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object(Timber\Post)#3711 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_115MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "602896" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(99878) "ppic statewide survey JANUARY 2015 &Californians their government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Renatta DeFever Lunna Lopes Jui Shrestha CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 17 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey 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 147th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 308,000 Californians. This is the 65th 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. Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about important state and national issues. This survey took place in the days following the release of Governor Brown’s 2015–16 budget proposal. With the economy improving and Proposition 30 boosting tax revenues, the challenge for the governor is what to do with the additional money in the budget. Some are calling for the restoration of social services that were cut in recent years, while others, including Governor Brown, advocate for fiscal prudence. The governor’s General Fund budget includes increased funding for K—12 and higher education as well as modest increases in spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. The budget also allocates $5 billion to build fiscal reserves and retire debts. At the federal level, the newly installed Republican-controlled Congress is debating funding for the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. Senator Barbara Boxer announced that she would not seek reelection, inciting discussion of who will be her replacement. The survey presents the responses of 1,705 adult residents throughout California, interviewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the following topics:  State government, including approval ratings of state elected officials and assessments of whether the governor and legislature can work together this year; views on the outlook for the state; knowledge of top state spending and revenue areas; attitudes toward the state budget situation, including priorities for state spending, opinions on whether to use the surplus to pay down debt or restore social service cuts, and views on extending Proposition 30 taxes beyond 2018; preferences as to who should make state budget decisions; overall perceptions of Proposition 13 and attitudes toward possible reforms; reactions to the governor’s budget proposal; and views on the seriousness of regional water supply issues as well as perceptions of government responses to the drought.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials and assessments of whether the president and Congress can work together this year; attitudes toward health care and immigration reform; seriousness of local crime, ratings of local police, and perceptions of the treatment of minorities within the criminal justice system.  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 party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. Try our PPIC Statewide Survey interactive tools online at www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Serina Correa 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Record-High Approval for Brown, Bipartisan Support for His Budget MOST FAVOR REQUIRING STATE WORKERS TO CONTRIBUTE TO RETIREE HEALTH CARE SAN FRANCISCO, January 28, 2015—Californians give Governor Jerry Brown a record-high job approval rating and his budget proposal has strong bipartisan support in a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with support from The James Irvine Foundation. Strong majorities of state residents favor the governor’s plan to require that state employees start contributing to their retirement health coverage. At the start of the governor’s historic fourth term, a record 61 percent of adults (58% likely voters) approve of his job performance—a big increase from January 2011 (41% adults, 47% likely voters), when he first took office. His approval rating today is 82 percent among Democrats, 56 percent among independents, and 30 percent among Republicans. The legislature has a job approval rating of 49 percent among adults and 41 percent among likely voters—the highest levels since January 2002. Asked about the job performance of their own assembly and state senate representatives, a slim majority of adults (53%) and half of likely voters (48%) approve. Brown’s budget proposal includes increased spending for K–12 and higher education and smaller increases for health and human services, prisons, and courts. It also allocates funds to pay down state debt and puts $1.2 billion into the state’s rainy day fund. When read a brief description of the plan, 75 percent of adults and 79 percent of likely voters favor it. Majorities across parties are also in favor (87% Democrats, 76% independents, 68% Republicans). The governor’s proposal that state employees contribute to their retirement health plans has the support of 73 percent of adults and 75 percent of likely voters. Strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups are also in favor. HALF FAVOR INCREASES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION—AND WISER USE OF CURRENT FUNDS In addition to proposing increased spending for higher education, Brown wants the systems to freeze tuition and improve performance. What do Californians see as the best approach to improving the state’s higher education system? About half (48%) say the amount of state funding should be increased and that existing funds need to be used more wisely. Fewer (41%) say that just using existing funds more wisely would improve quality, and only 8 percent say that a funding increase alone would achieve this result. “Californians are supportive of giving more state funds to higher education,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “But most want to know that the money being spent now is being spent wisely.” When Californians are asked to prioritize the four largest areas of state spending, a majority of adults (53%) say K–12 education should have the highest priority. Fewer choose higher education (20%), health January 2015 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey and human services (18%), or prisons and corrections (6%). Majorities of independents (61%), Democrats (53%), and Republicans (52%) say that K–12 education should be the highest priority. SUPPORT FOR PAYING DOWN DEBT—AND FOR EXTENDING PROPOSITION 30 With a budget surplus projected for the next several years, the survey asked how Californians would prefer to use the extra money. Majorities of adults (52%) and likely voters (59%) say they prefer to pay down debt and build up the reserve rather than use the money to restore some funding for social service programs (44% adults, 38% likely voters). The improving economy has boosted state revenues and helped put the state budget on much more stable footing than in recent years—a change noticed by Californians. For the first time since May 2007, less than half of residents—46 percent—characterize the state budget situation as a big problem. The budget situation has also improved in part because of Proposition 30 tax revenues, which fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Governor Brown has repeatedly stressed that these income and sales tax increases—set to expire in 2018—are temporary, but there is discussion in Sacramento of extending them. Half of Californians (50%) and likely voters (52%) favor extending the tax increases. There is a strong partisan divide on this question: 66 percent of Democrats are in favor, 63 percent of Republicans are opposed, and independents are divided (49% favor, 45% oppose). “Budget worries are finally subsiding in California,” Baldassare said. “Still, most Californians want their state budget to focus on paying down debt instead of restoring social service funding, and voters are willing to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases.” The survey also asked about potential changes to Proposition 13 that are being discussed. One is to create a “split roll” in which commercial property is taxed according to current market value but Proposition 13 limitations remain in place for residential property. A slim majority (54%) favor a split roll tax. Support is at its lowest point since PPIC began asking the question in January 2012 (60%). Proposition 13 also requires a two-thirds majority at the ballot box for new local special taxes. Should the vote threshold be lowered to 55 percent? Californians are divided on the question, with 46 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed. When Californians are asked their general views of Proposition 13, a record-high 61 percent say it has been mostly a good thing for the state. When it comes to making tough choices about the state budget, Californians prefer the approach of the Democrats—either Brown (29%) or Democrats in the legislature (30%)—while 26 percent favor the approach of legislative Republicans. Californians agree on one aspect of fiscal decisionmaking: 78 percent prefer that state voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box. Far fewer (19%) would rather have the governor and legislature make all of these decisions. At the same time, few Californians are able to identify where the money in the state budget comes from and where it goes. Asked to choose which of the state’s major revenue sources brings in the most money, just 33 percent of adults and 37 percent of likely voters correctly select the personal income tax. When asked which of the top budget areas accounts for the largest amount of spending, only 15 percent of adults and 19 percent of likely voters accurately name K–12 education. Just 5 percent of adults and 8 percent of likely voters answer both questions correctly. OPTIMISM ABOUT CALIFORNIA IS HIGHER AS YEAR BEGINS Californians are starting the year in a more optimistic mood than they have been in years. Most (57%) say things in the state are going in the right direction—up from 50 percent in December and from 38 percent in January 2011. More residents expect good economic times in the next year (58%) than in December (52%) or January 2011 (36%). Most (59%) say the governor and legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. What do Californians think is the most important issue for the January 2015 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey governor and legislature to work on this year? Jobs and the economy are mentioned most frequently (19%), followed by education and schools (15%), immigration (11%), water and drought (9%), and the state budget (6%). OBAMA’S APPROVAL RATING RISES TO 60 PERCENT, BOXER’S TO 53 PERCENT President Obama’s job approval rating has rebounded to 60 percent among Californians—the highest it has been since July 2013 (61%). His rating among likely voters is 50 percent. In the wake of Senator Barbara Boxer’s decision not to seek reelection, her job approval rating is 53 percent among adults and 51 percent among likely voters. This is higher than in September 2014 (41% adults, 45% likely voters). Senator Dianne Feinstein has a job approval rating of 54 percent among both all adults and likely voters. In September 2014 it was 47 percent among all adults and 55 percent among likely voters. The newly elected Congress fares less well. But Congress’ approval rating today—38 percent among California adults and 24 percent among likely voters—is higher than it was in October (24% adults, 16% likely voters). Most adults (56%) and half of likely voters (51%) approve of the job their own congressional representative is doing. However, when asked if the president and Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, just 35 percent of adults and 18 percent of likely voters say yes. How do Californians view divided government at the federal level? While about a quarter (26%) say it’s better if the president’s party controls Congress and a quarter (24%) say it’s better if one party controls Congress and one controls the White House, 42 percent say it doesn’t matter too much either way. The survey also asked about four issues currently being debated at the state and federal levels:  Crime, police, and race relations. Most Californians say that violence and street crime are either a big problem (24%) or somewhat of a problem (34%) in their local communities. Asked to rate their local police, a solid majority (63%) say the police are doing either an excellent job (24%) or a good job (39%) in controlling crime in their communities. Across racial/ethnic groups, most whites (74%), Latinos (57%), and Asians (56%) give their local police positive marks, while only 36 percent of blacks do so. In the aftermath of several incidents involving the police and minority communities, most Californians (55%) say that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system and 39 percent say they do. Blacks (85%) are far more likely than Latinos (57%), whites (50%), and Asians (47%) to say that minorities do not receive equal treatment.  Water policy. A majority of Californians (59%) say the supply of water is a big problem in their region, down from the record-high 68 percent who held this view in October 2014. Today, residents from the Central Valley (68%) and Orange/San Diego Counties (64%) are the most likely to say the water supply is a big problem in their part of the state. Most residents (59%) continue to say the state and local governments are not doing enough to respond to the current drought.  Health care reform. Californians have been consistently divided about the 2010 health care reform law. But today the share of residents who have a generally favorable opinion of the law is at a recordhigh 51 percent (41% generally unfavorable). Most Californians say the state’s online insurance marketplace, Covered California, is working very well (16%) or fairly well (42%), while about a third say it is not working too well (18%) or not at all well (14%). Younger Californians (69% age 18 to 34) are the most likely to say Covered California is working well (53% age 35 to 54, 54% age 55 and older).  Immigration reform. Californians are much more likely to say that immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills (63%) than to say that immigrants are a burden to the state because they use public services (32%). A solid majority (69%) support President Obama’s executive action to shield as many as 4 million immigrants from deportation, while 30 percent are opposed. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of Governor Brown (61%) has reached a record high, and half approve of the California Legislature (49%); six in 10 think the two will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in 2015. (pages 7, 8)  Knowledge of the state budget remains low: just 15 percent know that K–12 education is the top area of state spending and 33 percent correctly identify personal income taxes as the top revenue source. (page 10)  For the first time in more than six years, fewer than half think that the state budget is a big problem. Half favor extending the Proposition 30 tax increases. (page 11)  A slim majority think K–12 education should be the highest priority in state spending. Half prefer using budget surpluses to pay down debt. Half say the higher education system needs more funds and also needs to use existing funds more wisely. (page 12)  Californians are divided on the fiscal approach they prefer: that of Governor Brown (29%), legislative Democrats (30%) or legislative Republicans (26%). But most think voters should have a say. (page 13)  Six in 10 say Proposition 13 has been a good thing. Views are divided on reducing the vote threshold for local special taxes, and 54 percent favor a split roll property tax. (page 14)  There is strong bipartisan support for the governor’s proposed 2015–16 budget, and three in four favor his plan to require state employees to start contributing to their retiree health coverage. (page 15)  Six in 10 continue to say that their regional water supply is a big problem and that government is not doing enough in response to the drought. (page 16) January 2015 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Governor Brown 80 California Legislature Percent all adults 60 41 40 46 20 26 28 61 58 51 49 42 41 0 Jan 2011 Jan 2012 Jan 2013 Jan 2014 Jan 2015 Highest Priority for State Spending 6% 2% 18% 53% 20% All adults K–12 education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Don't know Perception of Budget Situation as a BIg Problem 100 80 68 70 64 60 40 69 63 61 50 52 46 20 0 Jan May Jan May Jan May Jan May Jan 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 15 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS At the start of Jerry Brown’s historic fourth term in office, a record-high 61 percent of adults and 58 percent of likely voters approve of the way that he is handling his job as California governor. The governor’s approval rating among all adults has increased since December (54%) and is higher than in January 2014 (58%), January 2013 (51%), January 2012 (46%), and January 2011 (41%) when he entered office. Today, the governor’s approval rating is 82 percent among Democrats, 56 percent among independents, and 30 percent among Republicans. Majorities across age, education, gender, and income groups approve of Brown. Approval of the governor is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (69%) than in the Central Valley (61%), the Inland Empire (61%), Orange/San Diego (59%), and Los Angeles (57%). Latinos (64%) are somewhat more likely than whites (56%) to approve of Brown. Forty-nine percent of adults and 41 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval of the legislature among adults was lower in December (41%) and in January 2014 (42%) and January 2013 (41%) and much lower in January 2012 (28%) and January 2011 (26%). Today, 60 percent of Democrats, 41 percent of independents, and 24 percent of Republicans say they approve of the legislature. About half of adults across regions approve of the legislature (52% San Francisco Bay Area, 50% Central Valley, 48% Los Angeles, 47% the Inland Empire, 46% Orange/San Diego). Latinos (59%) are much more likely than whites (40%) to approve of the legislature. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Dem Party Rep Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California Approve Disapprove Don’t know 61% 82% 30% 23 9 56 16 9 14 The California Legislature is handling its job Approve Disapprove Don’t know 49 60 24 36 24 65 15 16 11 Ind 56% 30 14 41 47 12 Likely voters 58% 33 9 41 47 13 Fifty-three percent of adults and 48 percent of likely voters approve of the way that their state legislators are representing their assembly and senate districts. Approval of local legislators among adults was slight lower in January 2014 (48%) and January 2013 (45%) and much lower in January 2012 (36%) and March 2011 (36%). Sixty percent of Democrats, 43 percent of independents, and 37 percent of Republicans approve of their legislators. Los Angeles (57%) and Central Valley (56%) are the most likely to approve, followed by residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%), Orange/San Diego (48%) and the Inland Empire (47%). Latinos (60%) are more likely than whites (46%) to approve of their legislators. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “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 Dem Party Rep Ind 53% 60% 37% 43% 31 23 46 43 16 17 16 14 Likely voters 48% 37 15 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey TOP ISSUES, PROSPECT OF STATE LEADERS WORKING TOGETHER IN 2015 As the new two-year legislative session begins, Californians name jobs and the economy (19%) and education and schools (15%) as the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on in 2015. Other issues each noted by at least 5 percent of Californians include immigration (11%), water and the drought (9%), the state budget (6%), and infrastructure (5%). Likely voters name jobs and the economy (21%) and education and schools (18%) as the most important issues in 2015. In January 2014 the top issues were jobs and the economy (26%), education and schools (13%), and the budget (10%). The same three issues were mentioned most often in January 2013 and 2012. Since the governor entered office in 2011, mention of jobs and the economy (34% to 19% today) and the state budget (23% to 6%) declined while the share naming education and schools (15%) has not changed. Mention of water and the drought (0% to 9%) and immigration (6% to 11%) have increased somewhat. Across the state’s regions today, jobs and the economy is mentioned most often by Orange/San Diego residents (27%), and education and schools is noted most often by San Francisco Bay Area (18%) and Orange/San Diego residents (18%), while water and the drought is mentioned most often by Central Valley residents (21%). As for party differences, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to name immigration (15% to 7%) and the state budget (16% to 3%) as the most important issues. “Which one issue facing California today do you think is the most important for the governor and state legislature to work on in 2015?” Top six issues mentioned Jobs, economy Education, schools, teachers Immigration, illegal immigration Water, drought State budget, deficit, taxes Infrastructure All adults 19% 15 11 9 6 5 Central Valley 14% 14 10 21 4 3 San Francisco Bay Area 18% 18 8 6 5 8 Region Los Angeles 20% 15 15 4 5 5 Orange/ San Diego 27% 18 6 7 11 4 Inland Empire 17% 11 16 9 4 5 Likely voters 21% 18 10 12 9 4 Fifty-nine percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters say Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. In January 2014 and January 2013, a similar 57 percent said that Governor Brown and the state legislature would be able to work together and accomplish a lot, while only 44 percent held this view in January 2012. When Governor Brown entered office in January 2011, 58 percent of residents said the governor and state legislature would be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. Today, Democrats (68%) are much more likely than independents (52%) and Republicans (36%) to hold this view. Majorities across regional, age, education, and income groups say that Governor Brown and the legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next 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 Dem Party Rep Ind Yes, will be able to 59% 68% 36% 52% No, will not be able to 31 22 53 37 Don’t know 10 10 11 11 Likely voters 52% 39 9 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Fifty-seven percent of adults say that things in California are generally going in the right direction, while 36 percent say they are going in the wrong direction. Among likely voters, 49 percent say things in California are going in the right direction, while 45 percent say they are going in the wrong direction. The perception among all adults that things in California are generally going in the right direction has increased since December (50%) and is slightly higher than in January 2014 (53%) and January 2013 (51%) and much higher than in January 2012 (37%) and January 2011 (38%). Democrats (72%) and independents (56%) are far more likely than Republicans (23%) to say that things in the state are going in the right direction. About half or more of adults across the state’s major regions (62% Los Angeles, 61% San Francisco Bay Area, 53% Central Valley, 50% Orange/San Diego, 49% Inland Empire) think things are going in the right direction. Fewer than half of whites (46%) compared to six in 10 Latinos (63%) are optimistic. Half or more across age and income groups say things in California are generally going in the right direction. Optimism about the direction of the state is higher among those under 35 years old (67%) than among older Californians (54% 35 to 54, 50% 55 and older). “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Right direction 57% 72% 23% 56% 49% Wrong direction 36 22 70 39 45 Don’t know 86765 When asked to predict the economic conditions in California over the next 12 months, 58 percent say the state will have good times financially, while 34 percent say it will have bad times. Among likely voters, a similar 54 percent expect good times financially, while 36 percent anticipate bad times. More Californians expect good economic times now than in December (52%), January 2014 (49%), and January 2013 (49%). Only 35 percent held this positive economic perception in January 2012, while 36 percent of adults expected good economic times when Governor Brown entered office in January 2011. Today, Democrats (72%) and independents (58%) are far more likely than Republicans (35%) to expect good times financially in California during the next year. San Francisco Bay Area (63%) and Orange/San Diego (63%) residents are more likely to expect good economic times than adults living in the Central Valley (56%), Los Angeles (54%), and the Inland Empire (53%). Majorities across education and income groups expect good economic times. However, college graduates (63%) and those with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more (62%) are among the most optimistic groups. Women (57%) and men (59%) are about equally likely to expect good economic times in California during the next 12 months. Latinos (65%) are more likely than whites (52%) to expect good economic times in the next year. Good times Bad times Don’t know “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 58% Central Valley 56% San Francisco Bay Area 63% Region Los Angeles 54% Orange/ San Diego 63% Inland Empire 53% 34 37 29 38 30 43 88 8 87 4 Likely voters 54% 36 10 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey KNOWLEDGE OF THE STATE BUDGET In early January, Governor Brown proposed a 2015–16 state budget that includes about $113 billion in General Fund expenditures. Ninety-one percent of General Fund spending in the proposed budget is allocated for K–12 education (41.6%), health and human services (28.2%), higher education (12.4%), and corrections and rehabilitation (9%). Ninety-seven percent of General Fund revenues are expected to come from the personal income tax (65.6%), sales and use tax (22%), and corporation tax (8.9%). When asked to identify the largest area of state spending, only 15 percent of adults and 19 percent of likely voters know that K–12 education is the largest area. This level of awareness is similar to findings from January surveys in earlier years (16% 2010, 2011, 2012; 17% 2014, 15% today) and has never been above 30 percent since we began asking this question in May 2005. Today, as has been the case in recent years, a plurality of adults and likely voters (42% each) name prisons and corrections as the top spending category. Public awareness that K–12 education is the largest spending area tends to be slightly higher among Republicans (18%) and independents (17%) than Democrats (12%). It is also higher among Californians age 55 and older (19%) than younger Californians (13% age 18 to 54) and those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (21%) than less affluent Californians (12% less than $40,000, 14% $40,000 to $79,999). Awareness is highest in Orange/San Diego (22%) and lowest in the Central Valley (7%) and increases with educational attainment. “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.” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Prisons and corrections 42% 50% 31% 40% Health and human services 29 23 38 31 K–12 public education 15 12 18 17 Higher education 7976 Don’t know 6575 Likely voters 42% 29 19 5 5 When it comes to identifying the largest state revenue source, 33 percent of adults and 37 percent of likely voters correctly choose the personal income tax. The share identifying the personal income tax was similar in recent January surveys (28% 2010, 29% 2011, 2012, 26% 2014, 33% today). Awareness is higher among Republicans (38%) and Democrats (37%) than independents (29%); it is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (41%) and lowest in the Central Valley and Inland Empire (26% each). Awareness rises with increasing income and education. Only 5 percent of adults and 8 percent of likely voters correctly identify both K–12 education and the 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 Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Personal income tax 33% 37% 38% 29% 37% Sales tax 26 27 22 25 25 Corporate tax 21 18 25 25 22 Motor vehicle fees 14 14 7 17 11 Don’t know 65745 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE BUDGET SITUATION With the economy improving and a boost from tax revenues, the budget is on much more stable footing than in recent years and this is not lost upon Californians. For the first time in periodic surveys since May 2007, the share saying the state budget is a big problem is below 50 percent: 46 percent call the budget a big problem and 39 percent say it is somewhat of a problem; 11 percent say it is not a problem. Between January 2008 and May 2013, more than 60 percent said the budget was a big problem, reaching a high of 81 percent in May 2010. This perception was lower in 2014, when 50 to 55 percent called the budget situation a big problem. Republicans (70%) are by far the most likely to say the budget situation is a big problem followed by independents (55%) and Democrats (40%). Residents in Orange/San Diego (55%) are the most likely— and those in the San Francisco Bay Area (38%) are the least likely—to hold this view. Whites (52%) are much more likely than Latinos (36%) to say the budget is a big problem. The perception that the budget is a big problem is much more prevalent among those who disapprove of Governor Brown (73%) and the state legislature (68%) than among those who approve of the governor (36%) and legislature (30%). “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 Dem Party Rep Ind Big problem 46% 40% 70% 55% Somewhat of a problem 39 43 26 38 Not a problem 11 15 1 7 Don’t know 4221 Likely voters 56% 35 7 2 With the budget situation improving in part because of Proposition 30 tax revenues, some in Sacramento are discussing extending these temporary tax increases, which are set to fully expire in 2018. While Governor Brown has repeatedly said the tax increases are temporary, half of Californians (50%) and likely voters (52%) would be in favor of extending them. There is a wide partisan divide: 66 percent of Democrats favor and 63 percent of Republicans oppose an extension. Independents are divided (49% favor, 45% oppose). Residents of Orange/San Diego (58%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (55%) are the most likely to be in favor, followed by those in Los Angeles (49%), the Central Valley (44%), and the Inland Empire (37%). Younger Californians age 18 to 34 (58%) are in favor, while older adults age 35 to 54 (45% favor, 47% oppose) and 55 and older (48% favor, 43% oppose) are divided. About half of Californians across incomes groups as well as men and women are in favor. Support for extending the Proposition 30 tax increases rises slightly with higher education levels. Among those who approve of Governor Brown or the state legislature, six in 10 are in favor. “As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 50% 66% 32% 49% 52% Oppose 42 24 63 45 43 Don’t know 89565 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey PREFERENCES FOR STATE SPENDING A majority of Californians (53%) think K–12 education should have the highest priority when it comes to state government spending; fewer choose higher education (20%), health and human services (18%), and prisons and corrections (6%). Partisans are in agreement that K–12 education should have the highest priority (52% Republicans, 53% Democrats, 61% independents). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) and the Inland Empire (61%) are the most likely to hold this view, followed by those in the Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (49%), and Los Angeles (45%). As the economy has improved, so has California’s budget situation: the Legislative Analyst’s Office projects budget surpluses over the next several years. How would Californians prefer to use this money? A majority of adults (52%) and likely voters (59%) prefer to pay down debt and build up the reserve rather than using this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years. Since we began asking this question in January 2013, majorities have almost always preferred paying down debt (55% January 2013, 55% May 2013, 54% January 2014); the exception was last May (46% pay down debt, 48% restore social services). Today, Republicans (79%) and independents (58%) prefer to pay down debt, while half of Democrats (53%) prefer to restore social service funding. Central Valley (60%), Inland Empire (60%), and Orange/San Diego (58%) residents are more likely than those in Los Angeles (50%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (40%) to prefer debt payment. Men (59%) and whites (63%) are more likely than women (46%) and Latinos (37%) to prefer paying down debt. “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? Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve or would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Pay debt, build reserve 52% 43% 79% 58% 59% Restore some funding for social service programs 44 53 19 40 38 Don’t know 44223 The governor’s proposed budget increases funding for higher education but calls for tuition to remain flat and for improving performance. When asked how to improve California’s higher education system, 48 percent of Californians say the amount of state funding needs to be increased and that existing funds need to be used more wisely, 41 percent say just using funds more wisely would improve quality and 8 percent prefer increased funding alone. About half have said both increased funding and using existing funds more wisely each of the six times we have asked this question dating back to 2007. Partisans are divided, with 60 percent of Democrats saying both are needed while 64 percent of Republicans say funds should be used more wisely. Independents are divided (48% use funds more wisely, 46% do both). “To significantly improve California’s higher education system, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? We need to use existing state funds more wisely, or we need to increase the amount of state funding, or we need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding.” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Use existing funds more wisely 41% 28% 64% 48% 47% Increase amount of funding 8 9 4 4 7 Do both 48 60 31 46 45 Don’t know 33 12 1 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey FISCAL DECISIONMAKING When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, most Californians prefer the approach of the Democrats—either Governor Brown (29%) or Democrats in the legislature (30%)—while 26 percent prefer the approach of legislative Republicans. Among likely voters, half prefer either the approach of Governor Brown (27%) or legislative Democrats (24%) and 37 percent prefer that of legislative Republicans. Californians’ preferences have been similar each of the three times we have asked this question since Governor Brown took office in January 2011. During Governor Schwarzenegger’s tenure, support for his approach was highest soon after he took office in January 2004 (33%) and reached a low of 11 percent in May 2010, near the end of his last term. As one might expect there are partisan differences when it comes to the preferred budget approach. Eight in 10 Democrats prefer the approach of Governor Brown (34%) or legislative Democrats (48%), and only 7 percent prefer legislative Republicans’ approach. Among Republicans, 73 percent prefer the approach of the Republicans, 12 percent prefer Governor Brown’s approach, and 3 percent prefer legislative Democrats’ approach. Independents are divided between the governor’s approach (33%) and that of legislative Republicans (30%); 17 percent prefer the legislative Democrats’ approach. Seven in 10 Latinos prefer the approach of Democrats (33% Brown’s, 37% legislative Democrats), while whites are more divided (25% Brown’s, 22% legislative Democrats, 37% legislative Republicans). Preference for the approach of legislative Republicans rises with increasing age, education, and income. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer: Governor Brown’s, the Democrats’ in the legislature, or the Republicans’ in the legislature?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Governor Brown’s 29% 34% 12% 33% 27% Democrats’ 30 48 3 17 24 Republicans’ 26 7 73 30 37 Other/none (volunteered) 5 4 4 10 6 Don’t know 10 7 7 11 6 While Californians may be divided about whose specific approach they prefer, they overwhelmingly prefer that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box (78%), rather than have the governor and legislature make all of these decisions (19%). Likely voters hold similar opinions (76% voters, 21% governor and legislature). At least three in four Californians in six surveys since May 2011 have preferred that voters have a say. There is agreement across political, regional, and demographic groups, with at least seven in 10 preferring that voters make some of the decisions. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget this year, would you prefer: that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes or that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Governor and legislature 19% 19% 17% 19% 21% California voters 78 77 79 78 76 Other/both (volunteered) 1 1 2 1 2 Don’t know 22221 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey PROPOSITION 13 Proposition 13, the 1978 ballot measure that limits both residential and commercial property taxes is still viewed positively. A record-high share of Californians (61%) views it as mostly a good thing for the state. Likely voters continue to hold a favorable view of Proposition 13, with 66 percent saying it has been mostly a good thing. Republicans (78%) are more likely than independents (62%) and Democrats (58%) to say Proposition 13 has been a good thing for the state. Homeowners (71%) are far more likely than renters (51%), and whites (67%) are more likely than Latinos (53%) to say that Proposition 13 has been mostly positive for California. Regionally, residents in Orange/San Diego (68%) are the most likely to see Proposition 13 as a good thing, followed by those in the Central Valley (65%), Los Angeles (60%), the Inland Empire (59%), and San Francisco Bay Area (55%). The likelihood of viewing Proposition 13 as a good thing increases with age and income and is higher among those with at least some college. Despite a majority of Californians viewing Proposition 13 as mostly a good thing, there continues to be some discussion among Democratic legislators about potential reforms. One of these potential reforms is the split roll property tax, which would assess commercial property taxes according to their current market value. A slight majority of Californians (54%) favor this change, while nearly four in 10 are opposed. Support for taxing commercial property according to its current market value is at its lowest point since we began asking this question in January 2012 (60%). Democrats (65%) are more likely than independents (52%), and far more likely than Republicans (44%), to favor this proposal. More than half of Californians in all regions and age, education, and income groups favor taxing commercial properties according to their current market value. Favor Oppose Don’t know “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 Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind 54% 65% 44% 52% 54% 38 28 49 40 39 87787 Californians remain divided when it comes to lowering the vote threshold for local special taxes to 55 percent: 46 percent favor this proposal while 47 percent oppose it. These findings are similar to those in our January 2014 survey (48% favor, 45% oppose). There is a sharp partisan divide, with a majority of Democrats (54%) in favor of lowering the local tax vote threshold and majorities of Republicans (61%) and independents (58%) in opposition. Across regions, those in the San Francisco Bay Area (51%) are the most likely to favor lowering the local tax vote threshold, while those in Los Angeles (41%) are the least likely to support this reform. “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 Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 46% 54% 34% 38% 44% Oppose 47 40 61 58 52 Don’t know 75444 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released his 2015–16 budget proposal on January 9. With an expected budget surplus, the governor has proposed increased spending for K–12 and higher education along with modest increases for health and human services, prisons, and courts. His budget also allocates funds to pay down state debt and puts $1.2 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. The governor’s proposed budget has been well received by Californians: after being read a short description of the proposal, 75 percent of adults and 79 percent of likely voters favor it. Support for the governor’s 2014–15 budget proposal was similar in January 2014 (77% adults, 75% likely voters). Today, strong majorities of Democrats (87%), independents (76%) and Republicans (68%) favor the governor’s budget proposal. Though strong majorities across all regions and demographic groups favor the governor’s budget proposal, support rises with increasing education and income. “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 funds 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 $1.2 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 75% 20% 6% Likely voters 79 15 6 Public school parents 71 22 6 Democrats 87 9 4 Party Republicans 68 26 6 Independents 76 19 5 Central Valley 76 18 7 San Francisco Bay Area 78 14 8 Region Los Angeles 77 18 5 Orange/San Diego 72 21 7 Inland Empire 68 29 3 Governor Brown has also called for state employees to begin contributing to their retiree health benefits. This proposal also garners strong support among Californians (73%) and likely voters (75%). Support for this proposal crosses party lines, with at least seven in 10 Democrats (74%), Republicans (73%), and independents (70%) in favor. Strong majorities of Californians across regions and demographic groups favor this proposal. “Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s plan that would require state employees to start contributing to their retiree health obligations?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 73% 74% 73% 70% 75% Oppose 23 23 22 26 22 Don’t know 44544 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 15 PPIC Statewide Survey WATER POLICY Despite recent rainfall, California continues to be in a drought. Fifty-nine percent of Californians say that the supply of water in their part of California is a big problem, 25 percent consider it somewhat of a problem, while only 15 percent say that it is not much of a problem. These findings are similar to those in our December 2014 survey (60% big problem), but marks a decrease from October 2014 when a recordhigh 68 percent of adults said the water supply was a big problem. Likely voters (70%) are more likely than adults overall (59%) to say that the supply of water in their part of California is a big problem. Similar proportions of inland (60%) and coastal (58%) residents hold this view. Regionally, residents of the Central Valley (68%) and Orange/San Diego (64%) are the most likely to say that the supply of water in their part of the state is a big problem. Californians age 55 and older (69%) are more likely than younger adults age 18 to 34 (51%), and whites (69%) are more likely than Latinos (51%) to say that the water supply in their part of the state is a big problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All adults 59% Central Valley 68% San Francisco Bay Area 56% Region Los Angeles 55% Orange/ San Diego 64% Inland Empire 55% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 60% 58% 25 19 28 27 20 28 24 26 15 13 16 16 15 17 15 15 1 1 – 1 1 – 11 With Californians still concerned about the supply of water, nearly six in 10 say that the state and local governments are not doing enough to respond to the current drought. Only 5 percent of Californians say that governments are doing too much, while 31 percent say they are doing the right amount. These findings are relatively unchanged from those in our October 2014 and December 2014 surveys. Residents from inland counties (65%) are somewhat more likely than those in coastal areas (56%) to say that state and local governments are not doing enough. Across regions, Californians in the Central Valley (69%) are the most likely to say governments are not doing enough, followed by those in Orange/ San Diego (63%), Inland Empire (60%), San Francisco Bay Area (57%), and Los Angeles (53%). While majorities across political parties say government are not doing enough to address the drought, Democrats (68%) are more likely than Republicans (58%) to say this. “Overall, do you think that the state and local governments are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California?” Too much All adults 5% Central Valley 5% San Francisco Bay Area 4% Region Los Angeles 7% Orange/ San Diego 4% Inland Empire 6% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 6% 5% The right amount 31 24 33 35 26 32 26 33 Not enough 59 69 57 53 63 60 65 56 Don’t know 5 2 6 5 7 2 36 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 16 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of President Obama among Californians (60%) has rebounded somewhat. While fewer than four in 10 approve of the job Congress in doing, fiftysix percent approve of their own representative to the House of Representatives. (page 18)  In the wake of announcing she would not seek reelection, Senator Barbara Boxer’s job approval stands at 53 percent; 54 percent approve of Senator Dianne Feinstein. (page 19)  The share of Californians (61%) who think President Obama and Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the upcoming year is unchanged from last January. (page 20)  A record-high share of Californians view the 2010 health reform law favorably. About six in 10 adults say the state’s healthcare exchange, Covered California, is working at least fairly well. (page 21)  Immigrants continue to be viewed as a benefit—rather than a burden—to California. Seven in 10 Californians support President Obama’s executive action on immigration. (page 22)  Six in 10 Californians consider violence and street crime to be at least somewhat of a problem in their local community and a similar proportion rate their police as excellent or good in controlling crime in their community. A majority think that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system. (page 23) January 2015 Californians and Their Government Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 80 65 60 President Obama U.S. Congress 60 53 Percent all adults 40 34 20 38 26 0 Jan 2013 Jan 2014 Jan 2015 Opinions of the 2010 Health Reform Law 80 Favorable Unfavorable 60 44 46 47 48 46 46 46 51 40 44 44 45 43 42 44 43 41 Percent all adults 20 0 Dec Jan Mar May Sep Oct Dec Jan 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 15 Attitudes Toward President Obama's Executive Action on Immigration 80 69 Support Oppose 60 52 44 40 30 Percent all adults 20 0 Californians Adults nationwide* *ABC News/Washington Post, December 2014 17 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating has rebounded to 60 percent among Californians. The last time his approval was at this level was in July 2013 (61%). Approval has increased 11 points since October 2014 (49%), and is also higher than last January (53%). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, 46 percent of adults nationwide approved of President Obama. In our survey, 50 percent of likely voters approve and 48 percent disapprove of the president. His approval rating is 80 percent among Democrats, 50 percent among independents, and 13 percent among Republicans. Majorities of men (62%) and women (58%), as well as Californians across age and education groups approve of the president. An overwhelming majority of Latinos (75%) approve of the president, compared to 42 percent of whites. (Our final day of interviewing took place the night of the president’s State of the Union address.) The approval rating of the newly elected Congress is at 38 percent. Approval of the U.S. Congress has increased 14 points since October 2014 (24%) and is higher than last January (26%). Approval of the U.S. Congress after the last presidential election was 34 percent (January 2013). Among adults nationwide in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 16 percent approved of the U.S. Congress. One in four California likely voters (24%) approve of Congress. Similar shares of Democrats (27%), Republicans (30%), and independents (31%) approve. Latinos (53%) are far more likely than whites (23%) to express approval of the U.S. Congress. Approval declines as age and income levels increase. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Dem Party Rep Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States Approve Disapprove Don’t know 60% 80% 13% 38 17 86 331 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve Disapprove Don’t know 38 27 30 55 67 60 769 Ind 50% 45 5 31 63 6 Likely voters 50% 48 3 24 71 5 Fifty-six percent of Californians approve of their own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives. This matches the record-high ratings Californians gave to their own representative in January 2013 and September 2009. Approval is 8 points higher than in October 2014 (48%) and slightly higher than it was last January (51%). Among likely voters, approval is at 51 percent. Democrats (64%) are more likely than independents (51%) and Republicans (41%) to approve. Latinos (64%) are much more likely to approve than whites (47%). Across regions, approval is highest in the Central Valley (62%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (62%), followed by Los Angeles (55%), the Inland Empire (51%), and Orange/San Diego (49%). Majorities of men (55%) and women (58%), as well as Californians across age, education, and income groups approve of their own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “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 Dem Party Rep Ind 56% 64% 41% 51% 29 25 41 36 14 11 18 13 Likely voters 51% 37 11 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS Senator Barbara Boxer recently announced that she will not seek another term. In the wake of this announcement, her approval among Californians is at 53 percent. Three in 10 disapprove (31%) of Senator Boxer and 16 percent are unsure. Approval is similar among likely voters and all adults (51% to 53%), but likely voters are slightly more likely to disapprove than all adults are (39% to 31%). Approval among all adults was lower in September 2014 (41%) but it is identical to levels last January (53%). Among likely voters, approval was slightly lower in September 2014 (45%) and last January (48%). Seven in 10 Democrats approve (72%) of Senator Boxer and two in three Republicans disapprove (67%). Half of independents (51%) approve of her job performance, while 38 percent disapprove. Her approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (55%), followed by the Central Valley (52%), and Orange/San Diego and the Inland Empire (49% each). Senator Boxer’s approval rating is much higher among Latinos (59%) than whites (46%). Slightly over half of Californians across age and education groups, and half of men (52%) and women (54%), approve of Senator Boxer. Senator Boxer’s approval is lower among those earning $80,000 or more (44%) than among those earning less (58% under $40,000, 53% $40,000-$79,000). Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 53% 72% 22% 51% 31 13 67 38 16 15 11 11 Likely voters 51% 39 10 Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval is at 54 percent. Three in 10 Californians disapprove of her job performance, and 15 percent are unsure how to rate it. Approval among likely voters is identical to that among all adults (54%), but likely voters are somewhat more disapproving than all adults (38% to 30%). Approval among all adults today is 7 points higher than in September 2014 (47%) and similar to levels seen last January (52%). Among likely voters, today’s approval ratings are similar to those in September 2014 (55%) and higher than those last January (49%). Today, seven in 10 Democrats approve (73%) of Senator Feinstein, while six in 10 Republicans disapprove (61%). Independents are more likely to approve (48%) than to disapprove (36%). Across regions, Senator Feinstein’s approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (58%), followed by Orange/San Diego (52%), the Inland Empire (51%), and the Central Valley (49%). Latinos (61%) are much more likely than whites (47%) to approve of Senator Feinstein. Majorities of men (54%) and women (55%) and Californians across age, education, and income groups approve. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 54% 73% 27% 48% 30 16 61 36 15 10 11 17 Likely voters 54% 38 9 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey DIVIDED GOVERNMENT Six in 10 Californians (61%) say that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year; only 35 percent say they will be able to do so. When President Obama first took office (January 2009), 81 percent of Californians were optimistic about cooperation at the federal level. Optimism declined to 56 percent in January 2010. By the start of 2012, 62 percent of Californians were pessimistic about cooperation at the federal level. Though Californians were less pessimistic at the start of President Obama’s second term (44% January 2013), by January 2014 pessimism increased by 16 points to 60 percent. Today, with a newly-elected Congress, opinions about cooperation remain relatively unchanged from last year. Likely voters are even more pessimistic than all adults, with 78 percent saying that the president and the U.S. Congress will not be able to work together. Republicans (82%) are much more likely than independents (67%) and Democrats (65%) to believe that the president and Congress will not be able to work together. Pessimism about prospects of cooperation at the federal level increases sharply as age and income rise. Whites (79%) are far more pessimistic than Latinos (44%). Except in Los Angeles (56%), at least six in 10 Californians across regions think President Obama and the U.S. Congress will not be able to work together in the next year. “Do you think that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Yes, will be able to 35% 30% 15% 27% No, will not be able to 61 65 82 67 Don’t know 4535 Likely voters 18% 78 4 Republicans took control of the Senate after the midterm elections, resulting in one party controlling the White House and the other controlling Congress. How do Californians view this situation? Similar shares of adults think it is better either for the president’s party to control Congress (26%) or for party control to be divided between the White House and Congress (24%); 42 percent say it does not matter too much either way. Californians held similar views in December 2013 and September 2000. Today, likely voters offer mixed views: 27 percent say the president’s party should control Congress, 30 percent say that one party should control each, and 34 percent think it does not matter too much either way. Democrats are as likely to prefer a united government (37%) as they are to say it does not matter too much (38%). In contrast, Republicans are as likely to prefer divided government (36%) as they are to think that it does not matter (35%). A plurality of independents say it does not matter too much (45%), 29 percent prefer one party to control each, and 17 percent prefer the president’s party to control Congress. “Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other?” President's party controls congress One party controls each All adults 26% 24 Dem 37% 18 Party Rep 17% 36 Likely voters Ind 17% 27% 29 30 Doesn't matter too much 42 38 35 45 34 Don’t know 8 7 12 9 10 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Californians have been consistently divided about the 2010 health care reform law since December 2013. However, today a record-high 51 percent of Californians have a generally favorable opinion of the law; 41 percent view it unfavorably. According to a December Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide (41%) are less likely than Californians (51%) to view the law favorably. Opinion continues to be divided strongly along party lines: 69 percent of Democrats have a generally favorable opinion of the law, while 79 percent of Republicans hold generally unfavorable views. Independents are closely divided (46% generally favorable, 48% generally unfavorable). About half of Californians across age groups have a generally favorable opinion of the law (51% age 18 to 34, 53% age 35 to 54, 48% age 55 and older). At least half of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%), Los Angeles (50%), and Orange/San Diego (50%) view the health care reform law favorably, while those in the Central Valley (45% favorable, 49% unfavorable) and the Inland Empire (46% favorable, 49% unfavorable) are more divided. Half of Californians with health insurance view the law favorably (50%), while 40 percent view it unfavorably. Opinion among those without health insurance is divided (40% favorable, 46% unfavorable). “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?” Party Have health insurance All adults Dem Rep Ind Yes No Generally favorable 51% 69% 17% 46% 53% 40% Generally unfavorable 41 22 79 48 40 46 Don’t know 8 9 4 7 8 13 The insurance enrollment period for this year began in November 2014 and ends in February 2015. How do Californians assess the state’s online health insurance marketplace, Covered California, in this second enrollment period? Nearly six in 10 say that is working very (16%) or fairly well (42%), while three in 10 say it is working not too (18%) or not at all well (14%). The share of Californians saying the state insurance exchange is working at least somewhat well is higher than it was last January (46%), but is similar to last May (54%) and December (52%). Majorities of Democrats (68%) and independents (55%) say that Covered California is working at least fairly well; a majority of Republicans (56%) say it is not working well. Younger Californians (69% age 18 to 34) are much more likely than older Californians (53% age 35 to 54, 54% age 55 and older) to say that the state’s health insurance exchange is working well. Similar shares of those who have health insurance (59%) and those who don’t have insurance (54%) say the state exchange is working well. Among those who view the health reform law favorably, 79 percent say the state exchange is working well; only 32 percent of those with unfavorable opinions of the law hold this view. “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 Dem Party Rep Ind Have health insurance Yes No Very well 16% 20% 4% 15% 16% 16% Fairly well 42 48 24 40 43 38 Not too well 18 16 32 18 17 20 Not at all well 14 5 24 18 13 20 Don’t know 10 9 16 9 10 7 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION REFORM Today, one in 10 Californians mention immigration (11%) as the top issue for the governor and legislature to work on, just after jobs and the economy (19%) and education (15%). A solid majority of adults (63%) in the state view immigrants as a benefit, while one third (32%) view them as a burden to California. Likely voters are less likely to view immigrants as a benefit (53% benefit, 41% burden). The opinion that immigrants are a benefit to the state has been similar in recent surveys (63% January 2013, 61% May 2013, 65% March 2014, 61% September 2014, 63% today). While most Democrats (71%) and a majority of independents (58%) say immigrants are a benefit, a majority of Republicans (66%) say immigrants are a burden. Latinos are far more likely than whites to say immigrants are a benefit (85% to 45%). There are also differences among age and income groups. Younger Californians (74% age 18 to 34) are slightly more likely than adults age 35 to 54 (66%) and are far more likely than adults age 55 and older (49%) to say that immigrants are a benefit. Those with household incomes of less than $40,000 (68%) are somewhat more likely than those with higher incomes to hold this view (59% $40,000 or more). Regionally, Californians in the San Francisco Bay Area (68%) are the most likely to say immigrants are a benefit, followed by those in Los Angeles (65%), the Inland Empire (61%), the Central Valley (60%), and Orange/San Diego (59%). “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right: immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, or immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” Immigrants are a benefit Immigrants are a burden Don’t know All adults 63% 32 6 Dem 71% 24 4 Party Rep 27% 66 7 Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites 58% 85% 45% 34 13 48 83 7 When asked about President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, a solid majority (69%) of Californians say they support it, while 30 percent say they oppose it. Californians in our survey are much more likely to support executive action on immigration than adults nationwide (52% support, 44% oppose), according to the results of a December ABC News/Washington Post poll. There are sharp differences across parties: majorities of Democrats (83%) and independents (63%) express their support while a majority of Republicans (63%) are opposed. An overwhelming majority of Latinos (89%) support this action as do a majority of whites (55%). Solid majorities across age, income, and education groups support this action but support declines as age and income levels increase. Among those who view immigrants as a benefit to California, 89 percent support the action; among those who consider immigrants a burden, 67 percent oppose it. “President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program?” All adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Support 69% 83% 35% 63% 89% 55% Oppose 30 15 63 34 11 43 Don’t know 22 2 3 1 2 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey CRIME, POLICE, AND RACE RELATIONS Nearly six in 10 Californians say that violence and street crime are either a big problem (24%) or somewhat of a problem (34%) in their local communities; four in 10 say these issues are not a problem today. The perception of crime as a problem was similar the other two times we asked this question (56% February 2011, 52% September 2013). Across regions, Central Valley residents (71%) are the most likely to consider crime to be at least somewhat of a problem, followed by residents in Los Angeles (65%), the San Francisco Bay Area (58%), the Inland Empire (55%), and Orange/San Diego (36%). When rating their local police, a solid majority of adults (63%) say the police are doing either an excellent (24%) or a good job (39%) in controlling crime in their communities, while one in three say they are doing a fair (25%) or a poor job (11%). According to a December CBS News Poll, adults nationwide rate their local police force similarly (25% excellent, 38% good, 24% fair, and 11% poor). Majorities of whites (74%), Asians (56%), and Latinos (57%) give their local police positive marks, while only 36 percent of blacks do so. There are regional differences as well—residents in Orange/San Diego (71%) are the most likely to rate their local police as excellent or good, followed by residents in the Central Valley (65%), the Inland Empire (64%), the San Francisco Bay Area (62%), and Los Angeles (57%). Positive ratings for local police rise as age, income, and education levels increase. “How would you rate the job your local police are doing in controlling crime in your community?” Excellent All adults 24% 18 to 34 23% Age 35 to 54 25% 55 and older 24% Asians* 15% Race/Ethnicity Blacks* Latinos 14% 23% Whites 29% Good 39 32 38 46 41 22 34 45 Fair 25 28 25 22 34 33 25 20 Poor 11 16 11 6 9 29 18 5 Don’t know 1 1 – 1 11–1 *Small sample sizes for Asians and blacks. In the aftermath of several national incidents involving the police and minority communities, a majority of Californians (55%) say that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system, four in 10 (39%) say they do. Californians’ opinions are similar to those of adults nationwide, according to a December ABC News/Washington Post Poll (54% do not receive equal treatment, 43% receive equal treatment). Democrats (74%) are much more likely than independents (56%) and far more likely than Republicans (28%) to say treatment is not equal. There are differences across racial/ethnic groups. Blacks (85%) are far more likely than Latinos (57%), whites (50%), and Asians (47%) to say that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment. At least half of Californians across all age, education, and income groups hold this view. Residents in Los Angeles (62%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) are the most likely to say minorities do not receive equal treatment, followed by those in the Inland Empire (54%), Orange/San Diego (48%), and the Central Valley (43%). “Do you think blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system or not?” All adults Receive equal treatment Do not receive equal treatment Don’t know 39% 55 6 Dem 23% 74 3 Party Rep 64% 28 8 Race/Ethnicity Ind Asians* Blacks* Latinos 39% 51% 13% 37% 56 47 85 57 5 126 *Small sample sizes for Asians and blacks. Whites 43% 50 7 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP January 2015 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner, associate survey director and project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Renatta DeFever, Lunna Lopes, 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 own 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 1,705 California adult residents, including 1,021 interviewed on landline telephones and 684 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from January 11–20, 2015. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone 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. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2013 American Community Survey’s (ACS) Public Use Microdata Series for California (with regional coding information from the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California) to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample—region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education—with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2013 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 2014 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,705 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1,377 registered voters, the sampling error is ±3.9 percent; for the 1,011 likely voters, it is ±4.6 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and primary likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populous areas are not large enough to report separately. In several places, we refer to coastal and inland counties. The “coastal” region refers to the counties along the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. All other counties are included in the “inland” region. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites, who account for 43 percent of the state’s adult population, and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 15 percent of the state’s adult population, and non-Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Sample sizes for Asians and blacks are small. 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 likely voters—so designated per their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by the ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News, Kaiser Family Foundation, and NBC/Wall Street Journal. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT January 11–20, 2015 1,705 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.6% 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 2015? [code, don’t read] 19% jobs, economy 15 education, schools, teachers 11 immigration, illegal immigration 9 water, drought 6 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 infrastructure 4 health care, health reform, Obamacare 3 environment, pollution, global warming 2 crime, gangs, drugs 2 homelessness 15 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? 61% approve 23 disapprove 16 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 49% approve 36 disapprove 15 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 53% approve 31 disapprove 16 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? 59% yes, will be able to work together 31 no, will not be able to work together 10 don’t know 6. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 57% right direction 36 wrong direction 8 don’t know 7. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 58% good times 34 bad times 8 don’t know [rotate questions 8 and 9] January 2015 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 8. 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. 15% K–12 public education 7 higher education 29 health and human services 42 prisons and corrections 6 don’t know 9. 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. 33% personal income tax 26 sales tax 21 corporate tax 14 motor vehicle fees 6 don’t know Next, 10.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? 46% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 4 don’t know [rotate questions 11 and 11a] 11.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 some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 52% pay down debt and build up reserve 44 restore funding for social services 4 don’t know 11a.To significantly improve California’s higher education system, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate responses 1 and 2] (1) We need to use existing state funds more wisely, (or) (2) We need to increase the amount of state funding, (or) (3) We need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding. 41% use funds more wisely 8 increase state funding 48 use funds more wisely and increase funding 3 don’t know 11b.Some of the largest areas for state spending are: [rotate] (1) K-–12 public education, (2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [and] (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you think should have the highest priority when it comes to state government spending. 53% K-–12 public education 20 higher education 18 health and human services 6 prisons and corrections 2 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 12.When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer—[rotate] (1) Governor Brown’s, (2) the Democrats’ in the legislature, or (3) the Republicans’ in the legislature? 29% Governor Brown’s 30 Democrats’ 26 Republicans’ 1 other answer (volunteered) 4 none (volunteered) 10 don’t know 13.When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget this year, would you prefer—[rotate] (1) that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes; [or] (2) that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box? 19% that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions 78 that California voters makes some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box – other (specify) 1 both (volunteered) 2 don’t know 14.As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018? 50% favor 42 oppose 8 don’t know [questions 15 to 18 not asked] 19.Changing topics, Proposition 13 is the 1978 ballot measure that limits the property tax rate to 1 percent of assessed value at time of purchase and annual tax increases to no more than 2 percent until the property is sold. Overall, do you feel passing Proposition 13 turned out to be mostly a good thing for California or mostly a bad thing? 61% mostly a good thing 26 mostly a bad thing 1 mixed (volunteered) 11 don’t know [rotate questions 20 and 21] 20.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? 46% favor 47 oppose 7 don’t know 21.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? 54% favor 38 oppose 8 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 22.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 funds 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 $1.2 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? 75% favor 20 oppose 2 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 4 don’t know 23.Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s plan that would require state employees to start contributing to their retiree health obligations? 73% favor 23 oppose 4 don’t know [question 24 not asked] 25.On another topic, would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 59% big problem 25 somewhat of a problem 15 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 26.Overall, do you think that the state and local governments are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California? 5% too much 31 the right amount 59 not enough 5 don’t know Changing topics, 27.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 60% approve 38 disapprove 3 don’t know [rotate questions 28 and 29] 28.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. senator? 54% approve 30 disapprove 15 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. senator? 53% approve 31 disapprove 16 don’t know 30.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 38% approve 55 disapprove 7 don’t know 31.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 56% approve 29 disapprove 14 don’t know 32.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? 35% yes, will be able to work together 61 no, will not be able to work together 4 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 33.Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other? 26% president’s party controls congress 24 one party controls each 42 doesn’t matter too much 8 don’t know Next, 34.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? 51% generally favorable 41 generally unfavorable 8 don’t know 35.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 health insurance exchange called “Covered California” been working—very well, fairly well, not too well, or not at all well? 16% very well 42 fairly well 18 not too well 14 not at all well 10 don’t know 36.On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills [or] (2) Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services. 63% immigrants are a benefit to California 32 immigrants are a burden to California 6 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 37.President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program? 69% support 30 oppose 2 don’t know 38.On another topic, how much of a problem are violence and street crime in your local community today—a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 24% big problem 34 somewhat of a problem 42 not much of a problem - don’t know 38a.How would you rate the job your local police are doing in controlling crime in your community: excellent, good, fair, or poor? 24% excellent 39 good 25 fair 11 poor 1 don’t know 39.Do you think blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system or not? 39% receive equal treatment 55 do not receive equal treatment 6 don’t know 40.Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 66% yes [ask q40a] 34 no [skip to q41b] 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 40a.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 q41] 28 Republican [ask q41a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q42] 24 independent [skip to q41b] 41.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 47% strong 51 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q42] 41a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q42] 41b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 28% Republican Party 49 Democratic Party 17 neither 6 don’t know 42.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 29 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 3 don’t know 43.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 19% great deal 39 fair amount 32 only a little 9 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d5:demographic questions] January 2015 Californians and Their Government D6.Are you, yourself, now covered by any form of health insurance or health 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 insurance company or the state or federal marketplace, are you covered by Medicare or Medi-Cal, or do you get your health insurance from somewhere else? 86% yes, covered by health insurance 30 through employer 14 Medicare 15 Medi-Cal 12 through spouse’s employer 7 self-purchased plan [ask d6b] 4 through parents/mother/ father (volunteered) 2 somewhere else (specify) 2 other government plan (volunteered) 13 not insured [ask d6d] 2 don’t know/refused 32 PPIC Statewide Survey D6b.[of those who purchased a plan themselves] Did you purchase your plan directly from an insurance company, from the marketplace known as healthcare.gov or Covered California, or through an insurance agent or broker? (if agent or broker: Do you know if the plan you purchased through a broker was a plan from the state or federal health insurance marketplace known as healthcare.gov or Covered California, or was it a plan purchased directly from an insurance company and not through an exchange or marketplace?) 42% from an insurance company, either directly or through a broker 40 from healthcare.gov/Covered California, either directly or through a broker 18 don’t know/refused Summary of D6, D6a, D6b 86 % yes, covered by health insurance 30 through employer 14 Medicare 15 Medi-Cal 12 through spouse’s employer 7 self-purchased plan 3 from an insurance company, either directly or through a broker 3 from healthcare.gov/ Covered California, either directly or through a broker 1 don’t know 4 through parents/mother/ father (volunteered) 2 somewhere else (specify) 2 other government plan (volunteered) 13 not insured 2 don’t know/refused [skip to d7] [d6d and d6e asked of uninsured adults] D6d. [uninsured only] Do you plan to get health insurance in the next month, or do you think you will remain uninsured? 63% will obtain health insurance 28 will remain uninsured 9 don’t know D6e. [uninsured only] Do you think you will have to pay a fine for not having health insurance this year, or not? 43% yes, will have to pay a fine 44 no, will not have to pay a fine 13 don’t know [d7 to d17: demographic questions] January 2015 Californians and Their Government 33 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 Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey Joshua J. Dyck Co-Director Center for Public Opinion University of Massachusetts, Lowell Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Chairman US Hispanic Media, Inc. 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 Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President Brigitte Bren Attorney Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust Walter B. Hewlett Member, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Vice 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 © 2015 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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This is the 147th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 308,000 Californians. This is the 65th 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. Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about important state and national issues. This survey took place in the days following the release of Governor Brown’s 2015–16 budget proposal. With the economy improving and Proposition 30 boosting tax revenues, the challenge for the governor is what to do with the additional money in the budget. Some are calling for the restoration of social services that were cut in recent years, while others, including Governor Brown, advocate for fiscal prudence. The governor’s General Fund budget includes increased funding for K—12 and higher education as well as modest increases in spending on health and human services, prisons, and courts. The budget also allocates $5 billion to build fiscal reserves and retire debts. At the federal level, the newly installed Republican-controlled Congress is debating funding for the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. Senator Barbara Boxer announced that she would not seek reelection, inciting discussion of who will be her replacement. The survey presents the responses of 1,705 adult residents throughout California, interviewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the following topics:  State government, including approval ratings of state elected officials and assessments of whether the governor and legislature can work together this year; views on the outlook for the state; knowledge of top state spending and revenue areas; attitudes toward the state budget situation, including priorities for state spending, opinions on whether to use the surplus to pay down debt or restore social service cuts, and views on extending Proposition 30 taxes beyond 2018; preferences as to who should make state budget decisions; overall perceptions of Proposition 13 and attitudes toward possible reforms; reactions to the governor’s budget proposal; and views on the seriousness of regional water supply issues as well as perceptions of government responses to the drought.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials and assessments of whether the president and Congress can work together this year; attitudes toward health care and immigration reform; seriousness of local crime, ratings of local police, and perceptions of the treatment of minorities within the criminal justice system.  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 party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. Try our PPIC Statewide Survey interactive tools online at www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Serina Correa 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Record-High Approval for Brown, Bipartisan Support for His Budget MOST FAVOR REQUIRING STATE WORKERS TO CONTRIBUTE TO RETIREE HEALTH CARE SAN FRANCISCO, January 28, 2015—Californians give Governor Jerry Brown a record-high job approval rating and his budget proposal has strong bipartisan support in a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with support from The James Irvine Foundation. Strong majorities of state residents favor the governor’s plan to require that state employees start contributing to their retirement health coverage. At the start of the governor’s historic fourth term, a record 61 percent of adults (58% likely voters) approve of his job performance—a big increase from January 2011 (41% adults, 47% likely voters), when he first took office. His approval rating today is 82 percent among Democrats, 56 percent among independents, and 30 percent among Republicans. The legislature has a job approval rating of 49 percent among adults and 41 percent among likely voters—the highest levels since January 2002. Asked about the job performance of their own assembly and state senate representatives, a slim majority of adults (53%) and half of likely voters (48%) approve. Brown’s budget proposal includes increased spending for K–12 and higher education and smaller increases for health and human services, prisons, and courts. It also allocates funds to pay down state debt and puts $1.2 billion into the state’s rainy day fund. When read a brief description of the plan, 75 percent of adults and 79 percent of likely voters favor it. Majorities across parties are also in favor (87% Democrats, 76% independents, 68% Republicans). The governor’s proposal that state employees contribute to their retirement health plans has the support of 73 percent of adults and 75 percent of likely voters. Strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups are also in favor. HALF FAVOR INCREASES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION—AND WISER USE OF CURRENT FUNDS In addition to proposing increased spending for higher education, Brown wants the systems to freeze tuition and improve performance. What do Californians see as the best approach to improving the state’s higher education system? About half (48%) say the amount of state funding should be increased and that existing funds need to be used more wisely. Fewer (41%) say that just using existing funds more wisely would improve quality, and only 8 percent say that a funding increase alone would achieve this result. “Californians are supportive of giving more state funds to higher education,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “But most want to know that the money being spent now is being spent wisely.” When Californians are asked to prioritize the four largest areas of state spending, a majority of adults (53%) say K–12 education should have the highest priority. Fewer choose higher education (20%), health January 2015 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey and human services (18%), or prisons and corrections (6%). Majorities of independents (61%), Democrats (53%), and Republicans (52%) say that K–12 education should be the highest priority. SUPPORT FOR PAYING DOWN DEBT—AND FOR EXTENDING PROPOSITION 30 With a budget surplus projected for the next several years, the survey asked how Californians would prefer to use the extra money. Majorities of adults (52%) and likely voters (59%) say they prefer to pay down debt and build up the reserve rather than use the money to restore some funding for social service programs (44% adults, 38% likely voters). The improving economy has boosted state revenues and helped put the state budget on much more stable footing than in recent years—a change noticed by Californians. For the first time since May 2007, less than half of residents—46 percent—characterize the state budget situation as a big problem. The budget situation has also improved in part because of Proposition 30 tax revenues, which fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Governor Brown has repeatedly stressed that these income and sales tax increases—set to expire in 2018—are temporary, but there is discussion in Sacramento of extending them. Half of Californians (50%) and likely voters (52%) favor extending the tax increases. There is a strong partisan divide on this question: 66 percent of Democrats are in favor, 63 percent of Republicans are opposed, and independents are divided (49% favor, 45% oppose). “Budget worries are finally subsiding in California,” Baldassare said. “Still, most Californians want their state budget to focus on paying down debt instead of restoring social service funding, and voters are willing to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases.” The survey also asked about potential changes to Proposition 13 that are being discussed. One is to create a “split roll” in which commercial property is taxed according to current market value but Proposition 13 limitations remain in place for residential property. A slim majority (54%) favor a split roll tax. Support is at its lowest point since PPIC began asking the question in January 2012 (60%). Proposition 13 also requires a two-thirds majority at the ballot box for new local special taxes. Should the vote threshold be lowered to 55 percent? Californians are divided on the question, with 46 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed. When Californians are asked their general views of Proposition 13, a record-high 61 percent say it has been mostly a good thing for the state. When it comes to making tough choices about the state budget, Californians prefer the approach of the Democrats—either Brown (29%) or Democrats in the legislature (30%)—while 26 percent favor the approach of legislative Republicans. Californians agree on one aspect of fiscal decisionmaking: 78 percent prefer that state voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box. Far fewer (19%) would rather have the governor and legislature make all of these decisions. At the same time, few Californians are able to identify where the money in the state budget comes from and where it goes. Asked to choose which of the state’s major revenue sources brings in the most money, just 33 percent of adults and 37 percent of likely voters correctly select the personal income tax. When asked which of the top budget areas accounts for the largest amount of spending, only 15 percent of adults and 19 percent of likely voters accurately name K–12 education. Just 5 percent of adults and 8 percent of likely voters answer both questions correctly. OPTIMISM ABOUT CALIFORNIA IS HIGHER AS YEAR BEGINS Californians are starting the year in a more optimistic mood than they have been in years. Most (57%) say things in the state are going in the right direction—up from 50 percent in December and from 38 percent in January 2011. More residents expect good economic times in the next year (58%) than in December (52%) or January 2011 (36%). Most (59%) say the governor and legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. What do Californians think is the most important issue for the January 2015 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey governor and legislature to work on this year? Jobs and the economy are mentioned most frequently (19%), followed by education and schools (15%), immigration (11%), water and drought (9%), and the state budget (6%). OBAMA’S APPROVAL RATING RISES TO 60 PERCENT, BOXER’S TO 53 PERCENT President Obama’s job approval rating has rebounded to 60 percent among Californians—the highest it has been since July 2013 (61%). His rating among likely voters is 50 percent. In the wake of Senator Barbara Boxer’s decision not to seek reelection, her job approval rating is 53 percent among adults and 51 percent among likely voters. This is higher than in September 2014 (41% adults, 45% likely voters). Senator Dianne Feinstein has a job approval rating of 54 percent among both all adults and likely voters. In September 2014 it was 47 percent among all adults and 55 percent among likely voters. The newly elected Congress fares less well. But Congress’ approval rating today—38 percent among California adults and 24 percent among likely voters—is higher than it was in October (24% adults, 16% likely voters). Most adults (56%) and half of likely voters (51%) approve of the job their own congressional representative is doing. However, when asked if the president and Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, just 35 percent of adults and 18 percent of likely voters say yes. How do Californians view divided government at the federal level? While about a quarter (26%) say it’s better if the president’s party controls Congress and a quarter (24%) say it’s better if one party controls Congress and one controls the White House, 42 percent say it doesn’t matter too much either way. The survey also asked about four issues currently being debated at the state and federal levels:  Crime, police, and race relations. Most Californians say that violence and street crime are either a big problem (24%) or somewhat of a problem (34%) in their local communities. Asked to rate their local police, a solid majority (63%) say the police are doing either an excellent job (24%) or a good job (39%) in controlling crime in their communities. Across racial/ethnic groups, most whites (74%), Latinos (57%), and Asians (56%) give their local police positive marks, while only 36 percent of blacks do so. In the aftermath of several incidents involving the police and minority communities, most Californians (55%) say that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system and 39 percent say they do. Blacks (85%) are far more likely than Latinos (57%), whites (50%), and Asians (47%) to say that minorities do not receive equal treatment.  Water policy. A majority of Californians (59%) say the supply of water is a big problem in their region, down from the record-high 68 percent who held this view in October 2014. Today, residents from the Central Valley (68%) and Orange/San Diego Counties (64%) are the most likely to say the water supply is a big problem in their part of the state. Most residents (59%) continue to say the state and local governments are not doing enough to respond to the current drought.  Health care reform. Californians have been consistently divided about the 2010 health care reform law. But today the share of residents who have a generally favorable opinion of the law is at a recordhigh 51 percent (41% generally unfavorable). Most Californians say the state’s online insurance marketplace, Covered California, is working very well (16%) or fairly well (42%), while about a third say it is not working too well (18%) or not at all well (14%). Younger Californians (69% age 18 to 34) are the most likely to say Covered California is working well (53% age 35 to 54, 54% age 55 and older).  Immigration reform. Californians are much more likely to say that immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills (63%) than to say that immigrants are a burden to the state because they use public services (32%). A solid majority (69%) support President Obama’s executive action to shield as many as 4 million immigrants from deportation, while 30 percent are opposed. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of Governor Brown (61%) has reached a record high, and half approve of the California Legislature (49%); six in 10 think the two will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in 2015. (pages 7, 8)  Knowledge of the state budget remains low: just 15 percent know that K–12 education is the top area of state spending and 33 percent correctly identify personal income taxes as the top revenue source. (page 10)  For the first time in more than six years, fewer than half think that the state budget is a big problem. Half favor extending the Proposition 30 tax increases. (page 11)  A slim majority think K–12 education should be the highest priority in state spending. Half prefer using budget surpluses to pay down debt. Half say the higher education system needs more funds and also needs to use existing funds more wisely. (page 12)  Californians are divided on the fiscal approach they prefer: that of Governor Brown (29%), legislative Democrats (30%) or legislative Republicans (26%). But most think voters should have a say. (page 13)  Six in 10 say Proposition 13 has been a good thing. Views are divided on reducing the vote threshold for local special taxes, and 54 percent favor a split roll property tax. (page 14)  There is strong bipartisan support for the governor’s proposed 2015–16 budget, and three in four favor his plan to require state employees to start contributing to their retiree health coverage. (page 15)  Six in 10 continue to say that their regional water supply is a big problem and that government is not doing enough in response to the drought. (page 16) January 2015 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Governor Brown 80 California Legislature Percent all adults 60 41 40 46 20 26 28 61 58 51 49 42 41 0 Jan 2011 Jan 2012 Jan 2013 Jan 2014 Jan 2015 Highest Priority for State Spending 6% 2% 18% 53% 20% All adults K–12 education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Don't know Perception of Budget Situation as a BIg Problem 100 80 68 70 64 60 40 69 63 61 50 52 46 20 0 Jan May Jan May Jan May Jan May Jan 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 15 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS At the start of Jerry Brown’s historic fourth term in office, a record-high 61 percent of adults and 58 percent of likely voters approve of the way that he is handling his job as California governor. The governor’s approval rating among all adults has increased since December (54%) and is higher than in January 2014 (58%), January 2013 (51%), January 2012 (46%), and January 2011 (41%) when he entered office. Today, the governor’s approval rating is 82 percent among Democrats, 56 percent among independents, and 30 percent among Republicans. Majorities across age, education, gender, and income groups approve of Brown. Approval of the governor is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (69%) than in the Central Valley (61%), the Inland Empire (61%), Orange/San Diego (59%), and Los Angeles (57%). Latinos (64%) are somewhat more likely than whites (56%) to approve of Brown. Forty-nine percent of adults and 41 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval of the legislature among adults was lower in December (41%) and in January 2014 (42%) and January 2013 (41%) and much lower in January 2012 (28%) and January 2011 (26%). Today, 60 percent of Democrats, 41 percent of independents, and 24 percent of Republicans say they approve of the legislature. About half of adults across regions approve of the legislature (52% San Francisco Bay Area, 50% Central Valley, 48% Los Angeles, 47% the Inland Empire, 46% Orange/San Diego). Latinos (59%) are much more likely than whites (40%) to approve of the legislature. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Dem Party Rep Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California Approve Disapprove Don’t know 61% 82% 30% 23 9 56 16 9 14 The California Legislature is handling its job Approve Disapprove Don’t know 49 60 24 36 24 65 15 16 11 Ind 56% 30 14 41 47 12 Likely voters 58% 33 9 41 47 13 Fifty-three percent of adults and 48 percent of likely voters approve of the way that their state legislators are representing their assembly and senate districts. Approval of local legislators among adults was slight lower in January 2014 (48%) and January 2013 (45%) and much lower in January 2012 (36%) and March 2011 (36%). Sixty percent of Democrats, 43 percent of independents, and 37 percent of Republicans approve of their legislators. Los Angeles (57%) and Central Valley (56%) are the most likely to approve, followed by residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%), Orange/San Diego (48%) and the Inland Empire (47%). Latinos (60%) are more likely than whites (46%) to approve of their legislators. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “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 Dem Party Rep Ind 53% 60% 37% 43% 31 23 46 43 16 17 16 14 Likely voters 48% 37 15 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey TOP ISSUES, PROSPECT OF STATE LEADERS WORKING TOGETHER IN 2015 As the new two-year legislative session begins, Californians name jobs and the economy (19%) and education and schools (15%) as the most important issues for the governor and legislature to work on in 2015. Other issues each noted by at least 5 percent of Californians include immigration (11%), water and the drought (9%), the state budget (6%), and infrastructure (5%). Likely voters name jobs and the economy (21%) and education and schools (18%) as the most important issues in 2015. In January 2014 the top issues were jobs and the economy (26%), education and schools (13%), and the budget (10%). The same three issues were mentioned most often in January 2013 and 2012. Since the governor entered office in 2011, mention of jobs and the economy (34% to 19% today) and the state budget (23% to 6%) declined while the share naming education and schools (15%) has not changed. Mention of water and the drought (0% to 9%) and immigration (6% to 11%) have increased somewhat. Across the state’s regions today, jobs and the economy is mentioned most often by Orange/San Diego residents (27%), and education and schools is noted most often by San Francisco Bay Area (18%) and Orange/San Diego residents (18%), while water and the drought is mentioned most often by Central Valley residents (21%). As for party differences, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to name immigration (15% to 7%) and the state budget (16% to 3%) as the most important issues. “Which one issue facing California today do you think is the most important for the governor and state legislature to work on in 2015?” Top six issues mentioned Jobs, economy Education, schools, teachers Immigration, illegal immigration Water, drought State budget, deficit, taxes Infrastructure All adults 19% 15 11 9 6 5 Central Valley 14% 14 10 21 4 3 San Francisco Bay Area 18% 18 8 6 5 8 Region Los Angeles 20% 15 15 4 5 5 Orange/ San Diego 27% 18 6 7 11 4 Inland Empire 17% 11 16 9 4 5 Likely voters 21% 18 10 12 9 4 Fifty-nine percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters say Governor Brown and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. In January 2014 and January 2013, a similar 57 percent said that Governor Brown and the state legislature would be able to work together and accomplish a lot, while only 44 percent held this view in January 2012. When Governor Brown entered office in January 2011, 58 percent of residents said the governor and state legislature would be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. Today, Democrats (68%) are much more likely than independents (52%) and Republicans (36%) to hold this view. Majorities across regional, age, education, and income groups say that Governor Brown and the legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next 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 Dem Party Rep Ind Yes, will be able to 59% 68% 36% 52% No, will not be able to 31 22 53 37 Don’t know 10 10 11 11 Likely voters 52% 39 9 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Fifty-seven percent of adults say that things in California are generally going in the right direction, while 36 percent say they are going in the wrong direction. Among likely voters, 49 percent say things in California are going in the right direction, while 45 percent say they are going in the wrong direction. The perception among all adults that things in California are generally going in the right direction has increased since December (50%) and is slightly higher than in January 2014 (53%) and January 2013 (51%) and much higher than in January 2012 (37%) and January 2011 (38%). Democrats (72%) and independents (56%) are far more likely than Republicans (23%) to say that things in the state are going in the right direction. About half or more of adults across the state’s major regions (62% Los Angeles, 61% San Francisco Bay Area, 53% Central Valley, 50% Orange/San Diego, 49% Inland Empire) think things are going in the right direction. Fewer than half of whites (46%) compared to six in 10 Latinos (63%) are optimistic. Half or more across age and income groups say things in California are generally going in the right direction. Optimism about the direction of the state is higher among those under 35 years old (67%) than among older Californians (54% 35 to 54, 50% 55 and older). “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Right direction 57% 72% 23% 56% 49% Wrong direction 36 22 70 39 45 Don’t know 86765 When asked to predict the economic conditions in California over the next 12 months, 58 percent say the state will have good times financially, while 34 percent say it will have bad times. Among likely voters, a similar 54 percent expect good times financially, while 36 percent anticipate bad times. More Californians expect good economic times now than in December (52%), January 2014 (49%), and January 2013 (49%). Only 35 percent held this positive economic perception in January 2012, while 36 percent of adults expected good economic times when Governor Brown entered office in January 2011. Today, Democrats (72%) and independents (58%) are far more likely than Republicans (35%) to expect good times financially in California during the next year. San Francisco Bay Area (63%) and Orange/San Diego (63%) residents are more likely to expect good economic times than adults living in the Central Valley (56%), Los Angeles (54%), and the Inland Empire (53%). Majorities across education and income groups expect good economic times. However, college graduates (63%) and those with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more (62%) are among the most optimistic groups. Women (57%) and men (59%) are about equally likely to expect good economic times in California during the next 12 months. Latinos (65%) are more likely than whites (52%) to expect good economic times in the next year. Good times Bad times Don’t know “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 58% Central Valley 56% San Francisco Bay Area 63% Region Los Angeles 54% Orange/ San Diego 63% Inland Empire 53% 34 37 29 38 30 43 88 8 87 4 Likely voters 54% 36 10 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey KNOWLEDGE OF THE STATE BUDGET In early January, Governor Brown proposed a 2015–16 state budget that includes about $113 billion in General Fund expenditures. Ninety-one percent of General Fund spending in the proposed budget is allocated for K–12 education (41.6%), health and human services (28.2%), higher education (12.4%), and corrections and rehabilitation (9%). Ninety-seven percent of General Fund revenues are expected to come from the personal income tax (65.6%), sales and use tax (22%), and corporation tax (8.9%). When asked to identify the largest area of state spending, only 15 percent of adults and 19 percent of likely voters know that K–12 education is the largest area. This level of awareness is similar to findings from January surveys in earlier years (16% 2010, 2011, 2012; 17% 2014, 15% today) and has never been above 30 percent since we began asking this question in May 2005. Today, as has been the case in recent years, a plurality of adults and likely voters (42% each) name prisons and corrections as the top spending category. Public awareness that K–12 education is the largest spending area tends to be slightly higher among Republicans (18%) and independents (17%) than Democrats (12%). It is also higher among Californians age 55 and older (19%) than younger Californians (13% age 18 to 54) and those with household incomes of $80,000 or more (21%) than less affluent Californians (12% less than $40,000, 14% $40,000 to $79,999). Awareness is highest in Orange/San Diego (22%) and lowest in the Central Valley (7%) and increases with educational attainment. “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.” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Prisons and corrections 42% 50% 31% 40% Health and human services 29 23 38 31 K–12 public education 15 12 18 17 Higher education 7976 Don’t know 6575 Likely voters 42% 29 19 5 5 When it comes to identifying the largest state revenue source, 33 percent of adults and 37 percent of likely voters correctly choose the personal income tax. The share identifying the personal income tax was similar in recent January surveys (28% 2010, 29% 2011, 2012, 26% 2014, 33% today). Awareness is higher among Republicans (38%) and Democrats (37%) than independents (29%); it is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (41%) and lowest in the Central Valley and Inland Empire (26% each). Awareness rises with increasing income and education. Only 5 percent of adults and 8 percent of likely voters correctly identify both K–12 education and the 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 Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Personal income tax 33% 37% 38% 29% 37% Sales tax 26 27 22 25 25 Corporate tax 21 18 25 25 22 Motor vehicle fees 14 14 7 17 11 Don’t know 65745 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE BUDGET SITUATION With the economy improving and a boost from tax revenues, the budget is on much more stable footing than in recent years and this is not lost upon Californians. For the first time in periodic surveys since May 2007, the share saying the state budget is a big problem is below 50 percent: 46 percent call the budget a big problem and 39 percent say it is somewhat of a problem; 11 percent say it is not a problem. Between January 2008 and May 2013, more than 60 percent said the budget was a big problem, reaching a high of 81 percent in May 2010. This perception was lower in 2014, when 50 to 55 percent called the budget situation a big problem. Republicans (70%) are by far the most likely to say the budget situation is a big problem followed by independents (55%) and Democrats (40%). Residents in Orange/San Diego (55%) are the most likely— and those in the San Francisco Bay Area (38%) are the least likely—to hold this view. Whites (52%) are much more likely than Latinos (36%) to say the budget is a big problem. The perception that the budget is a big problem is much more prevalent among those who disapprove of Governor Brown (73%) and the state legislature (68%) than among those who approve of the governor (36%) and legislature (30%). “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 Dem Party Rep Ind Big problem 46% 40% 70% 55% Somewhat of a problem 39 43 26 38 Not a problem 11 15 1 7 Don’t know 4221 Likely voters 56% 35 7 2 With the budget situation improving in part because of Proposition 30 tax revenues, some in Sacramento are discussing extending these temporary tax increases, which are set to fully expire in 2018. While Governor Brown has repeatedly said the tax increases are temporary, half of Californians (50%) and likely voters (52%) would be in favor of extending them. There is a wide partisan divide: 66 percent of Democrats favor and 63 percent of Republicans oppose an extension. Independents are divided (49% favor, 45% oppose). Residents of Orange/San Diego (58%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (55%) are the most likely to be in favor, followed by those in Los Angeles (49%), the Central Valley (44%), and the Inland Empire (37%). Younger Californians age 18 to 34 (58%) are in favor, while older adults age 35 to 54 (45% favor, 47% oppose) and 55 and older (48% favor, 43% oppose) are divided. About half of Californians across incomes groups as well as men and women are in favor. Support for extending the Proposition 30 tax increases rises slightly with higher education levels. Among those who approve of Governor Brown or the state legislature, six in 10 are in favor. “As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 50% 66% 32% 49% 52% Oppose 42 24 63 45 43 Don’t know 89565 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey PREFERENCES FOR STATE SPENDING A majority of Californians (53%) think K–12 education should have the highest priority when it comes to state government spending; fewer choose higher education (20%), health and human services (18%), and prisons and corrections (6%). Partisans are in agreement that K–12 education should have the highest priority (52% Republicans, 53% Democrats, 61% independents). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) and the Inland Empire (61%) are the most likely to hold this view, followed by those in the Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (49%), and Los Angeles (45%). As the economy has improved, so has California’s budget situation: the Legislative Analyst’s Office projects budget surpluses over the next several years. How would Californians prefer to use this money? A majority of adults (52%) and likely voters (59%) prefer to pay down debt and build up the reserve rather than using this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years. Since we began asking this question in January 2013, majorities have almost always preferred paying down debt (55% January 2013, 55% May 2013, 54% January 2014); the exception was last May (46% pay down debt, 48% restore social services). Today, Republicans (79%) and independents (58%) prefer to pay down debt, while half of Democrats (53%) prefer to restore social service funding. Central Valley (60%), Inland Empire (60%), and Orange/San Diego (58%) residents are more likely than those in Los Angeles (50%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (40%) to prefer debt payment. Men (59%) and whites (63%) are more likely than women (46%) and Latinos (37%) to prefer paying down debt. “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? Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve or would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Pay debt, build reserve 52% 43% 79% 58% 59% Restore some funding for social service programs 44 53 19 40 38 Don’t know 44223 The governor’s proposed budget increases funding for higher education but calls for tuition to remain flat and for improving performance. When asked how to improve California’s higher education system, 48 percent of Californians say the amount of state funding needs to be increased and that existing funds need to be used more wisely, 41 percent say just using funds more wisely would improve quality and 8 percent prefer increased funding alone. About half have said both increased funding and using existing funds more wisely each of the six times we have asked this question dating back to 2007. Partisans are divided, with 60 percent of Democrats saying both are needed while 64 percent of Republicans say funds should be used more wisely. Independents are divided (48% use funds more wisely, 46% do both). “To significantly improve California’s higher education system, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? We need to use existing state funds more wisely, or we need to increase the amount of state funding, or we need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding.” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Use existing funds more wisely 41% 28% 64% 48% 47% Increase amount of funding 8 9 4 4 7 Do both 48 60 31 46 45 Don’t know 33 12 1 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey FISCAL DECISIONMAKING When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, most Californians prefer the approach of the Democrats—either Governor Brown (29%) or Democrats in the legislature (30%)—while 26 percent prefer the approach of legislative Republicans. Among likely voters, half prefer either the approach of Governor Brown (27%) or legislative Democrats (24%) and 37 percent prefer that of legislative Republicans. Californians’ preferences have been similar each of the three times we have asked this question since Governor Brown took office in January 2011. During Governor Schwarzenegger’s tenure, support for his approach was highest soon after he took office in January 2004 (33%) and reached a low of 11 percent in May 2010, near the end of his last term. As one might expect there are partisan differences when it comes to the preferred budget approach. Eight in 10 Democrats prefer the approach of Governor Brown (34%) or legislative Democrats (48%), and only 7 percent prefer legislative Republicans’ approach. Among Republicans, 73 percent prefer the approach of the Republicans, 12 percent prefer Governor Brown’s approach, and 3 percent prefer legislative Democrats’ approach. Independents are divided between the governor’s approach (33%) and that of legislative Republicans (30%); 17 percent prefer the legislative Democrats’ approach. Seven in 10 Latinos prefer the approach of Democrats (33% Brown’s, 37% legislative Democrats), while whites are more divided (25% Brown’s, 22% legislative Democrats, 37% legislative Republicans). Preference for the approach of legislative Republicans rises with increasing age, education, and income. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer: Governor Brown’s, the Democrats’ in the legislature, or the Republicans’ in the legislature?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Governor Brown’s 29% 34% 12% 33% 27% Democrats’ 30 48 3 17 24 Republicans’ 26 7 73 30 37 Other/none (volunteered) 5 4 4 10 6 Don’t know 10 7 7 11 6 While Californians may be divided about whose specific approach they prefer, they overwhelmingly prefer that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box (78%), rather than have the governor and legislature make all of these decisions (19%). Likely voters hold similar opinions (76% voters, 21% governor and legislature). At least three in four Californians in six surveys since May 2011 have preferred that voters have a say. There is agreement across political, regional, and demographic groups, with at least seven in 10 preferring that voters make some of the decisions. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget this year, would you prefer: that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes or that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Governor and legislature 19% 19% 17% 19% 21% California voters 78 77 79 78 76 Other/both (volunteered) 1 1 2 1 2 Don’t know 22221 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey PROPOSITION 13 Proposition 13, the 1978 ballot measure that limits both residential and commercial property taxes is still viewed positively. A record-high share of Californians (61%) views it as mostly a good thing for the state. Likely voters continue to hold a favorable view of Proposition 13, with 66 percent saying it has been mostly a good thing. Republicans (78%) are more likely than independents (62%) and Democrats (58%) to say Proposition 13 has been a good thing for the state. Homeowners (71%) are far more likely than renters (51%), and whites (67%) are more likely than Latinos (53%) to say that Proposition 13 has been mostly positive for California. Regionally, residents in Orange/San Diego (68%) are the most likely to see Proposition 13 as a good thing, followed by those in the Central Valley (65%), Los Angeles (60%), the Inland Empire (59%), and San Francisco Bay Area (55%). The likelihood of viewing Proposition 13 as a good thing increases with age and income and is higher among those with at least some college. Despite a majority of Californians viewing Proposition 13 as mostly a good thing, there continues to be some discussion among Democratic legislators about potential reforms. One of these potential reforms is the split roll property tax, which would assess commercial property taxes according to their current market value. A slight majority of Californians (54%) favor this change, while nearly four in 10 are opposed. Support for taxing commercial property according to its current market value is at its lowest point since we began asking this question in January 2012 (60%). Democrats (65%) are more likely than independents (52%), and far more likely than Republicans (44%), to favor this proposal. More than half of Californians in all regions and age, education, and income groups favor taxing commercial properties according to their current market value. Favor Oppose Don’t know “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 Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind 54% 65% 44% 52% 54% 38 28 49 40 39 87787 Californians remain divided when it comes to lowering the vote threshold for local special taxes to 55 percent: 46 percent favor this proposal while 47 percent oppose it. These findings are similar to those in our January 2014 survey (48% favor, 45% oppose). There is a sharp partisan divide, with a majority of Democrats (54%) in favor of lowering the local tax vote threshold and majorities of Republicans (61%) and independents (58%) in opposition. Across regions, those in the San Francisco Bay Area (51%) are the most likely to favor lowering the local tax vote threshold, while those in Los Angeles (41%) are the least likely to support this reform. “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 Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 46% 54% 34% 38% 44% Oppose 47 40 61 58 52 Don’t know 75444 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released his 2015–16 budget proposal on January 9. With an expected budget surplus, the governor has proposed increased spending for K–12 and higher education along with modest increases for health and human services, prisons, and courts. His budget also allocates funds to pay down state debt and puts $1.2 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. The governor’s proposed budget has been well received by Californians: after being read a short description of the proposal, 75 percent of adults and 79 percent of likely voters favor it. Support for the governor’s 2014–15 budget proposal was similar in January 2014 (77% adults, 75% likely voters). Today, strong majorities of Democrats (87%), independents (76%) and Republicans (68%) favor the governor’s budget proposal. Though strong majorities across all regions and demographic groups favor the governor’s budget proposal, support rises with increasing education and income. “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 funds 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 $1.2 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 75% 20% 6% Likely voters 79 15 6 Public school parents 71 22 6 Democrats 87 9 4 Party Republicans 68 26 6 Independents 76 19 5 Central Valley 76 18 7 San Francisco Bay Area 78 14 8 Region Los Angeles 77 18 5 Orange/San Diego 72 21 7 Inland Empire 68 29 3 Governor Brown has also called for state employees to begin contributing to their retiree health benefits. This proposal also garners strong support among Californians (73%) and likely voters (75%). Support for this proposal crosses party lines, with at least seven in 10 Democrats (74%), Republicans (73%), and independents (70%) in favor. Strong majorities of Californians across regions and demographic groups favor this proposal. “Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s plan that would require state employees to start contributing to their retiree health obligations?