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Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 105th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 224,000 Californians. This survey is the 40th 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 decision makers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about important state and national issues. This survey was conducted as the 2010 election season ramps up and California’s gubernatorial and senatorial primaries and state ballot measures take shape; as economic concerns continue to worry Californians greatly; as news about the state’s budget deficit and employment situation remains grim; and as President Obama and Congress wrapped up debate on health-care reform. This survey presents the responses of 2,002 adult residents throughout the state, interviewed in English or Spanish and reached by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State issues, including Republican primary likely voter preferences for gubernatorial and senatorial candidates; likely voters’ preferences in potential match-ups in the November general elections; and preferences regarding Proposition 14, which would change the primary election process to a top-two vote getter system. The survey looks at the overall mood and outlook for California, perceptions of the state economy, and approval ratings of state elected officials. It also examines preferences regarding the size of state government, perceptions of the seriousness of the multibillion-dollar budget deficit, and preferred methods for dealing with it.  National issues, including approval ratings for President Obama, Congress, and respondents’ own congressional representatives as well as attitudes towards national economic recovery policies, health care reform, Afghanistan, immigration policy, and gay rights. We also examine attitudes toward the Democratic and Republican parties, the political movement known as the Tea Party, and the perceived need for a third major political party in the United States.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians—based on their political party affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics—may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2010 elections and 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. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. 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 Voters’ Disdain for Leaders, Discontent With Parties a Volatile Mix WHITMAN BOOSTS PRIMARY LEAD, EDGES PAST BROWN—FIORINA, CAMPBELL TIED SAN FRANCISCO, March 24, 2010—The California voters likely to go to the polls this year give record-low marks to officials in Sacramento and Washington, and most are unhappy with way the two-party system is working—a combustible combination in a campaign season. These are the results of a survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with support from The James Irvine Foundation. For the first time in PPIC survey history, the state legislature’s approval rating among likely voters has sunk to single digits—9 percent. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s record-low approval rating of 25 percent hovers near Governor Gray Davis’ lowest level before recall (21% in June 2003). Likely voters give their own state legislators a 27-percent rating, close to the record-low 25 percent last December. Congress gets an approval rating of 14 percent—a 15-point drop since January (29%)—from likely voters in the survey, which was taken during the heated debate about health care reform. Asked to rate the performance of their own representative in the U.S. House, likely voters are more favorable: 44 percent approve. But this is a record low. President Obama fares better, but his approval rating has also dipped to a new low of 52 percent. With jobs and the economy on their minds, just 36 percent say President Obama’s economic policies have made the economy better, 31 percent say they’ve had no effect so far, and 28 percent say they’ve made conditions worse. In this survey, taken just before the jobs bill passed, 66 percent of likely voters say that Congress and the Obama administration are not doing enough to create jobs. With partisan battles raging in both Sacramento and Washington, less than half of likely voters are content with the major political parties. Forty-one percent have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party and 31 percent feel favorable about the Republican Party. A third (34%) have a favorable impression of the Tea Party movement, 37 percent have an unfavorable impression, and 29 percent have no opinion. Asked whether the major parties do an adequate job representing the American people or whether they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed, 55 percent see a need for a third party. “Pessimism about the economy, disdain for the major parties, and low approval ratings for elected officials are creating an unusual amount of political turbulence this election year,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “The candidates cannot take any voters for granted—regardless of their party identification and past loyalties—because Californians want answers to problems that won’t go away.” WHITMAN HAS 50-POINT LEAD OVER POIZNER, EDGES AHEAD OF BROWN Meg Whitman has bolstered her lead over Steve Poizner by 20 points since January among likely voters in the Republican primary. Today, 61 percent favor her, compared to 11 percent for Poizner, whose level of March 2010 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey support is unchanged from January (Whitman 41%, Poizner 11%). Far fewer are undecided (25% today, 44% January). Whitman, who has advertised much more heavily on radio and TV than Poizner, has seen a stunning increase in support among women (34% January, 61% today). Republican primary voters include the 12 percent of independent voters who say they will choose a Republican ballot. In a potential November matchup, Whitman leads Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, 44 percent to 39 percent, with 17 percent undecided. In January, Brown held a similar lead (41% Brown, 36% Whitman, 23% undecided) over Whitman. Although Brown led among independents in January (36% to 28%), Whitman now holds the plurality of support (37% Brown, 43% Whitman). One in five independents (20%) and Democrats (18%) are undecided, compared to 13 percent of Republicans. Brown officially entered the race a week before PPIC began the March survey. Brown holds a 15-point lead in a potential matchup with Poizner (46% Brown, 31% Poizner, 23% undecided), similar to January (44% Brown, 29% Poizner, 27% undecided). Brown has a 13-point lead among independents (41% Brown, 28% Poizner, 31% undecided). FIORINA, CAMPBELL IN CLOSE RACE—EACH DEADLOCKED WITH BOXER The Republican primary race for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat has tightened since January, when Tom Campbell led both Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore among Republican likely voters (27% Campbell, 16% Fiorina, 8% DeVore). Today, Campbell and Fiorina are in a close race (24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell), and DeVore’s level of support is unchanged (8%). In this campaign—which has seen little advertising— the largest percentage of likely voters (44%) is undecided, similar to January (48%). In hypothetical November matchups, incumbent Boxer is deadlocked with Campbell (43% to 44%), with 13 percent undecided. A plurality of independents support Campbell (48% Campbell, 32% Boxer, 20% undecided). Since January, support for Boxer has dropped 10 points among independents, and Campbell’s support has increased 11 points. Half of women support Boxer (50% vs. 38% Campbell) and half of men favor Campbell (51% vs. 36% Boxer). Boxer is in a similarly tight race with Fiorina (44% to 43%), with 13 percent undecided. Among independents, Fiorina leads Boxer (41% Fiorina, 35% Boxer, 24% undecided). Women favor Boxer by 14 points (51% Boxer, 37% Fiorina) and men favor Fiorina by 13 points (49% Fiorina, 36% Boxer). In a potential race with DeVore, Boxer has a slight lead (46% Boxer, 40% DeVore, 14% undecided). Boxer holds a sizable lead over DeVore among women (53% to 34%) and younger voters (52% to 30%), while DeVore leads among men (47% to 39%). MAJORITY FAVOR PROPOSITION 14 Asked about another of their June ballot choices, a majority of likely voters (56%) say they will vote yes on Proposition 14, the measure to change the primary election process, while 27 percent would vote no and 17 percent are undecided. This constitutional amendment would allow voters to choose a candidate regardless of political party, with the top two vote-getters proceeding to the general election even if both are from the same party. PPIC uses the official ballot title and summary to measure opinion about initiatives. After a judge ordered a change in the Proposition 14 language during the survey period, we began asking the question with the new ballot wording. The survey produced similar results in both versions of the question. Before the language change, 60 percent said they would vote yes and 24 percent said they would vote no. FOR FIRST TIME, 50 PERCENT OF CALIFORNIANS FAVOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Among all Californians, residents are more likely to favor (50%) than oppose (45%) same-sex marriage for the first time in the PPIC Statewide Surveys. Support among all adults has never surpassed 45 percent March 2010 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey since the question was first asked in January 2000. There are clear partisan divisions: majorities of Democrats (64%) and independents (55%) are in favor, and most Republicans (67%) are opposed. There is much more consensus on the issue of gays and lesbians in the military. In the wake of Obama’s announcement that he would like to repeal the federal “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy passed in 1993, 75 percent of Californians say that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military. HALF SUPPORT HEALTH CARE REFORM—PARTISAN SPLIT IS STRONG In the survey, conducted before the passage of the health care reform bill, half of Californians (50%) say they support the changes being debated, similar to responses each time this question has been asked in the past (52% December 2009, 51% September 2009). Opinion is sharply divided along party lines: 70 percent of Democrats support the changes to the health care system and 76 percent of Republicans are opposed. A strong majority of Californians (69%) support one of the chief provisions of the bill, requiring that all Americans have health insurance with the government providing aid to those who cannot afford it. BIG MAJORITIES BACK IMMIGRATION REFORM President Obama has indicated that he will pursue immigration reform in 2010, and this issue has already emerged in the gubernatorial campaign. A strong majority of Californians (69%) say U.S. immigration policy is in need of major changes, and voters across party lines concur. Most (70%) say illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, while 25 percent believe those immigrants should be deported back to their native countries, a similar finding to the six other times the question has been asked. A majority of adults (54%) believe that immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, while 39 percent feel immigrants are a burden because they use public services. In the 13 times PPIC has asked the question, more Californians have said immigrants are a benefit than a burden. But party line divisions are stark on this question: 64 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of independents view immigrants as a benefit, and 68 percent of Republicans view them as a burden. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Jobs and economy tops list of concerns—pages 7, 9 Fifty-seven percent choose this as the top issue, followed by education (12%), the state budget (11%), health care (3%), and immigration (3%). Half are very concerned (31%) or somewhat concerned (19%) that they or someone in their family will lose a job in the next year. Most are very concerned (41%) or somewhat concerned (23%) about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage.  Most see budget as a big problem but are divided about how to fix it—page 10 Asked how they would prefer to deal with the state’s budget deficit—which 77 percent view as a big problem—equal proportions would prefer to deal with it mostly through spending cuts (39%) or a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (38%).  California’s Main Street wants more Wall Street regulation—page 18 Most Californians (58%) support stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business.  Optimism about Afghanistan—page 20 Nearly half of Californians (48%) say the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going very well (10%) or fairly well (38%), 16 points higher than in December (6% very well, 26% fairly well). A majority of likely voters say things are going well (55% today, 33% December). March 2010 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  The majority of Californians continue to name jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing the state; strong majorities also say the state is headed in the wrong direction and expect bad economic times. Nearly all Californians say the state is in a recession, six in 10 calling it a serious recession. (pages 7, 9)  Approval ratings for the governor, the legislature, and individual legislators all drop to record lows. One in four approve of the governor, while 14 percent approve of the legislature and 27 percent approve of their own state legislator. (page 8)  About three in four say that the state budget situation is a big problem. They are divided about using spending cuts alone or a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to close the budget deficit. (page 10)  Meg Whitman expands her lead among Republican primary likely voters in the June gubernatorial primary. Eleven percent support Steve Poizner and one in four are undecided. In potential November matchups, Democrat Jerry Brown now trails Whitman, but continues to lead Poizner. (page 11)  Carly Fiorina and Tom Campbell are locked in a tight race for the Republican nomination for senator; 8 percent support Chuck DeVore. In potential November matchups, Senator Barbara Boxer would be in tight races with Campbell and Fiorina, while she holds a slight lead over DeVore. (page 14)  Fifty-six percent of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 14, which would reform the primary election process, but just 36 percent say the state’s primary system is in need of major changes. (page 15) March 2010 Californians and Their Government Percent likely voters Percent likely voters Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officals 80 Governor Legislature 60 51 44 37 40 41 32 24 20 25 30 18 14 0 March March March March March 06 07 08 09 10 Republican Gubernatorial Primary Meg Whitman 80 Steve Poizner Don't know 61 60 44 41 40 20 11 25 11 0 January March Republican Senatorial Primary Carly Fiorina 80 Tom Campbell Chuck DeVore 60 Don't know 48 44 40 27 20 16 8 24 23 8 0 January March 6 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD The majority of Californians continue to say jobs and the economy is the most important issue Californians face today. Far fewer mention education and schools (12%), the state budget (11%), health care (3%), or immigration (3%). The economy has topped the list of concerns among Californians since January 2008 and their views today are almost identical to those of last March. At least half across parties, regions, and demographic groups cite the economy as the top issue. “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Jobs, economy 57% 55% 50% 62% Education, schools 12 18 7 12 State budget, deficit, taxes 11 10 18 14 Health care, health costs 3 5 2 2 Immigration, illegal immigration 33 5 3 Likely Voters 54% 13 16 3 4 The perception that jobs and the economy is the most important issue facing the state today is reflected in Californians’ negativity about economic conditions in the next 12 months. Two in three Californians (65%) and seven in 10 likely voters (72%) are pessimistic about the state’s economic outlook, including at least 64 percent across parties and regions. Across parties, Republicans are the most pessimistic. Whites (69%) are much more likely than Latinos (59%) to hold this view and women (69%) are somewhat more likely than men (61%). The expectation of bad economic times increases as age, education, and income rise. Strong majorities of those who disapprove of the governor, who say the state is in a serious recession, or who think the state is headed in the wrong direction expect bad economic times. 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 Dem Party Rep Ind 27% 29% 16% 23% 65 64 76 68 8789 Likely Voters 21% 72 7 Californians remain pessimistic about the direction of the state, with three in four (76%) saying that California is headed in the wrong direction. Likely voters are even more pessimistic (13% right direction, 83% wrong direction). More than two in three have held this negative view since June 2008 and the perception that California is going in the wrong direction has increased 5 points since last March. Today, at least three in four Californians across parties and regions hold this negative view. Whites (79%) and Latinos (69%) are both pessimistic and this pessimism rises as education and income levels rise. Strong majorities among those who disapprove of the governor, the state legislature, and their local state legislator hold this negative view. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE Pessimism about the economic outlook and the direction of the state is reflected in record-low approval ratings of state elected officials. Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval rating (24%) has reached a new low, while his disapproval (64%) has reached a record high. The governor’s approval rating among likely voters (25%) reaches a record low, while disapproval (64%) also matches the record high. The governor’s approval rating has been 40 percent or below and his disapproval rating at least 50 percent since August 2008. The governor’s approval rating has dropped 6 points since January, 8 points since last March, and 20 points since March 2008. Today, at least 57 percent of Californians across parties and regions disapprove, with Democrats (70%) and residents of Los Angeles (71%) the most disapproving. Latinos (75%) are far more likely than whites (55%) to disapprove and at least 60 percent across age, education, and income groups disapprove of his job performance. Approval of the job performance of the California Legislature has also reached a new record low of 14 percent and disapproval reaches a new high of 72 percent. Approval ratings among likely voters (9% approve, 85% disapprove) also set records. Approval ratings of the California Legislature have been below 30 percent since April 2008; approval has dropped 4 points since last March and 16 points since March 2008. Today, more than seven in 10 across parties and more than six in 10 across regions disapprove, with Republicans (83%) and residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (77%) and the Other Southern California region (77%) most likely to hold this view. Whites (81%) are far more likely than Latinos (57%) to disapprove of the legislature and disapproval increases with rising age, education, and income. “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 24% 21% 33% 64 70 57 12 9 10 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 14 14 10 72 76 83 14 10 7 Ind 23% 59 18 12 74 14 Likely Voters 25% 64 11 9 85 6 Californians’ approval (27%) of their individual state legislators also reaches a record low; disapproval (53%) matches the record high in September and December 2009. Likely voters are somewhat more disapproving. At least half of Californians across parties and regions disapprove, with Republicans (62%) and residents in the Other Southern California region (55%) the most disapproving. Whites (56%) and men (57%) are more disapproving of their legislators than Latinos (48%) and women (49%). 