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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_100MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "520401" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(92728) "PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government Mark Baldassare Senior Fellow and Survey Director January 2000 Public Policy Institute of California The Public Policy Institute of California is a private, nonprofit research organization established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. The Institute conducts independent, objective, nonpartisan research on the economic, social, and political issues affecting Californians. The Institute's goal is to raise public awareness of these issues and give elected representatives and other public officials a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 800 • San Francisco, California 94111 Telephone: (415) 291-4400 • Fax: (415) 291-4401 info@ppic.org • www.ppic.org Preface California is in the midst of historic changes that will profoundly affect its future. To understand these changes and how they influence voters’ choices at the ballot box, PPIC is conducting a series of comprehensive statewide surveys on the theme of "Californians and Their Government." This report presents the results of the fourth of these statewide surveys, which will continue up to the November 2000 election. The first three surveys in this series were conducted in September, November, and December of 1999. (The November survey was a special edition, focusing on the Central Valley.) The purpose of the PPIC Statewide Survey is to develop an in-depth profile of the social, economic, and political forces affecting California elections and public policy preferences. The surveys are intended to provide the public, the media, and policymakers with relevant, non-partisan, advocacy-free information on the following: • What Californians know about government at all levels, how they rate elected officials and public services, and what government actions they prefer. • The public’s interest in civic affairs and politics, their current and preferred information sources, their attention to state political news, and their ratings of the media. • How growing regions and groups—such as the Central Valley, suburban regions, Latinos, and independent voters—affect the state’s elections and policy debates. • The political attitudes and perceptions that are tied to "voter distrust" of government and the social, economic, and political factors that explain low voter turnout in state elections. • The role of political, social, and economic attitudes in public support for citizens’ initiatives and government reform proposals. Copies of the September, November, or December reports or additional copies of this report may be ordered by e-mail (order@ppic.org) or phone (415-291-4400). i Contents Preface Press Release California 2000 Election California State Government Political Trends Social and Economic Trends Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i iii 1 11 21 31 34 35 39 - iii - CALIFORNIANS SAY QUALITY OF EDUCATION HAS WORSENED RECENTLY, BUT ARE UNWILLING TO ANTE UP FOR IMPROVEMENTS Bradley, McCain’s Upset Efforts Losing Momentum SAN FRANCISCO, California, January 14, 2000 — Despite Governor Davis’ singular focus on education since the 1998 Gubernatorial campaign, many Californians believe that the quality of education in public schools has not improved, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California. At the same time, they appear to be unwilling to foot the bill for improving the state’s ailing schools. Californians are more likely to rate the quality of K-12 public schools as a “big problem” today than they were two years ago (53% to 46%). Nearly twice as many state residents say that the quality of public education has gotten worse in the past few years than say it has improved (39% to 22%). Interestingly, parents with children in public schools are less likely than Californians overall to say that schools are a big problem (45%) and that school quality has worsened (27%). While they express distress about the condition of California’s schools, state voters do not appear willing to increase their local taxes to finance a solution, even in today’s boom times. When voters are read the current ballot summary for Proposition 26 — which would change the requirement for passing local school bonds from a two-thirds to a simply-majority vote — only 44 percent now say they would vote yes, while 45 percent say they would vote no. This constitutes a 20-point drop in support from PPIC’s December survey, which did not include statements — since approved for the March ballot — about the potential impacts on property taxes and local fiscal costs. “For nearly two years, Governor Davis has poured huge amounts of political capital into education reform, yet Californians are more pessimistic than ever about the state of our schools and are reluctant to pitch in,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “The Governor must convince residents that his more moderate reform efforts are having an effect, or face the possibility that unconventional alternatives like school vouchers will find new converts.” At present, Californians are nearly divided on the issue of school vouchers, with 51 percent saying that government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools and 46 percent in favor of providing taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for private or religious schools. Governor’s Report Card Approval of the Governor’s job performance remains steady, with 50 percent of Californians giving him excellent or good ratings. He receives his strongest marks in issue areas that are traditionally seen as Republican territory: A solid majority like the way Governor Davis is handling the state budget and taxes (57%) and crime and punishment (55%). About 50 percent of Republicans say they approve of the job that the Democratic Governor is doing in these areas. Although the survey was conducted during the week of the education-heavy State of the State address, Governor Davis receives slightly less support for his handling of K-12 education (51%). Fewer think he is doing a good job in handling HMO reform and health care (48%) and transportation and traffic congestion (46%). The Governor receives his lowest marks for his management of undocumented immigration (40%). “Davis’ perceived strength on crime and economic issues — rather than education, where he has placed such considerable focus — fits the profile of a Republican governor far more comfortably than that of a Democratic one,” said Baldassare. “After 16 years of Republican domination, he is clearly redefining the image of a Democratic Governor in the minds of Californians.” Bradley, McCain Stall in Bids to Claim California Prize Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore are in a statistical dead heat heading into California’s open primary on March 7. Support for Bush remains steady at 28 percent among likely voters, while Gore has picked up support since December (from 24% to 27%). Bush and Gore are also tied in a general election head-to-head match-up, with each receiving 46 percent support. Although they showed strong gains at the end of 1999, Democrat Bill Bradley and Republican Senator John McCain failed to increase their primary support between December and January. Bradley currently receives 13 percent (15% in December) and McCain 8 percent (9% in December) among likely voters. Democratic voters give Gore a more than two-to-one lead over Bradley (48% to 21%). Republican voters favor Bush by five to one over McCain (56% to 11%). “Despite a barrage of recent media reports about Bradley’s and McCain’s growing strength in key contest states like New Hampshire, Californians appear to be cooling their flirtation with these underdog candidates,” said Baldassare. “The California debates will be crucial. Nearly nine in 10 likely voters say these public debates are important to them.” Senator Dianne Feinstein has slightly expanded her lead over Congressman Tom Campbell in the U.S. Senate race. Feinstein now receives 53 percent and Campbell 12 percent among likely voters. Republicans are nearly as likely to support Democrat Feinstein as Republican Campbell (20% to 23%). Campbell is currently unknown by 80 percent of likely voters, while 13 percent giving him favorable ratings and 7 percent unfavorable. Feinstein is well known, with 50 percent giving her positive reviews, but she also receives strong negative ratings (32%). Death Penalty Surprise Although Californians appear poised to support the national favorites in the Presidential campaign, the views of state residents differ from those of the nation on a number of key issues, most notably the death penalty. Californians are evenly divided between punishments for first-degree murder, with 49 percent supporting the death penalty and 47 percent favoring life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Support for the death penalty is considerably stronger nationwide, with 56 percent advocating the death penalty in cases of first-degree murder and 38 percent preferring life imprisonment. Californians (71%) are slightly more likely than the population nationally (65%) to believe that government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion, while a slightly lower percentage of Californians (27% to 30% nationally) would like to see more laws restricting the availability of abortions. Californians are also more likely than the nation as a whole to oppose tax-payer funded school vouchers (51% to 47%). Similar to the nation, two in three Californians support increased regulation of guns. Defying political labels, California Latinos are more likely than residents of the state or nation generally to support life imprisonment over the death penalty, to back restrictions on the availability of abortions, to believe that the government does not do enough to regulate guns, to say that strict environmental laws cost too many jobs, and to oppose using the budget surplus to finance tax cuts. Majority Supports Taxing E-commerce Twenty percent of Californians say they purchased a lot (5%) or some (15%) of their Christmas gifts over the Internet this past holiday season. In the coming year, nearly one in four Californians expect to make a lot (5%) or some (18%) purchases using the Internet. Among those who say they often use the Internet, 41 percent purchased at least some gifts using the Internet this past holiday season and 44 percent expect to make at least some purchases over the Internet in the coming year. A “digital divide” is clearly evident in the case of e-commerce: Latinos were far less likely to shop over the Internet this holiday season than non-Hispanic whites (7% to 25%) and are less likely to expect to do California 2000 Election Presidential Primary The leading presidential candidates are in a statistical dead heat in the critical March 7th California primary, while their challengers’ bids for upset wins have stalled. If the primary were held today, Texas Governor George W. Bush (28%) and Vice President Al Gore (27%) would get about equal support from likely voters. Contenders Bill Bradley (13%) and Senator John McCain (8%) haven't gained any ground since last month, and 14 percent of likely voters are still undecided. Democratic voters give Gore more than a two-to-one lead over Bradley (48% to 21%). Gore does better against Bradley among Democratic women (52% to 16%) than among Democratic men (42% to 26%). Republican voters favor Bush by five to one over McCain (56% to 11%). Bush has a big lead among both Republican women (60% to 8%) and Republican men (52% to 14%). As for the crossover vote in the open/blanket primary, Democrats (14%) are more likely to support Republican candidates than Republicans (9%) are to support Democratic candidates. Independent voters show no clear preference yet among the Democratic and the Republican choices. Gore has the lead over all other candidates in the San Francisco Bay area (35%) and Los Angeles County (31%), while Bush is ahead of all other candidates in the Central Valley (42%) and in the rest of Southern California (34%). Bradley gets his greatest support in the San Francisco Bay area (21%), while McCain does about the same across the state's major regions. Latinos favor Gore (38%) over Bush (27%), Bradley (6%), and McCain (5%). In contrast, non-Hispanic whites favor Bush (30%) over Gore (23%), Bradley (15%), and McCain (10%). "If the Presidential Primary were held today, who would you vote for?" George W. Bush Al Gore Bill Bradley John McCain Steve Forbes Gary Bauer Donald Trump Someone else * Don't know Dec 98* 21% 31 – – 4 – – 25 19 Likely Voters Sep 99* Dec 99 27% 28% 27 24 7 15 49 33 12 –1 17 4 14 14 Jan 00 28% 27 13 8 3 2 1 4 14 * In the earlier surveys, “someone else” includes candidates who have since left the race. -1- California 2000 Election "If the Presidential Primary were held today, who would you vote for?" Likely Voters (January 2000) George W. Bush Al Gore Bill Bradley John McCain Steve Forbes Gary Bauer Donald Trump Someone else Don't know Dem 8% 48 21 5 1 0 1 2 14 Party Rep 56% 5 4 11 3 2 0 6 13 Other 22% 19 14 11 5 3 4 3 19 Central Valley 42% 19 6 8 2 2 2 4 15 Region SF Bay Area 21% 35 21 7 1 1 1 2 11 Los Angeles 20% 31 14 8 2 3 1 3 18 Other Southern California 34% 23 10 9 6 1 1 3 13 Latino 27% 38 6 5 2 1 2 2 17 Leading Presidential Candidates At this time, it looks as though the race for California’s mother lode of Electoral College votes would be very close if Bush were matched up against either Gore or Bradley in November. California voters now favor Bush and Gore equally (46% to 46%), and Bush is in a statistical dead heat with Bradley (47% to 45%). These results are very similar to the results of the December survey. Whether matched against Bradley or Gore, Bush is supported by more than 80 percent of Republicans and by 45 percent of independents. Bradley and Gore both have the support of about three in four Democrats, and four in 10 independents. However, Bush receives more crossover votes from Democrats than either Gore or Bradley does from Republicans. Thus, despite the Democratic registration edge in the state, Bush could tie Gore or Bradley. Gore and Bradley do best against Bush in the Democratic strongholds of the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles County. Bush has solid leads against either Gore or Bradley in the more Republican-leaning Central Valley and the Southern California region outside of Los Angeles. In contrast with the poor showings that Republican candidates have had with Latino voters in recent elections, Bush has the support of four in 10 Latinos against Gore and Bradley. Non-Hispanic whites favor Bush over Gore (50% to 41%) and Bush over Bradley (49% to 42%). There are mixed signs of a “gender gap” in presidential preferences. Men favor Bush over Gore (51% to 42%), while women support Gore over Bush (50% to 41%). However, while men also favor Bush over Bradley (50% to 44%), women support Bradley (46%) and Bush (44%) about equally. -2- California 2000 Election "If these were the candidates in the Presidential Election in November 2000, who would you vote for?" George W. Bush Al Gore Don't know George W. Bush Bill Bradley Don't know Dec 98 47% 45 8 – – – Likely Voters Sep 99 Dec 99 49% 48% 44 44 78 51% 46% 38 44 11 10 Jan 00 46% 46 8 47% 45 8 George W. Bush Al Gore Don't know George W. Bush Bill Bradley Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 16% 77 7 19% 73 8 Party Rep 84% 10 6 82% 13 5 Other 45% 44 11 45% 40 15 Central Valley 59% 34 7 61% 28 11 Region SF Bay Area 34% 59 7 36% 58 6 Los Angeles 38% 52 10 39% 51 10 Other Southern California 53% 40 7 53% 40 7 Latino 40% 58 2 45% 52 3 Presidential Campaigning When George W. Bush in a recent debate named Jesus as the political philosopher he most identified with, he rekindled the controversy over discussing religious beliefs in political campaigns. A slim majority (51%) of likely voters approve of candidates talking about religious values in the course of the campaigns, but 39 percent disapprove. Ten percent are unsure about mixing presidential politics and religion. While most Republicans (66%) are comfortable with candidates talking about religious values, nearly half of the Democrats (47%) and independents (49%) are not. Republican women (71%) are the most approving of candidates talking about religious values, while Democratic men (50%) are the most disapproving. Regionally, Central Valley voters (63%) are the most positive about religious talk in campaigns, while San Francisco Bay area voters are the least approving (37%). Latinos and non-Hispanic whites are about equally approving (53% to 50%). With or without religious talk, the candidate debates are likely to play a critical role in the upcoming California primary. Eighty-five percent of likely voters say that the candidates’ performances in public debates are important to them in deciding who gets their vote in the primary. In fact, one in three says that the debates are “very” important to them. Interestingly, Latinos (52%) are much more likely than non-Hispanic whites (27%) to say that the debates are very important to them. The importance placed on the debates is similar across parties and regions of the state. -3- California 2000 Election "What is your opinion about presidential candidates who talk about religious values when they are campaigning? Do you approve or disapprove?" Likely Voters (January 2000) Approve 51% Disapprove 39 Don't know 10 Approve Disapprove Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 42% 47 11 Party Rep 66% 25 9 Other 42% 49 9 Central Valley 63% 29 8 Region SF Bay Area 37% 53 10 Los Angeles 52% 38 10 Other Southern California 53% 35 12 Latino 53% 41 6 "How important to you are the candidates’ performances in public debates?" Likely Voters (January 2000) Very important 33% Somewhat important 52 Not important 14 Don't know 1 Likely Voters (January 2000) Party Very important Somewhat important Not important Don't know Dem 34% 51 14 1 Rep 29% 56 15 0 Other 36% 49 15 0 Central Valley 32% 53 14 1 Region SF Bay Area 33% 53 14 0 Los Angeles 33% 52 14 1 Other Southern California 32% 52 15 1 Latino 52% 42 6 0 -4- California 2000 Election U.S. Senate Race There has been no significant change in views of the Senate primary since the December survey. About half of the likely voters would give their support in the March open primary for the U.S. Senate seat to incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Congressman Tom Campbell leads the other three GOP candidates but has only 12 percent of the total vote. One in four voters is undecided. Among the Democrats, eight in 10 say they would vote for Feinstein in the March Primary, while few would cross over and vote for one of the Republicans. Interestingly, Republicans currently divide their support between Campbell (23%) and Feinstein (20%), with 14 percent attracted to the other three GOP candidates, and four in 10 are undecided. Half of the independents say they will vote for Feinstein, while 13 percent favor Campbell, and one in four is undecided. Feinstein and Campbell get their greatest support on their home turf—the San Francisco Bay area. Support for Feinstein is much higher among Latinos (65%) than among non-Hispanic whites (47%). Feinstein has similar support among Democratic men (79%) and Democratic women (83%), but Republican men (30%) are more likely than Republican women (15%) to favor Campbell. "If the March 2000 primary election for the U.S. Senate were being held today, who would you vote for?" Dianne Feinstein Tom Campbell Ray Haynes Bill Horn J.P. Gough Other Don't know Likely Voters Dec 99 Jan 00 50% 53% 12 12 34 23 01 31 30 26 Dianne Feinstein Tom Campbell Ray Haynes Bill Horn J.P. Gough Other Don’t know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 81% 3 1 1 0 1 13 Party Rep 20% 23 7 6 1 1 42 Other 52% 13 4 3 1 0 27 Central Valley 38% 13 4 4 2 1 38 Region SF Bay Area 68% 15 2 1 0 0 14 Los Angeles 57% 8 2 2 0 2 29 Other Southern California 48% 11 7 7 1 0 26 Latino 65% 8 5 2 1 1 18 -5- California 2000 Election Popularity Ratings Tom Campbell, the current Republican front-runner in the U.S. Senate race, faces a formidable challenge in becoming a public figure sufficiently well-known and popular to win in November. Currently, 80 percent say they do not know enough about Campbell to have an opinion. He is relatively unknown even to most Republicans and voters in his home region of the San Francisco Bay area. Feinstein has challenges of her own. The good news is that she is well-known, having run in three statewide elections in the 1990s, and has no Democratic opponent in the primary. The bad news is that, while most voters have an opinion of Feinstein, only half have a favorable view. Feinstein is well-liked among Democrats (72%) and voters in the San Francisco Bay area (67%). In comparison, Republicans (24%), independents (50%), and Central Valley voters (39%) are less inclined to give her favorable ratings. There are no differences between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites in favorable ratings (49% to 50%). However, non-Hispanic whites are much more likely than Latinos to give Feinstein unfavorable ratings (37% to 15%), while Latinos are more likely to have no opinion (36% to 13%). Women (54%) are more likely than men (47%) to say that they like Feinstein. Likely Voters (January 2000) "Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Tom Campbell, or don’t you know enough about him to have an opinion?" Favorable 13% Unfavorable 7 Don't know 80 "Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Dianne Feinstein, or don’t you know enough about her to have an opinion?" Favorable 50% Unfavorable 32 Don't know 18 Tom Campbell Favorable Unfavorable Don’t know Dianne Feinstein Favorable Unfavorable Don't know Dem Party Rep Likely Voters (January 2000) Other Central Valley Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 10% 9 81 17% 3 80 15% 10 75 11% 6 83 28% 14 58 7% 4 89 7% 5 88 7% 5 88 72% 11 17 24% 58 18 50% 33 17 39% 44 17 67% 20 13 55% 25 20 41% 41 18 49% 15 36 -6- California 2000 Election Proposition 22: "Limit on Marriages" Initiative Proposition 22, the "Limit on Marriages" initiative, would require that only a marriage between a man and a woman be recognized in the state. This initiative continues to be supported by a majority of likely voters: 57 percent are in favor of Proposition 22, while 38 percent are opposed. There are deep divisions in opinions toward Proposition 22, both across parties and regions of the state. A majority of Democrats oppose Proposition 22, while Republicans favor this initiative by a threeto-one margin, and a narrow majority of independent voters want to limit marriages. A majority of San Francisco Bay area voters (53%) opposes Proposition 22, while voters in the Central Valley (72%) strongly favor it. Latinos (67%) show more support for Proposition 22 than non-Hispanic whites (56%). There are no gender differences in support for Proposition 22. While voters currently favor the “Limit on Marriages” initiative, about as many approve (48%) as disapprove (46%) of a Vermont court ruling that gives gay and lesbian couples the same protections and benefits as heterosexual married couples. However, there are major partisan differences in response to this ruling. Most Democrats (63%) and independents (55%) approve of the court ruling, while most Republicans (66%) disapprove. San Francisco Bay area residents (64%) strongly approve of the Vermont ruling, while approval is lower in other regions. Support for Proposition 22 is strongly correlated with opposition to gay marriages. Fifty-five percent are opposed to gay marriages. Of those opposing gay marriages, nine in 10 plan to vote for Proposition 22. While a narrow majority of Democrats (51%) favor gay marriages, Republicans are mostly opposed (73%), and independents are evenly divided. A majority in the San Francisco Bay area favors having gay marriages, but in every other region a majority is opposed. Still, Californians are more accepting of gay marriages than the nation as a whole; 28 percent favored gay marriages and 64 percent were opposed in a national survey by NBC/The Wall Street Journal in 1999. "Proposition 22—the ‘limit on marriages’ initiative on the March 2000 ballot—adds a provision to the family code providing that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 22?" Yes No Don't know Dec 98* 64% 33 3 Likely Voters Sep 99* Dec 99 63% 58% 34 38 34 Jan 00 57% 38 5 * Referred to as "Definition of Marriage" initiative in earlier surveys. Yes No Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 44% 51 5 Party Rep 76% 20 4 Other 53% 41 6 Central Valley 72% 24 4 Region SF Bay Area 41% 53 6 Los Angeles 56% 37 7 Other Southern California 62% 34 4 Latino 67% 29 4 -7- California 2000 Election Likely Voters (January 2000) "Recently, the State Supreme Court in Vermont ruled that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the same protections and benefits as heterosexual married couples. Do you approve or disapprove of this court ruling?" Approve 48% Disapprove 46 Don't know 6 "Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?" Favor 38% Oppose 55 Don't know 7 Proposition 26: Simple Majority Vote While voters have consistently identified schools as the state’s most pressing problem, many apparently do not see making it easier to increase their own local property taxes as part of the solution. Proposition 26 would change the requirement for passing local school bonds from two-thirds to a simple-majority vote. After the wording in our survey changed to reflect the approved title and summary of this initiative on the March ballot, support for it dropped. When voters are read the current ballot summary for Proposition 26, only 44 percent say they would vote yes, while 45 percent said they would vote no. This constitutes a 20-point drop in support from the survey in early December, which did not include statements—since approved for the March ballot—about the potential impacts on property taxes and local fiscal costs. A narrow majority of Democrats (51%), just under half of independent voters (47%), and few Republicans (33%) now support Proposition 26 and its simple-majority vote for local school bonds. The only region where there is 50 percent support for Proposition 26 is the San Francisco Bay area. Latinos (53%) are more supportive of a simple-majority vote than non-Hispanic whites (41%). The proponents of Proposition 26 have argued that the supermajority vote requirement for passing local school bonds has hurt local schools. Most voters do not share this perception. Only onethird of likely voters think that the two-thirds majority for local school bonds has been a “bad thing,” while more than half think it has been a “good thing” for their schools. Republicans (61%) are more likely than Democrats (51%) or independents (45%) to see the two-thirds vote as a positive for their local schools, but those who say it is a “bad” thing are in the minority in all political groups. Only in the San Francisco Bay area (46%) do fewer than half of the voters see the supermajority vote as being mostly a good thing. There are no differences between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. By an even wider two-to-one margin, voters feel that the Proposition 13-imposed requirement of a two-thirds majority vote to raise local property taxes is a good thing rather than a bad thing. At least a majority in all political groups, regions of the state, and racial and ethnic groups see this supermajority vote requirement for raising local property taxes as generally a good thing. -8- California 2000 Election "Proposition 26—the 'school facilities, local majority vote, bonds, taxes' initiative on the March 2000 ballot—would authorize local school districts to issue bonds for construction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities if approved by a simple majority of local voters. It authorizes property taxes higher than the existing one percent limit by majority vote, rather than by the two-thirds vote currently required, to pay the bonds. The fiscal costs to local school districts are potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars statewide each year within a decade, depending on voter actions on future local school bonds. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 26?" Yes No Don't know Sep 99* 76% 20 4 Likely Voters Dec 99* 64% 31 5 Jan 00 44% 45 11 * Wording did not reflect the most recent ballot title and summary. Likely Voters (January 2000) Yes No Don't know Dem 51% 38 11 Party Rep 33% 56 11 Other 47% 41 12 Central Valley 45% 44 11 Region SF Bay Area 50% 38 12 Los Angeles 39% 49 12 Other Southern California 42% 49 9 Latino 53% 36 11 Likely Voters (January 2000) "Overall, do you think that the two-thirds vote requirement for passing local school bonds has been a good thing or a bad thing for your local schools?” Good thing 53% Bad thing 32 No difference 4 Don't know 11 "In general, do you think that requiring a two-thirds majority vote—instead of a simple majority—to increase local property taxes is a good thing or a bad thing?" Good thing 62% Bad thing 32 No difference 1 Don't know 5 -9- California 2000 Election News Stories About the Presidential Election Getting the attention of California voters over the next few weeks will be one of the biggest challenges facing the presidential candidates. Voters are still not very focused on the 2000 election, despite the increased news coverage of the New Hampshire race and other early presidential primaries. While two in three likely voters are paying at least a fair amount of attention, only 13 percent are "very closely" following the news stories about the candidates. The biggest group—about half—are following them "fairly closely," but 36 percent are not closely following the presidential sweepstakes. Democrats (67%) are only a little more likely than Republicans (60%) and independents (63%) to say they are at least fairly closely following the presidential primaries. Few voters in any political group are very closely following the election news. There are no significant differences across regions. Latino voters (49%) are much less likely than non-Hispanic white voters (67%) to indicate they are very or fairly closely following the 2000 election. A majority of Latino voters say they are not closely following the news about the presidential primaries at this time. "How closely have you been following the news stories about candidates for the 2000 presidential election?" Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know Likely Voters Dec 99 Jan 00 16% 13% 52 50 26 30 66 01 Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 14% 53 28 5 0 Party Rep 13% 47 32 7 1 Other 13% 50 31 6 0 Central Valley 11% 49 32 7 1 Region SF Bay Area 14% 51 31 4 0 Los Angeles 12% 51 28 8 1 Other Southern California 16% 48 31 5 0 Latino 12% 37 38 13 0 - 10 - California State Government Public Schools Throughout the 1998 gubernatorial election, Californians said that the quality of education in public schools was the biggest issue facing the state. When Governor Gray Davis was elected, he said that improving the public school system would be his top priority. A year later, how does the public feel about the quality of education? Californians are more likely to rate the quality of K-12 public schools as a "big problem" today than they were two years ago (53% to 46%). Moreover, only 22 percent say the public schools have improved in the past few years, and many think they have gotten worse (39%). These perceptions vary in interesting ways across regions and groups. Residents of the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles County are the most negative about schools. Latinos are more upbeat than non-Hispanic whites about schools. Parents with children in public school are less likely that Californians overall to say that schools are a big problem (45%) and that school quality has gotten worse (27%). Those who get most of their state news from newspapers (59%) are more likely than those who get most of their news from television (44%) to say that the quality of K-12 public schools is a big problem. How much of a problem is the quality of education in K-12 public schools in California today? Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don't know In the past few years, do you think the quality of education in California's K-12 public schools has improved, gotten worse, or stayed the same? Improved Gotten Worse Stayed the same Don't know All Adults May 98 Jan 00 46% 33 14 7 53% 30 13 4 – 22% – 39 – 34 –5 - 11 - California State Government January 2000 K-12 public schools in California Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know Public schools in past few years Improved Gotten worse Stayed the same Don’t know All Adults 53% 30 13 4 22% 39 34 5 Central Valley 51% 33 13 3 24% 37 35 4 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles 60% 27 10 3 58% 28 11 3 20% 43 30 7 19% 44 32 5 Other Southern California 45% 32 18 5 24% 31 38 7 Latino 36% 33 27 4 37% 22 37 4 Crime Rate Californians are becoming less worried about crime. While half say that crime in California is a "big problem" today, this is a sharp decline from the 66 percent who held this view two years ago. More people than in May 1998 rate crime as "somewhat" of a problem (28% to 42%), while there has been little change in the number who think that crime is "not much" of a problem (4% to 7%). The percentage saying that crime is a big problem fell in every region, but San Francisco Bay area residents are the least concerned about the threat. Among Latinos, crime is much more likely than among non-Hispanic whites to be perceived as a big problem (59% to 48%). Californians are also much less likely than they were two years ago to say that crime is increasing (26% to 46%). Still, fewer than four in 10 believe that crime rates are on the decline in the past few years, while one-third think there has been no change. San Francisco Bay area residents are the least likely to think that crime is increasing. Latinos are more likely than nonHispanic whites to believe that crimes are still increasing (34% to 25%). News source is evidently related to perceptions of crime: Those who get most of their state news from television (58%) are more likely than those who get it from newspapers (43%) to say that crime is a big problem. Moreover, those who get most of their state news from television (30%) are less likely than those who get their state news mostly from newspapers (46%) to think that the crime rate is decreasing. - 12 - California State Government How much of a problem is crime in California today? Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don't know In the past few years, do you think the crime rate in California has increased, decreased, or stayed the same? Increased Decreased Stayed the same Don't know All Adults May 98 Jan 00 66% 28 4 2 50% 42 7 1 46% 24 28 2 26% 38 33 3 January 2000 Crime rate in California Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know Crime rate in past few years Increased Decreased Stayed the same Don’t know All Adult s 50% 42 7 1 26% 38 33 3 Central Valley 56% 37 6 1 30% 27 40 3 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles 39% 50 10 1 53% 39 7 1 20% 43 33 4 28% 39 31 2 Other Southern California Latino 49% 43 7 1 27% 40 30 3 59% 32 8 1 34% 33 31 2 - 13 - California State Government Job Performance Ratings for State Officials This survey was taken during a time when the Governor's "State of the State" address and state budget proposals focused attention on his actions. At this point, a bare majority of Californians give Governor Gray Davis positive marks for his overall job performance during his first year in office: 50 percent rate his performance as excellent or good, one-third say he is doing a fair job, and 9 percent rate his job performance as poor. Seven percent have no opinion. The positive ratings are similar to those in September (51%) and December (51%). The positive ratings are fairly similar across all regions of the state: 52% in the San Francisco Bay area, 51% in Los Angeles County, 49% in the rest of the Southern California region, and 47 percent in the Central Valley. Latinos (53%) are a little more likely than non-Hispanic whites (48%) to give Davis high marks. A higher percentage of Democrats (58%) give the Governor excellent or good grades than do Republicans or independent voters (42% each). Few in any region, racial or ethnic group, or political group give poor grades to the Governor's overall job performance. The Legislature is another story. Significantly fewer Californians give positive marks to the California Legislature. Thirty-four percent rate the legislative body of state government as doing an excellent or good job, 44 percent rate it as doing a fair job, and 11 percent as doing poorly. Eleven percent have no opinion. The positive ratings are statistically unchanged from September (32%) and December (37%). The positive ratings of the Legislature vary somewhat across regions: 41% in Los Angeles County, 34% in the rest of the Southern California region, 31% in the San Francisco Bay area, and 31 percent in the Central Valley. Latinos (48%) are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (31%) to give the Legislature excellent or good grades. Democrats (38%) give higher marks to the Legislature than independent voters (27%) or Republicans (28%). "How would you rate the job performance of …" Governor Gray Davis Excellent Good Fair Poor Don't know California Legislature Excellent Good Fair Poor Don't know Sep 99 10% 41 34 9 6 2% 30 48 13 7 - 14 - All Adults Dec 99 9% 42 31 12 6 3% 34 41 13 9 Jan 00 9% 41 34 9 7 3% 31 44 11 11 California State Government January 2000 Governor Gray Davis Excellent Good Fair Poor Don’t know California Legislature Excellent Good Fair Poor Don't know All Adults 9% 41 34 9 7 3% 31 44 11 11 Democrat Party Registration Republican Other Voters Not Registered to Vote Latino 12% 46 32 5 5 4% 38 37 15 6 9% 33 42 10 6 10% 41 27 6 16 12% 41 31 5 11 3% 35 46 5 11 0% 28 46 17 9 1% 26 47 15 11 6% 36 37 7 14 7% 41 35 5 12 Governor’s Report Card While half of Californians give their Governor positive marks overall for his job performance, Davis' approval ratings range from 40 percent to 57 percent for six specific issue areas of concern to the state's residents. A solid majority like the way the Democratic Governor is handling the state budget and taxes (57%) and crime and punishment (55%)—two issues which are usually considered as Republican strengths and Democratic weaknesses. About half like the way he is handling the K-12 public schools—an issue which the Governor has repeatedly referred to as his first, second, and third priority. A little less than half think that he is doing a good job in handling HMO reform and health care (48%) and transportation and traffic congestion (46%). The Governor's lowest ratings are for his handling of illegal immigration (40%). Not surprisingly, Democrats give the Governor higher ratings than Republicans across the board, but the Democratic ratings follow the general overall pattern—a solid majority approve his handling of the state budget and taxes, crime and punishment, public schools, and HMO reform and health care, but fewer than half are impressed with his performance on transportation and traffic congestion and illegal immigration. About half of Republicans like the job he is doing on fiscal matters and crime, and four in 10 approve of the way he handles the schools, health care and traffic congestion, while only one in three are in favor of his handling of illegal immigration. More than half of independents like the Governor’s performance on the state budget and taxes and crime and punishment, while fewer approve of his handling of schools (45%), health care(45%), traffic congestion (43%), and illegal immigration (38%). - 15 - California State Government About six in 10 Latinos say they approve of the way the Governor is handling five of the six issue areas (i.e., fiscal, crime, schools, health, traffic), while almost half like his performance on the issue of illegal immigration. By contrast, a majority of non-Hispanic whites approve of his handling of fiscal matters (56%) and crime (52%), while fewer are impressed with the way he is dealing with the schools (47%), health care (45%), traffic (41%), and illegal immigration (36%). Although San Francisco Bay area residents are among the most Democratic leaning in the state, they give the Governor the lowest approval ratings for his handling of schools (45%) and transportation (38%). "Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling …?" January 2000 State budget and taxes Approve Disapprove Don’t know Crime and punishment Approve Disapprove Don’t know K-12 Public education system Approve Disapprove Don't know HMO reform and health care Approve Disapprove Don’t know Transportation and traffic congestion Approve Disapprove Don’t know Illegal immigration Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults Democrat Party Registration Republican Other Voter Not Registered to Vote Latino 57% 23 20 67% 17 16 49% 29 22 56% 25 19 53% 23 24 59% 21 20 55% 24 21 60% 20 20 51% 25 24 55% 28 17 54% 24 22 61% 23 16 51% 28 21 58% 24 18 43% 34 23 45% 35 20 56% 22 22 62% 22 16 48% 26 26 56% 22 22 40% 31 29 45% 29 26 49% 26 25 58% 21 21 46% 27 27 48% 24 28 41% 30 29 43% 33 24 51% 24 25 60% 22 18 40% 33 27 45% 27 28 33% 41 26 38% 37 25 44% 29 27 49% 29 22 Impacts of the State’s Elected Officials - 16 - California State Government Few Californians give the Governor and State Legislature a lot of credit for the state's good economy and big budget surplus. However, half give them some credit for the current boom times in the private and public sectors. One in three say their state's elected officials deserve very little or no credit for today's economic and budget conditions. Democrats (seven in 10) are more generous in giving the Governor and Legislature at least some credit for the economy and budget surplus. Fifty-seven percent of independent voters say they deserve at least some credit for the economy, while 55 percent say they deserve at least some credit for the budget surplus. Almost half of Republicans give them very little or no credit for California's good economic times (45%) and strong fiscal conditions (46%). Latinos are more generous than non-Hispanic whites in giving the Governor and Legislature a lot or some credit for the economy (72% to 55%) and budget surplus (70% to 54%). There is very little difference across regions in perceptions of how much credit the Governor and Legislature deserve for these extraordinary good times in California. "How much credit do you think Governor Davis and the Legislature deserve for … ?" January 2000 California's economic conditions today A lot Some Very little None Don’t know The state budget surplus this year A lot Some Very little None Don't know All Adults Party Registration Democrat Republican Other Voter Not Registere d to Vote Latino 13% 48 27 8 4 16% 52 25 4 3 8% 9% 18% 25% 44 48 47 47 33 31 21 19 12 10 54 3 2 95 12% 47 24 10 7 16% 51 21 5 7 8% 10% 14% 20% 42 45 49 50 31 27 17 14 15 13 76 4 5 13 10 - 17 - California State Government Major Sources of State Government News Even though television has been criticized for having a small presence in Sacramento and little interest in covering state news, Californians (44%) say they get most of their news about the Governor and Legislature from television. Fewer get most of their state news from newspapers (35%), radio (10%), or other sources (10% combined). Democrats and Republicans both split their state news-gathering about equally between television and newspapers. Independent voters rely on newspapers more than on television and those who are not registered to vote rely overwhelmingly on television to inform themselves about the Governor and Legislature. Latinos heavily favor television over newspapers (66% to 17%), while non-Hispanic whites favor newspapers slightly over television (41% to 37%). Newspapers are favored over television in the San Francisco Bay area (44% to 33%). However, in every other region, television is the dominant source for state news. There are important differences in news sources across age groups. Adults under 35 heavily favor television over newspapers (51% to 24%), those who are 35 to 54 favor television only slightly over newspapers (41% to 37%), and those 55 and older choose newspapers over television (46% to 39%) as their state news source. Similar responses were found in the September 1999 survey. When asked where they get most of their information about politics, more Californians said television (45%) than newspapers (30%) or radio (9%) or any other sources (16%). “Where do you get most of your news and information about the Governor and California legislature?” January 2000 Television Newspapers Radio Talking to people Internet Magazines Don't know Party Registration All Adults 44% Democrat 41% Republican 37% Other Voters 32% 35 40 10 9 54 44 11 11 40 12 4 4 1 2 41 12 6 5 2 2 Not Registered to Vote Latino 65% 66% 18 17 67 65 33 11 11 - 18 - California State Government Attentiveness to State Government News Californians paid no more attention to state government news this month than they did last month—even though news about the Governor's "State of the State" address, the new Legislative session, and the state budget was abundant on television news and the front pages of the state's major newspapers. Thirty-nine percent pay very close or fairly close attention to news stories about the Governor and State Legislature, but only 6 percent say they follow this type of news “very closely.” Sixty percent pay little or no attention. A month ago the state government was fairly quiet, but attention to state news was the same. Democrats (47%), Republicans (42%), and independent voters (43%) are much more likely than those who are not registered to vote (26%) to follow state government news at least fairly closely. Still, fewer than one in 10 in any voter group is following state government news very closely. Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to say they very closely or fairly closely follow state news (34% to 42%). Central Valley residents (46%) are a little more likely than people in other regions to follow news about the Governor and State Legislature at least fairly closely. Only 30 percent of 18-to-34 year olds either very closely or fairly closely follow state government news, compared to 42 percent of 35 to 54 year olds, and 51 percent of those 55 and older. Those who say they get most of their state news from newspapers, as opposed to television news, are much more likely to be very or fairly close followers of state government news (52% to 34%). “How closely have you been following the news stories about the Governor and California Legislature?” Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know All Adults Dec 99 Jan 00 6% 6% 31 33 45 42 17 18 11 January 2000 Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know Party Registration All Adults 6% Democrat 7% Republican 5% Other Voters 8% 33 40 42 37 18 16 10 37 43 15 0 35 41 16 0 Not Registered to Vote Latino 7% 10% 19 24 48 46 26 19 01 - 19 - Political Trends Overall Trust in Government Californians are like the rest of Americans in being generally skeptical about the performance of the Federal government. Only one in three feels that the government in Washington can be trusted to do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time.” This is similar to the national trend and identical to the statewide results in our September 1998 survey. Within California, overall trust in government varies by partisanship, race and ethnicity, and region. Democrats (38%) are more likely than Republicans (24%) and independents (25%) to always or mostly trust the federal government. People who are not registered to vote have more trust in government than any of the voter groups. Latinos (49%) are much more likely than non-Hispanic whites (27%) to think the federal government can always or mostly be trusted. People living in Los Angeles County (39%) are more likely to say they always or mostly trust the federal government than those living in the rest of Southern California (31%), the San Francisco Bay Area (28%), or the Central Valley (29%). "How much of the time do you think you can you trust the government in Washington to do what is right?" All Adults U.S.* California Just about always Most of the time Only sometimes Never (volunteered) Don't know 4% 25 63 6 2 7% 25 62 5 1 * Source: Council for Excellence in Government, June 1999 Just about always Most of the time Only sometimes Never Don't know All Adults 7% Democrats 6% Party Registration Republicans 3% Other Voters 2% 25 32 62 59 53 10 21 23 71 67 57 01 Not Registered to Vote 18% Latino 21% 24 28 50 48 61 22 - 21 - Political Trends Fiscal Performance of Government The vast majority of Californians (93%) believe that people in government waste at least some tax money, while almost 60 percent think “a lot” of money is wasted. This is very similar to the national trend. However, the percentage of Californians who believe that government wastes a lot of money was higher (65%) when we asked this question in September 1998. Attitudes toward government's fiscal performance vary by partisanship, ethnicity and race, and region. Democrats (55%) are less likely than Republicans (64%) and independents (61%) to think the government wastes a lot of money. Non-Hispanic whites (61%) are more likely than Latinos (51%) to think that people in government waste a lot of money. People living in Los Angeles County (54%) are less likely to say the government wastes a lot of money than those living in the rest of Southern California (58%), the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), or the Central Valley (61%). "Do you think the people in 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 U.S.* California Waste a lot Waste some Don't waste much Don't know 61% 35 3 1 58% 35 5 2 * Source: National Election Studies, University of Michigan, 1998 Waste a lot Waste some Don't waste much Don't know All Adults 58% 35 5 Democrats 55% 39 5 Party Registration Republicans 64% 32 3 Other Voters 61% 34 3 21 12 Not Registered to Vote 55% 32 10 Latino 51% 32 13 34 - 22 - Political Trends Gun Control Like most Americans, most Californians (62%) believe that “the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns.” Only one in three think the government goes too far in this direction. Support for stricter gun laws varies by partisanship, race and ethnicity, and region. Most Democrats (73%) support increased gun regulations, while 55 percent of independents and 49 percent of Republicans want to see the government do more in this area. Latinos (70%) are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (59%) to believe that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. Fifty-three percent of Central Valley residents think that the government currently goes too far in restricting citizens' rights to own guns, compared with 26 percent of people in the San Francisco Bay area, 30 percent in Los Angeles County, and 34 percent in the rest of Southern California. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns 37% 35% The government does not do enough to regulate access to guns 59 62 Don't know 43 * Source: National survey conducted by Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 1999 Government goes too far in restricting guns Government does not do enough to regulate guns Don't know All Adults 35% 62 3 Party Registration Democrats Republicans Other Voters 23% 48% 41% 73 49 55 4 34 Not Registered to Vote Latino 31% 27% 67 70 23 - 23 - Political Trends Abortion Rights Californians (71%) are slightly more likely than the population nationally (65%) to believe that “government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion," while a slightly lower percentage of Californians (27% to 30%) would like to see more laws restricting availability of abortions. Although large majorities of Californians across party lines, race and ethnicity, and region support abortion access, there is significant variation. Eighty-one percent of Democrats think that government should not interfere with access, compared to 63 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of independents. Forty-one percent of Latinos think that the government should pass more regulations, compared to only 23 percent of non-Hispanic whites. People in the San Francisco Bay Area (81%) are more likely than people in Los Angeles County (66%), the rest of Southern California (71%), or the Central Valley (67%) to think that government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views…." All Adults U.S.* California Government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion Government should not interfere with a woman's access to abortion Don't know 30% 65 5 27% 71 2 * Source: National survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 1999 Government should pass more laws that restrict abortions Government should not interfere with a woman's access to abortion Don't know All Adults 27% 71 2 Democrats 18% 81 1 Party Registration Republicans Other Voters 34% 26% 63 71 33 Not Registered to Vote Latino 32% 41% 65 56 33 - 24 - Political Trends The Environment A large majority of Californians continue to be committed to environmental protection. Almost two-thirds of residents think that “stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.” This is similar to national trends. Majority support for stricter environmental laws and regulations is found in all political and demographic groups. However, there are important partisan and regional differences in California. For example, 40 percent of Republicans believe that “stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs,” while only 25 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independent voters share this sentiment. Latinos and non-Hispanic whites are equally likely to say that environmental regulations are worth the cost (62% each). In the Central Valley, 42 percent feel that too many jobs are lost to strict environmental regulations, compared to only 23 percent in the San Francisco Bay area, 30 percent in Los Angeles County, and 31 percent in the rest of the Southern California region. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost Don't know 28% 65 7 31% 64 5 * Source: National survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 1999 Stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs Stricter environmental laws are worth the cost Don't know All Adults 31% 64 5 Party Registration Democrats Republicans Other Voters 25% 40% 31% 70 57 66 5 33 Not Registered to Vote Latino 30% 34% 63 62 74 - 25 - Political Trends The Death Penalty On the issue of capital punishment, Californians tend to be less severe than the national population. Concerning the punishment for first-degree murder, Californians are evenly divided between preference for the death penalty (49%) and life imprisonment without parole (47%). In national surveys, the death penalty is favored over life imprisonment without parole by an 18-point margin. The partisan differences on punishment for first-degree murder are dramatic. Republicans favor the death penalty by a two-to-one margin, while Democrats support life imprisonment without parole over the death penalty by a 19-point margin. A narrow majority of independent voters favor the death penalty, while a similarly slim majority of nonvoters prefer life imprisonment without parole. Fiftyseven percent of Latinos think that life imprisonment without parole should be the sentence for firstdegree murder, while 53 percent of non-Hispanic whites think that it should be the death penalty. There are large regional differences, with 57 percent of those who live in the Central Valley supporting the death penalty, compared to 42 percent in the San Francisco Bay area, 48 percent in Los Angeles County, and 51 percent in the rest of Southern California. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California The penalty for first-degree murder should be the death penalty The penalty for first-degree murder should be life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole Don't know 56% 38 6 49% 47 4 * Source: National survey conducted by Gallup Organization, 1999 First-degree murder penalty should be death penalty First-degree murder penalty should be life imprisonment with no possibility of parole Don't know All Adults 49% 47 4 Democrats 38% 57 5 Party Registration Republicans Other Voters 65% 50% 32 45 35 Not Registered to Vote Latino 45% 39% 51 57 44 - 26 - Political Trends School Vouchers A slim majority of Californians (51%) believe that “government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools,” while 46 percent favor tax-funded vouchers to pay for private and religious schools. In national surveys, respondents are equally divided on this issue. There are, however, strong partisan differences in support for school vouchers. Fifty-eight percent of Democrats think that government funding should go exclusively to public institutions, while 57 percent of Republicans think that the government should use its money to issue vouchers that can be used at private and religious schools. Independents are evenly divided on this issue. Latinos (47%) and non-Hispanic whites (45%) express similar levels of support for school vouchers. Support for vouchers is weakest in the San Francisco Bay area (38%), while residents in the Central Valley (47%), Los Angeles (49%), and the rest of southern California (49%) are more likely to think that the government should provide vouchers. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views …" All Adults U.S.* California Government should give parents more educational choices by providing taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for private or religious schools Government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools Don't know 47% 47 6 46% 51 3 * Source: National survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 1999 Government should provide taxpayer-funded vouchers Government funding should be limited to public schools Don't know All Adults 46% 51 3 Party Registration Democrats Republicans Other Voters 39% 57% 48% 58 41 50 3 22 Not Registered to Vote Latino 44% 47% 54 51 22 - 27 - Political Trends The Federal Surplus and Tax Cuts What is the appropriate use of the federal budget surplus? Californians are divided on this issue. Forty-eight percent think that the “surplus should be used to cut taxes,” and 47 percent think that it “should be used to pay for social programs.” Americans are also equally likely to say they prefer cutting taxes to increasing funding for social programs. Republicans in California strongly favor tax cuts over increased spending for social programs (68% to 28%). Democrats are more likely to want the surplus spent on social programs rather than tax cuts (59% to 35%). Independents are divided on how to use the federal surplus. Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to want increased funding for social programs (55% to 44%) and less likely to want tax cuts (42% to 51%). People living in the Central Valley (56%) are more likely to favor tax cuts than people in the San Francisco Bay Area (41%), Los Angeles County (46%), and the rest of Southern California (52%). "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views …" All Adults U.S.* California The federal budget surplus should be used to cut taxes The federal budget surplus should be used to pay for social programs Both (volunteered) Don't know 44% 42 5 9 48% 47 2 3 * Source: National survey conducted by CBS News, 1999 Cut taxes Pay for social programs Both (volunteered) Don't know All Adults 48% 47 2 3 Party Registration Democrats 35% 59 2 4 Republicans 68% 28 3 1 Other Voters 49% 46 2 3 Not Registered to Vote 43% 53 1 3 Latino 42% 55 0 3 - 28 - Political Trends Political Orientation The political orientation of Californians has been remarkably consistent across the statewide surveys since April 1998 when we began asking people about their orientation. The largest percentage of Californians—about one in three—describe themselves as “middle-of-the-road" in their politics. About three in 10 call themselves liberals, and a little more than one in three say they are conservatives. About six in 10 residents place themselves in two political categories—middle-of-theroad to somewhat conservative. Few Californians think of themselves as either "very liberal" or "very conservative." There are major differences across political parties and racial and ethnic groups. Most Democrats say they are somewhat liberal or middle-of-the-road (68%), while most Republicans say they are middle-of-the-road to somewhat conservative (72%). Independents are most likely to call themselves middle-of-the-road (43%). Latinos are as likely as Non-Hispanic whites to call themselves liberal (27% to 28%), while non-Hispanic whites are more likely to say they are middle-of-the-road (37% to 28%) and Latinos are more likely to say they are conservative (42% to 34%). Still, most Latinos (62%) and non-Hispanic whites (64%) are middle-of-the-road to somewhat conservative. Central Valley residents (44%) are more likely to call themselves conservatives than people living in the San Francisco Bay area (25%), Los Angeles County (36%), or the rest of Southern California (37%). "Would you consider yourself to be politically…." Very liberal Somewhat liberal Middle-of-the-road Somewhat conservative Very conservative Don't know Apr 98 8% 20 36 24 11 1 May 98 8% 21 34 25 10 2 All Adults Sep 98 Dec 98 Sep 99 8% 8% 8% 20 22 21 34 32 34 26 26 25 10 11 10 212 Dec 99 10% 20 33 25 9 3 Jan 00 7% 21 34 27 9 2 January 2000 Very liberal Somewhat liberal Middle-of-the-road Somewhat conservative Very conservative Don't know All Adults 7% 21 34 27 9 2 Party Registration Democrats 12% 33 35 15 4 1 Republicans 3% 8 31 41 17 0 Other Voters 7% 19 43 24 5 2 Not Registered to Vote 6% 21 31 32 7 3 Latino 8% 19 28 34 8 3 - 29 - Social and Economic Trends Mood of the State Californians are highly optimistic about the state of their state as the new year begins. Sixty-six percent say that things are going in the right direction in California, compared to 26 percent who think that things are going in the wrong direction. The 40-point gap between positive sentiments and negative sentiments is the highest on record since we began conducting the PPIC Statewide Survey in April 1998. The mood is brighter in the San Francisco Bay Area than in other regions. Attitudes are similarly positive among Latinos (68%) and non-Hispanic whites (65%). Californians rate the quality of life in more glowing terms today than they did nearly two years ago. In the most recent survey, about eight in ten say that things in California are going very well or somewhat well, compared to the seven in 10 who held these positive perceptions in the May 1998 survey. The quality of life ratings are highly favorable across all regions of the state and identical for Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. Right direction Wrong direction Don't know "Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?" Apr 98 55% 36 9 May 98 56% 34 10 Sep 98 57% 34 9 All Adults Oct 98 Dec 98 62% 63% 30 28 89 Sep 99 61% 34 5 Dec 99 62% 31 7 Jan 00 66% 26 8 January 2000 Right direction Wrong direction Don't know All Adults 66% 26 8 Central Valley 61% 31 8 Region SF Bay Area 71% 22 7 Los Angeles 66% 25 9 Other Southern California 68% 26 6 Latino 68% 23 9 "Thinking about the quality of life in California, do you think things are going very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?" Very well Somewhat well Somewhat badly Very badly Don't know All Adults May 98 Jan 00 13% 19% 57 60 21 15 94 02 - 31 - Social and Economic Trends Y2K and the New Millennium The Y2K computer bug proved to be little problem in California, with 95 percent reporting no computer glitches at all. Only one percent reported having experienced major problems. This finding mirrors results of a national CBS News poll that found that only one percent of those surveyed had experienced any Y2K-related computer problems or inconveniences. Reports of Y2K computer problems were uniformly uncommon across state regions and racial and ethnic groups. Few computer users reported having either major (1%) or minor (4%) Y2K computer problems. Similarly, most Californians say that Y2K anxieties did not affect their New Year’s holiday plans. Only 11 percent avoided travel or cancelled travel plans around the New Year’s holiday because of Y2K concerns (6%) or fears of terrorism (5%). Only 12 percent said they stayed close to home for New Year’s Eve because of Y2K concerns (7%) or fears of terrorism (5). Los Angeles County residents were the most likely to be affected by Y2K and terrorism concerns. Latinos were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to alter their holiday travel plans (18% to 7%) or stay close to home (26% to 7%) because of Y2K or terrorism concerns. “Did you personally experience any problems because of the Y2K computer bug?” Yes, major problems Yes, minor problems No “Did you avoid traveling or cancel travel plans during the New Year’s holiday?” Yes, Y2K bug concerns Yes, terrorism concerns Yes, other reasons Did not avoid/cancel trips “Did you stay close to home on New Year’s eve?” Yes, Y2K bug concerns Yes, terrorism concerns Yes, other reasons Did not stay home All Adults 1% 4 95 6% 5 11 78 7% 5 60 28 Central Valley 0% 4 96 4% 4 11 81 5% 4 68 23 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 1% 4 95 2% 4 94 1% 4 95 2% 4 94 8% 3 10 79 8% 4 60 28 8% 7 10 75 10% 7 55 28 4% 5 12 79 10% 8 13 69 5% 5 59 31 18% 8 51 23 - 32 - Social and Economic Trends Computers and the Internet Computer use and Internet use in the state have increased by four points since September 1999. Today, 78 percent of Californians have used a computer, with 60 percent saying they "often" use a computer at home, school, or work. Sixty-four percent have used the Internet at some time, with 46 percent "often" using it. With regard to frequent computer use, there is a large "digital divide" across race, income, education, and age categories. Latinos are much less likely than non-Hispanic whites to use a computer on a frequent basis (38% to 63%). As for income, 28 percent of those with incomes under $20,000 often use computers, compared to 84 percent with incomes of $80,000 or more. Similarly, 33 percent of those with a high school education or less are frequent computer users, compared to 75 percent of those with a college education or higher. Frequent computer use is also highly evident among those 18 to 54 (66%) and much less common among those 55 and older (38%). As with overall computer use, Latinos lag far behind non-Hispanic whites in frequent use of the Internet (21% to 51%). Frequent Internet use increases with higher household income and