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This is the 131st PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 276 ,000 Californians. This is the 55 th sur vey in the Californians and Their Government series. The sur vey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. This sur vey began the week after Governor Brown released his 2013– 14 budget proposal and ended the day after President Obama’s inauguration events. Compared with recent multibillion dollar structural deficits, the state’s fiscal situation is much improved this year and the governor’s proposed budget projects a slight surplus. Following passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative last November , the governor proposes increasing funding for K–12 public schools by $2.7 billion. His proposal also includes increased funding for higher education and health and human ser vices, $4.2 billion to pay down state debt , and $1 billion for the state’s reserve. Legislators will deliberate the details ahead of their June 15 deadline to pass a budget. At the national level, Presiden t Obama begins his second term. The president and Congress will tackle the debt ceiling and deficit; they will also consider immigration reform and, in the aftermath of the Newtown mass shooting, gun regulation. Health care reform will roll out in a year’ s time and the Supreme Cour t will hear two same- sex marriage cases this spring, including one on California’s Proposition 8. This sur vey presents the responses of 1,704 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including Californians’ overall mood; whether the governor and legis lature will be able to cooperate in the coming year; the perceived effect of the Democrats’ two-thirds majority in the legislature; approval ratings of state elected officials; perceptions of the state’s budget situation; preferences for raising new revenues and for fiscal reforms; confidence in local government to handle prison realignment and in school districts to handle increased fle xibility over spending decisions; preferences for who should make state budget decisions and handle long -term fiscal reform; and attitudes toward the governor’s budget proposal.  Federal government, including Californians’ overall outlook; whether the countr y will be united or divided behind President Obama in his second term and whether he and Congress can cooperate in 2013; approval ratings of federal elected officials; approval of the president and c ongressional Republicans in handling the deficit and debt ceiling; and preferences for gun regulations , health care reform, immigration reform, and same- sex marriage.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government, based on political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. January 2013 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 . Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Brown’s Budget Gets Broad Support, and Majority Back Him on Paying Down Debt AS OBAMA STARTS NEW TERM, JOB APPROVAL UP IN CALIFORNIA —TWO-THIRDS FAVOR ASSAULT WEAPON BAN SAN FRANCISCO , January 30 , 2013 —Strong majorities of Californians favor Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal and, specifically, his plan to direct extra money to school districts with more English Learner and lower -income students. Fewer —but still a majority of residents —back the governor’s plan to pay down the state’s debt and create a reserve, rather than restore funding for social services that has been cut in recent years. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding fr om The James Irvine Foundation. When read a brief description of the governor’s overall plan, 69 percent of adults say they favor it and 22 percent are opposed. Across parties, 79 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents, and a slim majority of R epublicans—51 percent —are in favor. Brown’s 2013 –14 budget, which projects a small surplus for the first time in many years, proposes increasing spending on K –12 schools, higher education, and health and human services , as well as paying down the state’s debt and creating a reserve. Support was far lower for Brown’s budget plan in January 2012 (50%). Asked about the governor’s proposal to direct much of the increased public school funding to districts with more English Learner and lower -income students, 75 percent of Californians are in favor and 21 percent are opposed. Overwhelming majorities of Democrats (81%) and independents (75%) are in favor, as are 52 percent of Republicans. Brown’s budget includes $4.2 billion to pay down state debt and create s a $1 billion reserve. Asked whether they support Brown’s plan or would prefer to restore some funding to social service programs, 55 percent choose the governor’s approach (38% prefer more spending on social services). Most Republicans (73%) and independents (62%) prefer to pay down the debt and build up the reserve, while Democrats are divided (47% pay down the debt, 48% more spending for social services). The PPIC survey —which began the week after Brown released his budget and ended the day after President Barack Obama’s inauguration events —shows rising optimism among Californians after years of recession and state fiscal problems. The proportion of residents who say things in the state are going in the right direction —51 percent —is over 50 percent for the f irst time since January 2007 (55%). And 49 percent expect good economic times in the next year —not a majority , but a higher percentage than at any time since January 2007 (50%). Most (57%) say that Brown and the state legislature will be able to work toget her and accomplish a lot in the next year, up 13 points since last January. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 Californians give the governor a record-high 51 percent job approval rating (28% disapprove, 21% don’t know). His approval rating was 46 percent in January 2012 and 41 percent whe n he began his term in January 2011. The approval rating of the legislature is less positive but improved: 41 percent of Californians approve and 42 percent disapprove (17% don’t know). Approval of the legislature is the highest it has been since December 2007 (41%). Asked how they feel about the Democratic supermajority in the legislature, 40 percent say it is a good thing, 27 percent say it is a bad thing, and 29 percent say it makes no difference. As the legislative session begins, Californians’ approval of their individual state legislators is at 45 percent (34% disapprove, 20% don’t know). A year ago, 36 percent expressed approval (47% disapproved ). “Governor Brown’s approval rating and the legislature’s are rising as the outlook on the state economy i s improving,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Still, many Californians are expressing concerns about the direction of the economy and the state budget situation.” Californians say the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on this year are jobs and the economy (31%), the state budget (17%), and education (17%). Despite an improved fiscal picture, a large majority (63%) continue to characterize the state budget situation as a big problem. And 63 percent say their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. When asked which of the four largest areas of state spending they most want to protect from cuts, most (55%) name K –12 public education, while others name higher education (18%), health and human services (17%), and prisons and corrections (6%). STRONG SUPPORT FOR C IGARETTE TAX, OPPOSITION TO EXTENDING SALES TAX In the wake of passage of Proposition 30, what is the public’s appetite for more tax increases? The survey asked about three potential taxes to address the state budget situation. With a tobacco tax initiative being discussed for the 2014 ballot, 70 percent of Californians support a cigarette tax increase. A small majority of Californians (54%) favor raising the state taxes paid by California corporations. O nly 32 percent favor extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed. Asked about specific fiscal reforms, 71 percent support shifting some funding and responsibility for certain programs from the state to local governments. A high -profile example of this shift began in fall 2011 , when some lower -risk offenders were shifted from state prisons to county jails. About half of Californians today are confident (9% very confident, 40% somewhat confident) that their local government s can handle this responsibility. They express more confidence that local government can handle another aspect of state -local realignment: giving school districts more say in how state money is spent. Most residents are confident (23% very, 48% somewhat) that districts would use the money wisely. A majority of Californians (57%) say it would be a good idea to lower the voting requirement to pass parcel taxes for local public schools from two- thirds to 55 percent. A third reform—a strict limit on state spending — has the support of 68 percent of adults. OPTIMISM ALSO GROWS ABOUT DIRECTION OF NATION A majority (56%) say the U.S. is headed in the right direction, the highest level since May 2009 (57%). The president’s inauguration speech influenced Californians’ views : 54 percent interviewed before the speech said things in the U.S. are generally going in the right direction, and 63 percent responded this way after ward. Obama’s approval rating among Californians is 65 percent, the highest since July 2009. Approval of Congress is at 34 percent, the highest since January 2010 (36%). Californians continue to give their own representative s in the U.S. House favorable ratings (56%), matching the record high reached in September 2009. California’s two sena tors have higher job approval ratings than they did a year ago: Dianne Feinstein is at 54 percent, up from 47 percent in January 2012, and Barbara Boxer is at 52 percent, up from 46 percent. Will the president and Congress be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year? About half (51%) think so , and 44 percent do not. In the PPIC survey —conducted after the fiscal cliff negotiations and as PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 lawmakers started focusing on the federal debt limit—most Californians (56%) approve of the way Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. Most (63%) disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling these issues. TWO -THIRDS SAY GOVERNMENT FALLS SHORT IN REGULATING GUNS In the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting, Obama has mad e gun control a key issue. T wo-thirds of Californians (65%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, and a third (31%) say the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. Two -thirds (65%) support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons. Democrats (79%) and independents (55%) are in favor , while Republicans are more divided (45% support, 52% oppose). Majorities across regions and demographic groups suppor t a ban. Latinos and women (75% each) are much more likely than whites (59%) and men (55%) to favor it. Among adults with gun s, rifle s, or pistol s in their homes, less than half (47%) support an assault weapon ban, and 50 percent are opposed. Baldassare notes : “Strong majorities of Californians want the government to do more about regulating guns, and many worry that a mass shooting could happen in their own communities. ” A majority of residents worry —35 percent a great deal and 26 percent somewhat —that a mass shooting could take place in their c ommunities. Fewer say they do not w orry much (20%) or at all (18%). Latinos (79 %) and women (70%) are much more likely to be worried than whites (44%) and men (52%). SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL HEALTH CARE REFORM RISES TO NEW HIGH With federal health care reform scheduled to be fully implemented in a year, a record- high 55 percent of Californians support the changes that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration, while 37 percent are opposed. Support has increased 8 points since last March (47%). There is a partisan divide: Democrats (76%) are supportive, independents are divided (44% support, 47% oppose), and Republicans are opposed (78%). When asked how they think their families will fare under health care reform, nearly half (48%) say it will not make a difference, 25 percent say they will be better off, and 23 percent say they will be worse off. IMMIGRATION REFORM: RECORD- HIGH SUPPORT FOR PATH TO LEGAL STATUS The president says comprehensive immigration reform is a priority for his second term. Among Californians, a record- high 63 percent say immigrants are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills. A record -low 31 percent say immigrants are a burden because they use public services. The survey also asked what should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. for at least two years. A record -high 76 percent say these immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, and 21 percent —a new low— say they should be deported to their native countries . SLIM MAJORITY FAVOR LEGAL IZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Now that several states have legalized same -sex marriage, what are Californians’ views? Slightly more than half (53%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry and 41 percent are opposed. Support was similar last March (52%) and May (54%). Support is highest among residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (65%), and there is majority support in Los Angeles (54%) and Orange/San Diego Counties (51%). Maj orities are opposed in the Central Valley (53%) and the Inland Empire (56%). As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take up the constitutionality of Proposition 8 —which banned same-sex marriage —a solid majority of Californians say the court’s decision is im portant (38% very important, 26% somewhat important). O pponents of same -sex marriage are more likely to say it is very important (46% ) than proponents (36%). January 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  A majority of Californians (57%) expect the governor and legislature to work tog ether and accomplish a lot this year, up 13 points since last year . There is a wide partisan rift over whether the Democrats’ new super - majority in the legislature is good for the state. ( page 7)  Following the passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative and the release of his 2013 – 14 budget proposal, Governor Brown’s approval ratings are up to a record -high 51 percent . The legislature ’s approval ratings have also jumped . (page 8 )  Despite an improved fiscal picture, a solid majority of Californians still see the budget situation as a big problem and 63 percent say their local services have been affected a lot by state budget cuts. (page 9 )  Seven in 1 0 Californians favor raising revenues by upping cigarette tax es and 54 percent favor raising corporate taxes . Six in 10 oppose extending the sales tax to services. On fiscal reforms, about seven in 10 support state-local realign ment and a strict state spending limit , while 57 percent favor lowering the vote requirement to 55 percent to pass local parcel taxes for public schools. (page s 10 , 11 )  Most Californians are confident in local school districts’ ability to use state funding wisely , but confidence is lower in local governments ’ ability to handle prison realignment. (page 12 )  Strong majorities favor the governor’s budget proposal overall and his proposal to direct school funding to districts that have more English Learners and lower -income students ; fewer, but still a majority , favor his proposal to pay down debt rather than spend more on social services . (page 14 ) 41424146 3941 51 262326282530 41 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11May11Sep11Jan12May12Sep12Jan13 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 35 14 67 38 17 20 26 66 12 020406080100 Ind Rep Dem Percent registered voters Good thing No difference Bad thing Democrats' New Two-thirds Majority in the Legislature 55 38 6 Pay down debt, build reserve Restore some funding for social services Don't know PreferenceRegarding State Budget Tradeoffs All adults PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 OVERALL MOOD At the start of a new legislative session, Californians name jobs and the economy (31%), the state budget (17%), and education (17%) as the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on in 2013. The same issues were on top in January 2012 ( 38% jobs and economy, 18% state budget, 16% educatio n). In 2011 , as Governor Brown was entering office and the legislative session was beginning , Californians also cited jobs and the economy (34%), the state budget (23%), and education (15%) as the most import ant issues. Today, residents across mo st political, regional, age, and income groups name jobs and the economy as the top issue . However, Republicans and those with household incomes of $80,000 or more are as likely to name the state budget as jobs and the economy. Californians’ outlook on the state’s economy is still decidedly mixed —yet it is improving . Forty-nine percent expect good economic times and 40 percent expect bad economic times in the next 12 months. While optimists are not in the majority, the proportion expecting good economic times is much higher today than it was in January 2012 (35%) or January 2011 (36%) , and at any time since January 2007 (50%). Across political parties and regions , the share expecting good times eclipses 50 percent only a mong Democrats (62%) and San Francisco Bay Area residents (55%). Similar ly, 51 percent of residents say things in California are generally going in the right direction ; 40 percent say things are going in the wrong direction. The proportion saying “right direction” was much lower in January 2012 (37%) and January 2011 (38%) ; it is above 50 percent for the first time since January 2007 (55 %). Democrats (67%) are far more likely to say right direction than independents (42%) or Republicans (24%). The San Franc isco Bay Area (62%) leads other regions in the perception that things are going in the right direction. “Turning to economic conditions in Calif ornia, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 49% 62% 26% 42% 44% Bad times 40 28 64 48 44 Don’t know 11 10 9 10 11 A majority of Californians (57%) say that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, while 33 percent say t hey will not be able to do so. Opinions were more negative last January, with 47 percent saying they would not be able to work together and 44 percent saying they would. When Governor Brown entered office in January 2011, residents were as optimistic as they are today (58% would be able to work together, 29% would not). Today, Democrats (69%) are more likely than Republicans (36%) and independents (46%) to say the governor and legislature will be able to work together. As for the impact of the Democratic supermajority on California, 40 percent say it is a good thing, 27 percent say it is a bad thing, and 29 percent say it makes no difference. Public opinion about the Democratic supermajority is predictably divided along party lines. “Do you think that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 57% 69% 36% 46% 51% No 33 24 54 44 40 Don’t know 11 7 10 11 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 APPROVAL RATING OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Governor Brown’s approval rating stands at a record high of 51 percent today. In January 2012 , 46 percent approved of the governor’s job performance. When Brown entered office in January 2011, 41 percent approved of his job performance. Among likely voters today , 50 percent approve . A solid majority of Democrats (67%) approve of the governor , while 55 percent of Republicans disapprove; independents are more likely to approve (46%) than to disapprove (33%) of Brown’s job performance. The governor has higher approval than disapproval ratings across regions and demographic groups. C ompared to the governor ’s, approval ratings of the California Legislature are more mixed— and yet they have also improv ed. Today, 41 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job. A year ago, 28 percent approved and 56 percent disapproved. Findings were similar in January 2011 (26% approve, 55% disapprove). Approval of the legislature today is the highest it has been since Dece mber 2007 (41%) . And while a majority of likely voters (55%) today disapprove of the legislature, approval (31%) is the highest it has been since December 2007 (35 %). Across parties, 50 percent of Democrats, 30 percent of independents, and 17 percent of Republicans approve of the legislature. The legislature’s approval ratings are under 50 percent in all regions and decline as age increases. Approval ratings are lower among those with incomes of $40,000 or more than among lower-income residents. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 51% 67% 28% 46% 50% Disapprove 28 19 55 33 36 Don ’t know 21 14 17 21 14 The California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 41 50 17 30 31 Disapprove 42 37 70 57 55 Don ’t know 17 13 13 13 14 Today, at the start of the new legislative session, Californians’ approval of their individual state legislators is at 45 percent ; 34 percent express disapproval and 20 percent are unsure. A year ago, 36 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved of their own legislators’ performance; results were similar in March 2011 (36% approve, 43% disapprove). Likely voters today are about as likely to approve (39%) as to disapprove (42%). Democrats (53%) are much more likely than independents (36%) and Republicans (33%) to approve of their own le gislators. Approval ratings vary across regions (53% Central Valley, 50% San Francisco Bay Area, 43% Los Angeles, 43% Orange/San Diego Counties , 38% Inland Empire) and are much higher among L atinos than whites (57% to 37%). Approval is higher among those a ges 18 to 34, those with a high school education or less, and lower -income residents. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 45% 53% 33% 36% 39% Disapprove 34 31 47 47 42 Don ’t know 20 17 19 17 20 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 STATE BUDGET SITUATION Despite passage of Proposition 30 and an improving economy, large majorities of all adults (63%) and likely voters (71%) continue to describe the state budget situation in California as a big problem. A year ago, a similar 64 percent of all adults and 78 percent of likely voters held this view. In January 2011, 68 percent of all adults an d 83 percent of likely voters said the budget situation was a big problem. Today, at least six in 10 residents across regions describe the budget situation as a big problem. Majorities in all political groups view the state budget situation as a big problem, but this p erception is more widely held by Republicans (84%) and independents (77%) than by Democrats (57 %). Far m ore whites (76%) hold this view than Latinos (48%). T his perception is higher among those age 55 and older than among younger residents and among those with incomes of $40,000 or more than among those with lower incomes. “Do you think the state budget situation in California— that is, the balance between government spending and revenues— is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 63% 57% 84% 77 % 71% Somewhat of a problem 28 36 11 16 23 Not a problem 6 6 3 5 4 Don’t know 3 1 1 2 1 Large majorities of adults (63%) and likely voters (63%) continue to say that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts . About one in 10 in each group say they have not. A year ago, similarly large majorities of adults (62%) and likely voters (60%) said that their local government services had been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. Today, more than half of residents in all parties, regions, and demographic groups say that local government services have been aff ected a lot by state budget cuts. Among public school parents, 68 percent hold this view. “Would you say that your local government services—such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts?” ( If they have, ask : “Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?”) All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Affected a lot 63% 60% 56% 66% 65% 66% 68% Affected somewhat 24 27 30 20 24 18 21 Not affected 9 11 11 9 5 9 9 Don’t know 5 3 3 6 6 6 1 What areas of state spending does the public most want to protect f rom budget cuts? When the four largest areas of state spending are named, 55 percent of adults say that K –12 public education is the one they most want to protect, 18 percent name higher education, 17 percent name health and human services, and 6 percent name prisons and corrections. We found a similar preference for protect ing K– 12 public schools a year ago, an d every time we have asked this question since the 2003 budget crisis. Today, m ajorities among likely voters (55%) , across political parties , and in the state’s major regions wish to protect K–12 public education. Pluralit ies of at least 48 percent across all age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups would most like to protect K –12 public schools from spending cuts. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 NEW REVENUES What are the public’s preference s for raising state taxes in the wake of the passage of Proposition 30? We asked about three possible new revenue sources to address the state budget situation. Seven in 10 adults (70%) and likely voters (69%) favor incr easing taxes on cigarettes. Last March and May, 63 percent of likely voters favored this proposal, and a proposition to raise cigarette taxes in the June primary failed. Today, slim majorities of adults (54%) favor raising the state taxes paid by California corporations, compared to 68 percent in January 2012. Only three in 10 adults (32%) today favor extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed, compared to 39 percent in January 2012. “New revenue sources have been proposed to address the state budget situation. Fo r each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. How about… ” All adults Increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? Extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? Favor 70% 54% 32% Oppose 28 41 61 Don’t know 2 6 7 Public support for each of these three new revenue sources is very similar among all adults and likely voters. Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to favor increasing taxes on cigarettes, raising taxes paid by California corporations, and extending the sales tax to services. There is majority support for increasing taxes on cigarettes across part ies and regions, and among all age, education, and income groups . A partisan divide exists on raising the state taxes paid by California corporations , but there is slim majority support across regions. Support for extending the sales tax to services falls well short of a majority across all parties and regions, and among all age, education, and income groups. Percent saying favor Increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? Extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? All adults 70% 54% 32% Likely voters 69 52 30 Party Democrats 77 68 37 Republicans 53 33 20 Independents 71 48 28 Region Central Valley 64 53 31 San Francisco Bay Area 77 54 35 Los Angeles 72 55 33 Orange/San Diego 64 52 26 Inland Empire 72 54 32 Age 18 to 34 76 64 37 35 to 54 69 50 31 55 and older 66 47 29 Household income Under $40,000 72 63 34 $40,000 to $80,000 69 50 35 $80,000 or more 73 46 30 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 FISCAL REFORMS Since taking office, Governor Brown has stressed the importance of “bringing government closer to the people.” A strong majority of Californians (71%) and likely voters (69%) say it is a good idea to shift funding and responsibility for running certain programs from the state government to local governments. Strong majorities of Californians and likely voters (68% each) also consider a strict state spending limit a good idea. A third fiscal reform is supported by 57 percent of Californians and 51 percent of likely voters: lowering the vote requirement to 55 percent for voters to pass parcel taxes for local public schools. “Fiscal reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget and local budget issues. For each of the following, please say if you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. How about…” All adults Shifting some tax dollars and fees from the state government to local governments, in order for local governments to take on the responsibility of running certain programs currently run by the state? Strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? Replacing the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools? Good idea 71% 68% 57% Bad idea 22 25 37 Don’t know 7 7 6 Support among all adults for realign ing government responsibilities (71%) was similarly high last January (66%) and in January 2011 (71%). Republicans (76%) and independents (75%) are especially likely to say realignment is a good idea; most Democrats (65%) agree. Across regions and demographic groups, at least 64 percent say good idea. The share of all adults saying it is a good idea to strictly limit state spending (68%) is up 9 points since last January (59%), but is similar to January 2011 (71%) and January 2010 (69%). There has been majority support for a strict state spending limit since we first asked this question in June 2003. Republicans (84%) are much more likely than independents (71%) and Democrats (58%) to support a spending limit . Today’s s upport among all adults (57%) for lowering the vote required to pass parcel taxes is higher than in April 2011 (48%) and April 2009 (45%). A strong majority of public school parents today (65%) say this is a good idea. Democrats (60%) are more l ikely than independents (52%) and Republicans (46%) to hold this view. Percent saying good idea Shift responsibilities to local level State spending limit 55 percent vote to pass parcel taxes All adults 71% 68% 57% Likely voters 69 68 51 Public school parents 76 70 65 Party Democrats 65 58 60 Republicans 76 84 46 Independents 75 71 52 Region Central Valley 77 69 58 San Francisco Bay Area 69 69 57 Los Angeles 69 69 55 Orange/San Diego 72 74 53 Inland Empire 64 61 57 Household income Under $40,000 75 68 62 $40,000 to $80,000 69 70 55 $80,000 or more 65 70 51 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 STATE AND LOCAL FISCAL RELATIONS The first high-profile example of state- local realignment began in the fall of 2011, when some of the state’s lower -risk inmates were moved from state prisons to county jails. About half of Californians are confident (9% very, 40% somewhat) in their local governments ’ ability to handle this responsibility. The other half are not too (24%) or not at all (25%) confident. Among likely voters, 43 percent are confident and 54 percent are not confident. Since we first asked about this in 2011, about 50 percent of all adults have been very or somewhat confident in their local governments (48% September 2011, 53% December 201 1, 50% January 2 012, 49% today) . Acro ss parties, Republicans (36 %) are less likely than independents (49%) and Democrats (50%) to express confidence . About half in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%), Orange/San Diego Counties (52%), Inland Empire (50%), and Los Angeles (48% ) express confidence; 44 percent in the Central Valley agree. Confidence decreases sharply as age increases . Among those who say realignment in general is a good idea, 51 percent are confident that local government can handle the prisoner shift; among thos e who say realignment is a bad idea, 45 percent are confident. “As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower-risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? ” All adults Region Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 9% 9% 8% 9% 8% 5% Somewhat confident 40 35 44 39 44 45 Not too confident 24 23 24 27 25 20 Not at all confident 25 33 21 22 21 29 Don’t know 2 – 3 3 1 2 One response to the fiscal downturn and state budget cuts was to give local school districts more say in how state funding is spent. The governor would like to increase this local flexibility. Seventy-one percent of Californians are confident (23% very, 48% somewhat) that their local school districts would use state money wisely. This is far higher than confidence in local government to handle prison realignment (49%). Confidence in school districts was similar last April (68%), but the share saying they are very confident has grown (from 14 % to 23% today ). More than 65 percent across parties, regions, and demographic groups are at least somewhat confident that their local school districts will spend money wisely, including 71 percent of public school parents. Among those who say realignment is a good idea, 73 percent are confident; among those who say it is a bad idea, 64 percent also have confidence in their school districts . “If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? ” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 23% 23% 27% 20% 17% 22% 24% Somewhat confident 48 50 46 46 53 44 47 Not too confident 18 18 17 21 16 20 19 Not at all confident 11 8 9 12 13 14 9 Don’t know 1 1 1 – 1 – 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 FISCAL DECISIONMAKING In a more stable fiscal enviro nment this year , who do Californians prefer to make the tough choices involved in the state budget? Fifty -six percent prefer the approach of Democrats —either Governor Brown (25%) or the Democrats in the legislature (31%), while 24 percent prefer the approach of Republicans in the legislature. Among likely voters, half prefer either the governor’s (26%) or legislative Democrats’ (25%) approach, and 33 percent prefer that of legislative Republicans. In January 2011 , just as Governor Brown took office, preferences were similar (26% governor, 28% Democrats, 26% Republicans). During Governor Schwarzenegger’s tenure, support for his approach was highest soon after he took office in January 2004 (33%) and reached a low of 11 percent in May 2010 , near the end of his last term. Support for Governor Davis’ s approa ch was similarly low prior to his recall (13% February 2003) . Democrats now hold a supermajority in the legislature, meaning they could override gubernatorial vetoes. Registered Democrats are far more likely to prefer the approach of legislative Democrats (56%) to Governor Brown ’s (30%). Republicans also prefer l egislators from their party (69%). Among independents, 25 percent prefer the gover nor, 20 percent favor legislative Democrats , and 23 percent favor legislative Republicans . Latinos (45%) are far more likely than whites (17%) to prefer the legislative Democrats, while whites are twice as likely as Latinos to prefer the legislative Republicans (35% to 16%) ; similar shares prefer the governor (26% Latinos, 27% whites). “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how much to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer—Governor Brown’s, the Democrats’ in the legislature, or the Republicans’ in the legislature?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Governor Brown’s 25% 30% 15% 25% 26% Democrats’ 31 56 4 20 25 Republicans’ 24 8 69 23 33 Other/None (volunteered) 5 2 6 10 7 Don’t know 15 5 6 23 9 When it comes to long -term fiscal reform, most Californians (76%) and likely voters ( 72%) prefer that their fellow voters make the decisions; just 21 percent of adults and 24 percent of likely voters prefer the governor and legislature. More than six in 10 have preferred voters’ decisions since we first asked this question in January 2004. The general finding reflected in this survey that California voters probably make better public policy decisions than the governor and legislature ha s been a consistent attitudinal trend since we began asking questions about this issue in 2000. Solid majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups agree that voters should make the decisions about long -term fiscal reform. “And when it comes to long-term issues of reforming the stat e budget process, both in terms of changing the way the state taxes and spends money, which approach do you most prefer— the governor and legislature should decide; or the California voters should decide?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Governor and legislature 21% 25% 18% 19% 24% California voters 76 71 80 76 72 Other (volunteered) 1 1 1 1 1 Don’t know 3 2 1 3 2 PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released his 2013–14 budget proposal on January 10. For the first time in many years, he projected that the state would have a slight budget surplus rather than a multibillion-dollar structural deficit. He proposed increasing spending on K–12 schools, higher education, and health and human services, creating a $1 billion reserve, and paying down state debt. When read a brief description of this plan, 69 percent of all adults and 66 percent of likely voters favor it while 22 percent of all adults and 25 percent of likely voters are opposed. By comparison, support was far lower for Brown’s budget proposal last January (50% all adults, 48% likely voters). Across parties today, more than seven in 10 Democrats (79%) and independents (72%) favor his plan, and even a slim majority of Republicans (51%) express support. Last year about four in 10 Republicans and independents favored the governor’s plan. “Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 schools, higher education, and health and human services, create a $1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 69% 79% 51% 72% 66% Oppose 22 15 36 20 25 Haven’t heard about it/ Don’t know (volunteered) 9 6 13 9 10 Governor Brown proposes increased funding for K–12 public schools (largely due to Proposition 30 revenues) and changing the way school funding is distributed. For the second year in a row, he is proposing a formula that would direct extra funding to districts that have more English Learners and lower-income students. Three in four Californians (75%) and nearly seven in 10 likely voters (68%) say they favor this idea. Overwhelming majorities of Democrats (81%) and independents (75%) favor it, as do 52 percent of Republicans. More than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups support this approach, and Latinos (91%) are far more likely than whites (63%) to do so. Support declines as age, education, and income increase. Nearly eight in 10 public school parents (78%) favor the idea. Even among those who oppose the governor’s overall budget plan, 54 percent favor this idea. “Governor Brown’s budget plan includes new K–12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more English language learners and lower-income students. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 75% 81% 52% 75% 68% Oppose 21 16 42 20 26 Don’t know 3 3 6 5 5 The governor’s budget plan includes $4.2 billion to pay down state debt and creates a $1 billion reserve. Some may argue that a portion of this money should be spent restoring funding to social services programs that have been cut in recent years. When it comes to this fiscal tradeoff, a majority of Californians back the governor’s plan (55%), compared with 38 percent who would prefer more spending on social services. Six in 10 likely voters prefer paying down debt. Majorities of Republicans (73%) and independents (62%) prefer paying down debt, while Democrats are divided. Preference for paying down debt is much higher among whites than Latinos (66% to 46%) and increases as education and income levels rise. January 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  For the first time since May 2009 , a majority of Californians (56%) say the country is headed in the right direction. But Californians are much more pessimistic than they were four years ago about whether the country will be united behind President Obama over the course of his second term . (page 16 )  Approval of President Obama (65%) is the highest it has been since July 2009 , and approval of Congress is also up. M ajorities approve of Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, and their own House representatives. Californians are more than twice as approving of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling as they are of c ongressional Republicans’. (page s 17 –19 )  Support for more gun regulation has jumped (from 53% to 65%) since last March —and in the wake of the Newtown mass shooting . A solid majority support a nationwide ban on assault weapons . Many , especially Latinos and public school parents, worry that a mass shooting could occur in their community. (page 20 )  Support for national health care reform is up 8 points (to 55%) since last March , with a deep partisan divide on this issue , while only one in four say they will be better off under this law. (page 21)  On immigration reform, a record high (76%) favor giving illegal immigrants who have been working here the chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. ( page 22)  In line with recent trends, 53 percent favor allowing same -sex marriage, with voters deeply divided along party lines. Those opposed to same-sex marriage are more likely than those in favor to consider the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision very important. (page 23 ) 70 615654 65 37363025 34 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan/Feb09Jan10Mar11Jan12Jan13 Percent all adults President Obama U.S. Congress Approval Ratings of FederalElected Officials 62625853 65 35303338 31 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan00Feb04Aug08Mar12Jan13 Percent all adults Government does not do enough Government goes too far restricting gun rights Regulating Guns 73 47 22 49 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan09Jan13 Percent all adults United Divided Whether the CountryWill Be United or Divided behind Barack Obama over Next Four Years PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 16 OVERALL OUTLOOK At the start of a new year, 56 percent of Californians say that things in the United States are general ly going in the right direction and 39 percent say wrong direction. This level of optimism was last seen in May 2009 (57%) and has increa sed 10 points since October 2012 (46%). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll among adults nationwide, 35 percent said right direction and 57 percent said things are off on the wrong track. In our survey, national outlook differs across parties , with 73 percent of Democrats saying right direction, and 76 percent of Republicans saying wrong direction. Seven in 10 Latinos say the country is going in the right direction, compared with four in 10 whites. Optimism declines with rising age and income a nd is higher among those with a high school education or less than others. “Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Interviewed before/after Obama’s inauguration speech Dem Rep Ind Before After Right direction 56% 73% 19% 50% 47% 54% 63% Wrong direction 39 23 76 47 49 40 34 Don’t know 5 3 5 4 4 5 3 After a year of partisan strife, how d o Californians view the prospect of federal elected officials working together in the new year? Half of Californians (51%) believe that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year; 44 percent say they will not . This negative view has changed since last January, when 62 percent said they would be una ble to work together . At the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, 81 percent believed that the new president and Congress would be able to work together. Today, a majority of likely voters (57%) are pessimistic about the prospects of cooperation at the federal level. Across parties, six in 10 Democrats say federal officials will work together, while 77 percent of Republicans and half of independents (52%) hold the opposite view. In interviews completed prior to President Obama’s inauguration speech, 49 percent said they would be able to cooperate, compared with 55 percent in interviews conducted after his speech. “Do you think that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not? ” All adults Party Likely voters Interviewed before/after Obama’s inauguration speech Dem Rep Ind Before After Yes 51% 61% 17% 40% 37% 49% 55% No 44 36 77 52 57 45 41 Don’t know 5 3 6 8 5 5 4 When it comes to their outlook for President Obama’s second term, Californians are divided as to whether the country will unite behind him and allow him to accomplish a lot (47%) or be divided and make it difficult for him to accomplish a lot (49%) in th e next four years. Californians were far more optimistic in January 2009 when President Obama first took office, with 73 percent saying the country would be united behind him (22% divided). In January 2005, at the beginning of President Bush’s second term, 35 percent said united, and 60 percent divided. In 2001, 44 percent said the country would be able to unite behind George W. Bush at the start of his presidency (50% divided). Today, likely voters are pessimistic (62% divided, 34% united) about the presid ent’s second term. Six in 10 Democrats (63%) say united, while eight in 10 Republicans (83%) and 64 percent of independents say divided. A solid majority of Latinos foresee a united nation (65%); a similar share of whites (66%) foresee a divided one. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS After reelection, President Obama’s approval rating is up to 65 percent. His approval was last at this level in July 2009. Last January, his approval was at 54 percent ; it grew 9 points by October (63%), just before the general election in November. In a recent nationwide NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 52 percent of adults approved of Obama and 44 percent disapproved. In our survey, approval is lower among likely voters (56%) than among all adults. Eighty- eight percent of Democrats approve of the president and 76 percent of Republicans disapprove. A majority of independents approve (53%). President Obama’s approval ratings decline as age increases. L ower-income residents (73%) are much more likely to approve than those earning $40,000 to $80,000 (61%) or more (58%). Latinos (83%) are far more likely than whites (50%) to approve. Approval is higher in Los Angeles (73%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (71%), than in the Inland Empire (62%), the Central Valley (55 %), and Orange/San Diego Counties (55% ). Approval of the U.S. Congress is at 34 percent, up 9 points since last January (25%). The U.S. Congress last had an approval rating above 30 percent in October 2010 (31%) , shortly before the mid -term elections ; approval was at 37 percent at the start of President Obama’s first term. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll among adults nationwide shows approval of the U.S. Congress at 14 percent (81 % disapprove). Among likely voters in our survey, 21 percent approve of Congress. Approval declines as age increases and is higher among those with lower education and income levels . Fifty-seven percent of Latinos approve of the Congress; far fewer whites (16%) hold this view. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 65% 88% 23% 53% 56% Disapprove 29 9 76 40 41 Don ’t know 6 3 1 6 3 The U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 34 29 20 25 21 Disapprove 59 66 73 64 73 Don ’t know 7 5 7 11 6 Californians continue to give favorable ratings to their own representative to the U.S. House. The share approving of their representative (56%) matches the record high reached in September 2009. Last January, approval was 46 percent, and in September it was 48 percent. Likely voters hold similar views to all adults. Democrats (64%) are much more likely to approve than independents (47%) and Republicans (45%). Majorities across regions say they approve of their own representative (60% Inland Empire, 58% Lo s Angeles, 56% San Francisco Bay Area, 55% Orange/San Diego Counties, 54% Central Valley). Approval declines with rising education and income levels. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 56% 64% 45% 47% 52% Disapprove 27 23 34 33 31 Don ’t know 18 13 22 21 17 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS After winning reelection by a wide margin, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is at 54 percent. One in four disapprove, while one in five are unsure how to rate her job performance. Her approval rating was 47 percent last January and grew to 51 percent in September, just before the November election. Likely voters (35%) are somewhat more disapproving of her job performance than all adults (25%). Three in four Democrats approve of Senator Feinstein’s job performance, while 58 percent of Republicans disapprove. About half of independents (49%) approve and three in 10 disapprove. Across ideological groups, 66 percent of liberals, 57 percent of moderates, and 42 percent of conservatives approve. Across regions, Senator Feinstein’s approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Ar ea (63%) and Los Angeles (58%), followed by the Inland Empire (53%) and the Central Valley (52%) ; it is lowest in Orange/San Diego Counties (40%). Women (58%) are somewhat more likely to approve of her than men are (50%). Latinos (60%) are much likely than whites (47%) to approve of Senator Feinstein. Majorities across age, education, and income groups approve of Senator Feinstein. Among those who approve of the U.S. Congress, Senator Feinstein’s approval rating is at 65 percent; among those who disapprove of the U.S. Congress, her approval rating is at 52 percent. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 54% 75% 33% 49% 55% Disapprove 25 15 58 30 35 Don ’t know 21 11 9 21 10 Senator Barbara Boxer’s approval rating is at 52 percent ; 27 percent disapprove of her job performance and 21 percent are unsure. Her approval rating was 46 percent last January and 48 percent in September 2012. Likely voters (40%) are much more disapproving than all adults (27%). There are partisan differences : 75 percent of Democrats approve and 64 percent of Republicans disapprove of Senator Boxer’s job performance (independents: 45% approve, 33% disapprove). Approval of Senator Boxer is highest among Californians living in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (58%) , followed by those in the Inland Empire (51%) and the Central Valley (49%) ; it is lowest in Orange/San Diego Counties (38%). Women (57%) are more likely than men (46%) to say they approve of Senator Boxer. Sixty -five percen t of Latinos approve, compared with 39 percent of whites. Californians ages 18 to 34 (61%) are more approving of Senator Boxer than older residents are (47% 35 to 54, 48% 55 and older). Approval declines with rising income. Renters (59%) are more likely to approve of her than homeowners (46 %). Among those approving of the U.S. Congress, 69 percent say they approve of Senator Boxer, and among those who disapprove of the U.S. Congress, 45 percent approve of her. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 52% 75% 25% 45% 51% Disapprove 27 16 64 33 40 Don ’t know 21 9 11 22 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS Our survey was conducted after the fiscal cliff negotiations and when lawmakers were starting to focus on the federal debt limit. We completed interviews just before the House passed legislation to temporarily raise the debt ceiling , which would put off decision making on the debt ceiling to late May. Lawmakers meanwhile will debate spending cuts and deficit reduction . When asked about President Obama’s role in handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, a majority of Californians (56%) approve and 38 percent disapprove of how he is handling this issue. Likely voters are closely divided (49% approve, 47% disapprove). While three in four Democrats approve of the way the president is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, a similar share of Repub licans (77%) disapprove. Independents are divided (43% approve, 48% disapprove). Majorities across regions, except those in the Central Valley (43%), approve of how President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. Approval declines with ag e and income. Among those who approve of President Obama ’s job performance overall, 78 percent approve of his role in handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 56% 76% 20% 43% 49% Disapprove 38 20 77 48 47 Don ’t know 6 4 3 9 4 Californians hold an unfavorable view of how the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. A solid majority (63%) say they disapprove, and one in four approve. Disapproval is higher among likely voters (70%). Nearly eight in 10 Democrats (79%) and a solid majority of independents (64%) disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handing this issue. A slim majority of Republicans (52%) also say they disapprove, while 41 percent approve. Majorities across regions and demographic groups disapprove of Republicans’ handling of the deficit and debt ceiling , with some variation . Disapproval is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (71%) than in other regions. Among racial/ethnic groups, whites (71%) are much more likely to disapprove than Latinos (52%). Disapproval increases with income. Among those who approve of the U.S. Congress overall , 43 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove of the way that the Republicans are handling the federal deficit and debt c eiling. Among those who disapprove of the Congress, 77 percent disapprove of Republicans’ handling of these issues. Fifteen percent say they approve of the way that both the p resident and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, 24 percent say they disapprove of both. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 26% 17% 41% 27% 25% Disapprove 63 79 52 64 70 Don ’t know 11 4 6 9 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 GUN REGULATIONS In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, the debate over gun control has intensified, and President Obama has made it a central issue for his second term. How do Californians weigh in on this debate? Two in three Californians (65%) say government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, while three in 10 (31%) say government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own gun s. The perception that government does not do enough has increased since last March (53%) and August 2008 (58%), but is similar to February 2004 and January 2000 (62% each). An overwhelming majority of Democrats (80%) say government does not do enough; 57 percent of Republicans say government goes too far. A majority of independents (54%) say government doesn’t do enough. Majorities across regions and demographic groups say government does not do enough. Twenty-one percent of Californians report having a fi rearm in their home. Opinion is divided among this group (49% goes too far, 47% does not do enough) whereas a strong majority of those without firearms say government does not do enough (73%). Two in three Californians (65%) and likely voters (64%) would support a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons. Democrats (79%) and independents (55%) support this proposal, while Republicans are more divided (45% support; 52% oppose). Majorities of residents acros s regions and de mographic groups are in support. Latinos and women (75% each) are much more likely than whites (59%) and men (55%) to be in support . Support is much higher among t hose without firearms in their home s (73%) than among those with firearms in their hom es (47% support, 50% oppose) . In a recent ABC News/Washington Post p oll, adults nationwide (58% support, 39 % oppose) were somewhat less likely than Californians in our survey (65%) to support this ban. “Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons?” All adults Party Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Dem Rep Ind Yes No Support 65 % 79% 45% 55% 47% 73% Oppose 32 20 52 39 50 25 Don ’t know 3 1 2 5 2 3 When asked how worried they are, if at all, that a mass shooting could happen in their community, six in 10 Californians say they worr y either a great deal (35%) or somewhat (26%), while fewer say they do not worry so much (20%) or do not worry at all (18 %). Concern is greater among Democrats (68% very/somewhat worried) than independents (50%) or Republicans (40%). Latinos (79%) and women (70%) are much more worried than whites (44%) and men (52%). Strong majorities of parents of children 18 or younger (71 %), including public school parents (74%) , worry a grea t deal or somewhat. Concern is higher among t hose without gun s in their home s (69%) than among those with firearm s in their homes (41%). Californians in our survey are more likely to worry a great deal (35%) than adults nationwide in the ABC/Washington Post poll (24% a great deal, 31% somewhat, 24% not so much, 21% not at all). “How worried are you, if at all, that a mass shooting could happen in your community— is that something that worries you a great deal, somewhat, not so much, or not at all?” All adults Race/ethnicity Household income Latinos Whites Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Great deal 35% 60% 15% 47% 27% 23% Somewhat 26 19 29 23 32 28 Not so much 20 10 29 16 22 27 Not at all 18 10 26 14 19 22 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 HEALTH CARE REFORM With federal health care reform set to be implemented in a year’s time, a record -high 55 percent of Californians support the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration; 37 percent are opposed. Support has increased 8 points since last March (47%) ; in previous surveys dating back to September 2009, about half were in support. Democrats (76%) are supportive, while Republicans (78%) are opposed and independents are divided (44% support, 47% oppose). Six in 10 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (59%) support these changes, compared to about half of Inland Empire (51%), Orange/San Diego (49%), and Central Valley (47%) residents. Latinos (70%) are far more likely than whites (43%) to support changes to the health care system. T hose with health insurance (54% support ) and without it (58% support ) hold similar opinions. “Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Support 55% 76% 19% 44% 51% Oppose 37 19 78 47 45 Don ’t know 8 5 3 8 4 When asked if th eir families will be better off or worse off under the health reform law, nearly half of Californians (48%) say it won’t make a difference, 25 percent say they will be better off, and 23 percent say they will be worse off. Likely voters are less likely to say no difference and more likely to say they will be worse off (27% better off, 31% worse off, 39% no difference). In a September Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide were less likely to say no difference (31% better off, 26% worse off, 33% no difference) than Californians in our survey . Democrats (38% better off, 11% worse off, 48% no difference) are more positive about the effects of health reform, while half of Republicans think reform will have a negative impact (9% better off, 53% worse off, 33% no difference). Californians without health insurance (32% better off, 22% worse off, 43% no difference) are more likely than those wit h insurance (23% better off, 23% worse off, 49% no difference) to say they will be better off . “Do you think that you and your family will be better off or worse off under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference?” Better off Worse off Won’t make much difference Don’t know All adults 25% 23% 48% 5% Likely voters 27 31 39 3 Age 18 to 34 21 12 63 4 35 to 54 28 24 43 5 55 and older 24 33 38 6 Race/ethnicity Latinos 32 11 55 3 Whites 21 37 37 5 Household income Under $40,000 29 17 49 5 $40,000 to $80,000 21 25 49 5 $80,000 or more 22 29 46 3 Have health insurance Yes 23 23 49 5 No 32 22 43 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM A record -high 63 percent of Californians view immigrants as a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, while a record -low 31 percent view immigrants as a burden to California because they use public services. M ajorities of Californians have viewed immigrants as a benefit since February 2000 . S even in 10 Democrats (72%) and half of independents (52%) view immigrants as a benefit, while six in 10 Republicans (60%) view them as a burden. More than half across regions view immigr ants as a benefit. Latinos (84%) are far more likely than whites (45%) to say immigrants a re a benefit. T he view that immigrants are a benefit is higher among low er-income Californians , declines with age , and is far lower among U.S. -born residents than among immigrants. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, or immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Benefit 63% 72% 33% 52% 54% Burden 31 23 60 37 39 Don ’t know 6 5 6 12 7 Comprehensive immigration reform is near the top of President Obama’s list of things he hopes to achieve during his second term. When asked what they think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years, a record -high 76 percent of Californians say these immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. A record- low 21 percent say they should be deported back to their native country. Since first asking this in 2007, at least 65 percent have said working immigrants should have a chance to keep th eir jobs. Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups think immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs. Among those who view immigrants as a benefit, 92 percent say they should be able to apply for legal status, while those who v iew immigrants as a burden are divided (47% keep jobs, 49% be deported). “If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years? They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, or they should be deported back to their native country?” Chance to keep jobs Deported Don’t know All adults 76% 21% 3% Likely voters 72 25 3 Party Democrats 85 13 2 Republicans 59 36 5 Independents 68 28 4 Race/ethnicity Latinos 92 7 2 Whites 63 33 4 Age 18 to 34 82 16 2 35 to 54 77 20 3 55 and older 68 28 4 Perception of immigrants in California Benefit 92 7 1 Burden 47 49 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same- sex marriage. How do Californians view same -sex marriage today? Just over half of Californians (53%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married, while 41 percent are opposed. Likely voters hold similar opinions (54% favor, 40% oppose). Support among all adults was similar last May (54%) and March (52%) , and at least half of Californians have been in favor since March 2010. Californians hold similar opinions to adults nationwide (51% f avor, 40% oppose) , according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in December . T wo in three Democrats (67%) are in favor and two in three Republicans are opposed (65%) to same- sex marriage. Fifty -nine percent of independents are in favor of allowi ng gay and lesbian couples to marry. Support is highest among residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (65%), although there is majority support among residents in Los Angeles (54%) and Orange/San Diego Counties (51%). A majority of Central Valley (53%) and Inland Empire (56%) residents are opposed. Whites (56%) are more likely than Latinos (48%) to favor same -sex marriage. Support increases as income levels rise; it goes down as age increases . Majorities of those with at least some college education are in favor while those with a high school education or less are divided. Support is much greater among those who have never been married (69%) than among those who are currently married or widowed (46%) or were previously married (49%) . “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 53% 67% 30% 59% 54% Oppose 41 28 65 34 40 Don ’t know 6 4 5 7 5 As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear the case concerning the constitutionality of Proposition 8, how important is the outcome of this case to Californians? A solid majority of Californians view the Supreme Court’s decision as either very (38%) or somewhat important (26%), while fewer view it as not too (16%) or not at all important (19%). Likely voters hold similar opinions (44% very, 25% somewhat, 13% not too, 17% not at all important). While majorities across parties view the outcome as important, D emocrats (73%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (66%) and independents (66%) to hold this view. Similar shares of pr oponents (69%) and opponents (64 %) of same-sex marriage view the court decision as at least somewhat important , but opponents are more likely to say it is very important. More than half of Californians across regions and demographic groups view the decision as important. Whites (7 2%) are more likely than Latinos (53%) and women (68%) are more likely than men (60%) to say the outcome i s important. Perceived importance increases with rising income. “How important to you is the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutional right to same- sex marriage?” All adults Party Same -sex marriage Dem Rep Ind Favor Oppose Very important 38% 47% 43% 39% 36% 46% Somewhat important 26 26 23 27 33 18 Not too important 16 14 11 15 17 13 Not at all important 19 12 20 16 13 23 Don’t know 1 1 3 1 1 1 January 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP January 2013 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Sonja Petek, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Jui Shrestha. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts, but the methods, questions, and content of this report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,70 4 California a dult residents, including 1,192 interviewed on landline telephones and 512 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from January 15–22, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. Th ese interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI , we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009– 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample— region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state -level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics (which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS) and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,704 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.5 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1,386 registered voters, the sampling error is ± 3.8%; for the 1,116 likely voters, it is ±4.2%; for the 42 3 public school parents , it is ±6.5%. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba C ounties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “ Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not lar ge enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. Results for oth er racial/ethnic groups —such as non -Hispanic Asians, blacks, and Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline -to -state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate ana lysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and NBC News/ Wall Street Journal . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . January 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT January 15–22, 2013 1,704 California Adult Residents: English , Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 5% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, which one issue facing California today do you think is the most important for the governor and state legislature to work on in 2013? [code, don’t read ] 31% jobs, economy 17 education, schools, teachers 17 state budget, deficit, taxes 6 immigration, illegal immigration 4 crime, gangs, drugs, legalizing marijuana 4 guns, gun control , mass shootings, school safety 4 health care, health costs 9 other 8 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 51% approve 28 disapprove 21 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 41% approve 42 disapprove 17 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 45% approve 34 disapprove 20 don’t know 5. Do you think that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not? 57% yes, will be able to work together 33 no, will not be able to work together 11 don’t know 5a. As you may know, t he Democrats in the state legislature gained a two -thirds majority as a result of the November 2012 election. Do you think that the Democrats having a two -thirds majority in the state legislature is [rotate] (1) a good thing [or] (2) a bad thing for Califo rnia, or does it make no difference? 40% good thing 27 bad thing 29 no difference 5 don’t know 6. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 51% right direction 40 wrong direction 9 don’t know 7. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 49% good times 40 bad times 11 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 28 8. Next, do you think the state budget situation in Califor nia—that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 63% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 6 not a problem 3 don’t know 9. Would you say that your local government services —such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( If they have: Have they been affected a lot or somewhat? ) 63% affected a lot 24 affected somewhat 9 not affected 5 don’t know 10. Some of the largest areas fo r state spending are: [rotate] (1) K –12 public education, (2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [and] (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. 55% K– 12 public education 18 higher education 17 health and human services 6 prisons and corrections 3 don’t know New revenue sources have been proposed to address the state budget situation. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [ rotate questions 11 to 13] 11. How about increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? 70% favor 28 oppose 2 don’t know 12. How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? 32% favor 61 oppose 7 don’t know 13. How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 54% favor 41 oppose 6 don’t know Fiscal reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget and local budget issues. For each of the following, please say if you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. [ rotate questions 14 to 16] 14. How about strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 68% good idea 25 bad idea 7 don’t know 15. How about shifting some tax dollars and fees from the state government to local governments, in order for local governments to take on the responsibility of running certain programs currently run by the state? 71% good idea 22 bad idea 7 don’t know 16. How about replacing the two -thirds vote re quirement with a 55 -percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools? 57% good idea 37 bad idea 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 17. When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how much to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer — [rotate] (1) Governor Brown’s, (2) the Democrats’ in the legislature, [or] (3) the Republicans’ in the legislature? 25% Governor Brown’s 31 Democrats’ 24 Republicans’ – other (volunteered ) 5 none (volunteered) 15 don’t know 18. And when it comes to long -term issues of reforming the state budget process, both in terms of changing the way the state taxes and spends money, which approach do you most prefer — [rotate] (1) the governor and legislature should decide; [ or ] (2) the California voters should decide? 21% g overnor and legislature 76 California voters 1 other (volunteered ) 3 don’t know 19. As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower -risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 9% very confident 40 somewhat confident 24 not too confident 25 not at all confident 2 don’t know 20. If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 23% very confident 48 somewhat confident 18 not too confident 11 not at all confident 1 don’t know 21. On another topic, Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K –12 schools, higher education, and health and human services, create a $1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 69% favor 22 oppose 3 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteer ed) 6 don’t know 22. Governor Brown’s budget plan includes new K– 12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more [ rotate ] English language learners [and] l ower -income students . Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 75% favo r 21 oppose 3 don’t know 23. Governor Brown’s budget plan includes $4.2 billion to pay down state debt and creates a $1 billion reserve. In general, [ rotate ] (1) do you prefer the governor’s plan to pay down state debt and build up the reserve, [or] (2) would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 55% g overnor’s plan to pay down debt and build up reserve 38 restore funding for social services 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 30 24. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 65% approve 29 disapprove 6 don’t know 25. Which of these two statements comes closer to your point of view: [ rotate] (1) the country will be able to unite behind Barack Obama, who will be able to accomplish a lot in the next four years; [or] (2) the country will be divided, and it will be hard for Barack Obama to accomplish a lot over the next four years? 47% country will be able to unite 49 country will be divided 4 don’t know [rotate questions 26 and 27] 26. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 54% approve 25 disapprove 21 don’t know 27. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 52% approve 27 disapprove 21 don’t know 28. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 34% approve 59 disapprove 7 don’t know 29. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 56% approve 27 disapprove 18 don’t know 30. Do you think that President Obama and th e U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not? 51% yes, will be able to work together 44 no, will not be able to work together 5 don’t know 31. Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 56% right direction 39 wrong direction 5 don’t know [rotate questions 32 and 33] 32. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 56% approve 38 disapprove 6 don’t know 33. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 26% approve 63 disapprove 11 don’t know 34. Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [ rotate ] (1) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns ; [or ] (2) t he government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 31% government goes too far 65 government does not do enough 4 don’t know 34a. [asked starting Jan.16] Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons? 65% support 32 oppose 3 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 31 35. How worried are you, if at all, that a mass shooting could happen in your community — is that something that worries you a great deal, somewhat, not so much, or not at all? 35% a great deal 26 somewhat 20 not so much 18 not at all – don’t know 36. Changing topics, overall, given what you kno w about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by [rotate] (1) Congress [and ] (2) the Obama administration? 55% support 37 oppose 8 don’t know 37. Do you think that you and your family will be [ rotate] (1) better off [or] (2) worse off under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference? 25% better off 23 worse off 48 not much difference 5 don’t know 38. On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view —even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills ; [or] (2) immigrants today are a burden t o California because they use public services. 63% immigrants are a benefit to California 31 immigrants are a burden to California 6 don’t know 39. If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and wor ked in the United States for at least two years? [ rotate ] (1) They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status ; [or ] (2) they should be deported back to their native country? 76% chance to keep their jobs 21 deported back to their native country 3 don’t know 40. On another topic, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 53% favor 41 oppose 6 don’t know 41. How important to you is the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutional right to same -sex marriage— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 38% very important 26 somewhat important 16 not too important 19 not at all important 1 don’t know 42. Next, some pe ople are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 68% yes [ask q42a] 32 no [skip to q43b ] 42a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q43] 29 Republican [skip to q43a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q44] 22 independent [skip to q43b] PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 43. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 59% strong 39 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q44] 43a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 47 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q44] 43b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 50 Democratic Party 17 neither (volunteered) 9 don’t know 44. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [ read list, rotate order top to bottom ] 10% very liberal 23 somewhat liberal 31 middle -of -the -road 22 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 45. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 22% great deal 41 fair amount 31 only a little 7 none – don’t know [d1–d3a : demographic questions] D3b.Do you happen to have any guns, rifles, or pistols in your home? 21% yes 79 no 1 don’t know [d4– d16: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales Former President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen General Manager and Polling Director Capital Insight Washington Post Media Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales Former President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Marí a Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Robert M. Hertzberg Vice Chair man Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(111) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-january-2013/s_113mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8858) ["ID"]=> int(8858) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:30" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4260) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 113MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_113mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_113MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "545289" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(97028) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 15 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 their government JANUARY 2013 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation Januar y 2013 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy- free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. This is the 131st PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 276 ,000 Californians. This is the 55 th sur vey in the Californians and Their Government series. The sur vey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. This sur vey began the week after Governor Brown released his 2013– 14 budget proposal and ended the day after President Obama’s inauguration events. Compared with recent multibillion dollar structural deficits, the state’s fiscal situation is much improved this year and the governor’s proposed budget projects a slight surplus. Following passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative last November , the governor proposes increasing funding for K–12 public schools by $2.7 billion. His proposal also includes increased funding for higher education and health and human ser vices, $4.2 billion to pay down state debt , and $1 billion for the state’s reserve. Legislators will deliberate the details ahead of their June 15 deadline to pass a budget. At the national level, Presiden t Obama begins his second term. The president and Congress will tackle the debt ceiling and deficit; they will also consider immigration reform and, in the aftermath of the Newtown mass shooting, gun regulation. Health care reform will roll out in a year’ s time and the Supreme Cour t will hear two same- sex marriage cases this spring, including one on California’s Proposition 8. This sur vey presents the responses of 1,704 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including Californians’ overall mood; whether the governor and legis lature will be able to cooperate in the coming year; the perceived effect of the Democrats’ two-thirds majority in the legislature; approval ratings of state elected officials; perceptions of the state’s budget situation; preferences for raising new revenues and for fiscal reforms; confidence in local government to handle prison realignment and in school districts to handle increased fle xibility over spending decisions; preferences for who should make state budget decisions and handle long -term fiscal reform; and attitudes toward the governor’s budget proposal.  Federal government, including Californians’ overall outlook; whether the countr y will be united or divided behind President Obama in his second term and whether he and Congress can cooperate in 2013; approval ratings of federal elected officials; approval of the president and c ongressional Republicans in handling the deficit and debt ceiling; and preferences for gun regulations , health care reform, immigration reform, and same- sex marriage.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government, based on political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. January 2013 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 . Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Brown’s Budget Gets Broad Support, and Majority Back Him on Paying Down Debt AS OBAMA STARTS NEW TERM, JOB APPROVAL UP IN CALIFORNIA —TWO-THIRDS FAVOR ASSAULT WEAPON BAN SAN FRANCISCO , January 30 , 2013 —Strong majorities of Californians favor Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal and, specifically, his plan to direct extra money to school districts with more English Learner and lower -income students. Fewer —but still a majority of residents —back the governor’s plan to pay down the state’s debt and create a reserve, rather than restore funding for social services that has been cut in recent years. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding fr om The James Irvine Foundation. When read a brief description of the governor’s overall plan, 69 percent of adults say they favor it and 22 percent are opposed. Across parties, 79 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents, and a slim majority of R epublicans—51 percent —are in favor. Brown’s 2013 –14 budget, which projects a small surplus for the first time in many years, proposes increasing spending on K –12 schools, higher education, and health and human services , as well as paying down the state’s debt and creating a reserve. Support was far lower for Brown’s budget plan in January 2012 (50%). Asked about the governor’s proposal to direct much of the increased public school funding to districts with more English Learner and lower -income students, 75 percent of Californians are in favor and 21 percent are opposed. Overwhelming majorities of Democrats (81%) and independents (75%) are in favor, as are 52 percent of Republicans. Brown’s budget includes $4.2 billion to pay down state debt and create s a $1 billion reserve. Asked whether they support Brown’s plan or would prefer to restore some funding to social service programs, 55 percent choose the governor’s approach (38% prefer more spending on social services). Most Republicans (73%) and independents (62%) prefer to pay down the debt and build up the reserve, while Democrats are divided (47% pay down the debt, 48% more spending for social services). The PPIC survey —which began the week after Brown released his budget and ended the day after President Barack Obama’s inauguration events —shows rising optimism among Californians after years of recession and state fiscal problems. The proportion of residents who say things in the state are going in the right direction —51 percent —is over 50 percent for the f irst time since January 2007 (55%). And 49 percent expect good economic times in the next year —not a majority , but a higher percentage than at any time since January 2007 (50%). Most (57%) say that Brown and the state legislature will be able to work toget her and accomplish a lot in the next year, up 13 points since last January. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 Californians give the governor a record-high 51 percent job approval rating (28% disapprove, 21% don’t know). His approval rating was 46 percent in January 2012 and 41 percent whe n he began his term in January 2011. The approval rating of the legislature is less positive but improved: 41 percent of Californians approve and 42 percent disapprove (17% don’t know). Approval of the legislature is the highest it has been since December 2007 (41%). Asked how they feel about the Democratic supermajority in the legislature, 40 percent say it is a good thing, 27 percent say it is a bad thing, and 29 percent say it makes no difference. As the legislative session begins, Californians’ approval of their individual state legislators is at 45 percent (34% disapprove, 20% don’t know). A year ago, 36 percent expressed approval (47% disapproved ). “Governor Brown’s approval rating and the legislature’s are rising as the outlook on the state economy i s improving,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Still, many Californians are expressing concerns about the direction of the economy and the state budget situation.” Californians say the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on this year are jobs and the economy (31%), the state budget (17%), and education (17%). Despite an improved fiscal picture, a large majority (63%) continue to characterize the state budget situation as a big problem. And 63 percent say their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. When asked which of the four largest areas of state spending they most want to protect from cuts, most (55%) name K –12 public education, while others name higher education (18%), health and human services (17%), and prisons and corrections (6%). STRONG SUPPORT FOR C IGARETTE TAX, OPPOSITION TO EXTENDING SALES TAX In the wake of passage of Proposition 30, what is the public’s appetite for more tax increases? The survey asked about three potential taxes to address the state budget situation. With a tobacco tax initiative being discussed for the 2014 ballot, 70 percent of Californians support a cigarette tax increase. A small majority of Californians (54%) favor raising the state taxes paid by California corporations. O nly 32 percent favor extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed. Asked about specific fiscal reforms, 71 percent support shifting some funding and responsibility for certain programs from the state to local governments. A high -profile example of this shift began in fall 2011 , when some lower -risk offenders were shifted from state prisons to county jails. About half of Californians today are confident (9% very confident, 40% somewhat confident) that their local government s can handle this responsibility. They express more confidence that local government can handle another aspect of state -local realignment: giving school districts more say in how state money is spent. Most residents are confident (23% very, 48% somewhat) that districts would use the money wisely. A majority of Californians (57%) say it would be a good idea to lower the voting requirement to pass parcel taxes for local public schools from two- thirds to 55 percent. A third reform—a strict limit on state spending — has the support of 68 percent of adults. OPTIMISM ALSO GROWS ABOUT DIRECTION OF NATION A majority (56%) say the U.S. is headed in the right direction, the highest level since May 2009 (57%). The president’s inauguration speech influenced Californians’ views : 54 percent interviewed before the speech said things in the U.S. are generally going in the right direction, and 63 percent responded this way after ward. Obama’s approval rating among Californians is 65 percent, the highest since July 2009. Approval of Congress is at 34 percent, the highest since January 2010 (36%). Californians continue to give their own representative s in the U.S. House favorable ratings (56%), matching the record high reached in September 2009. California’s two sena tors have higher job approval ratings than they did a year ago: Dianne Feinstein is at 54 percent, up from 47 percent in January 2012, and Barbara Boxer is at 52 percent, up from 46 percent. Will the president and Congress be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year? About half (51%) think so , and 44 percent do not. In the PPIC survey —conducted after the fiscal cliff negotiations and as PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 lawmakers started focusing on the federal debt limit—most Californians (56%) approve of the way Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. Most (63%) disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling these issues. TWO -THIRDS SAY GOVERNMENT FALLS SHORT IN REGULATING GUNS In the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting, Obama has mad e gun control a key issue. T wo-thirds of Californians (65%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, and a third (31%) say the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. Two -thirds (65%) support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons. Democrats (79%) and independents (55%) are in favor , while Republicans are more divided (45% support, 52% oppose). Majorities across regions and demographic groups suppor t a ban. Latinos and women (75% each) are much more likely than whites (59%) and men (55%) to favor it. Among adults with gun s, rifle s, or pistol s in their homes, less than half (47%) support an assault weapon ban, and 50 percent are opposed. Baldassare notes : “Strong majorities of Californians want the government to do more about regulating guns, and many worry that a mass shooting could happen in their own communities. ” A majority of residents worry —35 percent a great deal and 26 percent somewhat —that a mass shooting could take place in their c ommunities. Fewer say they do not w orry much (20%) or at all (18%). Latinos (79 %) and women (70%) are much more likely to be worried than whites (44%) and men (52%). SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL HEALTH CARE REFORM RISES TO NEW HIGH With federal health care reform scheduled to be fully implemented in a year, a record- high 55 percent of Californians support the changes that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration, while 37 percent are opposed. Support has increased 8 points since last March (47%). There is a partisan divide: Democrats (76%) are supportive, independents are divided (44% support, 47% oppose), and Republicans are opposed (78%). When asked how they think their families will fare under health care reform, nearly half (48%) say it will not make a difference, 25 percent say they will be better off, and 23 percent say they will be worse off. IMMIGRATION REFORM: RECORD- HIGH SUPPORT FOR PATH TO LEGAL STATUS The president says comprehensive immigration reform is a priority for his second term. Among Californians, a record- high 63 percent say immigrants are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills. A record -low 31 percent say immigrants are a burden because they use public services. The survey also asked what should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. for at least two years. A record -high 76 percent say these immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, and 21 percent —a new low— say they should be deported to their native countries . SLIM MAJORITY FAVOR LEGAL IZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Now that several states have legalized same -sex marriage, what are Californians’ views? Slightly more than half (53%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry and 41 percent are opposed. Support was similar last March (52%) and May (54%). Support is highest among residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (65%), and there is majority support in Los Angeles (54%) and Orange/San Diego Counties (51%). Maj orities are opposed in the Central Valley (53%) and the Inland Empire (56%). As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take up the constitutionality of Proposition 8 —which banned same-sex marriage —a solid majority of Californians say the court’s decision is im portant (38% very important, 26% somewhat important). O pponents of same -sex marriage are more likely to say it is very important (46% ) than proponents (36%). January 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  A majority of Californians (57%) expect the governor and legislature to work tog ether and accomplish a lot this year, up 13 points since last year . There is a wide partisan rift over whether the Democrats’ new super - majority in the legislature is good for the state. ( page 7)  Following the passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative and the release of his 2013 – 14 budget proposal, Governor Brown’s approval ratings are up to a record -high 51 percent . The legislature ’s approval ratings have also jumped . (page 8 )  Despite an improved fiscal picture, a solid majority of Californians still see the budget situation as a big problem and 63 percent say their local services have been affected a lot by state budget cuts. (page 9 )  Seven in 1 0 Californians favor raising revenues by upping cigarette tax es and 54 percent favor raising corporate taxes . Six in 10 oppose extending the sales tax to services. On fiscal reforms, about seven in 10 support state-local realign ment and a strict state spending limit , while 57 percent favor lowering the vote requirement to 55 percent to pass local parcel taxes for public schools. (page s 10 , 11 )  Most Californians are confident in local school districts’ ability to use state funding wisely , but confidence is lower in local governments ’ ability to handle prison realignment. (page 12 )  Strong majorities favor the governor’s budget proposal overall and his proposal to direct school funding to districts that have more English Learners and lower -income students ; fewer, but still a majority , favor his proposal to pay down debt rather than spend more on social services . (page 14 ) 41424146 3941 51 262326282530 41 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11May11Sep11Jan12May12Sep12Jan13 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 35 14 67 38 17 20 26 66 12 020406080100 Ind Rep Dem Percent registered voters Good thing No difference Bad thing Democrats' New Two-thirds Majority in the Legislature 55 38 6 Pay down debt, build reserve Restore some funding for social services Don't know PreferenceRegarding State Budget Tradeoffs All adults PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 OVERALL MOOD At the start of a new legislative session, Californians name jobs and the economy (31%), the state budget (17%), and education (17%) as the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on in 2013. The same issues were on top in January 2012 ( 38% jobs and economy, 18% state budget, 16% educatio n). In 2011 , as Governor Brown was entering office and the legislative session was beginning , Californians also cited jobs and the economy (34%), the state budget (23%), and education (15%) as the most import ant issues. Today, residents across mo st political, regional, age, and income groups name jobs and the economy as the top issue . However, Republicans and those with household incomes of $80,000 or more are as likely to name the state budget as jobs and the economy. Californians’ outlook on the state’s economy is still decidedly mixed —yet it is improving . Forty-nine percent expect good economic times and 40 percent expect bad economic times in the next 12 months. While optimists are not in the majority, the proportion expecting good economic times is much higher today than it was in January 2012 (35%) or January 2011 (36%) , and at any time since January 2007 (50%). Across political parties and regions , the share expecting good times eclipses 50 percent only a mong Democrats (62%) and San Francisco Bay Area residents (55%). Similar ly, 51 percent of residents say things in California are generally going in the right direction ; 40 percent say things are going in the wrong direction. The proportion saying “right direction” was much lower in January 2012 (37%) and January 2011 (38%) ; it is above 50 percent for the first time since January 2007 (55 %). Democrats (67%) are far more likely to say right direction than independents (42%) or Republicans (24%). The San Franc isco Bay Area (62%) leads other regions in the perception that things are going in the right direction. “Turning to economic conditions in Calif ornia, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 49% 62% 26% 42% 44% Bad times 40 28 64 48 44 Don’t know 11 10 9 10 11 A majority of Californians (57%) say that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, while 33 percent say t hey will not be able to do so. Opinions were more negative last January, with 47 percent saying they would not be able to work together and 44 percent saying they would. When Governor Brown entered office in January 2011, residents were as optimistic as they are today (58% would be able to work together, 29% would not). Today, Democrats (69%) are more likely than Republicans (36%) and independents (46%) to say the governor and legislature will be able to work together. As for the impact of the Democratic supermajority on California, 40 percent say it is a good thing, 27 percent say it is a bad thing, and 29 percent say it makes no difference. Public opinion about the Democratic supermajority is predictably divided along party lines. “Do you think that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 57% 69% 36% 46% 51% No 33 24 54 44 40 Don’t know 11 7 10 11 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 APPROVAL RATING OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Governor Brown’s approval rating stands at a record high of 51 percent today. In January 2012 , 46 percent approved of the governor’s job performance. When Brown entered office in January 2011, 41 percent approved of his job performance. Among likely voters today , 50 percent approve . A solid majority of Democrats (67%) approve of the governor , while 55 percent of Republicans disapprove; independents are more likely to approve (46%) than to disapprove (33%) of Brown’s job performance. The governor has higher approval than disapproval ratings across regions and demographic groups. C ompared to the governor ’s, approval ratings of the California Legislature are more mixed— and yet they have also improv ed. Today, 41 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job. A year ago, 28 percent approved and 56 percent disapproved. Findings were similar in January 2011 (26% approve, 55% disapprove). Approval of the legislature today is the highest it has been since Dece mber 2007 (41%) . And while a majority of likely voters (55%) today disapprove of the legislature, approval (31%) is the highest it has been since December 2007 (35 %). Across parties, 50 percent of Democrats, 30 percent of independents, and 17 percent of Republicans approve of the legislature. The legislature’s approval ratings are under 50 percent in all regions and decline as age increases. Approval ratings are lower among those with incomes of $40,000 or more than among lower-income residents. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 51% 67% 28% 46% 50% Disapprove 28 19 55 33 36 Don ’t know 21 14 17 21 14 The California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 41 50 17 30 31 Disapprove 42 37 70 57 55 Don ’t know 17 13 13 13 14 Today, at the start of the new legislative session, Californians’ approval of their individual state legislators is at 45 percent ; 34 percent express disapproval and 20 percent are unsure. A year ago, 36 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved of their own legislators’ performance; results were similar in March 2011 (36% approve, 43% disapprove). Likely voters today are about as likely to approve (39%) as to disapprove (42%). Democrats (53%) are much more likely than independents (36%) and Republicans (33%) to approve of their own le gislators. Approval ratings vary across regions (53% Central Valley, 50% San Francisco Bay Area, 43% Los Angeles, 43% Orange/San Diego Counties , 38% Inland Empire) and are much higher among L atinos than whites (57% to 37%). Approval is higher among those a ges 18 to 34, those with a high school education or less, and lower -income residents. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 45% 53% 33% 36% 39% Disapprove 34 31 47 47 42 Don ’t know 20 17 19 17 20 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 STATE BUDGET SITUATION Despite passage of Proposition 30 and an improving economy, large majorities of all adults (63%) and likely voters (71%) continue to describe the state budget situation in California as a big problem. A year ago, a similar 64 percent of all adults and 78 percent of likely voters held this view. In January 2011, 68 percent of all adults an d 83 percent of likely voters said the budget situation was a big problem. Today, at least six in 10 residents across regions describe the budget situation as a big problem. Majorities in all political groups view the state budget situation as a big problem, but this p erception is more widely held by Republicans (84%) and independents (77%) than by Democrats (57 %). Far m ore whites (76%) hold this view than Latinos (48%). T his perception is higher among those age 55 and older than among younger residents and among those with incomes of $40,000 or more than among those with lower incomes. “Do you think the state budget situation in California— that is, the balance between government spending and revenues— is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 63% 57% 84% 77 % 71% Somewhat of a problem 28 36 11 16 23 Not a problem 6 6 3 5 4 Don’t know 3 1 1 2 1 Large majorities of adults (63%) and likely voters (63%) continue to say that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts . About one in 10 in each group say they have not. A year ago, similarly large majorities of adults (62%) and likely voters (60%) said that their local government services had been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. Today, more than half of residents in all parties, regions, and demographic groups say that local government services have been aff ected a lot by state budget cuts. Among public school parents, 68 percent hold this view. “Would you say that your local government services—such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts?” ( If they have, ask : “Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?”) All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Affected a lot 63% 60% 56% 66% 65% 66% 68% Affected somewhat 24 27 30 20 24 18 21 Not affected 9 11 11 9 5 9 9 Don’t know 5 3 3 6 6 6 1 What areas of state spending does the public most want to protect f rom budget cuts? When the four largest areas of state spending are named, 55 percent of adults say that K –12 public education is the one they most want to protect, 18 percent name higher education, 17 percent name health and human services, and 6 percent name prisons and corrections. We found a similar preference for protect ing K– 12 public schools a year ago, an d every time we have asked this question since the 2003 budget crisis. Today, m ajorities among likely voters (55%) , across political parties , and in the state’s major regions wish to protect K–12 public education. Pluralit ies of at least 48 percent across all age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups would most like to protect K –12 public schools from spending cuts. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 NEW REVENUES What are the public’s preference s for raising state taxes in the wake of the passage of Proposition 30? We asked about three possible new revenue sources to address the state budget situation. Seven in 10 adults (70%) and likely voters (69%) favor incr easing taxes on cigarettes. Last March and May, 63 percent of likely voters favored this proposal, and a proposition to raise cigarette taxes in the June primary failed. Today, slim majorities of adults (54%) favor raising the state taxes paid by California corporations, compared to 68 percent in January 2012. Only three in 10 adults (32%) today favor extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed, compared to 39 percent in January 2012. “New revenue sources have been proposed to address the state budget situation. Fo r each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. How about… ” All adults Increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? Extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? Favor 70% 54% 32% Oppose 28 41 61 Don’t know 2 6 7 Public support for each of these three new revenue sources is very similar among all adults and likely voters. Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to favor increasing taxes on cigarettes, raising taxes paid by California corporations, and extending the sales tax to services. There is majority support for increasing taxes on cigarettes across part ies and regions, and among all age, education, and income groups . A partisan divide exists on raising the state taxes paid by California corporations , but there is slim majority support across regions. Support for extending the sales tax to services falls well short of a majority across all parties and regions, and among all age, education, and income groups. Percent saying favor Increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? Extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? All adults 70% 54% 32% Likely voters 69 52 30 Party Democrats 77 68 37 Republicans 53 33 20 Independents 71 48 28 Region Central Valley 64 53 31 San Francisco Bay Area 77 54 35 Los Angeles 72 55 33 Orange/San Diego 64 52 26 Inland Empire 72 54 32 Age 18 to 34 76 64 37 35 to 54 69 50 31 55 and older 66 47 29 Household income Under $40,000 72 63 34 $40,000 to $80,000 69 50 35 $80,000 or more 73 46 30 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 FISCAL REFORMS Since taking office, Governor Brown has stressed the importance of “bringing government closer to the people.” A strong majority of Californians (71%) and likely voters (69%) say it is a good idea to shift funding and responsibility for running certain programs from the state government to local governments. Strong majorities of Californians and likely voters (68% each) also consider a strict state spending limit a good idea. A third fiscal reform is supported by 57 percent of Californians and 51 percent of likely voters: lowering the vote requirement to 55 percent for voters to pass parcel taxes for local public schools. “Fiscal reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget and local budget issues. For each of the following, please say if you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. How about…” All adults Shifting some tax dollars and fees from the state government to local governments, in order for local governments to take on the responsibility of running certain programs currently run by the state? Strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? Replacing the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools? Good idea 71% 68% 57% Bad idea 22 25 37 Don’t know 7 7 6 Support among all adults for realign ing government responsibilities (71%) was similarly high last January (66%) and in January 2011 (71%). Republicans (76%) and independents (75%) are especially likely to say realignment is a good idea; most Democrats (65%) agree. Across regions and demographic groups, at least 64 percent say good idea. The share of all adults saying it is a good idea to strictly limit state spending (68%) is up 9 points since last January (59%), but is similar to January 2011 (71%) and January 2010 (69%). There has been majority support for a strict state spending limit since we first asked this question in June 2003. Republicans (84%) are much more likely than independents (71%) and Democrats (58%) to support a spending limit . Today’s s upport among all adults (57%) for lowering the vote required to pass parcel taxes is higher than in April 2011 (48%) and April 2009 (45%). A strong majority of public school parents today (65%) say this is a good idea. Democrats (60%) are more l ikely than independents (52%) and Republicans (46%) to hold this view. Percent saying good idea Shift responsibilities to local level State spending limit 55 percent vote to pass parcel taxes All adults 71% 68% 57% Likely voters 69 68 51 Public school parents 76 70 65 Party Democrats 65 58 60 Republicans 76 84 46 Independents 75 71 52 Region Central Valley 77 69 58 San Francisco Bay Area 69 69 57 Los Angeles 69 69 55 Orange/San Diego 72 74 53 Inland Empire 64 61 57 Household income Under $40,000 75 68 62 $40,000 to $80,000 69 70 55 $80,000 or more 65 70 51 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 STATE AND LOCAL FISCAL RELATIONS The first high-profile example of state- local realignment began in the fall of 2011, when some of the state’s lower -risk inmates were moved from state prisons to county jails. About half of Californians are confident (9% very, 40% somewhat) in their local governments ’ ability to handle this responsibility. The other half are not too (24%) or not at all (25%) confident. Among likely voters, 43 percent are confident and 54 percent are not confident. Since we first asked about this in 2011, about 50 percent of all adults have been very or somewhat confident in their local governments (48% September 2011, 53% December 201 1, 50% January 2 012, 49% today) . Acro ss parties, Republicans (36 %) are less likely than independents (49%) and Democrats (50%) to express confidence . About half in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%), Orange/San Diego Counties (52%), Inland Empire (50%), and Los Angeles (48% ) express confidence; 44 percent in the Central Valley agree. Confidence decreases sharply as age increases . Among those who say realignment in general is a good idea, 51 percent are confident that local government can handle the prisoner shift; among thos e who say realignment is a bad idea, 45 percent are confident. “As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower-risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? ” All adults Region Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 9% 9% 8% 9% 8% 5% Somewhat confident 40 35 44 39 44 45 Not too confident 24 23 24 27 25 20 Not at all confident 25 33 21 22 21 29 Don’t know 2 – 3 3 1 2 One response to the fiscal downturn and state budget cuts was to give local school districts more say in how state funding is spent. The governor would like to increase this local flexibility. Seventy-one percent of Californians are confident (23% very, 48% somewhat) that their local school districts would use state money wisely. This is far higher than confidence in local government to handle prison realignment (49%). Confidence in school districts was similar last April (68%), but the share saying they are very confident has grown (from 14 % to 23% today ). More than 65 percent across parties, regions, and demographic groups are at least somewhat confident that their local school districts will spend money wisely, including 71 percent of public school parents. Among those who say realignment is a good idea, 73 percent are confident; among those who say it is a bad idea, 64 percent also have confidence in their school districts . “If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? ” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 23% 23% 27% 20% 17% 22% 24% Somewhat confident 48 50 46 46 53 44 47 Not too confident 18 18 17 21 16 20 19 Not at all confident 11 8 9 12 13 14 9 Don’t know 1 1 1 – 1 – 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 FISCAL DECISIONMAKING In a more stable fiscal enviro nment this year , who do Californians prefer to make the tough choices involved in the state budget? Fifty -six percent prefer the approach of Democrats —either Governor Brown (25%) or the Democrats in the legislature (31%), while 24 percent prefer the approach of Republicans in the legislature. Among likely voters, half prefer either the governor’s (26%) or legislative Democrats’ (25%) approach, and 33 percent prefer that of legislative Republicans. In January 2011 , just as Governor Brown took office, preferences were similar (26% governor, 28% Democrats, 26% Republicans). During Governor Schwarzenegger’s tenure, support for his approach was highest soon after he took office in January 2004 (33%) and reached a low of 11 percent in May 2010 , near the end of his last term. Support for Governor Davis’ s approa ch was similarly low prior to his recall (13% February 2003) . Democrats now hold a supermajority in the legislature, meaning they could override gubernatorial vetoes. Registered Democrats are far more likely to prefer the approach of legislative Democrats (56%) to Governor Brown ’s (30%). Republicans also prefer l egislators from their party (69%). Among independents, 25 percent prefer the gover nor, 20 percent favor legislative Democrats , and 23 percent favor legislative Republicans . Latinos (45%) are far more likely than whites (17%) to prefer the legislative Democrats, while whites are twice as likely as Latinos to prefer the legislative Republicans (35% to 16%) ; similar shares prefer the governor (26% Latinos, 27% whites). “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how much to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer—Governor Brown’s, the Democrats’ in the legislature, or the Republicans’ in the legislature?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Governor Brown’s 25% 30% 15% 25% 26% Democrats’ 31 56 4 20 25 Republicans’ 24 8 69 23 33 Other/None (volunteered) 5 2 6 10 7 Don’t know 15 5 6 23 9 When it comes to long -term fiscal reform, most Californians (76%) and likely voters ( 72%) prefer that their fellow voters make the decisions; just 21 percent of adults and 24 percent of likely voters prefer the governor and legislature. More than six in 10 have preferred voters’ decisions since we first asked this question in January 2004. The general finding reflected in this survey that California voters probably make better public policy decisions than the governor and legislature ha s been a consistent attitudinal trend since we began asking questions about this issue in 2000. Solid majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups agree that voters should make the decisions about long -term fiscal reform. “And when it comes to long-term issues of reforming the stat e budget process, both in terms of changing the way the state taxes and spends money, which approach do you most prefer— the governor and legislature should decide; or the California voters should decide?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Governor and legislature 21% 25% 18% 19% 24% California voters 76 71 80 76 72 Other (volunteered) 1 1 1 1 1 Don’t know 3 2 1 3 2 PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released his 2013–14 budget proposal on January 10. For the first time in many years, he projected that the state would have a slight budget surplus rather than a multibillion-dollar structural deficit. He proposed increasing spending on K–12 schools, higher education, and health and human services, creating a $1 billion reserve, and paying down state debt. When read a brief description of this plan, 69 percent of all adults and 66 percent of likely voters favor it while 22 percent of all adults and 25 percent of likely voters are opposed. By comparison, support was far lower for Brown’s budget proposal last January (50% all adults, 48% likely voters). Across parties today, more than seven in 10 Democrats (79%) and independents (72%) favor his plan, and even a slim majority of Republicans (51%) express support. Last year about four in 10 Republicans and independents favored the governor’s plan. “Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 schools, higher education, and health and human services, create a $1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 69% 79% 51% 72% 66% Oppose 22 15 36 20 25 Haven’t heard about it/ Don’t know (volunteered) 9 6 13 9 10 Governor Brown proposes increased funding for K–12 public schools (largely due to Proposition 30 revenues) and changing the way school funding is distributed. For the second year in a row, he is proposing a formula that would direct extra funding to districts that have more English Learners and lower-income students. Three in four Californians (75%) and nearly seven in 10 likely voters (68%) say they favor this idea. Overwhelming majorities of Democrats (81%) and independents (75%) favor it, as do 52 percent of Republicans. More than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups support this approach, and Latinos (91%) are far more likely than whites (63%) to do so. Support declines as age, education, and income increase. Nearly eight in 10 public school parents (78%) favor the idea. Even among those who oppose the governor’s overall budget plan, 54 percent favor this idea. “Governor Brown’s budget plan includes new K–12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more English language learners and lower-income students. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 75% 81% 52% 75% 68% Oppose 21 16 42 20 26 Don’t know 3 3 6 5 5 The governor’s budget plan includes $4.2 billion to pay down state debt and creates a $1 billion reserve. Some may argue that a portion of this money should be spent restoring funding to social services programs that have been cut in recent years. When it comes to this fiscal tradeoff, a majority of Californians back the governor’s plan (55%), compared with 38 percent who would prefer more spending on social services. Six in 10 likely voters prefer paying down debt. Majorities of Republicans (73%) and independents (62%) prefer paying down debt, while Democrats are divided. Preference for paying down debt is much higher among whites than Latinos (66% to 46%) and increases as education and income levels rise. January 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  For the first time since May 2009 , a majority of Californians (56%) say the country is headed in the right direction. But Californians are much more pessimistic than they were four years ago about whether the country will be united behind President Obama over the course of his second term . (page 16 )  Approval of President Obama (65%) is the highest it has been since July 2009 , and approval of Congress is also up. M ajorities approve of Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, and their own House representatives. Californians are more than twice as approving of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling as they are of c ongressional Republicans’. (page s 17 –19 )  Support for more gun regulation has jumped (from 53% to 65%) since last March —and in the wake of the Newtown mass shooting . A solid majority support a nationwide ban on assault weapons . Many , especially Latinos and public school parents, worry that a mass shooting could occur in their community. (page 20 )  Support for national health care reform is up 8 points (to 55%) since last March , with a deep partisan divide on this issue , while only one in four say they will be better off under this law. (page 21)  On immigration reform, a record high (76%) favor giving illegal immigrants who have been working here the chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. ( page 22)  In line with recent trends, 53 percent favor allowing same -sex marriage, with voters deeply divided along party lines. Those opposed to same-sex marriage are more likely than those in favor to consider the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision very important. (page 23 ) 70 615654 65 37363025 34 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan/Feb09Jan10Mar11Jan12Jan13 Percent all adults President Obama U.S. Congress Approval Ratings of FederalElected Officials 62625853 65 35303338 31 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan00Feb04Aug08Mar12Jan13 Percent all adults Government does not do enough Government goes too far restricting gun rights Regulating Guns 73 47 22 49 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan09Jan13 Percent all adults United Divided Whether the CountryWill Be United or Divided behind Barack Obama over Next Four Years PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 16 OVERALL OUTLOOK At the start of a new year, 56 percent of Californians say that things in the United States are general ly going in the right direction and 39 percent say wrong direction. This level of optimism was last seen in May 2009 (57%) and has increa sed 10 points since October 2012 (46%). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll among adults nationwide, 35 percent said right direction and 57 percent said things are off on the wrong track. In our survey, national outlook differs across parties , with 73 percent of Democrats saying right direction, and 76 percent of Republicans saying wrong direction. Seven in 10 Latinos say the country is going in the right direction, compared with four in 10 whites. Optimism declines with rising age and income a nd is higher among those with a high school education or less than others. “Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Interviewed before/after Obama’s inauguration speech Dem Rep Ind Before After Right direction 56% 73% 19% 50% 47% 54% 63% Wrong direction 39 23 76 47 49 40 34 Don’t know 5 3 5 4 4 5 3 After a year of partisan strife, how d o Californians view the prospect of federal elected officials working together in the new year? Half of Californians (51%) believe that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year; 44 percent say they will not . This negative view has changed since last January, when 62 percent said they would be una ble to work together . At the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, 81 percent believed that the new president and Congress would be able to work together. Today, a majority of likely voters (57%) are pessimistic about the prospects of cooperation at the federal level. Across parties, six in 10 Democrats say federal officials will work together, while 77 percent of Republicans and half of independents (52%) hold the opposite view. In interviews completed prior to President Obama’s inauguration speech, 49 percent said they would be able to cooperate, compared with 55 percent in interviews conducted after his speech. “Do you think that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not? ” All adults Party Likely voters Interviewed before/after Obama’s inauguration speech Dem Rep Ind Before After Yes 51% 61% 17% 40% 37% 49% 55% No 44 36 77 52 57 45 41 Don’t know 5 3 6 8 5 5 4 When it comes to their outlook for President Obama’s second term, Californians are divided as to whether the country will unite behind him and allow him to accomplish a lot (47%) or be divided and make it difficult for him to accomplish a lot (49%) in th e next four years. Californians were far more optimistic in January 2009 when President Obama first took office, with 73 percent saying the country would be united behind him (22% divided). In January 2005, at the beginning of President Bush’s second term, 35 percent said united, and 60 percent divided. In 2001, 44 percent said the country would be able to unite behind George W. Bush at the start of his presidency (50% divided). Today, likely voters are pessimistic (62% divided, 34% united) about the presid ent’s second term. Six in 10 Democrats (63%) say united, while eight in 10 Republicans (83%) and 64 percent of independents say divided. A solid majority of Latinos foresee a united nation (65%); a similar share of whites (66%) foresee a divided one. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS After reelection, President Obama’s approval rating is up to 65 percent. His approval was last at this level in July 2009. Last January, his approval was at 54 percent ; it grew 9 points by October (63%), just before the general election in November. In a recent nationwide NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 52 percent of adults approved of Obama and 44 percent disapproved. In our survey, approval is lower among likely voters (56%) than among all adults. Eighty- eight percent of Democrats approve of the president and 76 percent of Republicans disapprove. A majority of independents approve (53%). President Obama’s approval ratings decline as age increases. L ower-income residents (73%) are much more likely to approve than those earning $40,000 to $80,000 (61%) or more (58%). Latinos (83%) are far more likely than whites (50%) to approve. Approval is higher in Los Angeles (73%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (71%), than in the Inland Empire (62%), the Central Valley (55 %), and Orange/San Diego Counties (55% ). Approval of the U.S. Congress is at 34 percent, up 9 points since last January (25%). The U.S. Congress last had an approval rating above 30 percent in October 2010 (31%) , shortly before the mid -term elections ; approval was at 37 percent at the start of President Obama’s first term. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll among adults nationwide shows approval of the U.S. Congress at 14 percent (81 % disapprove). Among likely voters in our survey, 21 percent approve of Congress. Approval declines as age increases and is higher among those with lower education and income levels . Fifty-seven percent of Latinos approve of the Congress; far fewer whites (16%) hold this view. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 65% 88% 23% 53% 56% Disapprove 29 9 76 40 41 Don ’t know 6 3 1 6 3 The U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 34 29 20 25 21 Disapprove 59 66 73 64 73 Don ’t know 7 5 7 11 6 Californians continue to give favorable ratings to their own representative to the U.S. House. The share approving of their representative (56%) matches the record high reached in September 2009. Last January, approval was 46 percent, and in September it was 48 percent. Likely voters hold similar views to all adults. Democrats (64%) are much more likely to approve than independents (47%) and Republicans (45%). Majorities across regions say they approve of their own representative (60% Inland Empire, 58% Lo s Angeles, 56% San Francisco Bay Area, 55% Orange/San Diego Counties, 54% Central Valley). Approval declines with rising education and income levels. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 56% 64% 45% 47% 52% Disapprove 27 23 34 33 31 Don ’t know 18 13 22 21 17 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS After winning reelection by a wide margin, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is at 54 percent. One in four disapprove, while one in five are unsure how to rate her job performance. Her approval rating was 47 percent last January and grew to 51 percent in September, just before the November election. Likely voters (35%) are somewhat more disapproving of her job performance than all adults (25%). Three in four Democrats approve of Senator Feinstein’s job performance, while 58 percent of Republicans disapprove. About half of independents (49%) approve and three in 10 disapprove. Across ideological groups, 66 percent of liberals, 57 percent of moderates, and 42 percent of conservatives approve. Across regions, Senator Feinstein’s approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Ar ea (63%) and Los Angeles (58%), followed by the Inland Empire (53%) and the Central Valley (52%) ; it is lowest in Orange/San Diego Counties (40%). Women (58%) are somewhat more likely to approve of her than men are (50%). Latinos (60%) are much likely than whites (47%) to approve of Senator Feinstein. Majorities across age, education, and income groups approve of Senator Feinstein. Among those who approve of the U.S. Congress, Senator Feinstein’s approval rating is at 65 percent; among those who disapprove of the U.S. Congress, her approval rating is at 52 percent. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 54% 75% 33% 49% 55% Disapprove 25 15 58 30 35 Don ’t know 21 11 9 21 10 Senator Barbara Boxer’s approval rating is at 52 percent ; 27 percent disapprove of her job performance and 21 percent are unsure. Her approval rating was 46 percent last January and 48 percent in September 2012. Likely voters (40%) are much more disapproving than all adults (27%). There are partisan differences : 75 percent of Democrats approve and 64 percent of Republicans disapprove of Senator Boxer’s job performance (independents: 45% approve, 33% disapprove). Approval of Senator Boxer is highest among Californians living in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (58%) , followed by those in the Inland Empire (51%) and the Central Valley (49%) ; it is lowest in Orange/San Diego Counties (38%). Women (57%) are more likely than men (46%) to say they approve of Senator Boxer. Sixty -five percen t of Latinos approve, compared with 39 percent of whites. Californians ages 18 to 34 (61%) are more approving of Senator Boxer than older residents are (47% 35 to 54, 48% 55 and older). Approval declines with rising income. Renters (59%) are more likely to approve of her than homeowners (46 %). Among those approving of the U.S. Congress, 69 percent say they approve of Senator Boxer, and among those who disapprove of the U.S. Congress, 45 percent approve of her. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 52% 75% 25% 45% 51% Disapprove 27 16 64 33 40 Don ’t know 21 9 11 22 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS Our survey was conducted after the fiscal cliff negotiations and when lawmakers were starting to focus on the federal debt limit. We completed interviews just before the House passed legislation to temporarily raise the debt ceiling , which would put off decision making on the debt ceiling to late May. Lawmakers meanwhile will debate spending cuts and deficit reduction . When asked about President Obama’s role in handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, a majority of Californians (56%) approve and 38 percent disapprove of how he is handling this issue. Likely voters are closely divided (49% approve, 47% disapprove). While three in four Democrats approve of the way the president is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, a similar share of Repub licans (77%) disapprove. Independents are divided (43% approve, 48% disapprove). Majorities across regions, except those in the Central Valley (43%), approve of how President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. Approval declines with ag e and income. Among those who approve of President Obama ’s job performance overall, 78 percent approve of his role in handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 56% 76% 20% 43% 49% Disapprove 38 20 77 48 47 Don ’t know 6 4 3 9 4 Californians hold an unfavorable view of how the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. A solid majority (63%) say they disapprove, and one in four approve. Disapproval is higher among likely voters (70%). Nearly eight in 10 Democrats (79%) and a solid majority of independents (64%) disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handing this issue. A slim majority of Republicans (52%) also say they disapprove, while 41 percent approve. Majorities across regions and demographic groups disapprove of Republicans’ handling of the deficit and debt ceiling , with some variation . Disapproval is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (71%) than in other regions. Among racial/ethnic groups, whites (71%) are much more likely to disapprove than Latinos (52%). Disapproval increases with income. Among those who approve of the U.S. Congress overall , 43 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove of the way that the Republicans are handling the federal deficit and debt c eiling. Among those who disapprove of the Congress, 77 percent disapprove of Republicans’ handling of these issues. Fifteen percent say they approve of the way that both the p resident and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, 24 percent say they disapprove of both. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 26% 17% 41% 27% 25% Disapprove 63 79 52 64 70 Don ’t know 11 4 6 9 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 GUN REGULATIONS In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, the debate over gun control has intensified, and President Obama has made it a central issue for his second term. How do Californians weigh in on this debate? Two in three Californians (65%) say government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, while three in 10 (31%) say government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own gun s. The perception that government does not do enough has increased since last March (53%) and August 2008 (58%), but is similar to February 2004 and January 2000 (62% each). An overwhelming majority of Democrats (80%) say government does not do enough; 57 percent of Republicans say government goes too far. A majority of independents (54%) say government doesn’t do enough. Majorities across regions and demographic groups say government does not do enough. Twenty-one percent of Californians report having a fi rearm in their home. Opinion is divided among this group (49% goes too far, 47% does not do enough) whereas a strong majority of those without firearms say government does not do enough (73%). Two in three Californians (65%) and likely voters (64%) would support a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons. Democrats (79%) and independents (55%) support this proposal, while Republicans are more divided (45% support; 52% oppose). Majorities of residents acros s regions and de mographic groups are in support. Latinos and women (75% each) are much more likely than whites (59%) and men (55%) to be in support . Support is much higher among t hose without firearms in their home s (73%) than among those with firearms in their hom es (47% support, 50% oppose) . In a recent ABC News/Washington Post p oll, adults nationwide (58% support, 39 % oppose) were somewhat less likely than Californians in our survey (65%) to support this ban. “Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons?” All adults Party Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Dem Rep Ind Yes No Support 65 % 79% 45% 55% 47% 73% Oppose 32 20 52 39 50 25 Don ’t know 3 1 2 5 2 3 When asked how worried they are, if at all, that a mass shooting could happen in their community, six in 10 Californians say they worr y either a great deal (35%) or somewhat (26%), while fewer say they do not worry so much (20%) or do not worry at all (18 %). Concern is greater among Democrats (68% very/somewhat worried) than independents (50%) or Republicans (40%). Latinos (79%) and women (70%) are much more worried than whites (44%) and men (52%). Strong majorities of parents of children 18 or younger (71 %), including public school parents (74%) , worry a grea t deal or somewhat. Concern is higher among t hose without gun s in their home s (69%) than among those with firearm s in their homes (41%). Californians in our survey are more likely to worry a great deal (35%) than adults nationwide in the ABC/Washington Post poll (24% a great deal, 31% somewhat, 24% not so much, 21% not at all). “How worried are you, if at all, that a mass shooting could happen in your community— is that something that worries you a great deal, somewhat, not so much, or not at all?” All adults Race/ethnicity Household income Latinos Whites Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Great deal 35% 60% 15% 47% 27% 23% Somewhat 26 19 29 23 32 28 Not so much 20 10 29 16 22 27 Not at all 18 10 26 14 19 22 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 HEALTH CARE REFORM With federal health care reform set to be implemented in a year’s time, a record -high 55 percent of Californians support the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration; 37 percent are opposed. Support has increased 8 points since last March (47%) ; in previous surveys dating back to September 2009, about half were in support. Democrats (76%) are supportive, while Republicans (78%) are opposed and independents are divided (44% support, 47% oppose). Six in 10 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (59%) support these changes, compared to about half of Inland Empire (51%), Orange/San Diego (49%), and Central Valley (47%) residents. Latinos (70%) are far more likely than whites (43%) to support changes to the health care system. T hose with health insurance (54% support ) and without it (58% support ) hold similar opinions. “Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Support 55% 76% 19% 44% 51% Oppose 37 19 78 47 45 Don ’t know 8 5 3 8 4 When asked if th eir families will be better off or worse off under the health reform law, nearly half of Californians (48%) say it won’t make a difference, 25 percent say they will be better off, and 23 percent say they will be worse off. Likely voters are less likely to say no difference and more likely to say they will be worse off (27% better off, 31% worse off, 39% no difference). In a September Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide were less likely to say no difference (31% better off, 26% worse off, 33% no difference) than Californians in our survey . Democrats (38% better off, 11% worse off, 48% no difference) are more positive about the effects of health reform, while half of Republicans think reform will have a negative impact (9% better off, 53% worse off, 33% no difference). Californians without health insurance (32% better off, 22% worse off, 43% no difference) are more likely than those wit h insurance (23% better off, 23% worse off, 49% no difference) to say they will be better off . “Do you think that you and your family will be better off or worse off under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference?” Better off Worse off Won’t make much difference Don’t know All adults 25% 23% 48% 5% Likely voters 27 31 39 3 Age 18 to 34 21 12 63 4 35 to 54 28 24 43 5 55 and older 24 33 38 6 Race/ethnicity Latinos 32 11 55 3 Whites 21 37 37 5 Household income Under $40,000 29 17 49 5 $40,000 to $80,000 21 25 49 5 $80,000 or more 22 29 46 3 Have health insurance Yes 23 23 49 5 No 32 22 43 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM A record -high 63 percent of Californians view immigrants as a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, while a record -low 31 percent view immigrants as a burden to California because they use public services. M ajorities of Californians have viewed immigrants as a benefit since February 2000 . S even in 10 Democrats (72%) and half of independents (52%) view immigrants as a benefit, while six in 10 Republicans (60%) view them as a burden. More than half across regions view immigr ants as a benefit. Latinos (84%) are far more likely than whites (45%) to say immigrants a re a benefit. T he view that immigrants are a benefit is higher among low er-income Californians , declines with age , and is far lower among U.S. -born residents than among immigrants. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, or immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Benefit 63% 72% 33% 52% 54% Burden 31 23 60 37 39 Don ’t know 6 5 6 12 7 Comprehensive immigration reform is near the top of President Obama’s list of things he hopes to achieve during his second term. When asked what they think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years, a record -high 76 percent of Californians say these immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. A record- low 21 percent say they should be deported back to their native country. Since first asking this in 2007, at least 65 percent have said working immigrants should have a chance to keep th eir jobs. Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups think immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs. Among those who view immigrants as a benefit, 92 percent say they should be able to apply for legal status, while those who v iew immigrants as a burden are divided (47% keep jobs, 49% be deported). “If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years? They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, or they should be deported back to their native country?” Chance to keep jobs Deported Don’t know All adults 76% 21% 3% Likely voters 72 25 3 Party Democrats 85 13 2 Republicans 59 36 5 Independents 68 28 4 Race/ethnicity Latinos 92 7 2 Whites 63 33 4 Age 18 to 34 82 16 2 35 to 54 77 20 3 55 and older 68 28 4 Perception of immigrants in California Benefit 92 7 1 Burden 47 49 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same- sex marriage. How do Californians view same -sex marriage today? Just over half of Californians (53%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married, while 41 percent are opposed. Likely voters hold similar opinions (54% favor, 40% oppose). Support among all adults was similar last May (54%) and March (52%) , and at least half of Californians have been in favor since March 2010. Californians hold similar opinions to adults nationwide (51% f avor, 40% oppose) , according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in December . T wo in three Democrats (67%) are in favor and two in three Republicans are opposed (65%) to same- sex marriage. Fifty -nine percent of independents are in favor of allowi ng gay and lesbian couples to marry. Support is highest among residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (65%), although there is majority support among residents in Los Angeles (54%) and Orange/San Diego Counties (51%). A majority of Central Valley (53%) and Inland Empire (56%) residents are opposed. Whites (56%) are more likely than Latinos (48%) to favor same -sex marriage. Support increases as income levels rise; it goes down as age increases . Majorities of those with at least some college education are in favor while those with a high school education or less are divided. Support is much greater among those who have never been married (69%) than among those who are currently married or widowed (46%) or were previously married (49%) . “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 53% 67% 30% 59% 54% Oppose 41 28 65 34 40 Don ’t know 6 4 5 7 5 As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear the case concerning the constitutionality of Proposition 8, how important is the outcome of this case to Californians? A solid majority of Californians view the Supreme Court’s decision as either very (38%) or somewhat important (26%), while fewer view it as not too (16%) or not at all important (19%). Likely voters hold similar opinions (44% very, 25% somewhat, 13% not too, 17% not at all important). While majorities across parties view the outcome as important, D emocrats (73%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (66%) and independents (66%) to hold this view. Similar shares of pr oponents (69%) and opponents (64 %) of same-sex marriage view the court decision as at least somewhat important , but opponents are more likely to say it is very important. More than half of Californians across regions and demographic groups view the decision as important. Whites (7 2%) are more likely than Latinos (53%) and women (68%) are more likely than men (60%) to say the outcome i s important. Perceived importance increases with rising income. “How important to you is the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutional right to same- sex marriage?” All adults Party Same -sex marriage Dem Rep Ind Favor Oppose Very important 38% 47% 43% 39% 36% 46% Somewhat important 26 26 23 27 33 18 Not too important 16 14 11 15 17 13 Not at all important 19 12 20 16 13 23 Don’t know 1 1 3 1 1 1 January 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP January 2013 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Sonja Petek, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Jui Shrestha. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts, but the methods, questions, and content of this report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,70 4 California a dult residents, including 1,192 interviewed on landline telephones and 512 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from January 15–22, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. Th ese interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI , we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009– 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample— region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state -level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics (which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS) and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,704 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.5 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1,386 registered voters, the sampling error is ± 3.8%; for the 1,116 likely voters, it is ±4.2%; for the 42 3 public school parents , it is ±6.5%. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba C ounties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “ Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not lar ge enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. Results for oth er racial/ethnic groups —such as non -Hispanic Asians, blacks, and Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline -to -state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate ana lysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and NBC News/ Wall Street Journal . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . January 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT January 15–22, 2013 1,704 California Adult Residents: English , Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 5% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, which one issue facing California today do you think is the most important for the governor and state legislature to work on in 2013? [code, don’t read ] 31% jobs, economy 17 education, schools, teachers 17 state budget, deficit, taxes 6 immigration, illegal immigration 4 crime, gangs, drugs, legalizing marijuana 4 guns, gun control , mass shootings, school safety 4 health care, health costs 9 other 8 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 51% approve 28 disapprove 21 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 41% approve 42 disapprove 17 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 45% approve 34 disapprove 20 don’t know 5. Do you think that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not? 57% yes, will be able to work together 33 no, will not be able to work together 11 don’t know 5a. As you may know, t he Democrats in the state legislature gained a two -thirds majority as a result of the November 2012 election. Do you think that the Democrats having a two -thirds majority in the state legislature is [rotate] (1) a good thing [or] (2) a bad thing for Califo rnia, or does it make no difference? 40% good thing 27 bad thing 29 no difference 5 don’t know 6. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 51% right direction 40 wrong direction 9 don’t know 7. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 49% good times 40 bad times 11 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 28 8. Next, do you think the state budget situation in Califor nia—that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 63% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 6 not a problem 3 don’t know 9. Would you say that your local government services —such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( If they have: Have they been affected a lot or somewhat? ) 63% affected a lot 24 affected somewhat 9 not affected 5 don’t know 10. Some of the largest areas fo r state spending are: [rotate] (1) K –12 public education, (2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [and] (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. 55% K– 12 public education 18 higher education 17 health and human services 6 prisons and corrections 3 don’t know New revenue sources have been proposed to address the state budget situation. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [ rotate questions 11 to 13] 11. How about increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? 70% favor 28 oppose 2 don’t know 12. How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? 32% favor 61 oppose 7 don’t know 13. How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 54% favor 41 oppose 6 don’t know Fiscal reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget and local budget issues. For each of the following, please say if you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. [ rotate questions 14 to 16] 14. How about strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 68% good idea 25 bad idea 7 don’t know 15. How about shifting some tax dollars and fees from the state government to local governments, in order for local governments to take on the responsibility of running certain programs currently run by the state? 71% good idea 22 bad idea 7 don’t know 16. How about replacing the two -thirds vote re quirement with a 55 -percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools? 57% good idea 37 bad idea 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 17. When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how much to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer — [rotate] (1) Governor Brown’s, (2) the Democrats’ in the legislature, [or] (3) the Republicans’ in the legislature? 25% Governor Brown’s 31 Democrats’ 24 Republicans’ – other (volunteered ) 5 none (volunteered) 15 don’t know 18. And when it comes to long -term issues of reforming the state budget process, both in terms of changing the way the state taxes and spends money, which approach do you most prefer — [rotate] (1) the governor and legislature should decide; [ or ] (2) the California voters should decide? 21% g overnor and legislature 76 California voters 1 other (volunteered ) 3 don’t know 19. As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower -risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 9% very confident 40 somewhat confident 24 not too confident 25 not at all confident 2 don’t know 20. If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 23% very confident 48 somewhat confident 18 not too confident 11 not at all confident 1 don’t know 21. On another topic, Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K –12 schools, higher education, and health and human services, create a $1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 69% favor 22 oppose 3 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteer ed) 6 don’t know 22. Governor Brown’s budget plan includes new K– 12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more [ rotate ] English language learners [and] l ower -income students . Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 75% favo r 21 oppose 3 don’t know 23. Governor Brown’s budget plan includes $4.2 billion to pay down state debt and creates a $1 billion reserve. In general, [ rotate ] (1) do you prefer the governor’s plan to pay down state debt and build up the reserve, [or] (2) would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 55% g overnor’s plan to pay down debt and build up reserve 38 restore funding for social services 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 30 24. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 65% approve 29 disapprove 6 don’t know 25. Which of these two statements comes closer to your point of view: [ rotate] (1) the country will be able to unite behind Barack Obama, who will be able to accomplish a lot in the next four years; [or] (2) the country will be divided, and it will be hard for Barack Obama to accomplish a lot over the next four years? 47% country will be able to unite 49 country will be divided 4 don’t know [rotate questions 26 and 27] 26. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 54% approve 25 disapprove 21 don’t know 27. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 52% approve 27 disapprove 21 don’t know 28. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 34% approve 59 disapprove 7 don’t know 29. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 56% approve 27 disapprove 18 don’t know 30. Do you think that President Obama and th e U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not? 51% yes, will be able to work together 44 no, will not be able to work together 5 don’t know 31. Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 56% right direction 39 wrong direction 5 don’t know [rotate questions 32 and 33] 32. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 56% approve 38 disapprove 6 don’t know 33. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 26% approve 63 disapprove 11 don’t know 34. Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [ rotate ] (1) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns ; [or ] (2) t he government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 31% government goes too far 65 government does not do enough 4 don’t know 34a. [asked starting Jan.16] Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons? 65% support 32 oppose 3 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 31 35. How worried are you, if at all, that a mass shooting could happen in your community — is that something that worries you a great deal, somewhat, not so much, or not at all? 35% a great deal 26 somewhat 20 not so much 18 not at all – don’t know 36. Changing topics, overall, given what you kno w about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by [rotate] (1) Congress [and ] (2) the Obama administration? 55% support 37 oppose 8 don’t know 37. Do you think that you and your family will be [ rotate] (1) better off [or] (2) worse off under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference? 25% better off 23 worse off 48 not much difference 5 don’t know 38. On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view —even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills ; [or] (2) immigrants today are a burden t o California because they use public services. 63% immigrants are a benefit to California 31 immigrants are a burden to California 6 don’t know 39. If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and wor ked in the United States for at least two years? [ rotate ] (1) They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status ; [or ] (2) they should be deported back to their native country? 76% chance to keep their jobs 21 deported back to their native country 3 don’t know 40. On another topic, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 53% favor 41 oppose 6 don’t know 41. How important to you is the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutional right to same -sex marriage— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 38% very important 26 somewhat important 16 not too important 19 not at all important 1 don’t know 42. Next, some pe ople are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 68% yes [ask q42a] 32 no [skip to q43b ] 42a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q43] 29 Republican [skip to q43a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q44] 22 independent [skip to q43b] PPIC Statewide Survey January 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 43. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 59% strong 39 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q44] 43a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 47 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q44] 43b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 50 Democratic Party 17 neither (volunteered) 9 don’t know 44. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [ read list, rotate order top to bottom ] 10% very liberal 23 somewhat liberal 31 middle -of -the -road 22 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 45. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 22% great deal 41 fair amount 31 only a little 7 none – don’t know [d1–d3a : demographic questions] D3b.Do you happen to have any guns, rifles, or pistols in your home? 21% yes 79 no 1 don’t know [d4– d16: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales Former President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen General Manager and Polling Director Capital Insight Washington Post Media Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales Former President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Marí a Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Robert M. Hertzberg Vice Chair man Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:30" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_113mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:30" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:30" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_113MBS.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }