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The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. 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 Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. TABLE OF CONTENTS About the Survey Press Release May 19 Special Election State and National Issues Regional Map Methodology Questionnaire and Results 1 3 7 15 24 25 27 Copyright © 2009 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA 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 above copyright notice is included. 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. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 96th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 204,000 Californians. This survey is the 35th in the Californians and Their Government series, which is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. This survey seeks to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about important state and national issues. The context for the March survey includes a significant economic downturn and high unemployment rates; reduced consumer spending; housing price declines; a new state budget that includes large spending cuts and tax increases in response to a multibillion-dollar deficit; a new U.S. president and Congress focusing on federal actions to improve the economy; a recent California Supreme Court hearing on the gay marriage ban that state voters approved in November; and proposals for governance reforms in California. Analyzing likely voter responses, we examine attitudes about the May 19 special election and voter preferences for the election’s six ballot measures, placed there by the governor and legislature in response to the state’s budget situation. This report presents the responses of 2,004 California adult residents on these specific topics: „ Voter interest and attitudes toward the May 19 special election, and the measures on the ballot; support and perceived effectiveness of Proposition 1A (“Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund Act) and Proposition 1F (Elected Officials’ Salaries Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years Act); and support for and perceived importance of Proposition 1B (Education Funding Payment Plan Act), Proposition 1C (Lottery Modernization Act), Proposition 1D (Children’s Services Funding Act), and Proposition 1E (Mental Health Funding Temporary Reallocation Act). „ State and national issues, including perceptions of the most important issue facing California today; opinions about the general direction of the state and its economic outlook; personal concerns about housing costs and job loss; approval ratings for Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature, and for respondents’ own legislative representatives; perceptions of the seriousness of the state’s budget situation and support for structural budget reform, including changing the two-thirds legislative vote requirement for budget passage; attitudes toward gay marriage and the importance of the Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8; support for changes to California’s primary election system and perceptions of whether changes are needed in the California Constitution. We also examine approval ratings for President Obama, Congress, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and respondents’ own congressional representatives, and support for the federal government’s economic recovery policies. „ The extent to which Californians—based on their political party affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics—may differ with regard to perceptions, attitudes, and preferences involving state and national issues. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). For questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. 1 PRESS RELEASE 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 Most Special Election Ballot Propositions Face Tough Road NONE MUSTERS MAJORITY SUPPORT EXCEPT MEASURE LIMITING LEGISLATIVE PAY HIKES — STATE LEADERS GET RECORD LOW RATINGS, BUT SUPPORT GROWS FOR THOSE IN WASHINGTON SAN FRANCISCO, California, March 25, 2009—California’s likely voters are divided on five of six propositions related to the state’s budget crisis that will appear on the May special election ballot, according to a survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Levels of support for Propositions 1A through 1E vary widely, but none has the approval of a majority of likely voters. However, in a signal of the mood of the electorate this year, an overwhelming 81 percent favor Proposition 1F, which would limit salary increases for state elected officials when the state faces a budget deficit. Eight weeks before the special election—called as part of the 2009–2010 budget agreement between the governor and legislature—those Californians most likely to go to the polls are feeling grim about the state of their state: The vast majority (77%) say it is headed in the wrong direction and see its fiscal situation as a big problem (85%). They give record low ratings to the legislature (11%) and to their own legislators (29%). Their approval rating for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (33%) has dropped to a new low among likely voters. For the first time, a majority of Republican likely voters (54%) disapprove of the job performance of the Republican governor. The results are striking when compared to rising approval ratings for Congress and California’s senators and to a strongly positive view of President Obama—despite a challenging economic climate. “Californians are clear that the budget situation is serious, but most disapprove of the leadership in Sacramento—the people who are providing the solutions,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president, CEO, and survey director. “These leaders have their work cut out for them if they want to persuade voters that the ballot measures are necessary to address the problem.” When read the full text of the ballot measures, likely voters express these preferences: ƒ Proposition 1A: About four in 10 support the measure (39% yes, 46% no, 15% undecided) to change the budget process by increasing the state “rainy day” fund. Less than half say the measure would be very (7%) or somewhat (38%) effective in helping California avoid future state budget deficits. ƒ Proposition 1B: They are divided (44% yes, 41% no, 15% undecided) on the initiative that would require future supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts. There is a sharp partisan split on this measure, with Democrats far more likely to favor it (59%) and Republicans far more likely to be opposed (60%). Independent voters are more likely to vote for it (46% yes, 38% no). There are regional differences, with just over half of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) supporting the measure and about four in 10 doing so in other areas (41% Los Angeles; 40% in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties; 39% Central Valley). ƒ Proposition 1C: Half oppose (37% yes, 50% no, 11% undecided) the measure to modernize the lottery and allow for $5 billion in borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance next year’s state budget. Less than half support the initiative across party lines (45% Democrats, 37% independents, 29% Republicans) and regions (42% Los Angeles; 40% Bay Area; 33% Central Valley; 32% Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties). 3 Californians and Their Government ƒ Proposition 1D: Nearly half support (48% yes, 36% no, 16% undecided) the proposition to temporarily transfer funds from early childhood education to help balance the state budget. Likely voters are split along partisan lines, with nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans in favor (60% Democrats, 48% independents, 34% Republicans). Regionally, support is highest (52%) in the Bay Area (48% Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties; 47% Central Valley; 45% Los Angeles). ƒ Proposition 1E: Nearly half favor (47% yes, 37% no, 16% undecided) the measure to transfer money from mental health services to the general fund to help balance the state budget. Democrats (54%) and independents (46%) are more likely than Republicans (39%) to vote yes. Regionally, support for the measure is highest (51%) in Los Angeles (49% Central Valley; 45% San Francisco Bay Area, and Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties). ƒ Proposition 1F: An overwhelming majority (81% yes, 13% no, 6% undecided) support the initiative that would block pay increases to state elected officials in years of budget deficit. Across partisan, regional, and racial/ethnic lines, large majorities back the measure. Asked how effective the proposition would be in averting future budget deficits, two in three say it would be very (28%) or somewhat (39%) effective. All of the ballot measures have majority support among one group of California’s likely voters: Latinos (52% Prop. 1A, 60% Prop. 1B, 58% Prop. 1C, 70% Prop. 1D, 66% Prop. 1E, 68% Prop. 1F). FEWER FOLLOWING ELECTION NEWS, BUT VOTERS SHOW LITTLE SIGN OF BALLOT FATIGUE Voters are less likely to be following news of the election now (55%) than they were seven weeks before the last special election in November 2005 (69%), or in the weeks before the November 2008 presidential election (91%). But this relative lack of attention does not signal apathy: Most likely voters say they are very happy (19%) or somewhat happy (40%) about going to the polls in May—the 14th statewide election this decade. A number of reforms have been proposed to address the state’s governing challenges, from a constitutional convention to deal with structural issues to changes in the primary election system. Likely voters support some of these ideas. A majority (59%) say that it would be a good idea to change the state’s primary elections so that the two top vote-getters—regardless of party—advance to the general election, and about one in three (31%) say it’s a bad idea. This change in the state’s primaries is not on the special election ballot but will be on a future one, thanks to the budget agreement approved in February. On the issue of constitutional reform, a majority of likely voters (64%) say that minor (40%) or major (24%) changes are needed in the state constitution. However, support has slipped 10 points since January for one reform: easing the requirement that two-thirds of the legislature must approve a budget. California is only one of three states that require this supermajority approval, and the legislature’s inability to pass a budget on time has prompted calls to lower the threshold to 55 percent. In January, for the first time, a majority of likely voters (53%) said lowering the threshold was a good idea. Today, 43 percent of likely voters think it is a good idea, and 49 percent think it is a bad one. OBAMA RETAINS STRONG APPEAL AS SUPPORT GROWS FOR CONGRESS, SENATORS Two months into his term, President Obama has the approval of a strong majority of Californians (71% vs. 20% disapprove), nearly identical to the approval rating he received in February (70% vs. 16% disapprove). Californians are more likely to approve of Obama’s job performance than are adults nationwide, according to a recent CBS News poll (62% approve, 24% disapprove). Congress’s ratings continue to improve (43% approve, 47% disapprove). While this level of approval falls short of a majority, it has increased 20 points since October 2008. It also marks a new high since the PPIC Statewide Survey first began tracking approval ratings for Congress in October 2005. 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Press Release Compared to a year ago, Californians’ approval ratings have also increased for Senators Dianne Feinstein (56% today, 44% 2008) and Barbara Boxer (52% today, 41% 2008), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (49% today, 43% 2008). Residents are also more likely to approve of their own congressional representatives (55% today, 47% 2008). When it comes to federal plans to address the financial crisis, Californians have a mixed response. They are highly supportive (65% support, 29% oppose) of the $800 billion package of tax cuts, construction projects, and aid to states and individuals to stimulate the economy. They strongly favor (69% support, 26% oppose) the federal government providing refinancing assistance to homeowners to help avoid foreclosure. But they are divided (46% approve, 46% disapprove) over whether the government should give money to banks and other financial institutions to fix the nation’s economy. MORE KEY FINDINGS: ƒ Record percentages see economy as top issue—page 16 For the second month in a row, record percentages of Californians name the economy when asked an openended question about the state’s biggest issue (58% today, 63% February). Only in July 2001 has another issue—electricity prices and deregulation—received similar attention (56%). ƒ Californians worry about their own housing, jobs—page 17 Six in 10 Californians are very (39%) or somewhat (23%) concerned about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage. Californians are also very (34%) or somewhat (17%) concerned that they or a family member will lose a job in the next year. Ten percent volunteer that they have personally experienced a job loss. ƒ State remains strongly divided about same-sex marriage—page 21 Neither the November election nor legal challenges have changed the polarized views Californians hold on same-sex marriage: 49 percent are opposed, 44 percent are in favor. ABOUT THE SURVEY This survey is the 35th in the Californians and Their Government series and is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. It seeks to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. This is the 96th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 204,000 Californians. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 California adult residents interviewed from March 10–17, 2009, in English or Spanish. The sampling error for all adults is ±2%. For the 987 likely voters, is ±3%. For more information on methodology, see page 25. Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has directed since 1998. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. ### March 2009 5 MAY 19 SPECIAL ELECTION KEY FINDINGS „ Fewer than one in five likely voters are very closely following the special election news. Most say they are happy about going to the polls to vote in May. (page 8) „ About four in 10 likely voters support Proposition 1A, which attempts to stabilize the budget (39% yes, 46% no); 45 percent say that 1A would be very or somewhat effective in helping California avoid future state budget deficits. (page 9) „ Likely voters are divided on Proposition 1B, which establishes an education funding payment plan (44% yes, 41% no); 47 percent say the outcome on 1B is very important. (page 10) „ Half of likely voters oppose Proposition 1C, which would modernize the state lottery and allow for borrowing from future lottery profits (37% yes, 50% no); three in 10 say the outcome on 1C is very important. (page 11) „ Almost half of likely voters support Proposition 1D, which temporarily provides flexibility in children’s services funding while helping balance the state budget (48% yes, 36% no); four in 10 say the outcome on 1D is very important. (page 12) „ Almost half of likely voters also support Proposition 1E, a measure that would temporarily reallocate mental health funding (47% yes, 37% no); three in 10 say the outcome on 1E is very important. (page 13) „ Support is overwhelming for Proposition 1F, which limits salary increases for elected officials in deficit years (81% yes, 13% no); two in three believe that 1F would be very or somewhat effective in helping to avoid future state deficits. (page 14) Attention to News About Special Election 5 12 18 28 Likely voters 37 Very close Fairly close Not too close Not at all close Have not heard about it (vol) Preferences for Propositions 1A–1C 100 Yes 80 No Percent likely voters 60 46 39 40 44 41 50 37 20 0 Prop 1ABudget Stabilization Prop 1BEducation Funding Prop 1CLottery Modernization Percent likely voters Preferences for Propositions 1D–1F 100 Yes No 81 80 60 48 40 36 47 37 20 13 0 Prop 1DChildren and Families Prop 1EMental Health Services Prop 1FState Elected Officials' Salaries 7 Californians and Their Government ATTITUDES TOWARD THE SPECIAL ELECTION In February, the governor and legislature agreed on a budget package. The deal included calling a special election on May 19. There will be six propositions on the ballot (Propositions 1A–1F), which are meant to respond to the approximately $40 billion budget shortfall and ongoing budget problems. Ballot measures that directly affect the 2009–10 budget include Propositions 1C, 1D, and 1E. The special election is just eight weeks away, but relatively few voters (18%) are closely following news about it. Thirty-seven percent say they are following news fairly closely, four in 10 say they are not paying close attention, and 5 percent volunteer they have not heard of the special election. In contrast, seven weeks before the November 2005 special election likely voters were more likely to say they were paying at least fairly close attention to election news (69% 2005, 55% today). This past October, nine in 10 likely voters reported paying at least fairly close attention to the news before the November general election (54% very closely, 37% fairly closely). The May 19 election will be the 14th statewide election this decade. How do voters feel about heading to the polls this time? Most likely voters report that they are very (19%) or somewhat happy (40%) about voting, while 36 percent are unhappy. Democrats (63%) are more likely to report some happiness, followed by Republicans (57%) and independents (55%). Among those who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s performance, 66 percent report they are at least somewhat happy, while among those who disapprove, 55 percent feel similarly. “Overall, how do you feel about having to vote on Propositions 1A through 1F in the May 19th statewide special election?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Approval of Governor Ind Approve Disapprove Very happy 19% 20% 19% 21% 20% 20% Somewhat happy 40 43 38 34 46 35 Somewhat unhappy 21 21 21 24 19 21 Very unhappy 15 13 17 12 10 18 Don’t know 5 359 5 6 When likely voters are informed that the special election is part of the recent budget plan, most say it makes no difference (46%) in the way they view the propositions. Across parties, pluralities of voters say it makes no difference, although Democrats (31%) are more likely than others to say they feel more favorably and Republicans (27%) are more likely than others to say they feel less favorably. Those who disapprove of the governor are more likely than those who approve to say they feel less favorably about the measures. “Propositions 1A through 1F are part of the budget plan that the governor and legislature recently passed to deal with the state budget situation—does knowing that they are part of the budget plan make you feel more favorably or less favorably about the six propositions, or does it not make a difference either way?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Approval of Governor Ind Approve Disapprove More favorably 25% 31% 19% 20% 28% 22% Less favorably 24 22 27 20 13 32 No difference 46 42 47 55 54 41 Don’t know 5 575 5 5 8 PPIC Statewide Survey May 19 Special Election PROPOSITION 1A: “RAINY DAY” FUND When read the ballot label and title, about four in 10 likely voters support Proposition 1A (39% yes, 46% no), an initiative that would change the budget process and could limit future deficits and spending by increasing the size of the state “rainy day” fund. Fifteen percent of likely voters are undecided. Democratic likely voters (49%) are nearly twice as likely as Republican likely voters (26%) to support this measure. Independent likely voters are divided (42% yes, 40% no). There are also regional differences in support for 1A. Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (46%) and Los Angeles (42%) are more supportive than those in the Other Southern California region (34%) and the Central Valley (33%). Half of Latino likely voters (52%) would vote yes, while fewer whites (35%) would do so. Support for Proposition 1A increases somewhat as education and income levels rise, although fewer than half across all education and income groups would vote yes if the election were held today. “Proposition 1A is called the “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1A?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 39% 46% 15% Democrat 49 38 13 Party Republican 26 58 16 Independent 42 40 18 Central Valley 33 51 16 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 46 40 14 42 41 17 Other Southern California 34 49 17 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 52 36 12 35 47 18 *For complete text of Proposition 1A, see p. 29, question 15. Fewer than half of likely voters say that Proposition 1A would be very (7%) or somewhat effective (38%) in helping California avoid future state budget deficits. Democratic (54%) and independent (44%) likely voters are much more inclined than Republican likely voters (32%) to say this measure would be effective. Likely voters planning to vote yes are much more likely than those planning to vote no to say Proposition 1A would be effective (87% to 16%). Fewer than half across regions think it would be very or somewhat effective. Latinos (62%) are more likely than whites (41%) to think so. Likely voters only Very effective Somewhat effective Not too effective Not at all effective Don’t know “If Proposition 1A passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1A Yes No 7% 9% 4% 7% 15% 2% 38 45 28 37 72 14 20 19 21 21 6 32 24 15 34 22 3 48 11 12 13 13 4 4 March 2009 9 Californians and Their Government PROPOSITION 1B: EDUCATION FINANCE When read the ballot label and title, likely voters are currently divided on Proposition 1B (44% yes, 41% no), which requires future supplemental payments to school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts. Fifteen percent are undecided. Although likely voters overall are divided on this issue, there is a deep partisan divide. Six in 10 Democrats (59%) would vote yes and six in 10 Republicans (60%) would vote no. Independent likely voters are more inclined to vote yes (46% yes, 38% no). Across regions, a little more than half of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) voice support, and about four in 10 likely voters in other regions agree. Six in 10 Latino likely voters (60%) support Proposition 1B, while whites are divided (40% yes, 43% no). Among likely voters, public school parents (51%) are much more inclined than others (41%) to support this measure. Support for 1B declines sharply with increasing age (64% for 18–34; 46% for 35–54; 35% for 55 and older). “Proposition 1B is called the Education Funding Payment Plan Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1B?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 44% 41% 15% Democrat 59 27 14 Party Republican 25 60 15 Independent 46 38 16 Central Valley 39 42 19 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 52 35 13 41 43 16 Other Southern California 40 45 15 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 60 31 9 40 43 17 *For complete text of Proposition 1B, see p. 29, question 17. How do likely voters view the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1B? Eight in 10 say it is very (47%) or somewhat important (33%), while far fewer view it as not too (9%) or not at all important (5%). Democratic likely voters (53%) are more likely than independents (44%) or Republicans (41%) to view the outcome as very important. About half of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (51%), the Other Southern California region (49%), and Los Angeles (48%) view the outcome as very important, compared to 41 percent of Central Valley likely voters. Latinos (65%) are more likely than whites (42%) to view the outcome as very important. Likely voters who say they would vote yes (57%) are more likely than those who would vote no (41%) to view the outcome as very important. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1B?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1B Yes No Very important 47% 53% 41% 44% 57% 41% Somewhat important 33 30 37 33 36 33 Not too important 9 8 9 9 4 14 Not at all important 5 276 2 9 Don’t know 6 768 1 3 10 PPIC Statewide Survey May 19 Special Election PROPOSITION 1C: CALIFORNIA STATE LOTTERY When read the ballot title and label, half of likely voters are opposed to Proposition 1C (37% yes, 50% no), an initiative that would modernize the lottery and allow for $5 billion of borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance next year’s state budget. Across political groups fewer than half support the measure, but Democrats (45%) are more likely than independents (37%) and far more likely than Republicans (29%) to say they would vote yes. Likely voters in all regions are more likely to vote no than yes, although support is higher in Los Angeles (42%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (40%). Among likely voters, public school parents are divided (44% yes, 47% no), while others (51%) are more likely to vote no. Support decreases somewhat as age, education, and income rise. Latinos (58%) are currently the only demographic group in which support is over 50 percent, while about half of whites (52%), men (51%), and women (50%) say they would vote no. “Proposition 1C is called the Lottery Modernization Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1C?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 37% 50% 13% Democrat 45 41 14 Party Republican 29 59 12 Independent 37 54 9 Central Valley 33 58 9 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 40 46 14 42 46 12 Other Southern California 32 54 14 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 58 36 6 33 52 15 *For complete text of Proposition 1C, see p. 29, question 19. About seven in 10 likely voters view the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1C as very (31%) or somewhat important (41%). Fewer than 35 percent across parties and regions say the outcome is very important. Latinos (42%) are more likely than whites (28%) to say this. Likely voters who indicate they will vote yes on the proposition (36%) are more likely than no voters (31%) to say the outcome of Proposition 1C is very important. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1C?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1C Yes No Very important 31% 34% 30% 29% 36% 31% Somewhat important 41 40 43 39 49 38 Not too important 15 14 12 21 12 18 Not at all important 6 6 6 5 1 10 Don’t know 7 696 2 3 March 2009 11 Californians and Their Government PROPOSITION 1D: CHILDREN’S SERVICES When read the ballot label and title, nearly half of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 1D (48% yes, 36% no), an initiative that would temporarily provide greater flexibility in funding to preserve health and human services for young children, while helping to balance the state budget during this economic downturn. However, there is a wide partisan divide among the state’s likely voters. Six in 10 Democrats (60%) voice support for this initiative, compared to nearly half of independents (48%) and only one in three Republicans (34%). Across regions, support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%), followed by the Other Southern California region (48%), the Central Valley (47%), and Los Angeles (45%). Latino likely voters (70%) are far more inclined than whites (44%) to say they would vote yes on Proposition 1D. Support for Proposition 1D is much greater among parents of children age 18 or younger (56%) than others (43%) and support decreases as age, education, and income rise. “Proposition 1D is called the Children’s Services Funding Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1D?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 48% 36% 16% Democrat 60 28 12 Party Republican 34 46 20 Independent 48 36 16 Central Valley 47 40 13 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 52 32 16 45 39 16 Other Southern California 48 37 15 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 70 24 6 44 38 18 *For complete text of Proposition 1D, see p.30, question 21. Eight in 10 likely voters view the outcome of Proposition 1D as very (40%) or somewhat important (39%). Strong majorities across parties view the outcome as important, but Democrats (47%) are much more likely than independents (37%) and Republicans (34%) to say the outcome is very important. About four in 10 Californians across regions call it very important. Latinos (58%) are far more likely than whites (35%) to view the outcome as very important, while parents of children age 18 or younger (41% very important) and others (40% very important) hold similar views. Half of likely voters who would vote yes (50%) view the outcome as very important, compared to 38 percent of no voters. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1D?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1D Yes No Very important 40% 47% 34% 37% 50% 38% Somewhat important 39 38 42 38 42 42 Not too important 9 7 10 11 6 11 Not at all important 4 257 1 8 Don’t know 8 697 1 1 12 PPIC Statewide Survey May 19 Special Election PROPOSITION 1E: MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES When read the ballot label and title, nearly half of likely voters say they would vote yes on Proposition 1E (47% yes, 37% no), an initiative that would help balance the state budget by amending the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63 of 2004) to transfer funds from mental health services to the general fund. Democrats (54%) and independents (46%) are more likely than Republicans (39%) to say they would vote yes on Proposition 1E. About half of likely voters in Los Angeles (51%) and the Central Valley (49%) support Proposition 1E, compared to 45 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Other Southern California region. Two in three Latino likely voters (66%) would vote yes on Proposition 1E, compared to fewer than half of whites (42%). Support decreases as education and income levels rise. “Proposition 1E is called the Mental Health Funding Temporary Reallocation Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1E?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 47% 37% 16% Democrat 54 32 14 Party Republican 39 43 18 Independent 46 39 15 Central Valley 49 33 18 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 45 37 18 51 33 16 Other Southern California 45 43 12 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 66 26 8 42 40 18 *For complete text of Proposition 1E, see p.30, question 23. Three in four likely voters say the outcome of Proposition 1E is very (30%) or somewhat important (44%), while 18 percent say it is not too (14%) or not at all important (4%). Democrats (37%) are much more likely than independents (27%) and Republicans (21%) to say the outcome is very important. Likely voters in Los Angeles (36%) are the most likely to say it is very important, while those in the Other Southern California region (22%) are the least likely. Latinos (48%) are nearly twice as likely as whites (26%) to view the outcome as very important. Likely voters who would vote yes (87%) are more likely than no voters (71%) to place importance on the outcome of Proposition 1E. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1E?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1E Yes No Very important 30% 37% 21% 27% 34% 30% Somewhat important 44 43 49 40 53 41 Not too important 14 9 16 21 9 21 Not at all important 4 365 2 8 Don’t know 8 887 2 March 2009 13 Californians and Their Government PROPOSITION 1F: ELECTED OFFICIALS’ SALARY INCREASES Proposition 1F is the only ballot measure that currently has majority support: When read the ballot label and title, likely voters overwhelmingly support this measure (81% yes, 13% no), which would prevent pay increases for state elected officials during budget deficit years. Independents (89%) are the most likely to say they would vote yes, followed by Republicans (83%) and Democrats (78%). Across regions, support for Proposition 1F is overwhelming: About eight in 10 say they would vote yes. Across demographic groups, strong majorities say they would vote yes on Proposition 1F. However, whites (84%) are far more likely than Latinos (68%) to say they would vote yes. At least seven in 10 would vote yes on Proposition 1F across all age and income groups and among homeowners and renters. Men and women (81% each) equally support this measure. Of those who say the state budget situation is a big problem, 83 percent say they would vote yes on Proposition 1F. “Proposition 1F is called the Elected Officials’ Salaries, Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1F?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 81% 13% 6% Democrat 78 17 5 Party Republican 83 12 5 Independent 89 7 4 Central Valley 82 14 4 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 81 13 80 16 6 4 Other Southern California 81 12 7 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 68 28 84 11 4 5 *For complete text of Proposition 1F, see p. 30, question 25. When asked how effective Proposition 1F would be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits, two in three likely voters say it would be very (28%) or somewhat effective (39%). Solid majorities across regional, political, and demographic groups say if Proposition 1F passes it will be at least somewhat effective in helping avoid future state budget deficits. Among those voters planning to vote yes on Proposition 1F, 74 percent think the measure will be at least somewhat effective. Likely voters only “If Proposition 1F passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Very effective 28% 28% 30% 25% Somewhat effective 39 39 36 46 Not too effective 18 18 18 16 Not at all effective 11 11 12 10 Don’t know 4 443 *Sample size for No voters on Proposition 1F is not large enough for separate analysis. Yes Voters on Proposition 1F* 31% 43 18 7 1 14 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS „ About six in 10 Californians say the economy is the most important state issue, that California is in a serious recession, and are concerned about having enough money to pay for housing. Seven in 10 expect bad economic times this year, and half are concerned that they or someone in their family will lose a job. (pages 16, 17) „ The percentages who approve of the job the governor, state legislature overall, and their own state legislators are doing are at record lows. (page 18) „ Nearly all Californians view the state budget situation as a problem. Nearly half believe it’s a good idea to lower the two-thirds legislative majority requirement to pass a budget to 55 percent. (page 17) „ Six in 10 Californians think it’s a good idea to replace California’s current primary election system with one in which the two top vote-getters, regardless of party, compete in the general election. (page 20) „ California adults and likely voters remain divided on same-sex marriage. At least half of both supporters and opponents of samesex marriage say the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on Proposition 8 is very important, but those opposed are more likely to say so. (page 21) „ Seven in 10 Californians approve of President Obama and about half approve of their own representatives, U.S. Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and Speaker Pelosi. Many Californians support the national economic stimulus and homeowner assistance plans, but are divided about helping financial institutions. (pages 22, 23) Percent likely voters Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 80 Governor 59 61 60 60 Legislature 51 50 46 44 40 37 33 40 41 38 32 36 37 32 34 34 30 20 25 21 18 0 Jan Sep Jan Sep Mar Sep Mar Sep Mar Sep Mar 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 80 Percent all adults 60 56 52 49 40 20 0 Senator Boxer Senator Feinstein Speaker Pelosi Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage 80 60 55 Favor Oppose 51 46 47 48 47 49 49 40 38 43 46 46 46 47 47 45 20 0 Jan 00 Feb Aug Sep Jun Aug Oct Mar 04 05 06 07 08 08 09 15 Californians and Their Government OVERALL MOOD Californians remain in a grim mood about the state of their state. The vast majority of residents (71%) and likely voters (77%) believe that things in California are generally going in the wrong direction and more than two in three across parties hold this view (69% Democrats, 74% independents, 83% Republicans). Across regions, more than two-thirds think the state is headed in the wrong direction (68% Los Angeles, 72% Central Valley, 72% San Francisco Bay Area, 73% Other Southern California region), and solid majorities across demographic groups also express this view. Whites are more pessimistic than Latinos (76% to 65%) and pessimism increases as education and income levels rise. Residents under age 35 (64%) are somewhat less likely than those age 35 and older (75%) to say the state is headed in the wrong direction. The percentage saying the state is headed in the wrong direction has been 60 percent or above since March 2008. “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 22% 25% 12% 17% 17% Wrong direction 71 69 83 74 77 Don't know 76596 For the second month in a row, record percentages of residents name the economy as the most important issue facing the state when asked an open-ended question (63% February, 58% today). Since last March, the economy has been the number-one issue for Californians (42% January 2009, 44% September 2008, 42% August 2008, 36% May 2008, 36% April 2008, 35% March 2008), but the percentages saying so in the last two months are higher than the percentages naming any single issue in the 11-year history of the statewide survey. Only in July 2001 did another issue—electricity prices and deregulation—receive nearly as much attention (56%). Today, pluralities of Californians across all regions and political and demographic groups point to the economy as the state’s most important issue. Other issues rank far behind, including the state budget (13%), education (7%), immigration (4%), housing (3%), and health care (2%). Most Californians (71%) and likely voters (79%) expect the state to have bad financial times in the next 12 months. In 11 of 12 surveys since January 2008 more than 70 percent have said they expect bad economic times, with a high of 78 percent last June and July. In 2003, by comparison, only once did a similar percentage say they expected bad times (71% in February 2003) and the percentage dropped to 58 percent by June 2003. Today, more than seven in 10 across political parties and at least two in three across regions expect bad times. Solid majorities across demographic groups are pessimistic about the economy; pessimism rises as education and income rise. 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 22% Central Valley 18% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 15% 28% Other Southern California 23% 71 76 77 66 71 76 8 6 6 Likely Voters 15% 79 6 16 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues ECONOMIC SITUATION In another measure of pessimism, 93 percent of Californians say the state is in an economic recession and 63 percent call it a serious one. Since this question was first asked a year ago, the percentage saying the state is in a serious recession has more than doubled (26% March 2008, 34% August 2008, 39% October 2008, 59% January 2009, 63% today). More than half across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the state is in a serious economic recession. Democrats (69%) are the most likely political group (65% Republicans, 60% independents), to say so and whites (66%) are more likely than Latinos (58%). The percentage calling the recession serious increases with rising education and income, and this view is held by more residents age 35 and older (68%) than by residents younger than 35 (51%). “Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not?” Yes, serious recession All Adults 63% Central Valley 59% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 65% 61% Other Southern California 65% Yes, moderate recession 26 32 23 26 24 Yes, mild recession 4 2 5 7 4 No 5 4 5 5 6 Don't know 23 2 1 1 Latinos 58% 28 6 7 1 Attitudes toward the state’s economic situation are also reflected in residents’ personal circumstances: Six in 10 are very (39%) or somewhat concerned (23%) about not having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage. Thirty-seven percent are not too (16%) or not at all concerned (21%). Californians are much more likely than adults nationwide to be worried about making their rent or mortgage payments. In a February ABC News/Washington Post survey, 46 percent of adults nationwide were concerned (24% very, 22% somewhat), and half were not concerned (17% not too, 33% not at all). Concern among Californians decreases with rising income and education levels, and renters are more worried than homeowners. Residents under age 55 are far more likely to be very concerned than those age 55 and older. Across regions, Los Angeles residents (46%) are the most likely to be very concerned. “How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage?” Very concerned All Adults 39% Household Income Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 56% 37% $80,000 or more 23% Home ownership Own Rent 32% 49% Somewhat concerned 23 21 24 24 23 23 Not too concerned 16 10 15 23 17 14 Not at all concerned 21 11 24 30 28 12 Other/Don't know 12 – – –2 Californians are not only worried about housing. Many are also concerned that they or a family member will lose a job in the next year (34% very concerned, 17% somewhat concerned). Ten percent volunteer that they have already experienced job loss. Personal concern about job loss declines sharply with rising income and education. Also, residents under age 55 (56%) are far more likely to be concerned than residents 55 and older (39%), and Latinos (72%) are far more likely than whites (40%). Of those who are concerned about making housing payments, 64 percent are also concerned about experiencing job loss. March 2009 17 Californians and Their Government STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS The months of impasse over the state budget and a down economy seem to have depressed the job approval ratings of Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature. The governor’s approval rating (32%) matches his lowest ever—December 2005, just after that year’s unpopular special election. The legislature’s approval rating today (18%) is a historic low. The governor receives majority disapproval on his job performance from likely voters (57%), Democrats (60%), independents (57%), and—for the first time in a PPIC Statewide Survey—among Republicans (53%). At least half of Californians across regions and demographic groups disapprove of the governor’s job performance. Los Angeles residents (64%) are more likely than residents elsewhere (56% Other Southern California, 53% Central Valley, 51% San Francisco Bay Area) to hold this view. Latinos (64%) are more likely than whites (52%) to disapprove; disapproval declines as education and income levels rise. The legislature receives strong majority disapproval of its job performance from likely voters (80%), Republicans (84%), independents (74%), and Democrats (71%). Across regions, strong majorities disapprove (63% Los Angeles, 70% San Francisco Bay Area, 71% Central Valley, 71% Other Southern California), and across racial/ethnic groups, whites (78%) are far more likely to disapprove than Latinos (52%). Disapproval increases sharply as age, education, and income rise. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …” All Adults Dem Party Rep …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? Approve Disapprove Don't know 32% 29% 37% 56 60 53 12 11 10 … the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 18 17 8 68 71 84 14 12 8 Ind 33% 57 10 15 74 11 Likely Voters 33% 57 10 11 80 9 Californians also express record low approval of their own state legislators: 32 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove, and 20 percent are unsure. Approval ratings were at 34 percent last September. Previous lows were recorded before the 2005 special election (38% approval in August and October 2005). Among likely voters now, 29 percent approve and 57 percent disapprove. Majorities of Republicans (63%) and independents (56%) disapprove and Democrats are more likely to disapprove (45%) than approve (37%). Across regions, Central Valley residents (57%) are the most likely to disapprove, followed by Other Southern California (51%), Los Angeles (46%), and San Francisco Bay Area (41%) residents. A majority of whites (54%) disapprove of the legislature’s job performance, but Latinos are more likely to approve (45%) than disapprove (36%). Disapproval rises with higher age and income. 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 32% 37% 22% 25% 48 45 63 56 20 18 15 19 Likely Voters 29% 57 14 18 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues STATE BUDGET SITUATION Most Californians continue to express deep concern about the state’s fiscal situation even after passage of the 2009–2010 state budget. Nearly all residents today say that the state’s budget situation is a big (75%) or somewhat of a problem (20%). Ninety-eight percent of likely voters also consider the budget situation a big (85%) or somewhat of a problem (13%). Perceptions of the budget situation as a problem are identical to January’s (75% big problem, 20% somewhat), and similar to last October’s (74% big, 22% somewhat) and September’s (78% big, 19% somewhat) when the governor and legislature approved a 2008–2009 budget that set a record for lateness. In March 2008, residents were somewhat less likely than today to call the budget situation a big problem (68%) and more likely to call it somewhat of a problem (26%). Across parties, more than three in four think the state budget situation is a big problem (79% Democrats, 80% independents, 84% Republicans), and across regions, more than seven in 10 hold this view (71% Los Angeles, 74% Other Southern California, 76% San Francisco Bay Area, 78% Central Valley). Whites are far more likely than Latinos (82% to 63%) to call the budget situation a big problem, and the percentage calling it a big problem increases sharply with rising age, education, and income. “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?” Big problem All Adults 75% Central Valley 78% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 76% 71% Other Southern California 74% Somewhat of a problem 20 20 19 23 19 Not a problem 2– 2 2 2 Don't know 32 3 4 5 Likely Voters 85% 13 1 1 California is currently one of three states requiring a two-thirds vote of the state legislature to pass a state budget. This vote requirement is sometimes mentioned as a reason for the inability of the legislature to pass a budget on time. Some have proposed easing this requirement from two-thirds to 55 percent. Currently, 47 percent of Californians think this is a good idea, while 41 percent think it is a bad one. Among likely voters, more think it is a bad idea (49%) than a good one (43%). Opinion among all adults has been fairly divided on this question since it was first asked in June 2003. This past January was the first time that a majority of all adults expressed any view: 54 percent called it a good idea, 39 percent a bad idea. Across parties, Democrats (53%) and independents (48%) are far more likely than Republicans (31%) to say a 55-percent budget vote threshold is a good idea. Latinos are far more likely than whites (59% to 41%), and San Francisco Bay Area (54%) and Los Angeles (53%) residents are more likely than Other Southern California (44%) and Central Valley (39%) residents to say it is a good idea. “As you may know, the California state constitution requires that two-thirds of the state legislature agree to a state budget for it to pass. Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for the state legislature to pass a budget?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Ind Voters Good idea 47% 53% 31% 48% 43% Bad idea 41 37 60 41 49 Don't know 12 10 9 11 8 March 2009 19 Californians and Their Government GOVERNANCE REFORMS A proposal passed by the legislature for voter consideration in a future state ballot would change California’s primary elections from a partially closed system to one in which registered voters could cast ballots for any candidate in a primary, and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, would advance to the general election. Proponents believe this system would lead to more competitive elections and potentially result in more moderate candidates. Opponents believe it would be bad for political parties. When asked about this proposal, six in 10 residents (61%) and likely voters (59%) say it is a good idea, while about three in 10 (27% adults, 31% likely voters) say it is a bad one. Currently, majorities of Republicans (54%), Democrats (61%), and independents (72%) think the general idea of a top two vote-getter primary is a good one. Support is lowest in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) compared to other regions (60% Other Southern California, 64% Los Angeles, 66% Central Valley). At least six in 10 whites (60%), Latinos (65%), men (61%), and women (61%) call the idea a good one. “On another topic, recently, some people have proposed changing California’s state primary elections from a partially closed system to a system where registered voters could cast ballots for any candidate in a primary and the top two vote-getters—regardless of party—would advance to the general election. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Ind Voters Good idea 61% 61% 54% 72% 59% Bad idea 27 30 36 19 31 Don't know 12 9 10 9 10 To deal with California’s structural challenges, some civic and business leaders have proposed that a convention be called to rewrite California’s state constitution. The current constitution was adopted in 1879 and has been amended many times since through ballot propositions passed by voters. When asked about the current state constitution, two in three Californians believe some changes (31% major, 36% minor) are needed; one in four (24%) think it is fine the way it is and 9 percent are unsure. Democrats (29% major changes, 43% minor) are more likely than independents (26% major, 40% minor) and much more likely than Republicans (20% major, 39% minor) to say that changes are needed. Majorities of residents across regions and demographic groups think the state constitution needs at least minor changes. Latinos are twice as likely as whites (48% to 23%) to say major changes are needed; belief that major change is needed decreases sharply with rising education and income levels. Those who approve of the legislature overall are as likely as those who disapprove to say that changes are needed. “As you may know, the state currently operates under a constitution adopted in 1879 that has been amended many times since then through ballot propositions passed by the voters. Overall, do you think the California constitution needs major changes or minor changes or is it fine the way it is?” Major changes All Adults 31% Central Valley 32% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 29% 36% Other Southern California 27% Likely Voters 24% Minor changes 36 31 38 34 40 40 Fine the way it is 24 31 21 23 24 26 Don't know 9 6 12 7 9 10 20 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues PROPOSITION 8 AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE With the November passage of Proposition 8, the Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Initiative Constitutional Amendment (52% yes, 48% no), the state constitution was changed and samesex couples lost the right to marry. Several lawsuits to overturn the amendment were subsequently filed. On March 5, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments from the two sides and said it would issue a final decision within 90 days. About 18,000 same-sex marriages took place before Proposition 8 passed and the court will also decide whether these marriages will be annulled or preserved. When asked about the general concept of allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married, 49 percent of Californians say they oppose such marriages, 44 percent say they favor them, and 7 percent are unsure. Likely voters are also divided (45% favor, 49% oppose). Across parties, a strong majority of Democrats (60%) say they favor same-sex marriage, an even stronger majority of Republicans (74%) say they oppose it, and independents are divided (47% favor, 44% oppose). Opinions on allowing samesex marriages have been relatively unchanged among all adults since February 2004 (44% favor, 50% oppose), but opposition was much higher when we first asked this question in January 2000 (39% favor, 55% oppose). At that time, Proposition 22, which prevented the state from recognizing same-sex marriages, was on the March ballot. It was overturned by the high court in May 2008. Favor Oppose Don't know “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 44% 60% 22% 47% 49 34 74 44 76 4 9 Likely Voters 45% 49 6 Fifty-six percent of residents say the Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 is very important to them, 22 percent say it is somewhat important, and just 20 percent say it is not too (10%) or not at all important (10%) to them. Majorities across political parties say the court’s decision is very important to them, with Republicans (64%) more likely than Democrats (58%) and independents (56%) to say it is very important. Californians who oppose same-sex marriages (65%) are much more likely than those who favor them (51%) to say the court’s decision is very important to them. “As you may know, Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, was approved by voters in November. The California Supreme Court recently heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of Proposition 8. How important to you is the outcome of the California Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Same-sex Marriage Favor Oppose Very important 56% 58% 64% 56% 51% 65% Somewhat important 22 23 21 22 29 18 Not too important 10 9 9 11 11 8 Not at all important 10 9 5 10 7 8 Don’t know 2 111 2 1 March 2009 21 Californians and Their Government FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Only two months into his term, President Barack Obama receives the approval of a strong majority of Californians (71%) and likely voters (63%). His approval ratings among all adults are nearly identical to last month (70% approve). Californians are more approving of the president than adults nationwide (62% approve, 24% disapprove), according to a recent CBS News Poll. In California, 90 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents approve of his performance, and half of Republicans disapprove (51%). Across regions, at least six in 10 residents approve, with residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (81%) most likely to approve, and Central Valley residents (62%) least likely. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (88%) are far more likely to approve of the president than whites (61%); women (74%) are somewhat more approving than men (69%). Across demographic groups, President Obama receives his highest approval ratings from those under age 35 (78%), those with a high school education or less (77%), and among those with household income below $40,000 (80%). Approval ratings for Congress continue to improve, although they fail to reach a majority (43% approve, 47% disapprove). Likely voters are more disapproving of Congress. Californians are more approving than adults nationwide (30% approve, 56% disapprove), according to the CBS News poll. In California, Congress’s approval ratings are up 6 points since January (37%), and have climbed by 20 points since last October (23%): this month marks a new high in approval for Congress since the PPIC Statewide Survey began tracking its performance in October 2005. Across parties, Democrats (56%) approve of Congress’s performance, while majorities of independents (59%) and Republicans (76%) disapprove. Latinos (64%) are more than twice as likely as whites (31%) to approve of Congress. “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 71% 90% 35% 20 4 51 9 6 14 … the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 43 56 18 47 35 76 10 9 6 Ind 69% 21 10 29 59 12 Likely Voters 63% 28 9 35 58 7 Compared to a year ago, approval ratings have increased for U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (41% to 52%) and Dianne Feinstein (44% to 56%) and for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (43% to 49%). When it comes to their own congressional representative, a majority of Californians and likely voters (55% each) say they approve of his or her performance. These approval ratings among residents today mark an 8-point increase since March 2008 (47%). In the past year, these approval ratings rose among Democrats (56% to 65%) and independents (39% to 45%) and they fell among Republicans (52% to 44%). 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 Likely Voters Ind 55% 65% 44% 45% 55% 24 18 36 32 31 21 17 20 23 14 22 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues NATIONAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY POLICIES President Barack Obama and Congress are responding to the financial crisis with a stimulus plan of about $800 billion that includes tax cuts, funding for construction projects, and aid to states. Californians are highly supportive of this plan (65% support, 29% oppose). Findings among likely voters are similar. Adults nationwide hold similar views, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll (64% support). In January, when the president announced the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, we asked a similar question and found that 57 percent of Californians were satisfied with the president’s plan, while 26 percent were dissatisfied. Across parties, Democrats (82%) are far more supportive of this plan than independents (65%) and a majority of Republicans (54%) disapprove of it. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (74%) are most supportive, with Central Valley residents (56%) least supportive. Women and men (65% each) are both supportive of the stimulus plan, while Latinos (69%) are somewhat more likely than whites (61%) to support it. Support Oppose Don't know “As you may know, the federal government will spend about $800 billion on tax cuts, construction projects, and aid to states and individuals to try to stimulate the economy. Do you support or oppose this plan?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind 65% 82% 39% 65% 62% 29 13 54 29 33 65765 Californians are divided (46% approve, 46% disapprove) about the federal government’s providing money to banks and other financial institutions to help fix the country’s economic problems. Likely voters are more likely to oppose than favor this action (39% approve, 52% disapprove). Adults nationwide (37% approve) are less likely to approve than Californians, according to the CBS News poll. Across parties, a strong majority of Republicans (67%) disapprove of the government trying to help financial institutions, just half of independents (51%) say the same, and half of Democrats (53%) approve. “Do you approve or disapprove of the federal government providing money to banks and other financial institutions to try to help fix the country's economic problems?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Approve 46% 53% 26% 37% 39% Disapprove 46 38 67 51 52 Depends (volunteered) 4 4 4 7 5 Don't know 45354 By contrast, 69 percent of Californians support the federal government’s using $75 billion to provide refinancing assistance to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure on their mortgages; 26 percent oppose it. California likely voters are somewhat less supportive (61% support, 34% oppose); adults nationwide are also less supportive (64%), according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll. In California, Democrats (81%) are much more likely to support this plan than independents (67%), and Republicans (52%) are more likely to oppose it. Latinos (85%) are far more likely than whites (61%) to support the federal government’s helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. March 2009 23 REGIONAL MAP 24 PPIC Statewide Survey METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research support from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Jennifer Paluch and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts; however, the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. The findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 California adult residents interviewed from March 10–17, 2009. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days, 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. Telephone numbers in the survey sample 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. Each interview took an average of 17 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. conducted the telephone interviewing. We used recent U.S. Census and state data to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,004 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,525 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 987 likely voters, it is ±3 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 four 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, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. Sample sizes for African Americans and Asian Americans are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (those who are registered as “decline to state”). We also include the responses of “likely voters”— those who are most likely to vote in the state’s elections based on past voting, current interest, and voting intentions. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/Washington Post and the CBS News Poll. 25 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 10–17, 2009 2,004 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 58% jobs, economy 13 state budget, deficit, taxes 7 education, schools 4 immigration, illegal immigration 3 housing costs, housing crisis 2 health care, health costs 10 other 3 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 32% approve 56 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 18% approve 68 disapprove 14 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? 32% approve 48 disapprove 20 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 22% right direction 71 wrong direction 7 don’t know 6. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 22% good times 71 bad times 7 don’t know 7. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? (if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 63% yes, serious recession 26 yes, moderate recession 4 yes, mild recession 5 no 2 don’t know 8. And, are you concerned that you or someone in your family will lose their job in the next year, or not? (if yes: Are you very concerned or somewhat concerned?)? 34% yes, very concerned 17 yes, somewhat concerned 38 no 10 have lost job already (volunteered) 1 don’t know 27 Californians and Their Government 9. How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage—very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this? 39% very concerned 23 somewhat concerned 16 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned 1 other/don’t know (volunteered) 10.Changing topics, 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? 75% big problem 20 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 3 don’t know 11.As you may know, the California state constitution requires that two-thirds of the state legislature agree to a state budget for it to pass. Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55-percent majority vote for the state legislature to pass a budget? 47% good idea 41 bad idea 12 don’t know 12.Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 76% yes [ask q12a] 23 no [skip to q13b] 1 don’t know [skip to q13b] 12a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 46% Democrat [ask q13] 32 Republican [ask q13a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q14] 20 independent [skip to q13b] 13.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 63% strong 34 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q14] 13a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 55% strong 40 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q14] 13b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 47 Democratic Party 20 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know [delayed skip: if q12=no or don’t know, skip to q29] [responses recorded for questions 14 to 28 are for likely voters only] Next, the governor and legislature recently called a statewide special election in May for voters to consider ballot measures that address the state’s budget situation. 14.How closely are you following news about the May 19th statewide special election? 18% very closely 37 fairly closely 28 not too closely 12 not at all closely 5 have not heard about the election (volunteered) 28 PPIC Statewide Survey Next, we have a few questions to ask you about Propositions 1A through 1F on the May 19th special election ballot. 15.Proposition 1A is called the “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund Act. It changes the budget process. It could limit future deficits and spending by increasing the size of the state "rainy day" fund and requiring aboveaverage revenues to be deposited into it, for use during economic downturns and other purposes. Fiscal impacts include: higher state tax revenues of roughly $16 billion from 2010–11 through 2012–13, and, over time, increased amounts of money in state rainy day reserve, and potentially less ups and downs in state spending. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1A? 39% yes 46 no 15 don’t know 16.If Proposition 1A passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits? 7% very effective 38 somewhat effective 20 not too effective 24 not at all effective 11 don’t know 17.Proposition 1B is called the Education Funding Payment Plan Act. It requires supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts. Fiscal impacts include potential state savings of up to several billion dollars in 2009–10 and 2010–11 and potential state costs of billions of dollars annually thereafter. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1B? 44% yes 41 no 15 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 18.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1B? 47% very important 33 somewhat important 9 not too important 5 not at all important 6 don’t know 19.Proposition 1C is called the Lottery Modernization Act. It allows the state lottery to be modernized to improve its performance, with increased payouts, improved marketing, and effective management. It requires the state to maintain ownership of the lottery and authorizes additional accountability measures. It protects funding levels for schools currently provided by lottery revenues. Increased lottery revenues will be used to address current budget deficit and reduce the need for additional tax increases and cuts to state programs. Fiscal impacts include allowing $5 billion of borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance the 2009–10 state budget; debtservice payments on this borrowing and higher payments to education would likely make it more difficult to balance future state budgets. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1C? 37% yes 50 no 13 don’t know 20.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1C—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 31% very important 41 somewhat important 15 not too important 6 not at all important 7 don’t know March 2009 29 Californians and Their Government 21.Proposition 1D is called the Children’s Services Funding Act. It temporarily provides greater flexibility in funding to preserve health and human services for young children while helping balance the state budget in a difficult economy. Fiscal impacts include state general fund savings of up to $608 million in 2009–10 and $268 million annually from 2010–11 through 2013–14, and corresponding reductions in funding for early childhood development programs provided by the California Children and Families Program. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1D? 48% yes 36 no 16 don’t know 22.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1D—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 40% very important 39 somewhat important 9 not too important 4 not at all important 8 don’t know 23.Proposition 1E is called the Mental Health Funding. Temporary Reallocation Act. It helps balance state budget by amending the Mental Health Services Act (which was Proposition 63 of 2004) to transfer funds, for two years, to pay for mental health services provided through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program for children and young adults. Fiscal impacts include state general fund savings of about $230 million annually for two years (2009–10 and 2010–11) and corresponding reduction in funding available for Mental Health Services Act programs. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1E? 47% yes 37 no 16 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 24.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1E—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 30% very important 44 somewhat important 14 not too important 4 not at all important 8 don’t know 25.Proposition 1F is called the Elected Officials’ Salaries. Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years Act. It encourages balanced state budgets by preventing elected members of the Legislature and statewide constitutional officers, including the governor, from receiving pay raises in years when the state is running a deficit. It directs the director of finance to determine whether a given year is a deficit year and it prevents the California Citizens Compensation Commission from increasing elected officials’ salaries when the state Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties is in the negative by an amount equal to or greater than one percent of the general fund. Fiscal impacts include minor state savings related to elected state officials’ salaries in some cases when the state is expected to end the year with a budget deficit. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1F? 81% yes 13 no 6 don’t know 26.If Proposition 1F passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits? 28% very effective 39 somewhat effective 18 not too effective 11 not at all effective 4 don’t know 27.Overall, how do you feel about having to vote on Propositions 1A through 1F in the May 19th statewide special election—would you say you are very happy, somewhat happy, somewhat unhappy, or very unhappy? 19% very happy 40 somewhat happy 21 somewhat unhappy 15 very unhappy 5 don’t know 28.Propositions 1A through 1F are part of the budget plan that the governor and legislature recently passed to deal with the state budget situation—does knowing that they are part of the budget plan make you feel more favorably or less favorably about the six propositions, or does it not make a difference either way? 25% more favorably 24 less favorably 46 no difference 5 don’t know 29.On another topic, recently, some people have proposed changing California’s state primary elections from a partially closed system to a system where registered voters could cast ballots for any candidate in a primary and the top two vote-getters— regardless of party—would advance to the general election. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea? 61% good idea 27 bad idea 12 don’t know 30.As you may know, the state currently operates under a constitution adopted in 1879 that has been amended many times since then through ballot propositions passed by the voters. Overall, do you think the California constitution needs major changes or minor changes or is it fine the way it is? 31% major changes 36 minor changes 24 fine the way it is 9 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 31.Changing topics, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 44% favor 49 oppose 7 don’t know 32.As you may know, Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, was approved by voters in November. The California Supreme Court recently heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of Proposition 8. How important to you is the outcome of the California Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 56% very important 22 somewhat important 10 not too important 10 not at all important 2 don’t know 33.Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 71% approve 20 disapprove 9 don’t know [rotate questions 34 and 35] 34.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. senator? 56% approve 28 disapprove 16 don’t know 35.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. senator? 52% approve 28 disapprove 20 don’t know March 2009 31 Californians and Their Government 36.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 43% approve 47 disapprove 10 don’t know 37.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is handling her job? 49% approve 36 disapprove 15 don’t know 38.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? 55% approve 24 disapprove 21 don’t know 39.On another topic, as you may know, the federal government will spend about $800 billion on tax cuts, construction projects, and aid to states and individuals to try to stimulate the economy. Do you support or oppose this plan? 65% support 29 oppose 6 don’t know 40.Do you approve or disapprove of the federal government providing money to banks and other financial institutions to try to help fix the country's economic problems? 46% approve 46 disapprove 4 depends (volunteered) 4 don’t know 41.On another economic issue, would you support or oppose the federal government using $75 billion to provide refinancing assistance to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure on their mortgages? 69% support 26 oppose 5 don’t know 42.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 32 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? 28% great deal 41 fair amount 25 only a little 4 none 2 don’t know [d1-14: demographic questions] 32 PPIC Statewide Survey PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company 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. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(109) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-march-2009/s_309mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8709) ["ID"]=> int(8709) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:03" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3997) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 309MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_309mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_309MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "2004705" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(86367) "m a r c h 2 0 0 9 &Californians their government in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Jennifer Paluch Sonja Petek The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. 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 Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. TABLE OF CONTENTS About the Survey Press Release May 19 Special Election State and National Issues Regional Map Methodology Questionnaire and Results 1 3 7 15 24 25 27 Copyright © 2009 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA 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 above copyright notice is included. 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. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 96th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 204,000 Californians. This survey is the 35th in the Californians and Their Government series, which is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. This survey seeks to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about important state and national issues. The context for the March survey includes a significant economic downturn and high unemployment rates; reduced consumer spending; housing price declines; a new state budget that includes large spending cuts and tax increases in response to a multibillion-dollar deficit; a new U.S. president and Congress focusing on federal actions to improve the economy; a recent California Supreme Court hearing on the gay marriage ban that state voters approved in November; and proposals for governance reforms in California. Analyzing likely voter responses, we examine attitudes about the May 19 special election and voter preferences for the election’s six ballot measures, placed there by the governor and legislature in response to the state’s budget situation. This report presents the responses of 2,004 California adult residents on these specific topics: „ Voter interest and attitudes toward the May 19 special election, and the measures on the ballot; support and perceived effectiveness of Proposition 1A (“Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund Act) and Proposition 1F (Elected Officials’ Salaries Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years Act); and support for and perceived importance of Proposition 1B (Education Funding Payment Plan Act), Proposition 1C (Lottery Modernization Act), Proposition 1D (Children’s Services Funding Act), and Proposition 1E (Mental Health Funding Temporary Reallocation Act). „ State and national issues, including perceptions of the most important issue facing California today; opinions about the general direction of the state and its economic outlook; personal concerns about housing costs and job loss; approval ratings for Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature, and for respondents’ own legislative representatives; perceptions of the seriousness of the state’s budget situation and support for structural budget reform, including changing the two-thirds legislative vote requirement for budget passage; attitudes toward gay marriage and the importance of the Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8; support for changes to California’s primary election system and perceptions of whether changes are needed in the California Constitution. We also examine approval ratings for President Obama, Congress, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and respondents’ own congressional representatives, and support for the federal government’s economic recovery policies. „ The extent to which Californians—based on their political party affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics—may differ with regard to perceptions, attitudes, and preferences involving state and national issues. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). For questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. 1 PRESS RELEASE 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 Most Special Election Ballot Propositions Face Tough Road NONE MUSTERS MAJORITY SUPPORT EXCEPT MEASURE LIMITING LEGISLATIVE PAY HIKES — STATE LEADERS GET RECORD LOW RATINGS, BUT SUPPORT GROWS FOR THOSE IN WASHINGTON SAN FRANCISCO, California, March 25, 2009—California’s likely voters are divided on five of six propositions related to the state’s budget crisis that will appear on the May special election ballot, according to a survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Levels of support for Propositions 1A through 1E vary widely, but none has the approval of a majority of likely voters. However, in a signal of the mood of the electorate this year, an overwhelming 81 percent favor Proposition 1F, which would limit salary increases for state elected officials when the state faces a budget deficit. Eight weeks before the special election—called as part of the 2009–2010 budget agreement between the governor and legislature—those Californians most likely to go to the polls are feeling grim about the state of their state: The vast majority (77%) say it is headed in the wrong direction and see its fiscal situation as a big problem (85%). They give record low ratings to the legislature (11%) and to their own legislators (29%). Their approval rating for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (33%) has dropped to a new low among likely voters. For the first time, a majority of Republican likely voters (54%) disapprove of the job performance of the Republican governor. The results are striking when compared to rising approval ratings for Congress and California’s senators and to a strongly positive view of President Obama—despite a challenging economic climate. “Californians are clear that the budget situation is serious, but most disapprove of the leadership in Sacramento—the people who are providing the solutions,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president, CEO, and survey director. “These leaders have their work cut out for them if they want to persuade voters that the ballot measures are necessary to address the problem.” When read the full text of the ballot measures, likely voters express these preferences: ƒ Proposition 1A: About four in 10 support the measure (39% yes, 46% no, 15% undecided) to change the budget process by increasing the state “rainy day” fund. Less than half say the measure would be very (7%) or somewhat (38%) effective in helping California avoid future state budget deficits. ƒ Proposition 1B: They are divided (44% yes, 41% no, 15% undecided) on the initiative that would require future supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts. There is a sharp partisan split on this measure, with Democrats far more likely to favor it (59%) and Republicans far more likely to be opposed (60%). Independent voters are more likely to vote for it (46% yes, 38% no). There are regional differences, with just over half of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) supporting the measure and about four in 10 doing so in other areas (41% Los Angeles; 40% in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties; 39% Central Valley). ƒ Proposition 1C: Half oppose (37% yes, 50% no, 11% undecided) the measure to modernize the lottery and allow for $5 billion in borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance next year’s state budget. Less than half support the initiative across party lines (45% Democrats, 37% independents, 29% Republicans) and regions (42% Los Angeles; 40% Bay Area; 33% Central Valley; 32% Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties). 3 Californians and Their Government ƒ Proposition 1D: Nearly half support (48% yes, 36% no, 16% undecided) the proposition to temporarily transfer funds from early childhood education to help balance the state budget. Likely voters are split along partisan lines, with nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans in favor (60% Democrats, 48% independents, 34% Republicans). Regionally, support is highest (52%) in the Bay Area (48% Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties; 47% Central Valley; 45% Los Angeles). ƒ Proposition 1E: Nearly half favor (47% yes, 37% no, 16% undecided) the measure to transfer money from mental health services to the general fund to help balance the state budget. Democrats (54%) and independents (46%) are more likely than Republicans (39%) to vote yes. Regionally, support for the measure is highest (51%) in Los Angeles (49% Central Valley; 45% San Francisco Bay Area, and Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties). ƒ Proposition 1F: An overwhelming majority (81% yes, 13% no, 6% undecided) support the initiative that would block pay increases to state elected officials in years of budget deficit. Across partisan, regional, and racial/ethnic lines, large majorities back the measure. Asked how effective the proposition would be in averting future budget deficits, two in three say it would be very (28%) or somewhat (39%) effective. All of the ballot measures have majority support among one group of California’s likely voters: Latinos (52% Prop. 1A, 60% Prop. 1B, 58% Prop. 1C, 70% Prop. 1D, 66% Prop. 1E, 68% Prop. 1F). FEWER FOLLOWING ELECTION NEWS, BUT VOTERS SHOW LITTLE SIGN OF BALLOT FATIGUE Voters are less likely to be following news of the election now (55%) than they were seven weeks before the last special election in November 2005 (69%), or in the weeks before the November 2008 presidential election (91%). But this relative lack of attention does not signal apathy: Most likely voters say they are very happy (19%) or somewhat happy (40%) about going to the polls in May—the 14th statewide election this decade. A number of reforms have been proposed to address the state’s governing challenges, from a constitutional convention to deal with structural issues to changes in the primary election system. Likely voters support some of these ideas. A majority (59%) say that it would be a good idea to change the state’s primary elections so that the two top vote-getters—regardless of party—advance to the general election, and about one in three (31%) say it’s a bad idea. This change in the state’s primaries is not on the special election ballot but will be on a future one, thanks to the budget agreement approved in February. On the issue of constitutional reform, a majority of likely voters (64%) say that minor (40%) or major (24%) changes are needed in the state constitution. However, support has slipped 10 points since January for one reform: easing the requirement that two-thirds of the legislature must approve a budget. California is only one of three states that require this supermajority approval, and the legislature’s inability to pass a budget on time has prompted calls to lower the threshold to 55 percent. In January, for the first time, a majority of likely voters (53%) said lowering the threshold was a good idea. Today, 43 percent of likely voters think it is a good idea, and 49 percent think it is a bad one. OBAMA RETAINS STRONG APPEAL AS SUPPORT GROWS FOR CONGRESS, SENATORS Two months into his term, President Obama has the approval of a strong majority of Californians (71% vs. 20% disapprove), nearly identical to the approval rating he received in February (70% vs. 16% disapprove). Californians are more likely to approve of Obama’s job performance than are adults nationwide, according to a recent CBS News poll (62% approve, 24% disapprove). Congress’s ratings continue to improve (43% approve, 47% disapprove). While this level of approval falls short of a majority, it has increased 20 points since October 2008. It also marks a new high since the PPIC Statewide Survey first began tracking approval ratings for Congress in October 2005. 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Press Release Compared to a year ago, Californians’ approval ratings have also increased for Senators Dianne Feinstein (56% today, 44% 2008) and Barbara Boxer (52% today, 41% 2008), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (49% today, 43% 2008). Residents are also more likely to approve of their own congressional representatives (55% today, 47% 2008). When it comes to federal plans to address the financial crisis, Californians have a mixed response. They are highly supportive (65% support, 29% oppose) of the $800 billion package of tax cuts, construction projects, and aid to states and individuals to stimulate the economy. They strongly favor (69% support, 26% oppose) the federal government providing refinancing assistance to homeowners to help avoid foreclosure. But they are divided (46% approve, 46% disapprove) over whether the government should give money to banks and other financial institutions to fix the nation’s economy. MORE KEY FINDINGS: ƒ Record percentages see economy as top issue—page 16 For the second month in a row, record percentages of Californians name the economy when asked an openended question about the state’s biggest issue (58% today, 63% February). Only in July 2001 has another issue—electricity prices and deregulation—received similar attention (56%). ƒ Californians worry about their own housing, jobs—page 17 Six in 10 Californians are very (39%) or somewhat (23%) concerned about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage. Californians are also very (34%) or somewhat (17%) concerned that they or a family member will lose a job in the next year. Ten percent volunteer that they have personally experienced a job loss. ƒ State remains strongly divided about same-sex marriage—page 21 Neither the November election nor legal challenges have changed the polarized views Californians hold on same-sex marriage: 49 percent are opposed, 44 percent are in favor. ABOUT THE SURVEY This survey is the 35th in the Californians and Their Government series and is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. It seeks to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. This is the 96th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 204,000 Californians. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 California adult residents interviewed from March 10–17, 2009, in English or Spanish. The sampling error for all adults is ±2%. For the 987 likely voters, is ±3%. For more information on methodology, see page 25. Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has directed since 1998. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. ### March 2009 5 MAY 19 SPECIAL ELECTION KEY FINDINGS „ Fewer than one in five likely voters are very closely following the special election news. Most say they are happy about going to the polls to vote in May. (page 8) „ About four in 10 likely voters support Proposition 1A, which attempts to stabilize the budget (39% yes, 46% no); 45 percent say that 1A would be very or somewhat effective in helping California avoid future state budget deficits. (page 9) „ Likely voters are divided on Proposition 1B, which establishes an education funding payment plan (44% yes, 41% no); 47 percent say the outcome on 1B is very important. (page 10) „ Half of likely voters oppose Proposition 1C, which would modernize the state lottery and allow for borrowing from future lottery profits (37% yes, 50% no); three in 10 say the outcome on 1C is very important. (page 11) „ Almost half of likely voters support Proposition 1D, which temporarily provides flexibility in children’s services funding while helping balance the state budget (48% yes, 36% no); four in 10 say the outcome on 1D is very important. (page 12) „ Almost half of likely voters also support Proposition 1E, a measure that would temporarily reallocate mental health funding (47% yes, 37% no); three in 10 say the outcome on 1E is very important. (page 13) „ Support is overwhelming for Proposition 1F, which limits salary increases for elected officials in deficit years (81% yes, 13% no); two in three believe that 1F would be very or somewhat effective in helping to avoid future state deficits. (page 14) Attention to News About Special Election 5 12 18 28 Likely voters 37 Very close Fairly close Not too close Not at all close Have not heard about it (vol) Preferences for Propositions 1A–1C 100 Yes 80 No Percent likely voters 60 46 39 40 44 41 50 37 20 0 Prop 1ABudget Stabilization Prop 1BEducation Funding Prop 1CLottery Modernization Percent likely voters Preferences for Propositions 1D–1F 100 Yes No 81 80 60 48 40 36 47 37 20 13 0 Prop 1DChildren and Families Prop 1EMental Health Services Prop 1FState Elected Officials' Salaries 7 Californians and Their Government ATTITUDES TOWARD THE SPECIAL ELECTION In February, the governor and legislature agreed on a budget package. The deal included calling a special election on May 19. There will be six propositions on the ballot (Propositions 1A–1F), which are meant to respond to the approximately $40 billion budget shortfall and ongoing budget problems. Ballot measures that directly affect the 2009–10 budget include Propositions 1C, 1D, and 1E. The special election is just eight weeks away, but relatively few voters (18%) are closely following news about it. Thirty-seven percent say they are following news fairly closely, four in 10 say they are not paying close attention, and 5 percent volunteer they have not heard of the special election. In contrast, seven weeks before the November 2005 special election likely voters were more likely to say they were paying at least fairly close attention to election news (69% 2005, 55% today). This past October, nine in 10 likely voters reported paying at least fairly close attention to the news before the November general election (54% very closely, 37% fairly closely). The May 19 election will be the 14th statewide election this decade. How do voters feel about heading to the polls this time? Most likely voters report that they are very (19%) or somewhat happy (40%) about voting, while 36 percent are unhappy. Democrats (63%) are more likely to report some happiness, followed by Republicans (57%) and independents (55%). Among those who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s performance, 66 percent report they are at least somewhat happy, while among those who disapprove, 55 percent feel similarly. “Overall, how do you feel about having to vote on Propositions 1A through 1F in the May 19th statewide special election?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Approval of Governor Ind Approve Disapprove Very happy 19% 20% 19% 21% 20% 20% Somewhat happy 40 43 38 34 46 35 Somewhat unhappy 21 21 21 24 19 21 Very unhappy 15 13 17 12 10 18 Don’t know 5 359 5 6 When likely voters are informed that the special election is part of the recent budget plan, most say it makes no difference (46%) in the way they view the propositions. Across parties, pluralities of voters say it makes no difference, although Democrats (31%) are more likely than others to say they feel more favorably and Republicans (27%) are more likely than others to say they feel less favorably. Those who disapprove of the governor are more likely than those who approve to say they feel less favorably about the measures. “Propositions 1A through 1F are part of the budget plan that the governor and legislature recently passed to deal with the state budget situation—does knowing that they are part of the budget plan make you feel more favorably or less favorably about the six propositions, or does it not make a difference either way?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Approval of Governor Ind Approve Disapprove More favorably 25% 31% 19% 20% 28% 22% Less favorably 24 22 27 20 13 32 No difference 46 42 47 55 54 41 Don’t know 5 575 5 5 8 PPIC Statewide Survey May 19 Special Election PROPOSITION 1A: “RAINY DAY” FUND When read the ballot label and title, about four in 10 likely voters support Proposition 1A (39% yes, 46% no), an initiative that would change the budget process and could limit future deficits and spending by increasing the size of the state “rainy day” fund. Fifteen percent of likely voters are undecided. Democratic likely voters (49%) are nearly twice as likely as Republican likely voters (26%) to support this measure. Independent likely voters are divided (42% yes, 40% no). There are also regional differences in support for 1A. Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (46%) and Los Angeles (42%) are more supportive than those in the Other Southern California region (34%) and the Central Valley (33%). Half of Latino likely voters (52%) would vote yes, while fewer whites (35%) would do so. Support for Proposition 1A increases somewhat as education and income levels rise, although fewer than half across all education and income groups would vote yes if the election were held today. “Proposition 1A is called the “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1A?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 39% 46% 15% Democrat 49 38 13 Party Republican 26 58 16 Independent 42 40 18 Central Valley 33 51 16 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 46 40 14 42 41 17 Other Southern California 34 49 17 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 52 36 12 35 47 18 *For complete text of Proposition 1A, see p. 29, question 15. Fewer than half of likely voters say that Proposition 1A would be very (7%) or somewhat effective (38%) in helping California avoid future state budget deficits. Democratic (54%) and independent (44%) likely voters are much more inclined than Republican likely voters (32%) to say this measure would be effective. Likely voters planning to vote yes are much more likely than those planning to vote no to say Proposition 1A would be effective (87% to 16%). Fewer than half across regions think it would be very or somewhat effective. Latinos (62%) are more likely than whites (41%) to think so. Likely voters only Very effective Somewhat effective Not too effective Not at all effective Don’t know “If Proposition 1A passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1A Yes No 7% 9% 4% 7% 15% 2% 38 45 28 37 72 14 20 19 21 21 6 32 24 15 34 22 3 48 11 12 13 13 4 4 March 2009 9 Californians and Their Government PROPOSITION 1B: EDUCATION FINANCE When read the ballot label and title, likely voters are currently divided on Proposition 1B (44% yes, 41% no), which requires future supplemental payments to school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts. Fifteen percent are undecided. Although likely voters overall are divided on this issue, there is a deep partisan divide. Six in 10 Democrats (59%) would vote yes and six in 10 Republicans (60%) would vote no. Independent likely voters are more inclined to vote yes (46% yes, 38% no). Across regions, a little more than half of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) voice support, and about four in 10 likely voters in other regions agree. Six in 10 Latino likely voters (60%) support Proposition 1B, while whites are divided (40% yes, 43% no). Among likely voters, public school parents (51%) are much more inclined than others (41%) to support this measure. Support for 1B declines sharply with increasing age (64% for 18–34; 46% for 35–54; 35% for 55 and older). “Proposition 1B is called the Education Funding Payment Plan Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1B?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 44% 41% 15% Democrat 59 27 14 Party Republican 25 60 15 Independent 46 38 16 Central Valley 39 42 19 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 52 35 13 41 43 16 Other Southern California 40 45 15 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 60 31 9 40 43 17 *For complete text of Proposition 1B, see p. 29, question 17. How do likely voters view the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1B? Eight in 10 say it is very (47%) or somewhat important (33%), while far fewer view it as not too (9%) or not at all important (5%). Democratic likely voters (53%) are more likely than independents (44%) or Republicans (41%) to view the outcome as very important. About half of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (51%), the Other Southern California region (49%), and Los Angeles (48%) view the outcome as very important, compared to 41 percent of Central Valley likely voters. Latinos (65%) are more likely than whites (42%) to view the outcome as very important. Likely voters who say they would vote yes (57%) are more likely than those who would vote no (41%) to view the outcome as very important. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1B?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1B Yes No Very important 47% 53% 41% 44% 57% 41% Somewhat important 33 30 37 33 36 33 Not too important 9 8 9 9 4 14 Not at all important 5 276 2 9 Don’t know 6 768 1 3 10 PPIC Statewide Survey May 19 Special Election PROPOSITION 1C: CALIFORNIA STATE LOTTERY When read the ballot title and label, half of likely voters are opposed to Proposition 1C (37% yes, 50% no), an initiative that would modernize the lottery and allow for $5 billion of borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance next year’s state budget. Across political groups fewer than half support the measure, but Democrats (45%) are more likely than independents (37%) and far more likely than Republicans (29%) to say they would vote yes. Likely voters in all regions are more likely to vote no than yes, although support is higher in Los Angeles (42%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (40%). Among likely voters, public school parents are divided (44% yes, 47% no), while others (51%) are more likely to vote no. Support decreases somewhat as age, education, and income rise. Latinos (58%) are currently the only demographic group in which support is over 50 percent, while about half of whites (52%), men (51%), and women (50%) say they would vote no. “Proposition 1C is called the Lottery Modernization Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1C?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 37% 50% 13% Democrat 45 41 14 Party Republican 29 59 12 Independent 37 54 9 Central Valley 33 58 9 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 40 46 14 42 46 12 Other Southern California 32 54 14 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 58 36 6 33 52 15 *For complete text of Proposition 1C, see p. 29, question 19. About seven in 10 likely voters view the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1C as very (31%) or somewhat important (41%). Fewer than 35 percent across parties and regions say the outcome is very important. Latinos (42%) are more likely than whites (28%) to say this. Likely voters who indicate they will vote yes on the proposition (36%) are more likely than no voters (31%) to say the outcome of Proposition 1C is very important. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1C?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1C Yes No Very important 31% 34% 30% 29% 36% 31% Somewhat important 41 40 43 39 49 38 Not too important 15 14 12 21 12 18 Not at all important 6 6 6 5 1 10 Don’t know 7 696 2 3 March 2009 11 Californians and Their Government PROPOSITION 1D: CHILDREN’S SERVICES When read the ballot label and title, nearly half of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 1D (48% yes, 36% no), an initiative that would temporarily provide greater flexibility in funding to preserve health and human services for young children, while helping to balance the state budget during this economic downturn. However, there is a wide partisan divide among the state’s likely voters. Six in 10 Democrats (60%) voice support for this initiative, compared to nearly half of independents (48%) and only one in three Republicans (34%). Across regions, support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%), followed by the Other Southern California region (48%), the Central Valley (47%), and Los Angeles (45%). Latino likely voters (70%) are far more inclined than whites (44%) to say they would vote yes on Proposition 1D. Support for Proposition 1D is much greater among parents of children age 18 or younger (56%) than others (43%) and support decreases as age, education, and income rise. “Proposition 1D is called the Children’s Services Funding Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1D?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 48% 36% 16% Democrat 60 28 12 Party Republican 34 46 20 Independent 48 36 16 Central Valley 47 40 13 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 52 32 16 45 39 16 Other Southern California 48 37 15 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 70 24 6 44 38 18 *For complete text of Proposition 1D, see p.30, question 21. Eight in 10 likely voters view the outcome of Proposition 1D as very (40%) or somewhat important (39%). Strong majorities across parties view the outcome as important, but Democrats (47%) are much more likely than independents (37%) and Republicans (34%) to say the outcome is very important. About four in 10 Californians across regions call it very important. Latinos (58%) are far more likely than whites (35%) to view the outcome as very important, while parents of children age 18 or younger (41% very important) and others (40% very important) hold similar views. Half of likely voters who would vote yes (50%) view the outcome as very important, compared to 38 percent of no voters. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1D?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1D Yes No Very important 40% 47% 34% 37% 50% 38% Somewhat important 39 38 42 38 42 42 Not too important 9 7 10 11 6 11 Not at all important 4 257 1 8 Don’t know 8 697 1 1 12 PPIC Statewide Survey May 19 Special Election PROPOSITION 1E: MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES When read the ballot label and title, nearly half of likely voters say they would vote yes on Proposition 1E (47% yes, 37% no), an initiative that would help balance the state budget by amending the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63 of 2004) to transfer funds from mental health services to the general fund. Democrats (54%) and independents (46%) are more likely than Republicans (39%) to say they would vote yes on Proposition 1E. About half of likely voters in Los Angeles (51%) and the Central Valley (49%) support Proposition 1E, compared to 45 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Other Southern California region. Two in three Latino likely voters (66%) would vote yes on Proposition 1E, compared to fewer than half of whites (42%). Support decreases as education and income levels rise. “Proposition 1E is called the Mental Health Funding Temporary Reallocation Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1E?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 47% 37% 16% Democrat 54 32 14 Party Republican 39 43 18 Independent 46 39 15 Central Valley 49 33 18 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 45 37 18 51 33 16 Other Southern California 45 43 12 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 66 26 8 42 40 18 *For complete text of Proposition 1E, see p.30, question 23. Three in four likely voters say the outcome of Proposition 1E is very (30%) or somewhat important (44%), while 18 percent say it is not too (14%) or not at all important (4%). Democrats (37%) are much more likely than independents (27%) and Republicans (21%) to say the outcome is very important. Likely voters in Los Angeles (36%) are the most likely to say it is very important, while those in the Other Southern California region (22%) are the least likely. Latinos (48%) are nearly twice as likely as whites (26%) to view the outcome as very important. Likely voters who would vote yes (87%) are more likely than no voters (71%) to place importance on the outcome of Proposition 1E. “How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1E?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 1E Yes No Very important 30% 37% 21% 27% 34% 30% Somewhat important 44 43 49 40 53 41 Not too important 14 9 16 21 9 21 Not at all important 4 365 2 8 Don’t know 8 887 2 March 2009 13 Californians and Their Government PROPOSITION 1F: ELECTED OFFICIALS’ SALARY INCREASES Proposition 1F is the only ballot measure that currently has majority support: When read the ballot label and title, likely voters overwhelmingly support this measure (81% yes, 13% no), which would prevent pay increases for state elected officials during budget deficit years. Independents (89%) are the most likely to say they would vote yes, followed by Republicans (83%) and Democrats (78%). Across regions, support for Proposition 1F is overwhelming: About eight in 10 say they would vote yes. Across demographic groups, strong majorities say they would vote yes on Proposition 1F. However, whites (84%) are far more likely than Latinos (68%) to say they would vote yes. At least seven in 10 would vote yes on Proposition 1F across all age and income groups and among homeowners and renters. Men and women (81% each) equally support this measure. Of those who say the state budget situation is a big problem, 83 percent say they would vote yes on Proposition 1F. “Proposition 1F is called the Elected Officials’ Salaries, Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years Act. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1F?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 81% 13% 6% Democrat 78 17 5 Party Republican 83 12 5 Independent 89 7 4 Central Valley 82 14 4 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 81 13 80 16 6 4 Other Southern California 81 12 7 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 68 28 84 11 4 5 *For complete text of Proposition 1F, see p. 30, question 25. When asked how effective Proposition 1F would be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits, two in three likely voters say it would be very (28%) or somewhat effective (39%). Solid majorities across regional, political, and demographic groups say if Proposition 1F passes it will be at least somewhat effective in helping avoid future state budget deficits. Among those voters planning to vote yes on Proposition 1F, 74 percent think the measure will be at least somewhat effective. Likely voters only “If Proposition 1F passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Very effective 28% 28% 30% 25% Somewhat effective 39 39 36 46 Not too effective 18 18 18 16 Not at all effective 11 11 12 10 Don’t know 4 443 *Sample size for No voters on Proposition 1F is not large enough for separate analysis. Yes Voters on Proposition 1F* 31% 43 18 7 1 14 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS „ About six in 10 Californians say the economy is the most important state issue, that California is in a serious recession, and are concerned about having enough money to pay for housing. Seven in 10 expect bad economic times this year, and half are concerned that they or someone in their family will lose a job. (pages 16, 17) „ The percentages who approve of the job the governor, state legislature overall, and their own state legislators are doing are at record lows. (page 18) „ Nearly all Californians view the state budget situation as a problem. Nearly half believe it’s a good idea to lower the two-thirds legislative majority requirement to pass a budget to 55 percent. (page 17) „ Six in 10 Californians think it’s a good idea to replace California’s current primary election system with one in which the two top vote-getters, regardless of party, compete in the general election. (page 20) „ California adults and likely voters remain divided on same-sex marriage. At least half of both supporters and opponents of samesex marriage say the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on Proposition 8 is very important, but those opposed are more likely to say so. (page 21) „ Seven in 10 Californians approve of President Obama and about half approve of their own representatives, U.S. Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and Speaker Pelosi. Many Californians support the national economic stimulus and homeowner assistance plans, but are divided about helping financial institutions. (pages 22, 23) Percent likely voters Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 80 Governor 59 61 60 60 Legislature 51 50 46 44 40 37 33 40 41 38 32 36 37 32 34 34 30 20 25 21 18 0 Jan Sep Jan Sep Mar Sep Mar Sep Mar Sep Mar 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 80 Percent all adults 60 56 52 49 40 20 0 Senator Boxer Senator Feinstein Speaker Pelosi Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage 80 60 55 Favor Oppose 51 46 47 48 47 49 49 40 38 43 46 46 46 47 47 45 20 0 Jan 00 Feb Aug Sep Jun Aug Oct Mar 04 05 06 07 08 08 09 15 Californians and Their Government OVERALL MOOD Californians remain in a grim mood about the state of their state. The vast majority of residents (71%) and likely voters (77%) believe that things in California are generally going in the wrong direction and more than two in three across parties hold this view (69% Democrats, 74% independents, 83% Republicans). Across regions, more than two-thirds think the state is headed in the wrong direction (68% Los Angeles, 72% Central Valley, 72% San Francisco Bay Area, 73% Other Southern California region), and solid majorities across demographic groups also express this view. Whites are more pessimistic than Latinos (76% to 65%) and pessimism increases as education and income levels rise. Residents under age 35 (64%) are somewhat less likely than those age 35 and older (75%) to say the state is headed in the wrong direction. The percentage saying the state is headed in the wrong direction has been 60 percent or above since March 2008. “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 22% 25% 12% 17% 17% Wrong direction 71 69 83 74 77 Don't know 76596 For the second month in a row, record percentages of residents name the economy as the most important issue facing the state when asked an open-ended question (63% February, 58% today). Since last March, the economy has been the number-one issue for Californians (42% January 2009, 44% September 2008, 42% August 2008, 36% May 2008, 36% April 2008, 35% March 2008), but the percentages saying so in the last two months are higher than the percentages naming any single issue in the 11-year history of the statewide survey. Only in July 2001 did another issue—electricity prices and deregulation—receive nearly as much attention (56%). Today, pluralities of Californians across all regions and political and demographic groups point to the economy as the state’s most important issue. Other issues rank far behind, including the state budget (13%), education (7%), immigration (4%), housing (3%), and health care (2%). Most Californians (71%) and likely voters (79%) expect the state to have bad financial times in the next 12 months. In 11 of 12 surveys since January 2008 more than 70 percent have said they expect bad economic times, with a high of 78 percent last June and July. In 2003, by comparison, only once did a similar percentage say they expected bad times (71% in February 2003) and the percentage dropped to 58 percent by June 2003. Today, more than seven in 10 across political parties and at least two in three across regions expect bad times. Solid majorities across demographic groups are pessimistic about the economy; pessimism rises as education and income rise. 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 22% Central Valley 18% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 15% 28% Other Southern California 23% 71 76 77 66 71 76 8 6 6 Likely Voters 15% 79 6 16 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues ECONOMIC SITUATION In another measure of pessimism, 93 percent of Californians say the state is in an economic recession and 63 percent call it a serious one. Since this question was first asked a year ago, the percentage saying the state is in a serious recession has more than doubled (26% March 2008, 34% August 2008, 39% October 2008, 59% January 2009, 63% today). More than half across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the state is in a serious economic recession. Democrats (69%) are the most likely political group (65% Republicans, 60% independents), to say so and whites (66%) are more likely than Latinos (58%). The percentage calling the recession serious increases with rising education and income, and this view is held by more residents age 35 and older (68%) than by residents younger than 35 (51%). “Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not?” Yes, serious recession All Adults 63% Central Valley 59% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 65% 61% Other Southern California 65% Yes, moderate recession 26 32 23 26 24 Yes, mild recession 4 2 5 7 4 No 5 4 5 5 6 Don't know 23 2 1 1 Latinos 58% 28 6 7 1 Attitudes toward the state’s economic situation are also reflected in residents’ personal circumstances: Six in 10 are very (39%) or somewhat concerned (23%) about not having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage. Thirty-seven percent are not too (16%) or not at all concerned (21%). Californians are much more likely than adults nationwide to be worried about making their rent or mortgage payments. In a February ABC News/Washington Post survey, 46 percent of adults nationwide were concerned (24% very, 22% somewhat), and half were not concerned (17% not too, 33% not at all). Concern among Californians decreases with rising income and education levels, and renters are more worried than homeowners. Residents under age 55 are far more likely to be very concerned than those age 55 and older. Across regions, Los Angeles residents (46%) are the most likely to be very concerned. “How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage?” Very concerned All Adults 39% Household Income Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 56% 37% $80,000 or more 23% Home ownership Own Rent 32% 49% Somewhat concerned 23 21 24 24 23 23 Not too concerned 16 10 15 23 17 14 Not at all concerned 21 11 24 30 28 12 Other/Don't know 12 – – –2 Californians are not only worried about housing. Many are also concerned that they or a family member will lose a job in the next year (34% very concerned, 17% somewhat concerned). Ten percent volunteer that they have already experienced job loss. Personal concern about job loss declines sharply with rising income and education. Also, residents under age 55 (56%) are far more likely to be concerned than residents 55 and older (39%), and Latinos (72%) are far more likely than whites (40%). Of those who are concerned about making housing payments, 64 percent are also concerned about experiencing job loss. March 2009 17 Californians and Their Government STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS The months of impasse over the state budget and a down economy seem to have depressed the job approval ratings of Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature. The governor’s approval rating (32%) matches his lowest ever—December 2005, just after that year’s unpopular special election. The legislature’s approval rating today (18%) is a historic low. The governor receives majority disapproval on his job performance from likely voters (57%), Democrats (60%), independents (57%), and—for the first time in a PPIC Statewide Survey—among Republicans (53%). At least half of Californians across regions and demographic groups disapprove of the governor’s job performance. Los Angeles residents (64%) are more likely than residents elsewhere (56% Other Southern California, 53% Central Valley, 51% San Francisco Bay Area) to hold this view. Latinos (64%) are more likely than whites (52%) to disapprove; disapproval declines as education and income levels rise. The legislature receives strong majority disapproval of its job performance from likely voters (80%), Republicans (84%), independents (74%), and Democrats (71%). Across regions, strong majorities disapprove (63% Los Angeles, 70% San Francisco Bay Area, 71% Central Valley, 71% Other Southern California), and across racial/ethnic groups, whites (78%) are far more likely to disapprove than Latinos (52%). Disapproval increases sharply as age, education, and income rise. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …” All Adults Dem Party Rep …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? Approve Disapprove Don't know 32% 29% 37% 56 60 53 12 11 10 … the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 18 17 8 68 71 84 14 12 8 Ind 33% 57 10 15 74 11 Likely Voters 33% 57 10 11 80 9 Californians also express record low approval of their own state legislators: 32 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove, and 20 percent are unsure. Approval ratings were at 34 percent last September. Previous lows were recorded before the 2005 special election (38% approval in August and October 2005). Among likely voters now, 29 percent approve and 57 percent disapprove. Majorities of Republicans (63%) and independents (56%) disapprove and Democrats are more likely to disapprove (45%) than approve (37%). Across regions, Central Valley residents (57%) are the most likely to disapprove, followed by Other Southern California (51%), Los Angeles (46%), and San Francisco Bay Area (41%) residents. A majority of whites (54%) disapprove of the legislature’s job performance, but Latinos are more likely to approve (45%) than disapprove (36%). Disapproval rises with higher age and income. 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 32% 37% 22% 25% 48 45 63 56 20 18 15 19 Likely Voters 29% 57 14 18 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues STATE BUDGET SITUATION Most Californians continue to express deep concern about the state’s fiscal situation even after passage of the 2009–2010 state budget. Nearly all residents today say that the state’s budget situation is a big (75%) or somewhat of a problem (20%). Ninety-eight percent of likely voters also consider the budget situation a big (85%) or somewhat of a problem (13%). Perceptions of the budget situation as a problem are identical to January’s (75% big problem, 20% somewhat), and similar to last October’s (74% big, 22% somewhat) and September’s (78% big, 19% somewhat) when the governor and legislature approved a 2008–2009 budget that set a record for lateness. In March 2008, residents were somewhat less likely than today to call the budget situation a big problem (68%) and more likely to call it somewhat of a problem (26%). Across parties, more than three in four think the state budget situation is a big problem (79% Democrats, 80% independents, 84% Republicans), and across regions, more than seven in 10 hold this view (71% Los Angeles, 74% Other Southern California, 76% San Francisco Bay Area, 78% Central Valley). Whites are far more likely than Latinos (82% to 63%) to call the budget situation a big problem, and the percentage calling it a big problem increases sharply with rising age, education, and income. “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?” Big problem All Adults 75% Central Valley 78% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 76% 71% Other Southern California 74% Somewhat of a problem 20 20 19 23 19 Not a problem 2– 2 2 2 Don't know 32 3 4 5 Likely Voters 85% 13 1 1 California is currently one of three states requiring a two-thirds vote of the state legislature to pass a state budget. This vote requirement is sometimes mentioned as a reason for the inability of the legislature to pass a budget on time. Some have proposed easing this requirement from two-thirds to 55 percent. Currently, 47 percent of Californians think this is a good idea, while 41 percent think it is a bad one. Among likely voters, more think it is a bad idea (49%) than a good one (43%). Opinion among all adults has been fairly divided on this question since it was first asked in June 2003. This past January was the first time that a majority of all adults expressed any view: 54 percent called it a good idea, 39 percent a bad idea. Across parties, Democrats (53%) and independents (48%) are far more likely than Republicans (31%) to say a 55-percent budget vote threshold is a good idea. Latinos are far more likely than whites (59% to 41%), and San Francisco Bay Area (54%) and Los Angeles (53%) residents are more likely than Other Southern California (44%) and Central Valley (39%) residents to say it is a good idea. “As you may know, the California state constitution requires that two-thirds of the state legislature agree to a state budget for it to pass. Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for the state legislature to pass a budget?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Ind Voters Good idea 47% 53% 31% 48% 43% Bad idea 41 37 60 41 49 Don't know 12 10 9 11 8 March 2009 19 Californians and Their Government GOVERNANCE REFORMS A proposal passed by the legislature for voter consideration in a future state ballot would change California’s primary elections from a partially closed system to one in which registered voters could cast ballots for any candidate in a primary, and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, would advance to the general election. Proponents believe this system would lead to more competitive elections and potentially result in more moderate candidates. Opponents believe it would be bad for political parties. When asked about this proposal, six in 10 residents (61%) and likely voters (59%) say it is a good idea, while about three in 10 (27% adults, 31% likely voters) say it is a bad one. Currently, majorities of Republicans (54%), Democrats (61%), and independents (72%) think the general idea of a top two vote-getter primary is a good one. Support is lowest in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%) compared to other regions (60% Other Southern California, 64% Los Angeles, 66% Central Valley). At least six in 10 whites (60%), Latinos (65%), men (61%), and women (61%) call the idea a good one. “On another topic, recently, some people have proposed changing California’s state primary elections from a partially closed system to a system where registered voters could cast ballots for any candidate in a primary and the top two vote-getters—regardless of party—would advance to the general election. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Ind Voters Good idea 61% 61% 54% 72% 59% Bad idea 27 30 36 19 31 Don't know 12 9 10 9 10 To deal with California’s structural challenges, some civic and business leaders have proposed that a convention be called to rewrite California’s state constitution. The current constitution was adopted in 1879 and has been amended many times since through ballot propositions passed by voters. When asked about the current state constitution, two in three Californians believe some changes (31% major, 36% minor) are needed; one in four (24%) think it is fine the way it is and 9 percent are unsure. Democrats (29% major changes, 43% minor) are more likely than independents (26% major, 40% minor) and much more likely than Republicans (20% major, 39% minor) to say that changes are needed. Majorities of residents across regions and demographic groups think the state constitution needs at least minor changes. Latinos are twice as likely as whites (48% to 23%) to say major changes are needed; belief that major change is needed decreases sharply with rising education and income levels. Those who approve of the legislature overall are as likely as those who disapprove to say that changes are needed. “As you may know, the state currently operates under a constitution adopted in 1879 that has been amended many times since then through ballot propositions passed by the voters. Overall, do you think the California constitution needs major changes or minor changes or is it fine the way it is?” Major changes All Adults 31% Central Valley 32% Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 29% 36% Other Southern California 27% Likely Voters 24% Minor changes 36 31 38 34 40 40 Fine the way it is 24 31 21 23 24 26 Don't know 9 6 12 7 9 10 20 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues PROPOSITION 8 AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE With the November passage of Proposition 8, the Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Initiative Constitutional Amendment (52% yes, 48% no), the state constitution was changed and samesex couples lost the right to marry. Several lawsuits to overturn the amendment were subsequently filed. On March 5, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments from the two sides and said it would issue a final decision within 90 days. About 18,000 same-sex marriages took place before Proposition 8 passed and the court will also decide whether these marriages will be annulled or preserved. When asked about the general concept of allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married, 49 percent of Californians say they oppose such marriages, 44 percent say they favor them, and 7 percent are unsure. Likely voters are also divided (45% favor, 49% oppose). Across parties, a strong majority of Democrats (60%) say they favor same-sex marriage, an even stronger majority of Republicans (74%) say they oppose it, and independents are divided (47% favor, 44% oppose). Opinions on allowing samesex marriages have been relatively unchanged among all adults since February 2004 (44% favor, 50% oppose), but opposition was much higher when we first asked this question in January 2000 (39% favor, 55% oppose). At that time, Proposition 22, which prevented the state from recognizing same-sex marriages, was on the March ballot. It was overturned by the high court in May 2008. Favor Oppose Don't know “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 44% 60% 22% 47% 49 34 74 44 76 4 9 Likely Voters 45% 49 6 Fifty-six percent of residents say the Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 is very important to them, 22 percent say it is somewhat important, and just 20 percent say it is not too (10%) or not at all important (10%) to them. Majorities across political parties say the court’s decision is very important to them, with Republicans (64%) more likely than Democrats (58%) and independents (56%) to say it is very important. Californians who oppose same-sex marriages (65%) are much more likely than those who favor them (51%) to say the court’s decision is very important to them. “As you may know, Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, was approved by voters in November. The California Supreme Court recently heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of Proposition 8. How important to you is the outcome of the California Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Same-sex Marriage Favor Oppose Very important 56% 58% 64% 56% 51% 65% Somewhat important 22 23 21 22 29 18 Not too important 10 9 9 11 11 8 Not at all important 10 9 5 10 7 8 Don’t know 2 111 2 1 March 2009 21 Californians and Their Government FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Only two months into his term, President Barack Obama receives the approval of a strong majority of Californians (71%) and likely voters (63%). His approval ratings among all adults are nearly identical to last month (70% approve). Californians are more approving of the president than adults nationwide (62% approve, 24% disapprove), according to a recent CBS News Poll. In California, 90 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents approve of his performance, and half of Republicans disapprove (51%). Across regions, at least six in 10 residents approve, with residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (81%) most likely to approve, and Central Valley residents (62%) least likely. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (88%) are far more likely to approve of the president than whites (61%); women (74%) are somewhat more approving than men (69%). Across demographic groups, President Obama receives his highest approval ratings from those under age 35 (78%), those with a high school education or less (77%), and among those with household income below $40,000 (80%). Approval ratings for Congress continue to improve, although they fail to reach a majority (43% approve, 47% disapprove). Likely voters are more disapproving of Congress. Californians are more approving than adults nationwide (30% approve, 56% disapprove), according to the CBS News poll. In California, Congress’s approval ratings are up 6 points since January (37%), and have climbed by 20 points since last October (23%): this month marks a new high in approval for Congress since the PPIC Statewide Survey began tracking its performance in October 2005. Across parties, Democrats (56%) approve of Congress’s performance, while majorities of independents (59%) and Republicans (76%) disapprove. Latinos (64%) are more than twice as likely as whites (31%) to approve of Congress. “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 71% 90% 35% 20 4 51 9 6 14 … the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 43 56 18 47 35 76 10 9 6 Ind 69% 21 10 29 59 12 Likely Voters 63% 28 9 35 58 7 Compared to a year ago, approval ratings have increased for U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (41% to 52%) and Dianne Feinstein (44% to 56%) and for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (43% to 49%). When it comes to their own congressional representative, a majority of Californians and likely voters (55% each) say they approve of his or her performance. These approval ratings among residents today mark an 8-point increase since March 2008 (47%). In the past year, these approval ratings rose among Democrats (56% to 65%) and independents (39% to 45%) and they fell among Republicans (52% to 44%). 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 Likely Voters Ind 55% 65% 44% 45% 55% 24 18 36 32 31 21 17 20 23 14 22 PPIC Statewide Survey State and National Issues NATIONAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY POLICIES President Barack Obama and Congress are responding to the financial crisis with a stimulus plan of about $800 billion that includes tax cuts, funding for construction projects, and aid to states. Californians are highly supportive of this plan (65% support, 29% oppose). Findings among likely voters are similar. Adults nationwide hold similar views, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll (64% support). In January, when the president announced the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, we asked a similar question and found that 57 percent of Californians were satisfied with the president’s plan, while 26 percent were dissatisfied. Across parties, Democrats (82%) are far more supportive of this plan than independents (65%) and a majority of Republicans (54%) disapprove of it. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (74%) are most supportive, with Central Valley residents (56%) least supportive. Women and men (65% each) are both supportive of the stimulus plan, while Latinos (69%) are somewhat more likely than whites (61%) to support it. Support Oppose Don't know “As you may know, the federal government will spend about $800 billion on tax cuts, construction projects, and aid to states and individuals to try to stimulate the economy. Do you support or oppose this plan?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind 65% 82% 39% 65% 62% 29 13 54 29 33 65765 Californians are divided (46% approve, 46% disapprove) about the federal government’s providing money to banks and other financial institutions to help fix the country’s economic problems. Likely voters are more likely to oppose than favor this action (39% approve, 52% disapprove). Adults nationwide (37% approve) are less likely to approve than Californians, according to the CBS News poll. Across parties, a strong majority of Republicans (67%) disapprove of the government trying to help financial institutions, just half of independents (51%) say the same, and half of Democrats (53%) approve. “Do you approve or disapprove of the federal government providing money to banks and other financial institutions to try to help fix the country's economic problems?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Approve 46% 53% 26% 37% 39% Disapprove 46 38 67 51 52 Depends (volunteered) 4 4 4 7 5 Don't know 45354 By contrast, 69 percent of Californians support the federal government’s using $75 billion to provide refinancing assistance to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure on their mortgages; 26 percent oppose it. California likely voters are somewhat less supportive (61% support, 34% oppose); adults nationwide are also less supportive (64%), according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll. In California, Democrats (81%) are much more likely to support this plan than independents (67%), and Republicans (52%) are more likely to oppose it. Latinos (85%) are far more likely than whites (61%) to support the federal government’s helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. March 2009 23 REGIONAL MAP 24 PPIC Statewide Survey METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research support from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Jennifer Paluch and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts; however, the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. The findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 California adult residents interviewed from March 10–17, 2009. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days, 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. Telephone numbers in the survey sample 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. Each interview took an average of 17 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. conducted the telephone interviewing. We used recent U.S. Census and state data to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,004 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,525 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 987 likely voters, it is ±3 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 four 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, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. Sample sizes for African Americans and Asian Americans are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (those who are registered as “decline to state”). We also include the responses of “likely voters”— those who are most likely to vote in the state’s elections based on past voting, current interest, and voting intentions. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/Washington Post and the CBS News Poll. 25 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 10–17, 2009 2,004 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 58% jobs, economy 13 state budget, deficit, taxes 7 education, schools 4 immigration, illegal immigration 3 housing costs, housing crisis 2 health care, health costs 10 other 3 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 32% approve 56 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 18% approve 68 disapprove 14 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? 32% approve 48 disapprove 20 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 22% right direction 71 wrong direction 7 don’t know 6. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 22% good times 71 bad times 7 don’t know 7. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? (if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 63% yes, serious recession 26 yes, moderate recession 4 yes, mild recession 5 no 2 don’t know 8. And, are you concerned that you or someone in your family will lose their job in the next year, or not? (if yes: Are you very concerned or somewhat concerned?)? 34% yes, very concerned 17 yes, somewhat concerned 38 no 10 have lost job already (volunteered) 1 don’t know 27 Californians and Their Government 9. How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage—very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this? 39% very concerned 23 somewhat concerned 16 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned 1 other/don’t know (volunteered) 10.Changing topics, 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? 75% big problem 20 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 3 don’t know 11.As you may know, the California state constitution requires that two-thirds of the state legislature agree to a state budget for it to pass. Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55-percent majority vote for the state legislature to pass a budget? 47% good idea 41 bad idea 12 don’t know 12.Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 76% yes [ask q12a] 23 no [skip to q13b] 1 don’t know [skip to q13b] 12a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 46% Democrat [ask q13] 32 Republican [ask q13a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q14] 20 independent [skip to q13b] 13.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 63% strong 34 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q14] 13a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 55% strong 40 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q14] 13b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 47 Democratic Party 20 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know [delayed skip: if q12=no or don’t know, skip to q29] [responses recorded for questions 14 to 28 are for likely voters only] Next, the governor and legislature recently called a statewide special election in May for voters to consider ballot measures that address the state’s budget situation. 14.How closely are you following news about the May 19th statewide special election? 18% very closely 37 fairly closely 28 not too closely 12 not at all closely 5 have not heard about the election (volunteered) 28 PPIC Statewide Survey Next, we have a few questions to ask you about Propositions 1A through 1F on the May 19th special election ballot. 15.Proposition 1A is called the “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund Act. It changes the budget process. It could limit future deficits and spending by increasing the size of the state "rainy day" fund and requiring aboveaverage revenues to be deposited into it, for use during economic downturns and other purposes. Fiscal impacts include: higher state tax revenues of roughly $16 billion from 2010–11 through 2012–13, and, over time, increased amounts of money in state rainy day reserve, and potentially less ups and downs in state spending. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1A? 39% yes 46 no 15 don’t know 16.If Proposition 1A passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits? 7% very effective 38 somewhat effective 20 not too effective 24 not at all effective 11 don’t know 17.Proposition 1B is called the Education Funding Payment Plan Act. It requires supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges to address recent budget cuts. Fiscal impacts include potential state savings of up to several billion dollars in 2009–10 and 2010–11 and potential state costs of billions of dollars annually thereafter. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1B? 44% yes 41 no 15 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 18.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1B? 47% very important 33 somewhat important 9 not too important 5 not at all important 6 don’t know 19.Proposition 1C is called the Lottery Modernization Act. It allows the state lottery to be modernized to improve its performance, with increased payouts, improved marketing, and effective management. It requires the state to maintain ownership of the lottery and authorizes additional accountability measures. It protects funding levels for schools currently provided by lottery revenues. Increased lottery revenues will be used to address current budget deficit and reduce the need for additional tax increases and cuts to state programs. Fiscal impacts include allowing $5 billion of borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance the 2009–10 state budget; debtservice payments on this borrowing and higher payments to education would likely make it more difficult to balance future state budgets. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1C? 37% yes 50 no 13 don’t know 20.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1C—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 31% very important 41 somewhat important 15 not too important 6 not at all important 7 don’t know March 2009 29 Californians and Their Government 21.Proposition 1D is called the Children’s Services Funding Act. It temporarily provides greater flexibility in funding to preserve health and human services for young children while helping balance the state budget in a difficult economy. Fiscal impacts include state general fund savings of up to $608 million in 2009–10 and $268 million annually from 2010–11 through 2013–14, and corresponding reductions in funding for early childhood development programs provided by the California Children and Families Program. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1D? 48% yes 36 no 16 don’t know 22.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1D—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 40% very important 39 somewhat important 9 not too important 4 not at all important 8 don’t know 23.Proposition 1E is called the Mental Health Funding. Temporary Reallocation Act. It helps balance state budget by amending the Mental Health Services Act (which was Proposition 63 of 2004) to transfer funds, for two years, to pay for mental health services provided through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program for children and young adults. Fiscal impacts include state general fund savings of about $230 million annually for two years (2009–10 and 2010–11) and corresponding reduction in funding available for Mental Health Services Act programs. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1E? 47% yes 37 no 16 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 24.How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 1E—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 30% very important 44 somewhat important 14 not too important 4 not at all important 8 don’t know 25.Proposition 1F is called the Elected Officials’ Salaries. Prevents Pay Increases During Budget Deficit Years Act. It encourages balanced state budgets by preventing elected members of the Legislature and statewide constitutional officers, including the governor, from receiving pay raises in years when the state is running a deficit. It directs the director of finance to determine whether a given year is a deficit year and it prevents the California Citizens Compensation Commission from increasing elected officials’ salaries when the state Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties is in the negative by an amount equal to or greater than one percent of the general fund. Fiscal impacts include minor state savings related to elected state officials’ salaries in some cases when the state is expected to end the year with a budget deficit. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 1F? 81% yes 13 no 6 don’t know 26.If Proposition 1F passes, how effective do you think it will be in helping California avoid future state budget deficits? 28% very effective 39 somewhat effective 18 not too effective 11 not at all effective 4 don’t know 27.Overall, how do you feel about having to vote on Propositions 1A through 1F in the May 19th statewide special election—would you say you are very happy, somewhat happy, somewhat unhappy, or very unhappy? 19% very happy 40 somewhat happy 21 somewhat unhappy 15 very unhappy 5 don’t know 28.Propositions 1A through 1F are part of the budget plan that the governor and legislature recently passed to deal with the state budget situation—does knowing that they are part of the budget plan make you feel more favorably or less favorably about the six propositions, or does it not make a difference either way? 25% more favorably 24 less favorably 46 no difference 5 don’t know 29.On another topic, recently, some people have proposed changing California’s state primary elections from a partially closed system to a system where registered voters could cast ballots for any candidate in a primary and the top two vote-getters— regardless of party—would advance to the general election. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea? 61% good idea 27 bad idea 12 don’t know 30.As you may know, the state currently operates under a constitution adopted in 1879 that has been amended many times since then through ballot propositions passed by the voters. Overall, do you think the California constitution needs major changes or minor changes or is it fine the way it is? 31% major changes 36 minor changes 24 fine the way it is 9 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 31.Changing topics, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 44% favor 49 oppose 7 don’t know 32.As you may know, Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry, was approved by voters in November. The California Supreme Court recently heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of Proposition 8. How important to you is the outcome of the California Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 56% very important 22 somewhat important 10 not too important 10 not at all important 2 don’t know 33.Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 71% approve 20 disapprove 9 don’t know [rotate questions 34 and 35] 34.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. senator? 56% approve 28 disapprove 16 don’t know 35.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. senator? 52% approve 28 disapprove 20 don’t know March 2009 31 Californians and Their Government 36.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 43% approve 47 disapprove 10 don’t know 37.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is handling her job? 49% approve 36 disapprove 15 don’t know 38.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? 55% approve 24 disapprove 21 don’t know 39.On another topic, as you may know, the federal government will spend about $800 billion on tax cuts, construction projects, and aid to states and individuals to try to stimulate the economy. Do you support or oppose this plan? 65% support 29 oppose 6 don’t know 40.Do you approve or disapprove of the federal government providing money to banks and other financial institutions to try to help fix the country's economic problems? 46% approve 46 disapprove 4 depends (volunteered) 4 don’t know 41.On another economic issue, would you support or oppose the federal government using $75 billion to provide refinancing assistance to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure on their mortgages? 69% support 26 oppose 5 don’t know 42.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 32 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? 28% great deal 41 fair amount 25 only a little 4 none 2 don’t know [d1-14: demographic questions] 32 PPIC Statewide Survey PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company 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. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:03" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_309mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:03" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:03" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_309MBS.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) }