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This is the 139 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 292,000 Californians. This is the 60 th in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. Inter views were conducted following the release of Governor Brown’s 2014– 15 budget proposal . With budget surpluses projected for the next several years , thanks to the improving economy and Proposition 30 tax revenues, the challenge for the governor and state legislature is how to spend the additional money. While s ome are calling for restoration of funding for social ser vices that were cut during the downturn, many others, including Governor Brown, ar e advocating for fiscal prudence. The governor has proposed paying down a significant share of what he calls the state’s “ wall of debt” (including repayment of previous K– 12 deferrals), placing $1.6 billion into the state’s rainy day fund, and placing a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot to change the structure of the rainy day fund (including basing deposits on capital gains reser ves, establishing a Proposition 98 reser ve for schools, and setting rules about how funds can be withdrawn). The sur vey examines attitudes toward state finances, spending, fiscal reform, and the governor’s race. At the federal level, the sur vey examines approval ratings of elected officials and attitudes toward health care reform, Covered California, and immigration reform. The sur vey presents the responses of 1,706 adult residents throughout California, inter viewed in Engli sh or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the following topics:  State government, including approv al ratings of elected officials and assessments of whether the governor and legislature can work together this year; knowledge of top state spending and revenue areas and attitudes toward the state budget situation, including whether to use the surplus for paying down debt or restoring social ser vice cuts; attitudes toward increasing state spending in major budget areas and toward fiscal and Proposition 13 reform s; reactions to the governor’s budget proposal; attitudes toward pension reform; and preferences in the gubernatorial primar y.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials and assessments of whether the president and Congress can work together this year ; approval ratings of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; and attitudes toward health care and immigration reform.  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 othe r 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 St atewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. January 2014 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  A record -high 58 percent of Californians approve of Governor Brown; a near record 42 percent approve of the legis lature. A majority (57%) believe the two will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in 2014. (page s 7, 8)  Californians remain largely uninformed about the state’s top areas for spending ( only 17 % say K–12 education) and revenue s (26% say personal income tax es). ( page 10 )  Half say the budget situation is a big problem , the lowest share since May 2007; 54 percent prefer using any surplus to pay down debt and build the reserve rather than restore social service funding . (page 11 )  Solid majorities favor increasing spending on K– 12 education, higher education , and health and human services . Most oppose increasing spending on prisons. (page 12 )  Solid majorities favor a state s pending limit and increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund. Californians are divided about lowering the vote to pass local special taxes, but 58 percent favor a split roll property tax. (pages 13, 14 )  There is strong bipartisan support for the governor’s proposed 2014– 15 budget plan , and most favor his proposal for changing the state’s rainy day fund. (page 15 )  On pensions, more than six in 10 adults and voters across parties support 401(k) - style plans for new public employees. ( page 16 )  Seven in 10 likely voters are not closely following news about the 2014 governor’s race. (page 17 ) 414246 39 5148 58 26232825 41 35 42 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11May11Jan12May12Jan13May13Jan14 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 54 42 3 Pay down debt, build reserve Restore funding for social services Don't know Howto Use the State Budget Surplus Alladults 58 44 5757 29 47 3334 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11Jan12Jan13Jan14 Percent all adults Yes No Governor and Legislature Will Be Able to Work Together in the Next Year PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 7 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS At the start of the 2014 gubernatorial election year, a record- high 58 percent of adults and 60 percent of likely voters approve of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as California governor. The governor’s approval rating among all adults increased this January after holding steady in the eight polls following the November 2012 election (48% December 2012, 51% January 2013, 49% March, 46% April, 48% May, 48% July, 48% Sept ember, 47% December). Today, the governor’s approval rating stands at 76 percent among Democrats, 57 percent among independents, and 36 percent among Republicans. More than half of women (55%) and men (61%) , and majorities across age, education, and income groups approve of Brown. Approval of the governor is much higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (72%) than in Los Angeles (58%), Orange/San Diego (54%), the Central Valley (53%), and the Inland Empire (49%). Blacks (67%) and Latinos (63%) are more likely t han Asians (57%) and whites (55%) to approve of Brown. Forty -two percent of California adults and 33 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval among all adults was similar in our December 2013 survey (38%) and in January 2013 (41%). Today, 52 percent of Democrats express approval of the legislature, compared to 36 percent of independents and just 17 percent of Republicans. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (47%) are the most likely to express approval, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (44%), the Central Valley (41%), Los Angeles (40%), and the Inland Empire (34%). Latinos (55%) and b lacks (52%) are more likely than Asians (44%) and whites (31%) to approve of the legislature. Sixty -three percent of those adults who approve of the governor also approve of the legislature. “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 58% 76% 36% 57% 60% Disapprove 26 12 53 30 32 Don ʼt know 16 12 12 13 8 The California Legislature is handling its job Approve 42 52 17 36 33 Disapprove 44 33 76 49 57 Don ʼt know 14 15 7 14 10 Forty -eight percent of adults and 45 percent of likely voters approve of the way the ir state legislators are representing their assembly and senate districts. Approval among all adults was similar in September (42%) and January 2013 (45%). Fifty -seven percent of Democrats approve of their state legislators today, compared to 45 percent of independents and just 30 percent of Republicans. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) express higher approval than those in Los Angeles (47%), the Inland Empire (45%), the Central Valley (43%) , and Orange/San Diego (42%). Latinos (58%) are more like ly than Asians (49%), whites (42%), and blacks (41 %) to approve of their local legislators’ performance. “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 48% 57% 30% 45% 45% Disapprove 37 29 60 41 45 Don’t know 15 14 10 14 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 8 TOP ISSUES , PROSPECTS FOR WORKING TOGETHER IN 2014 At the start of a new legislative session, Californians name jobs and the economy (26%), followed by education (13%) and the state budget (10%) as the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on in 2014. Other issues noted include immigration (9%), water (7% , a record high), and health care reform (6%). The same three issues were on top in January 2013 (31% jobs and economy, 17% state budget, 17% education). In 2011, as Governor Brown was entering office, Californians also cited jobs and the economy (34%), the state budget (23%), and education (15%) as the most important issues. Today, likely voters also name the economy, the state budget, and education as the most important issues to work on in 2014. Jobs and the economy is the top issue among residents across political, regional, age, and income groups. However, Central Valley residents (18%) are the most likely to mention water as the most important issue. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to name the state budget (20% to 9 %) and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to name education (21% to 3%). Latinos (15%) are more likely than others (7% white s, 1% black s, 0% Asian s) to mention immigration. “Which one issue facing California today do you think is the most importa nt for the governor and state legislature to work on in 2014?” Top six issues mentioned All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Jobs, economy 26% 24% 25% 31% 22% 32% 26% Education, schools, teachers 13 5 20 14 13 5 13 State budget, deficit, taxes 10 7 13 9 13 8 16 Immigration, illegal immigration 9 7 6 8 10 11 9 Water, drought 7 18 6 3 7 2 10 Health care, health insurance, Obamacare 6 11 5 5 6 7 4 Fifty-seven percent of all adults say Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, while 34 percent say they will not be able to do so. Likely voters are slightly less optimistic about the pr ospects for a productive legislative session in 2014 (51% will be able, 40% will not be able) . Similar views were expressed a year ago, with 57 percent of all adults saying that Governor Brown and the state legislature would be able to work together and ac complish a lot in the next year, and 33 percent say ing they would not be able to do so. When Governor Brown entered office in January 2011, residents were similarly optimistic (58% would be able to work together, 29% would not). Today, Democrats (66%) and independents (52%) are much more likely than Republicans (33%) to say the governor and legislature will be able to work together. Large majorities of those who express approval of Governor Brown (72%), their local legislators (75%) , and the California L egislature (81%) think that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year. “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, will be able to 57% 66% 33% 52% 51% No, will not be able to 34 26 57 35 40 Don’t know 10 9 10 13 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 9 OVERALL MOOD A slight majority of Californians (53%) say the state is going in the right direction, while 41 percent say it is going in the wrong direction. Likely voters are evenly divided about the state of the state (47% right direction, 48% wrong direction). A year ago, a similar 51 percent of Californians had positive perceptions of the direction of the state. O nly 37 percent held this view in January 2012, while 38 percent did so in January 2011, when Governor Brown entered office. Today, Democrats (66%) are much more likely than independents (46 %) and Republicans (26%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (62%) are the most likely to say this, followed by Los Angeles (55%), Orange/San Diego (51%), Central Valley (44%), and Inland Empire (44%) residents. Majorities of Asians (61%), blacks (58%), and Latinos (58%) say things are going in the right direction, compared to 46 percent of whites. Positive perceptions are higher among men than women (59% to 46%) and among younger than older Californians (59% younger than 35, 51% ages 35 to 54, 50% age 55 and older). “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 53% 66% 26% 46% 47% Wrong direction 41 27 70 45 48 Don’t know 6 6 4 9 5 As for the economic outlook this year, 49 percent say the state will have good times financially, and 45 percent say it will have bad times. Among likely voters, a similar 46 percent expect good times financially, while 47 percent anticipate bad times. In January 2013, a similar 49 percent of Californians had an optimistic outlook on the state’s economy . Onl y 35 percent held this positive economic view in January 2012 , while 36 percent did so in January 2011 , when Governor Brown entered office . Today, Democrats (57%) and independents (46%) are far more likely than Republicans (33%) to expect good times financially in the next year. San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to expect good economic times, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (53%), the Inland Empire (50%), and Los Angeles (48%) . Central Valley residents (36%) lag well behind i n having a positive outlook on the state’s economy. Whites (44%) are less likely than Latinos (52%), Asians (55%), and blacks (60%) to expect good economic times. College graduates (58%) and those with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more (60%) are among the most optimistic , while women are less likely than men to expect good economic times in California this year (42% to 56%). “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Good times 49% 36% 58% 48% 53% 50% 46% Bad times 45 57 32 46 42 42 47 Don’t know 6 7 10 5 5 7 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 10 KNOWLEDGE OF THE STATE BUDGET In early January, Governor Brown proposed a 2014– 15 state budget that includes about $107 billion in general fund expenditures. Ninety percent of G eneral Fund spending in the prop osed budget is allocated for K –12 education (42.4%), health and human services (27%), higher education (11.6%), and corrections and rehabilitation (9%). Ninety -seven percent of General Fund revenues are expected from the personal income tax (65.8%), sales and use tax (22.7%), and corporation tax (8.2%) . Only 17 percent of adults and 21 percent of likely voters know that K –12 education is the largest area of state spending. This level of awareness was similar among adults in January 2012 (16%) and January 2011 (16%), and it has never been above 30 percent since we began asking this question in May 2005. Today, a plurality of adults (38%) and likely voters (37%) say prisons and corrections is the largest area of state spending. Th is perception has actually declined among adults (49% January 2010, 45% January 2011, 47% January 2012, 38% today) and is at a level not seen since May 2008 (37%). Public awareness that K–12 education is the largest area of spending ten ds to be higher among Republicans than among other voters , higher among those age 35 and older than among younger residents, and higher among college graduates than among less educated residents; awareness increases as income rises. The perception that prisons and corrections is the largest area of state spending is highest among those under 55 and lower-income Californians. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the sta te budget.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Prisons and corrections 38% 37% 26% 40% 37% Health and human services 30 35 36 26 30 K–12 public education 17 15 29 18 21 Higher education 9 9 4 11 7 Don’t know 6 4 5 6 4 Twenty-six percent of adults and 31 percent of likely voters are aware that the personal income tax is the largest state revenue source, while almost the same proportions perceive that it is the sales tax (30% all adults, 30% likely voters). The share nami ng personal income tax has been in a similar range among adults over time (32% May 2005, 31% May 2007 , 32% M ay 2008, 28% January 2010 , 29% January 2011, 29% January 2012, 26% today) . It is highest today among college graduates (36%) and those with $80,000 or more in annual household income (39%) . Just 6 percent of Californians can correctly name both K –12 education and personal income tax as the top spending and revenue areas. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue for the state budget.