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 27% 29% 24% 21% 53 51 62 60 20 20 14 19 Likely Voters 27% 58 15 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey ECONOMIC SITUATION Most Californians (91%) continue to say that California is in an economic recession, with 59 percent calling it a serious recession and 7 percent saying the state is not in a recession. Since January 2009 at least half have said that California is in a serious economic recession. Majorities across parties and regions say the state is in a serious economic recession. Whites (64%) are more likely than Latinos (53%) to call it a serious recession and this view increases as age and income rise. With jobs and the economy identified as the most important state issue and 91 percent of Californians saying the state is in a recession, half of Californians say they are very (31%) or somewhat (19%) concerned that they or someone in their family will lose their job in the next year; 9 percent volunteer that they or someone in their family has already experienced job loss. Four in 10 are not concerned. Concern about job loss has been similar the four times we have asked this question since March 2009 (concern was higher in January 2009 at 58%). Today, those with household incomes under $40,000 are far more likely than those with incomes of $80,000 or more to express concern (59% to 44%) and almost twice as likely to volunteer they have already experienced job loss (11% to 6%). Latinos are far more likely than whites to express concern (63% to 43%). Across regions, concern about job loss is highest in the Central Valley (55%) and lowest in the San Francisco Bay Area (46%). “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?)” Very concerned All Adults 31% Under $40,000 37% Household Income $40,000 to under $80,000 29% $80,000 or more 25% Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 42% 24% Somewhat concerned 19 22 16 19 21 19 Not concerned Lost job already (volunteered) Don’t know 39 28 44 49 9 11 11 6 22 – 1 29 47 7 10 1– When asked about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage, concern is even higher: 64 percent say they are very (41%) or somewhat concerned (23%). Thirty-five percent are not too (14%) or not at all concerned (21%). At least 39 percent of Californians have said they are very concerned in each of the four times we have asked this question since last March. In December, 45 percent were very concerned. Across regions, residents in the Central Valley (72%) and in Los Angeles (71%) are the most likely to be at least somewhat concerned, while those in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%) are the least likely. Lower-income residents are more than twice as likely as upper-income residents to be very concerned; renters are 20 points more likely than homeowners to hold this view. Latinos are far more likely than whites (56% to 29%) 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 41% Under $40,000 57% Household Income $40,000 to under $80,000 39% $80,000 or more 23% Homeownership Owners Renters 32% 52% Somewhat concerned 23 25 22 22 21 25 Not too concerned 14 7 14 19 16 12 Not at all concerned 21 10 24 35 30 11 Already behind (vol)/ Don’t know 1 1 1 1 1 – March 2010 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE BUDGET As the governor and legislature grapple with how to close the $20 billion state budget deficit, how do Californians perceive the situation? Three in four Californians (77%) call it a big problem, while 19 percent call it somewhat of a problem. Likely voters (87%) are much more likely to call it a big problem. At least seven in 10 Californians have called the budget situation a big problem since August 2008 and this perception is similar to that of March 2009. Today, over seven in 10 across parties and regions call the budget situation a big problem, with whites (84%) far more likely than Latinos (65%) to hold this view. The perception that the state budget is a big problem increases with rising age, education, and income. With the governor and legislature facing a multitude of tough choices to close the budget gap, how do Californians prefer to address the problem? Equal proportions say they prefer mostly spending cuts (39%) or a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (38%), while far fewer prefer mostly tax increases (6%) or say it’s okay to borrow money and run a deficit (8%). Preferences of likely voters are similar. Partisan divisions are evident, with 57 percent of Republicans preferring spending cuts and half of Democrats (49%) preferring a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Independents are divided (43% mix, 42% cuts). Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area (42%) residents are the most likely to prefer a mix, while Other Southern California region (45%) residents are the most likely to favor spending cuts. Latinos favor a mix over cuts (40% to 31%), while whites favor spending cuts over a mix (44% to 38%). “How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Mostly spending cuts 39% 25% 57% 42% 41% Mix of spending cuts and tax increases 38 49 28 43 42 Okay to borrow money and run a deficit 8 8 6 4 4 Mostly tax increases 6 10 2 4 6 Other 3 243 4 Don’t know 6 634 3 Californians are divided on the question of the size of government, with 46 percent favoring higher taxes and more government services, and 45 percent preferring lower taxes and fewer government services. Likely voters prefer lower taxes and fewer services (53% to 39%). Among all adults, favor for more services has declined 5 points since September 2009 (51% higher taxes/more services, 39% lower taxes/fewer services). Six in 10 Democrats favor higher taxes/more services, while seven in 10 Republicans and 55 percent of independents favor lower taxes/fewer services. Latinos (62%) and women (50%) favor higher taxes/more services; whites (57%) and men (52%) favor lower taxes/fewer services. “In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Higher taxes and more services 46% 62% 19% 35% 39% Lower taxes and fewer services 45 31 71 55 53 Don't know 9 7 10 10 8 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY With the June primaries less than three months away, Meg Whitman has extended her lead over Steve Poizner in the Republican race. Since January, support for Whitman has increased 20 points, with 61 percent of Republican primary likely voters supporting her candidacy today; support for Poizner today is identical to January’s (11%). Far fewer Republican likely voters are undecided—25 percent, down from a 44-percent plurality in January. A majority of those in households across income groups say they will vote for Whitman. Among women, there has been a stunning increase in support for Whitman (34% January to 61% today). She holds similar leads over Poizner among voters aged 18–54 (63% to 11%) and those 55 and older (59% to 12%). Republican primary likely voters include the 12 percent of independent (declineto-state) voters who say they will vote a Republican ballot. (These independents may also choose a Democratic or non-partisan ballot.) Republican primary likely voters only Meg Whitman Steve Poizner Someone else Don’t know “If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” All Likely Voters 61% Household Income Under $80,000 $80,000 or more 59% 67% Men 61% 11 11 12 10 31 4 3 25 29 17 26 Gender Women 61% 13 2 24 Fewer than half of likely voters are satisfied with their choices of gubernatorial candidates in the primary election. Since December, when we first asked about gubernatorial choices, there has been a 14-point increase in satisfaction. Independents are less satisfied than Democratic and Republican likely voters. Satisfaction among Republicans has doubled since December (25% to 51%), while satisfaction among Democratic voters (38% to 47% today) and independent voters (29% to 39% today) has also increased. Men and women hold similar levels of satisfaction. Fifty-five percent of likely voters who would choose Whitman over Brown in a hypothetical November match-up are satisfied with their choices, while half of Poizner-over-Brown voters are satisfied. In either matchup, about half of Brown voters are satisfied with their choice of candidates in the primary. Likely voters only Satisfied Not satisfied Don't know “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor on June 8th?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Gender Ind Men Women 46% 47% 51% 39% 45% 48% 38 38 35 41 40 37 16 15 14 20 15 15 With the gubernatorial campaign heating up, nearly two-thirds of likely voters report they are following news about the candidates either very (17%) or fairly (46%) closely. A majority of likely voters across parties say they are paying at least fairly close attention. By comparison, in March 2006, three months before the gubernatorial primaries, attention to news was much lower (13% very close, 39% fairly close). With state Attorney General Jerry Brown only recently declaring his candidacy, Democrats (58%) lag behind Republicans (72%) in paying close attention to news about the candidates. Independents (56%) are also following news less closely than are Republicans. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey NOVEMBER GUBERNATORIAL MATCHUPS In a potential matchup in the November gubernatorial race, Meg Whitman has a narrow lead over Jerry Brown among likely voters (44% to 39%). In January, it was Brown who held a narrow lead over Whitman (41% to 36%), and he led by six points in December (43% to 37%). Fewer likely voters are undecided today (17%) than in January (23%). Partisanship continues to be reflected in support for the candidates— two-thirds of Democrats say they will vote for Brown, and 77 percent of Republicans support Whitman. Although Brown led among independents in January (36% to 28%), Whitman now holds the plurality of support among independents (37% Brown, 43% Whitman). One in five independents (20%) and Democrats (18%) are undecided, compared to 13 percent of Republicans. Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%) and Los Angeles (46%) support Brown, while those in the Central Valley (56%) and Other Southern California region (57%) favor Whitman. Latinos support Brown (45%) over Whitman (35%), while whites favor Whitman (50%) over Brown (34%). Among men, Whitman is favored by 15 points, while women express similar levels of support for Brown (43%) and Whitman (40%). Brown leads by 14 points among voters aged 18 to 34 (44% Brown, 30% Whitman) and Whitman leads by 14 points among voters aged 35 to 54 (48% Whitman, 34% Brown); older voters are more divided (46% Whitman, 41% Brown). Brown leads among voters in households earning less than $40,000 per year (44% to 38%), while Whitman leads among voters in households earning $80,000 or more (48% to 39%). Among likely voters who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger, Whitman leads Brown by 11 points (48% to 37%); among those who disapprove, support is divided (44% Whitman, 40% Brown). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 39% 65% 10% 37% 34% 43% Meg Whitman, the Republican 44 17 77 43 49 40 Don't know 17 18 13 20 17 17 Jerry Brown holds a 15-point lead in a hypothetical matchup against Steve Poizner (46% to 31%), similar to January’s finding. Democrats overwhelmingly support Brown (73%), while six in 10 Republicans favor Poizner. In this potential matchup, Brown is favored by a plurality of independents, with a 13-point lead over Poizner among this group. Still, Poizner’s support among independents has increased 10 points since January. Poizner leads Brown among likely voters in the Other Southern California region (41% to 31%) and the Central Valley (44% to 36%), while Brown leads Poizner in Los Angeles (52% to 27%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (63% to 16%). Most Latinos (57%) and a plurality of whites (41%), women (50%), and men (41%) favor Brown. Brown is favored over Poizner in all income, education, and age groups; voters aged 18 to 34 are more than three times as likely to support Brown as Poizner (51% to 16%), while his margins narrow among voters 35 to 54 (44% to 35%) and voters 55 and older (45% to 33%). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 46% 73% 17% 41% 41% 50% Steve Poizner, the Republican 31 7 60 28 36 26 Don't know 23 20 23 31 23 24 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey JUNE SENATORIAL PRIMARY Now that U.S. senate candidate Tom Campbell has been campaigning for nearly two months, how is the Republican senate primary shaping up? Although Campbell led Carly Fiorina in January (27% to 16%), support for Fiorina has increased 8 points and decreased for Campbell 4 points, tightening the race (24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell). Candidate Chuck DeVore has maintained identical levels of support (8% in January and March). Similar to January, most likely voters remain undecided (48% January, 44% today). Men are divided between Fiorina and Campbell, with a plurality (36%) undecided. Fiorina holds a 5-point lead among women, but nearly half of women are still undecided. Voters under 55 are divided (24% Campbell, 27% Fiorina), with four in 10 (39%) undecided. Voters 55 and older are similarly divided between Campbell (23%) and Fiorina (22%) and nearly half are undecided (47%). Voters in households earning $80,000 or more per year prefer Campbell over Fiorina (33% to 24%), while those earning less than $80,000 per year prefer Fiorina to Campbell (26% to 17%). Support for DeVore across both gender and income groups remains lower than for the two front runners. Republican primary likely voters only Carly Fiorina Tom Campbell Chuck DeVore Someone else Don’t know “If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” All Likely Voters 24% Household Income Under $80,000 $80,000 or more 26% 24% Men 25% Gender Women 24% 23 17 33 28 19 8 10 4 10 7 1–312 44 47 36 36 48 Likely voters are more satisfied with their choices of candidates for senate (55%) than for governor (46%). Across parties, Democrats (63%) are much more satisfied than Republicans (53%) and independents (46%) with their candidate choices. Nearly six in 10 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) and Los Angeles (57%) are satisfied with the choices on the June ballot, with satisfaction in the Central Valley (51%) and Other Southern California region (53%) somewhat lower. Latinos (60%) are more satisfied than whites (52%) with their choices in the senate election. Men and women hold similar levels of satisfaction with candidate choice. In all three potential November matchups, about seven in 10 Boxer supporters are satisfied compared to about half of likely voters supporting Campbell, Fiorina, or DeVore over Boxer. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for U.S. senator on June 8th?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Gender Ind Men Women Satisfied 55% 63% 53% 46% 55% 54% Not satisfied 28 24 27 38 30 27 Don't know 17 13 20 16 15 19 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey NOVEMBER SENATORIAL MATCHUPS Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer would be in a close race with three potential opponents in hypothetical November matchups. Boxer is deadlocked with Republican Campbell (43% to 44%), with Democrats overwhelmingly favoring Boxer (79%) and Republicans overwhelmingly favoring Campbell (81%). Since January, support for Boxer has dropped 10 points among independents, and Campbell has seen an 11-point increase. Half of women support Boxer and half of men support Campbell. Boxer enjoys a 22-point lead in the San Francisco Bay Area and a 16-point lead in Los Angeles; Campbell holds a 27-point lead in Other Southern California and a 21-point advantage in the Central Valley. Likely voters under age 35 are twice as likely to support Boxer (56%) over Campbell (29%), while those 35 to 54 prefer Campbell (47%) over Boxer (39%); older voters are more divided (47% Campbell, 42% Boxer). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 43% 79% 8% 32% 36% 50% Tom Campbell, the Republican 44 10 81 48 51 38 Don't know 13 11 11 20 13 12 Boxer is also in a tight race with Carly Fiorina in a potential November matchup; eight in 10 Democrats and eight in 10 Republicans support each party’s prospective candidate. Among independents, a plurality would now vote for Fiorina over Boxer (41% to 35%), in contrast to January (35% Fiorina, 45% Boxer). Boxer’s support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (48%), while Fiorina leads in the Central Valley (55%) and Other Southern California region (54%). Women favor Boxer by 14 points; men favor Fiorina by 13 points. Younger voters prefer Boxer (56% to 30% for Fiorina), voters 35 to 54 years old prefer Fiorina (47% to 39% for Boxer) and older voters are divided (44% Fiorina, 43% Boxer). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 44% 79% 8% 35% 36% 51% Carly Fiorina, the Republican 43 9 82 41 49 37 Don't know 13 12 10 24 15 12 Boxer has a slight lead in a matchup against Chuck DeVore (46% to 40%). Partisan loyalties are evident, with eight in 10 Democrats favoring Boxer and eight in 10 Republicans favoring DeVore. Independents have a slight preference for Boxer (41% Boxer, 35% DeVore, 24% undecided). Boxer holds a sizable lead over DeVore among women (53% to 34%) and younger voters (52% to 30%), while DeVore leads among men (47% to 39%); voters aged 35 and older are divided between the two candidates. “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 46% 79% 11% 41% 39% 53% Chuck DeVore, the Republican 40 9 78 35 47 34 Don't know 14 12 11 24 14 13 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey PROPOSITION 14—CHANGE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS Proposition 14 is a constitutional amendment placed on the ballot by the legislature that would reform the primary election process. It would allow voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference and ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes would appear on the general election ballot, regardless of party. A majority of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 14 (56% yes, 27% no, 17% undecided) when read the ballot title and label. Due to a change in the ballot title and label, we began asking this question with revised wording on March 12 (Before the wording change, a similar 60% would vote yes and 24% would vote no). Democrats (59%) are more supportive than Republicans (48%) while the sample size for independent likely voters is too small for separate analysis. Moderates (64%) are much more likely than conservatives (54%) or liberals (49%) to support Proposition 14. Women (60%) are more likely than men (52%) to support it. “Proposition 14 is called ‘Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections.’ … If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 56% 27% 17% Party Democrats Republicans 59 23 18 48 40 12 Liberals 49 30 21 Ideology Moderates 64 18 18 Conservatives 54 33 13 18–54 Age 55 and older 59 24 17 53 31 16 *Results from question asked using revised ballot title and label language, starting March 12. For complete text of question, see p. 30. Regardless of how they would vote on Proposition 14, how important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries? Almost half of likely voters in California view this issue as very important (48%). Findings were similar in December when we first asked this question. Fifty-two percent of independents and nearly half of Republicans (48%) and Democrats (47%) call the issue very important. Likely voters who would vote yes on Proposition 14 (57%) are more likely than “no” voters (32%) to view this issue as very important. Likely voters only Very important Somewhat important Not too important Not at all important Don’t know “How important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 14 Yes No 48% 47% 48% 52% 57% 32% 32 33 31 33 33 31 10 12 10 5 4 17 8 7 10 7 3 19 2 113 3 1 Separately, we asked likely voters about California’s primary election system. Thirty-six percent think major changes are needed, while 35 percent say minor changes are needed. Independents are much more likely than others to say major changes are needed. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 15 NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS „ Record low percentages express approval of President Obama (58%), Congress (24%), and their own member of the House (45%). Californians are divided regarding the effect of the president’s economic policies: Asked just before the recent jobs bill passed, about six in 10 said that Congress and the Obama administration are not doing enough to create jobs. (pages 17, 18) „ Half of Californians continue to support the overall health care reform plan that President Obama signed into law Tuesday. When it comes to the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan, the percentage who say things are going at least fairly well has jumped 16 points since December (32% to 48%). (pages 19, 20) „ Strong majorities think U.S. immigration policy is in need of major changes and say illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. A majority (54%) continue to view immigrants as a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills. (page 21) „ For the first time, more Californians favor (50%) than oppose (45%) laws allowing same-sex marriage, and 75 percent think that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military. (page 22) „ While fewer than half have a favorable view of either party, Californians are more likely to hold a positive view of the Democratic Party (44%) than the Republican Party (31%). Nearly three in 10 view the Tea Party movement favorably, and 53 percent think a third party is needed. (page 23) March 2010 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Percent all adults Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officals Over the Past Year President 80 71 70 72 Congress 65 63 61 61 58 60 40 47 43 39 36 20 24 0 Mar Apr May Jul Sep Dec Jan Mar 09 09 09 09 09 09 10 10 Attitudes Toward Allowing Same-Sex Marriage 80 60 55 Favor Oppose 50 48 48 49 48 50 49 50 40 39 44 44 44 45 45 44 44 45 20 0 Jan 00 Feb Aug Sep Jun Aug Oct Mar Mar 04 05 06 07 08 08 09 10 Perceptions of the Two-Party System Third party is needed Two parties do adequate job 80 60 53 52 53 48 40 46 38 41 36 20 0 Sep Oct Sep Mar 04 06 08 10 16 PPIC Statewide Survey PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS Approval of President Obama’s job performance continues to decline gradually among Californians: Currently, 58 percent approve, down 13 points since last March. Still, Californians (58%) remain more positive than adults nationwide (48%), according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Across California’s political parties, majorities of Democrats (78%) and independents (60%) approve while a strong majority of Republicans (74%) disapprove. Approval ratings among Californians for the president’s handling of the economy (54%) and health care (52%) are slightly lower than his overall job approval. But they are higher than among adults nationwide: In the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 47 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the economy and 41 percent approve of his handling of health care reform. Ratings of Congress are far less positive than the president’s and are much less positive than they were just two months ago. Currently, 24 percent of Californians approve of the way Congress is handling its job, down 12 points since this past January and 19 points since last March. Approval among likely voters is down 15 points since January (29% to 14%). In the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, just 17 percent of adults nationwide say they approve of Congress. In California, strong majorities across parties express disapproval (68% Democrats, 75% independents, 86% Republicans). This is the first time that even a slim majority of California Democrats have expressed disapproval since Democrats took control of Congress in January 2009. “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 58% 78% 23% 35 17 74 753 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 24 24 12 68 68 86 882 Ind 60% 33 7 20 75 5 Likely Voters 52% 43 5 14 82 4 Despite their negative attitudes about Congress overall, a higher percentage (45%) of Californians approve of their local member of the U.S. House of Representatives member than of Congress overall. But this is a record low in PPIC Statewide Surveys—and a decline of 6 points since December and 10 points since last March. It is also the first time individual representative approval has slipped below 50 percent since the November 2008 election. Today, Californians express the same attitude toward their own representatives as adults do nationwide. A similar question in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 45 percent of adults approve of their own congressional representative. Approve Disapprove Don't know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 45% 51% 41% 38% 37 31 45 43 18 18 14 19 Likely Voters 44% 42 14 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey NATIONAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY POLICIES Many Californians remain unconvinced that the president’s economic policies are having their intended effect. Currently, 40 percent say his policies have had no effect so far or that it is too soon to tell (down 6 points since December). Thirty-five percent say economic conditions are better (up 4 points), while 22 percent say they are worse (similar to December). Democrats (49%) are most likely to say Obama’s economic policies have improved economic conditions, while Republicans (47%) are most likely to say conditions are worse. Independents (43%) are most likely to say there is no effect so far or it’s too soon to tell. Of those who approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, 56 percent say conditions are better; of those who disapprove, 51 percent say conditions are worse. Surveyed just before Congress passed and President Obama signed a recent jobs bill, 61 percent of Californians believe that Congress and the Obama administration are not doing enough to create jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate nationwide in February was 9.7 percent. In California it was 12.5 percent, one of the highest in the nation. Republicans (74%) are more likely than independents (60%) or Democrats (56%) to say Congress and the Obama administration fall short on jobs. Unemployed Californians looking for work (68%) are more likely than Californians employed full-time (61%) or part-time (57%) to say not enough is being done. The percentage holding this negative view rises as age, education, and income increase. Among those who approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, 43 percent say not enough is being done to create jobs and 43 percent say just enough is being done. Among those who disapprove of his handling of the economy, 86 percent say not enough is being done. Seventy percent of those who disapprove of Congress say not enough is being done. “Overall, do you think that Congress and the Obama administration are doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to help create jobs?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind More than enough 8% 9% 4% 8% 7% Just enough 28 31 18 29 24 Not enough 61 56 74 60 66 Don’t know 34 4 3 3 Majorities of Californians (58%) and likely voters (62%) support stricter federal regulations on the way that banks and other financial institutions conduct their business. Support among Californians (58%) is similar to support among adults nationwide (62%), according to a February ABC News/Washington Post poll. In California, Democrats and independents (65% each) are much more likely than Republicans (52%) to hold this view. Regionally, San Francisco Bay Area residents (64%) are the most likely to support greater regulation and Central Valley residents (53%) the least likely. Support for this proposal rises sharply as education and income increase. Among those who approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, 67 percent express support; among those who disapprove, 46 percent express support. Support Oppose Don’t know “Do you support or oppose stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 58% 65% 52% 65% 36 30 42 31 6564 Likely Voters 62% 33 5 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Half of Californians (50%) continue to support the changes to the health care system just signed into law. The PPIC survey was conducted as President Obama made his final pitch to House lawmakers to pass the Senate version of the health care bill and results came in before the House passed the bill. A February ABC/Washington Post poll found 47 percent support among adults nationwide, but half (49%) were opposed. About half of Californians have expressed support each of the three times we have asked this question (51% September 2009, 52% December 2009, 50% today). Opinion remains sharply divided along partisan lines with 70 percent of Democrats expressing support and 76 percent of Republicans expressing opposition; 50 percent of independents express support. Support declines as education, income, and age increase (and, at 39%, it is lowest among those 65 and older). Those without health insurance are more likely than those with health insurance to support the proposed changes (57% to 48%). Among those who approve of Obama’s handling of health care policy, 81 percent support the plan. “Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by Congress and the Obama administration?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Support 50% 70% 16% 50% 45% Oppose 39 19 76 38 47 Don’t know 11 11 8 12 8 A strong majority of Californians (69%) continue to support one of the chief provisions of the bill— requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help to those who can’t afford it. Sixty-eight percent expressed support in December. Californians express greater support than adults nationwide for this provision. In a February Newsweek poll, 59 percent of adults nationwide said they support requiring all Americans to have health insurance. The vast majority of Democrats (86%) would support the provision for an individual health coverage requirement and 64 percent of independents agree. Although Republicans are more likely to favor this provision than to favor the overall health care plan, a majority (57%) are opposed to it. Over six in 10 across regions favor this proposal and majorities across demographic groups express support. Support again declines as education, income, and age increase, with those age 65 and older (55%) the least likely to favor the idea. The uninsured are far more likely than the insured (82% to 66%) to express support. Among those who approve of Obama on health care, 92 percent support this provision. Support Oppose Don’t know “Would you support or oppose requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help for those who can’t afford it?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind 69% 86% 38% 64% 61% 27 12 57 30 36 42563 The Senate version of the health care bill omitted a public option. But Californians remain largely supportive (60% support, 32% opposed) of a government health insurance plan to compete with private plans. This finding was similar in December and September. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey AFGHANISTAN Nearly half of Californians (48%) now say the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going very well (10%) or fairly (38%) well, a 16-point jump since December (6% very well, 26% fairly well). Forty-two percent say things are not going well. A majority of likely voters now believe that things are going well (33% December to 55% today). In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 52 percent of adults nationwide say things are going very well (9%) or fairly well (43%). In December, President Obama ordered additional troop deployments to Afghanistan, in January the Taliban staged several deadly operations near Kabul, and in February the United States began an offensive in southern Afghanistan. Public opinion in California about the effort has improved during this time, including across parties: Optimism is up 26 points among Republicans (39% to 65%), 28 points among independents (27% to 55%), and 16 points among Democrats (27% to 43%). Optimism has grown in all regions and demographic groups. Other Southern California residents (57%) are the most likely to say things are going well in Afghanistan, followed by residents in the Central Valley (49%), Los Angeles (44%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (42%). Whites are far more likely than Latinos (55% to 40%), and men are more likely than women (52% to 44%), to be optimistic. Those who disapprove of Obama are more likely than those who approve to say things are going well (57% to 44%). “Thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Very well 10% 7% 12% 12% 8% Fairly well 38 36 53 43 47 Not too well 24 28 20 22 23 Not at all well 18 19 6 17 13 Don’t know 10 10 9 6 9 Although optimism has grown since December, Californians remain divided (49% favor, 45% oppose) about a significant increase in the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In December, when President Obama announced his plan for 30,000 additional troops and a timetable for withdrawal, Californians were divided (49% favor, 45% oppose) about it. At that time, many (44%) felt the number of troops should be decreased, while just 33 percent thought the number should be increased. Today, a solid majority of likely voters favor (62%) an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. A strong majority of Republicans (71%) express support, as do 54 percent of independents. Fifty-one percent of Democrats oppose a troop increase. Support rises sharply as age, education, and income increase. Whites are overwhelmingly more likely than Latinos to express support (63% to 28%). Among those who say the U.S. effort is going well, 70 percent support adding troops. Of those who say things are not going well, just 27 percent support the troop build-up. “As you may know, the Obama administration has begun to significantly increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to help stabilize the situation there. Do you favor or oppose this?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Favor 49% 43% 71% 54% 62% Oppose 45 51 26 38 33 Don’t know 66385 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY President Obama has indicated he wants to pursue U.S. immigration reform in 2010 and hopes to make it a bipartisan effort. Strong majorities of all adults (69%) and likely voters (72%) in California believe immigration policy in the United States is in need of major changes. Voters across parties agree: 73 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of Democrats, and 67 percent of independents say major changes are needed. When PPIC first asked this question in June 2007 (during the last period of serious public discussion of immigration reform), 74 percent of Californians said major changes were needed. Today, over two-thirds of Latinos (74%) and whites (69%) believe immigration policy needs major changes. Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups agree. Residents in the Other Southern California region (76%) are the most likely to hold this view; about two in three elsewhere agree. “Do you think that immigration policy in the United States today is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it basically fine the way it is?