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object(Timber\Post)#3726 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_312MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "495667" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(98180) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 2012 Elections 6 State and National Issues 14 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 their government MARCH 2012 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation March 2012 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy- free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 124th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 262,000 Californians. This sur vey is the 51st 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 suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation. This sur vey seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impo r tant state and national issues. This sur vey was conducted as the 2012 presidential election season gears up and ballot measures for California’s June primar y and November general election take shape. Although t here have been some positive signs in the California economy, the state’s multibillion dollar budget gap has not improved. In this fiscal context, the g overnor’s budget plan and his tax initiative as well as alternative tax proposals that may qualify for the November ballot are being closely watched. Moreover, two high- profile infrastructure projects— a multibillion dollar state water bond and a California high -speed rail system —have been under greater public scrutiny in light of state budget constraints and their costs. Among the state’s social concerns , the U.S . 9th Circuit Cour t of Appeals upheld a lower cour t’s ruling that Prop osition 8, banning same -sex marriage, is unconstitutional. Same -sex marriage has also been debated by lawmakers in other state s, as well as at the national level , with a federal judge recently striking down a key component of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act. This survey presents the responses of 2,00 1 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  2012 Elections , including the preferences of Republican s most likely to vote in the GOP primar y; the preference of likely voters in a hypothetical matchup between President Obama and the Republican candidate; satisfaction with and attention to news about presidential candidates; voting intention s on the two statewide propos itions in the June primar y— legislative term limit s and tax hikes on cigarettes to fund cancer research; attitudes toward the $11.1 billion state water bond on the November ballot; and opinions about the governor’s proposed tax initiative and the automatic spending cuts in K –12 education if the initiative does not pass .  State and national issues, including approval ratings of Governor Brown, the legislature, President Obama, and Congress; perceptions of the economy; suppor t for a high-speed rail sy stem, as well as views on its impor tance to the future of California; preferences for reforms to immigration ; attitudes toward healthcare policy; opinions on the role of government in regulating businesses, gun ownership, access to abortion, and environmental protection; and attitudes toward legalizing marijuana and same- sex marriage.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2012 elections and state and national issues, based on their political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. March 2012 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. 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 Economy, Financial Worries Weigh on Likely Voters SLIM MAJORITY BACKS BROWN TAX PLAN, HALF FAVOR WATER BOND SAN FRANCISCO, March 7, 2012 —California’s l ikely voters approach the elections this year with big concerns about the economy and the state’s fiscal future, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with support from The James Irvine Foundation. Despite signs of an improving economy, an overwhelming majority of likely voters (84%) believe that the state is in a recession. Nearly half (48%) say the recession is serious . Fewer (3 6%) say it is moderate or mild , and just 14 percent say the state is not in recession. Most (62%) expect bad economic times in the next year and most (59%) see the state going in the wrong direction. While a strong majority of likely voters (78%) describe the state budget situation as a big problem, slightly more than half (52%) say they would vote yes on Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative when they are read the ballot title and a summary (40% no, 8% undecided). Most Democrat ic likely voters (71 %) would vote yes, most Republicans (65%) would vote no, and independent s are more closely divided (49% yes, 41% no). Because t his is the first time PPIC has been able to ask about the governor’s proposal using the ballot title and a summary, direct compar ison to previous surveys is not possible. However, past surveys found majority support for his plan to temporarily raise taxes (68% January 2012, 60% December 2011). Among likely voters supporting the initiative , 69 percent say their local government servi ces have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. But so do most —61 percent —of those who would vote no. “A slim majority support Governor Brown’s proposed tax initiative,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “ Of those who plan to vote against it, most also say that their local governments have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts and they would prefer to deal with the budget gap mainly through spending cuts.