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Sales tax 30% 35% 29% 25% 30% Personal income tax 26 24 30 33 31 Motor vehicle fees 18 15 10 20 12 Corporate tax 17 18 22 16 18 Don’t know 9 8 9 6 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 11 STATE BUDGET SITUATION With projected budget surpluses in the billions of dollars for the next several years, Californians are less negative about the state’s budget situation than they have been since May 2007, before the recession. Today, 50 percent consider the budget situation to be a big problem and 40 percent say it is somewhat of a problem; only 7 percent say it is not a problem. Between January 2008 and May 2013, more than 60 percent said it was a big problem, reaching a high o f 81 percent in May 2010. Although likely voters are slightly more likely than all adults to say the budget situation is a big problem, the share expressing this view (56%) is also the lowest it has been since May 2007. Across parties today, Republicans (73%) are much more likely than independents (56%) and far more likely than Democrats (40%) to say the budget situation is a big problem. “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 50% 40% 73% 56% 56% Somewhat of a problem 40 48 20 37 36 Not a problem 7 10 5 4 6 Don’t know 3 1 2 4 2 When it comes to their preferred size of state government, Californians are slightly more likely to say they would rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services (51%) than pay lower taxes and have fewer services (44%). Findings are reversed among likely voters (44% higher taxes/more services; 51% lower taxes/fewer services). Voters are deeply split along party lines — 79 percent of Republicans prefer lower taxes and fewer services; 63 percent of Democrats prefer the reverse . Independents are divided. When this question has been asked in the past, Californians have tended to prefer higher taxes and more services, or they have been closely divided. “In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more —I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Higher taxes, more services 51% 63% 18% 50% 44% Lower taxes, fewer services 44 30 79 46 51 Don’t know 5 7 3 4 5 More Californians would prefer to use the state’s projected budget surplus to pay down state debt and build up the reserve (54%) than restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years (42%). Results were nearly identical w hen we asked similar questions in January and May 2013 . A solid majority of likely voters (61%) prefer paying down debt. Three in four Republicans (75%) and 55 percent of independents prefer paying down debt and building the reserve, while Democrats are more likely to prefer restoring funding for social service programs (55% to 43% pay down debt). Among those who prefer higher taxes and more services, a majority (58%) prefer restoring funding for social services. Seventy- three percent of those who prefer lower taxes and fewer services prefer paying down debt and building up the reserve. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 12 PREFERENCES FOR STATE SPENDING When asked to consider increasing spending in the four major state budget areas, Californians are most likely to favor increasing spending on K –12 public education (81%), followed by higher education (75%) and health and human services (66%). An overwhelming majority oppose increasing spending on pr isons and corrections (72%), while just 23 percent favor doing so. “Please tell me if you favor or oppose increasing state spending in the following areas. How about increasing state spending on…? ” K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Favor 81% 75% 66% 23% Oppose 18 23 32 72 Don’t know 2 2 2 5 Past surveys have shown that Californians prioritize K –12 education above other state spending areas. This preference is reflected in the levels of support for increasing K –12 spending: 77 percent of likely voters and at least two in three across parties, regions, and all demographic groups express support. Support is highest among Democrats (90 %), San Francisco Bay Area residents (90%), blacks (88%), Asians (87%), and those age 18 to 34 (87%). Strong majority support for increasing spending in higher education also exists across regions and demographic groups , and among likely voters (70%), Democrats (84%), and independents (74%); support is lower amo ng Republicans (55%). On health and human services, a majority of Republicans oppose increasing state spending (38% favor, 59% oppose), but majorities in other party groups express support (74% Democrats, 63% independents) , and there is majority support in all regions and demographic groups. Support declines sharply, however, as household income rises. When it comes to prisons and corrections, an area in which the state is likely to increase spending to comply with a federal court order to reduce prison overcrowding, fewer than three in 10 across parties, regions (except the Inland Empire at 36%), and demographic groups favor more spending. “Please tell me if you favor or oppose increasing state spending in the following areas. How about increasing state spending on…?” Percent saying favor K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections All adults 81% 75% 66% 23% Likely voters 77 70 57 23 Party Democrats 90 84 74 25 Republicans 66 55 38 29 Independents 80 74 63 13 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 87 82 64 23 Blacks 88 84 91 26 Latinos 80 80 68 26 Whites 80 69 61 21 Region Central Valley 78 70 62 28 San Francisco Bay Area 90 83 73 16 Los Angeles 84 78 68 23 Orange/San Diego 72 70 58 20 Inland Empire 73 74 67 36 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 13 FISCAL REFORMS Six in 10 Californians (60%) and likely voters (62%) favor strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year. This idea has been popular since we started asking this question in June 2003. Majorities of Californians have expressed support, with a low of 53 percent in May 2007 and a high of 72 percent in May 2011. Across parties, Republicans (66%) and independents (65%) are much more likely than Democrats (51%) to favor a strict state spending limit. Across regions, about six in 10 favor this fiscal reform , as do six in 10 men and women. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (53%) are the least likely to express support (59% Asians, 62% blacks, 65% whites). Residents younger than age 55 are more likely than those age 55 and old er to favor this idea (63% to 53%). Two in three of those who say the state budget situation is a big problem favor a strict spending limit (68%). Of those who say the budget situation is somewhat of a problem, support for a spending limit is lower , at 54 percent. “Do you favor or oppose strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 60% 51% 66% 65% 62% Oppose 33 42 32 29 32 Don’t know 7 7 3 6 6 Another fiscal reform idea —increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund and requiring above- average revenues to be deposited into it —has even more support: 73 percent of Californians and 70 percent of likely voters are in favor. The governor has propo sed a constitutional amendment for the November 2014 ballot that would change the structure of the state’s rainy day fund; his proposal receives strong majority support among Californians (see page 15 for more details). The general idea of increasing the s ize of the state’s rainy day fund has been supported by at least 70 percent of Californians since we first asked this question in May 2010 (74% May 2010, 73% January 2011, 70% May 2011, 72% December 2012, and 73% today). This is also the rare proposal that garners bipartisan support , with three in four Democrats (73%) and Republicans (74%)— as well as independents (75%)—saying they favor it. More than two in three Californians across regions and demographic groups favor this fiscal reform idea . Asians (85%) and Latinos (79%) in particular favor it, as do 67 percent of both blacks and whites. Of those who say the state budget situation is a big problem, 68 percent support this idea. Of those who say the budget situation is somewhat of a problem, support is 79 percent. “Do you favor or oppose increasing the size of the state's rainy day fund and requiring above-average revenues to be deposited into it for use during economic downturns? ” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 73% 73% 74% 75% 70% Oppose 21 23 23 15 24 Don’t know 6 4 3 10 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 14 PROPOSITION 13 REFORMS Much attention has been paid recently to the idea of lowering the vote threshold required to pass local special taxes to 55 percent from two- thirds. This change to the requirement set in place with the passage of Proposition 13 divides Californians (48% favor, 45% oppose). Results were similar last May (46% favor, 44% oppose), but have fluctuated over time. In five surveys between January 2009 and December 2012, for example, Californians were more likely to say lowering the vote to 55 percent was a good idea than a bad idea, with support highest in May 2011 (54% good idea, 40% bad idea). In eight surveys between February 2003 and May 200 8, opinion was either divided as it is today, or Californians were more likely to say it was a bad idea, with opposition highest in February 2003 (3 2% good idea, 60% bad idea) . Likely voters are slightly more likely to oppose (51%) than favor (45%) the idea of lowering the vote to pass local special taxes. Six in 10 Republicans oppose the idea, while slightly more Democrats favor than oppose it and independents are divided. S upport is at least 50 percent among Central Valley and Los Angeles residents (50% each), women (50%), Asians (53%), Latinos (55%), those age 18 to 34 (55%), those with a high school education or less (55%), and those with incomes under $40,000 (54%). Oppos ition is highest among Orange/San Diego (53%) and Inland Empire residents (50%) , men (51%), whites (52%), those with only some college education (54%), and those with incomes of $40,000 or more (53%). Homeowners (42%) are much less likely than renters (54% ) to favor this proposal. “Under Proposition 13, a two -thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Do you favor or oppose replacing the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 48% 50% 34% 47% 45% Oppose 45 43 62 49 51 Don’t know 7 7 4 4 5 In contrast to the divided opinions about lowering the local tax vote threshold, a majority of Californians favor another Proposition 13 reform— having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value (58% favor, 36% oppose). Findings among likely voters are nearly identical (59% favor, 36% oppose). Support among all adults has been at or near 60 percent since June 2003 (57% June 2003, 60% January 2004, 59% May 2004, 58% September 2009, 60% January 2012, 57% December 2012, 58% May 2013, 58% today). Two in three independents (68%) and Democrats (66%) favor the idea of tax ing commercial properties at their current market value; Republicans are more likely to oppose it (43% favor, 52% oppose). Across regions, support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (66%) , followed by the Central Valley (61%), the Inland Empire (59%) , Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (51%). “Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 58% 66% 43% 68% 59% Oppose 36 29 52 28 36 Don’t know 5 5 5 4 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 15 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released his 2014– 15 budget proposal on January 9. Thanks to an improving economy and Proposition 30 tax revenues, he projects budget surpluses for the next several years. He calls for increasing spending on K –12 and higher education , and modestly increasing spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. His plan also includes $11 billion to pay down state debt and puts $1.6 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. When read a brief description of the plan, three in four adults (77%) and likely voters (75%) favor it ; one in five adults (18%) and likely voters (20%) oppose it. Support for Brown’s budget proposals hits a record high among all adults and likely voters. Partisans view his most recent budget much more favorably than his first budget in 2011 , with most Democrats (90%, up 26 points from January 2011), independents (75%, up 18 poi nts), and Republicans (66%, up 17 points) favoring his current proposal. Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups favor his plan. “Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 and higher education, and modestly increase spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. The plan includes $11 billion to pay down the state’s debt including repayment of previously deferred pay ments to K –12 schools and paying off economic recovery bonds that were passed in 2004 to balance the budget. The plan puts $1.6 billion into the state’s rainy day fund and includes no new taxes. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan ?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 77% 18% 5% Likely voters 75 20 5 Party Democrats 90 7 3 Republicans 66 30 3 Independents 75 16 9 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 82 15 3 Blacks 85 13 2 Latinos 71 23 7 Whites 81 14 4 Governor Brown is also call ing for a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would change the state’s rainy day fund. It would include basing deposits on capital gains revenues, creating a reserve for K –12 schools, and setting limits on how funds can be wi thdrawn during a recession. When read a brief summary, 69 percent of Californians and 64 percent of likely voters favor the plan , including majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Among those who favor the general idea of increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund, 75 percent favor the governor’s proposal. And even among those who oppose the general idea of increasing the size of the rainy day fund, 54 percent favor it. “The governor’s budget plan calls for a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would change the state’s rainy day fund. It would include basing deposits on capital gains revenues, creating a reserve for K –12 schools, and setting limits on how funds can be withdrawn during a recession. In general, do you favor or oppose this plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 69% 80% 57% 64% 64% Oppose 23 15 33 24 26 Don’t know 8 5 9 12 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 16 STATE PENSION SYSTEM About eight in 10 Californians say the amount of money spent on public employee pension or retirement systems is a big problem (43%) or somewhat of problem (39%) for state and local government budgets; just 13 percent say it is not a problem. Likely voters are so mewhat more likely than all adults to say it is a big problem (52% big problem, 33% somewhat of a problem) . Unlike per ceptions of the budget situation, attitudes about pensions have not become more positive. More than three in four adults said pensions were a problem in December 2011 (44% big, 39% somewhat), March 2011 (47% big, 32% somewhat), and January 2010 (41% big, 35% somewhat); fewer viewed pensions as a big problem in January 2005 (31% big, 41% somewhat). Republicans (62%) and independents (51%) are much more likely than Democrats (36%) to call the amount of money being spent on pensions a big problem. While at least eight in 10 across regions call pensions a problem, Orange/San Diego (51%) residents are the most likely— and Los Angeles residents (38%) are the least likely —to view the amount spent on pensions as a big problem. Whites (50%) and Asians (47%) are more likely to view pensions as a big problem than Latinos (34%) and blacks (27%). Viewing pens ions as a big problem increases as education increase s. It is higher among those age 35 and older than among younger residents, and among those with incomes of $40,000 or more than among lower -income residents . Fifty-six percent of those who view the budget situation as a big problem also view pensions in this light. “At this time, how much of a problem for state and local government budgets is the amount of money that is being spent on their public employee pension or retirement systems? Is this a big pro blem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in California today?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 43% 36% 62% 51% 52% Somewhat of a problem 39 46 23 38 33 Not a problem 13 15 12 8 12 Don’t know 6 4 3 3 3 One way to handle the public employee pension situation would be to change the pension system for new employees from defined benefits to a defined contribution system similar to a 401(k) plan. Seven in 10 Californians (71%) and likely voters (73%) favor this idea while one in five (19% each) oppose it. Support today matches the record high among all adults reached in March 2011; at least 61 percent have favored this idea each of the five times we have asked this question. Strong majorities across parties (79% R epublicans, 76% independents, 65% Democrats) favor this plan, as do at least two in three across regions. Across racial/ethnic groups, Asians (78%) are the most likely —and Latinos (68%) are the least likely —to favor this plan. At least two in three across age, education, and income groups support it. Among those who call the pension system a big problem, eight in 10 favor this idea. “Would you favor or oppose changing the pension systems for new public employees from defined benefits to a defined contribution system similar to a 401(k) plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 71% 65% 79% 76% 73% Oppose 19 25 16 15 19 Don’t know 10 10 5 9 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 17 JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY In June 2014, California will use the top- two primary system in a gubernatorial election for the first time . T wo days into our interviewing period, one of the Republican candidates, Abel Maldonado, withdrew from the race ; respondents who supported him were called back to see who they would now choose. Another Republican, Neel Kashkari, announced his intent to run for governor on the last day we were conducting interviews ; he will be included in future surveys. Between Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Tim Donnelly , 53 percent of likely voters support Brown , 17 percent support Donnelly , and 28 percent are unsure. Most Democrats (83%) and half of independents (52%) support Brown, while Republicans are as likely to support Donnelly (40%) as to be unsure ( 40%). A plurality across regions would support Brown, as w ould at least half across age, education, and income groups. Brown has the support of 63 percent of Latinos (5% Donnelley, 30% unsure) and 45 percent of whites ( 24% Donnelly, 29% unsure). Four in 10 likely voters (43%) are satisfied with their choice of candidates in the June primary election for governor ; 34 percent are not satisfied and 23 percent are unsure. Findings were similar in December 2013 (40% satisfied, 32% not satisfied, 29% unsure). Prior to the last gubernatorial election, satisfaction (46%) was similar among likely voters in March 2010 (38% not satisfied). Six in 10 Democrats (62%) are satisfied. Republicans are more likely to be dissatisfied (44%) than satisfied (24%) , and 31 percent are unsure. Independents are as likely to be satisfied (42 %) as dissatisfied (39%), and 19 percent are unsure. Since December, satisfaction increased 10 points among Democrats and 8 points among independents, while it decreased 7 points among Republicans . Dissatisfaction increased 11 points among Republicans. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Satisfied 43% 62% 24% 42% 48% 40% Not satisfied 34 21 44 39 30 36 Don’t know 23 17 31 19 22 24 With the June primary still about five months away it should not be too surprising that only about three in 10 likely voters are very (7%) or fairly closely (21%) following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election. Findings were roughly similar in December (5% very, 17% fairly, 40% not too, 37% not at all). By contrast, in January 2010 prior to the last gubernatorial election, a higher share (45%) were closely following news (54% were not). The share paying very or fairly close attention to el ection news is somewhat higher among Democrats (32%) and Republicans (28%) than among independents (21%). This level of attention is similar among Latinos and whites. Across regions, close attention to news is highest in the Inland Empire (36%) and lowest in the San Francisco Bay Area (23%). “How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election ?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Very closely 7% 7% 8% 5% 5% 7% Fairly closely 21 25 20 16 22 20 Not too closely 50 50 49 55 55 49 Not at all closely 21 18 23 24 18 24 Don’t know – 1 – – – – January 2014 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  President Obama’s job approval among Californians (53%) remains near its record low of 51 percent . Just one in four approve of the U.S. Congress. ( page 19)  Californians are pessimistic about the prospect of cooperation at the federal level in 2014. In striking contrast to 2009 , when the president took office, 60 percent believe the president and Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot. ( page 19)  Similar to last January, a slim majority (52 %) approve of Senator Fei nstein’s job performance and 53 percent approve of Senator Boxer ’s performance. (page 20 )  Californians are as likely to disapprove (48%) as approve (45%) of the president’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling; a strong majority (69%) disapprove of congressional Republicans in this area. ( page 21 )  Californians remain split —and deeply divided along party lines —about the national health care law. Forty -six percent say Covered California, California’s health care exchange, is working well, while 39 percent say it is not. Seven in 10 uninsured Californians say they will obtain health insurance this year. (page 22 )  There is overwhelming support for national immigration reform (83%) and majority s upport (58%) for California making its own policies to address the needs of illegal immigrants in the state. (page 23 ) 70 615654 65 53 37363025 34 26 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan/Feb09Jan10Mar11Jan12Jan13Jan14 Percent all adults President Obama U.S. Congress Approval Ratings of FederalElected Officials 81 56 35 51 37 14 38 62 44 60 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan09Jan10Jan12Jan13Jan14 Percent all adults Yes No Presidentand Congress Will Be Able to Work Together in the Next Year 72 18 9 Will obtain insurance Will remain uninsured Don't know WillUninsured Californians Obtain Insurance in 2014? Uninsured adults PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 19 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating remains low in California, at 53 percent . Last January, after his reelection, 65 percent approved , but after budget negotiations and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, approval in December hit a record low of 51 percent. Approval among likely voters is at a record low today (46%) . In a recent Pew Research Center/USA Today poll, adults nati onwide (43% approve, 49% disapprove) were less approving of the president than Californians . Approval is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%), the Inland Empire (58%), and Los Angeles (57%) than in the Central Valley and Orange/San Diego (46% each). Adults age 18 to 34 (59%) are more approving than older adults (51% 35 to 54, 50% 55 and older). Approval is far higher among blacks (89%) compared to Latinos (62%), Asians (53%) , and whites (41%). Approval of the U.S. Congress is at 26 percent among all adults and is lower among likely voters (15%) . Approval among all adults was at 34 percent last January, declined to 28 percent in September, and dropped further in December to 18 percent. Today, fewer than one in four voters across parties give positive ratings to the U.S. Congress (23% Democrats, 15% Republicans, 19% independents). In a recent Gallup Poll, just 13 percent of adults nationwide approve d of Congress (82% disapprove). “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 53% 76% 15% 41% 46% Disapprove 43 20 85 56 51 Don ʼt know 4 4 1 3 2 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve 26 23 15 19 15 Disapprove 69 73 82 76 82 Don ʼt know 5 3 3 5 3 Half of Californians (51%) approve of their own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives . Likely voters are divided (48% approve, 42% disapprove). A solid majority of Democrats approve of their House representative, while Republicans and independents are divided. Last January, 56 percent of adults approved; this declined to 47 percent by September . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 51% 62% 42% 46% 48% Disapprove 37 26 47 43 42 Don’t know 11 11 11 10 10 Sixty percent of Californians and 75 percent of likely voters say that the president and Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. Optimism regarding cooperation at the federal level was high when President Obama entered office, declined during his first term, and then rebounded after the 2012 election. Today, large majorities of Republicans (84%) and independents (72%) and smaller majorities of Democrats (56%) say the president and the Congress wi ll not be able to work together . Majorities across regions are pessimistic, as are most Asians (56%) and whites (76%); majorities of blacks and Latinos (56% each) are optimistic about cooperation at the federal level. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 20 APPROVAL RATINGS OF CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is at 52 percent among all adults and 49 percent among likely voters. Approval among all adults is similar to last January (54%) and September (49%). About seven in 10 Democrats (73%) approve of her job performance and a similar share of Republicans (70%) disapprove; independents are divided (45% approve, 43% disapprove). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (55%) approve of Senator Feinstein, as do pluralities in the Central Va lley (49% approve, 37% disapprove) and Orange/San Diego (46% approve, 39% disapprove ). Inland Empire residents are divided (43% approve, 41% disapprove) . Among racial/ethnic groups, blacks (80%) are the most likely to approve of Senator Feinstein, followed by Asians (59%), Latinos (55%), and whites (45%). Approval declines with rising income levels ( 57% u nder $40,000, 51% $40,000 to $80,000, 47% $80,000 or more) . “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 52% 73% 23% 45% 49% Disapprove 36 18 70 43 45 Don’t know 13 9 7 12 6 Senator Barbara Boxer’s approval rating is at 53 percent among all adults and 48 percent among likel y voters. Senator Boxer’s approval among all adults last January (52%) was nearly identical to today, and 47 percent of Californians approved of the way she was handling her job in September 2013. Approval among Democrats (75%) is similar to disapproval am ong Republicans (73%). Independents are more likely to approve (48%) than disapprove (39%). A majority of Californians in the San Francisco Bay Area (64%) and Los Angeles (58%) approve of Senator Boxer, as do pluralities in the Central Valley (47% approve, 38% disapprove) and Orange/San Diego (47% approve, 39% disapprove). Inland Empire residents are divided (46% approve, 41% disapprove). Blacks (77%) are much more likely than Latinos (61%), and far more likely than Asians (53%) and whites (45%) to approve of Senator Boxer. Californians under 35 (63%) are much more likely than older Californians (48% age 35 to 54, 49% age 55 and over) to express approval. Approval declines with rising income levels (61% under $40,000, 53% $40,000 to $80,000, 44% $80,000 or m ore). “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 53% 75% 19% 48% 48% Disapprove 34 14 73 39 43 Don’t know 13 11 8 12 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 21 FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT AND DEBT CEILING During our interviewing period, Congress approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill funding the government for the current fiscal year ( through September). This follows a year of tense negotiations over the federal budget. Now Congress faces a February deadline to address the debt limit. Californians are divided (45% approve, 48% disapprove) when asked to rate President Obama on his handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling . Ratings of the president in this area were similar in December (42% approve, 49% disapprove) in the aftermath of the government shutdown in October, and in September (46% approve, 46% disapprove) during negotiations to prevent the govern ment shutdown and a looming deadline to raise the debt limi t. In contrast , in January 2013, 56 percent of Californians approved of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling after the fiscal cliff was averted and negotiations on the debt limit had begun. Likely voters are negative, with 56 percent disapproving of the p resident’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling . A majority of likely voters disapproved of President Obama in this area in December (54%) and September (53%) and were divided last January (49% approve, 47% disapprove). Acro ss parties, 68 percent of Democrats approve, while 85 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents disapprove of the president’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Ob ama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 45% 68% 12% 36% 40% Disapprove 48 26 85 56 56 Don’t know 7 6 2 7 4 Opinions of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handli ng the federal deficit and debt ceiling remain negative , with 69 percent of Californians expressing disapproval. The share giving negative ratings today is similar to December 2013 (72%) and somewhat higher than in September 2013 (63%) and January 2013 (63 %). Likely voters are especially negative, with 81 percent disapproving of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. As they have with the president, likely voters have become more disapproving of congressional Republicans over the course of the past year (70% January, 73% September, 78% December, 81% today). Today, overwhelming majorities across parties disapprov e, with 85 percent of Democrats and seven in 10 Republicans (72%) and independents (70%) expressing this view. Thirty -seven percent of Californians disapprove of the way that both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling ; only 14 percent approve 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 23% 13% 23% 21% 16% Disapprove 69 85 72 70 81 Don’t know 7 2 5 9 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 22 HEALTH CARE REFORM Three months into the enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, Californians are divided between generally favorable (44%) and generally unfavorable (46%) opinions of the health reform law. Results were similar in December (44% each). In a December Kaiser Family Foundation poll, fewer adults nationwide viewed the law favorably (34% favorable, 48% unfavorable). There are partisan differences : most Democrats view the law favorably (61%) and most Republicans view it unfavorably (78%). Independents are divided (43% favorable, 47% unfavorable). Fewer than half across age groups have favorable opinions (47% 18 to 34, 42% 35 to 54, 42% 55 and older). Opinion is divided among Californians with and without health insurance. “As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?” All adults Party Have health insurance Dem Rep Ind Yes No Generally favorable 44% 61% 17% 43% 44% 43% Generally unfavorable 46 29 78 47 46 48 Don’t know 10 10 5 10 10 9 California’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California, has been a notable success compared with other states, having enrolled more than 625,000 people as of January 15. However , there are some complaints about the website, such as the Spanish version not working properly. Fewer than half of Californians say the state’s online exchange is working well (12% very, 34% fairly well), and four in 10 say it is working not too (23%) or not at all (16%) well. Democrats (55%) are much more likely than independents (42%) and Republicans (32%) to say the state’s online health insurance exchange is working well. T hose without insurance (50%) are more likely to say it has not been worki ng well than those with insurance (36%). Blacks (62%) are more likely than Latinos (52%), Asians (45%), and whites (39%) to say it is working well. In a December survey by Pew Research Center/USA Today, 30 percent of adults nationwide said their state online exchanges were working well, 57 percent said not well, and 12 percent were unsure. “As you may know, as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to compare plans and purchase health insurance. Just your impression, how well has California’s online health insurance exchange called “Covered California” been working?” All adults Party Have health insurance Dem Rep Ind Yes No Very well 12% 14% 4% 13% 12% 12% Fairly well 34 41 28 29 36 30 Not too well 23 21 23 27 21 29 Not at all well 16 10 30 15 15 21 Don’t know 15 15 16 16 17 9 Among those who report having health insurance, 6 percent say they purchased it themselves. Of these, 25 pe rcent report buying it through Covered California. Among the uninsured, 72 percent plan to get health insurance this year in accordance with the law ; 18 percent will remain uninsured and 9 percent are unsure. In December, 66 percent said they would get insurance, 24 percent said they would remain uninsured, and 11 percent were unsure. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 23 IMMIGRATION REFORM Since a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the U.S. Senate in June 2013, there has been little action on immigration reform in Washington, DC. However, in recent weeks there has been talk of the House of Representatives taking up the issue either before mid-term elections or during the lame duck session after the November election. When asked about providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. who meet certain requirements—including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English—overwhelming majorities of Californians (83%) and likely voters (82%) are in favor. Findings among both groups were similar in September 2013, the only other time this particular question has been asked. Nationally, 77 percent of adults favored this proposal in an October 2013 CBS News Poll. Today, there is strong majority support for this proposal—which is similar to the Senate bill—across parties (89% Democrats, 84% independents, 74% R epublicans). There is also overwhelming support across regions. While support is high across racial/ethnic groups, there are some differences: Latinos (92%) are the most likely to be in favor, followed by blacks (79%), whites (79%), and Asians (77%). Eight in 10 or more across age, education, and income groups favor this path to citizenship. “Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illega l immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fine s and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English?” All adults Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Favor 83% 89% 74% 84% 77% 79% 92% 79% Oppose 16 11 24 13 18 19 7 20 Don’t know 1 1 1 3 5 2 1 1 With immigration reform appearing difficult at the federal level, officials at the state level have taken some steps recently to improve the lives of illegal immigrants currently in the state. In the last legislative session Governor Brown signed the Trust Act, which limits the ability of law enforcement to hold illegal immigrants if they are otherwise eligible to be released, and bills allowing illegal immigrants to obtain California driver’s licenses and be admitted to the state bar as attorneys. When asked about California making its own policies, separate from the federal government, to addr ess the needs of illegal immigrants currently in the state, 58 percent of adults and 53 percent of likely vo ters express support. About four in 10 adults (36%) and likely voters (41%) oppose it. At least half of Democrats (61%) and independents (52%) are in favor, while Republicans are divided (45% favor, 49% oppose). La tinos (70%) are the most likely to be in favor of state policies, while fewer blacks (59%), Asians (55%), and whites (52%) are in favor. Support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) and Los Angeles (61%), followed by the Inland Empire (57%), Orange/San Diego (52%), and the Central Valley (48% ). Support declines as age increases. Among those who favor a path to citizenship, 65 percent favor the state government making its own policies. “Do you favor or oppose the California state government making its ow n policies, separate from the federal government, to address the needs of illegal immigrants curre ntly in the state?” All adults Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Favor 58% 61% 45% 52% 55% 59% 70% 52% Oppose 36 33 49 43 39 39 27 41 Don’t know 6 6 6 5 5 2 4 7 January 2014 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP January 2014 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. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its ow n advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,706 California adult residents, including 1,195 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from January 14– 21, 2014. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone num bers 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 eligib le 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. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g ., not driving). 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 Renatt a 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 Califo rnia, 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 agains t 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 r egistration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,706 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be w ithin 3.8 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, 433 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.2 percent; for the 1, 151 likely voters, it is ±4. 6 percent; for the 224 uninsured adults, it is ±9.6%. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers t o 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, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter grou ps. We also present results for non- Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and non- Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of l ikely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. Abel Maldonado , a Republican candidate, withdrew from the governor’s race two days into our interviewi ng period. Respondents who had selected him as their preferred candidate in the gubernatorial primary were called back to determine their new choice. Another Republican, Nee l Kashkari announced his intent to run for governor on the last day we were conduct ing interviews. He will be included among candidates in our next survey. 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 CBS News, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Pew Research Center/USA Today . 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 2014 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT January 14–21, 2014 1,706 C alifornia Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3 .8% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 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 2014? [code, don’t read] 26% jobs, economy 13 education, schools, teachers 10 state budget, deficit, taxes 9 immigration, illegal immigration 7 water, drought 6 health care, health reform , Obamacare 4 crime, gangs, drugs 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 transportation, infrastructure , high speed rail 12 other 9 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 58% approve 26 disapprove 16 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 42% approve 44 disapprove 14 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly an d senate districts are doing at this time? 48% approve 37 disapprove 15 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 34 no, will not be able to work together 10 don’t know [question 6 not asked ] 7. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 53% right direction 41 wrong direction 6 don’t know 8. 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 45 bad times 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 28 9. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are reg istered to vote in California? 68% yes [ask q9 a] 32 no [skip to q10 b] 9a. 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 q10 ] 28 Republican [skip to q10 a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q11] 22 independent [skip to q10b] 10 . Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 53% strong 43 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q11] 10a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 59% strong 36 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q11 ] 10b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 26% Republican Party 47 Democratic Party 18 neither (volunteered) 10 don’t know [questions 1 1–13 reported for likely voters] 11.[likely voters only] As you may know, California now has a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two cand idates receiving the most votes, regardless of party, will advance to the general election. If the June primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names * and then ask : “or someone else? ”] 53% Jerry Brown, a Democrat 17 Tim Donnelly, a Republican 2 someone else (specify) 28 don’t know *Republican Abel Maldonado ended his gubernatorial bid January 16, two days into interviews ; those who had chosen him were called back to see who they prefer without him in the race. Republican Neel Kashkari announced his intent to run on the last day of interviewing; his name will be included in future surveys. 12. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candid ates for the 2014 governor’s election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 7% very closely 21 fairly closely 50 not too closely 21 not at all closely – don’t know 13. [likely voters only] In general, would you say yo u are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June? 43% satisfied 34 not satisfied 23 don’t know [question 14 not asked ] PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 29 On another topic, [rotate questions 15 and 16 ] 15. I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget. [ rotate] (1) K –12 public education, ( 2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [ or ] (4) prisons and corrections. 17% K–12 public education (correct answer) 9 higher education 30 health and human services 38 prisons and corrections 6 don’t know 16. I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue for the state budget. [rotate] (1) personal income tax, (2) sales tax, (3) corporate tax, [or] (4) motor vehicle fees. 26% personal income tax (correct answer) 30 sales tax 17 corporate tax 18 motor vehicle fees 9 don’t know 17. Next, 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 p roblem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 50% big problem 40 somewhat of a problem 7 not a problem 3 don’t know 18. In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more — [rotate] (1) I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, [or] (2) I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services? 51% higher taxes and more services 44 lower taxes and fewer services 5 don’t know 19. The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. In general, how would you prefer to use this extra money? [rotate] (1) Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve [or] (2) would you prefer to use so me of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 54% pay down debt and build up reserve 42 restore funding for social services 3 don’t know Next, please tell me if you favor or oppose increasing state spending in the following areas. [ rotate questions 20 to 23] 20. How about increasing state spending on K– 12 public education? 81% favor 18 oppose 2 don’t know 21. How about increasing state spending on health and human services? 66% favor 32 oppose 2 don’t know 22. How about increasing stat e spending on higher education? 75% favor 23 oppose 2 don’ t know 23. How about increasing state spending on prisons and corrections? 23% favor 72 oppose 5 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 30 Fiscal reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget and local budget issues. [rotate blocks : questions 24/25 and 26/27] [ rotate questions 24 and 25] 24. Do you favor or oppose strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 60% favor 33 oppose 7 don’t know 25. Do you favor or oppose increasing the size of the state's rainy day fund and requiring above -average revenues to be deposited into it for use during economic downturns? 73% favor 21 oppose 6 don’t know [rotate questions 26 and 27 ] 26. Under Proposition 13, a two -thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Do you favor or oppose replacing the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes? 48% favor 45 oppose 7 don’t know 27. Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commerci al properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 58% favor 36 oppose 5 don’t know 28. On another topic, Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K –12 and higher education, and modestly increase spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. The plan includes $11 billion to pay down the state’s debt including repayment of previously deferred payments to K–12 schools and paying off economic recovery bonds that were passed in 2004 to balance the budget. The plan puts $1.6 billion into the state’s rainy day fund and includes no new taxes. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 77% favor 18 oppose 1 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 4 don’t know 29. The governor’s budget plan calls for a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would change the state’s rainy day fund. It would include basing deposits on capital gains revenu es, creating a reserve for K –12 schools, and setting limits on how funds can be withdrawn during a recession. In general, do you favor or oppose this plan? 69% favor 23 oppose 8 don’t know On another topic, 30. At this time, how much of a problem for state and local government budgets is the amount of money that is being spent on their public employee pension or retirement systems? Is this a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in California today? 43% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 13 not a problem 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 31 31. Would you favor or oppose changing the pension systems for new public employees from defined benefits to a defined contribution system similar to a 401(k) plan? 71% favor 19 oppose 10 don’t know [questions 32 to 34 not asked ] 35. 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? 53% approve 43 disapprove 4 don’t know [rotat e questions 36 and 37 ] 36. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 52% approve 36 disapprove 13 don’t know 37. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 53% approve 34 disapprove 13 don’t know 38. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 26% approve 69 disapprove 5 don’t know 39. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 51% approve 37 disapprove 11 don’t know 40. 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? 37% yes, will be able to work together 60 no, will not be able to work together 3 don’t know [rotate questions 41 and 42 ] 41. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 45% approve 48 disapprove 7 don’t know 42. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 23% approve 69 disapprove 7 don’t know 43. As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a [ rotate] (1) [generally favorable] [or ] (2) [generally unfavorable] opinion of it? 44% generally favorable 46 generally unfavorable 10 don’t know 44. As you may know, as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to compare plans and purchase health insurance. Just your impression, how well has California’s online health insurance exchange called “ Covered California” been working —very well, fairly well, not too well, or not at all well? 12% very well 34 fairly well 23 not too well 16 not at all well 15 don’ t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 32 45. On another topic, would you fav or or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English? 83% favor 16 oppose 1 don’t know 46.Do you favor or oppose the California state government making its own policies, separate from the federal government, to address the needs of illegal immigrants currently in the state? 58% favor 36 oppose 6 don’t know 47 . Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 30 middle -of -the -road 24 somewhat conservative 11 very conservative 3 don’t know 48 . Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 20% great deal 40 fair amount 34 only a little 7 none – don’t know [d1 to d5: demographic questions] D6.Are you, yourself, now covered by any form of health insurance or healt h plan or do you not have health insurance at this time? D6a.Which of the following is your main source of health insurance coverage? Is it a plan through your employer, a plan through your spouse’s employer, a plan you purchased yourself either from an in surance company or the new state or federal marketplace, are you covered by Medicare or Medi-C al, or do you get your health insurance from somewhere else? 77% yes, covered by health insurance 31% through employer 12 through spouse’s employer 12 M edicare 12 Medi -Cal 6 self-purchased plan [ask d6b] 3 through parents/mother/ father (vol ) 1 somewhere else (specify) 1 other government plan (vol) 21 not insured 2 don’t know/refused D6 b. [of those who purchase d a plan themselves] Did you purchase your plan directly from an insurance company, through an insurance broker, or from healthcare.gov or the state health insurance marketplace, also known as Covered California? 39% insurance company 30 insurance broker 25 healthcare.gov /Covered California 6 don’t know D6 c. [of those who do not have health insurance] As you may know, the 2010 health care law requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance in 2014 or else pay a fine. Do you think you will obtain health insurance in 2014, or do you think you will remain uninsured? 