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Major changes 69% 68% 73% 67% 74% 69% Minor changes 22 26 18 23 18 23 Fine the way it is 7677 6 6 Don’t know 2–23 2 2 Seventy percent of Californians believe illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status; 25 percent believe those immigrants should be deported back to their native countries. In the six times this question has been asked since June 2007, about seven in 10 have favored allowing illegal immigrants to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. Today, majorities of Democrats and independents favor this approach, while Republicans are divided. Nearly all Latinos (90%) and 62 percent of whites prefer giving immigrants working illegally a chance to stay in the United States. Of those who believe major changes are needed to immigration policy, 67 percent prefer legalization over deportation. “If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years? They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status or they should be deported back to their native country.” All Adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Chance to keep their jobs 70% 78% 49% 68% 90% Deported back to their native country 25 19 46 26 8 Don’t know 5356 2 62% 34 4 A majority of all adults (54%) say that immigrants living in California are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills, while 39 percent say they are a burden because they use public services. In the 13 times this question has been asked since April 1998, more Californians have said immigrants are a benefit than a burden. In June 2007, 60 percent said benefit and 32 percent said burden. This issue divides voters along party lines (benefit: 64% Democrats, 52% independents; burden: 68% Republicans). Of those who call immigrants a benefit, 63 percent believe major changes are needed to U.S. policy and 89 percent support a pathway to legal status. Of those who call them a burden, 78 percent say major changes are needed and fewer than half—45 percent—support a pathway to legalization (49% favor deportation). March 2010 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS For the first time in a PPIC Statewide Survey, Californians are more likely to say they favor (50%) samesex marriage than oppose it (45%). Support among all adults had never surpassed 45 percent since January 2000. Today, a record high 49 percent of likely voters favor same-sex marriage and 45 percent oppose it. Proposition 8, passed by voters in 2008, created a state constitutional amendment revoking the right of same-sex couples to marry. This amendment is currently being challenged in federal district court. In a similar ABC News/Washington Post poll question, adults nationwide expressed divided opinions about same-sex marriage: 47 percent said it should be legal and 50 percent said illegal. Majorities of Democrats (64%) and independents (55%) favor allowing same-sex marriage, while a majority of Republicans (67%) oppose it. Since last March, support is up a slight 4 points among Democrats, 8 points among independents, and 6 points among Republicans. Support is far from unanimous across regions and demographic groups. Central Valley residents oppose allowing same-sex marriage (51% oppose, 42% favor), while San Francisco Bay Area residents favor it (64% favor, 30% oppose). Residents are divided in Los Angeles (46% favor, 48% oppose) and Other Southern California (47% favor, 49% oppose). Most whites (55%) express support, while Latinos are more opposed (51%) than in favor (43%). Support declines with older age, but rises as education and income increase. An overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians are opposed (75%). Since last March, support jumped 17 points among Californians age 18 to 34 (49% to 66%) and rose modestly among Latinos, whites, men, residents with lower household incomes, and those without college degrees. 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 50% 64% 28% 55% 45 32 67 39 54 5 6 Likely Voters 49% 45 6 In his January State of the Union address, President Obama said he would like to repeal the federal “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the U.S. military. Passed in 1993, this policy bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Californians support the right of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military: 68 percent held this view in February 2000 and 75 percent hold this view today. Adults nationwide also strongly favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly (69% favor, 27% oppose), according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Majorities of Californians across parties favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, but Democrats (85%) and independents (79%) are more likely to say this than Republicans (57%). Solid majorities across regions and demographic groups favor this idea, including 67 percent in the Central Valley, 74 percent of Latinos, 70 percent of residents age 55 and older, and 64 percent of evangelical Christians. Among those who oppose same-sex marriage, 55 percent support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. “Do you think that gays and lesbians should or should not be allowed to serve openly in the military?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Ind Voters Should 75% 85% 57% 79% 74% Should not 19 12 35 16 20 Don't know 6 3 8 56 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey PARTY PERCEPTIONS As partisan battles on topics ranging from budgets to health care reform are fought in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., how do Californians view the two major political parties? Forty-four percent have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while 31 percent have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party. Californians are less likely than adults nationwide to hold favorable views of either party, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll. Nationwide, 50 percent view the Democratic Party favorably (46% unfavorably), while 44 percent view the Republican Party favorably (52% unfavorably). Democrats are more likely to view their own party favorably (68%) than Republicans are to view theirs favorably (54%). Independents are more likely to hold an unfavorable view of either party, but are more positive about the Democratic Party (33%) than the Republican Party (21%). Across regions, Democratic Party favorability is highest in Los Angeles (51%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (50%), while Republican Party favorability is highest in the Other Southern California region (34%). Latinos are more likely than whites to have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party (58% to 35%). About the same proportions of whites and Latinos view the Republican Party favorably (33% whites, 31% Latinos). …Democratic Party? …Republican Party? “Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the…” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Favorable 44% 68% 13% 33% Unfavorable 44 27 80 49 Don't know 12 5 7 18 Favorable 31 19 54 21 Unfavorable 56 73 39 59 Don't know 13 8 7 20 Likely Voters 41% 53 6 31 62 7 The political movement known as the Tea Party is receiving national attention. In California, 28 percent have a favorable view of the movement, 34 percent have an unfavorable one, and 38 percent are unsure. According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, about one in three adults nationwide have a favorable view of the Tea Party (35% favorable, 40% unfavorable, 25% unsure). A majority of California Republicans (55%) have a favorable impression (including 58% of those who have an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party). Far fewer independents (29%) and Democrats (14%) are favorable. Of those who are ideologically very conservative, 64 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party. “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Favorable 28% 14% 55% 29% 34% Unfavorable 34 48 19 37 37 Don't know 38 38 26 34 29 In a separate question we asked if the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or if they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed. Fifty-three percent of all adults and 55 percent of likely voters think that a third party is needed, similar to findings in September 2008. Independents (66%) are much more likely than Democrats (52%) and Republicans (50%) to think a third major party is needed. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP March 2010 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Sonja Petek and Nicole Willcoxon. 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. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 2,002 California adult residents, reached on landline telephones and cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days between March 9 and 16, 2010. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. A total of 200 cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI conducted the telephone interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005–2007 American Community Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,002 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 1,574 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 1,102 likely voters, it is ±3 percent; for the 410 Republican primary likely voters, who were asked questions about the Republican primary for gubernatorial and senate candidates, it is ±5 percent; for the 628 Proposition 14 likely voters interviewed starting March 12, it is ±4. 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. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey 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 their responses to survey questions on past voting, current interest in politics, 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, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and the Pew Research Center. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 9–16, 2010 2,002 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] 57% jobs, economy 12 education, schools 11 state budget, deficit, taxes 3 health care, health costs 3 immigration, illegal immigration 2 housing costs 10 other 2 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 24% approve 64 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 14% approve 72 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? 27% approve 53 disapprove 20 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 19% right direction 76 wrong direction 5 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? 27% good times 65 bad times 8 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?) 59% yes, serious recession 25 yes, moderate recession 7 yes, mild recession 7 no 2 don’t know 8. 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?) 31% yes, very concerned 19 yes, somewhat 39 no 9 have lost job already (volunteered) 2 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 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? 41% very concerned 23 somewhat concerned 14 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned 1 already behind (volunteered)/ don’t know 10.On another topic, 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? 77% big problem 19 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 2 don’t know 11.As you may know, the state government currently has an annual budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion-dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 39% mostly through spending cuts 38 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 8 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 6 mostly through tax increases 3 other (volunteered) 6 don’t know 12.In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services? 46% higher taxes and more services 45 lower taxes and fewer services 9 don’t know 13.Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 79% yes [ask q13a] 20 no [skip to q14b] 1 don’t know [skip to q14b] 13a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q14] 31 Republican [skip to q14a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q16] 22 independent [skip to q14b] 14. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 50% strong 48 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q16] 14a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 55% strong 43 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q15] 14b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 41 Democratic Party 27 neither (volunteered) 7 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey [responses recorded for questions 14c to 27 are for likely voters] [if q13a=independent, ask q14c, if q13a=Republican, skip to q15, otherwise skip to q16] 14c.California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 8th. All three ballots include state proposition measures. Do you plan to vote in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or on the nonpartisan ballot? 12% Republican primary [ask q15] 14 Democratic primary [skip to q16] 59 nonpartisan ballot [skip to q16] 15 don’t know [skip to q16] 15.If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 61% Meg Whitman, businesswoman 11 Steve Poizner, California state insurance commissioner 3 someone else (specify) 25 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor’s election…. [rotate questions 16 and 17] 16.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 46% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, California state attorney general 31 Steve Poizner, the Republican, California state insurance Commissioner 23 don’t know 17.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 39% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, California state attorney general 44 Meg Whitman, the Republican, businesswoman 17 don’t know 18.How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2010 governor’s election? 17% very closely 46 fairly closely 28 not too closely 8 not at all closely 1 don’t know 19.In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor on June 8th? 46% satisfied 38 not satisfied 16 don’t know [if q13a=Republican or q14c=Republican primary, ask q20, otherwise skip to q21] 20.If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 23% Tom Campbell, former congressman 24 Carly Fiorina, businesswoman 8 Chuck DeVore, California state assemblyman 1 someone else (specify) 44 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election… [rotate questions 21 to 23] 21.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 43% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U.S. senator 44 Tom Campbell, the Republican, former congressman 13 don’t know 22.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 46% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U.S. senator 40 Chuck DeVore, the Republican, California state assemblyman 14 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 23.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 44% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U.S. senator 43 Carly Fiorina, the Republican, businesswoman 13 don’t know 24.In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for U.S. senator on June 8th? 55% satisfied 28 not satisfied 17 don’t know 25. [asked starting March 12] Changing topics, Proposition 14 is called “Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections.” It reforms the primary election process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races, allows all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference, and ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference. For fiscal impact, the data are insufficient to identify the amount of any increase or decrease in costs to administer elections. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14? 56% yes 27 no 17 don’t know 26.How important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 48% very important 32 somewhat important 10 not too important 8 not at all important 2 don’t know 27.Do you think the primary system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is? 36% major changes 35 minor changes 23 fine the way it is 6 don’t know 28.On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 58% approve 35 disapprove 7 don’t know [rotate questions 28a and 28b] 28a.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling health care policy? 52% approve 42 disapprove 6 don’t know 28b.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the economy? 54% approve 40 disapprove 6 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 24% approve 68 disapprove 8 don’t know 30.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? 45% approve 37 disapprove 18 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 31.Next, since taking office, have Barack Obama’s economic policies made economic conditions better, worse, or not had an effect so far? 35% better 22 worse 36 no effect so far 4 too soon to tell (volunteered) 3 don’t know 32.Overall, do you think that [rotate] (1) Congress [and] (2) the Obama administration are doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to help create jobs? 8% more than enough 28 just enough 61 not enough 3 don’t know 33.Do you support or oppose stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business? 58% support 36 oppose 6 don’t know 34.Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by [rotate] (1) Congress [and] (2) the Obama administration? 50% support 39 oppose 11 don’t know [rotate questions 35 and 36] 35.Would you support or oppose a government health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans? 60% support 32 oppose 8 don’t know 36.Would you support or oppose requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help for those who can’t afford it? 69% support 27 oppose 4 don’t know 37.Now thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going? 10% very well 38 fairly well 24 not too well 18 not at all well 10 don’t know 38.As you may know, the Obama administration has begun to significantly increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to help stabilize the situation there. Do you favor or oppose this? 49% favor 45 oppose 6 don’t know 39.On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills [or] (2) Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services. 54% immigrants are a benefit to California 39 immigrants are a burden to California 7 don’t know 40.Do you think that immigration policy in the United States today is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it basically fine the way it is? 69% major changes 22 minor changes 7 fine the way it is 2 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 41.If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years? [rotate] (1) They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status [or] (2) They should be deported back to their native country. 70% chance to keep their jobs 25 deported back to their native country 5 don’t know 42.On another topic, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 50% favor 45 oppose 5 don’t know 43.Do you think that gays and lesbians should or should not be allowed to serve openly in the military? 75% should 19 should not 6 don’t know 44.Which of the following statements comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right? [rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion [or] (2) The government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 32% pass more laws 65 should not interfere 3 don’t know 45.Next, would you favor or oppose a state law requiring parental notification by the physician before a woman under age 18 can get an abortion? 68% favor 29 oppose 3 don’t know Next, [rotate q46 and q47] 46.Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Democratic Party? 44% favorable 44 unfavorable 12 don’t know 47.Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party? 31% favorable 56 unfavorable 13 don’t know 48.Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party? 28% favorable 34 unfavorable 38 don’t know 48a.In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed? 36% adequate job 53 third party is needed 11 don’t know 49.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 30 middle-of-the-road 25 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 3 don’t know 50.