“ Brown’s overall budget plan calls for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases , and 45 percent of likely voters prefer this approach . About a third (34%) prefer that spending cuts mostly be used to fill the budget gap, and 11 percent prefer mostly tax increases. Brown’s budget proposal calls for automatic spending cuts to K– 12 public schools if his tax initiative is rejected in November. Most likely voters (72%) oppose these trigger cuts, a view held across parties (Democrats 83%, independents 71%, Republicans 61%). The governor’s job approval rating among likely voters is at 46 percent, similar to January (44%). Since taking office in January 2011, his approval rating has changed little, but disapproval has grown (20% January 2011 , 38% today ). Fewer are undecided about Brown (33 % January 2011, 16% today ). PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 4 By comparison, the legislature’s approval rating remains low, at 21 percent among likely voters . Approval of the legislature has been below 25 percent among this gr oup since April 2008. HALF SUPPORT WATER B OND, OPPOSE BUILDING HIGH-SPEED RAIL In light of constraints on the state budget, two high -profile infrastructure projects ar e the focus of debate: an $11.1 billion water bond that is on the November ballot , and the planning and construction of a high -speed rail system, which was approved by voters in 2008 (53% to 47%). While a large majority of likely voters —70 percent —say the water supply in their area is a big problem or somewhat of a problem, there is less agreement on the water bond. Half of likely voters (51%) say they would vote yes (35 % no, 14% undecided) . Thirty-seven percent say it is very important that voters pass t he measure, 32 percent say it is somewhat important, and 23 percent say it is not too important or not at all important. California has received federal funding for the high-speed rail project, and the governor recently expressed strong support for it. Some have criticized the projected cost of $100 billion. Today, likely voters are more likely to oppose (53%) than support (43%) building a high -speed rail system. Across regions , Californians in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (54%) are in favor, Central Valley residents are split (50% favor, 47% oppose), and those in the Other Southern California region are opposed (52% oppose, 42% favor ). At the same time, 53 percent of likely voters say high- speed rail is at least somewhat important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. TERM LIMITS, CIGARET TE TAX DRAW MAJORITY SUPPORT Two ballot initiatives on the June ballot enjoy strong majority support in the ea rly stages of the campaign. Proposition 28 would reduce the amount of time state legislators may serve from 14 years to 12 years and would allow the 12 years of service in one house. The measure has the support of 68 percent of likely voters (24% oppose, 8% undecided). Majorities support it across party, ideological, regional, and demographic groups. Sixty-seven percent of likely voters say the outcome of the vote on this measure is important, and 22 percent say it is very important. Likely vote rs’ views of Proposition 28 are in keeping with their general perceptions of legislative term limits: 68 percent say they are a good thing for California, while just 11 percent say they are a bad thing. “Californians have steadfastly believed that legislative term lim its are a good thing for California, even as policy experts disagree about their overall impact,” says Baldassare. “Proposition 28 has strong majority support, and most of those who would vote yes on this reform also say that term limits are a good thing.” Proposition 29 would impose an additional one- dollar tax on each pack of cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products. The revenues would fund research for cancer and tobacco- related diseases. When read the ballot title and label for this initiative, 67 percent of likely voters would vote yes, 30 percent would vote no, and 3 percent are undecided. The proposition has majority support across political, ideological, regional, and demographic groups. Most (78%) say the outcome of the vo te on the measure is important to them, with 41 percent saying it is very important and 37 percent saying it is somewhat important. Most (63%) also say they support the general idea of increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes to help pay for state spending. ROMNEY, SANTORUM IN TIGHT RACE—OBAMA LEADS IN MATCH UP As the J une presidential primary approaches, Republican candidates Mitt Romney (28%) and Rick Santorum (22%) are in a close race —within the margin of error for GOP likely voters. They are followed by Newt Gingrich (17%) and Ron Paul (8%), with 22 percent of Republican likely voters undecided (the PPIC survey was taken before Super Tuesday ). Support for Santorum grew 11 points (4% to 15%) between December and January and has grown 7 more points since January. PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 5 In a hypothetical matchup for the presidential race, President Barack Obama leads the Republican