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 73% 74% 73% 70% 75% Oppose 23 23 22 26 22 Don’t know 44544 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 15 PPIC Statewide Survey WATER POLICY Despite recent rainfall, California continues to be in a drought. Fifty-nine percent of Californians say that the supply of water in their part of California is a big problem, 25 percent consider it somewhat of a problem, while only 15 percent say that it is not much of a problem. These findings are similar to those in our December 2014 survey (60% big problem), but marks a decrease from October 2014 when a recordhigh 68 percent of adults said the water supply was a big problem. Likely voters (70%) are more likely than adults overall (59%) to say that the supply of water in their part of California is a big problem. Similar proportions of inland (60%) and coastal (58%) residents hold this view. Regionally, residents of the Central Valley (68%) and Orange/San Diego (64%) are the most likely to say that the supply of water in their part of the state is a big problem. Californians age 55 and older (69%) are more likely than younger adults age 18 to 34 (51%), and whites (69%) are more likely than Latinos (51%) to say that the water supply in their part of the state is a big problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All adults 59% Central Valley 68% San Francisco Bay Area 56% Region Los Angeles 55% Orange/ San Diego 64% Inland Empire 55% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 60% 58% 25 19 28 27 20 28 24 26 15 13 16 16 15 17 15 15 1 1 – 1 1 – 11 With Californians still concerned about the supply of water, nearly six in 10 say that the state and local governments are not doing enough to respond to the current drought. Only 5 percent of Californians say that governments are doing too much, while 31 percent say they are doing the right amount. These findings are relatively unchanged from those in our October 2014 and December 2014 surveys. Residents from inland counties (65%) are somewhat more likely than those in coastal areas (56%) to say that state and local governments are not doing enough. Across regions, Californians in the Central Valley (69%) are the most likely to say governments are not doing enough, followed by those in Orange/ San Diego (63%), Inland Empire (60%), San Francisco Bay Area (57%), and Los Angeles (53%). While majorities across political parties say government are not doing enough to address the drought, Democrats (68%) are more likely than Republicans (58%) to say this. “Overall, do you think that the state and local governments are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California?” Too much All adults 5% Central Valley 5% San Francisco Bay Area 4% Region Los Angeles 7% Orange/ San Diego 4% Inland Empire 6% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 6% 5% The right amount 31 24 33 35 26 32 26 33 Not enough 59 69 57 53 63 60 65 56 Don’t know 5 2 6 5 7 2 36 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 16 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of President Obama among Californians (60%) has rebounded somewhat. While fewer than four in 10 approve of the job Congress in doing, fiftysix percent approve of their own representative to the House of Representatives. (page 18)  In the wake of announcing she would not seek reelection, Senator Barbara Boxer’s job approval stands at 53 percent; 54 percent approve of Senator Dianne Feinstein. (page 19)  The share of Californians (61%) who think President Obama and Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the upcoming year is unchanged from last January. (page 20)  A record-high share of Californians view the 2010 health reform law favorably. About six in 10 adults say the state’s healthcare exchange, Covered California, is working at least fairly well. (page 21)  Immigrants continue to be viewed as a benefit—rather than a burden—to California. Seven in 10 Californians support President Obama’s executive action on immigration. (page 22)  Six in 10 Californians consider violence and street crime to be at least somewhat of a problem in their local community and a similar proportion rate their police as excellent or good in controlling crime in their community. A majority think that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system. (page 23) January 2015 Californians and Their Government Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 80 65 60 President Obama U.S. Congress 60 53 Percent all adults 40 34 20 38 26 0 Jan 2013 Jan 2014 Jan 2015 Opinions of the 2010 Health Reform Law 80 Favorable Unfavorable 60 44 46 47 48 46 46 46 51 40 44 44 45 43 42 44 43 41 Percent all adults 20 0 Dec Jan Mar May Sep Oct Dec Jan 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 15 Attitudes Toward President Obama's Executive Action on Immigration 80 69 Support Oppose 60 52 44 40 30 Percent all adults 20 0 Californians Adults nationwide* *ABC News/Washington Post, December 2014 17 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating has rebounded to 60 percent among Californians. The last time his approval was at this level was in July 2013 (61%). Approval has increased 11 points since October 2014 (49%), and is also higher than last January (53%). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, 46 percent of adults nationwide approved of President Obama. In our survey, 50 percent of likely voters approve and 48 percent disapprove of the president. His approval rating is 80 percent among Democrats, 50 percent among independents, and 13 percent among Republicans. Majorities of men (62%) and women (58%), as well as Californians across age and education groups approve of the president. An overwhelming majority of Latinos (75%) approve of the president, compared to 42 percent of whites. (Our final day of interviewing took place the night of the president’s State of the Union address.) The approval rating of the newly elected Congress is at 38 percent. Approval of the U.S. Congress has increased 14 points since October 2014 (24%) and is higher than last January (26%). Approval of the U.S. Congress after the last presidential election was 34 percent (January 2013). Among adults nationwide in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 16 percent approved of the U.S. Congress. One in four California likely voters (24%) approve of Congress. Similar shares of Democrats (27%), Republicans (30%), and independents (31%) approve. Latinos (53%) are far more likely than whites (23%) to express approval of the U.S. Congress. Approval declines as age and income levels increase. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…?” All adults Dem Party Rep Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States Approve Disapprove Don’t know 60% 80% 13% 38 17 86 331 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve Disapprove Don’t know 38 27 30 55 67 60 769 Ind 50% 45 5 31 63 6 Likely voters 50% 48 3 24 71 5 Fifty-six percent of Californians approve of their own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives. This matches the record-high ratings Californians gave to their own representative in January 2013 and September 2009. Approval is 8 points higher than in October 2014 (48%) and slightly higher than it was last January (51%). Among likely voters, approval is at 51 percent. Democrats (64%) are more likely than independents (51%) and Republicans (41%) to approve. Latinos (64%) are much more likely to approve than whites (47%). Across regions, approval is highest in the Central Valley (62%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (62%), followed by Los Angeles (55%), the Inland Empire (51%), and Orange/San Diego (49%). Majorities of men (55%) and women (58%), as well as Californians across age, education, and income groups approve of their own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “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 Dem Party Rep Ind 56% 64% 41% 51% 29 25 41 36 14 11 18 13 Likely voters 51% 37 11 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS Senator Barbara Boxer recently announced that she will not seek another term. In the wake of this announcement, her approval among Californians is at 53 percent. Three in 10 disapprove (31%) of Senator Boxer and 16 percent are unsure. Approval is similar among likely voters and all adults (51% to 53%), but likely voters are slightly more likely to disapprove than all adults are (39% to 31%). Approval among all adults was lower in September 2014 (41%) but it is identical to levels last January (53%). Among likely voters, approval was slightly lower in September 2014 (45%) and last January (48%). Seven in 10 Democrats approve (72%) of Senator Boxer and two in three Republicans disapprove (67%). Half of independents (51%) approve of her job performance, while 38 percent disapprove. Her approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (55%), followed by the Central Valley (52%), and Orange/San Diego and the Inland Empire (49% each). Senator Boxer’s approval rating is much higher among Latinos (59%) than whites (46%). Slightly over half of Californians across age and education groups, and half of men (52%) and women (54%), approve of Senator Boxer. Senator Boxer’s approval is lower among those earning $80,000 or more (44%) than among those earning less (58% under $40,000, 53% $40,000-$79,000). Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 53% 72% 22% 51% 31 13 67 38 16 15 11 11 Likely voters 51% 39 10 Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval is at 54 percent. Three in 10 Californians disapprove of her job performance, and 15 percent are unsure how to rate it. Approval among likely voters is identical to that among all adults (54%), but likely voters are somewhat more disapproving than all adults (38% to 30%). Approval among all adults today is 7 points higher than in September 2014 (47%) and similar to levels seen last January (52%). Among likely voters, today’s approval ratings are similar to those in September 2014 (55%) and higher than those last January (49%). Today, seven in 10 Democrats approve (73%) of Senator Feinstein, while six in 10 Republicans disapprove (61%). Independents are more likely to approve (48%) than to disapprove (36%). Across regions, Senator Feinstein’s approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (58%), followed by Orange/San Diego (52%), the Inland Empire (51%), and the Central Valley (49%). Latinos (61%) are much more likely than whites (47%) to approve of Senator Feinstein. Majorities of men (54%) and women (55%) and Californians across age, education, and income groups approve. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 54% 73% 27% 48% 30 16 61 36 15 10 11 17 Likely voters 54% 38 9 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey DIVIDED GOVERNMENT Six in 10 Californians (61%) say that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will not be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year; only 35 percent say they will be able to do so. When President Obama first took office (January 2009), 81 percent of Californians were optimistic about cooperation at the federal level. Optimism declined to 56 percent in January 2010. By the start of 2012, 62 percent of Californians were pessimistic about cooperation at the federal level. Though Californians were less pessimistic at the start of President Obama’s second term (44% January 2013), by January 2014 pessimism increased by 16 points to 60 percent. Today, with a newly-elected Congress, opinions about cooperation remain relatively unchanged from last year. Likely voters are even more pessimistic than all adults, with 78 percent saying that the president and the U.S. Congress will not be able to work together. Republicans (82%) are much more likely than independents (67%) and Democrats (65%) to believe that the president and Congress will not be able to work together. Pessimism about prospects of cooperation at the federal level increases sharply as age and income rise. Whites (79%) are far more pessimistic than Latinos (44%). Except in Los Angeles (56%), at least six in 10 Californians across regions think President Obama and the U.S. Congress will not be able to work together in the next year. “Do you think that President Obama and the U.S. Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year, or not?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Yes, will be able to 35% 30% 15% 27% No, will not be able to 61 65 82 67 Don’t know 4535 Likely voters 18% 78 4 Republicans took control of the Senate after the midterm elections, resulting in one party controlling the White House and the other controlling Congress. How do Californians view this situation? Similar shares of adults think it is better either for the president’s party to control Congress (26%) or for party control to be divided between the White House and Congress (24%); 42 percent say it does not matter too much either way. Californians held similar views in December 2013 and September 2000. Today, likely voters offer mixed views: 27 percent say the president’s party should control Congress, 30 percent say that one party should control each, and 34 percent think it does not matter too much either way. Democrats are as likely to prefer a united government (37%) as they are to say it does not matter too much (38%). In contrast, Republicans are as likely to prefer divided government (36%) as they are to think that it does not matter (35%). A plurality of independents say it does not matter too much (45%), 29 percent prefer one party to control each, and 17 percent prefer the president’s party to control Congress. “Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other?” President's party controls congress One party controls each All adults 26% 24 Dem 37% 18 Party Rep 17% 36 Likely voters Ind 17% 27% 29 30 Doesn't matter too much 42 38 35 45 34 Don’t know 8 7 12 9 10 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Californians have been consistently divided about the 2010 health care reform law since December 2013. However, today a record-high 51 percent of Californians have a generally favorable opinion of the law; 41 percent view it unfavorably. According to a December Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide (41%) are less likely than Californians (51%) to view the law favorably. Opinion continues to be divided strongly along party lines: 69 percent of Democrats have a generally favorable opinion of the law, while 79 percent of Republicans hold generally unfavorable views. Independents are closely divided (46% generally favorable, 48% generally unfavorable). About half of Californians across age groups have a generally favorable opinion of the law (51% age 18 to 34, 53% age 35 to 54, 48% age 55 and older). At least half of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%), Los Angeles (50%), and Orange/San Diego (50%) view the health care reform law favorably, while those in the Central Valley (45% favorable, 49% unfavorable) and the Inland Empire (46% favorable, 49% unfavorable) are more divided. Half of Californians with health insurance view the law favorably (50%), while 40 percent view it unfavorably. Opinion among those without health insurance is divided (40% favorable, 46% unfavorable). “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?” Party Have health insurance All adults Dem Rep Ind Yes No Generally favorable 51% 69% 17% 46% 53% 40% Generally unfavorable 41 22 79 48 40 46 Don’t know 8 9 4 7 8 13 The insurance enrollment period for this year began in November 2014 and ends in February 2015. How do Californians assess the state’s online health insurance marketplace, Covered California, in this second enrollment period? Nearly six in 10 say that is working very (16%) or fairly well (42%), while three in 10 say it is working not too (18%) or not at all well (14%). The share of Californians saying the state insurance exchange is working at least somewhat well is higher than it was last January (46%), but is similar to last May (54%) and December (52%). Majorities of Democrats (68%) and independents (55%) say that Covered California is working at least fairly well; a majority of Republicans (56%) say it is not working well. Younger Californians (69% age 18 to 34) are much more likely than older Californians (53% age 35 to 54, 54% age 55 and older) to say that the state’s health insurance exchange is working well. Similar shares of those who have health insurance (59%) and those who don’t have insurance (54%) say the state exchange is working well. Among those who view the health reform law favorably, 79 percent say the state exchange is working well; only 32 percent of those with unfavorable opinions of the law hold this view. “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 Dem Party Rep Ind Have health insurance Yes No Very well 16% 20% 4% 15% 16% 16% Fairly well 42 48 24 40 43 38 Not too well 18 16 32 18 17 20 Not at all well 14 5 24 18 13 20 Don’t know 10 9 16 9 10 7 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION REFORM Today, one in 10 Californians mention immigration (11%) as the top issue for the governor and legislature to work on, just after jobs and the economy (19%) and education (15%). A solid majority of adults (63%) in the state view immigrants as a benefit, while one third (32%) view them as a burden to California. Likely voters are less likely to view immigrants as a benefit (53% benefit, 41% burden). The opinion that immigrants are a benefit to the state has been similar in recent surveys (63% January 2013, 61% May 2013, 65% March 2014, 61% September 2014, 63% today). While most Democrats (71%) and a majority of independents (58%) say immigrants are a benefit, a majority of Republicans (66%) say immigrants are a burden. Latinos are far more likely than whites to say immigrants are a benefit (85% to 45%). There are also differences among age and income groups. Younger Californians (74% age 18 to 34) are slightly more likely than adults age 35 to 54 (66%) and are far more likely than adults age 55 and older (49%) to say that immigrants are a benefit. Those with household incomes of less than $40,000 (68%) are somewhat more likely than those with higher incomes to hold this view (59% $40,000 or more). Regionally, Californians in the San Francisco Bay Area (68%) are the most likely to say immigrants are a benefit, followed by those in Los Angeles (65%), the Inland Empire (61%), the Central Valley (60%), and Orange/San Diego (59%). “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right: immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, or immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” Immigrants are a benefit Immigrants are a burden Don’t know All adults 63% 32 6 Dem 71% 24 4 Party Rep 27% 66 7 Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites 58% 85% 45% 34 13 48 83 7 When asked about President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, a solid majority (69%) of Californians say they support it, while 30 percent say they oppose it. Californians in our survey are much more likely to support executive action on immigration than adults nationwide (52% support, 44% oppose), according to the results of a December ABC News/Washington Post poll. There are sharp differences across parties: majorities of Democrats (83%) and independents (63%) express their support while a majority of Republicans (63%) are opposed. An overwhelming majority of Latinos (89%) support this action as do a majority of whites (55%). Solid majorities across age, income, and education groups support this action but support declines as age and income levels increase. Among those who view immigrants as a benefit to California, 89 percent support the action; among those who consider immigrants a burden, 67 percent oppose it. “President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program?” All adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Support 69% 83% 35% 63% 89% 55% Oppose 30 15 63 34 11 43 Don’t know 22 2 3 1 2 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey CRIME, POLICE, AND RACE RELATIONS Nearly six in 10 Californians say that violence and street crime are either a big problem (24%) or somewhat of a problem (34%) in their local communities; four in 10 say these issues are not a problem today. The perception of crime as a problem was similar the other two times we asked this question (56% February 2011, 52% September 2013). Across regions, Central Valley residents (71%) are the most likely to consider crime to be at least somewhat of a problem, followed by residents in Los Angeles (65%), the San Francisco Bay Area (58%), the Inland Empire (55%), and Orange/San Diego (36%). When rating their local police, a solid majority of adults (63%) say the police are doing either an excellent (24%) or a good job (39%) in controlling crime in their communities, while one in three say they are doing a fair (25%) or a poor job (11%). According to a December CBS News Poll, adults nationwide rate their local police force similarly (25% excellent, 38% good, 24% fair, and 11% poor). Majorities of whites (74%), Asians (56%), and Latinos (57%) give their local police positive marks, while only 36 percent of blacks do so. There are regional differences as well—residents in Orange/San Diego (71%) are the most likely to rate their local police as excellent or good, followed by residents in the Central Valley (65%), the Inland Empire (64%), the San Francisco Bay Area (62%), and Los Angeles (57%). Positive ratings for local police rise as age, income, and education levels increase. “How would you rate the job your local police are doing in controlling crime in your community?” Excellent All adults 24% 18 to 34 23% Age 35 to 54 25% 55 and older 24% Asians* 15% Race/Ethnicity Blacks* Latinos 14% 23% Whites 29% Good 39 32 38 46 41 22 34 45 Fair 25 28 25 22 34 33 25 20 Poor 11 16 11 6 9 29 18 5 Don’t know 1 1 – 1 11–1 *Small sample sizes for Asians and blacks. In the aftermath of several national incidents involving the police and minority communities, a majority of Californians (55%) say that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system, four in 10 (39%) say they do. Californians’ opinions are similar to those of adults nationwide, according to a December ABC News/Washington Post Poll (54% do not receive equal treatment, 43% receive equal treatment). Democrats (74%) are much more likely than independents (56%) and far more likely than Republicans (28%) to say treatment is not equal. There are differences across racial/ethnic groups. Blacks (85%) are far more likely than Latinos (57%), whites (50%), and Asians (47%) to say that blacks and other minorities do not receive equal treatment. At least half of Californians across all age, education, and income groups hold this view. Residents in Los Angeles (62%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) are the most likely to say minorities do not receive equal treatment, followed by those in the Inland Empire (54%), Orange/San Diego (48%), and the Central Valley (43%). “Do you think blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system or not?” All adults Receive equal treatment Do not receive equal treatment Don’t know 39% 55 6 Dem 23% 74 3 Party Rep 64% 28 8 Race/Ethnicity Ind Asians* Blacks* Latinos 39% 51% 13% 37% 56 47 85 57 5 126 *Small sample sizes for Asians and blacks. Whites 43% 50 7 January 2015 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP January 2015 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner, associate survey director and project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Renatta DeFever, Lunna Lopes, 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 own 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 1,705 California adult residents, including 1,021 interviewed on landline telephones and 684 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from January 11–20, 2015. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone 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. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2013 American Community Survey’s (ACS) Public Use Microdata Series for California (with regional coding information from the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California) to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample—region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education—with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2013 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 2014 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,705 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1,377 registered voters, the sampling error is ±3.9 percent; for the 1,011 likely voters, it is ±4.6 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and primary likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populous areas are not large enough to report separately. In several places, we refer to coastal and inland counties. The “coastal” region refers to the counties along the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. All other counties are included in the “inland” region. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites, who account for 43 percent of the state’s adult population, and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 15 percent of the state’s adult population, and non-Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Sample sizes for Asians and blacks are small. 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 likely voters—so designated per their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by the ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News, Kaiser Family Foundation, and NBC/Wall Street Journal. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. January 2015 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT January 11–20, 2015 1,705 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.6% 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 2015? [code, don’t read] 19% jobs, economy 15 education, schools, teachers 11 immigration, illegal immigration 9 water, drought 6 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 infrastructure 4 health care, health reform, Obamacare 3 environment, pollution, global warming 2 crime, gangs, drugs 2 homelessness 15 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? 61% approve 23 disapprove 16 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 49% approve 36 disapprove 15 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 53% approve 31 disapprove 16 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? 59% yes, will be able to work together 31 no, will not be able to work together 10 don’t know 6. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 57% right direction 36 wrong direction 8 don’t know 7. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 58% good times 34 bad times 8 don’t know [rotate questions 8 and 9] January 2015 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 8. 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. 15% K–12 public education 7 higher education 29 health and human services 42 prisons and corrections 6 don’t know 9. 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. 33% personal income tax 26 sales tax 21 corporate tax 14 motor vehicle fees 6 don’t know Next, 10.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? 46% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 4 don’t know [rotate questions 11 and 11a] 11.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 some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 52% pay down debt and build up reserve 44 restore funding for social services 4 don’t know 11a.To significantly improve California’s higher education system, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate responses 1 and 2] (1) We need to use existing state funds more wisely, (or) (2) We need to increase the amount of state funding, (or) (3) We need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding. 41% use funds more wisely 8 increase state funding 48 use funds more wisely and increase funding 3 don’t know 11b.Some of the largest areas for state spending are: [rotate] (1) K-–12 public education, (2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [and] (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you think should have the highest priority when it comes to state government spending. 53% K-–12 public education 20 higher education 18 health and human services 6 prisons and corrections 2 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 12.When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer—[rotate] (1) Governor Brown’s, (2) the Democrats’ in the legislature, or (3) the Republicans’ in the legislature? 29% Governor Brown’s 30 Democrats’ 26 Republicans’ 1 other answer (volunteered) 4 none (volunteered) 10 don’t know 13.When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget this year, would you prefer—[rotate] (1) that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes; [or] (2) that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box? 19% that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions 78 that California voters makes some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box – other (specify) 1 both (volunteered) 2 don’t know 14.As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018? 50% favor 42 oppose 8 don’t know [questions 15 to 18 not asked] 19.Changing topics, Proposition 13 is the 1978 ballot measure that limits the property tax rate to 1 percent of assessed value at time of purchase and annual tax increases to no more than 2 percent until the property is sold. Overall, do you feel passing Proposition 13 turned out to be mostly a good thing for California or mostly a bad thing? 61% mostly a good thing 26 mostly a bad thing 1 mixed (volunteered) 11 don’t know [rotate questions 20 and 21] 20.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? 46% favor 47 oppose 7 don’t know 21.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? 54% favor 38 oppose 8 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 22.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 funds 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 $1.2 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? 75% favor 20 oppose 2 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 4 don’t know 23.Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s plan that would require state employees to start contributing to their retiree health obligations? 73% favor 23 oppose 4 don’t know [question 24 not asked] 25.On another topic, would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 59% big problem 25 somewhat of a problem 15 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 26.Overall, do you think that the state and local governments are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California? 5% too much 31 the right amount 59 not enough 5 don’t know Changing topics, 27.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 60% approve 38 disapprove 3 don’t know [rotate questions 28 and 29] 28.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. senator? 54% approve 30 disapprove 15 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. senator? 53% approve 31 disapprove 16 don’t know 30.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 38% approve 55 disapprove 7 don’t know 31.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 56% approve 29 disapprove 14 don’t know 32.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? 35% yes, will be able to work together 61 no, will not be able to work together 4 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 33.Generally, what’s the better situation: that a president’s political party also has a controlling majority in Congress, or that one party controls the White House while the other party controls the Congress, or don’t you think it matters too much one way or the other? 26% president’s party controls congress 24 one party controls each 42 doesn’t matter too much 8 don’t know Next, 34.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? 51% generally favorable 41 generally unfavorable 8 don’t know 35.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 health insurance exchange called “Covered California” been working—very well, fairly well, not too well, or not at all well? 16% very well 42 fairly well 18 not too well 14 not at all well 10 don’t know 36.On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills [or] (2) Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services. 63% immigrants are a benefit to California 32 immigrants are a burden to California 6 don’t know January 2015 Californians and Their Government 37.President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program? 69% support 30 oppose 2 don’t know 38.On another topic, how much of a problem are violence and street crime in your local community today—a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 24% big problem 34 somewhat of a problem 42 not much of a problem - don’t know 38a.How would you rate the job your local police are doing in controlling crime in your community: excellent, good, fair, or poor? 24% excellent 39 good 25 fair 11 poor 1 don’t know 39.Do you think blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment as whites in the criminal justice system or not? 39% receive equal treatment 55 do not receive equal treatment 6 don’t know 40.Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 66% yes [ask q40a] 34 no [skip to q41b] 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 40a.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 q41] 28 Republican [ask q41a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q42] 24 independent [skip to q41b] 41.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 47% strong 51 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q42] 41a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q42] 41b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 28% Republican Party 49 Democratic Party 17 neither 6 don’t know 42.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 29 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 3 don’t know 43.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 19% great deal 39 fair amount 32 only a little 9 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d5:demographic questions] January 2015 Californians and Their Government D6.Are you, yourself, now covered by any form of health insurance or health 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 insurance company or the state or federal marketplace, are you covered by Medicare or Medi-Cal, or do you get your health insurance from somewhere else? 86% yes, covered by health insurance 30 through employer 14 Medicare 15 Medi-Cal 12 through spouse’s employer 7 self-purchased plan [ask d6b] 4 through parents/mother/ father (volunteered) 2 somewhere else (specify) 2 other government plan (volunteered) 13 not insured [ask d6d] 2 don’t know/refused 32 PPIC Statewide Survey D6b.[of those who purchased a plan themselves] Did you purchase your plan directly from an insurance company, from the marketplace known as healthcare.gov or Covered California, or through an insurance agent or broker? (if agent or broker: Do you know if the plan you purchased through a broker was a plan from the state or federal health insurance marketplace known as healthcare.gov or Covered California, or was it a plan purchased directly from an insurance company and not through an exchange or marketplace?) 42% from an insurance company, either directly or through a broker 40 from healthcare.gov/Covered California, either directly or through a broker 18 don’t know/refused Summary of D6, D6a, D6b 86 % yes, covered by health insurance 30 through employer 14 Medicare 15 Medi-Cal 12 through spouse’s employer 7 self-purchased plan 3 from an insurance company, either directly or through a broker 3 from healthcare.gov/ Covered California, either directly or through a broker 1 don’t know 4 through parents/mother/ father (volunteered) 2 somewhere else (specify) 2 other government plan (volunteered) 13 not insured 2 don’t know/refused [skip to d7] [d6d and d6e asked of uninsured adults] D6d. [uninsured only] Do you plan to get health insurance in the next month, or do you think you will remain uninsured? 63% will obtain health insurance 28 will remain uninsured 9 don’t know D6e. [uninsured only] Do you think you will have to pay a fine for not having health insurance this year, or not? 43% yes, will have to pay a fine 44 no, will not have to pay a fine 13 don’t know [d7 to d17: demographic questions] January 2015 Californians and Their Government 33 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 Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey Joshua J. Dyck Co-Director Center for Public Opinion University of Massachusetts, Lowell Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Chairman US Hispanic Media, Inc. 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 Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President Brigitte Bren Attorney Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust Walter B. Hewlett Member, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Vice 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 © 2015 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:42:18" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_115mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:42:18" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:42:18" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_115MBS.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) }