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 23% great deal 41 fair amount 30 only a little 6 none [d1 to d18: demographic questions] March 2010 Californians and Their Government 32 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. PPIC 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 Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Copyright © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 105th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 224,000 Californians. This survey is the 40th 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 decision makers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about important state and national issues. This survey was conducted as the 2010 election season ramps up and California’s gubernatorial and senatorial primaries and state ballot measures take shape; as economic concerns continue to worry Californians greatly; as news about the state’s budget deficit and employment situation remains grim; and as President Obama and Congress wrapped up debate on health-care reform. This survey presents the responses of 2,002 adult residents throughout the state, interviewed in English or Spanish and reached by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State issues, including Republican primary likely voter preferences for gubernatorial and senatorial candidates; likely voters’ preferences in potential match-ups in the November general elections; and preferences regarding Proposition 14, which would change the primary election process to a top-two vote getter system. The survey looks at the overall mood and outlook for California, perceptions of the state economy, and approval ratings of state elected officials. It also examines preferences regarding the size of state government, perceptions of the seriousness of the multibillion-dollar budget deficit, and preferred methods for dealing with it.  National issues, including approval ratings for President Obama, Congress, and respondents’ own congressional representatives as well as attitudes towards national economic recovery policies, health care reform, Afghanistan, immigration policy, and gay rights. We also examine attitudes toward the Democratic and Republican parties, the political movement known as the Tea Party, and the perceived need for a third major political party in the United States.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians—based on their political party affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics—may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2010 elections and 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. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. 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 Voters’ Disdain for Leaders, Discontent With Parties a Volatile Mix WHITMAN BOOSTS PRIMARY LEAD, EDGES PAST BROWN—FIORINA, CAMPBELL TIED SAN FRANCISCO, March 24, 2010—The California voters likely to go to the polls this year give record-low marks to officials in Sacramento and Washington, and most are unhappy with way the two-party system is working—a combustible combination in a campaign season. These are the results of a survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with support from The James Irvine Foundation. For the first time in PPIC survey history, the state legislature’s approval rating among likely voters has sunk to single digits—9 percent. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s record-low approval rating of 25 percent hovers near Governor Gray Davis’ lowest level before recall (21% in June 2003). Likely voters give their own state legislators a 27-percent rating, close to the record-low 25 percent last December. Congress gets an approval rating of 14 percent—a 15-point drop since January (29%)—from likely voters in the survey, which was taken during the heated debate about health care reform. Asked to rate the performance of their own representative in the U.S. House, likely voters are more favorable: 44 percent approve. But this is a record low. President Obama fares better, but his approval rating has also dipped to a new low of 52 percent. With jobs and the economy on their minds, just 36 percent say President Obama’s economic policies have made the economy better, 31 percent say they’ve had no effect so far, and 28 percent say they’ve made conditions worse. In this survey, taken just before the jobs bill passed, 66 percent of likely voters say that Congress and the Obama administration are not doing enough to create jobs. With partisan battles raging in both Sacramento and Washington, less than half of likely voters are content with the major political parties. Forty-one percent have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party and 31 percent feel favorable about the Republican Party. A third (34%) have a favorable impression of the Tea Party movement, 37 percent have an unfavorable impression, and 29 percent have no opinion. Asked whether the major parties do an adequate job representing the American people or whether they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed, 55 percent see a need for a third party. “Pessimism about the economy, disdain for the major parties, and low approval ratings for elected officials are creating an unusual amount of political turbulence this election year,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “The candidates cannot take any voters for granted—regardless of their party identification and past loyalties—because Californians want answers to problems that won’t go away.” WHITMAN HAS 50-POINT LEAD OVER POIZNER, EDGES AHEAD OF BROWN Meg Whitman has bolstered her lead over Steve Poizner by 20 points since January among likely voters in the Republican primary. Today, 61 percent favor her, compared to 11 percent for Poizner, whose level of March 2010 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey support is unchanged from January (Whitman 41%, Poizner 11%). Far fewer are undecided (25% today, 44% January). Whitman, who has advertised much more heavily on radio and TV than Poizner, has seen a stunning increase in support among women (34% January, 61% today). Republican primary voters include the 12 percent of independent voters who say they will choose a Republican ballot. In a potential November matchup, Whitman leads Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, 44 percent to 39 percent, with 17 percent undecided. In January, Brown held a similar lead (41% Brown, 36% Whitman, 23% undecided) over Whitman. Although Brown led among independents in January (36% to 28%), Whitman now holds the plurality of support (37% Brown, 43% Whitman). One in five independents (20%) and Democrats (18%) are undecided, compared to 13 percent of Republicans. Brown officially entered the race a week before PPIC began the March survey. Brown holds a 15-point lead in a potential matchup with Poizner (46% Brown, 31% Poizner, 23% undecided), similar to January (44% Brown, 29% Poizner, 27% undecided). Brown has a 13-point lead among independents (41% Brown, 28% Poizner, 31% undecided). FIORINA, CAMPBELL IN CLOSE RACE—EACH DEADLOCKED WITH BOXER The Republican primary race for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat has tightened since January, when Tom Campbell led both Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore among Republican likely voters (27% Campbell, 16% Fiorina, 8% DeVore). Today, Campbell and Fiorina are in a close race (24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell), and DeVore’s level of support is unchanged (8%). In this campaign—which has seen little advertising— the largest percentage of likely voters (44%) is undecided, similar to January (48%). In hypothetical November matchups, incumbent Boxer is deadlocked with Campbell (43% to 44%), with 13 percent undecided. A plurality of independents support Campbell (48% Campbell, 32% Boxer, 20% undecided). Since January, support for Boxer has dropped 10 points among independents, and Campbell’s support has increased 11 points. Half of women support Boxer (50% vs. 38% Campbell) and half of men favor Campbell (51% vs. 36% Boxer). Boxer is in a similarly tight race with Fiorina (44% to 43%), with 13 percent undecided. Among independents, Fiorina leads Boxer (41% Fiorina, 35% Boxer, 24% undecided). Women favor Boxer by 14 points (51% Boxer, 37% Fiorina) and men favor Fiorina by 13 points (49% Fiorina, 36% Boxer). In a potential race with DeVore, Boxer has a slight lead (46% Boxer, 40% DeVore, 14% undecided). Boxer holds a sizable lead over DeVore among women (53% to 34%) and younger voters (52% to 30%), while DeVore leads among men (47% to 39%). MAJORITY FAVOR PROPOSITION 14 Asked about another of their June ballot choices, a majority of likely voters (56%) say they will vote yes on Proposition 14, the measure to change the primary election process, while 27 percent would vote no and 17 percent are undecided. This constitutional amendment would allow voters to choose a candidate regardless of political party, with the top two vote-getters proceeding to the general election even if both are from the same party. PPIC uses the official ballot title and summary to measure opinion about initiatives. After a judge ordered a change in the Proposition 14 language during the survey period, we began asking the question with the new ballot wording. The survey produced similar results in both versions of the question. Before the language change, 60 percent said they would vote yes and 24 percent said they would vote no. FOR FIRST TIME, 50 PERCENT OF CALIFORNIANS FAVOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Among all Californians, residents are more likely to favor (50%) than oppose (45%) same-sex marriage for the first time in the PPIC Statewide Surveys. Support among all adults has never surpassed 45 percent March 2010 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey since the question was first asked in January 2000. There are clear partisan divisions: majorities of Democrats (64%) and independents (55%) are in favor, and most Republicans (67%) are opposed. There is much more consensus on the issue of gays and lesbians in the military. In the wake of Obama’s announcement that he would like to repeal the federal “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy passed in 1993, 75 percent of Californians say that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military. HALF SUPPORT HEALTH CARE REFORM—PARTISAN SPLIT IS STRONG In the survey, conducted before the passage of the health care reform bill, half of Californians (50%) say they support the changes being debated, similar to responses each time this question has been asked in the past (52% December 2009, 51% September 2009). Opinion is sharply divided along party lines: 70 percent of Democrats support the changes to the health care system and 76 percent of Republicans are opposed. A strong majority of Californians (69%) support one of the chief provisions of the bill, requiring that all Americans have health insurance with the government providing aid to those who cannot afford it. BIG MAJORITIES BACK IMMIGRATION REFORM President Obama has indicated that he will pursue immigration reform in 2010, and this issue has already emerged in the gubernatorial campaign. A strong majority of Californians (69%) say U.S. immigration policy is in need of major changes, and voters across party lines concur. Most (70%) say illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, while 25 percent believe those immigrants should be deported back to their native countries, a similar finding to the six other times the question has been asked. A majority of adults (54%) believe that immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, while 39 percent feel immigrants are a burden because they use public services. In the 13 times PPIC has asked the question, more Californians have said immigrants are a benefit than a burden. But party line divisions are stark on this question: 64 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of independents view immigrants as a benefit, and 68 percent of Republicans view them as a burden. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Jobs and economy tops list of concerns—pages 7, 9 Fifty-seven percent choose this as the top issue, followed by education (12%), the state budget (11%), health care (3%), and immigration (3%). Half are very concerned (31%) or somewhat concerned (19%) that they or someone in their family will lose a job in the next year. Most are very concerned (41%) or somewhat concerned (23%) about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage.  Most see budget as a big problem but are divided about how to fix it—page 10 Asked how they would prefer to deal with the state’s budget deficit—which 77 percent view as a big problem—equal proportions would prefer to deal with it mostly through spending cuts (39%) or a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (38%).  California’s Main Street wants more Wall Street regulation—page 18 Most Californians (58%) support stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business.  Optimism about Afghanistan—page 20 Nearly half of Californians (48%) say the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going very well (10%) or fairly well (38%), 16 points higher than in December (6% very well, 26% fairly well). A majority of likely voters say things are going well (55% today, 33% December). March 2010 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  The majority of Californians continue to name jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing the state; strong majorities also say the state is headed in the wrong direction and expect bad economic times. Nearly all Californians say the state is in a recession, six in 10 calling it a serious recession. (pages 7, 9)  Approval ratings for the governor, the legislature, and individual legislators all drop to record lows. One in four approve of the governor, while 14 percent approve of the legislature and 27 percent approve of their own state legislator. (page 8)  About three in four say that the state budget situation is a big problem. They are divided about using spending cuts alone or a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to close the budget deficit. (page 10)  Meg Whitman expands her lead among Republican primary likely voters in the June gubernatorial primary. Eleven percent support Steve Poizner and one in four are undecided. In potential November matchups, Democrat Jerry Brown now trails Whitman, but continues to lead Poizner. (page 11)  Carly Fiorina and Tom Campbell are locked in a tight race for the Republican nomination for senator; 8 percent support Chuck DeVore. In potential November matchups, Senator Barbara Boxer would be in tight races with Campbell and Fiorina, while she holds a slight lead over DeVore. (page 14)  Fifty-six percent of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 14, which would reform the primary election process, but just 36 percent say the state’s primary system is in need of major changes. (page 15) March 2010 Californians and Their Government Percent likely voters Percent likely voters Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officals 80 Governor Legislature 60 51 44 37 40 41 32 24 20 25 30 18 14 0 March March March March March 06 07 08 09 10 Republican Gubernatorial Primary Meg Whitman 80 Steve Poizner Don't know 61 60 44 41 40 20 11 25 11 0 January March Republican Senatorial Primary Carly Fiorina 80 Tom Campbell Chuck DeVore 60 Don't know 48 44 40 27 20 16 8 24 23 8 0 January March 6 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD The majority of Californians continue to say jobs and the economy is the most important issue Californians face today. Far fewer mention education and schools (12%), the state budget (11%), health care (3%), or immigration (3%). The economy has topped the list of concerns among Californians since January 2008 and their views today are almost identical to those of last March. At least half across parties, regions, and demographic groups cite the economy as the top issue. “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Jobs, economy 57% 55% 50% 62% Education, schools 12 18 7 12 State budget, deficit, taxes 11 10 18 14 Health care, health costs 3 5 2 2 Immigration, illegal immigration 33 5 3 Likely Voters 54% 13 16 3 4 The perception that jobs and the economy is the most important issue facing the state today is reflected in Californians’ negativity about economic conditions in the next 12 months. Two in three Californians (65%) and seven in 10 likely voters (72%) are pessimistic about the state’s economic outlook, including at least 64 percent across parties and regions. Across parties, Republicans are the most pessimistic. Whites (69%) are much more likely than Latinos (59%) to hold this view and women (69%) are somewhat more likely than men (61%). The expectation of bad economic times increases as age, education, and income rise. Strong majorities of those who disapprove of the governor, who say the state is in a serious recession, or who think the state is headed in the wrong direction expect bad economic times. 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 Dem Party Rep Ind 27% 29% 16% 23% 65 64 76 68 8789 Likely Voters 21% 72 7 Californians remain pessimistic about the direction of the state, with three in four (76%) saying that California is headed in the wrong direction. Likely voters are even more pessimistic (13% right direction, 83% wrong direction). More than two in three have held this negative view since June 2008 and the perception that California is going in the wrong direction has increased 5 points since last March. Today, at least three in four Californians across parties and regions hold this negative view. Whites (79%) and Latinos (69%) are both pessimistic and this pessimism rises as education and income levels rise. Strong majorities among those who disapprove of the governor, the state legislature, and their local state legislator hold this negative view. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE Pessimism about the economic outlook and the direction of the state is reflected in record-low approval ratings of state elected officials. Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval rating (24%) has reached a new low, while his disapproval (64%) has reached a record high. The governor’s approval rating among likely voters (25%) reaches a record low, while disapproval (64%) also matches the record high. The governor’s approval rating has been 40 percent or below and his disapproval rating at least 50 percent since August 2008. The governor’s approval rating has dropped 6 points since January, 8 points since last March, and 20 points since March 2008. Today, at least 57 percent of Californians across parties and regions disapprove, with Democrats (70%) and residents of Los Angeles (71%) the most disapproving. Latinos (75%) are far more likely than whites (55%) to disapprove and at least 60 percent across age, education, and income groups disapprove of his job performance. Approval of the job performance of the California Legislature has also reached a new record low of 14 percent and disapproval reaches a new high of 72 percent. Approval ratings among likely voters (9% approve, 85% disapprove) also set records. Approval ratings of the California Legislature have been below 30 percent since April 2008; approval has dropped 4 points since last March and 16 points since March 2008. Today, more than seven in 10 across parties and more than six in 10 across regions disapprove, with Republicans (83%) and residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (77%) and the Other Southern California region (77%) most likely to hold this view. Whites (81%) are far more likely than Latinos (57%) to disapprove of the legislature and disapproval increases with rising age, education, and income. “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 24% 21% 33% 64 70 57 12 9 10 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 14 14 10 72 76 83 14 10 7 Ind 23% 59 18 12 74 14 Likely Voters 25% 64 11 9 85 6 Californians’ approval (27%) of their individual state legislators also reaches a record low; disapproval (53%) matches the record high in September and December 2009. Likely voters are somewhat more disapproving. At least half of Californians across parties and regions disapprove, with Republicans (62%) and residents in the Other Southern California region (55%) the most disapproving. Whites (56%) and men (57%) are more disapproving of their legislators than Latinos (48%) and women (49%). 