72% will obtain health insurance 18 will remain uninsured 9 don’t know [d7 to d17: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey 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 Presi dent and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decision makers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 4 Public Policy Institute of California All r ights 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-2014/s_114mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8899) ["ID"]=> int(8899) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:56" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4335) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 114MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_114mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_114MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "583812" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(84499) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 18 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 their government JANUARY 2014 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha i T Januar y 2014 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 139 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 292,000 Californians. This is the 60 th in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. Inter views were conducted following the release of Governor Brown’s 2014– 15 budget proposal . With budget surpluses projected for the next several years , thanks to the improving economy and Proposition 30 tax revenues, the challenge for the governor and state legislature is how to spend the additional money. While s ome are calling for restoration of funding for social ser vices that were cut during the downturn, many others, including Governor Brown, ar e advocating for fiscal prudence. The governor has proposed paying down a significant share of what he calls the state’s “ wall of debt” (including repayment of previous K– 12 deferrals), placing $1.6 billion into the state’s rainy day fund, and placing a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot to change the structure of the rainy day fund (including basing deposits on capital gains reser ves, establishing a Proposition 98 reser ve for schools, and setting rules about how funds can be withdrawn). The sur vey examines attitudes toward state finances, spending, fiscal reform, and the governor’s race. At the federal level, the sur vey examines approval ratings of elected officials and attitudes toward health care reform, Covered California, and immigration reform. The sur vey presents the responses of 1,706 adult residents throughout California, inter viewed in Engli sh or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the following topics:  State government, including approv al ratings of elected officials and assessments of whether the governor and legislature can work together this year; knowledge of top state spending and revenue areas and attitudes toward the state budget situation, including whether to use the surplus for paying down debt or restoring social ser vice cuts; attitudes toward increasing state spending in major budget areas and toward fiscal and Proposition 13 reform s; reactions to the governor’s budget proposal; attitudes toward pension reform; and preferences in the gubernatorial primar y.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials and assessments of whether the president and Congress can work together this year ; approval ratings of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; and attitudes toward health care and immigration reform.  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 othe r 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 St atewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. January 2014 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  A record -high 58 percent of Californians approve of Governor Brown; a near record 42 percent approve of the legis lature. A majority (57%) believe the two will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in 2014. (page s 7, 8)  Californians remain largely uninformed about the state’s top areas for spending ( only 17 % say K–12 education) and revenue s (26% say personal income tax es). ( page 10 )  Half say the budget situation is a big problem , the lowest share since May 2007; 54 percent prefer using any surplus to pay down debt and build the reserve rather than restore social service funding . (page 11 )  Solid majorities favor increasing spending on K– 12 education, higher education , and health and human services . Most oppose increasing spending on prisons. (page 12 )  Solid majorities favor a state s pending limit and increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund. Californians are divided about lowering the vote to pass local special taxes, but 58 percent favor a split roll property tax. (pages 13, 14 )  There is strong bipartisan support for the governor’s proposed 2014– 15 budget plan , and most favor his proposal for changing the state’s rainy day fund. (page 15 )  On pensions, more than six in 10 adults and voters across parties support 401(k) - style plans for new public employees. ( page 16 )  Seven in 10 likely voters are not closely following news about the 2014 governor’s race. (page 17 ) 414246 39 5148 58 26232825 41 35 42 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11May11Jan12May12Jan13May13Jan14 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 54 42 3 Pay down debt, build reserve Restore funding for social services Don't know Howto Use the State Budget Surplus Alladults 58 44 5757 29 47 3334 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11Jan12Jan13Jan14 Percent all adults Yes No Governor and Legislature Will Be Able to Work Together in the Next Year PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 7 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS At the start of the 2014 gubernatorial election year, a record- high 58 percent of adults and 60 percent of likely voters approve of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as California governor. The governor’s approval rating among all adults increased this January after holding steady in the eight polls following the November 2012 election (48% December 2012, 51% January 2013, 49% March, 46% April, 48% May, 48% July, 48% Sept ember, 47% December). Today, the governor’s approval rating stands at 76 percent among Democrats, 57 percent among independents, and 36 percent among Republicans. More than half of women (55%) and men (61%) , and majorities across age, education, and income groups approve of Brown. Approval of the governor is much higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (72%) than in Los Angeles (58%), Orange/San Diego (54%), the Central Valley (53%), and the Inland Empire (49%). Blacks (67%) and Latinos (63%) are more likely t han Asians (57%) and whites (55%) to approve of Brown. Forty -two percent of California adults and 33 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval among all adults was similar in our December 2013 survey (38%) and in January 2013 (41%). Today, 52 percent of Democrats express approval of the legislature, compared to 36 percent of independents and just 17 percent of Republicans. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (47%) are the most likely to express approval, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (44%), the Central Valley (41%), Los Angeles (40%), and the Inland Empire (34%). Latinos (55%) and b lacks (52%) are more likely than Asians (44%) and whites (31%) to approve of the legislature. Sixty -three percent of those adults who approve of the governor also approve of the legislature. “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 58% 76% 36% 57% 60% Disapprove 26 12 53 30 32 Don ʼt know 16 12 12 13 8 The California Legislature is handling its job Approve 42 52 17 36 33 Disapprove 44 33 76 49 57 Don ʼt know 14 15 7 14 10 Forty -eight percent of adults and 45 percent of likely voters approve of the way the ir state legislators are representing their assembly and senate districts. Approval among all adults was similar in September (42%) and January 2013 (45%). Fifty -seven percent of Democrats approve of their state legislators today, compared to 45 percent of independents and just 30 percent of Republicans. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) express higher approval than those in Los Angeles (47%), the Inland Empire (45%), the Central Valley (43%) , and Orange/San Diego (42%). Latinos (58%) are more like ly than Asians (49%), whites (42%), and blacks (41 %) to approve of their local legislators’ performance. “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 48% 57% 30% 45% 45% Disapprove 37 29 60 41 45 Don’t know 15 14 10 14 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 8 TOP ISSUES , PROSPECTS FOR WORKING TOGETHER IN 2014 At the start of a new legislative session, Californians name jobs and the economy (26%), followed by education (13%) and the state budget (10%) as the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on in 2014. Other issues noted include immigration (9%), water (7% , a record high), and health care reform (6%). The same three issues were on top in January 2013 (31% jobs and economy, 17% state budget, 17% education). In 2011, as Governor Brown was entering office, Californians also cited jobs and the economy (34%), the state budget (23%), and education (15%) as the most important issues. Today, likely voters also name the economy, the state budget, and education as the most important issues to work on in 2014. Jobs and the economy is the top issue among residents across political, regional, age, and income groups. However, Central Valley residents (18%) are the most likely to mention water as the most important issue. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to name the state budget (20% to 9 %) and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to name education (21% to 3%). Latinos (15%) are more likely than others (7% white s, 1% black s, 0% Asian s) to mention immigration. “Which one issue facing California today do you think is the most importa nt for the governor and state legislature to work on in 2014?” Top six issues mentioned All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Jobs, economy 26% 24% 25% 31% 22% 32% 26% Education, schools, teachers 13 5 20 14 13 5 13 State budget, deficit, taxes 10 7 13 9 13 8 16 Immigration, illegal immigration 9 7 6 8 10 11 9 Water, drought 7 18 6 3 7 2 10 Health care, health insurance, Obamacare 6 11 5 5 6 7 4 Fifty-seven percent of all adults say Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, while 34 percent say they will not be able to do so. Likely voters are slightly less optimistic about the pr ospects for a productive legislative session in 2014 (51% will be able, 40% will not be able) . Similar views were expressed a year ago, with 57 percent of all adults saying that Governor Brown and the state legislature would be able to work together and ac complish a lot in the next year, and 33 percent say ing they would not be able to do so. When Governor Brown entered office in January 2011, residents were similarly optimistic (58% would be able to work together, 29% would not). Today, Democrats (66%) and independents (52%) are much more likely than Republicans (33%) to say the governor and legislature will be able to work together. Large majorities of those who express approval of Governor Brown (72%), their local legislators (75%) , and the California L egislature (81%) think that Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year. “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, will be able to 57% 66% 33% 52% 51% No, will not be able to 34 26 57 35 40 Don’t know 10 9 10 13 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 9 OVERALL MOOD A slight majority of Californians (53%) say the state is going in the right direction, while 41 percent say it is going in the wrong direction. Likely voters are evenly divided about the state of the state (47% right direction, 48% wrong direction). A year ago, a similar 51 percent of Californians had positive perceptions of the direction of the state. O nly 37 percent held this view in January 2012, while 38 percent did so in January 2011, when Governor Brown entered office. Today, Democrats (66%) are much more likely than independents (46 %) and Republicans (26%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (62%) are the most likely to say this, followed by Los Angeles (55%), Orange/San Diego (51%), Central Valley (44%), and Inland Empire (44%) residents. Majorities of Asians (61%), blacks (58%), and Latinos (58%) say things are going in the right direction, compared to 46 percent of whites. Positive perceptions are higher among men than women (59% to 46%) and among younger than older Californians (59% younger than 35, 51% ages 35 to 54, 50% age 55 and older). “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 53% 66% 26% 46% 47% Wrong direction 41 27 70 45 48 Don’t know 6 6 4 9 5 As for the economic outlook this year, 49 percent say the state will have good times financially, and 45 percent say it will have bad times. Among likely voters, a similar 46 percent expect good times financially, while 47 percent anticipate bad times. In January 2013, a similar 49 percent of Californians had an optimistic outlook on the state’s economy . Onl y 35 percent held this positive economic view in January 2012 , while 36 percent did so in January 2011 , when Governor Brown entered office . Today, Democrats (57%) and independents (46%) are far more likely than Republicans (33%) to expect good times financially in the next year. San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to expect good economic times, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (53%), the Inland Empire (50%), and Los Angeles (48%) . Central Valley residents (36%) lag well behind i n having a positive outlook on the state’s economy. Whites (44%) are less likely than Latinos (52%), Asians (55%), and blacks (60%) to expect good economic times. College graduates (58%) and those with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more (60%) are among the most optimistic , while women are less likely than men to expect good economic times in California this year (42% to 56%). “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Good times 49% 36% 58% 48% 53% 50% 46% Bad times 45 57 32 46 42 42 47 Don’t know 6 7 10 5 5 7 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 10 KNOWLEDGE OF THE STATE BUDGET In early January, Governor Brown proposed a 2014– 15 state budget that includes about $107 billion in general fund expenditures. Ninety percent of G eneral Fund spending in the prop osed budget is allocated for K –12 education (42.4%), health and human services (27%), higher education (11.6%), and corrections and rehabilitation (9%). Ninety -seven percent of General Fund revenues are expected from the personal income tax (65.8%), sales and use tax (22.7%), and corporation tax (8.2%) . Only 17 percent of adults and 21 percent of likely voters know that K –12 education is the largest area of state spending. This level of awareness was similar among adults in January 2012 (16%) and January 2011 (16%), and it has never been above 30 percent since we began asking this question in May 2005. Today, a plurality of adults (38%) and likely voters (37%) say prisons and corrections is the largest area of state spending. Th is perception has actually declined among adults (49% January 2010, 45% January 2011, 47% January 2012, 38% today) and is at a level not seen since May 2008 (37%). Public awareness that K–12 education is the largest area of spending ten ds to be higher among Republicans than among other voters , higher among those age 35 and older than among younger residents, and higher among college graduates than among less educated residents; awareness increases as income rises. The perception that prisons and corrections is the largest area of state spending is highest among those under 55 and lower-income Californians. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the sta te budget.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Prisons and corrections 38% 37% 26% 40% 37% Health and human services 30 35 36 26 30 K–12 public education 17 15 29 18 21 Higher education 9 9 4 11 7 Don’t know 6 4 5 6 4 Twenty-six percent of adults and 31 percent of likely voters are aware that the personal income tax is the largest state revenue source, while almost the same proportions perceive that it is the sales tax (30% all adults, 30% likely voters). The share nami ng personal income tax has been in a similar range among adults over time (32% May 2005, 31% May 2007 , 32% M ay 2008, 28% January 2010 , 29% January 2011, 29% January 2012, 26% today) . It is highest today among college graduates (36%) and those with $80,000 or more in annual household income (39%) . Just 6 percent of Californians can correctly name both K –12 education and personal income tax as the top spending and revenue areas. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue for the state budget.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Sales tax 30% 35% 29% 25% 30% Personal income tax 26 24 30 33 31 Motor vehicle fees 18 15 10 20 12 Corporate tax 17 18 22 16 18 Don’t know 9 8 9 6 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 11 STATE BUDGET SITUATION With projected budget surpluses in the billions of dollars for the next several years, Californians are less negative about the state’s budget situation than they have been since May 2007, before the recession. Today, 50 percent consider the budget situation to be a big problem and 40 percent say it is somewhat of a problem; only 7 percent say it is not a problem. Between January 2008 and May 2013, more than 60 percent said it was a big problem, reaching a high o f 81 percent in May 2010. Although likely voters are slightly more likely than all adults to say the budget situation is a big problem, the share expressing this view (56%) is also the lowest it has been since May 2007. Across parties today, Republicans (73%) are much more likely than independents (56%) and far more likely than Democrats (40%) to say the budget situation is a big problem. “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 50% 40% 73% 56% 56% Somewhat of a problem 40 48 20 37 36 Not a problem 7 10 5 4 6 Don’t know 3 1 2 4 2 When it comes to their preferred size of state government, Californians are slightly more likely to say they would rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services (51%) than pay lower taxes and have fewer services (44%). Findings are reversed among likely voters (44% higher taxes/more services; 51% lower taxes/fewer services). Voters are deeply split along party lines — 79 percent of Republicans prefer lower taxes and fewer services; 63 percent of Democrats prefer the reverse . Independents are divided. When this question has been asked in the past, Californians have tended to prefer higher taxes and more services, or they have been closely divided. “In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more —I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Higher taxes, more services 51% 63% 18% 50% 44% Lower taxes, fewer services 44 30 79 46 51 Don’t know 5 7 3 4 5 More Californians would prefer to use the state’s projected budget surplus to pay down state debt and build up the reserve (54%) than restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years (42%). Results were nearly identical w hen we asked similar questions in January and May 2013 . A solid majority of likely voters (61%) prefer paying down debt. Three in four Republicans (75%) and 55 percent of independents prefer paying down debt and building the reserve, while Democrats are more likely to prefer restoring funding for social service programs (55% to 43% pay down debt). Among those who prefer higher taxes and more services, a majority (58%) prefer restoring funding for social services. Seventy- three percent of those who prefer lower taxes and fewer services prefer paying down debt and building up the reserve. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 12 PREFERENCES FOR STATE SPENDING When asked to consider increasing spending in the four major state budget areas, Californians are most likely to favor increasing spending on K –12 public education (81%), followed by higher education (75%) and health and human services (66%). An overwhelming majority oppose increasing spending on pr isons and corrections (72%), while just 23 percent favor doing so. “Please tell me if you favor or oppose increasing state spending in the following areas. How about increasing state spending on…? ” K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Favor 81% 75% 66% 23% Oppose 18 23 32 72 Don’t know 2 2 2 5 Past surveys have shown that Californians prioritize K –12 education above other state spending areas. This preference is reflected in the levels of support for increasing K –12 spending: 77 percent of likely voters and at least two in three across parties, regions, and all demographic groups express support. Support is highest among Democrats (90 %), San Francisco Bay Area residents (90%), blacks (88%), Asians (87%), and those age 18 to 34 (87%). Strong majority support for increasing spending in higher education also exists across regions and demographic groups , and among likely voters (70%), Democrats (84%), and independents (74%); support is lower amo ng Republicans (55%). On health and human services, a majority of Republicans oppose increasing state spending (38% favor, 59% oppose), but majorities in other party groups express support (74% Democrats, 63% independents) , and there is majority support in all regions and demographic groups. Support declines sharply, however, as household income rises. When it comes to prisons and corrections, an area in which the state is likely to increase spending to comply with a federal court order to reduce prison overcrowding, fewer than three in 10 across parties, regions (except the Inland Empire at 36%), and demographic groups favor more spending. “Please tell me if you favor or oppose increasing state spending in the following areas. How about increasing state spending on…?” Percent saying favor K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections All adults 81% 75% 66% 23% Likely voters 77 70 57 23 Party Democrats 90 84 74 25 Republicans 66 55 38 29 Independents 80 74 63 13 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 87 82 64 23 Blacks 88 84 91 26 Latinos 80 80 68 26 Whites 80 69 61 21 Region Central Valley 78 70 62 28 San Francisco Bay Area 90 83 73 16 Los Angeles 84 78 68 23 Orange/San Diego 72 70 58 20 Inland Empire 73 74 67 36 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 13 FISCAL REFORMS Six in 10 Californians (60%) and likely voters (62%) favor strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year. This idea has been popular since we started asking this question in June 2003. Majorities of Californians have expressed support, with a low of 53 percent in May 2007 and a high of 72 percent in May 2011. Across parties, Republicans (66%) and independents (65%) are much more likely than Democrats (51%) to favor a strict state spending limit. Across regions, about six in 10 favor this fiscal reform , as do six in 10 men and women. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (53%) are the least likely to express support (59% Asians, 62% blacks, 65% whites). Residents younger than age 55 are more likely than those age 55 and old er to favor this idea (63% to 53%). Two in three of those who say the state budget situation is a big problem favor a strict spending limit (68%). Of those who say the budget situation is somewhat of a problem, support for a spending limit is lower , at 54 percent. “Do you favor or oppose strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 60% 51% 66% 65% 62% Oppose 33 42 32 29 32 Don’t know 7 7 3 6 6 Another fiscal reform idea —increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund and requiring above- average revenues to be deposited into it —has even more support: 73 percent of Californians and 70 percent of likely voters are in favor. The governor has propo sed a constitutional amendment for the November 2014 ballot that would change the structure of the state’s rainy day fund; his proposal receives strong majority support among Californians (see page 15 for more details). The general idea of increasing the s ize of the state’s rainy day fund has been supported by at least 70 percent of Californians since we first asked this question in May 2010 (74% May 2010, 73% January 2011, 70% May 2011, 72% December 2012, and 73% today). This is also the rare proposal that garners bipartisan support , with three in four Democrats (73%) and Republicans (74%)— as well as independents (75%)—saying they favor it. More than two in three Californians across regions and demographic groups favor this fiscal reform idea . Asians (85%) and Latinos (79%) in particular favor it, as do 67 percent of both blacks and whites. Of those who say the state budget situation is a big problem, 68 percent support this idea. Of those who say the budget situation is somewhat of a problem, support is 79 percent. “Do you favor or oppose increasing the size of the state's rainy day fund and requiring above-average revenues to be deposited into it for use during economic downturns? ” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 73% 73% 74% 75% 70% Oppose 21 23 23 15 24 Don’t know 6 4 3 10 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 14 PROPOSITION 13 REFORMS Much attention has been paid recently to the idea of lowering the vote threshold required to pass local special taxes to 55 percent from two- thirds. This change to the requirement set in place with the passage of Proposition 13 divides Californians (48% favor, 45% oppose). Results were similar last May (46% favor, 44% oppose), but have fluctuated over time. In five surveys between January 2009 and December 2012, for example, Californians were more likely to say lowering the vote to 55 percent was a good idea than a bad idea, with support highest in May 2011 (54% good idea, 40% bad idea). In eight surveys between February 2003 and May 200 8, opinion was either divided as it is today, or Californians were more likely to say it was a bad idea, with opposition highest in February 2003 (3 2% good idea, 60% bad idea) . Likely voters are slightly more likely to oppose (51%) than favor (45%) the idea of lowering the vote to pass local special taxes. Six in 10 Republicans oppose the idea, while slightly more Democrats favor than oppose it and independents are divided. S upport is at least 50 percent among Central Valley and Los Angeles residents (50% each), women (50%), Asians (53%), Latinos (55%), those age 18 to 34 (55%), those with a high school education or less (55%), and those with incomes under $40,000 (54%). Oppos ition is highest among Orange/San Diego (53%) and Inland Empire residents (50%) , men (51%), whites (52%), those with only some college education (54%), and those with incomes of $40,000 or more (53%). Homeowners (42%) are much less likely than renters (54% ) to favor this proposal. “Under Proposition 13, a two -thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Do you favor or oppose replacing the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 48% 50% 34% 47% 45% Oppose 45 43 62 49 51 Don’t know 7 7 4 4 5 In contrast to the divided opinions about lowering the local tax vote threshold, a majority of Californians favor another Proposition 13 reform— having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value (58% favor, 36% oppose). Findings among likely voters are nearly identical (59% favor, 36% oppose). Support among all adults has been at or near 60 percent since June 2003 (57% June 2003, 60% January 2004, 59% May 2004, 58% September 2009, 60% January 2012, 57% December 2012, 58% May 2013, 58% today). Two in three independents (68%) and Democrats (66%) favor the idea of tax ing commercial properties at their current market value; Republicans are more likely to oppose it (43% favor, 52% oppose). Across regions, support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (66%) , followed by the Central Valley (61%), the Inland Empire (59%) , Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (51%). “Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 58% 66% 43% 68% 59% Oppose 36 29 52 28 36 Don’t know 5 5 5 4 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 15 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released his 2014– 15 budget proposal on January 9. Thanks to an improving economy and Proposition 30 tax revenues, he projects budget surpluses for the next several years. He calls for increasing spending on K –12 and higher education , and modestly increasing spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. His plan also includes $11 billion to pay down state debt and puts $1.6 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. When read a brief description of the plan, three in four adults (77%) and likely voters (75%) favor it ; one in five adults (18%) and likely voters (20%) oppose it. Support for Brown’s budget proposals hits a record high among all adults and likely voters. Partisans view his most recent budget much more favorably than his first budget in 2011 , with most Democrats (90%, up 26 points from January 2011), independents (75%, up 18 poi nts), and Republicans (66%, up 17 points) favoring his current proposal. Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups favor his plan. “Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 and higher education, and modestly increase spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. The plan includes $11 billion to pay down the state’s debt including repayment of previously deferred pay ments to K –12 schools and paying off economic recovery bonds that were passed in 2004 to balance the budget. The plan puts $1.6 billion into the state’s rainy day fund and includes no new taxes. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan ?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 77% 18% 5% Likely voters 75 20 5 Party Democrats 90 7 3 Republicans 66 30 3 Independents 75 16 9 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 82 15 3 Blacks 85 13 2 Latinos 71 23 7 Whites 81 14 4 Governor Brown is also call ing for a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would change the state’s rainy day fund. It would include basing deposits on capital gains revenues, creating a reserve for K –12 schools, and setting limits on how funds can be wi thdrawn during a recession. When read a brief summary, 69 percent of Californians and 64 percent of likely voters favor the plan , including majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Among those who favor the general idea of increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund, 75 percent favor the governor’s proposal. And even among those who oppose the general idea of increasing the size of the rainy day fund, 54 percent favor it. “The governor’s budget plan calls for a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would change the state’s rainy day fund. It would include basing deposits on capital gains revenues, creating a reserve for K –12 schools, and setting limits on how funds can be withdrawn during a recession. In general, do you favor or oppose this plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 69% 80% 57% 64% 64% Oppose 23 15 33 24 26 Don’t know 8 5 9 12 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 16 STATE PENSION SYSTEM About eight in 10 Californians say the amount of money spent on public employee pension or retirement systems is a big problem (43%) or somewhat of problem (39%) for state and local government budgets; just 13 percent say it is not a problem. Likely voters are so mewhat more likely than all adults to say it is a big problem (52% big problem, 33% somewhat of a problem) . Unlike per ceptions of the budget situation, attitudes about pensions have not become more positive. More than three in four adults said pensions were a problem in December 2011 (44% big, 39% somewhat), March 2011 (47% big, 32% somewhat), and January 2010 (41% big, 35% somewhat); fewer viewed pensions as a big problem in January 2005 (31% big, 41% somewhat). Republicans (62%) and independents (51%) are much more likely than Democrats (36%) to call the amount of money being spent on pensions a big problem. While at least eight in 10 across regions call pensions a problem, Orange/San Diego (51%) residents are the most likely— and Los Angeles residents (38%) are the least likely —to view the amount spent on pensions as a big problem. Whites (50%) and Asians (47%) are more likely to view pensions as a big problem than Latinos (34%) and blacks (27%). Viewing pens ions as a big problem increases as education increase s. It is higher among those age 35 and older than among younger residents, and among those with incomes of $40,000 or more than among lower -income residents . Fifty-six percent of those who view the budget situation as a big problem also view pensions in this light. “At this time, how much of a problem for state and local government budgets is the amount of money that is being spent on their public employee pension or retirement systems? Is this a big pro blem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in California today?