education: Eighteen percent of those with household incomes under $20,000 often use the Internet, compared to 72 percent of those with incomes of $80,000 or more. Only 22 percent of those with a high school education or less are frequent Internet users, compared to 63 percent of those with a college education or higher. Frequent Internet use is found among half of the adult residents who are 18 to 54 (52%), while it is more rare among those who are 55 and older (28%). Ever use a computer at home, work, or school Ever access the Internet or World Wide Web Sep 99 74% 60 All adults Dec 99 76% 61 Jan 00 78% 64 "Do you ever go on line to access the Internet or World-Wide Web?” January 2000 Yes, often Yes, sometimes No, use computers No, don't use computers All Adults 46% 18 14 22 Under $20,000 18% 13 16 53 Annual Household Income $20,000 to $39,999 $40,000 to $79,999 32% 56% 22 19 19 14 27 11 $80,000 or more 72% 17 7 4 Latino 21% 19 21 39 - 33 - Social and Economic Trends Internet Shopping One in five Californians purchased a lot (5%) or some (15%) Christmas gifts over the Internet this past holiday season. Two in three Internet users did no Christmas shopping over the Internet at the end of last year. San Francisco Bay Area residents were the most likely to use the Internet for holiday shopping (27%), while Central Valley residents (16%) were the least likely to shop this way. The “digital divide” among racial and ethnic groups is again evident, with Latinos far less likely to shop on the Internet than non-Hispanic whites (7% to 25%). In the coming year nearly one in four Californians expect to make a lot (5%) or some (18%) purchases using the Internet. Once again, two in three Internet users expect to do very little or no shopping over the Internet. San Francisco Bay area residents (30%) expect to be the most active Internet shoppers. Latinos are again far less likely than non-Hispanic whites to expect to do a lot or some shopping on the internet (9% to 27%). Among those who say they often use the Internet, 41 percent purchased at least some gifts using the Internet this past holiday season, while 44 percent expect to make at least some purchases over the Internet in the coming year. “In the past few months, did you buy any Christmas or holiday gifts over the Internet?” All Adult s Yes, a lot 5% Yes, some 15 No 44 Don't use Internet 36 “This year, how often do you expect to make purchases over the Internet?” A lot 5% Some 18 Very little 21 Not at all 20 Don't use Internet 36 Central Valley 3% 13 46 38 4% 17 20 21 38 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles Other Southern California Latino 7% 20 44 29 5% 13 40 42 4% 17 48 31 1% 6 33 60 8% 22 23 18 29 5% 15 19 19 42 5% 17 25 22 31 2% 7 15 15 61 - 34 - Social and Economic Trends Internet Public Policy Among the most contentious issues surrounding the Internet today are taxation of online purchases and restriction of adult pornography. Fifty-two percent of Californians think that companies that sell items over the Internet should be required to collect sales taxes from their customers, while 41 percent think they should not have to collect sales taxes. A national survey conducted by Fox News in 1999 reported similar findings, with 49 percent in favor of internet sales taxes and 42 percent opposed. Support for collecting taxes on Internet purchases is higher among Democrats (57%) than Republicans (51%) and independents (48%). Those who are 55 and older (58%) favor Internet taxation more than those who are 18 to 34 (46%). Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to support Internet taxation (48% to 55%). On the issue of pornography, 51 percent favor a law to make it illegal for computer networks to carry pornographic material and 46% are opposed. Compared to the national population, more Californians are opposed to having the government create such restrictions on Internet use. In a Pew Center Survey in 1998, 57 percent were in favor of restricting Internet pornography and 34 percent were opposed. Support in California for such a law is stronger among Republicans (60%) than Democrats (48%) and independents (45%). Central Valley residents (58%) are more in favor than others of restrictions on Internet pornography. Age differences are also evident, with 63 percent of those 55 and older but 42 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 in favor of restrictions. There is little difference between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. Among Internet users, 45 percent are in favor of Internet taxation, while 51 percent are opposed. In terms of restricting pornography on the Internet, 48 percent of Internet users are in favor and 48 percent are opposed. Party Registration “Do you think that companies that sell items over the Internet should or should not be required to collect sales taxes from their customers?” Should Should not Don’t know “Do you favor or oppose a law that would make it illegal for a computer network to carry pornographic material over the Internet?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 52% 41 7 51% 46 3 Democrat 57% 37 6 48% 49 3 Republican 51% 42 7 60% 37 3 Not Other Registered 48% 46 6 50% 42 8 45% 49 6 49% 48 3 Latino 48% 44 8 49% 49 2 - 35 - Survey Methodology The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research assistance from Jonathan Cohen and Christopher Hoene. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,007 California adult residents interviewed from January 2 to January 10, 2000. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers, ensuring that both listed and unlisted telephone numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in California were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to five times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Each interview took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Maria Tello translated the survey into Spanish. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California's adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to U.S. Census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,007 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. The sampling error for the 1,527 registered voters is +/- 2.5% and for the 1,031 likely voters is +/- 3.5%. Sampling error is just 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. Throughout the report, we refer to four geographic regions. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “SF 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, and "Other Southern California" includes the mostly suburban regions of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. These four regions were chosen for analysis because they are the major population centers of the state, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population; moreover, the growth of the Central Valley and “Other Southern California” regions have given them increasing political significance. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 24 percent of the state's adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. For likely voters, the sample sizes for the African American and Asian subgroups are not large enough for separate statistical analysis. We contrast the opinions of Democrats and Republicans with "other" or “independent” registered voters. This third category includes those who are registered to vote as “decline to state” as well as a fewer number who say they are members of other political parties. In some cases we compare PPIC Statewide Survey responses to responses recorded in national surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center in 1998 and 1999, Gallup in 1999, CBS News in 1999, NBC/The Wall Street Journal in 1999, Fox News Opinion Dynamics in 1999, National Election Studies by the University of Michigan in 1998, and the Council for Excellence in Government in 1999. We used 1998 and 1999 PPIC Statewide Surveys to analyze trends over time in California. - 34 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT JANUARY 2 – JANUARY 10, 2000 2,007 CALIFORNIA ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/- 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE [Responses recorded for first 15 questions are from likely voters. All other responses are from all adults.] 1. In March 2000, California will hold an open primary. That means the voters will be able to vote for anyone they choose, regardless of the candidate’s party. If the presidential primary were held today, who would you vote for? (rotate names, then ask, “or someone else?”) 28% 27 13 8 3 2 2 1 1 1 14 George W. Bush, Republican Al Gore, Democrat Bill Bradley, Democrat John McCain, Republican Steve Forbes, Republican Gary Bauer, Republican Alan Keyes, Republican Orrin Hatch, Republican Donald Trump, Reform Party someone else (specify) don't know 2. If these were the candidates in the presidential election in November 2000, who would you vote for? (rotate) 46% 46 8 George W. Bush, Republican Al Gore, Democrat don't know 3. If these were the candidates in the presidential election in November 2000, who would you vote for? (rotate) 47% 45 8 George W. Bush, Republican Bill Bradley, Democrat don't know 4. In deciding who to vote for in the presidential primary, how important to you are the candidates' performances in public debates—very important, somewhat important, or not important? 33% 52 14 1 very important somewhat important not important don't know 5. What is your opinion about presidential candidates who talk about religious values when they are campaigning? Do you approve or disapprove? 51% 39 10 approve disapprove don't know 6. If the March 2000 primary election for the U.S. Senate were being held today, who would you vote for? (rotate names, then ask, “or someone else?”) 53% 12 4 3 1 1 26 Dianne Feinstein, Democrat Tom Campbell, Republican Ray Haynes, Republican Bill Horn, Republican J.P. Gough, Republican someone else (specify) don't know 7. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Tom Campbell, or don't you know enough about him to have an opinion? 13% 7 80 favorable unfavorable don't know 8. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Dianne Feinstein, or don't you know enough about her to have an opinion? 50% 32 18 favorable unfavorable don't know 9. Proposition 22—the “limit on marriages” initiative on the March 2000 ballot—adds a provision to the family code providing that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 22? 57% 38 5 yes no don't know 10. Recently, the State Supreme Court in Vermont ruled that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the same protections and benefits as heterosexual married couples. Do you approve or disapprove of this court ruling? 48% 46 6 approve disapprove don't know 11. And do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 38% 55 7 favor oppose don't know - 35 - 12. Proposition 26—the “school facilities, local majority vote, bonds, taxes” initiative on the March 2000 ballot—would authorize local school districts to issue bonds for construction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities if approved by a simple majority of local voters. It authorizes property taxes higher than the existing 1 percent limit by majority vote, rather than by the two-thirds vote currently required, to pay the bonds. The fiscal costs to local school districts are potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars statewide each year within a decade, depending on voter actions on future local school bonds. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 26? 44% yes 45 no 11 don't know 13. Overall, do you think that the two-thirds vote requirement for passing local school bonds has been a good thing or a bad thing for your local schools? 53% 32 4 11 good thing bad thing no difference (code don’t read) don't know 14. In general, do you think that requiring a two-thirds majority vote—instead of a simple majority—to increase local property taxes is a good thing or a bad thing? 62% 32 1 5 good thing bad thing no difference (code don’t read) don't know 15. How closely have you been following the news stories about candidates for the 2000 presidential election—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 13% 50 30 6 1 very closely fairly closely not too closely not at all closely don't know 16. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 66% right direction 26 wrong direction 8 don't know 17. Overall, thinking about the quality of life in California, do you think things are going very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly? 19% 60 15 4 2 very well somewhat well somewhat badly very badly don't know - 36 - 18. In your opinion, how much of a problem is crime in California today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 50% 42 7 1 big problem somewhat of a problem not much of a problem don't know 19. In the past few years, do you think the crime rate in California has increased, decreased, or stayed about the same? 26% 38 33 3 increased decreased stayed the same don't know 20. In your opinion, how much of a problem is the quality of education in kindergarten through twelfth grade public schools in California today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 53% 30 13 4 big problem somewhat of a problem not much of a problem don't know 21. In the past few years, do you think the quality of education in California's K through 12 public schools has improved, gotten worse, or stayed the same? 22% 39 34 5 improved gotten worse stayed the same don't know 22. On another topic, how do you rate the job performance of Governor Gray Davis at this time? 9% 41 34 9 7 excellent good fair poor don't know 23. How do you rate the job performance of the California legislature at this time? 3% 31 44 11 11 excellent good fair poor don't know 24. How closely have you been following the news stories about the Governor and California legislature—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 6% 33 42 18 1 very closely fairly closely not too closely not at all closely don't know 25. Where do you get most of your news and information about the Governor and California legislature—television, newspapers, radio, magazines, talking to people, or the Internet? 44% 35 10 1 5 4 0 1 television newspapers radio magazines talking to people Internet other don't know We are interested in your views about Governor Davis' first year in office. (rotate questions 26 to 31) 26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the state's kindergarten through twelfth grade public education system? 51% approve 28 disapprove 21 don't know 27. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Davis is handling crime and punishment issues? 55% approve 24 disapprove 21 don't know 28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the issue of illegal immigration? 40% approve 33 disapprove 27 don't know 29. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the state's HMO reform and health care issues? 48% approve 26 disapprove 26 don't know 30. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Davis is handling the issue of transportation and traffic congestion? 46% approve 27 disapprove 27 don't know 31. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the state budget and taxes? 57% approve 23 disapprove 20 don't know 32. How much credit do you think Governor Davis and the legislature deserve for California's economic conditions today—a lot, some, very little, or none? 13% 48 27 8 4 a lot some very little none don't know 33. How much credit do you think Governor Davis and the legislature deserve for the state budget surplus this year—a lot, some, very little, or none? 12% 47 24 10 7 a lot some very little none don't know I'm going to read some pairs of statements. As I read each pair, tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views—even if neither is exactly right. The first pair is: (ask questions 34-39; rotate questions and pairs) 34. (a) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns, (b) The government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 35% 62 3 goes too far does not do enough don't know 35. (a) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion, (b) the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 27% 71 2 restrict availability should not interfere with access don't know 36. (a) Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy, (b) Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. 31% 64 cost 5 stricter environmental laws cost jobs stricter environmental laws worth the don't know 37. (a) The penalty for first-degree murder should be the death penalty, (b) The penalty for firstdegree murder should be life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole. 49% 47 4 death penalty life imprisonment with no parole don't know - 37 - 38. (a) The government should give parents more educational choices by providing taxpayerfunded vouchers to pay for private or religious schools, (b) Government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools. 46% should provide vouchers 51 should limit funding to public schools 3 don't know 39. (a) The federal budget surplus should be used to cut taxes, (b) The federal budget surplus should be used to pay for social programs. 48% 47 2 3 cut taxes pay for social programs both (volunteered) don't know 40. On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain you are registered to vote? (if yes: "Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent or declineto-state?") 34% 27 3 14 22 yes, Democrat yes, Republican yes, other party yes, independent, decline to state no, not registered 41. Would you consider yourself to be politically very liberal, somewhat liberal, middle-of-theroad, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? 7% 21 34 27 9 2 very liberal somewhat liberal middle-of-the-road somewhat conservative very conservative don't know 42. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 17% 47 30 6 0 great deal fair amount only a little none don't know 43. How often would you say you vote—always, nearly always, part of the time, seldom, or never? 45% 24 12 6 13 0 always nearly always part of the time seldom never don't know 44. On another topic, how much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right? Just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 7% 25 62 5 1 just about always most of the time only sometimes never (code, don’t read) don't know 45. Do you think that the people in government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don't waste very much of it? 58% 35 5 2 a lot some don't waste very much don't know 46. On another topic, some people thought that computers would have trouble operating when we reached the year 2000 because of a programming issue known as Y2K. Did you personally experience any problems because of the Y2K computer bug? (if yes: "Were those major problems or minor problems?") 1% yes, major problems 4 yes, minor problems 95 no 47. Did you avoid traveling or cancel travel plans during the New Year's holiday? (if yes: "Was this because of concerns about Y2K computer problems, concerns about terrorism related to the millennium, or other reasons?") 6% 5 11 78 yes, Y2K yes, terrorism yes, other no 48. Did you stay close to home on New Year's eve? (if yes: "Was this because of concerns about Y2K computer problems, concerns about terrorism related to the millennium, or other reasons?") 7% 5 60 28 yes, Y2K yes, terrorism yes, other no 49. On another topic, do you yourself ever use a computer at home, at work, or at school? (if yes: "Do you do this often or only sometimes?") 60% 18 22 yes, often (ask question 50) yes, sometimes (ask question 50) no (skip to question 53) - 38 - 50. Do you ever go on-line to access the Internet or world wide web or to send or receive e-mail? (if yes: "Do you do this often or only sometimes?") 46% 18 14 22 53) yes, often (ask question 51) yes, sometimes (ask question 51) no (skip to question 53) don't use a computer (skip to question 51. In the past few months, did you buy Christmas or holiday gifts over the Internet? (if yes: "Did you buy a lot or only some gifts over the Internet?") 5% 15 44 36 yes, a lot yes, some no don’t use internet/computer 52. And this year, how often do you expect to make purchases over the Internet—a lot, some, very little, or not at all? 5% 18 21 20 36 a lot some very little not at all don’t use internet/computer 53. Companies that sell on the Internet say that requiring them to collect taxes would harm a growing part of the economy, while local stores say that not requiring Internet companies to collect sales taxes gives them an unfair advantage and discriminates against customers who buy at local stores. Do you think that companies that sell items over the Internet should or should not be required to collect sales taxes from their customers? 52% should 41 should not 7 don’t know 54. Do you favor or oppose a law that would make it illegal for a computer network to carry pornographic material over the Internet? 51% favor 46 oppose 3 don’t know [55-63. Demographic questions.] - 39 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Ruben Barrales President Joint Venture – Silicon Valley Network Angela Blackwell President Policy Link Nick Bollman Senior Program Director The James Irvine Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Matt Fong Attorney Sheppard Mullin William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Associate Claremont Graduate University Monica Lozano Associate Publisher and Executive Editor La Opinión Jerry Lubenow Director of Publications Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley Donna Lucas President Nelson Communications Max Neiman Director Center for Social and Behavioral Research University of California, Riverside Jerry Roberts Managing Editor San Francisco Chronicle Dan Rosenheim News Director KRON-TV Richard Schlosberg President The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Carol Stogsdill Senior Vice President APCO Associates Cathy Taylor Editorial Page Editor Orange County Register Steven Toben Program Officer The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center - 40 -" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(111) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-january-2000/s_100mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8057) ["ID"]=> int(8057) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:34:34" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3131) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 100MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_100mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_100MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "520401" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(92728) "PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government Mark Baldassare Senior Fellow and Survey Director January 2000 Public Policy Institute of California The Public Policy Institute of California is a private, nonprofit research organization established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. The Institute conducts independent, objective, nonpartisan research on the economic, social, and political issues affecting Californians. The Institute's goal is to raise public awareness of these issues and give elected representatives and other public officials a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 800 • San Francisco, California 94111 Telephone: (415) 291-4400 • Fax: (415) 291-4401 info@ppic.org • www.ppic.org Preface California is in the midst of historic changes that will profoundly affect its future. To understand these changes and how they influence voters’ choices at the ballot box, PPIC is conducting a series of comprehensive statewide surveys on the theme of "Californians and Their Government." This report presents the results of the fourth of these statewide surveys, which will continue up to the November 2000 election. The first three surveys in this series were conducted in September, November, and December of 1999. (The November survey was a special edition, focusing on the Central Valley.) The purpose of the PPIC Statewide Survey is to develop an in-depth profile of the social, economic, and political forces affecting California elections and public policy preferences. The surveys are intended to provide the public, the media, and policymakers with relevant, non-partisan, advocacy-free information on the following: • What Californians know about government at all levels, how they rate elected officials and public services, and what government actions they prefer. • The public’s interest in civic affairs and politics, their current and preferred information sources, their attention to state political news, and their ratings of the media. • How growing regions and groups—such as the Central Valley, suburban regions, Latinos, and independent voters—affect the state’s elections and policy debates. • The political attitudes and perceptions that are tied to "voter distrust" of government and the social, economic, and political factors that explain low voter turnout in state elections. • The role of political, social, and economic attitudes in public support for citizens’ initiatives and government reform proposals. Copies of the September, November, or December reports or additional copies of this report may be ordered by e-mail (order@ppic.org) or phone (415-291-4400). i Contents Preface Press Release California 2000 Election California State Government Political Trends Social and Economic Trends Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i iii 1 11 21 31 34 35 39 - iii - CALIFORNIANS SAY QUALITY OF EDUCATION HAS WORSENED RECENTLY, BUT ARE UNWILLING TO ANTE UP FOR IMPROVEMENTS Bradley, McCain’s Upset Efforts Losing Momentum SAN FRANCISCO, California, January 14, 2000 — Despite Governor Davis’ singular focus on education since the 1998 Gubernatorial campaign, many Californians believe that the quality of education in public schools has not improved, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California. At the same time, they appear to be unwilling to foot the bill for improving the state’s ailing schools. Californians are more likely to rate the quality of K-12 public schools as a “big problem” today than they were two years ago (53% to 46%). Nearly twice as many state residents say that the quality of public education has gotten worse in the past few years than say it has improved (39% to 22%). Interestingly, parents with children in public schools are less likely than Californians overall to say that schools are a big problem (45%) and that school quality has worsened (27%). While they express distress about the condition of California’s schools, state voters do not appear willing to increase their local taxes to finance a solution, even in today’s boom times. When voters are read the current ballot summary for Proposition 26 — which would change the requirement for passing local school bonds from a two-thirds to a simply-majority vote — only 44 percent now say they would vote yes, while 45 percent say they would vote no. This constitutes a 20-point drop in support from PPIC’s December survey, which did not include statements — since approved for the March ballot — about the potential impacts on property taxes and local fiscal costs. “For nearly two years, Governor Davis has poured huge amounts of political capital into education reform, yet Californians are more pessimistic than ever about the state of our schools and are reluctant to pitch in,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “The Governor must convince residents that his more moderate reform efforts are having an effect, or face the possibility that unconventional alternatives like school vouchers will find new converts.” At present, Californians are nearly divided on the issue of school vouchers, with 51 percent saying that government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools and 46 percent in favor of providing taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for private or religious schools. Governor’s Report Card Approval of the Governor’s job performance remains steady, with 50 percent of Californians giving him excellent or good ratings. He receives his strongest marks in issue areas that are traditionally seen as Republican territory: A solid majority like the way Governor Davis is handling the state budget and taxes (57%) and crime and punishment (55%). About 50 percent of Republicans say they approve of the job that the Democratic Governor is doing in these areas. Although the survey was conducted during the week of the education-heavy State of the State address, Governor Davis receives slightly less support for his handling of K-12 education (51%). Fewer think he is doing a good job in handling HMO reform and health care (48%) and transportation and traffic congestion (46%). The Governor receives his lowest marks for his management of undocumented immigration (40%). “Davis’ perceived strength on crime and economic issues — rather than education, where he has placed such considerable focus — fits the profile of a Republican governor far more comfortably than that of a Democratic one,” said Baldassare. “After 16 years of Republican domination, he is clearly redefining the image of a Democratic Governor in the minds of Californians.” Bradley, McCain Stall in Bids to Claim California Prize Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore are in a statistical dead heat heading into California’s open primary on March 7. Support for Bush remains steady at 28 percent among likely voters, while Gore has picked up support since December (from 24% to 27%). Bush and Gore are also tied in a general election head-to-head match-up, with each receiving 46 percent support. Although they showed strong gains at the end of 1999, Democrat Bill Bradley and Republican Senator John McCain failed to increase their primary support between December and January. Bradley currently receives 13 percent (15% in December) and McCain 8 percent (9% in December) among likely voters. Democratic voters give Gore a more than two-to-one lead over Bradley (48% to 21%). Republican voters favor Bush by five to one over McCain (56% to 11%). “Despite a barrage of recent media reports about Bradley’s and McCain’s growing strength in key contest states like New Hampshire, Californians appear to be cooling their flirtation with these underdog candidates,” said Baldassare. “The California debates will be crucial. Nearly nine in 10 likely voters say these public debates are important to them.” Senator Dianne Feinstein has slightly expanded her lead over Congressman Tom Campbell in the U.S. Senate race. Feinstein now receives 53 percent and Campbell 12 percent among likely voters. Republicans are nearly as likely to support Democrat Feinstein as Republican Campbell (20% to 23%). Campbell is currently unknown by 80 percent of likely voters, while 13 percent giving him favorable ratings and 7 percent unfavorable. Feinstein is well known, with 50 percent giving her positive reviews, but she also receives strong negative ratings (32%). Death Penalty Surprise Although Californians appear poised to support the national favorites in the Presidential campaign, the views of state residents differ from those of the nation on a number of key issues, most notably the death penalty. Californians are evenly divided between punishments for first-degree murder, with 49 percent supporting the death penalty and 47 percent favoring life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Support for the death penalty is considerably stronger nationwide, with 56 percent advocating the death penalty in cases of first-degree murder and 38 percent preferring life imprisonment. Californians (71%) are slightly more likely than the population nationally (65%) to believe that government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion, while a slightly lower percentage of Californians (27% to 30% nationally) would like to see more laws restricting the availability of abortions. Californians are also more likely than the nation as a whole to oppose tax-payer funded school vouchers (51% to 47%). Similar to the nation, two in three Californians support increased regulation of guns. Defying political labels, California Latinos are more likely than residents of the state or nation generally to support life imprisonment over the death penalty, to back restrictions on the availability of abortions, to believe that the government does not do enough to regulate guns, to say that strict environmental laws cost too many jobs, and to oppose using the budget surplus to finance tax cuts. Majority Supports Taxing E-commerce Twenty percent of Californians say they purchased a lot (5%) or some (15%) of their Christmas gifts over the Internet this past holiday season. In the coming year, nearly one in four Californians expect to make a lot (5%) or some (18%) purchases using the Internet. Among those who say they often use the Internet, 41 percent purchased at least some gifts using the Internet this past holiday season and 44 percent expect to make at least some purchases over the Internet in the coming year. A “digital divide” is clearly evident in the case of e-commerce: Latinos were far less likely to shop over the Internet this holiday season than non-Hispanic whites (7% to 25%) and are less likely to expect to do California 2000 Election Presidential Primary The leading presidential candidates are in a statistical dead heat in the critical March 7th California primary, while their challengers’ bids for upset wins have stalled. If the primary were held today, Texas Governor George W. Bush (28%) and Vice President Al Gore (27%) would get about equal support from likely voters. Contenders Bill Bradley (13%) and Senator John McCain (8%) haven't gained any ground since last month, and 14 percent of likely voters are still undecided. Democratic voters give Gore more than a two-to-one lead over Bradley (48% to 21%). Gore does better against Bradley among Democratic women (52% to 16%) than among Democratic men (42% to 26%). Republican voters favor Bush by five to one over McCain (56% to 11%). Bush has a big lead among both Republican women (60% to 8%) and Republican men (52% to 14%). As for the crossover vote in the open/blanket primary, Democrats (14%) are more likely to support Republican candidates than Republicans (9%) are to support Democratic candidates. Independent voters show no clear preference yet among the Democratic and the Republican choices. Gore has the lead over all other candidates in the San Francisco Bay area (35%) and Los Angeles County (31%), while Bush is ahead of all other candidates in the Central Valley (42%) and in the rest of Southern California (34%). Bradley gets his greatest support in the San Francisco Bay area (21%), while McCain does about the same across the state's major regions. Latinos favor Gore (38%) over Bush (27%), Bradley (6%), and McCain (5%). In contrast, non-Hispanic whites favor Bush (30%) over Gore (23%), Bradley (15%), and McCain (10%). "If the Presidential Primary were held today, who would you vote for?" George W. Bush Al Gore Bill Bradley John McCain Steve Forbes Gary Bauer Donald Trump Someone else * Don't know Dec 98* 21% 31 – – 4 – – 25 19 Likely Voters Sep 99* Dec 99 27% 28% 27 24 7 15 49 33 12 –1 17 4 14 14 Jan 00 28% 27 13 8 3 2 1 4 14 * In the earlier surveys, “someone else” includes candidates who have since left the race. -1- California 2000 Election "If the Presidential Primary were held today, who would you vote for?" Likely Voters (January 2000) George W. Bush Al Gore Bill Bradley John McCain Steve Forbes Gary Bauer Donald Trump Someone else Don't know Dem 8% 48 21 5 1 0 1 2 14 Party Rep 56% 5 4 11 3 2 0 6 13 Other 22% 19 14 11 5 3 4 3 19 Central Valley 42% 19 6 8 2 2 2 4 15 Region SF Bay Area 21% 35 21 7 1 1 1 2 11 Los Angeles 20% 31 14 8 2 3 1 3 18 Other Southern California 34% 23 10 9 6 1 1 3 13 Latino 27% 38 6 5 2 1 2 2 17 Leading Presidential Candidates At this time, it looks as though the race for California’s mother lode of Electoral College votes would be very close if Bush were matched up against either Gore or Bradley in November. California voters now favor Bush and Gore equally (46% to 46%), and Bush is in a statistical dead heat with Bradley (47% to 45%). These results are very similar to the results of the December survey. Whether matched against Bradley or Gore, Bush is supported by more than 80 percent of Republicans and by 45 percent of independents. Bradley and Gore both have the support of about three in four Democrats, and four in 10 independents. However, Bush receives more crossover votes from Democrats than either Gore or Bradley does from Republicans. Thus, despite the Democratic registration edge in the state, Bush could tie Gore or Bradley. Gore and Bradley do best against Bush in the Democratic strongholds of the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles County. Bush has solid leads against either Gore or Bradley in the more Republican-leaning Central Valley and the Southern California region outside of Los Angeles. In contrast with the poor showings that Republican candidates have had with Latino voters in recent elections, Bush has the support of four in 10 Latinos against Gore and Bradley. Non-Hispanic whites favor Bush over Gore (50% to 41%) and Bush over Bradley (49% to 42%). There are mixed signs of a “gender gap” in presidential preferences. Men favor Bush over Gore (51% to 42%), while women support Gore over Bush (50% to 41%). However, while men also favor Bush over Bradley (50% to 44%), women support Bradley (46%) and Bush (44%) about equally. -2- California 2000 Election "If these were the candidates in the Presidential Election in November 2000, who would you vote for?" George W. Bush Al Gore Don't know George W. Bush Bill Bradley Don't know Dec 98 47% 45 8 – – – Likely Voters Sep 99 Dec 99 49% 48% 44 44 78 51% 46% 38 44 11 10 Jan 00 46% 46 8 47% 45 8 George W. Bush Al Gore Don't know George W. Bush Bill Bradley Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 16% 77 7 19% 73 8 Party Rep 84% 10 6 82% 13 5 Other 45% 44 11 45% 40 15 Central Valley 59% 34 7 61% 28 11 Region SF Bay Area 34% 59 7 36% 58 6 Los Angeles 38% 52 10 39% 51 10 Other Southern California 53% 40 7 53% 40 7 Latino 40% 58 2 45% 52 3 Presidential Campaigning When George W. Bush in a recent debate named Jesus as the political philosopher he most identified with, he rekindled the controversy over discussing religious beliefs in political campaigns. A slim majority (51%) of likely voters approve of candidates talking about religious values in the course of the campaigns, but 39 percent disapprove. Ten percent are unsure about mixing presidential politics and religion. While most Republicans (66%) are comfortable with candidates talking about religious values, nearly half of the Democrats (47%) and independents (49%) are not. Republican women (71%) are the most approving of candidates talking about religious values, while Democratic men (50%) are the most disapproving. Regionally, Central Valley voters (63%) are the most positive about religious talk in campaigns, while San Francisco Bay area voters are the least approving (37%). Latinos and non-Hispanic whites are about equally approving (53% to 50%). With or without religious talk, the candidate debates are likely to play a critical role in the upcoming California primary. Eighty-five percent of likely voters say that the candidates’ performances in public debates are important to them in deciding who gets their vote in the primary. In fact, one in three says that the debates are “very” important to them. Interestingly, Latinos (52%) are much more likely than non-Hispanic whites (27%) to say that the debates are very important to them. The importance placed on the debates is similar across parties and regions of the state. -3- California 2000 Election "What is your opinion about presidential candidates who talk about religious values when they are campaigning? Do you approve or disapprove?" Likely Voters (January 2000) Approve 51% Disapprove 39 Don't know 10 Approve Disapprove Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 42% 47 11 Party Rep 66% 25 9 Other 42% 49 9 Central Valley 63% 29 8 Region SF Bay Area 37% 53 10 Los Angeles 52% 38 10 Other Southern California 53% 35 12 Latino 53% 41 6 "How important to you are the candidates’ performances in public debates?" Likely Voters (January 2000) Very important 33% Somewhat important 52 Not important 14 Don't know 1 Likely Voters (January 2000) Party Very important Somewhat important Not important Don't know Dem 34% 51 14 1 Rep 29% 56 15 0 Other 36% 49 15 0 Central Valley 32% 53 14 1 Region SF Bay Area 33% 53 14 0 Los Angeles 33% 52 14 1 Other Southern California 32% 52 15 1 Latino 52% 42 6 0 -4- California 2000 Election U.S. Senate Race There has been no significant change in views of the Senate primary since the December survey. About half of the likely voters would give their support in the March open primary for the U.S. Senate seat to incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Congressman Tom Campbell leads the other three GOP candidates but has only 12 percent of the total vote. One in four voters is undecided. Among the Democrats, eight in 10 say they would vote for Feinstein in the March Primary, while few would cross over and vote for one of the Republicans. Interestingly, Republicans currently divide their support between Campbell (23%) and Feinstein (20%), with 14 percent attracted to the other three GOP candidates, and four in 10 are undecided. Half of the independents say they will vote for Feinstein, while 13 percent favor Campbell, and one in four is undecided. Feinstein and Campbell get their greatest support on their home turf—the San Francisco Bay area. Support for Feinstein is much higher among Latinos (65%) than among non-Hispanic whites (47%). Feinstein has similar support among Democratic men (79%) and Democratic women (83%), but Republican men (30%) are more likely than Republican women (15%) to favor Campbell. "If the March 2000 primary election for the U.S. Senate were being held today, who would you vote for?" Dianne Feinstein Tom Campbell Ray Haynes Bill Horn J.P. Gough Other Don't know Likely Voters Dec 99 Jan 00 50% 53% 12 12 34 23 01 31 30 26 Dianne Feinstein Tom Campbell Ray Haynes Bill Horn J.P. Gough Other Don’t know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 81% 3 1 1 0 1 13 Party Rep 20% 23 7 6 1 1 42 Other 52% 13 4 3 1 0 27 Central Valley 38% 13 4 4 2 1 38 Region SF Bay Area 68% 15 2 1 0 0 14 Los Angeles 57% 8 2 2 0 2 29 Other Southern California 48% 11 7 7 1 0 26 Latino 65% 8 5 2 1 1 18 -5- California 2000 Election Popularity Ratings Tom Campbell, the current Republican front-runner in the U.S. Senate race, faces a formidable challenge in becoming a public figure sufficiently well-known and popular to win in November. Currently, 80 percent say they do not know enough about Campbell to have an opinion. He is relatively unknown even to most Republicans and voters in his home region of the San Francisco Bay area. Feinstein has challenges of her own. The good news is that she is well-known, having run in three statewide elections in the 1990s, and has no Democratic opponent in the primary. The bad news is that, while most voters have an opinion of Feinstein, only half have a favorable view. Feinstein is well-liked among Democrats (72%) and voters in the San Francisco Bay area (67%). In comparison, Republicans (24%), independents (50%), and Central Valley voters (39%) are less inclined to give her favorable ratings. There are no differences between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites in favorable ratings (49% to 50%). However, non-Hispanic whites are much more likely than Latinos to give Feinstein unfavorable ratings (37% to 15%), while Latinos are more likely to have no opinion (36% to 13%). Women (54%) are more likely than men (47%) to say that they like Feinstein. Likely Voters (January 2000) "Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Tom Campbell, or don’t you know enough about him to have an opinion?" Favorable 13% Unfavorable 7 Don't know 80 "Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Dianne Feinstein, or don’t you know enough about her to have an opinion?" Favorable 50% Unfavorable 32 Don't know 18 Tom Campbell Favorable Unfavorable Don’t know Dianne Feinstein Favorable Unfavorable Don't know Dem Party Rep Likely Voters (January 2000) Other Central Valley Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 10% 9 81 17% 3 80 15% 10 75 11% 6 83 28% 14 58 7% 4 89 7% 5 88 7% 5 88 72% 11 17 24% 58 18 50% 33 17 39% 44 17 67% 20 13 55% 25 20 41% 41 18 49% 15 36 -6- California 2000 Election Proposition 22: "Limit on Marriages" Initiative Proposition 