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 27% 29% 24% 21% 53 51 62 60 20 20 14 19 Likely Voters 27% 58 15 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey ECONOMIC SITUATION Most Californians (91%) continue to say that California is in an economic recession, with 59 percent calling it a serious recession and 7 percent saying the state is not in a recession. Since January 2009 at least half have said that California is in a serious economic recession. Majorities across parties and regions say the state is in a serious economic recession. Whites (64%) are more likely than Latinos (53%) to call it a serious recession and this view increases as age and income rise. With jobs and the economy identified as the most important state issue and 91 percent of Californians saying the state is in a recession, half of Californians say they are very (31%) or somewhat (19%) concerned that they or someone in their family will lose their job in the next year; 9 percent volunteer that they or someone in their family has already experienced job loss. Four in 10 are not concerned. Concern about job loss has been similar the four times we have asked this question since March 2009 (concern was higher in January 2009 at 58%). Today, those with household incomes under $40,000 are far more likely than those with incomes of $80,000 or more to express concern (59% to 44%) and almost twice as likely to volunteer they have already experienced job loss (11% to 6%). Latinos are far more likely than whites to express concern (63% to 43%). Across regions, concern about job loss is highest in the Central Valley (55%) and lowest in the San Francisco Bay Area (46%). “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?)” Very concerned All Adults 31% Under $40,000 37% Household Income $40,000 to under $80,000 29% $80,000 or more 25% Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 42% 24% Somewhat concerned 19 22 16 19 21 19 Not concerned Lost job already (volunteered) Don’t know 39 28 44 49 9 11 11 6 22 – 1 29 47 7 10 1– When asked about having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage, concern is even higher: 64 percent say they are very (41%) or somewhat concerned (23%). Thirty-five percent are not too (14%) or not at all concerned (21%). At least 39 percent of Californians have said they are very concerned in each of the four times we have asked this question since last March. In December, 45 percent were very concerned. Across regions, residents in the Central Valley (72%) and in Los Angeles (71%) are the most likely to be at least somewhat concerned, while those in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%) are the least likely. Lower-income residents are more than twice as likely as upper-income residents to be very concerned; renters are 20 points more likely than homeowners to hold this view. Latinos are far more likely than whites (56% to 29%) 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 41% Under $40,000 57% Household Income $40,000 to under $80,000 39% $80,000 or more 23% Homeownership Owners Renters 32% 52% Somewhat concerned 23 25 22 22 21 25 Not too concerned 14 7 14 19 16 12 Not at all concerned 21 10 24 35 30 11 Already behind (vol)/ Don’t know 1 1 1 1 1 – March 2010 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE BUDGET As the governor and legislature grapple with how to close the $20 billion state budget deficit, how do Californians perceive the situation? Three in four Californians (77%) call it a big problem, while 19 percent call it somewhat of a problem. Likely voters (87%) are much more likely to call it a big problem. At least seven in 10 Californians have called the budget situation a big problem since August 2008 and this perception is similar to that of March 2009. Today, over seven in 10 across parties and regions call the budget situation a big problem, with whites (84%) far more likely than Latinos (65%) to hold this view. The perception that the state budget is a big problem increases with rising age, education, and income. With the governor and legislature facing a multitude of tough choices to close the budget gap, how do Californians prefer to address the problem? Equal proportions say they prefer mostly spending cuts (39%) or a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (38%), while far fewer prefer mostly tax increases (6%) or say it’s okay to borrow money and run a deficit (8%). Preferences of likely voters are similar. Partisan divisions are evident, with 57 percent of Republicans preferring spending cuts and half of Democrats (49%) preferring a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Independents are divided (43% mix, 42% cuts). Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area (42%) residents are the most likely to prefer a mix, while Other Southern California region (45%) residents are the most likely to favor spending cuts. Latinos favor a mix over cuts (40% to 31%), while whites favor spending cuts over a mix (44% to 38%). “How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Mostly spending cuts 39% 25% 57% 42% 41% Mix of spending cuts and tax increases 38 49 28 43 42 Okay to borrow money and run a deficit 8 8 6 4 4 Mostly tax increases 6 10 2 4 6 Other 3 243 4 Don’t know 6 634 3 Californians are divided on the question of the size of government, with 46 percent favoring higher taxes and more government services, and 45 percent preferring lower taxes and fewer government services. Likely voters prefer lower taxes and fewer services (53% to 39%). Among all adults, favor for more services has declined 5 points since September 2009 (51% higher taxes/more services, 39% lower taxes/fewer services). Six in 10 Democrats favor higher taxes/more services, while seven in 10 Republicans and 55 percent of independents favor lower taxes/fewer services. Latinos (62%) and women (50%) favor higher taxes/more services; whites (57%) and men (52%) favor lower taxes/fewer services. “In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Higher taxes and more services 46% 62% 19% 35% 39% Lower taxes and fewer services 45 31 71 55 53 Don't know 9 7 10 10 8 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY With the June primaries less than three months away, Meg Whitman has extended her lead over Steve Poizner in the Republican race. Since January, support for Whitman has increased 20 points, with 61 percent of Republican primary likely voters supporting her candidacy today; support for Poizner today is identical to January’s (11%). Far fewer Republican likely voters are undecided—25 percent, down from a 44-percent plurality in January. A majority of those in households across income groups say they will vote for Whitman. Among women, there has been a stunning increase in support for Whitman (34% January to 61% today). She holds similar leads over Poizner among voters aged 18–54 (63% to 11%) and those 55 and older (59% to 12%). Republican primary likely voters include the 12 percent of independent (declineto-state) voters who say they will vote a Republican ballot. (These independents may also choose a Democratic or non-partisan ballot.) Republican primary likely voters only Meg Whitman Steve Poizner Someone else Don’t know “If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” All Likely Voters 61% Household Income Under $80,000 $80,000 or more 59% 67% Men 61% 11 11 12 10 31 4 3 25 29 17 26 Gender Women 61% 13 2 24 Fewer than half of likely voters are satisfied with their choices of gubernatorial candidates in the primary election. Since December, when we first asked about gubernatorial choices, there has been a 14-point increase in satisfaction. Independents are less satisfied than Democratic and Republican likely voters. Satisfaction among Republicans has doubled since December (25% to 51%), while satisfaction among Democratic voters (38% to 47% today) and independent voters (29% to 39% today) has also increased. Men and women hold similar levels of satisfaction. Fifty-five percent of likely voters who would choose Whitman over Brown in a hypothetical November match-up are satisfied with their choices, while half of Poizner-over-Brown voters are satisfied. In either matchup, about half of Brown voters are satisfied with their choice of candidates in the primary. Likely voters only Satisfied Not satisfied Don't know “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor on June 8th?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Gender Ind Men Women 46% 47% 51% 39% 45% 48% 38 38 35 41 40 37 16 15 14 20 15 15 With the gubernatorial campaign heating up, nearly two-thirds of likely voters report they are following news about the candidates either very (17%) or fairly (46%) closely. A majority of likely voters across parties say they are paying at least fairly close attention. By comparison, in March 2006, three months before the gubernatorial primaries, attention to news was much lower (13% very close, 39% fairly close). With state Attorney General Jerry Brown only recently declaring his candidacy, Democrats (58%) lag behind Republicans (72%) in paying close attention to news about the candidates. Independents (56%) are also following news less closely than are Republicans. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey NOVEMBER GUBERNATORIAL MATCHUPS In a potential matchup in the November gubernatorial race, Meg Whitman has a narrow lead over Jerry Brown among likely voters (44% to 39%). In January, it was Brown who held a narrow lead over Whitman (41% to 36%), and he led by six points in December (43% to 37%). Fewer likely voters are undecided today (17%) than in January (23%). Partisanship continues to be reflected in support for the candidates— two-thirds of Democrats say they will vote for Brown, and 77 percent of Republicans support Whitman. Although Brown led among independents in January (36% to 28%), Whitman now holds the plurality of support among independents (37% Brown, 43% Whitman). One in five independents (20%) and Democrats (18%) are undecided, compared to 13 percent of Republicans. Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%) and Los Angeles (46%) support Brown, while those in the Central Valley (56%) and Other Southern California region (57%) favor Whitman. Latinos support Brown (45%) over Whitman (35%), while whites favor Whitman (50%) over Brown (34%). Among men, Whitman is favored by 15 points, while women express similar levels of support for Brown (43%) and Whitman (40%). Brown leads by 14 points among voters aged 18 to 34 (44% Brown, 30% Whitman) and Whitman leads by 14 points among voters aged 35 to 54 (48% Whitman, 34% Brown); older voters are more divided (46% Whitman, 41% Brown). Brown leads among voters in households earning less than $40,000 per year (44% to 38%), while Whitman leads among voters in households earning $80,000 or more (48% to 39%). Among likely voters who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger, Whitman leads Brown by 11 points (48% to 37%); among those who disapprove, support is divided (44% Whitman, 40% Brown). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 39% 65% 10% 37% 34% 43% Meg Whitman, the Republican 44 17 77 43 49 40 Don't know 17 18 13 20 17 17 Jerry Brown holds a 15-point lead in a hypothetical matchup against Steve Poizner (46% to 31%), similar to January’s finding. Democrats overwhelmingly support Brown (73%), while six in 10 Republicans favor Poizner. In this potential matchup, Brown is favored by a plurality of independents, with a 13-point lead over Poizner among this group. Still, Poizner’s support among independents has increased 10 points since January. Poizner leads Brown among likely voters in the Other Southern California region (41% to 31%) and the Central Valley (44% to 36%), while Brown leads Poizner in Los Angeles (52% to 27%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (63% to 16%). Most Latinos (57%) and a plurality of whites (41%), women (50%), and men (41%) favor Brown. Brown is favored over Poizner in all income, education, and age groups; voters aged 18 to 34 are more than three times as likely to support Brown as Poizner (51% to 16%), while his margins narrow among voters 35 to 54 (44% to 35%) and voters 55 and older (45% to 33%). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 46% 73% 17% 41% 41% 50% Steve Poizner, the Republican 31 7 60 28 36 26 Don't know 23 20 23 31 23 24 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey JUNE SENATORIAL PRIMARY Now that U.S. senate candidate Tom Campbell has been campaigning for nearly two months, how is the Republican senate primary shaping up? Although Campbell led Carly Fiorina in January (27% to 16%), support for Fiorina has increased 8 points and decreased for Campbell 4 points, tightening the race (24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell). Candidate Chuck DeVore has maintained identical levels of support (8% in January and March). Similar to January, most likely voters remain undecided (48% January, 44% today). Men are divided between Fiorina and Campbell, with a plurality (36%) undecided. Fiorina holds a 5-point lead among women, but nearly half of women are still undecided. Voters under 55 are divided (24% Campbell, 27% Fiorina), with four in 10 (39%) undecided. Voters 55 and older are similarly divided between Campbell (23%) and Fiorina (22%) and nearly half are undecided (47%). Voters in households earning $80,000 or more per year prefer Campbell over Fiorina (33% to 24%), while those earning less than $80,000 per year prefer Fiorina to Campbell (26% to 17%). Support for DeVore across both gender and income groups remains lower than for the two front runners. Republican primary likely voters only Carly Fiorina Tom Campbell Chuck DeVore Someone else Don’t know “If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” All Likely Voters 24% Household Income Under $80,000 $80,000 or more 26% 24% Men 25% Gender Women 24% 23 17 33 28 19 8 10 4 10 7 1–312 44 47 36 36 48 Likely voters are more satisfied with their choices of candidates for senate (55%) than for governor (46%). Across parties, Democrats (63%) are much more satisfied than Republicans (53%) and independents (46%) with their candidate choices. Nearly six in 10 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) and Los Angeles (57%) are satisfied with the choices on the June ballot, with satisfaction in the Central Valley (51%) and Other Southern California region (53%) somewhat lower. Latinos (60%) are more satisfied than whites (52%) with their choices in the senate election. Men and women hold similar levels of satisfaction with candidate choice. In all three potential November matchups, about seven in 10 Boxer supporters are satisfied compared to about half of likely voters supporting Campbell, Fiorina, or DeVore over Boxer. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for U.S. senator on June 8th?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Gender Ind Men Women Satisfied 55% 63% 53% 46% 55% 54% Not satisfied 28 24 27 38 30 27 Don't know 17 13 20 16 15 19 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey NOVEMBER SENATORIAL MATCHUPS Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer would be in a close race with three potential opponents in hypothetical November matchups. Boxer is deadlocked with Republican Campbell (43% to 44%), with Democrats overwhelmingly favoring Boxer (79%) and Republicans overwhelmingly favoring Campbell (81%). Since January, support for Boxer has dropped 10 points among independents, and Campbell has seen an 11-point increase. Half of women support Boxer and half of men support Campbell. Boxer enjoys a 22-point lead in the San Francisco Bay Area and a 16-point lead in Los Angeles; Campbell holds a 27-point lead in Other Southern California and a 21-point advantage in the Central Valley. Likely voters under age 35 are twice as likely to support Boxer (56%) over Campbell (29%), while those 35 to 54 prefer Campbell (47%) over Boxer (39%); older voters are more divided (47% Campbell, 42% Boxer). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 43% 79% 8% 32% 36% 50% Tom Campbell, the Republican 44 10 81 48 51 38 Don't know 13 11 11 20 13 12 Boxer is also in a tight race with Carly Fiorina in a potential November matchup; eight in 10 Democrats and eight in 10 Republicans support each party’s prospective candidate. Among independents, a plurality would now vote for Fiorina over Boxer (41% to 35%), in contrast to January (35% Fiorina, 45% Boxer). Boxer’s support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (60%) and Los Angeles (48%), while Fiorina leads in the Central Valley (55%) and Other Southern California region (54%). Women favor Boxer by 14 points; men favor Fiorina by 13 points. Younger voters prefer Boxer (56% to 30% for Fiorina), voters 35 to 54 years old prefer Fiorina (47% to 39% for Boxer) and older voters are divided (44% Fiorina, 43% Boxer). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 44% 79% 8% 35% 36% 51% Carly Fiorina, the Republican 43 9 82 41 49 37 Don't know 13 12 10 24 15 12 Boxer has a slight lead in a matchup against Chuck DeVore (46% to 40%). Partisan loyalties are evident, with eight in 10 Democrats favoring Boxer and eight in 10 Republicans favoring DeVore. Independents have a slight preference for Boxer (41% Boxer, 35% DeVore, 24% undecided). Boxer holds a sizable lead over DeVore among women (53% to 34%) and younger voters (52% to 30%), while DeVore leads among men (47% to 39%); voters aged 35 and older are divided between the two candidates. “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Party Gender Voters Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 46% 79% 11% 41% 39% 53% Chuck DeVore, the Republican 40 9 78 35 47 34 Don't know 14 12 11 24 14 13 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey PROPOSITION 14—CHANGE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS Proposition 14 is a constitutional amendment placed on the ballot by the legislature that would reform the primary election process. It would allow voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference and ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes would appear on the general election ballot, regardless of party. A majority of likely voters would vote yes on Proposition 14 (56% yes, 27% no, 17% undecided) when read the ballot title and label. Due to a change in the ballot title and label, we began asking this question with revised wording on March 12 (Before the wording change, a similar 60% would vote yes and 24% would vote no). Democrats (59%) are more supportive than Republicans (48%) while the sample size for independent likely voters is too small for separate analysis. Moderates (64%) are much more likely than conservatives (54%) or liberals (49%) to support Proposition 14. Women (60%) are more likely than men (52%) to support it. “Proposition 14 is called ‘Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections.’ … If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 56% 27% 17% Party Democrats Republicans 59 23 18 48 40 12 Liberals 49 30 21 Ideology Moderates 64 18 18 Conservatives 54 33 13 18–54 Age 55 and older 59 24 17 53 31 16 *Results from question asked using revised ballot title and label language, starting March 12. For complete text of question, see p. 30. Regardless of how they would vote on Proposition 14, how important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries? Almost half of likely voters in California view this issue as very important (48%). Findings were similar in December when we first asked this question. Fifty-two percent of independents and nearly half of Republicans (48%) and Democrats (47%) call the issue very important. Likely voters who would vote yes on Proposition 14 (57%) are more likely than “no” voters (32%) to view this issue as very important. Likely voters only Very important Somewhat important Not too important Not at all important Don’t know “How important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries?” All Likely Voters Dem Party Rep Ind Vote on Proposition 14 Yes No 48% 47% 48% 52% 57% 32% 32 33 31 33 33 31 10 12 10 5 4 17 8 7 10 7 3 19 2 113 3 1 Separately, we asked likely voters about California’s primary election system. Thirty-six percent think major changes are needed, while 35 percent say minor changes are needed. Independents are much more likely than others to say major changes are needed. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 15 NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS „ Record low percentages express approval of President Obama (58%), Congress (24%), and their own member of the House (45%). Californians are divided regarding the effect of the president’s economic policies: Asked just before the recent jobs bill passed, about six in 10 said that Congress and the Obama administration are not doing enough to create jobs. (pages 17, 18) „ Half of Californians continue to support the overall health care reform plan that President Obama signed into law Tuesday. When it comes to the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan, the percentage who say things are going at least fairly well has jumped 16 points since December (32% to 48%). (pages 19, 20) „ Strong majorities think U.S. immigration policy is in need of major changes and say illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. A majority (54%) continue to view immigrants as a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills. (page 21) „ For the first time, more Californians favor (50%) than oppose (45%) laws allowing same-sex marriage, and 75 percent think that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military. (page 22) „ While fewer than half have a favorable view of either party, Californians are more likely to hold a positive view of the Democratic Party (44%) than the Republican Party (31%). Nearly three in 10 view the Tea Party movement favorably, and 53 percent think a third party is needed. (page 23) March 2010 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Percent all adults Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officals Over the Past Year President 80 71 70 72 Congress 65 63 61 61 58 60 40 47 43 39 36 20 24 0 Mar Apr May Jul Sep Dec Jan Mar 09 09 09 09 09 09 10 10 Attitudes Toward Allowing Same-Sex Marriage 80 60 55 Favor Oppose 50 48 48 49 48 50 49 50 40 39 44 44 44 45 45 44 44 45 20 0 Jan 00 Feb Aug Sep Jun Aug Oct Mar Mar 04 05 06 07 08 08 09 10 Perceptions of the Two-Party System Third party is needed Two parties do adequate job 80 60 53 52 53 48 40 46 38 41 36 20 0 Sep Oct Sep Mar 04 06 08 10 16 PPIC Statewide Survey PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS Approval of President Obama’s job performance continues to decline gradually among Californians: Currently, 58 percent approve, down 13 points since last March. Still, Californians (58%) remain more positive than adults nationwide (48%), according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Across California’s political parties, majorities of Democrats (78%) and independents (60%) approve while a strong majority of Republicans (74%) disapprove. Approval ratings among Californians for the president’s handling of the economy (54%) and health care (52%) are slightly lower than his overall job approval. But they are higher than among adults nationwide: In the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 47 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the economy and 41 percent approve of his handling of health care reform. Ratings of Congress are far less positive than the president’s and are much less positive than they were just two months ago. Currently, 24 percent of Californians approve of the way Congress is handling its job, down 12 points since this past January and 19 points since last March. Approval among likely voters is down 15 points since January (29% to 14%). In the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, just 17 percent of adults nationwide say they approve of Congress. In California, strong majorities across parties express disapproval (68% Democrats, 75% independents, 86% Republicans). This is the first time that even a slim majority of California Democrats have expressed disapproval since Democrats took control of Congress in January 2009. “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 58% 78% 23% 35 17 74 753 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don't know 24 24 12 68 68 86 882 Ind 60% 33 7 20 75 5 Likely Voters 52% 43 5 14 82 4 Despite their negative attitudes about Congress overall, a higher percentage (45%) of Californians approve of their local member of the U.S. House of Representatives member than of Congress overall. But this is a record low in PPIC Statewide Surveys—and a decline of 6 points since December and 10 points since last March. It is also the first time individual representative approval has slipped below 50 percent since the November 2008 election. Today, Californians express the same attitude toward their own representatives as adults do nationwide. A similar question in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 45 percent of adults approve of their own congressional representative. Approve Disapprove Don't know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 45% 51% 41% 38% 37 31 45 43 18 18 14 19 Likely Voters 44% 42 14 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey NATIONAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY POLICIES Many Californians remain unconvinced that the president’s economic policies are having their intended effect. Currently, 40 percent say his policies have had no effect so far or that it is too soon to tell (down 6 points since December). Thirty-five percent say economic conditions are better (up 4 points), while 22 percent say they are worse (similar to December). Democrats (49%) are most likely to say Obama’s economic policies have improved economic conditions, while Republicans (47%) are most likely to say conditions are worse. Independents (43%) are most likely to say there is no effect so far or it’s too soon to tell. Of those who approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, 56 percent say conditions are better; of those who disapprove, 51 percent say conditions are worse. Surveyed just before Congress passed and President Obama signed a recent jobs bill, 61 percent of Californians believe that Congress and the Obama administration are not doing enough to create jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate nationwide in February was 9.7 percent. In California it was 12.5 percent, one of the highest in the nation. Republicans (74%) are more likely than independents (60%) or Democrats (56%) to say Congress and the Obama administration fall short on jobs. Unemployed Californians looking for work (68%) are more likely than Californians employed full-time (61%) or part-time (57%) to say not enough is being done. The percentage holding this negative view rises as age, education, and income increase. Among those who approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, 43 percent say not enough is being done to create jobs and 43 percent say just enough is being done. Among those who disapprove of his handling of the economy, 86 percent say not enough is being done. Seventy percent of those who disapprove of Congress say not enough is being done. “Overall, do you think that Congress and the Obama administration are doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to help create jobs?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind More than enough 8% 9% 4% 8% 7% Just enough 28 31 18 29 24 Not enough 61 56 74 60 66 Don’t know 34 4 3 3 Majorities of Californians (58%) and likely voters (62%) support stricter federal regulations on the way that banks and other financial institutions conduct their business. Support among Californians (58%) is similar to support among adults nationwide (62%), according to a February ABC News/Washington Post poll. In California, Democrats and independents (65% each) are much more likely than Republicans (52%) to hold this view. Regionally, San Francisco Bay Area residents (64%) are the most likely to support greater regulation and Central Valley residents (53%) the least likely. Support for this proposal rises sharply as education and income increase. Among those who approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, 67 percent express support; among those who disapprove, 46 percent express support. Support Oppose Don’t know “Do you support or oppose stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 58% 65% 52% 65% 36 30 42 31 6564 Likely Voters 62% 33 5 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Half of Californians (50%) continue to support the changes to the health care system just signed into law. The PPIC survey was conducted as President Obama made his final pitch to House lawmakers to pass the Senate version of the health care bill and results came in before the House passed the bill. A February ABC/Washington Post poll found 47 percent support among adults nationwide, but half (49%) were opposed. About half of Californians have expressed support each of the three times we have asked this question (51% September 2009, 52% December 2009, 50% today). Opinion remains sharply divided along partisan lines with 70 percent of Democrats expressing support and 76 percent of Republicans expressing opposition; 50 percent of independents express support. Support declines as education, income, and age increase (and, at 39%, it is lowest among those 65 and older). Those without health insurance are more likely than those with health insurance to support the proposed changes (57% to 48%). Among those who approve of Obama’s handling of health care policy, 81 percent support the plan. “Overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by Congress and the Obama administration?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Support 50% 70% 16% 50% 45% Oppose 39 19 76 38 47 Don’t know 11 11 8 12 8 A strong majority of Californians (69%) continue to support one of the chief provisions of the bill— requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help to those who can’t afford it. Sixty-eight percent expressed support in December. Californians express greater support than adults nationwide for this provision. In a February Newsweek poll, 59 percent of adults nationwide said they support requiring all Americans to have health insurance. The vast majority of Democrats (86%) would support the provision for an individual health coverage requirement and 64 percent of independents agree. Although Republicans are more likely to favor this provision than to favor the overall health care plan, a majority (57%) are opposed to it. Over six in 10 across regions favor this proposal and majorities across demographic groups express support. Support again declines as education, income, and age increase, with those age 65 and older (55%) the least likely to favor the idea. The uninsured are far more likely than the insured (82% to 66%) to express support. Among those who approve of Obama on health care, 92 percent support this provision. Support Oppose Don’t know “Would you support or oppose requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help for those who can’t afford it?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind 69% 86% 38% 64% 61% 27 12 57 30 36 42563 The Senate version of the health care bill omitted a public option. But Californians remain largely supportive (60% support, 32% opposed) of a government health insurance plan to compete with private plans. This finding was similar in December and September. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey AFGHANISTAN Nearly half of Californians (48%) now say the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going very well (10%) or fairly (38%) well, a 16-point jump since December (6% very well, 26% fairly well). Forty-two percent say things are not going well. A majority of likely voters now believe that things are going well (33% December to 55% today). In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 52 percent of adults nationwide say things are going very well (9%) or fairly well (43%). In December, President Obama ordered additional troop deployments to Afghanistan, in January the Taliban staged several deadly operations near Kabul, and in February the United States began an offensive in southern Afghanistan. Public opinion in California about the effort has improved during this time, including across parties: Optimism is up 26 points among Republicans (39% to 65%), 28 points among independents (27% to 55%), and 16 points among Democrats (27% to 43%). Optimism has grown in all regions and demographic groups. Other Southern California residents (57%) are the most likely to say things are going well in Afghanistan, followed by residents in the Central Valley (49%), Los Angeles (44%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (42%). Whites are far more likely than Latinos (55% to 40%), and men are more likely than women (52% to 44%), to be optimistic. Those who disapprove of Obama are more likely than those who approve to say things are going well (57% to 44%). “Thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Very well 10% 7% 12% 12% 8% Fairly well 38 36 53 43 47 Not too well 24 28 20 22 23 Not at all well 18 19 6 17 13 Don’t know 10 10 9 6 9 Although optimism has grown since December, Californians remain divided (49% favor, 45% oppose) about a significant increase in the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In December, when President Obama announced his plan for 30,000 additional troops and a timetable for withdrawal, Californians were divided (49% favor, 45% oppose) about it. At that time, many (44%) felt the number of troops should be decreased, while just 33 percent thought the number should be increased. Today, a solid majority of likely voters favor (62%) an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. A strong majority of Republicans (71%) express support, as do 54 percent of independents. Fifty-one percent of Democrats oppose a troop increase. Support rises sharply as age, education, and income increase. Whites are overwhelmingly more likely than Latinos to express support (63% to 28%). Among those who say the U.S. effort is going well, 70 percent support adding troops. Of those who say things are not going well, just 27 percent support the troop build-up. “As you may know, the Obama administration has begun to significantly increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to help stabilize the situation there. Do you favor or oppose this?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Favor 49% 43% 71% 54% 62% Oppose 45 51 26 38 33 Don’t know 66385 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY President Obama has indicated he wants to pursue U.S. immigration reform in 2010 and hopes to make it a bipartisan effort. Strong majorities of all adults (69%) and likely voters (72%) in California believe immigration policy in the United States is in need of major changes. Voters across parties agree: 73 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of Democrats, and 67 percent of independents say major changes are needed. When PPIC first asked this question in June 2007 (during the last period of serious public discussion of immigration reform), 74 percent of Californians said major changes were needed. Today, over two-thirds of Latinos (74%) and whites (69%) believe immigration policy needs major changes. Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups agree. Residents in the Other Southern California region (76%) are the most likely to hold this view; about two in three elsewhere agree. “Do you think that immigration policy in the United States today is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it basically fine the way it is?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Major changes 69% 68% 73% 67% 74% 69% Minor changes 22 26 18 23 18 23 Fine the way it is 7677 6 6 Don’t know 2–23 2 2 Seventy percent of Californians believe illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status; 25 percent believe those immigrants should be deported back to their native countries. In the six times this question has been asked since June 2007, about seven in 10 have favored allowing illegal immigrants to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status. Today, majorities of Democrats and independents favor this approach, while Republicans are divided. Nearly all Latinos (90%) and 62 percent of whites prefer giving immigrants working illegally a chance to stay in the United States. Of those who believe major changes are needed to immigration policy, 67 percent prefer legalization over deportation. “If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years? They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status or they should be deported back to their native country.” All Adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Chance to keep their jobs 70% 78% 49% 68% 90% Deported back to their native country 25 19 46 26 8 Don’t know 5356 2 62% 34 4 A majority of all adults (54%) say that immigrants living in California are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills, while 39 percent say they are a burden because they use public services. In the 13 times this question has been asked since April 1998, more Californians have said immigrants are a benefit than a burden. In June 2007, 60 percent said benefit and 32 percent said burden. This issue divides voters along party lines (benefit: 64% Democrats, 52% independents; burden: 68% Republicans). Of those who call immigrants a benefit, 63 percent believe major changes are needed to U.S. policy and 89 percent support a pathway to legal status. Of those who call them a burden, 78 percent say major changes are needed and fewer than half—45 percent—support a pathway to legalization (49% favor deportation). March 2010 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS For the first time in a PPIC Statewide Survey, Californians are more likely to say they favor (50%) samesex marriage than oppose it (45%). Support among all adults had never surpassed 45 percent since January 2000. Today, a record high 49 percent of likely voters favor same-sex marriage and 45 percent oppose it. Proposition 8, passed by voters in 2008, created a state constitutional amendment revoking the right of same-sex couples to marry. This amendment is currently being challenged in federal district court. In a similar ABC News/Washington Post poll question, adults nationwide expressed divided opinions about same-sex marriage: 47 percent said it should be legal and 50 percent said illegal. Majorities of Democrats (64%) and independents (55%) favor allowing same-sex marriage, while a majority of Republicans (67%) oppose it. Since last March, support is up a slight 4 points among Democrats, 8 points among independents, and 6 points among Republicans. Support is far from unanimous across regions and demographic groups. Central Valley residents oppose allowing same-sex marriage (51% oppose, 42% favor), while San Francisco Bay Area residents favor it (64% favor, 30% oppose). Residents are divided in Los Angeles (46% favor, 48% oppose) and Other Southern California (47% favor, 49% oppose). Most whites (55%) express support, while Latinos are more opposed (51%) than in favor (43%). Support declines with older age, but rises as education and income increase. An overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians are opposed (75%). Since last March, support jumped 17 points among Californians age 18 to 34 (49% to 66%) and rose modestly among Latinos, whites, men, residents with lower household incomes, and those without college degrees. 