candidate by 16 points (53% to 37%), with 10 percent undecided. President Obama’s job approval rating among California likely voters has improved after sinking to a low of 47 percent last September. Today it is at 55 percent, the highest level since April 2010 (56%). HALF FAVOR A CONGRESS CONTROLLED BY DEMOCRATS When it comes to the outcome of congressional elections, half of lik ely voters (50%) prefer that Congress be controlled by Democrats, while 35 percent prefer Republican control (8% unsure, 7% volunteer they want neither part y). A month before the 2006 midterm elections, 55 percent of likely voters preferred Democratic cont rol; they were closely divided in October 2010 (45% Democratic control, 43% Republican control). Today, just 17 percent approve of the way Congress is handling its job (79% disapprove). SUPPORT GROWS FOR LEGALIZING SAME -SEX MARRIAGE A number of social issues are being debated this election year. Californians’ views have undergone a marked shift on one issue : same-sex marriage. Today, 56 percent of likely voters favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry— up from 47 percent in October 2008, just before voters passed Proposition 8 , which banned same-sex marriage. Among registered voters, m ajorities of Democrats (72%) and independents (56%) today favor legalizing same -sex marriage. Most Republicans (61%) are opposed. Support has grown in most political and demographic groups since October 2008. It is up 16 points among Democrats (56% to 72%), 11 points among Republicans (23% to 34%), and is similar among independents (53% to 56%). Support is up 10 points among Latinos (36% to 4 6%) and 7 points among whites (50% to 57%). Across age groups, support grew 10 points among those age 18– 34 (53% to 63%), 13 points among those 55 and older (34% to 47%), and is similar among those age 35 –54 (45% to 48%). Among evangelical Christians, supp ort increased 15 points (21% to 36%). In the context of contentious debate about birth control and abortion at the national level, how do California likely voters view the role of government when it comes to the availability of abortion? A strong majority ( 76 %) say the government should not interfere with access, while 20 percent say more laws should be passed to restrict it. This view holds across registered voter groups (Democrats 83%, Republicans 68%, independents 68%). Acros s religious groups, 70 percent of Protestants, 55 percent of Catholics, and 54 percent of evangelical Christians say the government should not interfere with access. The survey asked about several other issues that have been the subject of election-year debate:  Immigration : About half of likely voters (51%) say immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, and 39 percent say they are a burden because they use public services. Asked what should happen to most illegal immig rants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years, 62 percent would give them a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, while 31 percent say they should be deported.  Health care reform : About half of likely voters (49%) support the changes in the health care system enacted by Congress and the Obama administration, while 44 percent are opposed. Most (65%) oppose the individual mandate, which requires Americans to buy health insurance coverage or pay a fine. Thirty -one percent favor this provision.  Government regulation of business : Half of likely voters (50%) say government regulation of business does more harm than good, and 44 percent say it is necessary.  Environmental regulation: Do stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy or are they worth the cost? Likely voters are divided (47% to 47%).  Gun control : Likely voters are divided about whether the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns (45%) or does not do enough to regulate access to guns (48%). March 2012 Californians and Their Government 6 2012 ELECTIONS KEY FINDINGS  Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a close race a mong Republican likely voters. Support for Rick Santorum has grown by 18 points since December . Just over h alf of likely voters are satisfied with t heir choices of candidates in the presidential election, and 41 percent say they are following news about candidates very closely. (page 7)  If the election were held today, 53 percent of likely voters would favor President Obama and 37 percent would favor the Repub lican candidate . They are more likely to prefer Democratic (50%) than Republican (35%) control of Congress . (page 8)  Sixty -eight percent of likely voters support Proposition 28 (reducing the maximum time in the legislature to 1 2 year s). One in five say the outcome is very important to them , and two in three say term limits have been a good thing for California. (page 9)  Sixty -seven percent of likely voters support Proposition 29 (taxing cigarettes to fund cancer research) , and four in 10 say the out come is very important. (page 10 )  Half of likely voters support a bond measure for water conservation projects (51% yes, 35% no) , and 37 percent say the outcome is very important. (page 11 )  Fifty -two percent of likely voters support the governor’s tax initiative proposed for the November ballot (funding education and guaranteeing local public safety funding) when read the ballot title and a summary . Seven in 10 oppose automatic cuts to K–12 