22, the "Limit on Marriages" initiative, would require that only a marriage between a man and a woman be recognized in the state. This initiative continues to be supported by a majority of likely voters: 57 percent are in favor of Proposition 22, while 38 percent are opposed. There are deep divisions in opinions toward Proposition 22, both across parties and regions of the state. A majority of Democrats oppose Proposition 22, while Republicans favor this initiative by a threeto-one margin, and a narrow majority of independent voters want to limit marriages. A majority of San Francisco Bay area voters (53%) opposes Proposition 22, while voters in the Central Valley (72%) strongly favor it. Latinos (67%) show more support for Proposition 22 than non-Hispanic whites (56%). There are no gender differences in support for Proposition 22. While voters currently favor the “Limit on Marriages” initiative, about as many approve (48%) as disapprove (46%) of a Vermont court ruling that gives gay and lesbian couples the same protections and benefits as heterosexual married couples. However, there are major partisan differences in response to this ruling. Most Democrats (63%) and independents (55%) approve of the court ruling, while most Republicans (66%) disapprove. San Francisco Bay area residents (64%) strongly approve of the Vermont ruling, while approval is lower in other regions. Support for Proposition 22 is strongly correlated with opposition to gay marriages. Fifty-five percent are opposed to gay marriages. Of those opposing gay marriages, nine in 10 plan to vote for Proposition 22. While a narrow majority of Democrats (51%) favor gay marriages, Republicans are mostly opposed (73%), and independents are evenly divided. A majority in the San Francisco Bay area favors having gay marriages, but in every other region a majority is opposed. Still, Californians are more accepting of gay marriages than the nation as a whole; 28 percent favored gay marriages and 64 percent were opposed in a national survey by NBC/The Wall Street Journal in 1999. "Proposition 22—the ‘limit on marriages’ initiative on the March 2000 ballot—adds a provision to the family code providing that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 22?" Yes No Don't know Dec 98* 64% 33 3 Likely Voters Sep 99* Dec 99 63% 58% 34 38 34 Jan 00 57% 38 5 * Referred to as "Definition of Marriage" initiative in earlier surveys. Yes No Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 44% 51 5 Party Rep 76% 20 4 Other 53% 41 6 Central Valley 72% 24 4 Region SF Bay Area 41% 53 6 Los Angeles 56% 37 7 Other Southern California 62% 34 4 Latino 67% 29 4 -7- California 2000 Election Likely Voters (January 2000) "Recently, the State Supreme Court in Vermont ruled that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the same protections and benefits as heterosexual married couples. Do you approve or disapprove of this court ruling?" Approve 48% Disapprove 46 Don't know 6 "Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?" Favor 38% Oppose 55 Don't know 7 Proposition 26: Simple Majority Vote While voters have consistently identified schools as the state’s most pressing problem, many apparently do not see making it easier to increase their own local property taxes as part of the solution. Proposition 26 would change the requirement for passing local school bonds from two-thirds to a simple-majority vote. After the wording in our survey changed to reflect the approved title and summary of this initiative on the March ballot, support for it dropped. When voters are read the current ballot summary for Proposition 26, only 44 percent say they would vote yes, while 45 percent said they would vote no. This constitutes a 20-point drop in support from the survey in early December, which did not include statements—since approved for the March ballot—about the potential impacts on property taxes and local fiscal costs. A narrow majority of Democrats (51%), just under half of independent voters (47%), and few Republicans (33%) now support Proposition 26 and its simple-majority vote for local school bonds. The only region where there is 50 percent support for Proposition 26 is the San Francisco Bay area. Latinos (53%) are more supportive of a simple-majority vote than non-Hispanic whites (41%). The proponents of Proposition 26 have argued that the supermajority vote requirement for passing local school bonds has hurt local schools. Most voters do not share this perception. Only onethird of likely voters think that the two-thirds majority for local school bonds has been a “bad thing,” while more than half think it has been a “good thing” for their schools. Republicans (61%) are more likely than Democrats (51%) or independents (45%) to see the two-thirds vote as a positive for their local schools, but those who say it is a “bad” thing are in the minority in all political groups. Only in the San Francisco Bay area (46%) do fewer than half of the voters see the supermajority vote as being mostly a good thing. There are no differences between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. By an even wider two-to-one margin, voters feel that the Proposition 13-imposed requirement of a two-thirds majority vote to raise local property taxes is a good thing rather than a bad thing. At least a majority in all political groups, regions of the state, and racial and ethnic groups see this supermajority vote requirement for raising local property taxes as generally a good thing. -8- California 2000 Election "Proposition 26—the 'school facilities, local majority vote, bonds, taxes' initiative on the March 2000 ballot—would authorize local school districts to issue bonds for construction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities if approved by a simple majority of local voters. It authorizes property taxes higher than the existing one percent limit by majority vote, rather than by the two-thirds vote currently required, to pay the bonds. The fiscal costs to local school districts are potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars statewide each year within a decade, depending on voter actions on future local school bonds. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 26?" Yes No Don't know Sep 99* 76% 20 4 Likely Voters Dec 99* 64% 31 5 Jan 00 44% 45 11 * Wording did not reflect the most recent ballot title and summary. Likely Voters (January 2000) Yes No Don't know Dem 51% 38 11 Party Rep 33% 56 11 Other 47% 41 12 Central Valley 45% 44 11 Region SF Bay Area 50% 38 12 Los Angeles 39% 49 12 Other Southern California 42% 49 9 Latino 53% 36 11 Likely Voters (January 2000) "Overall, do you think that the two-thirds vote requirement for passing local school bonds has been a good thing or a bad thing for your local schools?” Good thing 53% Bad thing 32 No difference 4 Don't know 11 "In general, do you think that requiring a two-thirds majority vote—instead of a simple majority—to increase local property taxes is a good thing or a bad thing?" Good thing 62% Bad thing 32 No difference 1 Don't know 5 -9- California 2000 Election News Stories About the Presidential Election Getting the attention of California voters over the next few weeks will be one of the biggest challenges facing the presidential candidates. Voters are still not very focused on the 2000 election, despite the increased news coverage of the New Hampshire race and other early presidential primaries. While two in three likely voters are paying at least a fair amount of attention, only 13 percent are "very closely" following the news stories about the candidates. The biggest group—about half—are following them "fairly closely," but 36 percent are not closely following the presidential sweepstakes. Democrats (67%) are only a little more likely than Republicans (60%) and independents (63%) to say they are at least fairly closely following the presidential primaries. Few voters in any political group are very closely following the election news. There are no significant differences across regions. Latino voters (49%) are much less likely than non-Hispanic white voters (67%) to indicate they are very or fairly closely following the 2000 election. A majority of Latino voters say they are not closely following the news about the presidential primaries at this time. "How closely have you been following the news stories about candidates for the 2000 presidential election?" Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know Likely Voters Dec 99 Jan 00 16% 13% 52 50 26 30 66 01 Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know Likely Voters (January 2000) Dem 14% 53 28 5 0 Party Rep 13% 47 32 7 1 Other 13% 50 31 6 0 Central Valley 11% 49 32 7 1 Region SF Bay Area 14% 51 31 4 0 Los Angeles 12% 51 28 8 1 Other Southern California 16% 48 31 5 0 Latino 12% 37 38 13 0 - 10 - California State Government Public Schools Throughout the 1998 gubernatorial election, Californians said that the quality of education in public schools was the biggest issue facing the state. When Governor Gray Davis was elected, he said that improving the public school system would be his top priority. A year later, how does the public feel about the quality of education? Californians are more likely to rate the quality of K-12 public schools as a "big problem" today than they were two years ago (53% to 46%). Moreover, only 22 percent say the public schools have improved in the past few years, and many think they have gotten worse (39%). These perceptions vary in interesting ways across regions and groups. Residents of the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles County are the most negative about schools. Latinos are more upbeat than non-Hispanic whites about schools. Parents with children in public school are less likely that Californians overall to say that schools are a big problem (45%) and that school quality has gotten worse (27%). Those who get most of their state news from newspapers (59%) are more likely than those who get most of their news from television (44%) to say that the quality of K-12 public schools is a big problem. How much of a problem is the quality of education in K-12 public schools in California today? Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don't know In the past few years, do you think the quality of education in California's K-12 public schools has improved, gotten worse, or stayed the same? Improved Gotten Worse Stayed the same Don't know All Adults May 98 Jan 00 46% 33 14 7 53% 30 13 4 – 22% – 39 – 34 –5 - 11 - California State Government January 2000 K-12 public schools in California Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know Public schools in past few years Improved Gotten worse Stayed the same Don’t know All Adults 53% 30 13 4 22% 39 34 5 Central Valley 51% 33 13 3 24% 37 35 4 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles 60% 27 10 3 58% 28 11 3 20% 43 30 7 19% 44 32 5 Other Southern California 45% 32 18 5 24% 31 38 7 Latino 36% 33 27 4 37% 22 37 4 Crime Rate Californians are becoming less worried about crime. While half say that crime in California is a "big problem" today, this is a sharp decline from the 66 percent who held this view two years ago. More people than in May 1998 rate crime as "somewhat" of a problem (28% to 42%), while there has been little change in the number who think that crime is "not much" of a problem (4% to 7%). The percentage saying that crime is a big problem fell in every region, but San Francisco Bay area residents are the least concerned about the threat. Among Latinos, crime is much more likely than among non-Hispanic whites to be perceived as a big problem (59% to 48%). Californians are also much less likely than they were two years ago to say that crime is increasing (26% to 46%). Still, fewer than four in 10 believe that crime rates are on the decline in the past few years, while one-third think there has been no change. San Francisco Bay area residents are the least likely to think that crime is increasing. Latinos are more likely than nonHispanic whites to believe that crimes are still increasing (34% to 25%). News source is evidently related to perceptions of crime: Those who get most of their state news from television (58%) are more likely than those who get it from newspapers (43%) to say that crime is a big problem. Moreover, those who get most of their state news from television (30%) are less likely than those who get their state news mostly from newspapers (46%) to think that the crime rate is decreasing. - 12 - California State Government How much of a problem is crime in California today? Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don't know In the past few years, do you think the crime rate in California has increased, decreased, or stayed the same? Increased Decreased Stayed the same Don't know All Adults May 98 Jan 00 66% 28 4 2 50% 42 7 1 46% 24 28 2 26% 38 33 3 January 2000 Crime rate in California Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know Crime rate in past few years Increased Decreased Stayed the same Don’t know All Adult s 50% 42 7 1 26% 38 33 3 Central Valley 56% 37 6 1 30% 27 40 3 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles 39% 50 10 1 53% 39 7 1 20% 43 33 4 28% 39 31 2 Other Southern California Latino 49% 43 7 1 27% 40 30 3 59% 32 8 1 34% 33 31 2 - 13 - California State Government Job Performance Ratings for State Officials This survey was taken during a time when the Governor's "State of the State" address and state budget proposals focused attention on his actions. At this point, a bare majority of Californians give Governor Gray Davis positive marks for his overall job performance during his first year in office: 50 percent rate his performance as excellent or good, one-third say he is doing a fair job, and 9 percent rate his job performance as poor. Seven percent have no opinion. The positive ratings are similar to those in September (51%) and December (51%). The positive ratings are fairly similar across all regions of the state: 52% in the San Francisco Bay area, 51% in Los Angeles County, 49% in the rest of the Southern California region, and 47 percent in the Central Valley. Latinos (53%) are a little more likely than non-Hispanic whites (48%) to give Davis high marks. A higher percentage of Democrats (58%) give the Governor excellent or good grades than do Republicans or independent voters (42% each). Few in any region, racial or ethnic group, or political group give poor grades to the Governor's overall job performance. The Legislature is another story. Significantly fewer Californians give positive marks to the California Legislature. Thirty-four percent rate the legislative body of state government as doing an excellent or good job, 44 percent rate it as doing a fair job, and 11 percent as doing poorly. Eleven percent have no opinion. The positive ratings are statistically unchanged from September (32%) and December (37%). The positive ratings of the Legislature vary somewhat across regions: 41% in Los Angeles County, 34% in the rest of the Southern California region, 31% in the San Francisco Bay area, and 31 percent in the Central Valley. Latinos (48%) are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (31%) to give the Legislature excellent or good grades. Democrats (38%) give higher marks to the Legislature than independent voters (27%) or Republicans (28%). "How would you rate the job performance of …" Governor Gray Davis Excellent Good Fair Poor Don't know California Legislature Excellent Good Fair Poor Don't know Sep 99 10% 41 34 9 6 2% 30 48 13 7 - 14 - All Adults Dec 99 9% 42 31 12 6 3% 34 41 13 9 Jan 00 9% 41 34 9 7 3% 31 44 11 11 California State Government January 2000 Governor Gray Davis Excellent Good Fair Poor Don’t know California Legislature Excellent Good Fair Poor Don't know All Adults 9% 41 34 9 7 3% 31 44 11 11 Democrat Party Registration Republican Other Voters Not Registered to Vote Latino 12% 46 32 5 5 4% 38 37 15 6 9% 33 42 10 6 10% 41 27 6 16 12% 41 31 5 11 3% 35 46 5 11 0% 28 46 17 9 1% 26 47 15 11 6% 36 37 7 14 7% 41 35 5 12 Governor’s Report Card While half of Californians give their Governor positive marks overall for his job performance, Davis' approval ratings range from 40 percent to 57 percent for six specific issue areas of concern to the state's residents. A solid majority like the way the Democratic Governor is handling the state budget and taxes (57%) and crime and punishment (55%)—two issues which are usually considered as Republican strengths and Democratic weaknesses. About half like the way he is handling the K-12 public schools—an issue which the Governor has repeatedly referred to as his first, second, and third priority. A little less than half think that he is doing a good job in handling HMO reform and health care (48%) and transportation and traffic congestion (46%). The Governor's lowest ratings are for his handling of illegal immigration (40%). Not surprisingly, Democrats give the Governor higher ratings than Republicans across the board, but the Democratic ratings follow the general overall pattern—a solid majority approve his handling of the state budget and taxes, crime and punishment, public schools, and HMO reform and health care, but fewer than half are impressed with his performance on transportation and traffic congestion and illegal immigration. About half of Republicans like the job he is doing on fiscal matters and crime, and four in 10 approve of the way he handles the schools, health care and traffic congestion, while only one in three are in favor of his handling of illegal immigration. More than half of independents like the Governor’s performance on the state budget and taxes and crime and punishment, while fewer approve of his handling of schools (45%), health care(45%), traffic congestion (43%), and illegal immigration (38%). - 15 - California State Government About six in 10 Latinos say they approve of the way the Governor is handling five of the six issue areas (i.e., fiscal, crime, schools, health, traffic), while almost half like his performance on the issue of illegal immigration. By contrast, a majority of non-Hispanic whites approve of his handling of fiscal matters (56%) and crime (52%), while fewer are impressed with the way he is dealing with the schools (47%), health care (45%), traffic (41%), and illegal immigration (36%). Although San Francisco Bay area residents are among the most Democratic leaning in the state, they give the Governor the lowest approval ratings for his handling of schools (45%) and transportation (38%). "Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling …?" January 2000 State budget and taxes Approve Disapprove Don’t know Crime and punishment Approve Disapprove Don’t know K-12 Public education system Approve Disapprove Don't know HMO reform and health care Approve Disapprove Don’t know Transportation and traffic congestion Approve Disapprove Don’t know Illegal immigration Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults Democrat Party Registration Republican Other Voter Not Registered to Vote Latino 57% 23 20 67% 17 16 49% 29 22 56% 25 19 53% 23 24 59% 21 20 55% 24 21 60% 20 20 51% 25 24 55% 28 17 54% 24 22 61% 23 16 51% 28 21 58% 24 18 43% 34 23 45% 35 20 56% 22 22 62% 22 16 48% 26 26 56% 22 22 40% 31 29 45% 29 26 49% 26 25 58% 21 21 46% 27 27 48% 24 28 41% 30 29 43% 33 24 51% 24 25 60% 22 18 40% 33 27 45% 27 28 33% 41 26 38% 37 25 44% 29 27 49% 29 22 Impacts of the State’s Elected Officials - 16 - California State Government Few Californians give the Governor and State Legislature a lot of credit for the state's good economy and big budget surplus. However, half give them some credit for the current boom times in the private and public sectors. One in three say their state's elected officials deserve very little or no credit for today's economic and budget conditions. Democrats (seven in 10) are more generous in giving the Governor and Legislature at least some credit for the economy and budget surplus. Fifty-seven percent of independent voters say they deserve at least some credit for the economy, while 55 percent say they deserve at least some credit for the budget surplus. Almost half of Republicans give them very little or no credit for California's good economic times (45%) and strong fiscal conditions (46%). Latinos are more generous than non-Hispanic whites in giving the Governor and Legislature a lot or some credit for the economy (72% to 55%) and budget surplus (70% to 54%). There is very little difference across regions in perceptions of how much credit the Governor and Legislature deserve for these extraordinary good times in California. "How much credit do you think Governor Davis and the Legislature deserve for … ?" January 2000 California's economic conditions today A lot Some Very little None Don’t know The state budget surplus this year A lot Some Very little None Don't know All Adults Party Registration Democrat Republican Other Voter Not Registere d to Vote Latino 13% 48 27 8 4 16% 52 25 4 3 8% 9% 18% 25% 44 48 47 47 33 31 21 19 12 10 54 3 2 95 12% 47 24 10 7 16% 51 21 5 7 8% 10% 14% 20% 42 45 49 50 31 27 17 14 15 13 76 4 5 13 10 - 17 - California State Government Major Sources of State Government News Even though television has been criticized for having a small presence in Sacramento and little interest in covering state news, Californians (44%) say they get most of their news about the Governor and Legislature from television. Fewer get most of their state news from newspapers (35%), radio (10%), or other sources (10% combined). Democrats and Republicans both split their state news-gathering about equally between television and newspapers. Independent voters rely on newspapers more than on television and those who are not registered to vote rely overwhelmingly on television to inform themselves about the Governor and Legislature. Latinos heavily favor television over newspapers (66% to 17%), while non-Hispanic whites favor newspapers slightly over television (41% to 37%). Newspapers are favored over television in the San Francisco Bay area (44% to 33%). However, in every other region, television is the dominant source for state news. There are important differences in news sources across age groups. Adults under 35 heavily favor television over newspapers (51% to 24%), those who are 35 to 54 favor television only slightly over newspapers (41% to 37%), and those 55 and older choose newspapers over television (46% to 39%) as their state news source. Similar responses were found in the September 1999 survey. When asked where they get most of their information about politics, more Californians said television (45%) than newspapers (30%) or radio (9%) or any other sources (16%). “Where do you get most of your news and information about the Governor and California legislature?” January 2000 Television Newspapers Radio Talking to people Internet Magazines Don't know Party Registration All Adults 44% Democrat 41% Republican 37% Other Voters 32% 35 40 10 9 54 44 11 11 40 12 4 4 1 2 41 12 6 5 2 2 Not Registered to Vote Latino 65% 66% 18 17 67 65 33 11 11 - 18 - California State Government Attentiveness to State Government News Californians paid no more attention to state government news this month than they did last month—even though news about the Governor's "State of the State" address, the new Legislative session, and the state budget was abundant on television news and the front pages of the state's major newspapers. Thirty-nine percent pay very close or fairly close attention to news stories about the Governor and State Legislature, but only 6 percent say they follow this type of news “very closely.” Sixty percent pay little or no attention. A month ago the state government was fairly quiet, but attention to state news was the same. Democrats (47%), Republicans (42%), and independent voters (43%) are much more likely than those who are not registered to vote (26%) to follow state government news at least fairly closely. Still, fewer than one in 10 in any voter group is following state government news very closely. Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to say they very closely or fairly closely follow state news (34% to 42%). Central Valley residents (46%) are a little more likely than people in other regions to follow news about the Governor and State Legislature at least fairly closely. Only 30 percent of 18-to-34 year olds either very closely or fairly closely follow state government news, compared to 42 percent of 35 to 54 year olds, and 51 percent of those 55 and older. Those who say they get most of their state news from newspapers, as opposed to television news, are much more likely to be very or fairly close followers of state government news (52% to 34%). “How closely have you been following the news stories about the Governor and California Legislature?” Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know All Adults Dec 99 Jan 00 6% 6% 31 33 45 42 17 18 11 January 2000 Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely Don't know Party Registration All Adults 6% Democrat 7% Republican 5% Other Voters 8% 33 40 42 37 18 16 10 37 43 15 0 35 41 16 0 Not Registered to Vote Latino 7% 10% 19 24 48 46 26 19 01 - 19 - Political Trends Overall Trust in Government Californians are like the rest of Americans in being generally skeptical about the performance of the Federal government. Only one in three feels that the government in Washington can be trusted to do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time.” This is similar to the national trend and identical to the statewide results in our September 1998 survey. Within California, overall trust in government varies by partisanship, race and ethnicity, and region. Democrats (38%) are more likely than Republicans (24%) and independents (25%) to always or mostly trust the federal government. People who are not registered to vote have more trust in government than any of the voter groups. Latinos (49%) are much more likely than non-Hispanic whites (27%) to think the federal government can always or mostly be trusted. People living in Los Angeles County (39%) are more likely to say they always or mostly trust the federal government than those living in the rest of Southern California (31%), the San Francisco Bay Area (28%), or the Central Valley (29%). "How much of the time do you think you can you trust the government in Washington to do what is right?" All Adults U.S.* California Just about always Most of the time Only sometimes Never (volunteered) Don't know 4% 25 63 6 2 7% 25 62 5 1 * Source: Council for Excellence in Government, June 1999 Just about always Most of the time Only sometimes Never Don't know All Adults 7% Democrats 6% Party Registration Republicans 3% Other Voters 2% 25 32 62 59 53 10 21 23 71 67 57 01 Not Registered to Vote 18% Latino 21% 24 28 50 48 61 22 - 21 - Political Trends Fiscal Performance of Government The vast majority of Californians (93%) believe that people in government waste at least some tax money, while almost 60 percent think “a lot” of money is wasted. This is very similar to the national trend. However, the percentage of Californians who believe that government wastes a lot of money was higher (65%) when we asked this question in September 1998. Attitudes toward government's fiscal performance vary by partisanship, ethnicity and race, and region. Democrats (55%) are less likely than Republicans (64%) and independents (61%) to think the government wastes a lot of money. Non-Hispanic whites (61%) are more likely than Latinos (51%) to think that people in government waste a lot of money. People living in Los Angeles County (54%) are less likely to say the government wastes a lot of money than those living in the rest of Southern California (58%), the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), or the Central Valley (61%). "Do you think the people in 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 U.S.* California Waste a lot Waste some Don't waste much Don't know 61% 35 3 1 58% 35 5 2 * Source: National Election Studies, University of Michigan, 1998 Waste a lot Waste some Don't waste much Don't know All Adults 58% 35 5 Democrats 55% 39 5 Party Registration Republicans 64% 32 3 Other Voters 61% 34 3 21 12 Not Registered to Vote 55% 32 10 Latino 51% 32 13 34 - 22 - Political Trends Gun Control Like most Americans, most Californians (62%) believe that “the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns.” Only one in three think the government goes too far in this direction. Support for stricter gun laws varies by partisanship, race and ethnicity, and region. Most Democrats (73%) support increased gun regulations, while 55 percent of independents and 49 percent of Republicans want to see the government do more in this area. Latinos (70%) are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (59%) to believe that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. Fifty-three percent of Central Valley residents think that the government currently goes too far in restricting citizens' rights to own guns, compared with 26 percent of people in the San Francisco Bay area, 30 percent in Los Angeles County, and 34 percent in the rest of Southern California. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns 37% 35% The government does not do enough to regulate access to guns 59 62 Don't know 43 * Source: National survey conducted by Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 1999 Government goes too far in restricting guns Government does not do enough to regulate guns Don't know All Adults 35% 62 3 Party Registration Democrats Republicans Other Voters 23% 48% 41% 73 49 55 4 34 Not Registered to Vote Latino 31% 27% 67 70 23 - 23 - Political Trends Abortion Rights Californians (71%) are slightly more likely than the population nationally (65%) to believe that “government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion," while a slightly lower percentage of Californians (27% to 30%) would like to see more laws restricting availability of abortions. Although large majorities of Californians across party lines, race and ethnicity, and region support abortion access, there is significant variation. Eighty-one percent of Democrats think that government should not interfere with access, compared to 63 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of independents. Forty-one percent of Latinos think that the government should pass more regulations, compared to only 23 percent of non-Hispanic whites. People in the San Francisco Bay Area (81%) are more likely than people in Los Angeles County (66%), the rest of Southern California (71%), or the Central Valley (67%) to think that government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views…." All Adults U.S.* California Government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion Government should not interfere with a woman's access to abortion Don't know 30% 65 5 27% 71 2 * Source: National survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 1999 Government should pass more laws that restrict abortions Government should not interfere with a woman's access to abortion Don't know All Adults 27% 71 2 Democrats 18% 81 1 Party Registration Republicans Other Voters 34% 26% 63 71 33 Not Registered to Vote Latino 32% 41% 65 56 33 - 24 - Political Trends The Environment A large majority of Californians continue to be committed to environmental protection. Almost two-thirds of residents think that “stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.” This is similar to national trends. Majority support for stricter environmental laws and regulations is found in all political and demographic groups. However, there are important partisan and regional differences in California. For example, 40 percent of Republicans believe that “stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs,” while only 25 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independent voters share this sentiment. Latinos and non-Hispanic whites are equally likely to say that environmental regulations are worth the cost (62% each). In the Central Valley, 42 percent feel that too many jobs are lost to strict environmental regulations, compared to only 23 percent in the San Francisco Bay area, 30 percent in Los Angeles County, and 31 percent in the rest of the Southern California region. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost Don't know 28% 65 7 31% 64 5 * Source: National survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 1999 Stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs Stricter environmental laws are worth the cost Don't know All Adults 31% 64 5 Party Registration Democrats Republicans Other Voters 25% 40% 31% 70 57 66 5 33 Not Registered to Vote Latino 30% 34% 63 62 74 - 25 - Political Trends The Death Penalty On the issue of capital punishment, Californians tend to be less severe than the national population. Concerning the punishment for first-degree murder, Californians are evenly divided between preference for the death penalty (49%) and life imprisonment without parole (47%). In national surveys, the death penalty is favored over life imprisonment without parole by an 18-point margin. The partisan differences on punishment for first-degree murder are dramatic. Republicans favor the death penalty by a two-to-one margin, while Democrats support life imprisonment without parole over the death penalty by a 19-point margin. A narrow majority of independent voters favor the death penalty, while a similarly slim majority of nonvoters prefer life imprisonment without parole. Fiftyseven percent of Latinos think that life imprisonment without parole should be the sentence for firstdegree murder, while 53 percent of non-Hispanic whites think that it should be the death penalty. There are large regional differences, with 57 percent of those who live in the Central Valley supporting the death penalty, compared to 42 percent in the San Francisco Bay area, 48 percent in Los Angeles County, and 51 percent in the rest of Southern California. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views ..." All Adults U.S.* California The penalty for first-degree murder should be the death penalty The penalty for first-degree murder should be life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole Don't know 56% 38 6 49% 47 4 * Source: National survey conducted by Gallup Organization, 1999 First-degree murder penalty should be death penalty First-degree murder penalty should be life imprisonment with no possibility of parole Don't know All Adults 49% 47 4 Democrats 38% 57 5 Party Registration Republicans Other Voters 65% 50% 32 45 35 Not Registered to Vote Latino 45% 39% 51 57 44 - 26 - Political Trends School Vouchers A slim majority of Californians (51%) believe that “government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools,” while 46 percent favor tax-funded vouchers to pay for private and religious schools. In national surveys, respondents are equally divided on this issue. There are, however, strong partisan differences in support for school vouchers. Fifty-eight percent of Democrats think that government funding should go exclusively to public institutions, while 57 percent of Republicans think that the government should use its money to issue vouchers that can be used at private and religious schools. Independents are evenly divided on this issue. Latinos (47%) and non-Hispanic whites (45%) express similar levels of support for school vouchers. Support for vouchers is weakest in the San Francisco Bay area (38%), while residents in the Central Valley (47%), Los Angeles (49%), and the rest of southern California (49%) are more likely to think that the government should provide vouchers. "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views …" All Adults U.S.* California Government should give parents more educational choices by providing taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay for private or religious schools Government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools Don't know 47% 47 6 46% 51 3 * Source: National survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, 1999 Government should provide taxpayer-funded vouchers Government funding should be limited to public schools Don't know All Adults 46% 51 3 Party Registration Democrats Republicans Other Voters 39% 57% 48% 58 41 50 3 22 Not Registered to Vote Latino 44% 47% 54 51 22 - 27 - Political Trends The Federal Surplus and Tax Cuts What is the appropriate use of the federal budget surplus? Californians are divided on this issue. Forty-eight percent think that the “surplus should be used to cut taxes,” and 47 percent think that it “should be used to pay for social programs.” Americans are also equally likely to say they prefer cutting taxes to increasing funding for social programs. Republicans in California strongly favor tax cuts over increased spending for social programs (68% to 28%). Democrats are more likely to want the surplus spent on social programs rather than tax cuts (59% to 35%). Independents are divided on how to use the federal surplus. Latinos are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to want increased funding for social programs (55% to 44%) and less likely to want tax cuts (42% to 51%). People living in the Central Valley (56%) are more likely to favor tax cuts than people in the San Francisco Bay Area (41%), Los Angeles County (46%), and the rest of Southern California (52%). "Please tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views …" All Adults U.S.* California The federal budget surplus should be used to cut taxes The federal budget surplus should be used to pay for social programs Both (volunteered) Don't know 44% 42 5 9 48% 47 2 3 * Source: National survey conducted by CBS News, 1999 Cut taxes Pay for social programs Both (volunteered) Don't know All Adults 48% 47 2 3 Party Registration Democrats 35% 59 2 4 Republicans 68% 28 3 1 Other Voters 49% 46 2 3 Not Registered to Vote 43% 53 1 3 Latino 42% 55 0 3 - 28 - Political Trends Political Orientation The political orientation of Californians has been remarkably consistent across the statewide surveys since April 1998 when we began asking people about their orientation. The largest percentage of Californians—about one in three—describe themselves as “middle-of-the-road" in their politics. About three in 10 call themselves liberals, and a little more than one in three say they are conservatives. About six in 10 residents place themselves in two political categories—middle-of-theroad to somewhat conservative. Few Californians think of themselves as either "very liberal" or "very conservative." There are major differences across political parties and racial and ethnic groups. Most Democrats say they are somewhat liberal or middle-of-the-road (68%), while most Republicans say they are middle-of-the-road to somewhat conservative (72%). Independents are most likely to call themselves middle-of-the-road (43%). Latinos are as likely as Non-Hispanic whites to call themselves liberal (27% to 28%), while non-Hispanic whites are more likely to say they are middle-of-the-road (37% to 28%) and Latinos are more likely to say they are conservative (42% to 34%). Still, most Latinos (62%) and non-Hispanic whites (64%) are middle-of-the-road to somewhat conservative. Central Valley residents (44%) are more likely to call themselves conservatives than people living in the San Francisco Bay area (25%), Los Angeles County (36%), or the rest of Southern California (37%). "Would you consider yourself to be politically…." Very liberal Somewhat liberal Middle-of-the-road Somewhat conservative Very conservative Don't know Apr 98 8% 20 36 24 11 1 May 98 8% 21 34 25 10 2 All Adults Sep 98 Dec 98 Sep 99 8% 8% 8% 20 22 21 34 32 34 26 26 25 10 11 10 212 Dec 99 10% 20 33 25 9 3 Jan 00 7% 21 34 27 9 2 January 2000 Very liberal Somewhat liberal Middle-of-the-road Somewhat conservative Very conservative Don't know All Adults 7% 21 34 27 9 2 Party Registration Democrats 12% 33 35 15 4 1 Republicans 3% 8 31 41 17 0 Other Voters 7% 19 43 24 5 2 Not Registered to Vote 6% 21 31 32 7 3 Latino 8% 19 28 34 8 3 - 29 - Social and Economic Trends Mood of the State Californians are highly optimistic about the state of their state as the new year begins. Sixty-six percent say that things are going in the right direction in California, compared to 26 percent who think that things are going in the wrong direction. The 40-point gap between positive sentiments and negative sentiments is the highest on record since we began conducting the PPIC Statewide Survey in April 1998. The mood is brighter in the San Francisco Bay Area than in other regions. Attitudes are similarly positive among Latinos (68%) and non-Hispanic whites (65%). Californians rate the quality of life in more glowing terms today than they did nearly two years ago. In the most recent survey, about eight in ten say that things in California are going very well or somewhat well, compared to the seven in 10 who held these positive perceptions in the May 1998 survey. The quality of life ratings are highly favorable across all regions of the state and identical for Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. Right direction Wrong direction Don't know "Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?" Apr 98 55% 36 9 May 98 56% 34 10 Sep 98 57% 34 9 All Adults Oct 98 Dec 98 62% 63% 30 28 89 Sep 99 61% 34 5 Dec 99 62% 31 7 Jan 00 66% 26 8 January 2000 Right direction Wrong direction Don't know All Adults 66% 26 8 Central Valley 61% 31 8 Region SF Bay Area 71% 22 7 Los Angeles 66% 25 9 Other Southern California 68% 26 6 Latino 68% 23 9 "Thinking about the quality of life in California, do you think things are going very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?" Very well Somewhat well Somewhat badly Very badly Don't know All Adults May 98 Jan 00 13% 19% 57 60 21 15 94 02 - 31 - Social and Economic Trends Y2K and the New Millennium The Y2K computer bug proved to be little problem in California, with 95 percent reporting no computer glitches at all. Only one percent reported having experienced major problems. This finding mirrors results of a national CBS News poll that found that only one percent of those surveyed had experienced any Y2K-related computer problems or inconveniences. Reports of Y2K computer problems were uniformly uncommon across state regions and racial and ethnic groups. Few computer users reported having either major (1%) or minor (4%) Y2K computer problems. Similarly, most Californians say that Y2K anxieties did not affect their New Year’s holiday plans. Only 11 percent avoided travel or cancelled travel plans around the New Year’s holiday because of Y2K concerns (6%) or fears of terrorism (5%). Only 12 percent said they stayed close to home for New Year’s Eve because of Y2K concerns (7%) or fears of terrorism (5). Los Angeles County residents were the most likely to be affected by Y2K and terrorism concerns. Latinos were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to alter their holiday travel plans (18% to 7%) or stay close to home (26% to 7%) because of Y2K or terrorism concerns. “Did you personally experience any problems because of the Y2K computer bug?” Yes, major problems Yes, minor problems No “Did you avoid traveling or cancel travel plans during the New Year’s holiday?” Yes, Y2K bug concerns Yes, terrorism concerns Yes, other reasons Did not avoid/cancel trips “Did you stay close to home on New Year’s eve?” Yes, Y2K bug concerns Yes, terrorism concerns Yes, other reasons Did not stay home All Adults 1% 4 95 6% 5 11 78 7% 5 60 28 Central Valley 0% 4 96 4% 4 11 81 5% 4 68 23 Region SF Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Latino 1% 4 95 2% 4 94 1% 4 95 2% 4 94 8% 3 10 79 8% 4 60 28 8% 7 10 75 10% 7 55 28 4% 5 12 79 10% 8 13 69 5% 5 59 31 18% 8 51 23 - 32 - Social and Economic Trends Computers and the Internet Computer use and Internet use in the state have increased by four points since September 1999. Today, 78 percent of Californians have used a computer, with 60 percent saying they "often" use a computer at home, school, or work. Sixty-four percent have used the Internet at some time, with 46 percent "often" using it. With regard to frequent computer use, there is a large "digital divide" across race, income, education, and age categories. Latinos are much less likely than non-Hispanic whites to use a computer on a frequent basis (38% to 63%). As for income, 28 percent of those with incomes under $20,000 often use computers, compared to 84 percent with incomes of $80,000 or more. Similarly, 33 percent of those with a high school education or less are frequent computer users, compared to 75 percent of those with a college education or higher. Frequent computer use is also highly evident among those 18 to 54 (66%) and much less common among