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 50% 64% 28% 55% 45 32 67 39 54 5 6 Likely Voters 49% 45 6 In his January State of the Union address, President Obama said he would like to repeal the federal “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the U.S. military. Passed in 1993, this policy bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Californians support the right of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military: 68 percent held this view in February 2000 and 75 percent hold this view today. Adults nationwide also strongly favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly (69% favor, 27% oppose), according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Majorities of Californians across parties favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, but Democrats (85%) and independents (79%) are more likely to say this than Republicans (57%). Solid majorities across regions and demographic groups favor this idea, including 67 percent in the Central Valley, 74 percent of Latinos, 70 percent of residents age 55 and older, and 64 percent of evangelical Christians. Among those who oppose same-sex marriage, 55 percent support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. “Do you think that gays and lesbians should or should not be allowed to serve openly in the military?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Ind Voters Should 75% 85% 57% 79% 74% Should not 19 12 35 16 20 Don't know 6 3 8 56 March 2010 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey PARTY PERCEPTIONS As partisan battles on topics ranging from budgets to health care reform are fought in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., how do Californians view the two major political parties? Forty-four percent have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while 31 percent have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party. Californians are less likely than adults nationwide to hold favorable views of either party, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll. Nationwide, 50 percent view the Democratic Party favorably (46% unfavorably), while 44 percent view the Republican Party favorably (52% unfavorably). Democrats are more likely to view their own party favorably (68%) than Republicans are to view theirs favorably (54%). Independents are more likely to hold an unfavorable view of either party, but are more positive about the Democratic Party (33%) than the Republican Party (21%). Across regions, Democratic Party favorability is highest in Los Angeles (51%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (50%), while Republican Party favorability is highest in the Other Southern California region (34%). Latinos are more likely than whites to have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party (58% to 35%). About the same proportions of whites and Latinos view the Republican Party favorably (33% whites, 31% Latinos). …Democratic Party? …Republican Party? “Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the…” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Favorable 44% 68% 13% 33% Unfavorable 44 27 80 49 Don't know 12 5 7 18 Favorable 31 19 54 21 Unfavorable 56 73 39 59 Don't know 13 8 7 20 Likely Voters 41% 53 6 31 62 7 The political movement known as the Tea Party is receiving national attention. In California, 28 percent have a favorable view of the movement, 34 percent have an unfavorable one, and 38 percent are unsure. According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, about one in three adults nationwide have a favorable view of the Tea Party (35% favorable, 40% unfavorable, 25% unsure). A majority of California Republicans (55%) have a favorable impression (including 58% of those who have an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party). Far fewer independents (29%) and Democrats (14%) are favorable. Of those who are ideologically very conservative, 64 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party. “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Likely Voters Ind Favorable 28% 14% 55% 29% 34% Unfavorable 34 48 19 37 37 Don't know 38 38 26 34 29 In a separate question we asked if the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or if they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed. Fifty-three percent of all adults and 55 percent of likely voters think that a third party is needed, similar to findings in September 2008. Independents (66%) are much more likely than Democrats (52%) and Republicans (50%) to think a third major party is needed. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP March 2010 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Sonja Petek and Nicole Willcoxon. 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. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 2,002 California adult residents, reached on landline telephones and cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days between March 9 and 16, 2010. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. A total of 200 cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI conducted the telephone interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005–2007 American Community Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,002 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 1,574 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 1,102 likely voters, it is ±3 percent; for the 410 Republican primary likely voters, who were asked questions about the Republican primary for gubernatorial and senate candidates, it is ±5 percent; for the 628 Proposition 14 likely voters interviewed starting March 12, it is ±4. 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. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey 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 their responses to survey questions on past voting, current interest in politics, 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, CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and the Pew Research Center. March 2010 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 9–16, 2010 2,002 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] 57% jobs, economy 12 education, schools 11 state budget, deficit, taxes 3 health care, health costs 3 immigration, illegal immigration 2 housing costs 10 other 2 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 24% approve 64 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 14% approve 72 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? 27% approve 53 disapprove 20 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 19% right direction 76 wrong direction 5 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? 27% good times 65 bad times 8 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?) 59% yes, serious recession 25 yes, moderate recession 7 yes, mild recession 7 no 2 don’t know 8. 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?) 31% yes, very concerned 19 yes, somewhat 39 no 9 have lost job already (volunteered) 2 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 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? 41% very concerned 23 somewhat concerned 14 not too concerned 21 not at all concerned 1 already behind (volunteered)/ don’t know 10.On another topic, 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? 77% big problem 19 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 2 don’t know 11.As you may know, the state government currently has an annual budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion-dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 39% mostly through spending cuts 38 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 8 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 6 mostly through tax increases 3 other (volunteered) 6 don’t know 12.In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services? 46% higher taxes and more services 45 lower taxes and fewer services 9 don’t know 13.Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 79% yes [ask q13a] 20 no [skip to q14b] 1 don’t know [skip to q14b] 13a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q14] 31 Republican [skip to q14a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q16] 22 independent [skip to q14b] 14. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 50% strong 48 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q16] 14a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 55% strong 43 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q15] 14b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 41 Democratic Party 27 neither (volunteered) 7 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey [responses recorded for questions 14c to 27 are for likely voters] [if q13a=independent, ask q14c, if q13a=Republican, skip to q15, otherwise skip to q16] 14c.California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 8th. All three ballots include state proposition measures. Do you plan to vote in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or on the nonpartisan ballot? 12% Republican primary [ask q15] 14 Democratic primary [skip to q16] 59 nonpartisan ballot [skip to q16] 15 don’t know [skip to q16] 15.If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 61% Meg Whitman, businesswoman 11 Steve Poizner, California state insurance commissioner 3 someone else (specify) 25 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor’s election…. [rotate questions 16 and 17] 16.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 46% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, California state attorney general 31 Steve Poizner, the Republican, California state insurance Commissioner 23 don’t know 17.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 39% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, California state attorney general 44 Meg Whitman, the Republican, businesswoman 17 don’t know 18.How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2010 governor’s election? 17% very closely 46 fairly closely 28 not too closely 8 not at all closely 1 don’t know 19.In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor on June 8th? 46% satisfied 38 not satisfied 16 don’t know [if q13a=Republican or q14c=Republican primary, ask q20, otherwise skip to q21] 20.If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 23% Tom Campbell, former congressman 24 Carly Fiorina, businesswoman 8 Chuck DeVore, California state assemblyman 1 someone else (specify) 44 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election… [rotate questions 21 to 23] 21.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 43% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U.S. senator 44 Tom Campbell, the Republican, former congressman 13 don’t know 22.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 46% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U.S. senator 40 Chuck DeVore, the Republican, California state assemblyman 14 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 23.Would you vote for…[rotate names] 44% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U.S. senator 43 Carly Fiorina, the Republican, businesswoman 13 don’t know 24.In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for U.S. senator on June 8th? 55% satisfied 28 not satisfied 17 don’t know 25. [asked starting March 12] Changing topics, Proposition 14 is called “Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections.” It reforms the primary election process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races, allows all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference, and ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference. For fiscal impact, the data are insufficient to identify the amount of any increase or decrease in costs to administer elections. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14? 56% yes 27 no 17 don’t know 26.How important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of party, in California’s primaries? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 48% very important 32 somewhat important 10 not too important 8 not at all important 2 don’t know 27.Do you think the primary system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is? 36% major changes 35 minor changes 23 fine the way it is 6 don’t know 28.On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 58% approve 35 disapprove 7 don’t know [rotate questions 28a and 28b] 28a.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling health care policy? 52% approve 42 disapprove 6 don’t know 28b.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the economy? 54% approve 40 disapprove 6 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 24% approve 68 disapprove 8 don’t know 30.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? 45% approve 37 disapprove 18 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 31.Next, since taking office, have Barack Obama’s economic policies made economic conditions better, worse, or not had an effect so far? 35% better 22 worse 36 no effect so far 4 too soon to tell (volunteered) 3 don’t know 32.Overall, do you think that [rotate] (1) Congress [and] (2) the Obama administration are doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to help create jobs? 8% more than enough 28 just enough 61 not enough 3 don’t know 33.Do you support or oppose stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business? 58% support 36 oppose 6 don’t know 34.Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by [rotate] (1) Congress [and] (2) the Obama administration? 50% support 39 oppose 11 don’t know [rotate questions 35 and 36] 35.Would you support or oppose a government health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans? 60% support 32 oppose 8 don’t know 36.Would you support or oppose requiring that all Americans have health insurance, with the government providing financial help for those who can’t afford it? 69% support 27 oppose 4 don’t know 37.Now thinking about Afghanistan, how well is the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan going? 10% very well 38 fairly well 24 not too well 18 not at all well 10 don’t know 38.As you may know, the Obama administration has begun to significantly increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to help stabilize the situation there. Do you favor or oppose this? 49% favor 45 oppose 6 don’t know 39.On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills [or] (2) Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services. 54% immigrants are a benefit to California 39 immigrants are a burden to California 7 don’t know 40.Do you think that immigration policy in the United States today is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it basically fine the way it is? 69% major changes 22 minor changes 7 fine the way it is 2 don’t know March 2010 Californians and Their Government 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 41.If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years? [rotate] (1) They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status [or] (2) They should be deported back to their native country. 70% chance to keep their jobs 25 deported back to their native country 5 don’t know 42.On another topic, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 50% favor 45 oppose 5 don’t know 43.Do you think that gays and lesbians should or should not be allowed to serve openly in the military? 75% should 19 should not 6 don’t know 44.Which of the following statements comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right? [rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion [or] (2) The government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 32% pass more laws 65 should not interfere 3 don’t know 45.Next, would you favor or oppose a state law requiring parental notification by the physician before a woman under age 18 can get an abortion? 68% favor 29 oppose 3 don’t know Next, [rotate q46 and q47] 46.Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Democratic Party? 44% favorable 44 unfavorable 12 don’t know 47.Do you have a favorable or an unfavorable impression of the Republican Party? 31% favorable 56 unfavorable 13 don’t know 48.Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the political movement known as the Tea Party? 28% favorable 34 unfavorable 38 don’t know 48a.In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed? 36% adequate job 53 third party is needed 11 don’t know 49.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 19 somewhat liberal 30 middle-of-the-road 25 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 3 don’t know 50.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 23% great deal 41 fair amount 30 only a little 6 none [d1 to d18: demographic questions] March 2010 Californians and Their Government 32 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. PPIC 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 Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Copyright © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:29" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_310mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:29" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:29" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_310MBS.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) }