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 43% 36% 62% 51% 52% Somewhat of a problem 39 46 23 38 33 Not a problem 13 15 12 8 12 Don’t know 6 4 3 3 3 One way to handle the public employee pension situation would be to change the pension system for new employees from defined benefits to a defined contribution system similar to a 401(k) plan. Seven in 10 Californians (71%) and likely voters (73%) favor this idea while one in five (19% each) oppose it. Support today matches the record high among all adults reached in March 2011; at least 61 percent have favored this idea each of the five times we have asked this question. Strong majorities across parties (79% R epublicans, 76% independents, 65% Democrats) favor this plan, as do at least two in three across regions. Across racial/ethnic groups, Asians (78%) are the most likely —and Latinos (68%) are the least likely —to favor this plan. At least two in three across age, education, and income groups support it. Among those who call the pension system a big problem, eight in 10 favor this idea. “Would you favor or oppose changing the pension systems for new public employees from defined benefits to a defined contribution system similar to a 401(k) plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 71% 65% 79% 76% 73% Oppose 19 25 16 15 19 Don’t know 10 10 5 9 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 17 JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY In June 2014, California will use the top- two primary system in a gubernatorial election for the first time . T wo days into our interviewing period, one of the Republican candidates, Abel Maldonado, withdrew from the race ; respondents who supported him were called back to see who they would now choose. Another Republican, Neel Kashkari, announced his intent to run for governor on the last day we were conducting interviews ; he will be included in future surveys. Between Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Tim Donnelly , 53 percent of likely voters support Brown , 17 percent support Donnelly , and 28 percent are unsure. Most Democrats (83%) and half of independents (52%) support Brown, while Republicans are as likely to support Donnelly (40%) as to be unsure ( 40%). A plurality across regions would support Brown, as w ould at least half across age, education, and income groups. Brown has the support of 63 percent of Latinos (5% Donnelley, 30% unsure) and 45 percent of whites ( 24% Donnelly, 29% unsure). Four in 10 likely voters (43%) are satisfied with their choice of candidates in the June primary election for governor ; 34 percent are not satisfied and 23 percent are unsure. Findings were similar in December 2013 (40% satisfied, 32% not satisfied, 29% unsure). Prior to the last gubernatorial election, satisfaction (46%) was similar among likely voters in March 2010 (38% not satisfied). Six in 10 Democrats (62%) are satisfied. Republicans are more likely to be dissatisfied (44%) than satisfied (24%) , and 31 percent are unsure. Independents are as likely to be satisfied (42 %) as dissatisfied (39%), and 19 percent are unsure. Since December, satisfaction increased 10 points among Democrats and 8 points among independents, while it decreased 7 points among Republicans . Dissatisfaction increased 11 points among Republicans. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Satisfied 43% 62% 24% 42% 48% 40% Not satisfied 34 21 44 39 30 36 Don’t know 23 17 31 19 22 24 With the June primary still about five months away it should not be too surprising that only about three in 10 likely voters are very (7%) or fairly closely (21%) following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election. Findings were roughly similar in December (5% very, 17% fairly, 40% not too, 37% not at all). By contrast, in January 2010 prior to the last gubernatorial election, a higher share (45%) were closely following news (54% were not). The share paying very or fairly close attention to el ection news is somewhat higher among Democrats (32%) and Republicans (28%) than among independents (21%). This level of attention is similar among Latinos and whites. Across regions, close attention to news is highest in the Inland Empire (36%) and lowest in the San Francisco Bay Area (23%). “How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election ?” Likely voters only All likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Very closely 7% 7% 8% 5% 5% 7% Fairly closely 21 25 20 16 22 20 Not too closely 50 50 49 55 55 49 Not at all closely 21 18 23 24 18 24 Don’t know – 1 – – – – January 2014 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  President Obama’s job approval among Californians (53%) remains near its record low of 51 percent . Just one in four approve of the U.S. Congress. ( page 19)  Californians are pessimistic about the prospect of cooperation at the federal level in 2014. In striking contrast to 2009 , when the president took office, 60 percent believe the president and Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot. ( page 19)  Similar to last January, a slim majority (52 %) approve of Senator Fei nstein’s job performance and 53 percent approve of Senator Boxer ’s performance. (page 20 )  Californians are as likely to disapprove (48%) as approve (45%) of the president’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling; a strong majority (69%) disapprove of congressional Republicans in this area. ( page 21 )  Californians remain split —and deeply divided along party lines —about the national health care law. Forty -six percent say Covered California, California’s health care exchange, is working well, while 39 percent say it is not. Seven in 10 uninsured Californians say they will obtain health insurance this year. (page 22 )  There is overwhelming support for national immigration reform (83%) and majority s upport (58%) for California making its own policies to address the needs of illegal immigrants in the state. (page 23 ) 70 615654 65 53 37363025 34 26 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan/Feb09Jan10Mar11Jan12Jan13Jan14 Percent all adults President Obama U.S. Congress Approval Ratings of FederalElected Officials 81 56 35 51 37 14 38 62 44 60 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan09Jan10Jan12Jan13Jan14 Percent all adults Yes No Presidentand Congress Will Be Able to Work Together in the Next Year 72 18 9 Will obtain insurance Will remain uninsured Don't know WillUninsured Californians Obtain Insurance in 2014? Uninsured adults PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 19 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating remains low in California, at 53 percent . Last January, after his reelection, 65 percent approved , but after budget negotiations and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, approval in December hit a record low of 51 percent. Approval among likely voters is at a record low today (46%) . In a recent Pew Research Center/USA Today poll, adults nati onwide (43% approve, 49% disapprove) were less approving of the president than Californians . Approval is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%), the Inland Empire (58%), and Los Angeles (57%) than in the Central Valley and Orange/San Diego (46% each). Adults age 18 to 34 (59%) are more approving than older adults (51% 35 to 54, 50% 55 and older). Approval is far higher among blacks (89%) compared to Latinos (62%), Asians (53%) , and whites (41%). Approval of the U.S. Congress is at 26 percent among all adults and is lower among likely voters (15%) . Approval among all adults was at 34 percent last January, declined to 28 percent in September, and dropped further in December to 18 percent. Today, fewer than one in four voters across parties give positive ratings to the U.S. Congress (23% Democrats, 15% Republicans, 19% independents). In a recent Gallup Poll, just 13 percent of adults nationwide approve d of Congress (82% disapprove). “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 53% 76% 15% 41% 46% Disapprove 43 20 85 56 51 Don ʼt know 4 4 1 3 2 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve 26 23 15 19 15 Disapprove 69 73 82 76 82 Don ʼt know 5 3 3 5 3 Half of Californians (51%) approve of their own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives . Likely voters are divided (48% approve, 42% disapprove). A solid majority of Democrats approve of their House representative, while Republicans and independents are divided. Last January, 56 percent of adults approved; this declined to 47 percent by September . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 51% 62% 42% 46% 48% Disapprove 37 26 47 43 42 Don’t know 11 11 11 10 10 Sixty percent of Californians and 75 percent of likely voters say that the president and Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. Optimism regarding cooperation at the federal level was high when President Obama entered office, declined during his first term, and then rebounded after the 2012 election. Today, large majorities of Republicans (84%) and independents (72%) and smaller majorities of Democrats (56%) say the president and the Congress wi ll not be able to work together . Majorities across regions are pessimistic, as are most Asians (56%) and whites (76%); majorities of blacks and Latinos (56% each) are optimistic about cooperation at the federal level. PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 20 APPROVAL RATINGS OF CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is at 52 percent among all adults and 49 percent among likely voters. Approval among all adults is similar to last January (54%) and September (49%). About seven in 10 Democrats (73%) approve of her job performance and a similar share of Republicans (70%) disapprove; independents are divided (45% approve, 43% disapprove). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (55%) approve of Senator Feinstein, as do pluralities in the Central Va lley (49% approve, 37% disapprove) and Orange/San Diego (46% approve, 39% disapprove ). Inland Empire residents are divided (43% approve, 41% disapprove) . Among racial/ethnic groups, blacks (80%) are the most likely to approve of Senator Feinstein, followed by Asians (59%), Latinos (55%), and whites (45%). Approval declines with rising income levels ( 57% u nder $40,000, 51% $40,000 to $80,000, 47% $80,000 or more) . “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 52% 73% 23% 45% 49% Disapprove 36 18 70 43 45 Don’t know 13 9 7 12 6 Senator Barbara Boxer’s approval rating is at 53 percent among all adults and 48 percent among likel y voters. Senator Boxer’s approval among all adults last January (52%) was nearly identical to today, and 47 percent of Californians approved of the way she was handling her job in September 2013. Approval among Democrats (75%) is similar to disapproval am ong Republicans (73%). Independents are more likely to approve (48%) than disapprove (39%). A majority of Californians in the San Francisco Bay Area (64%) and Los Angeles (58%) approve of Senator Boxer, as do pluralities in the Central Valley (47% approve, 38% disapprove) and Orange/San Diego (47% approve, 39% disapprove). Inland Empire residents are divided (46% approve, 41% disapprove). Blacks (77%) are much more likely than Latinos (61%), and far more likely than Asians (53%) and whites (45%) to approve of Senator Boxer. Californians under 35 (63%) are much more likely than older Californians (48% age 35 to 54, 49% age 55 and over) to express approval. Approval declines with rising income levels (61% under $40,000, 53% $40,000 to $80,000, 44% $80,000 or m ore). “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 53% 75% 19% 48% 48% Disapprove 34 14 73 39 43 Don’t know 13 11 8 12 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 21 FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT AND DEBT CEILING During our interviewing period, Congress approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill funding the government for the current fiscal year ( through September). This follows a year of tense negotiations over the federal budget. Now Congress faces a February deadline to address the debt limit. Californians are divided (45% approve, 48% disapprove) when asked to rate President Obama on his handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling . Ratings of the president in this area were similar in December (42% approve, 49% disapprove) in the aftermath of the government shutdown in October, and in September (46% approve, 46% disapprove) during negotiations to prevent the govern ment shutdown and a looming deadline to raise the debt limi t. In contrast , in January 2013, 56 percent of Californians approved of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling after the fiscal cliff was averted and negotiations on the debt limit had begun. Likely voters are negative, with 56 percent disapproving of the p resident’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling . A majority of likely voters disapproved of President Obama in this area in December (54%) and September (53%) and were divided last January (49% approve, 47% disapprove). Acro ss parties, 68 percent of Democrats approve, while 85 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents disapprove of the president’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Ob ama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 45% 68% 12% 36% 40% Disapprove 48 26 85 56 56 Don’t know 7 6 2 7 4 Opinions of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handli ng the federal deficit and debt ceiling remain negative , with 69 percent of Californians expressing disapproval. The share giving negative ratings today is similar to December 2013 (72%) and somewhat higher than in September 2013 (63%) and January 2013 (63 %). Likely voters are especially negative, with 81 percent disapproving of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. As they have with the president, likely voters have become more disapproving of congressional Republicans over the course of the past year (70% January, 73% September, 78% December, 81% today). Today, overwhelming majorities across parties disapprov e, with 85 percent of Democrats and seven in 10 Republicans (72%) and independents (70%) expressing this view. Thirty -seven percent of Californians disapprove of the way that both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling ; only 14 percent approve 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 23% 13% 23% 21% 16% Disapprove 69 85 72 70 81 Don’t know 7 2 5 9 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 22 HEALTH CARE REFORM Three months into the enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, Californians are divided between generally favorable (44%) and generally unfavorable (46%) opinions of the health reform law. Results were similar in December (44% each). In a December Kaiser Family Foundation poll, fewer adults nationwide viewed the law favorably (34% favorable, 48% unfavorable). There are partisan differences : most Democrats view the law favorably (61%) and most Republicans view it unfavorably (78%). Independents are divided (43% favorable, 47% unfavorable). Fewer than half across age groups have favorable opinions (47% 18 to 34, 42% 35 to 54, 42% 55 and older). Opinion is divided among Californians with and without health insurance. “As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?” All adults Party Have health insurance Dem Rep Ind Yes No Generally favorable 44% 61% 17% 43% 44% 43% Generally unfavorable 46 29 78 47 46 48 Don’t know 10 10 5 10 10 9 California’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California, has been a notable success compared with other states, having enrolled more than 625,000 people as of January 15. However , there are some complaints about the website, such as the Spanish version not working properly. Fewer than half of Californians say the state’s online exchange is working well (12% very, 34% fairly well), and four in 10 say it is working not too (23%) or not at all (16%) well. Democrats (55%) are much more likely than independents (42%) and Republicans (32%) to say the state’s online health insurance exchange is working well. T hose without insurance (50%) are more likely to say it has not been worki ng well than those with insurance (36%). Blacks (62%) are more likely than Latinos (52%), Asians (45%), and whites (39%) to say it is working well. In a December survey by Pew Research Center/USA Today, 30 percent of adults nationwide said their state online exchanges were working well, 57 percent said not well, and 12 percent were unsure. “As you may know, as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to compare plans and purchase health insurance. Just your impression, how well has California’s online health insurance exchange called “Covered California” been working?” All adults Party Have health insurance Dem Rep Ind Yes No Very well 12% 14% 4% 13% 12% 12% Fairly well 34 41 28 29 36 30 Not too well 23 21 23 27 21 29 Not at all well 16 10 30 15 15 21 Don’t know 15 15 16 16 17 9 Among those who report having health insurance, 6 percent say they purchased it themselves. Of these, 25 pe rcent report buying it through Covered California. Among the uninsured, 72 percent plan to get health insurance this year in accordance with the law ; 18 percent will remain uninsured and 9 percent are unsure. In December, 66 percent said they would get insurance, 24 percent said they would remain uninsured, and 11 percent were unsure. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 23 IMMIGRATION REFORM Since a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the U.S. Senate in June 2013, there has been little action on immigration reform in Washington, DC. However, in recent weeks there has been talk of the House of Representatives taking up the issue either before mid-term elections or during the lame duck session after the November election. When asked about providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. who meet certain requirements—including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English—overwhelming majorities of Californians (83%) and likely voters (82%) are in favor. Findings among both groups were similar in September 2013, the only other time this particular question has been asked. Nationally, 77 percent of adults favored this proposal in an October 2013 CBS News Poll. Today, there is strong majority support for this proposal—which is similar to the Senate bill—across parties (89% Democrats, 84% independents, 74% R epublicans). There is also overwhelming support across regions. While support is high across racial/ethnic groups, there are some differences: Latinos (92%) are the most likely to be in favor, followed by blacks (79%), whites (79%), and Asians (77%). Eight in 10 or more across age, education, and income groups favor this path to citizenship. “Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illega l immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fine s and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English?” All adults Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Favor 83% 89% 74% 84% 77% 79% 92% 79% Oppose 16 11 24 13 18 19 7 20 Don’t know 1 1 1 3 5 2 1 1 With immigration reform appearing difficult at the federal level, officials at the state level have taken some steps recently to improve the lives of illegal immigrants currently in the state. In the last legislative session Governor Brown signed the Trust Act, which limits the ability of law enforcement to hold illegal immigrants if they are otherwise eligible to be released, and bills allowing illegal immigrants to obtain California driver’s licenses and be admitted to the state bar as attorneys. When asked about California making its own policies, separate from the federal government, to addr ess the needs of illegal immigrants currently in the state, 58 percent of adults and 53 percent of likely vo ters express support. About four in 10 adults (36%) and likely voters (41%) oppose it. At least half of Democrats (61%) and independents (52%) are in favor, while Republicans are divided (45% favor, 49% oppose). La tinos (70%) are the most likely to be in favor of state policies, while fewer blacks (59%), Asians (55%), and whites (52%) are in favor. Support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) and Los Angeles (61%), followed by the Inland Empire (57%), Orange/San Diego (52%), and the Central Valley (48% ). Support declines as age increases. Among those who favor a path to citizenship, 65 percent favor the state government making its own policies. “Do you favor or oppose the California state government making its ow n policies, separate from the federal government, to address the needs of illegal immigrants curre ntly in the state?” All adults Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Favor 58% 61% 45% 52% 55% 59% 70% 52% Oppose 36 33 49 43 39 39 27 41 Don’t know 6 6 6 5 5 2 4 7 January 2014 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP January 2014 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. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its ow n advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,706 California adult residents, including 1,195 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from January 14– 21, 2014. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone num bers 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 eligib le 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. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g ., not driving). 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 Renatt a 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 Califo rnia, 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 agains t 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 r egistration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,706 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be w ithin 3.8 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, 433 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.2 percent; for the 1, 151 likely voters, it is ±4. 6 percent; for the 224 uninsured adults, it is ±9.6%. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers t o 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, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter grou ps. We also present results for non- Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and non- Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of l ikely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. Abel Maldonado , a Republican candidate, withdrew from the governor’s race two days into our interviewi ng period. Respondents who had selected him as their preferred candidate in the gubernatorial primary were called back to determine their new choice. Another Republican, Nee l Kashkari announced his intent to run for governor on the last day we were conduct ing interviews. He will be included among candidates in our next survey. 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 CBS News, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Pew Research Center/USA Today . 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 2014 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT January 14–21, 2014 1,706 C alifornia Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3 .8% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 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 2014? [code, don’t read] 26% jobs, economy 13 education, schools, teachers 10 state budget, deficit, taxes 9 immigration, illegal immigration 7 water, drought 6 health care, health reform , Obamacare 4 crime, gangs, drugs 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 transportation, infrastructure , high speed rail 12 other 9 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 58% approve 26 disapprove 16 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 42% approve 44 disapprove 14 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly an d senate districts are doing at this time? 48% approve 37 disapprove 15 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 34 no, will not be able to work together 10 don’t know [question 6 not asked ] 7. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 53% right direction 41 wrong direction 6 don’t know 8. 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 45 bad times 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 28 9. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are reg istered to vote in California? 68% yes [ask q9 a] 32 no [skip to q10 b] 9a. 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 q10 ] 28 Republican [skip to q10 a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q11] 22 independent [skip to q10b] 10 . Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 53% strong 43 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q11] 10a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 59% strong 36 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q11 ] 10b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 26% Republican Party 47 Democratic Party 18 neither (volunteered) 10 don’t know [questions 1 1–13 reported for likely voters] 11.[likely voters only] As you may know, California now has a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two cand idates receiving the most votes, regardless of party, will advance to the general election. If the June primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names * and then ask : “or someone else? ”] 53% Jerry Brown, a Democrat 17 Tim Donnelly, a Republican 2 someone else (specify) 28 don’t know *Republican Abel Maldonado ended his gubernatorial bid January 16, two days into interviews ; those who had chosen him were called back to see who they prefer without him in the race. Republican Neel Kashkari announced his intent to run on the last day of interviewing; his name will be included in future surveys. 12. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candid ates for the 2014 governor’s election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 7% very closely 21 fairly closely 50 not too closely 21 not at all closely – don’t know 13. [likely voters only] In general, would you say yo u are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June? 43% satisfied 34 not satisfied 23 don’t know [question 14 not asked ] PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 29 On another topic, [rotate questions 15 and 16 ] 15. I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget. [ rotate] (1) K –12 public education, ( 2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [ or ] (4) prisons and corrections. 17% K–12 public education (correct answer) 9 higher education 30 health and human services 38 prisons and corrections 6 don’t know 16. I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue for the state budget. [rotate] (1) personal income tax, (2) sales tax, (3) corporate tax, [or] (4) motor vehicle fees. 26% personal income tax (correct answer) 30 sales tax 17 corporate tax 18 motor vehicle fees 9 don’t know 17. Next, 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 p roblem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 50% big problem 40 somewhat of a problem 7 not a problem 3 don’t know 18. In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more — [rotate] (1) I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, [or] (2) I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services? 51% higher taxes and more services 44 lower taxes and fewer services 5 don’t know 19. The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. In general, how would you prefer to use this extra money? [rotate] (1) Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve [or] (2) would you prefer to use so me of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 54% pay down debt and build up reserve 42 restore funding for social services 3 don’t know Next, please tell me if you favor or oppose increasing state spending in the following areas. [ rotate questions 20 to 23] 20. How about increasing state spending on K– 12 public education? 81% favor 18 oppose 2 don’t know 21. How about increasing state spending on health and human services? 66% favor 32 oppose 2 don’t know 22. How about increasing stat e spending on higher education? 75% favor 23 oppose 2 don’ t know 23. How about increasing state spending on prisons and corrections? 23% favor 72 oppose 5 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 30 Fiscal reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget and local budget issues. [rotate blocks : questions 24/25 and 26/27] [ rotate questions 24 and 25] 24. Do you favor or oppose strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 60% favor 33 oppose 7 don’t know 25. Do you favor or oppose increasing the size of the state's rainy day fund and requiring above -average revenues to be deposited into it for use during economic downturns? 73% favor 21 oppose 6 don’t know [rotate questions 26 and 27 ] 26. Under Proposition 13, a two -thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Do you favor or oppose replacing the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes? 48% favor 45 oppose 7 don’t know 27. Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commerci al properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 58% favor 36 oppose 5 don’t know 28. On another topic, Governor Brown proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that will increase spending on K –12 and higher education, and modestly increase spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. The plan includes $11 billion to pay down the state’s debt including repayment of previously deferred payments to K–12 schools and paying off economic recovery bonds that were passed in 2004 to balance the budget. The plan puts $1.6 billion into the state’s rainy day fund and includes no new taxes. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 77% favor 18 oppose 1 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 4 don’t know 29. The governor’s budget plan calls for a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would change the state’s rainy day fund. It would include basing deposits on capital gains revenu es, creating a reserve for K –12 schools, and setting limits on how funds can be withdrawn during a recession. In general, do you favor or oppose this plan? 69% favor 23 oppose 8 don’t know On another topic, 30. At this time, how much of a problem for state and local government budgets is the amount of money that is being spent on their public employee pension or retirement systems? Is this a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in California today? 43% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 13 not a problem 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 31 31. Would you favor or oppose changing the pension systems for new public employees from defined benefits to a defined contribution system similar to a 401(k) plan? 71% favor 19 oppose 10 don’t know [questions 32 to 34 not asked ] 35. 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? 53% approve 43 disapprove 4 don’t know [rotat e questions 36 and 37 ] 36. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 52% approve 36 disapprove 13 don’t know 37. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 53% approve 34 disapprove 13 don’t know 38. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 26% approve 69 disapprove 5 don’t know 39. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 51% approve 37 disapprove 11 don’t know 40. 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? 37% yes, will be able to work together 60 no, will not be able to work together 3 don’t know [rotate questions 41 and 42 ] 41. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 45% approve 48 disapprove 7 don’t know 42. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 23% approve 69 disapprove 7 don’t know 43. As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a [ rotate] (1) [generally favorable] [or ] (2) [generally unfavorable] opinion of it? 44% generally favorable 46 generally unfavorable 10 don’t know 44. As you may know, as part of the 2010 health care law the government has set up health insurance exchanges around the country that people can use to compare plans and purchase health insurance. Just your impression, how well has California’s online health insurance exchange called “ Covered California” been working —very well, fairly well, not too well, or not at all well? 12% very well 34 fairly well 23 not too well 16 not at all well 15 don’ t know PPIC Statewide Survey January 2014 Californians and Their Government 32 45. On another topic, would you fav or or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English? 83% favor 16 oppose 1 don’t know 46.Do you favor or oppose the California state government making its own policies, separate from the federal government, to address the needs of illegal immigrants currently in the state? 58% favor 36 oppose 6 don’t know 47 . Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 30 middle -of -the -road 24 somewhat conservative 11 very conservative 3 don’t know 48 . Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 20% great deal 40 fair amount 34 only a little 7 none – don’t know [d1 to d5: demographic questions] D6.Are you, yourself, now covered by any form of health insurance or healt h plan or do you not have health insurance at this time? D6a.Which of the following is your main source of health insurance coverage? Is it a plan through your employer, a plan through your spouse’s employer, a plan you purchased yourself either from an in surance company or the new state or federal marketplace, are you covered by Medicare or Medi-C al, or do you get your health insurance from somewhere else? 77% yes, covered by health insurance 31% through employer 12 through spouse’s employer 12 M edicare 12 Medi -Cal 6 self-purchased plan [ask d6b] 3 through parents/mother/ father (vol ) 1 somewhere else (specify) 1 other government plan (vol) 21 not insured 2 don’t know/refused D6 b. [of those who purchase d a plan themselves] Did you purchase your plan directly from an insurance company, through an insurance broker, or from healthcare.gov or the state health insurance marketplace, also known as Covered California? 39% insurance company 30 insurance broker 25 healthcare.gov /Covered California 6 don’t know D6 c. [of those who do not have health insurance] As you may know, the 2010 health care law requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance in 2014 or else pay a fine. Do you think you will obtain health insurance in 2014, or do you think you will remain uninsured? 72% will obtain health insurance 18 will remain uninsured 9 don’t know [d7 to d17: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey 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 Presi dent and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decision makers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 4 Public Policy Institute of California All r ights 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 09:41:56" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_114mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:56" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:56" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_114MBS.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) }