those 55 and older (38%). As with overall computer use, Latinos lag far behind non-Hispanic whites in frequent use of the Internet (21% to 51%). Frequent Internet use increases with higher household income and education: Eighteen percent of those with household incomes under $20,000 often use the Internet, compared to 72 percent of those with incomes of $80,000 or more. Only 22 percent of those with a high school education or less are frequent Internet users, compared to 63 percent of those with a college education or higher. Frequent Internet use is found among half of the adult residents who are 18 to 54 (52%), while it is more rare among those who are 55 and older (28%). Ever use a computer at home, work, or school Ever access the Internet or World Wide Web Sep 99 74% 60 All adults Dec 99 76% 61 Jan 00 78% 64 "Do you ever go on line to access the Internet or World-Wide Web?” January 2000 Yes, often Yes, sometimes No, use computers No, don't use computers All Adults 46% 18 14 22 Under $20,000 18% 13 16 53 Annual Household Income $20,000 to $39,999 $40,000 to $79,999 32% 56% 22 19 19 14 27 11 $80,000 or more 72% 17 7 4 Latino 21% 19 21 39 - 33 - Social and Economic Trends Internet Shopping One in five Californians purchased a lot (5%) or some (15%) Christmas gifts over the Internet this past holiday season. Two in three Internet users did no Christmas shopping over the Internet at the end of last year. San Francisco Bay Area residents were the most likely to use the Internet for holiday shopping (27%), while Central Valley residents (16%) were the least likely to shop this way. The “digital divide” among racial and ethnic groups is again evident, with Latinos far less likely to shop on the Internet than non-Hispanic whites (7% to 25%). In the coming year nearly one in four Californians expect to make a lot (5%) or some (18%) purchases using the Internet. Once again, two in three Internet users expect to do very little or no shopping over the Internet. San Francisco Bay area residents (30%) expect to be the most active Internet shoppers. Latinos are again far less likely than non-Hispanic whites to expect to do a lot or some shopping on the internet (9% to 27%). Among those who say they often use the Internet, 41 percent purchased at least some gifts using the Internet this past holiday season, while 44 percent expect to make at least some purchases over the Internet in the coming year. “In the past few months, did you buy any Christmas or holiday gifts over the Internet?” All Adult s Yes, a lot 5% Yes, some 15 No 44 Don't use Internet 36 “This year, how often do you expect to make purchases over the Internet?” A lot 5% Some 18 Very little 21 Not at all 20 Don't use Internet 36 Central Valley 3% 13 46 38 4% 17 20 21 38 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles Other Southern California Latino 7% 20 44 29 5% 13 40 42 4% 17 48 31 1% 6 33 60 8% 22 23 18 29 5% 15 19 19 42 5% 17 25 22 31 2% 7 15 15 61 - 34 - Social and Economic Trends Internet Public Policy Among the most contentious issues surrounding the Internet today are taxation of online purchases and restriction of adult pornography. Fifty-two percent of Californians think that companies that sell items over the Internet should be required to collect sales taxes from their customers, while 41 percent think they should not have to collect sales taxes. A national survey conducted by Fox News in 1999 reported similar findings, with 49 percent in favor of internet sales taxes and 42 percent opposed. Support for collecting taxes on Internet purchases is higher among Democrats (57%) than Republicans (51%) and independents (48%). Those who are 55 and older (58%) favor Internet taxation more than those who are 18 to 34 (46%). Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to support Internet taxation (48% to 55%). On the issue of pornography, 51 percent favor a law to make it illegal for computer networks to carry pornographic material and 46% are opposed. Compared to the national population, more Californians are opposed to having the government create such restrictions on Internet use. In a Pew Center Survey in 1998, 57 percent were in favor of restricting Internet pornography and 34 percent were opposed. Support in California for such a law is stronger among Republicans (60%) than Democrats (48%) and independents (45%). Central Valley residents (58%) are more in favor than others of restrictions on Internet pornography. Age differences are also evident, with 63 percent of those 55 and older but 42 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 in favor of restrictions. There is little difference between Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. Among Internet users, 45 percent are in favor of Internet taxation, while 51 percent are opposed. In terms of restricting pornography on the Internet, 48 percent of Internet users are in favor and 48 percent are opposed. Party Registration “Do you think that companies that sell items over the Internet should or should not be required to collect sales taxes from their customers?” Should Should not Don’t know “Do you favor or oppose a law that would make it illegal for a computer network to carry pornographic material over the Internet?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 52% 41 7 51% 46 3 Democrat 57% 37 6 48% 49 3 Republican 51% 42 7 60% 37 3 Not Other Registered 48% 46 6 50% 42 8 45% 49 6 49% 48 3 Latino 48% 44 8 49% 49 2 - 35 - Survey Methodology The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research assistance from Jonathan Cohen and Christopher Hoene. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,007 California adult residents interviewed from January 2 to January 10, 2000. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers, ensuring that both listed and unlisted telephone numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in California were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to five times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Each interview took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Maria Tello translated the survey into Spanish. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California's adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to U.S. Census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,007 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. The sampling error for the 1,527 registered voters is +/- 2.5% and for the 1,031 likely voters is +/- 3.5%. Sampling error is just 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. Throughout the report, we refer to four geographic regions. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “SF 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, and "Other Southern California" includes the mostly suburban regions of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. These four regions were chosen for analysis because they are the major population centers of the state, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population; moreover, the growth of the Central Valley and “Other Southern California” regions have given them increasing political significance. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 24 percent of the state's adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. For likely voters, the sample sizes for the African American and Asian subgroups are not large enough for separate statistical analysis. We contrast the opinions of Democrats and Republicans with "other" or “independent” registered voters. This third category includes those who are registered to vote as “decline to state” as well as a fewer number who say they are members of other political parties. In some cases we compare PPIC Statewide Survey responses to responses recorded in national surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center in 1998 and 1999, Gallup in 1999, CBS News in 1999, NBC/The Wall Street Journal in 1999, Fox News Opinion Dynamics in 1999, National Election Studies by the University of Michigan in 1998, and the Council for Excellence in Government in 1999. We used 1998 and 1999 PPIC Statewide Surveys to analyze trends over time in California. - 34 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT JANUARY 2 – JANUARY 10, 2000 2,007 CALIFORNIA ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/- 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE [Responses recorded for first 15 questions are from likely voters. All other responses are from all adults.] 1. In March 2000, California will hold an open primary. That means the voters will be able to vote for anyone they choose, regardless of the candidate’s party. If the presidential primary were held today, who would you vote for? (rotate names, then ask, “or someone else?”) 28% 27 13 8 3 2 2 1 1 1 14 George W. Bush, Republican Al Gore, Democrat Bill Bradley, Democrat John McCain, Republican Steve Forbes, Republican Gary Bauer, Republican Alan Keyes, Republican Orrin Hatch, Republican Donald Trump, Reform Party someone else (specify) don't know 2. If these were the candidates in the presidential election in November 2000, who would you vote for? (rotate) 46% 46 8 George W. Bush, Republican Al Gore, Democrat don't know 3. If these were the candidates in the presidential election in November 2000, who would you vote for? (rotate) 47% 45 8 George W. Bush, Republican Bill Bradley, Democrat don't know 4. In deciding who to vote for in the presidential primary, how important to you are the candidates' performances in public debates—very important, somewhat important, or not important? 33% 52 14 1 very important somewhat important not important don't know 5. What is your opinion about presidential candidates who talk about religious values when they are campaigning? Do you approve or disapprove? 51% 39 10 approve disapprove don't know 6. If the March 2000 primary election for the U.S. Senate were being held today, who would you vote for? (rotate names, then ask, “or someone else?”) 53% 12 4 3 1 1 26 Dianne Feinstein, Democrat Tom Campbell, Republican Ray Haynes, Republican Bill Horn, Republican J.P. Gough, Republican someone else (specify) don't know 7. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Tom Campbell, or don't you know enough about him to have an opinion? 13% 7 80 favorable unfavorable don't know 8. Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of Dianne Feinstein, or don't you know enough about her to have an opinion? 50% 32 18 favorable unfavorable don't know 9. Proposition 22—the “limit on marriages” initiative on the March 2000 ballot—adds a provision to the family code providing that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 22? 57% 38 5 yes no don't know 10. Recently, the State Supreme Court in Vermont ruled that gay and lesbian couples are entitled to the same protections and benefits as heterosexual married couples. Do you approve or disapprove of this court ruling? 48% 46 6 approve disapprove don't know 11. And do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 38% 55 7 favor oppose don't know - 35 - 12. Proposition 26—the “school facilities, local majority vote, bonds, taxes” initiative on the March 2000 ballot—would authorize local school districts to issue bonds for construction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities if approved by a simple majority of local voters. It authorizes property taxes higher than the existing 1 percent limit by majority vote, rather than by the two-thirds vote currently required, to pay the bonds. The fiscal costs to local school districts are potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars statewide each year within a decade, depending on voter actions on future local school bonds. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 26? 44% yes 45 no 11 don't know 13. Overall, do you think that the two-thirds vote requirement for passing local school bonds has been a good thing or a bad thing for your local schools? 53% 32 4 11 good thing bad thing no difference (code don’t read) don't know 14. In general, do you think that requiring a two-thirds majority vote—instead of a simple majority—to increase local property taxes is a good thing or a bad thing? 62% 32 1 5 good thing bad thing no difference (code don’t read) don't know 15. How closely have you been following the news stories about candidates for the 2000 presidential election—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 13% 50 30 6 1 very closely fairly closely not too closely not at all closely don't know 16. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 66% right direction 26 wrong direction 8 don't know 17. Overall, thinking about the quality of life in California, do you think things are going very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly? 19% 60 15 4 2 very well somewhat well somewhat badly very badly don't know - 36 - 18. In your opinion, how much of a problem is crime in California today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 50% 42 7 1 big problem somewhat of a problem not much of a problem don't know 19. In the past few years, do you think the crime rate in California has increased, decreased, or stayed about the same? 26% 38 33 3 increased decreased stayed the same don't know 20. In your opinion, how much of a problem is the quality of education in kindergarten through twelfth grade public schools in California today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 53% 30 13 4 big problem somewhat of a problem not much of a problem don't know 21. In the past few years, do you think the quality of education in California's K through 12 public schools has improved, gotten worse, or stayed the same? 22% 39 34 5 improved gotten worse stayed the same don't know 22. On another topic, how do you rate the job performance of Governor Gray Davis at this time? 9% 41 34 9 7 excellent good fair poor don't know 23. How do you rate the job performance of the California legislature at this time? 3% 31 44 11 11 excellent good fair poor don't know 24. How closely have you been following the news stories about the Governor and California legislature—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 6% 33 42 18 1 very closely fairly closely not too closely not at all closely don't know 25. Where do you get most of your news and information about the Governor and California legislature—television, newspapers, radio, magazines, talking to people, or the Internet? 44% 35 10 1 5 4 0 1 television newspapers radio magazines talking to people Internet other don't know We are interested in your views about Governor Davis' first year in office. (rotate questions 26 to 31) 26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the state's kindergarten through twelfth grade public education system? 51% approve 28 disapprove 21 don't know 27. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Davis is handling crime and punishment issues? 55% approve 24 disapprove 21 don't know 28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the issue of illegal immigration? 40% approve 33 disapprove 27 don't know 29. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the state's HMO reform and health care issues? 48% approve 26 disapprove 26 don't know 30. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Davis is handling the issue of transportation and traffic congestion? 46% approve 27 disapprove 27 don't know 31. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the state budget and taxes? 57% approve 23 disapprove 20 don't know 32. How much credit do you think Governor Davis and the legislature deserve for California's economic conditions today—a lot, some, very little, or none? 13% 48 27 8 4 a lot some very little none don't know 33. How much credit do you think Governor Davis and the legislature deserve for the state budget surplus this year—a lot, some, very little, or none? 12% 47 24 10 7 a lot some very little none don't know I'm going to read some pairs of statements. As I read each pair, tell me if the first statement or the second statement comes closer to your views—even if neither is exactly right. The first pair is: (ask questions 34-39; rotate questions and pairs) 34. (a) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns, (b) The government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 35% 62 3 goes too far does not do enough don't know 35. (a) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion, (b) the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 27% 71 2 restrict availability should not interfere with access don't know 36. (a) Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy, (b) Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. 31% 64 cost 5 stricter environmental laws cost jobs stricter environmental laws worth the don't know 37. (a) The penalty for first-degree murder should be the death penalty, (b) The penalty for firstdegree murder should be life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole. 49% 47 4 death penalty life imprisonment with no parole don't know - 37 - 38. (a) The government should give parents more educational choices by providing taxpayerfunded vouchers to pay for private or religious schools, (b) Government funding should be limited to children who attend public schools. 46% should provide vouchers 51 should limit funding to public schools 3 don't know 39. (a) The federal budget surplus should be used to cut taxes, (b) The federal budget surplus should be used to pay for social programs. 48% 47 2 3 cut taxes pay for social programs both (volunteered) don't know 40. On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain you are registered to vote? (if yes: "Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent or declineto-state?") 34% 27 3 14 22 yes, Democrat yes, Republican yes, other party yes, independent, decline to state no, not registered 41. Would you consider yourself to be politically very liberal, somewhat liberal, middle-of-theroad, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? 7% 21 34 27 9 2 very liberal somewhat liberal middle-of-the-road somewhat conservative very conservative don't know 42. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 17% 47 30 6 0 great deal fair amount only a little none don't know 43. How often would you say you vote—always, nearly always, part of the time, seldom, or never? 45% 24 12 6 13 0 always nearly always part of the time seldom never don't know 44. On another topic, how much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right? Just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 7% 25 62 5 1 just about always most of the time only sometimes never (code, don’t read) don't know 45. Do you think that the people in government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don't waste very much of it? 58% 35 5 2 a lot some don't waste very much don't know 46. On another topic, some people thought that computers would have trouble operating when we reached the year 2000 because of a programming issue known as Y2K. Did you personally experience any problems because of the Y2K computer bug? (if yes: "Were those major problems or minor problems?") 1% yes, major problems 4 yes, minor problems 95 no 47. Did you avoid traveling or cancel travel plans during the New Year's holiday? (if yes: "Was this because of concerns about Y2K computer problems, concerns about terrorism related to the millennium, or other reasons?") 6% 5 11 78 yes, Y2K yes, terrorism yes, other no 48. Did you stay close to home on New Year's eve? (if yes: "Was this because of concerns about Y2K computer problems, concerns about terrorism related to the millennium, or other reasons?") 7% 5 60 28 yes, Y2K yes, terrorism yes, other no 49. On another topic, do you yourself ever use a computer at home, at work, or at school? (if yes: "Do you do this often or only sometimes?") 60% 18 22 yes, often (ask question 50) yes, sometimes (ask question 50) no (skip to question 53) - 38 - 50. Do you ever go on-line to access the Internet or world wide web or to send or receive e-mail? (if yes: "Do you do this often or only sometimes?") 46% 18 14 22 53) yes, often (ask question 51) yes, sometimes (ask question 51) no (skip to question 53) don't use a computer (skip to question 51. In the past few months, did you buy Christmas or holiday gifts over the Internet? (if yes: "Did you buy a lot or only some gifts over the Internet?") 5% 15 44 36 yes, a lot yes, some no don’t use internet/computer 52. And this year, how often do you expect to make purchases over the Internet—a lot, some, very little, or not at all? 5% 18 21 20 36 a lot some very little not at all don’t use internet/computer 53. Companies that sell on the Internet say that requiring them to collect taxes would harm a growing part of the economy, while local stores say that not requiring Internet companies to collect sales taxes gives them an unfair advantage and discriminates against customers who buy at local stores. Do you think that companies that sell items over the Internet should or should not be required to collect sales taxes from their customers? 52% should 41 should not 7 don’t know 54. Do you favor or oppose a law that would make it illegal for a computer network to carry pornographic material over the Internet? 51% favor 46 oppose 3 don’t know [55-63. Demographic questions.] - 39 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Ruben Barrales President Joint Venture – Silicon Valley Network Angela Blackwell President Policy Link Nick Bollman Senior Program Director The James Irvine Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Matt Fong Attorney Sheppard Mullin William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Associate Claremont Graduate University Monica Lozano Associate Publisher and Executive Editor La Opinión Jerry Lubenow Director of Publications Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley Donna Lucas President Nelson Communications Max Neiman Director Center for Social and Behavioral Research University of California, Riverside Jerry Roberts Managing Editor San Francisco Chronicle Dan Rosenheim News Director KRON-TV Richard Schlosberg President The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Carol Stogsdill Senior Vice President APCO Associates Cathy Taylor Editorial Page Editor Orange County Register Steven Toben Program Officer The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Raymond L. 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