education if the measure fails. Two in three likely voters who support the initiative favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to resolve the budget deficit; those who oppose the initiative prefer spending cuts. ( pages 12, 13 ) 6867 2430 0 20 40 60 80 100 Prop 28:Term limits Prop 29:Cigarette tax Percent likely voters Yes No Vote on Propositions in the June 5th Primary 28 2217 8 24 Mitt Romney Rick Santorum Newt Gingrich Ron Paul Other/Don't know 2012 Republican Presidential Primary Likely voters 5240 8 Yes No Don't know Vote onGovernor Brown's Proposed Tax Initiative, with BallotTitle and a Summary Likely voters PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 7 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES With the June primar y three months away, Mitt Romney (28%) and Rick Santorum (22%) are in a close race among Republican likely voters in California (i.e., within the margin of error for Republican likely voters ), followed by Newt Gingrich (17%) and Ron Paul ( 8%) ; 22 percent are unsure. Romney led in January (37%) as well, and had 25 percent support in December. Support for Santorum grew 11 points (4% to 15%) between December and January, and has grown 7 points since January, to 22 percent today. Just over half of likely voters (53%) are satisfied with their choices of presidential candidates in the 2012 election for U.S. president . Satisfaction with presidential choices was similar in January (53%) and December (49%). Solid majorit ies of Democrats (65%) are satisfied with their choices, while fewer than half of Republicans (45%) and independents (43%) are satisfied. Among Democrats, satisfaction was similar in January , at 67 percent, but has grown from 57 percent in December. Republicans were split in December (47% satisfied, 47% not satisfied) and more likely to be dissatisfied in January (52%). Independents were also dissatisfied in December (58%) and January (51%). Latino (58%) and white (51%) likely voters are satisfied with thei r choices of candidates. (Sample sizes for Asian and black likely voters are too small for separate analysis.) Just over half of men (53%) and women (52%) are satisfied. Satisfaction is similar across income groups. Among those who approve of President Obama, 67 percent are satisfied , and among those who disapprove of Obama, 37 percent are satisfied with their choices of candidates. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the electi on for U.S. president in 2012?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Satisfied 53% 65% 45% 43% 53% 52% Not satisfied 41 31 45 50 43 38 Don't know 7 4 10 6 3 10 Just over eight in 10 likely voters are following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election either very (41%) or fairly (42%) closely. The share following campaign news very closely was similar in December (40%) and January (36%). Three months before the February 2008 primary, just 26 percent of likely voters were following news about candidates very closely. About four in 10 across parties report following news very closely (43% Republicans, 41% Democrats, 38% independents). Men (47%) are more likely than women (36%) to say they are following election news very closely. Those age 55 and older are much more likely than younger voters to say they are following campaign news very closely (31% ages 18– 34, 33% age s 35 -–54, 52% age 55 and older). Among those satisfied with their choices of presidential candidates, 46 percent say they are following news very closely . “How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Very closely 41% 41% 43% 38% 47% 36% Fairly closely 42 41 43 47 39 46 Not too closely 14 15 13 13 12 15 Not at all closely 2 3 1 2 2 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 8 PRESIDENTIAL AND CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS In a hypothetical matchup for the presidential race, Barack Obama leads the Republican candidate by 16 points (53% to 37%), with 10 percent unsure how they would vote. Results were similar in December (50% Obama, 38% Republican candidate). Findings along party lines are also similar to December , when we first asked about the presidential race. Today, 83 percent of Democratic likely voters support Obama (81% December), while 78 percent of Republ ican likely voters support their party’s candidate (81% December). Among independents, 58 percent support Obama, 25 percent support the Republican candidate, and 17 percent are unsure ( in December: 55% Obama, 30% Republican candidate, 14% unsure). Liberal (88%) and moderate (56%) likely voters prefer Obama, and conservatives (69%) prefer the Republican candidate. Latinos (70%) support Obama over the Republican candidate, while whites are divided (45% Obama, 43% the Republican candidate). Three in four likely voters under age 35 (75%) prefer Obama, compared to half of older voters (50% ages 35–54, 48% age 55 and older). Two -thirds of those who are satisfied with their choices of candidates for presi dent would vote for Obama (66%); those not satisfied with their choices are divided. “If the 2012 presidential election were being held today, would you vote for Barack Obama, the Democrat , or for the Republican candidate? ” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Barack Obama 53% 83% 11% 58% 88% 56% 21% Republican candidate 37 10 78 25 6 27 69 Someone else (volunteered) 1 – 1 – 1 1 1 Don’t know 10 6 9 17 5 16 9 When it