majorities of Asians (57%) and Latinos (55%) agree. A majority of whites disapprove (43% approve, 55% disapprove). Eight in 10 (80%) of those who have favorable opinions of the he alth care law approve of President Obama, and a similar share (78%) of those with unfavorable opinions of the health care law disapprove of the president. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 51% 76% 12% 46% 48% Disapprove 45 20 86 49 50 Don ’t know 4 4 1 5 2 More than a month after the federal government shutdown and the showdown over raising the debt ceiling, a record low 18 percent of Californians approve of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job. The previous low of 20 percent was recorded two years ago in December 2011. Approval h as dropped 12 points since July and 10 points just since September (30% July, 28% September, 18% today). In a recent Gallup Poll, only 9 percent of adults nationwide said they approved of Congress (86% disapproved). In our current survey, approval among likely voters (10%) is near the record low of 9 percent recorded in December 2011. Since July, approval has declined 8 points (18% July, 18% September, 10% today). Fewer than one in five voters across parties approve of Congress , and solid majorities of Californians across regions and demographic groups disapprove. The highest approval ratings are found among Latinos (31%), those ages 18 to 34 (26%), those with only a high school education or less (27%), and those with household incomes und er $40,000 (26%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 18% 17% 10% 13% 10% Disapprove 76 76 86 85 86 Don ’t know 6 7 4 2 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 16 OVERALL MOOD Most Californians say things in the U.S. are generally going in the wrong direction (35% right direction, 57% wrong direction). Findings today mark a near reversal of opinion since January , shortly after the 2012 presidential election (56% rig ht direction , 39% wrong direction) ; attitudes were similar leading up to the 2010 mid -term elections (October 2010: 36% right direction , 58% wrong direction). I n the ABC News /Washington Post poll , adults nationwide were even more negative: 27 percent right direction, 70 percent wrong track. Among likely voters, 32 percent say the country is headed in the right direction; o ptimism was higher in January (47% right direction). Most Republicans (86%) and independents (6 4%) say things are going in the wrong direction, while Democrats are divided (49% right direction, 45% wrong direction). Across regions, residents are more pessimistic than optimistic about the country’s direction, but those in the Central Valley (69%), Inland Empire (61%), and Orange/San Diego (61%) are more likely to say wrong direction than those in Los Angeles (51%) or the San Francisco Bay Area (48%). Whites (65%) are the most negative among racial/ethnic groups, but slim majorities of blacks and Latinos are also negative (53% each ). Asians are divided (44% right direction, 41% wrong direction). Pessimism increases as age increases , and those on the lower (57%) and upper (62%) ends of the income scale are more likely than those in the middle (49%) to sa y things are going in the wrong direction. “Do you think 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 35% 49% 12% 31% 32% Wrong direction 57 45 86 64 63 Don’t know 7 7 2 5 4 Californians are divided on the economic outlook for the country: 43 percent say the U.S. will have good times financially in the next 12 months, while 48 percent expect bad times. Findings were similar in October 2012 (45% good times, 46% bad times). Likely voters (38% good, 55% bad) are more negative than all adults. Democrats (55%) are much more likely than independents (37%) and Republicans (18%) to expect good times. Across regions, 55 percent of Centr al Valley, Orange/San Diego, and Inland Empire residents say the U.S. will experience bad times. Residents are more optimistic in the San Francisco Bay Area (50% good, 38% bad) and Los Angeles (49% good, 40% bad). While a majority of whites expect bad time s (34% good, 56% bad), majorities of blacks (57% good, 32% bad) and Asians (53% good, 37% bad) expect good times. Latinos are more divided (49% good, 43% bad). Californians’ opinion of the economic outlook for the nation (43% good, 48% bad) mirrors their o utlook on the state (43% good, 48% bad), but they are more pessimistic about the country ’s direction (35% right direction, 57% wrong direction) than about the state’s (45% right direction, 46% wrong direction). “Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 43% 55% 18% 37% 38% Bad times 48 36 75 51 55 Don’t know 9 9 7 13 7 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 TRUST IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT In the aftermath of the government shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations, trust in the federal government remains low among Californians. Only 24 percent say they can trust it to do what is right just about always (6%) or most of the ti me (18%); this marks a 7 point decline since October 2012 (7% just about always, 24% most of the time) , and is near the record low of 20 percent recorded in December 20 11 (6% just about always, 14 % most of the time). Seventy-five percent trust the federal government only some or none of the time. Among likely voters, only 16 percent express trust in the federal government (2% just about always, 14% most of the time), while 83 percent seldom or never trust it. Strong majorities across parties (88% Republicans, 81% independents, 72% Democrats), regions, and demographic groups say they trust the federal government only some or none of the time. “How much of the time do you think you can trust the federal government in Washington to do what is right ?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Just about always 6% 5% 2% 3% 2% Most of the time 18 21 11 13 14 Only some of the time 65 67 71 66 71 None of the time (volunteered) 10 5 17 15 12 Don’t know 2 2 – 2 1 Californians also hold cynical views about the role special interests play in Washington: 73 percent say the federal government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, while just 22 percent say it is run for the benefit of all of the peop le. Here again, levels of trust are near the record low recorded in October 2008 (74% run by big interests, 20% run for the people). In October 2012, 67 percent said the federal government was run by big interests looking out for themselves. Today, a strong majority of likely voters (80%) hold this view, as do strong majorities across parties (86% Republicans, 74% independents, 69% Democrats). At least two in three across regions and demographic groups (except Asians , 57%) say the federal government is run by big interests. Distrust also extends to perceptions of fiscal waste. Six in 10 Californians (61%) say the people in the federal government waste a lot of taxpayer money and another 30 percent say it wastes some money . Only 5 percent say it does not waste much. Findings were similar in October 2012 (57% wastes a lot, 35% wastes some). Cynicism was much higher in October 2008 , when a record-high 74 percent said a lot of money is wasted . M ajorities across parties say a lot of taxpayer money is wasted, but Republicans (78%) are much more likely than independents (66%) or Democrats (57%) to hold this view. Majorities across regions and demographic groups —-except Asians (47%) —think a lot of tax dollars are wasted. “Do you think the people in the federal government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind A lot 61% 57% 78% 66% 69% Some 30 35 18 29 26 Don’t waste very much 5 4 4 3 3 Don’t know 4 4 – 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT In the aftermath of the shutdown, approval of the way both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling has dipped. Approval of President Obama’s handling of these issues has declined 14 points since January (56% January, 46% September, 42% today) and approval of congressional Republicans in this area is down 9 points (26% January, 27% September, 17% December). A majority of likely voters (54 %) disapprove of the way Obama i s handling the deficit and debt ceiling ( 42% approve), and a strong majority (78%) disapprove of Republicans (17 % approve). Voters are deeply divided along party lines about the way President Obama is handling the se issues: nine in 10 Republicans (89%) dis approve, while two in three Democrats (66%) approve. A majority of independents (55%) disapprove. When it comes to the way congressional Republicans are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, solid majorities across parties disapprove (85% Democrat s, 78% independents, 63% Republicans). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…is/are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind President Obama Approve 42% 66% 9% 38% 42% Disapprove 49 27 89 55 54 Don ’t know 8 7 2 7 4 Republicans in Congress Approve 17 8 30 15 17 Disapprove 72 85 63 78 78 Don ’t know 11 6 7 7 5 The bill that ended the October government shutdown funds the government through January 15. Reflecting their lack of trust in the federal government, a n overwhelming 74 percent of Californians and likely voters think it is at least somewhat likely (33% very likely, 41% somewhat likely) that the government will shut down again at that time. The expectation t hat government will shut down again was similar among adults nationwide (37% very likely, 34% somewhat likely) in an October poll by CNN/O RC. A cross parties , three in four expect another shutdown. More than two in three across regions and demographic groups think another government shutdown i s at least somewhat likely. Two-thirds (68%) of those who approve of the president’s handling of the situation expect another shutdown ; 72 percent of those who approve of congressional Republicans’ handling of these issues also expect a shutdown. “The bill that ended the government shutdown funds the government through January 15, but unless Congress and the President agree on a plan to fund the government for a longer period, the government will shut d own again at that time. How likely do you think it is that the federal government will shut down again in January: very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Very likely 33% 32% 33% 38% 33% Somewhat likely 41 44 44 37 41 Not too likely 15 15 15 13 19 Not at all likely 8 7 6 10 6 Don’t know 4 2 1 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 HEALTH CARE REFORM Californians are divided in their assessment of the 2010 health reform law (44% favorable, 44% unfavorable). According to a November Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide were less positive (3 3% favorable, 4 9% unfavorable). In response to a similar question asked in previous PPIC surveys , around half of Californians supported changes enacted by the law. There are deep partisan differences: 60 percent of Democrats view the law favorably, while 80 percent of Republicans view it unfavorably. Half of independents hold unfavorable views. A majority of blacks (59%) and pluralities of Latinos (49%) and Asians (44%) have favorable opinions; half of whites (52%) have unfavorable opinion s. Half of Californians without health insurance view the law favorably and those with health insurance are divided. “As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?” Favorable Unfavorable Don’t know All adults 44% 44% 13% Likely voters 42 51 7 Party Democrat 60 25 14 Republican 13 80 6 Independent 40 51 9 Race/Ethnicity Asians 44 33 23 Blacks 59 31 10 Latinos 49 38 13 Whites 39 52 9 Household income Under $40,000 45 41 15 $40,000 to $80,000 41 46 13 $80,000 or more 48 44 9 Have health insurance Yes 43 43 14 No 50 43 7 A strong majority of Californians (68%) —and more than six in 10 across parties, regions, and demographic groups —correctly say that there is a health insurance exchange in the state. Among the uninsured, six in 10 are aware of the insurance e xchange, but nearly one in five say there is no exchange and another one in five are unsure. When uninsured Californians were asked whether they will obtain insurance by 2014 in accordance with the new law or pay a fine, 66 percent say they will get health insurance, 24 percent say they will remain uninsured, and 11 percent are unsure. In a nationwide Gallup poll, 62 percent of un insured adults say they will get insurance, 30 percent will remain uninsured, and 8 percent are unsure. “As you may know, as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to com pare plans and purchase health insurance. From what you've read and heard is there a health insurance exchange available to people in California, or not?” All adults Household i ncome Have health insurance Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Yes No Yes, there is an exchange 68% 64% 70% 80% 70% 63% No, there is not an exchange 14 16 14 7 12 19 Don’t know 18 20 16 13 18 18 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 POVERTY Sixty-three percent of Californians agree (24% completely, 39% mostly) with the statement that the government is responsible for taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves; 34 percent disagree (22% mostly, 12% completely). Californians have consistently agreed that taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves is the government’s responsibility (63% September 1998, 69% February 2004, 68% January 2006, 66% June 2007, 63% today). Three in four Democrats view this as the government’s res ponsibility, slightly more than half of Republicans disagree (55%), and independents are divided (52% agree, 47% disagree). Blacks (81%) are much more likely than Latinos (67%), Asians (64%), or whites (59%) to have this belief. Those earning less than $40 ,000 (68%) are somewhat more likely than middle -income (59%) and upper -income (61%) groups to hold this view. Solid majorities across regions, age, and education groups hold this view. “Thinking about the issue of poverty, do you agree or disagree with the following statement: It is the responsibility of government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. Do you completely agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree, or completely disagree with this statement?” All adults Party Household income Dem Rep Ind Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Completely agree 24% 32% 7% 17% 32% 21% 14% Mostly agree 39 43 34 35 36 38 47 Mostly disagree 22 14 37 32 16 27 25 Completely disagree 12 6 18 15 12 11 12 Don’t know 3 5 4 1 4 3 1 When asked about the role of government benefits in the lives of poor people, half of Californians (51%) agree with the view that poor people have hard lives because these benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently, while 35 percent agree with the view that poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return. In the six surveys that included this question, more than half have agreed that poor people have hard lives, with the highest share choosing this statement in June 2007 (59%) and the lowest share in January 2006 and today (51% each). Likely voters are divided (40% easy, 46% hard). Democrats view poor people’s lives as hard (65%), Republicans think the poor have it easy (61%), and independents are divided (43% easy, 42% hard). A majority of those earning less than $40,000 (57%) think poor people have hard lives despite government benefits . Those with incomes of $40,000 and above lean slightly toward agreeing that poor people’s lives are hard (47% hard; 40% easy ). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (56%) are the most likely, and those in Orange/San Diego (46%) the least likely , to say that poor people have hard lives. Blacks overwhelmingly say that poor people have hard lives (71%), as do six in 10 Latinos (61%) and half of Asians (53%), while whites are divided (42% easy, 42% hard). “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. Poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return, or poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.” All adults Party Household income Dem Rep Ind Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Poor people have it easy 35% 22% 61% 43% 30% 41% 40% Poor people have hard lives 51 65 24 42 57 46 48 Neither (volunteered) 8 8 10 11 6 10 9 Don’t know 6 5 5 5 7 3 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 POLITICAL PARTY FAVORABILITY When it comes to their impressions of the two major parties, a slim majority (52%) view the Democratic Party favorably (39% unfavorable), while a majority (57%) view the Republican party unfavorably (33% favorable). A slim majority (52%) of Californians also have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, and they are as likely to be unsure (25%) as to view it favorably (23%). Likely voters are more likely than all adults to have unfavorable impressions of all three. Findings among all adults were fairly similar in March 2013 and October 2012. In an October CNN/ORC survey at least half of adults nationwide had unfavorable impressions of the Democratic Party (43% favorable, 51% unfavorable) , the Republican Party (30% favorable, 64% unfavorable), and the Tea Party (28% favorable, 56% unfavorable). While strong majorities of partisans view their own party favorably, Democrats are more likely to express favorable opinions of the Democratic Party (77%) than Republicans are of the Republican Party (66%). Three in four Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while half of Republicans view it favo rably. A strong majority of i ndependents (68%) view the Republican Party unfavorably; smaller majorities also view the Democratic Party (55%) and the Tea Party (56%) unfavorably. “ Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the…” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Democratic Party? Favorable 52% 77% 16% 39% 47% Unfavorable 39 18 81 55 50 Don't know 9 4 3 5 3 Republican Party? Favorable 33 13 66 26 32 Unfavorable 57 81 31 68 65 Don't know 11 6 3 5 4 The political movement known as the Tea Party? Favorable 23 6 50 29 26 Unfavorable 52 74 37 56 63 Don't know 25 20 12 14 11 H alf (49%) of Californians say that the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job that a third major party is needed, while 37 percent say they do an adequate job of r epresenting the American people and 13 percent are unsure. Since October 2012 about half of Californians have said tha t a third major party is needed . Independents (70%) are far more likely than Republicans (53%) and Democrats (48%) to express a need for a third party. A majority of whites (55%) and pluralities of blacks (46%) and Asians (43%) say a third party is needed; Latinos are divided (44% adequate job, 45% third party needed) . “In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Adequate job 37% 39% 33% 24% 32% Third party is needed 49 48 53 70 56 Don't know 13 13 15 6 12 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 PARTY PERCEPTIONS We asked which party could do a better job of handling four key national issues: the economy, the federal budget, health care, and immigration. C alifornians offer divided opinions on the handling of the economy (39% Republican Party, 40% Democrat Party ) and the federal budget (38% Republican Party, 39% Democratic Party). They are more likely to prefer the Democratic Party over the Republican Party on the issue s of health care (33% Republican Party, 45% Democratic Party) and immigration (33% Republican Party, 44% Democratic Party). In an October Pew Research Center survey, adults nationwide were som ewhat more likely to think that the Republican Party (44%) could better handle the economy (37% Democratic Party ), while they were divided on immigration (40% Republican Party, 39% Democratic Party). Likely voters are divided on which party could better handle the economy, the federal budget, and immigration ; they are more likely to prefer the Democratic Party on health care. In March 2008, likely voters had similar preferences on the issue of immigration , but a greater share of likely voters thought the Democratic Party would better handle health care (59% then to 47% today) and the economy (50% then to 41% today). A t least six in 10 Democrats and Republicans prefer their own part y on each of these issues. Independents are much more likely to prefer the R epublican Party on the economy and the federal budget, while they are more likely to prefer the Democratic Party on health care and immigration. “Which party could do a better job of handling…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Economy Republican Party 39% 16% 83% 46% 45% Democratic Party 40 68 8 32 41 Both equally (volunteered) 6 6 2 4 4 Neither (volunteered) 7 5 2 11 7 Don't know 8 5 4 6 3 Federal budget Republican Party 38 12 79 47 42 Democratic Party 39 74 8 31 42 Both equally (volunteered) 6 5 2 3 3 Neither (volunteered) 7 4 5 12 9 Don't know 9 5 5 7 3 Health care Republican Party 33 15 67 32 36 Democratic Party 45 70 13 46 47 Both equally (volunteered) 4 4 2 2 3 Neither (volunteered) 8 5 11 14 11 Don't know 10 7 7 7 4 Immigration Republican Party 33 20 69 31 39 Democratic Party 44 60 16 42 42 Both equally (volunteered) 5 6 5 4 5 Neither (volunteered) 8 6 5 15 9 Don't know 10 9 6 9 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS Looking ahead to next year’s congressional elections, likely voters are more likely to say they would prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats (49%) than one controlled by Republicans (39%). Eight percent volunteer that they prefer neither party control Congress. Findings were nearly identical in October 2012, just before the November election (52% Democratic control, 39% Republican control). In October 2010 , l eading up to the last mid -term elections, likely voters were closely divided (45% Democratic cont rol, 43% Republican control). Not surprisingly, the vast majority of partisan voters prefer that their own party control Congress. Among independents, 45 percent would prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats , while 37 percent would prefer a Republican -controlled Congress . Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) are the most likely across regions to prefer that Democrats control Congress, followed by those in Los Angeles (55%). A majority of likely voters in the Inland Empire (57%) would prefer Republicans to control Congress. Likely voters are more divided in the Central Valley (48% Republican control, 42% Democratic control) and Orange/San Diego (43% Republican control, 43% Democratic control). Latino likely voters are more likely to prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats (52%) than one controlled by Republicans (31%), while whites are divided (45% Republican control, 44% Democratic control). “What is your preference for the outcome of next year's congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Controlled by Republicans 39% 9% 85% 37% 31% 45% Controlled by Democrats 49 81 10 45 52 44 Neither (volunteered) 8 7 3 15 12 8 Don't know 4 3 2 3 5 3 Likely voters offer mixed views on whether it is better for the president’s political party to have a controlling majority in Congress (26%) or for one party to control the White House and the other party to control Congress (29%); 36 percent say it doesn’t matter too much one way or the other. P references among likely voters were similar the last time this question was asked in September 2000 (27% president’s party controls Congress, 31% one party controls each, 36% doesn’t matter too much). While Democratic likely voters are the most prone to prefer Congress be controlled by the president’s political par ty (36%), they are just as likely to say it doesn’t matter much either way (34%). Republicans and independents are as likely to prefer that one party controls the White House and the other Congress as to say it doesn’t really matter. Latino likely voters are much more likely than whites to say it does not really matter (48% to 33%). “Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites President’s party control Congress 26% 36% 19% 19% 19% 25% One party controls each 29 21 37 36 26 31 Don’t think it matters too much 36 34 37 38 48 33 Don't know 9 9 7 7 7 10 December 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP December 2013 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 Dean Bonner , project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Sonja Petek and Jui Shrestha. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its ow n advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,701 California adult residents, including 1,190 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 int erviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from November 12–19 , 2013. 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 bi ases in age and gender. Cell phones 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 Ca lifornia 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). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who hav e cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI , we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009– 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Int egrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample —region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state- level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics —which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS— and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secr etary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,701 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1, 379 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4 percent; for the 1, 081 likely voters, it is ±4.5 percent; for the 242 uninsured adults, it is ± 8.8%. Sampling error is 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 five 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 Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adul ts, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results for non- Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and non- Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of l ikely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC/Washington Post, CNN/ORC International, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Pew Research Center . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . December 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT November 12– 19, 2013 1701 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 6% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 D UE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thin king about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 44% jobs, economy 11 health care, health reform 7 education, schools 6 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 immigration, illegal immigration 4 crime, gangs, drugs 3 government in general 3 infrastructure 12 other 5 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 47% approve 28 disapprove 25 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 38% approve 43 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 45% right direction 46 wrong direction 8 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 43% good times 48 bad times 9 don’t know 5a. 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?) 22% yes, serious recession 33 yes, moderate recession 11 yes, mild recession 30 no 4 don’t know Now thinking about your own personal finances… 6. 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? 5% excellent 34 good 40 only fair 20 poor 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 28 6a. 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? 22% better off 24 worse off 54 same 1 don’t know 7. Over the course of the next year, do you think the fina ncial situation of you and your family will improve a lot, improve some, get a little worse, or get a lot worse? 8% improve a lot 51 improve some 17 get a little worse 6 get a lot worse 15 stay the same (volunteered) 4 don’t know 8. Some people think that California is divided into economic groups, the haves and have - nots, while others think it is not divided that way. Do you think that California is divided into haves and have -nots, or do you think that California is not divided that way? 66% divided into haves and have- nots 30 not divided that way 4 don’t know 9. If you had to choose, which of these groups are you in— the haves or have -nots? 40% haves 45 have -nots 9 neither (volunteered) 5 don’t know 9a. Do you think that in California today [rotate] (1) all people have an equal opportunity to get ahead, [or] (2) the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead. 43% people have equal opportunity 49 government should do more 1 both (volunteered) 4 neither (volunteered) 3 don’t know 1 0. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are reg istered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q1 0a] 31 no [skip to q1 1b] 10 a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 43% Democrat [ask q1 1] 29 Republican [skip to q1 1a] 6 another party (specify) [skip to q12] 22 independent [skip to q11b] 1 1. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 55% strong 44 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q12] 11a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 51% strong 45 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q1 2] 11b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 20% Republican Party 42 Democratic Party 30 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know 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 to have an opinion? [ rotate questions 12 to 14] [questions 12 –17 reported for likely voters] PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 12. [likely voters only] H ow about Jerry Brown, California governor ? 46% favorable 40 unfavorable 1 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 13 don’t know enough to have an opinion 13. [likely voters only] How about Tim Donnelly, California state assemblyman ? 7% favorable 8 unfavorable 15 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 70 don’t know enough to have an opinion 14. [likely voters only] How about Abel Maldonado, former California l ieutenant governor ? 10% favorable 19 unfavorable 11 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 61 don’t know enough to have an opinion 15. [likely voters only] As you may know, California now has a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes —regardless of party —will advance to the general election. If the 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?] 46% Jerry Brown, a Democrat 16 Tim Do nnelly, a Republican 7 Abel Maldonado, a Republican 1 someone else (specify) 29 don’t know 16. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 5% very closely 17 fairly closely 40 not too closely 37 not at all closely 1 don’t know 17. [likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June? 40% satisfied 32 not satisfied 29 d on’t know Changing topics, 18. How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right —just about always, most of the time, or only some of the tim e? 5% just about always 20 most of the time 63 only some of the time 8 none of the time (volunteered) 3 don’t know 19. Would you say the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people? 65% a few big interests 25 benefit of all of the people 10 don’t know 20. Do you think the people in state governm ent waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 54% a lot 34 som e 6 don’t waste very much 5 don’t know 21. 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? 51% approve 45 disapprove 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 30 22. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 18% approve 76 disapprove 6 don’t know 23. Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 35% right direction 57 wrong direction 7 don’t know 24. Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 43% good times 48 bad times 9 d on’t know 25. Next, how much of the time do you think you can trust the federal government in Washington today to do what is right —just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 6% just about always 18 most of the time 65 only some of the time 10 none of the time (volunteered) 2 don’t know 26. Would you say the federal government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the b enefit of all of the people? 73% a few big interests 22 benefit of all of the people 6 don’t know 27. Do you think the people in the federal government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 61% a lo t 30 some 5 don’t waste very much 4 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 28 and 29] 28. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 42% approve 49 disapprove 8 don’t know 29. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 17% approve 72 disapprove 11 don’t know 29a.The bill that ended the government shutdown funds the government through January 15th, but unless Congress and the president agree on a plan to fund the government for a longer period, the government will shut down again at that time. How likely do you thi nk it is that the federal government will shut down again in January — v ery likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all? 33% very likely 41 somewhat likely 15 not too likely 8 not at all likely 4 don’t know 30. As you may know, a healt h reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a [rotate] (1) [generally favorable] [or] (2) [generally unfavorable] opinion of it? 44% favorable 44 unfavorable 13 don’ t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 31 31. As you may know , as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to compare plans and purchase health insurance. From what you've read and heard is there a health insurance exchange available to people in California, or not? 68% there is an exchange 14 there is not an exchange 18 don’t know 32. [likely voters only] What is your preference for the outcome of next year's congressional elections: [rotate] a Congress controlled by Republicans [or] a Congress controlled by Democrats? 39% controlled by Republicans 49 controlled by Democrats 8 neither (volunteered) 4 don’t know 33. [likely voters only] Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other? 26% p resident’s party controls Congress 29 one party controls each 36 don’t think it matters too much 9 don’t know Next, 34. Thinking about the issue of poverty, do you agree or disagree with the following statement: It is the responsibility of government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. Do you completel y agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree, or completely disagree with this statement? 24% completely agree 39 mostly agree 22 mostly disagree 12 completely disagree 3 don’t know 35. Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return; [or] (2) poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enou gh to help them live decently. 35% poor people have it easy 51 poor people have hard lives 8 neither (volunteered) 6 don’t know Next, please tell me if you think the [rotate] (1) Republican Party [or] the (2) Democratic Party could do a better job of handling each of these national issues. First, [rotate questions 36 to 38] 36. Which party could do a better job of handling health care? 33% Republican Party 45 Democratic Party 4 b oth equally (volunteered) 8 n either (volunteered) 10 don’t know 36a. Which party could do a better job of handling the economy? 39% Republican Party 40 Democratic Party 6 b oth equally (volunteered) 7 n either (volunteered) 8 don’t know 37. Which party could do a better job of handling the federal budget? 38% Republican Party 39 Democratic Party 6 b oth equa lly (volunteered) 7 n either (volunteered) 9 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 38. Which party could do a better job of handling immigration? 33% Republican Party 44 Democratic Party 5 b oth equally (volunteered) 8 n either (volunteered) 10 don’t know Changing topics, [rotate questions 39 and 40] 39. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Democratic Party? 52% favorable 39 unfavorable 9 d on’t know 40. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party? 33% favorable 57 unfavorable 11 don’t know 41. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party? 23% favorable 52 U nfavorable 25 don’t know 42. In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed? 37% adequate job 49 third party is needed 13 don’t know 43 . Next, would you consider yoursel f to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 21 somewhat liberal 30 middle -of -the -road 20 somewhat conservative 14 very conservative 4 don’t know 44 . Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 18% great deal 34 fair amount 38 only a little 9 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d6a: demographic questions] D6b.[of those who do not have health insurance] As you may know, the 2010 health care law requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance by 2014 or else pay a fine. Do you think you will obtain health insurance in 2014, or do you think you will remain uninsured? 66% will obtain health insurance 24 will remain uninsured 11 don’t know [d7 to d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Vice President-Research Pew Research Center Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson Presid ent and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento 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 Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company 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 decision makers 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 policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas 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 copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 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 CENT ER 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-2013/s_1213mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8891) ["ID"]=> int(8891) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:50" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4322) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(9) "S 1213MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(9) "s_1213mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(13) "S_1213MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "433511" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(95041) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 14 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 their government DECEMBER 2013 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha i T December 2013 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy- free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. This is the 138 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 290,000 Californians. This is the 59 th in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. The sur vey was conducted in the month after the Affordable Care Act enrollment began and as a national debate about the implementation of the online health insurance marketplace was taking place. In the wake of the 16 -day government shutdown, a bipar tisan conference committee began meeting to avert another debt cei ling crisis and government shutdown. As Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients cope with newly reduced benefits , Congress is seeking a compromise on a farm bill that both funds SNAP and provides assistance to farmers . At the state leve l, the 2014 gubernatorial election is entering its initial stage. Jerr y Brown has not officially announced that he is seeking reelection, but two Republican challengers have entered the race. Also, Governor Brown and the legislature are searching for a solution to prison overcrowding. Looking ahead to Januar y, Governor Brown can anticipate a rosier budget situation compared with recent years and legislative leaders have begun discussing next year’s legislative agenda. In this context, this sur vey presents the responses of 1,701 adult residents throughout California, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including overall mood; approval rat ings of state elected officials; assessment s of current and future personal finances; perceptions of income inequality and preferences for government involvement in economic mobility; trust in state government; likely voters’ preferences for governor in the 2014 June primar y; favorability ratings of candidates and satisfaction with candidate choices; and attention to news about the candidates.  Federal government, including overall mood; approval ratings of federal elected officials; assessment of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; trust in federal government; views on healthcare reform and awareness of the Covered California online health insurance exchange; perceptions of the role of government in alleviating poverty; opinions of the major political par ties’ handling of health care, the economy, the federal budget, and immigration; perceptions of the political par ties, incuding whether a third party is needed; and preferred outcome of the 2014 congressional elections .  Tim e trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government based on political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. December 2013 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 4, 2013. 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 Residents Split on Health Reform Law—Most Are Aware of State Exchange JOB APPROVAL FALLS FOR OBAMA, CONGRESS BUT HOLDS STEADY FOR BRO WN, LEGISLATURE SAN FRANCISCO , December 4, 2013 —Most Californians are aware of the state health care exchange, and a majority of those without insurance say they plan to get it by 2014. But residents are divided in their assessment of the Affordable Care Act itself. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The survey —conducted in the month after the beginning of enrollment under the law —finds t hat 68 percent of Californians correctly say there is a health insurance exchange available to people in the state. About a third say that there is not (14%) or don’t know (18%). Across parties, regions, and demographic groups, s olid majorities are aware of the state insurance exchange. Among the unins ured, 63 percent are aware of it (19% say there is no exchange, 18% don’t know). When uninsured residents are asked if they will get health insurance in accordance with the law or pay a fine, 66 percent say they will get insurance. A quarter (24%) say they will remain uninsured, and 11 percent are uncertain. Enrollment of younger, relatively healthy residents is considered important to the law’s success . In the survey, uninsured residents 18 –44 years old are far more likely to say they will get in insurance (72%) than are those age 45 years or older (51%). Yet Californians are split in their view of the law itself : 44 percent favor it and 44 percent have an unfavorable opinion (13% don’t know). Likely voters assess the law more negati vely than Californians overall. Half (51%) view it unfavorably and 42 percent favorably. Among uninsured Californians, half (50%) favor the law and 43 percent have unfavorable views . Those with insurance are evenly divided (43% favorable, 43% unfavorable). There are deep partisan differences on this question : 60 percent of Democrats have favorable views and 80 percent of Republicans view it unfavorably. H alf of independents (51%) have an unfavorable opinion (40% favorable). “Californians are evenly split and deeply divided along party l ines on federal health care reform,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “While public awareness of the state's effort is high, there is room for improvement among those in need of health insurance.” PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 SHARP DROP IN APPROVAL RATINGS FOR OBAMA, CONGRESS In the aftermath of the federal shutdown and the troubled rollout of the national health insurance exchange, President Obama’s job approval rating among Californians (51%) is down 10 points since July (61%) and matches his record low in September 2011. Likely voters today are divided (48% approve, 50% disapprove), also near the record low (47%, September 2011). Approval of Congress among Californians (18%) has dropped below 20 percent for the first time. Among likely voters today, approval of Congress (10%) is near the record low of (9%) in December 2011. And, in a near reversal of opinion since January— when 56 percent of Californians said the U.S. was going in the right direction— 57 percent today say the nation is going in the wrong direction. Asked about how the president and congressional Republicans are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, Californians are more negative than they were in January. Obama’s approval rating on this question is 42 percent, down 14 points (January: 56%). Approval of congressional Republicans is at 17 percent, down 9 points (January: 26%). An overwhelming 74 percent of Californians and likely voters think it is at least somewhat likely that the government will shut down again in January. “Approval ratings of both the president and Congress have taken a hit this fall,” Baldassare said. “And most Californians have lost confidence that their leaders in Washington will be able to avoid another fiscal crisis.” Lack of trust in Washington is reflected in Californians’ responses to other survey questions. Only 24 percent say they can trust the federal government to do what is right just about always or most of the time, near the record -low 20 percent in December 2011. And 73 percent say the federal government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, while just 22 percent say it is run for the benefit of all the people. Most (61%) say the people in federal government waste a lot of taxpayer money. The survey asks which political party could do a better job of handling four key national issues: the economy, federal budget, health care, and immigration. Californians are divided on the handling of the economy (39% Republican Party, 40% Democratic Party) and federal budget (38% Republican Party, 39% Democratic Party). On health care, they are more likely to choose the Democrats (45%) than the Republicans (33%). They are also more likely to choose the Democrats on immigration (33% Republican, 44% Democrat ic). Looking ahead to congressional elections next year, more likely voters say they would prefer Congress to be controlled by Democrats (49%) than by Republicans (39%). They are divided on whether it is better for the president’s political party to have a controlling majority in Congress (26%) or for one party t o be in the White House and the other controlling Congress (29%). A larger share —36 percent —say it doesn’t matter too much one way or the other. Responses to this question have changed little since it was last asked in September 2000 (27% president’s party controls Congress, 31% one party controls each, 36% doesn’t matter too much). How do Californians view the two major parties? A slim majority (52%) have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while 57 percent have an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party. Strong majorities view their own party favorably, but Democrats are more likely to express favorable opinions of their party (77%) than Republicans are of theirs (66%). Asked about the Tea Party movement, 52 percent of Californians view it unfavorably. They are as likely to be uncertain about it (25%) as they are to view it favorabl y (23%). BROWN’S JOB RATING S TABLE: NEARLY HALF APPROVE With the gubernatorial election a year away, nearly half of adults (47%) and likely voters (49%) approve of the way Jerry Brown is handling his job. This is similar to his approval rating in the eight PPIC surveys conducted since December 2012. In an early look at the gubernatorial primary, we included Brown and the two Republican candidates. If the prima ry were held today, Brown, with the support of 46 percent of PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 likely voters, and state assemblyman Tim Donnelly, with the support of 16 percent, would advance under the state’s top -two primary system. Former l ieutenant governor Abel Maldonado has the suppor t of 7 percent of likely voters. Another 29 percent of likely voters are undecided. When likely voters are asked how they feel about the three, 46 percent have a favorable opinion of Brown and 40 percent have an unfavorable one , while most have no opinion of Donnelly (15% haven’t heard of him, 70% don’t know enough about him to have an opinion) or Maldonado (11% haven’t heard of him, 61% don’t know enough to have an opinion). Maldonado is viewed unfavorably by a quarter of Republican (23%) and independent ( 26%) likely voters. The state legislature ’s job approval rating is identical to September ’s rating: 38 percent among Californians and 32 percent among likely voters. OPTIMISM RISING ABOUT STATE’S DIRECT ION, BUT ECONOMIC WO RRIES PERSIST In contrast to Calif ornians’ pessimism about the direction of the nation, they feel better about the direction of their state than they did two years ago. Today, 45 percent say California is going in the right direction and 46 percent say it is going in the wrong direction— a big improvement since December 2011 (30% right direction, 61% wrong direction). However, Californians’ faith in state government remains about as low as their level of trust in the federal government. A strong majority say they trust state government to do what is right only some of the time (63%) or none of the time (8%). A quarter say state government can be trusted most of the time (20%) or just about always (5%). The economy continues to weigh on Californians, although they see conditions improving: 66 percent say the state is in a recession. The percentage saying the state is in a serious recession— 22 percent—is down from 43 percent two years ago. As ked about the economic outlook for the next year, 43 percent say the state will have good times, and 48% predict bad times. Just 31 percent predicted good times in December 2011. Slightly more than half of Californians (54%) say they and their families are about the same financially as they were a year ago, with 22 percent saying they are better off and 24 percent saying they are worse off. In December 2009, the midst of the Great Recession, 53 percent of Califo rnians said they were worse off than in the previous year. STRONG MAJORITY SAY STATE IS SPLIT BETWEEN HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS As a sluggish economic recovery has focused attention on income inequality, a record -high 66 percent of Californians say that the state is divided into haves and have -nots (30% say it is not divided that way). Results were similar in December 2011 (63% divided, 34% not divided) . In January 1999 , 56 percent said the state was divided and 41 percent said it was not. When asked to characterize themselves , 40 percent of Californians today say they are among the haves, and 45 percent say they are have -nots. In 1999 , the results were very different: 57 percent said they were among the haves, and 35 percent said they were have -nots. What is the government’s role in easing poverty? Half of Californians (49%) say the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead, while 43 percent say people already have an equal opportunity. This is a reversal from January 1999: 45 percent said the govern ment should do more and 52 percent said people already have an equal opportunity. A majority of residents (63%) agree (24% completely, 39% mostly) with the statement that the government is responsible for taking care of people who can’t care for themselves . About a third disagree ( 22% mostly, 12% completely). Half of Californians (51%) say poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently; 35 percent say poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return. Likely voters are divided (40% easy, 46% hard). In the five previous surveys that included this question, more than half of Californians have said that poor people have hard lives because benefits don’t go far enough. December 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Forty -seven percent of Californians approve of Governor Brown, while 38 percent approve of the legislature . (page 7)  Slightly less than half of Californians say the state is heading in the wrong dir ection and expect bad times financially. Sixty -six percent say California is in an economic recession , with 22 percent say ing it is a serious one (down 18 points since October 2012 ). (page 8)  Thirty -nine percent of Californians rate their own personal financial situation as excellent or good. Fifty -four percent say it is about the same as a year ago. Looking ahead, six in 10 expect their financial situation to improve a lo t or some. (page 9)  Two in three Californians think that the state is divided into haves and have -nots; 40 percent say they belong to the haves and 45 percent the have -nots . (page 10)  Most Californians say that the state government in Sacramento can be trusted to do what is right only some of the time or never. Sixty -five percent say state government is run by a few big interests and 54 percent say state government wastes a lot of taxpayer money . (page 11)  Jerry Brown has the support of 46 percent of likely voters in t he 2014 gubernatorial primary. Forty -six percent of likely voters also have a favorable opinion of Governor Brown, while most don’t know enough to have an opinion of Tim Donnell y or Abel Maldonado . (page 12) 69 49 37 Rep Ind Dem 020406080100 Belief ThatAll Californians Have an Equal Opportunity to Get Ahead 34 41424041 48494847 242625253034343838 0 20 40 60 80 Mar11Sep11Dec11Mar12Sep12Dec12Mar13Sep13Dec13 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 46 16 71 29 Jerry Brown Tim Donnelly Abel Maldonado Someone else (vol) Don't know 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Likely voters Percent registered voters PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS With the 2014 gubernatorial election still almost a year away, nearly half of all adults (47%) and likely voters (49%) approve of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California. The governor’s approval rating has been similar in our last eight polls (48% December 2012, 51% January 2013 , 49% March, 46% April, 48% May, 48% July, 48% September, 47% today). Prior to the November 2012 election, approval ratings ranged from a low of 34 percent in February and March 2011 to a high of 46 percent in January 2012. Today, the governor’s approval rating stands at 62 percent among Democrats, 47 percent among independents, and 27 percent among Republicans. Asians (53%) are the most likely to approve , followed by whites (47%), blacks (46%), and Latinos (45%). App roval of the governor is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%) and Los Angeles (50%) than in the Central Valley (44%), Orange/San Diego (38%), and Inland Empire (36%). Women (46%) and men (48%) give similar approval ratings and there are no significant differences across age groups. Across socioeconomic groups in California, the governor’s approval rating is highest among college graduates (58%) and those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (60%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 47% 62% 27% 47% 49% Disapprove 28 18 58 37 38 Don ’t know 25 21 15 16 13 Thirty -eight percent of California adults and 32 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the legislature is handling its job. Results among all adults were identical in our September survey (38% ) and similar in December 2012 (34 %). Approval was much lower in December 2011 (25%) and far lower in November 2010 (14%) and December 2009 (17%). Today, 49 percent of Democrats express approval of the legislature, compared to 34 percent of independents and only 20 percent of Republicans. Latinos (50%) and blacks (46%) are more likely than Asians (38%) and whites (31%) to approve of the legislature. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (44%) are the most likely to express approval, follow ed by those in the Central Valley (41%), Los Angeles (39%), the Inland Empire (34%), and Orange/San Diego (31%). Around four in 10 across income groups approve. A pproval decreases as age increases (45% 18 to 34, 38% 35 to 54, 32% 55 and older) and is higher among those with a high school education or less (44%) than among those with more education (34% some college, 37% college graduates) . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 38% 49% 20% 34% 32% Disapprove 43 34 69 54 56 Don ’t know 19 17 12 12 12 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 OVERALL MOOD Reflecting improv ed conditions, less than half of California adults (44%) name jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing people in California today, compared to 53 percent in December 2012 and 63 percent in December 2011. Still, at least four in 10 adults across age, education, and income groups say it is the top issue facing the state. Across regions, Orange/San Diego residents (38%) are the least likely to say that the economy is the top issue facing Californians. Far fewer Californians name h ealth care and health care reform (11%, up from 3% in September ), education and schools (7%), the state budget (6%), immigration (5%), or crime (4%) as the top issue . Californians are divided over the state’s overall direction, with 45 percent saying that things are going in the right direction and 46 percent saying that they are going in the wrong direction. Lik ely voters have somewhat more negative perceptions (55% wrong direction, 41% right direction). A year ago, Californians were similarly divided in their views (44% right direction, 50% wrong direction), while two years ago they were much more negative (30% right direction, 61% wrong direction). Today, Democrats (57%) are much more likely than independents (43%) and Republicans (20%) to say that things are going in the right direction. Half of those in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) and Los Angeles (51%) say right direction, but fewer say so in Orange/San Diego (45%), the Central Valley (39%), and the Inland Empire (38%). Half of Latinos (51%) and slightly fewer blacks (47%), Asians (45%) , and whites (43%) say that things are going in the right direction. “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 45% 57% 20% 43% 41% Wrong direction 46 36 75 49 55 Don’t know 8 7 5 8 4 In terms of economic conditions, 66 percent say that California is in a recession (22% serious, 33% moderate, 11% mild) and 30 percent say that it is not. The proportion saying that California is in a serious recession is much lower today (22%) than last fal l (40% October 2012) or two years ago (43% December 2011). As for the 12 -month economic outlook, 43 percent say the state will have good times and 48 percent say it will have bad times. Likely voters hold similar views (38% good times, 52% bad times). Cali fornians were similarly likely to predict good economic times this September (46%) and last December (41%) but much less likely to predict good economic times in December 2011 (31%). Today, Democrats (50%) and independents (44%) are far more likely than Republicans (23%) to expect good economic times ahead. San Francisco Bay Area residents (54%) are more likely than those in Los Angeles (44%), the Central Valley (43%), Orange/San Diego (41%) , or the Inland Empire (34%) to have a positive outlook. Fewer than half of Latinos (47%), blacks (45%), Asians (44%), and whites (41%) expect good economic times . Residents age 18 to 34 are more positive than older Californians. “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 43% 50% 23% 44% 38% Bad times 48 38 66 49 52 Don’t know 9 12 10 7 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 PERSONAL FINANCIAL SITUATION Four in 10 Californians consider their personal financial situation excellent (5%) or good (34%), while six in 10 say their situation is only fair (40%) or poor (20%). Californians were similarly likely to rate their fi nances as excellent or good in earlier years (35% December 2009, 33% December 2011, 39% today). Positive assessments increase sharply as income and education levels rise . Latinos (28%) and blacks (31%) are much less likely than Asians (44 %) or whites (49%) to rate their finances as excellent or good. In a sign that the economy has improved, slightly more than half of Californians (54%) say that they and their family are about the same financially as they were a year ago , while 22 percent say they are better off and 24 percent say they are worse off. In December 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession, 53 percent of Californians said they were worse off , while only 9 percent said they were better off and 36 percent said their finances were about the same. In December 2011, the share saying they were worse off had dropped to 35 percent , while 15 percent said they were better off and half (49%) said their financial situation was unchanged. In earlier surveys (beginning in 1998), Californians most often reported no change. Today, at least 48 percent of Californians across regions and demographic groups say their finances are about the same as last year . “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?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Better off 22% 20% 23% 27% 16% 21% 25% 21% Worse off 24 28 21 18 26 26 25 21 Just about the same 54 52 55 55 56 52 50 58 Don’t know 1 – 1 – 2 – – – Looking ahead to next year, most Californians think their financial situation will improve a lot (8%) or some (51%), while one in four say their situation will get a little worse (17%) or a lot worse (6%) and 15 percent volunteer that their situation will stay the same. Optimism has increased slightly in recent years (53% in December 2009 and December 2011, 59% today). Blacks (71%) are the most likely to be optimistic about their financial situation, followed by Latinos (67%), Asians (60%), and whites (51%). Younger Californians age 18 to 34 (74 %) are much more optimistic than those age 35 to 54 (60%) and far more optimistic than Californians age 55 and older (41%). About six in 10 across income and e ducation groups say their finances will improve at least some. Democrats (65%) are much more likely than independents (52%) or Republicans (44%) to be optimistic about their financial situation in the next year. Renters (66%) are much more likely than homeowners (52%) to be optimistic. “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?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Improve a lot 8% 8% 8% 8% 3% 21% 11% 6% Improve some 51 51 55 51 57 50 56 45 Get a little worse 17 16 14 17 21 12 11 20 Get a lot worse 6 7 6 2 4 3 5 7 Stay the same (volunteered) 15 13 15 18 11 5 12 21 Don’t know 4 5 1 4 3 9 5 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 INCOME INEQUALITY IN CALIFORNIA As the economy has struggled to recover after the Great Recession, attention has increasingly focused on income inequality. Today, a record -high 66 percent of Californians think that California is divided into haves and have -nots, while 30 percent think it is not divided that way. Still, results were similar in December 2011 (63% divided; 34% not divided) and September 2002 (61% divided; 34% n ot divided), while fewer thought the state was divided in January 1999 (56% divided; 41% not divided). More than six in 10 adults across age, education, and income groups think the state is divided into haves and have- nots . Most adults across racial/ethnic groups hold this view, but blacks (79%) and Latinos (70%) are slightly more likely than whites (64%) and Asians (59%) to say this. At least six in 10 across parties (71% Democrats, 64% independents, 60% Republicans) think California is divided into haves and have- nots. “Some people think that California is divided into economic groups, the haves and have-nots, while others think it is not divided that way. Do you think that California is divided into haves and have-nots, or do you think that California is not divided that way?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Divided into haves and have-nots 66% 68% 65% 67% 59% 79% 70% 64% Not divided this way 30 29 31 30 36 20 28 31 Don’t know 4 3 4 3 5 1 2 5 When asked to place themselves in either the haves or the have -nots, Californians are split (40% haves, 45 % h ave-nots ). Findings today are similar to those in December 2011 (39% haves, 48% have -nots) , but much different than in September 2002 (60% haves, 32% have -nots) and January 1999 (57% haves, 35% have -nots). There are vast differences in perceptions across income groups: those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (77%) are three times as likely as those in lower -income households (21%) to say they are part of the haves. Whites (55%) are the most likely racial/ethnic group to view themselves as haves , followed by Asians (45%), blacks (30%), and Latinos (24%). “If you had to choose, which of these groups are you in—the haves or have-nots?” All adults Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Asians Blacks Latinos Whites The haves 40% 21% 41% 77% 45% 30% 24% 55% The have-nots 45 67 41 14 38 54 67 31 Neither (volunteered) 9 7 14 6 7 3 5 10 Don’t know 5 5 4 3 10 12 4 4 Half of Californians (49%) think that government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equ al opportunity to get ahead , while 43 percent say people already have an equal opportunity. In December 2011, 54 percent said the government should do more, but fewer said this in January 1999 (45% do more) and September 2002 (43% do more). Most Democrats (58%) think the government should do more, while most Republicans (69%) say there is equal opportunity. Independents are more divided (49% have equal opportunity, 45% do more). The belief that government should do more is held by six in 10 Latinos (62%) and blacks (60%), while Asians (52% have equal opportunity, 45% do more) an d whites (47% have equal opportunity, 40% do more) are somewhat more likely to say people have an equal opportunity than to say the government should do more. The belief that government should do more decreases sharply as income increases. Among those who view themselves as part of the have- nots, 60 percent say government should do more. PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 TRUST IN STATE GOVERNMENT A strong majority of Californians continue to say that they trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is ri ght only some of the time (63%) or never (8%); one in four say it can be trusted just about always (5%) or most of the time (20%). Likely vote rs are even more distrustful (76% distrust, 23% trust). Distrust among all adults today is similar to our findings in May (66%) . At least six in 10 have expressed distrust since August 2002. While most across parties express distrust today , Republicans (82%) are more likely to do so than independents (74%) and Democrats (67%). More than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups think the state government can be trusted only some or none of the time. “How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Just about always 5% 5% – 1% 2% Most of the time 20 25 17 % 24 21 Only some of the time 63 64 63 62 64 None of the time (volunteered) 8 3 19 12 12 Don’t know 3 3 1 1 1 Strong majorities of adults (65%) and likely voters (71%) say that state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, while about one in four adults (25%) and likely voters (22%) say it is run for the benefit of all the people. Findings were similar in May (61% big interest s), and since we first asked this question in January 1999 at least six in 10 have held this view except in January 2002 (54%). Republicans (76%) and independents (70%) are more likely than Democrats (59%) to say state government is run by a few big interests. Inland Empire residents (74%) are the most likely —and San Francisco Bay Area residents (54%) the l east likely—to hold this view. Blacks (70%), Latinos (67%), and whites (67%) are much more likely than Asians (48%) to hold this view . Across age, education, and income groups, at least 58 percent say that the state government is run by a few big interests . Slightly more than half of Californians (54%) and six in 10 likely voters (60%) think the people in state government was te a lot of tax money. One in three (34% adults, 33% likely votes) say they was te some , and few think that state government doesn’t waste very much. Findings are nearly identical to those in May (54% a lot, 32% some) , and since February 2003 at least half have said a lot of taxpayer money is wasted. Republicans (70%) are much more likely than independents (55%) and Democrats (47%) to say that a lot of tax money is wasted. Majorities of blacks (58%), whites (56%) , and Latinos (55%) say a lot of tax es are wasted, while only 38 percent of Asians hold this view. “Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind A lot 54% 47% 70% 55% 60% Some 34 41 25 36 33 Don’t waste very much 6 8 3 4 6 Don’t know 5 4 2 5 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY With the June primary for governor still seven months away, and with Governor Brown likely to run, it should not be too surprising that only one in four likely voters are closely following news (5% very, 17% fairly) about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election; three in four are following news not too (40%) or not at all (37%) closely. California will be using the top- two primary system in a gubernatorial election for the first time in 2014. In our question about the primary, we included Brown and the two Republican candidates. If the primary were held today, Governor Brown, with the support of 46 percent of likely voters, and Tim Donnelly, with the support of 16 percent of likely voters, would advance to the November general election. Seven percent of likely voters support Abel Maldonado and 29 percent are unsure. Most Democratic likely voters (75%) support Governor Brown, while Republican likely voters are more divided (36% Donnelly, 15% Mald onado, 12% Brown, 36% unsure). A plurality of independent likely voters support Brown (42%), while 31 percent are unsure and fewer support Donnelly (17%) or Maldonado (8%). Across regions, pluralities of likely voters would vote for Governor Brown, except in the Inland Empire, wh ere they are as likely to be unsure (40%) as to favor Governor Brown (39%). Governor Brown has the support of pluralities of Latinos (50%) and whites (44%), but more than one in four in both groups are unsure. ( Sample sizes for Asian and black likely voters are too small for separate analysis .) A plurality of likely voters across age, education, and income groups support Governor Brown, although at least 22 percent in each group are unsure of who m they will support. Half of women (50%) and four in 10 men (42%) support Brown, but three in 10 in both groups are undecided. “As you may know, California now has a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes— regardless of party—will advance to the general election. If the primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Jerry Brown, a Democrat 46% 75% 12% 42% 50% 44% Tim Donnelly, a Republican 16 4 36 17 16 20 Abel Maldonado, a Republican 7 2 15 8 8 6 Someone else (volunteered) 1 1 1 3 – 1 Don’t know 29 18 36 31 26 29 Four in 10 likely voters are satisfied with their choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June , 32 percent are not satisfied, and 29 percent are unsure. Half of Democratic lik ely voters (52%) are satisfied. Republicans are as likely to be satisfi ed (31%) as dissatisfied (33%), and 35 percent are unsure. Independent likely voters are somewhat more likely to be dissatisfied (43%) than satisfied (34%); 23 percent are unsure. Latino likely voters ( 49%) are more likely than white likely voters (38%) to be satisfied. Satisfaction is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (46%) and lowest in the Inland Empire (34%). “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 Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Satisfied 40% 52% 31% 34% 49% 38% Not satisfied 32 23 33 43 25 31 Don’t know 29 24 35 23 26 31 PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 FAVORABILITY OF CANDIDATES Most California likely voters have some opinion of Governor Brown (46% favorable, 40% unfavorable), but no opinion of California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (15% haven’t heard of him, 70% don’t know enough to have an opinion) or former California Lieutenant Governor Abe l Maldonado (11% haven’t heard of him, 61% don’t know enough to have an opinion). By comparison, in December 2009 likely voters were as likely to view Jerry Brown favorably (35%) as unfavorably (36%), while three in 10 had not heard of him (3%) or didn’t know enough to have an opinion (26%). Seven in 10 Democratic likely voters (69%) currently have a favorable opinion of Governor Brown, while seven in 10 Republican likely voters (71%) have an unfavorable opinion of him. Independent likely voters are divided (42% favorable, 47% unfavorable). Governor Brown is viewed favorably by 45 percent of Latino and white likely voters—however, 45 percent of whit e likely voters also have an unfavorable opinion of him. Among Latino likely voters 21 percent have an unfavorable opinion, but 33 percen t don’t know enough to have an opinion. Across regions, Governor Brown is viewed most favorably by likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (54%), while he is viewed unfavorably by pluralities of likely voters in Orange/San Diego (48%), the Inland Empire (48%), and the Central Valley (51%). Half of female likely voters view Governor Brown favorably, wh ile male likely voters are about as likely to view him favorably (42%) as unfavorably (46%). More than six in 10 likely voters across parties, regions, and demographic groups either haven’t heard of Tim Donnelly or Abel Maldonado or don’t know enough to have an opinion of them. About one in four Republican (23%) and independent (26%) likely voters have an unfavorable opinion of Abel Maldonado. “Please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the se candidates for governor, or don’t you know enough about him to have an opinion? How about…? Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Jerry Brown, California Governor? Favorable 46% 69% 18% 42% 45% 45% Unfavorable 40 14 71 47 21 45 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 1 2 – – – – Don’t know enough to have an opinion 13 15 11 11 33 10 Tim Donnelly, California State Assemblyman? Favorable 7 7 8 7 6 7 Unfavorable 8 8 5 9 9 9 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 15 16 13 14 18 16 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 70 68 74 69 67 69 Abel Maldonado, former California Lieutenant Governor? Favorable 10 9 9 5 10 8 Unfavorable 19 12 23 26 17 20 Haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 11 12 9 12 14 11 Don’t know enough to have an opinion 61 66 59 56 59 61 December 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of President Obama (51%) matches the record low from September 2011 and approval of Congress (18%) has dropped below 20 percent for the first time. In a near reversal of opinion since Januar y, 57 percent say the U.S. is going in the wrong direction and 48 percent expect bad times financially. (page s 15, 16 )  Three in four Californians say the federal government in Washington can be trusted to do what is right only some of the time or never. Three in four say federal government is run by a few big interests and six in 10 say it wastes a lot of taxpayer money. ( page 17)  Approval of the way bo th President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling ha s fallen since January. Three in four say it is likely that another government shutdown will occur in January. (page 18)  Californians are divided on the 2010 health reform bill ; most (68%) are aware that there is a health care exchange in California . ( page 19)  Fifty -two percent of Californians view the Democratic Party favorably ; similar shares view the Republican Party and the Tea Party unfavorably. (page 21 )  Californians are divided on which party could do a better job of handling the economy and federal budget deficit, but pluralities say the Democratic Party can better handle health care and immigration. (page 22 )  Half of likely voters prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats as the outcome of next year’s elections . ( page 23 ) 72 615955565156 6362 51 47 38 31313027222631 18 0 20 40 60 80 100 May09Dec09May10Oct10Mar11Sep11May12Oct12May13Dec13 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 33 444944 0 20 40 60 80 100 Adults nationwide*Californians Percent all adults Favorable Unfavorable Attitudes towardthe Health Reform Bill *Kaiser Family Foundation Poll, November2013 49 39 84 Congress controlled by Democrats Congress controlled by Republicans Neither (vol) Don't know Preferred Outcomeof 2014 Congressional Elections Likely voters PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating among Californians (51%) matches a record low from September 2011 and is down 10 points since July (61%). His approval rating among adults nationwide has also slipped: a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found 42 percent approving (55% disapproving), down 7 points from July (49% approve, 44% disapprove). Although some of the overall decline is likely associated with the fumbled implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s rating among Californians was not much higher in September (55%) , before enrollment in health care exchanges began. Likely voters are divided (48% approve, 50% disapprove) and their approval is also near a record low. Since July, approval has dropped by double digits among both Democrats (86% July, 80% September, 76% today) and Republicans (24% July, 19% September, 12% today). Approval among independents (46%) has held steady. Across regions, about six in 10 express approval in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) and Los Angeles (57%), while closer to four in 10 approve in the Inland Empire (44%), Orange/San Diego (44%), and the Central Valley (42%). An overwhelming majority of blacks (86%) approve of the president’s job performance; smaller majorities of Asians (57%) and Latinos (55%) agree. A majority of whites disapprove (43% approve, 55% disapprove). Eight in 10 (80%) of those who have favorable opinions of the he alth care law approve of President Obama, and a similar share (78%) of those with unfavorable opinions of the health care law disapprove of the president. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 51% 76% 12% 46% 48% Disapprove 45 20 86 49 50 Don ’t know 4 4 1 5 2 More than a month after the federal government shutdown and the showdown over raising the debt ceiling, a record low 18 percent of Californians approve of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job. The previous low of 20 percent was recorded two years ago in December 2011. Approval h as dropped 12 points since July and 10 points just since September (30% July, 28% September, 18% today). In a recent Gallup Poll, only 9 percent of adults nationwide said they approved of Congress (86% disapproved). In our current survey, approval among likely voters (10%) is near the record low of 9 percent recorded in December 2011. Since July, approval has declined 8 points (18% July, 18% September, 10% today). Fewer than one in five voters across parties approve of Congress , and solid majorities of Californians across regions and demographic groups disapprove. The highest approval ratings are found among Latinos (31%), those ages 18 to 34 (26%), those with only a high school education or less (27%), and those with household incomes und er $40,000 (26%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 18% 17% 10% 13% 10% Disapprove 76 76 86 85 86 Don ’t know 6 7 4 2 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 16 OVERALL MOOD Most Californians say things in the U.S. are generally going in the wrong direction (35% right direction, 57% wrong direction). Findings today mark a near reversal of opinion since January , shortly after the 2012 presidential election (56% rig ht direction , 39% wrong direction) ; attitudes were similar leading up to the 2010 mid -term elections (October 2010: 36% right direction , 58% wrong direction). I n the ABC News /Washington Post poll , adults nationwide were even more negative: 27 percent right direction, 70 percent wrong track. Among likely voters, 32 percent say the country is headed in the right direction; o ptimism was higher in January (47% right direction). Most Republicans (86%) and independents (6 4%) say things are going in the wrong direction, while Democrats are divided (49% right direction, 45% wrong direction). Across regions, residents are more pessimistic than optimistic about the country’s direction, but those in the Central Valley (69%), Inland Empire (61%), and Orange/San Diego (61%) are more likely to say wrong direction than those in Los Angeles (51%) or the San Francisco Bay Area (48%). Whites (65%) are the most negative among racial/ethnic groups, but slim majorities of blacks and Latinos are also negative (53% each ). Asians are divided (44% right direction, 41% wrong direction). Pessimism increases as age increases , and those on the lower (57%) and upper (62%) ends of the income scale are more likely than those in the middle (49%) to sa y things are going in the wrong direction. “Do you think 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 35% 49% 12% 31% 32% Wrong direction 57 45 86 64 63 Don’t know 7 7 2 5 4 Californians are divided on the economic outlook for the country: 43 percent say the U.S. will have good times financially in the next 12 months, while 48 percent expect bad times. Findings were similar in October 2012 (45% good times, 46% bad times). Likely voters (38% good, 55% bad) are more negative than all adults. Democrats (55%) are much more likely than independents (37%) and Republicans (18%) to expect good times. Across regions, 55 percent of Centr al Valley, Orange/San Diego, and Inland Empire residents say the U.S. will experience bad times. Residents are more optimistic in the San Francisco Bay Area (50% good, 38% bad) and Los Angeles (49% good, 40% bad). While a majority of whites expect bad time s (34% good, 56% bad), majorities of blacks (57% good, 32% bad) and Asians (53% good, 37% bad) expect good times. Latinos are more divided (49% good, 43% bad). Californians’ opinion of the economic outlook for the nation (43% good, 48% bad) mirrors their o utlook on the state (43% good, 48% bad), but they are more pessimistic about the country ’s direction (35% right direction, 57% wrong direction) than about the state’s (45% right direction, 46% wrong direction). “Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 43% 55% 18% 37% 38% Bad times 48 36 75 51 55 Don’t know 9 9 7 13 7 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 TRUST IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT In the aftermath of the government shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations, trust in the federal government remains low among Californians. Only 24 percent say they can trust it to do what is right just about always (6%) or most of the ti me (18%); this marks a 7 point decline since October 2012 (7% just about always, 24% most of the time) , and is near the record low of 20 percent recorded in December 20 11 (6% just about always, 14 % most of the time). Seventy-five percent trust the federal government only some or none of the time. Among likely voters, only 16 percent express trust in the federal government (2% just about always, 14% most of the time), while 83 percent seldom or never trust it. Strong majorities across parties (88% Republicans, 81% independents, 72% Democrats), regions, and demographic groups say they trust the federal government only some or none of the time. “How much of the time do you think you can trust the federal government in Washington to do what is right ?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Just about always 6% 5% 2% 3% 2% Most of the time 18 21 11 13 14 Only some of the time 65 67 71 66 71 None of the time (volunteered) 10 5 17 15 12 Don’t know 2 2 – 2 1 Californians also hold cynical views about the role special interests play in Washington: 73 percent say the federal government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, while just 22 percent say it is run for the benefit of all of the peop le. Here again, levels of trust are near the record low recorded in October 2008 (74% run by big interests, 20% run for the people). In October 2012, 67 percent said the federal government was run by big interests looking out for themselves. Today, a strong majority of likely voters (80%) hold this view, as do strong majorities across parties (86% Republicans, 74% independents, 69% Democrats). At least two in three across regions and demographic groups (except Asians , 57%) say the federal government is run by big interests. Distrust also extends to perceptions of fiscal waste. Six in 10 Californians (61%) say the people in the federal government waste a lot of taxpayer money and another 30 percent say it wastes some money . Only 5 percent say it does not waste much. Findings were similar in October 2012 (57% wastes a lot, 35% wastes some). Cynicism was much higher in October 2008 , when a record-high 74 percent said a lot of money is wasted . M ajorities across parties say a lot of taxpayer money is wasted, but Republicans (78%) are much more likely than independents (66%) or Democrats (57%) to hold this view. Majorities across regions and demographic groups —-except Asians (47%) —think a lot of tax dollars are wasted. “Do you think the people in the federal government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind A lot 61% 57% 78% 66% 69% Some 30 35 18 29 26 Don’t waste very much 5 4 4 3 3 Don’t know 4 4 – 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT In the aftermath of the shutdown, approval of the way both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling has dipped. Approval of President Obama’s handling of these issues has declined 14 points since January (56% January, 46% September, 42% today) and approval of congressional Republicans in this area is down 9 points (26% January, 27% September, 17% December). A majority of likely voters (54 %) disapprove of the way Obama i s handling the deficit and debt ceiling ( 42% approve), and a strong majority (78%) disapprove of Republicans (17 % approve). Voters are deeply divided along party lines about the way President Obama is handling the se issues: nine in 10 Republicans (89%) dis approve, while two in three Democrats (66%) approve. A majority of independents (55%) disapprove. When it comes to the way congressional Republicans are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, solid majorities across parties disapprove (85% Democrat s, 78% independents, 63% Republicans). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…is/are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind President Obama Approve 42% 66% 9% 38% 42% Disapprove 49 27 89 55 54 Don ’t know 8 7 2 7 4 Republicans in Congress Approve 17 8 30 15 17 Disapprove 72 85 63 78 78 Don ’t know 11 6 7 7 5 The bill that ended the October government shutdown funds the government through January 15. Reflecting their lack of trust in the federal government, a n overwhelming 74 percent of Californians and likely voters think it is at least somewhat likely (33% very likely, 41% somewhat likely) that the government will shut down again at that time. The expectation t hat government will shut down again was similar among adults nationwide (37% very likely, 34% somewhat likely) in an October poll by CNN/O RC. A cross parties , three in four expect another shutdown. More than two in three across regions and demographic groups think another government shutdown i s at least somewhat likely. Two-thirds (68%) of those who approve of the president’s handling of the situation expect another shutdown ; 72 percent of those who approve of congressional Republicans’ handling of these issues also expect a shutdown. “The bill that ended the government shutdown funds the government through January 15, but unless Congress and the President agree on a plan to fund the government for a longer period, the government will shut d own again at that time. How likely do you think it is that the federal government will shut down again in January: very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Very likely 33% 32% 33% 38% 33% Somewhat likely 41 44 44 37 41 Not too likely 15 15 15 13 19 Not at all likely 8 7 6 10 6 Don’t know 4 2 1 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 HEALTH CARE REFORM Californians are divided in their assessment of the 2010 health reform law (44% favorable, 44% unfavorable). According to a November Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide were less positive (3 3% favorable, 4 9% unfavorable). In response to a similar question asked in previous PPIC surveys , around half of Californians supported changes enacted by the law. There are deep partisan differences: 60 percent of Democrats view the law favorably, while 80 percent of Republicans view it unfavorably. Half of independents hold unfavorable views. A majority of blacks (59%) and pluralities of Latinos (49%) and Asians (44%) have favorable opinions; half of whites (52%) have unfavorable opinion s. Half of Californians without health insurance view the law favorably and those with health insurance are divided. “As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?” Favorable Unfavorable Don’t know All adults 44% 44% 13% Likely voters 42 51 7 Party Democrat 60 25 14 Republican 13 80 6 Independent 40 51 9 Race/Ethnicity Asians 44 33 23 Blacks 59 31 10 Latinos 49 38 13 Whites 39 52 9 Household income Under $40,000 45 41 15 $40,000 to $80,000 41 46 13 $80,000 or more 48 44 9 Have health insurance Yes 43 43 14 No 50 43 7 A strong majority of Californians (68%) —and more than six in 10 across parties, regions, and demographic groups —correctly say that there is a health insurance exchange in the state. Among the uninsured, six in 10 are aware of the insurance e xchange, but nearly one in five say there is no exchange and another one in five are unsure. When uninsured Californians were asked whether they will obtain insurance by 2014 in accordance with the new law or pay a fine, 66 percent say they will get health insurance, 24 percent say they will remain uninsured, and 11 percent are unsure. In a nationwide Gallup poll, 62 percent of un insured adults say they will get insurance, 30 percent will remain uninsured, and 8 percent are unsure. “As you may know, as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to com pare plans and purchase health insurance. From what you've read and heard is there a health insurance exchange available to people in California, or not?” All adults Household i ncome Have health insurance Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Yes No Yes, there is an exchange 68% 64% 70% 80% 70% 63% No, there is not an exchange 14 16 14 7 12 19 Don’t know 18 20 16 13 18 18 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 POVERTY Sixty-three percent of Californians agree (24% completely, 39% mostly) with the statement that the government is responsible for taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves; 34 percent disagree (22% mostly, 12% completely). Californians have consistently agreed that taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves is the government’s responsibility (63% September 1998, 69% February 2004, 68% January 2006, 66% June 2007, 63% today). Three in four Democrats view this as the government’s res ponsibility, slightly more than half of Republicans disagree (55%), and independents are divided (52% agree, 47% disagree). Blacks (81%) are much more likely than Latinos (67%), Asians (64%), or whites (59%) to have this belief. Those earning less than $40 ,000 (68%) are somewhat more likely than middle -income (59%) and upper -income (61%) groups to hold this view. Solid majorities across regions, age, and education groups hold this view. “Thinking about the issue of poverty, do you agree or disagree with the following statement: It is the responsibility of government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. Do you completely agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree, or completely disagree with this statement?” All adults Party Household income Dem Rep Ind Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Completely agree 24% 32% 7% 17% 32% 21% 14% Mostly agree 39 43 34 35 36 38 47 Mostly disagree 22 14 37 32 16 27 25 Completely disagree 12 6 18 15 12 11 12 Don’t know 3 5 4 1 4 3 1 When asked about the role of government benefits in the lives of poor people, half of Californians (51%) agree with the view that poor people have hard lives because these benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently, while 35 percent agree with the view that poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return. In the six surveys that included this question, more than half have agreed that poor people have hard lives, with the highest share choosing this statement in June 2007 (59%) and the lowest share in January 2006 and today (51% each). Likely voters are divided (40% easy, 46% hard). Democrats view poor people’s lives as hard (65%), Republicans think the poor have it easy (61%), and independents are divided (43% easy, 42% hard). A majority of those earning less than $40,000 (57%) think poor people have hard lives despite government benefits . Those with incomes of $40,000 and above lean slightly toward agreeing that poor people’s lives are hard (47% hard; 40% easy ). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (56%) are the most likely, and those in Orange/San Diego (46%) the least likely , to say that poor people have hard lives. Blacks overwhelmingly say that poor people have hard lives (71%), as do six in 10 Latinos (61%) and half of Asians (53%), while whites are divided (42% easy, 42% hard). “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. Poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return, or poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.” All adults Party Household income Dem Rep Ind Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Poor people have it easy 35% 22% 61% 43% 30% 41% 40% Poor people have hard lives 51 65 24 42 57 46 48 Neither (volunteered) 8 8 10 11 6 10 9 Don’t know 6 5 5 5 7 3 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 POLITICAL PARTY FAVORABILITY When it comes to their impressions of the two major parties, a slim majority (52%) view the Democratic Party favorably (39% unfavorable), while a majority (57%) view the Republican party unfavorably (33% favorable). A slim majority (52%) of Californians also have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, and they are as likely to be unsure (25%) as to view it favorably (23%). Likely voters are more likely than all adults to have unfavorable impressions of all three. Findings among all adults were fairly similar in March 2013 and October 2012. In an October CNN/ORC survey at least half of adults nationwide had unfavorable impressions of the Democratic Party (43% favorable, 51% unfavorable) , the Republican Party (30% favorable, 64% unfavorable), and the Tea Party (28% favorable, 56% unfavorable). While strong majorities of partisans view their own party favorably, Democrats are more likely to express favorable opinions of the Democratic Party (77%) than Republicans are of the Republican Party (66%). Three in four Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while half of Republicans view it favo rably. A strong majority of i ndependents (68%) view the Republican Party unfavorably; smaller majorities also view the Democratic Party (55%) and the Tea Party (56%) unfavorably. “ Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the…” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Democratic Party? Favorable 52% 77% 16% 39% 47% Unfavorable 39 18 81 55 50 Don't know 9 4 3 5 3 Republican Party? Favorable 33 13 66 26 32 Unfavorable 57 81 31 68 65 Don't know 11 6 3 5 4 The political movement known as the Tea Party? Favorable 23 6 50 29 26 Unfavorable 52 74 37 56 63 Don't know 25 20 12 14 11 H alf (49%) of Californians say that the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job that a third major party is needed, while 37 percent say they do an adequate job of r epresenting the American people and 13 percent are unsure. Since October 2012 about half of Californians have said tha t a third major party is needed . Independents (70%) are far more likely than Republicans (53%) and Democrats (48%) to express a need for a third party. A majority of whites (55%) and pluralities of blacks (46%) and Asians (43%) say a third party is needed; Latinos are divided (44% adequate job, 45% third party needed) . “In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Adequate job 37% 39% 33% 24% 32% Third party is needed 49 48 53 70 56 Don't know 13 13 15 6 12 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 PARTY PERCEPTIONS We asked which party could do a better job of handling four key national issues: the economy, the federal budget, health care, and immigration. C alifornians offer divided opinions on the handling of the economy (39% Republican Party, 40% Democrat Party ) and the federal budget (38% Republican Party, 39% Democratic Party). They are more likely to prefer the Democratic Party over the Republican Party on the issue s of health care (33% Republican Party, 45% Democratic Party) and immigration (33% Republican Party, 44% Democratic Party). In an October Pew Research Center survey, adults nationwide were som ewhat more likely to think that the Republican Party (44%) could better handle the economy (37% Democratic Party ), while they were divided on immigration (40% Republican Party, 39% Democratic Party). Likely voters are divided on which party could better handle the economy, the federal budget, and immigration ; they are more likely to prefer the Democratic Party on health care. In March 2008, likely voters had similar preferences on the issue of immigration , but a greater share of likely voters thought the Democratic Party would better handle health care (59% then to 47% today) and the economy (50% then to 41% today). A t least six in 10 Democrats and Republicans prefer their own part y on each of these issues. Independents are much more likely to prefer the R epublican Party on the economy and the federal budget, while they are more likely to prefer the Democratic Party on health care and immigration. “Which party could do a better job of handling…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Economy Republican Party 39% 16% 83% 46% 45% Democratic Party 40 68 8 32 41 Both equally (volunteered) 6 6 2 4 4 Neither (volunteered) 7 5 2 11 7 Don't know 8 5 4 6 3 Federal budget Republican Party 38 12 79 47 42 Democratic Party 39 74 8 31 42 Both equally (volunteered) 6 5 2 3 3 Neither (volunteered) 7 4 5 12 9 Don't know 9 5 5 7 3 Health care Republican Party 33 15 67 32 36 Democratic Party 45 70 13 46 47 Both equally (volunteered) 4 4 2 2 3 Neither (volunteered) 8 5 11 14 11 Don't know 10 7 7 7 4 Immigration Republican Party 33 20 69 31 39 Democratic Party 44 60 16 42 42 Both equally (volunteered) 5 6 5 4 5 Neither (volunteered) 8 6 5 15 9 Don't know 10 9 6 9 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS Looking ahead to next year’s congressional elections, likely voters are more likely to say they would prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats (49%) than one controlled by Republicans (39%). Eight percent volunteer that they prefer neither party control Congress. Findings were nearly identical in October 2012, just before the November election (52% Democratic control, 39% Republican control). In October 2010 , l eading up to the last mid -term elections, likely voters were closely divided (45% Democratic cont rol, 43% Republican control). Not surprisingly, the vast majority of partisan voters prefer that their own party control Congress. Among independents, 45 percent would prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats , while 37 percent would prefer a Republican -controlled Congress . Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) are the most likely across regions to prefer that Democrats control Congress, followed by those in Los Angeles (55%). A majority of likely voters in the Inland Empire (57%) would prefer Republicans to control Congress. Likely voters are more divided in the Central Valley (48% Republican control, 42% Democratic control) and Orange/San Diego (43% Republican control, 43% Democratic control). Latino likely voters are more likely to prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats (52%) than one controlled by Republicans (31%), while whites are divided (45% Republican control, 44% Democratic control). “What is your preference for the outcome of next year's congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Controlled by Republicans 39% 9% 85% 37% 31% 45% Controlled by Democrats 49 81 10 45 52 44 Neither (volunteered) 8 7 3 15 12 8 Don't know 4 3 2 3 5 3 Likely voters offer mixed views on whether it is better for the president’s political party to have a controlling majority in Congress (26%) or for one party to control the White House and the other party to control Congress (29%); 36 percent say it doesn’t matter too much one way or the other. P references among likely voters were similar the last time this question was asked in September 2000 (27% president’s party controls Congress, 31% one party controls each, 36% doesn’t matter too much). While Democratic likely voters are the most prone to prefer Congress be controlled by the president’s political par ty (36%), they are just as likely to say it doesn’t matter much either way (34%). Republicans and independents are as likely to prefer that one party controls the White House and the other Congress as to say it doesn’t really matter. Latino likely voters are much more likely than whites to say it does not really matter (48% to 33%). “Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites President’s party control Congress 26% 36% 19% 19% 19% 25% One party controls each 29 21 37 36 26 31 Don’t think it matters too much 36 34 37 38 48 33 Don't know 9 9 7 7 7 10 December 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP December 2013 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 Dean Bonner , project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Sonja Petek and Jui Shrestha. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its ow n advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,701 California adult residents, including 1,190 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 int erviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from November 12–19 , 2013. 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 bi ases in age and gender. Cell phones 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 Ca lifornia 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). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who hav e cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI , we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009– 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Int egrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample —region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state- level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics —which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS— and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secr etary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,701 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1, 379 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4 percent; for the 1, 081 likely voters, it is ±4.5 percent; for the 242 uninsured adults, it is ± 8.8%. Sampling error is 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 five 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 Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adul ts, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results for non- Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and non- Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of l ikely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC/Washington Post, CNN/ORC International, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Pew Research Center . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . December 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT November 12– 19, 2013 1701 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 6% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 D UE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thin king about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 44% jobs, economy 11 health care, health reform 7 education, schools 6 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 immigration, illegal immigration 4 crime, gangs, drugs 3 government in general 3 infrastructure 12 other 5 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 47% approve 28 disapprove 25 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 38% approve 43 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 45% right direction 46 wrong direction 8 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 43% good times 48 bad times 9 don’t know 5a. 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?) 22% yes, serious recession 33 yes, moderate recession 11 yes, mild recession 30 no 4 don’t know Now thinking about your own personal finances… 6. 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? 5% excellent 34 good 40 only fair 20 poor 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 28 6a. 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? 22% better off 24 worse off 54 same 1 don’t know 7. Over the course of the next year, do you think the fina ncial situation of you and your family will improve a lot, improve some, get a little worse, or get a lot worse? 8% improve a lot 51 improve some 17 get a little worse 6 get a lot worse 15 stay the same (volunteered) 4 don’t know 8. Some people think that California is divided into economic groups, the haves and have - nots, while others think it is not divided that way. Do you think that California is divided into haves and have -nots, or do you think that California is not divided that way? 66% divided into haves and have- nots 30 not divided that way 4 don’t know 9. If you had to choose, which of these groups are you in— the haves or have -nots? 40% haves 45 have -nots 9 neither (volunteered) 5 don’t know 9a. Do you think that in California today [rotate] (1) all people have an equal opportunity to get ahead, [or] (2) the government should do more to make sure that all Californians have an equal opportunity to get ahead. 43% people have equal opportunity 49 government should do more 1 both (volunteered) 4 neither (volunteered) 3 don’t know 1 0. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are reg istered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q1 0a] 31 no [skip to q1 1b] 10 a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 43% Democrat [ask q1 1] 29 Republican [skip to q1 1a] 6 another party (specify) [skip to q12] 22 independent [skip to q11b] 1 1. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 55% strong 44 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q12] 11a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 51% strong 45 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q1 2] 11b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 20% Republican Party 42 Democratic Party 30 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know 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 to have an opinion? [ rotate questions 12 to 14] [questions 12 –17 reported for likely voters] PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 12. [likely voters only] H ow about Jerry Brown, California governor ? 46% favorable 40 unfavorable 1 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 13 don’t know enough to have an opinion 13. [likely voters only] How about Tim Donnelly, California state assemblyman ? 7% favorable 8 unfavorable 15 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 70 don’t know enough to have an opinion 14. [likely voters only] How about Abel Maldonado, former California l ieutenant governor ? 10% favorable 19 unfavorable 11 haven’t heard of him (volunteered) 61 don’t know enough to have an opinion 15. [likely voters only] As you may know, California now has a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes —regardless of party —will advance to the general election. If the 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?] 46% Jerry Brown, a Democrat 16 Tim Do nnelly, a Republican 7 Abel Maldonado, a Republican 1 someone else (specify) 29 don’t know 16. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 5% very closely 17 fairly closely 40 not too closely 37 not at all closely 1 don’t know 17. [likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor next June? 40% satisfied 32 not satisfied 29 d on’t know Changing topics, 18. How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right —just about always, most of the time, or only some of the tim e? 5% just about always 20 most of the time 63 only some of the time 8 none of the time (volunteered) 3 don’t know 19. Would you say the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people? 65% a few big interests 25 benefit of all of the people 10 don’t know 20. Do you think the people in state governm ent waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 54% a lot 34 som e 6 don’t waste very much 5 don’t know 21. 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? 51% approve 45 disapprove 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 30 22. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 18% approve 76 disapprove 6 don’t know 23. Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 35% right direction 57 wrong direction 7 don’t know 24. Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 43% good times 48 bad times 9 d on’t know 25. Next, how much of the time do you think you can trust the federal government in Washington today to do what is right —just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 6% just about always 18 most of the time 65 only some of the time 10 none of the time (volunteered) 2 don’t know 26. Would you say the federal government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the b enefit of all of the people? 73% a few big interests 22 benefit of all of the people 6 don’t know 27. Do you think the people in the federal government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 61% a lo t 30 some 5 don’t waste very much 4 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 28 and 29] 28. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 42% approve 49 disapprove 8 don’t know 29. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 17% approve 72 disapprove 11 don’t know 29a.The bill that ended the government shutdown funds the government through January 15th, but unless Congress and the president agree on a plan to fund the government for a longer period, the government will shut down again at that time. How likely do you thi nk it is that the federal government will shut down again in January — v ery likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all? 33% very likely 41 somewhat likely 15 not too likely 8 not at all likely 4 don’t know 30. As you may know, a healt h reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a [rotate] (1) [generally favorable] [or] (2) [generally unfavorable] opinion of it? 44% favorable 44 unfavorable 13 don’ t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 31 31. As you may know , as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to compare plans and purchase health insurance. From what you've read and heard is there a health insurance exchange available to people in California, or not? 68% there is an exchange 14 there is not an exchange 18 don’t know 32. [likely voters only] What is your preference for the outcome of next year's congressional elections: [rotate] a Congress controlled by Republicans [or] a Congress controlled by Democrats? 39% controlled by Republicans 49 controlled by Democrats 8 neither (volunteered) 4 don’t know 33. [likely voters only] Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other? 26% p resident’s party controls Congress 29 one party controls each 36 don’t think it matters too much 9 don’t know Next, 34. Thinking about the issue of poverty, do you agree or disagree with the following statement: It is the responsibility of government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. Do you completel y agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree, or completely disagree with this statement? 24% completely agree 39 mostly agree 22 mostly disagree 12 completely disagree 3 don’t know 35. Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return; [or] (2) poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enou gh to help them live decently. 35% poor people have it easy 51 poor people have hard lives 8 neither (volunteered) 6 don’t know Next, please tell me if you think the [rotate] (1) Republican Party [or] the (2) Democratic Party could do a better job of handling each of these national issues. First, [rotate questions 36 to 38] 36. Which party could do a better job of handling health care? 33% Republican Party 45 Democratic Party 4 b oth equally (volunteered) 8 n either (volunteered) 10 don’t know 36a. Which party could do a better job of handling the economy? 39% Republican Party 40 Democratic Party 6 b oth equally (volunteered) 7 n either (volunteered) 8 don’t know 37. Which party could do a better job of handling the federal budget? 38% Republican Party 39 Democratic Party 6 b oth equa lly (volunteered) 7 n either (volunteered) 9 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey December 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 38. Which party could do a better job of handling immigration? 33% Republican Party 44 Democratic Party 5 b oth equally (volunteered) 8 n either (volunteered) 10 don’t know Changing topics, [rotate questions 39 and 40] 39. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Democratic Party? 52% favorable 39 unfavorable 9 d on’t know 40. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party? 33% favorable 57 unfavorable 11 don’t know 41. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party? 23% favorable 52 U nfavorable 25 don’t know 42. In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed? 37% adequate job 49 third party is needed 13 don’t know 43 . Next, would you consider yoursel f to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 21 somewhat liberal 30 middle -of -the -road 20 somewhat conservative 14 very conservative 4 don’t know 44 . Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 18% great deal 34 fair amount 38 only a little 9 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d6a: demographic questions] D6b.[of those who do not have health insurance] As you may know, the 2010 health care law requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance by 2014 or else pay a fine. Do you think you will obtain health insurance in 2014, or do you think you will remain uninsured? 66% will obtain health insurance 24 will remain uninsured 11 don’t know [d7 to d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Vice President-Research Pew Research Center Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson Presid ent and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento 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 Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company 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 decision makers 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 policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas 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 copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 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 CENT ER 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 09:41:50" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(9) "s_1213mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:50" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:50" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(51) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_1213MBS.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) }