comes to the outcome of the congressional elections , 50 percent of likely voters prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats, 35 percent prefer a Republican-controlled Congress, 8 percent are unsure, and 7 percent volunteer that they prefer neither party to control Congress. A month before midterm elections in 2006, 55 percent of likely voters preferred Democratic control ; in October 2010 they were divided (45% Democratic control, 43% Republican control). Democrats (79% Democratic control) and Republicans (77% Republican control) prefer their own parties to control Congre ss. Over half of independents favor Democratic control (54%) , and one in four prefer Republican control (24%). Latino likely voters (64%) prefer Democratic control, while white voters are divided (44% Democratic control, 43% Republican control). Likely voters under age 35 (76%) are far more likely than others (45% 35– 54, 44% 55 and older) to prefer Democratic control. Two- thirds of conservatives prefer Republican control, while 86 percent of liberals and half of moderates (51%) prefer Democrats to contro l Congress. “What is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Controlled by Republicans 35% 9% 77% 24% 7% 28% 66% Controlled by Democrats 50 79 10 54 86 51 20 Neither (volunteered) 7 6 7 10 5 10 5 Don’t know 8 6 5 12 2 10 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 9 PROPOSITION 28: LEGISLATIVE TERM LIMITS In 1990, California voters passed Proposition 140, which limits members of the state legislature to six years in the assembly and eight years in the senate. Proposition 28 on the June ballot would reduce the total amount of time a person may serve in the s tate legislature from 14 years to 12 years and allows 12 years’ service in one house. The proposed term limits reform would apply only to legislators first elected after the measure passed. When read the ballot title and label for Proposition 28, 68 percent of likely voters would vote yes , 24 percent would vote no , and 8 percent are undecided. Proposition 28 has majority support across party, ideological , and regional groups , as well as age, education, gender, income, and racial /ethnic groups. While 67 percent of likely voters describe the outcome of Proposition 28 as important to them, just 22 percent say it is very important. Those who plan to vote yes are twice as likely as those who would vote no to say the outcome of Proposition 28 is very important (27% to 12%) . “Proposition 28 is called the ‘ Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initiative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28?” * Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 68% 24% 8% Party Democrats 65 27 8 Republicans 73 19 8 Independents 68 24 8 Ideology Liberals 56 36 8 Moderates 71 23 7 Conservatives 74 17 10 Education High school or less 74 16 10 Some college 69 24 6 College graduate 62 28 9 *For complete text of proposition question , see p. 30. When asked about their general perceptions of legislative term limits, 68 percent of likely voters say that term limits are a good thing for California, while just 11 percent say they are a bad thing . Since we began asking this question in October 1998 , no more than one in five likely voters have said that term limits are a bad thing for California. Similar to past trends, Republicans (76 %) are more likely than Democrats (66%) and independents (59%) to say that term limits are a good thing. Among the likely voters who are inclined to vote yes on Proposition 28, 8 0 percent say that term limits are a good thing for California. “The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop 28 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Good thing 68% 66% 76% 59% 80% 36% Bad thing 11 13 9 12 5 30 Do not make a difference 18 18 14 28 14 31 Don’t know 3 4 2 1 1 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 10 PROPOSITION 29: ADDITIONAL CI GARETTE TAX Proposition 29, also on the June ballot , is an initiative that would impose an additional $1.00 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products. The revenues would fund research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. W hen read the ballot title and label for Proposition 29, 67 percent of likely voters would vote yes , 30 percent would vote no, and 3 percent are undecided. Proposition 2 9 has majority support across party, ideological , and regional groups , as well as age, education, gender, income, and racial/ethnic groups. Nearly eight in 10 likely voters describe the outcome of Proposition 29 as important to them: 41 percent say it is very important and 3 7 percent say it is somewhat important to them. Those who plan to vote yes are much more likely than those who would vote no to say the outcome of Proposition 29 is very important to them (48% to 29%) . “Proposition 29 is called the ‘ Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cance r Research, Initiative Statute.’ … If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 67% 30% 3% Party Democrats 77 20 3 Republicans 54 43 3 Independents 71 28 1 Ideology Liberals 77 21 2 Moderates 71 26 2 Conservatives 55 42 3 Age 18 to 34 82 17 1 35 to 54 67 32 1 55 and older 62 34 4 *For complete text of proposition question , see p. 30. California likely voters support by a wide margin (63% favor, 34% oppose) the general idea of increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes t o help pay for state spending. In a January 2006 survey, 70 percent of likely voters were in favor of a cigarette tax increase. Today, strong majorities of Democrats (74%) and independents (66%) favor increasing taxes on cigarettes, while Republicans are divided (51% favor, 47% oppose). M ajorities across regions, age, education, gender, income, and racial /ethnic groups support the idea of increasing taxes on cigarettes to help pay for state spending. Conservatives are divided on cigarette tax increases (47% favor, 51% oppose). Among those who would vote yes on Proposition 29 , 89 percent are in favor of increasing taxes on cigarettes. Among those who are inclined to vote no on Proposition 29, 8 8 percent are opposed to cigarette tax increases. “Tax increases could be used to help pay for state spending. In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop 2 9 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 63% 74% 51% 66% 89% 9% Oppose 34 23 47 33 10 88 Don’t know 2 3 2 2 1 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 11 STATE WATER BOND Seven in 10 likely voters think the water supply in their area of California is a big (35%) or somewhat (35%) of a problem. In December 2009, amidst a serious drought, likely voters were much more likely to say that the water supply in their part of California was a big problem (52% big, 26% somewhat). When read a summary of the 2010 water package passed by the governor and legislature that includes an $11.1 billion bond measure on the November 2012 ballot, 51 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes, 35 percent would vote no , and 14 percent are undecided. Solid majorities of Democratic likely voters (66%) would vote yes, 52 percent of Republican likely voters would vote no, and independent voters are more likely to vote yes (48%) than no (35%). San Francisco Bay Area likely voters (60%) are more likely than those in other regions of the state to support the measure. “…If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on the $11.1 billion state water bond?” * Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 51% 35% 14% Party Democrats 66 22 12 Republicans 34 52 14 Independents 48 35 17 Home ownership Owners 48 38 14 Rent ers 61 25 14 Region Central Valley ** 47 35 18 San Francisco Bay Area 60 30 10 Los Angeles 52 35 13 Other Southern California 46 39 15 *For complete text of question, see p.31 . **Sample size for likely voters in the Central Valley smaller than in other regions. Thirty-seven percent of likely voters think that the passage of the water bond measure is very important. I n December 2009, 43 percent of likely voters said passage of a water bond measure was very important. Democrats (45%) are more likely than Republicans (32%) and independents (28%) to say passing the measure is very important. Among those saying their regional water supply is a big problem, 58 percent say passage is very important. Just over half (54%) of those intending to vote yes think passage of the bond measure is very important, while only one in five (20%) of those considering voting no think it is very important that voters pass the state water bond measure. “How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure? ” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Water Bond Dem Rep Ind Yes No Very important 37% 45% 32% 28% 54% 20% Somewhat important 32 32 24 42 41 22 Not too important 11 11 14 10 3 25 Not at all important 12 7 20 9 1 32 Don’t know 8 5 10 10 1 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 12 GOVERNOR BROWN’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE The governor’s budget plan released in January includes a proposed tax initiative on the November ballot that would temporarily increase the state personal income tax on wealthy Californians and increase the state sales tax. When read the ballot title and a brief summary, 52 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative , 40 percent say they would vote no, and 8 percent say they are undecided. While direct comparisons are not possible, majority support for the governor’s proposed tax initiative w as evident in questions that predated the ballot title and summary in our December 2011 survey (60% of likely voters in favor) and in our January 2012 survey (68% of likely voters in favor). Today, while 71 percent of Democrats would vote yes, 65 percent of Republicans would vote no, and independents are more divided (4 9% yes, 41 % no). Opposition to the proposed tax initiative is higher among men (47%) than women (33%) . Opposition is also higher among those with $80,000 or more in annual household income (4 7%) than others. San Francisco Bay Area likely voters ( 69%) are more likely to support the proposed tax initiative than others. Conservat ives (63%) are more opposed than others , and whites (48 %) are less supportive than Latinos (58%). “Governor Brown has proposed a tax initiative for the November ballot titled the ‘Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Fundin g. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative? ”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 52% 40% 8% Party Democrats 71 21 8 Republicans 29 65 7 Independents 49 41 10 Gender Men 49 47 3 Women 55 33 12 Household Income Under $40,000 54 34 12 $40,000 to under $80,000 61 33 6 $80,000 or more 48 47 5 *For complete text of question , see p.2 8. Governor Brown’s budget proposes that there will be automatic spending cuts to K–12 public schools if the proposed tax initiative i n November is rejected. Seventy -two percent of likely voters say they oppose the automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools. Solid majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents say they oppose these K–12 spending cuts. Among those who would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, 80 percent oppose the automatic spending cuts to K –12 schools. Among those who would vote no, 6 1 percent are also opposed to automatic K–12 spending cuts. “If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governor Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K –12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K –12 public sc hools?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Governor’s Proposed Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 23% 13% 34% 23% 16% 35% Oppose 72 83 61 71 80 61 Don’t know 5 4 5 6 4 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 13 GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE AND THE STATE BUDGET SITUATION In assessing the public opinion context of the governor’s proposed tax initiative, it is noteworthy that 78 percent of likely voters describe the state budget situation in California as a big problem , similar to our findings in December ( 83%) and January (78%) surveys . Today, the perception of the budget as a big problem is expressed by at least seven in 10 likely voters in all of the major political groups and regions. A majority of likely voters (66 %) also say that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. Similar proportions in December (65%) and in January (60%) said their local services had been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. Today, majorities of likely voters across po litical groups and regions share this view. Among those who say they would vote yes on the g overnor’s proposed tax initiative, 69 percent say that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. However , 61 percent of those who would vote no on the g overnor’s proposed tax initiative also say they have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts . “Would you say that your local government services—such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools—have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts?” ( If they have : “Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?”) Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Governor’s Proposed Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Affected a lot 66% 72% 62% 59% 69% 61% Affected somewhat 25 22 24 35 23 27 Not affected 6 4 11 3 5 9 Don’t know 3 2 3 3 3 4 Governor Brown’s budget plan includes a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. While 45 percent of likely voters prefer this approach to dealing with the state’s budget gap , 34 percent prefer mostly spending cuts, and 11 percent prefer mostly tax increases. Sixty-eight p ercent of Democrats favor either a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (55 %) or mostly tax increases (13%), and 61 percent of independents prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (42% ) or mostly tax increases (19%). Most Republicans (61%) favor dealing with the budget gap mostly through spending cuts. Among those who would vote yes on the governor’s proposed tax initiative, 81 percent favor either a mix of spending cuts and tax increases ( 64%) or mostly tax increases (17 %). Among those who would vote no, 67 percent prefer to deal with the budget gap mostly through spending cuts. “As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund 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?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Governor’s Proposed Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No A mix of spending cuts and tax increases 45% 55% 31% 42% 64% 18% Mostly through spending cuts 34 16 61 30 10 67 Mostly through tax increases 11 13 4 19 17 4 Okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 4 6 1 4 4 5 Other 3 5 2 3 3 3 Don’t know 4 6 1 2 3 3 March 2012 Californians and Their Government 14 STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  Four in 10 adults approve of Governor Brown ’s job performance ; one in four approve of the state legislature’s. Nearly six in 10 approve of President Obama, but only one in four approve of Congress. (page 15 )  Forty -one percent of adults and 48 percent of l ikely voters say the state is in a serious recession. (page 16 )  Six in 10 residents say a high- speed rail system is at least somewhat important for the state’s future, but they are divided about building a high- speed rail system in California. (page 17)  Fifty -eight percent say immigrants benefit California. Seven in 10 support giving illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. ( page 18)  Forty -seven percent support and 39 percent oppose the changes to the healthcare system enacted by Congress and President Obama. About six in 10 oppose mandatory health insurance. (page 1 9)  Californians are divided about government regulation of business and whether strict environmental regulations hurt t he economy or are worth the cost. Just over half say the government does not do enough to regulate gun ownership. Sixty -eight percent say the government should not interfere with access to abortion. (pages 20 , 21)  Marking a shift in attitudes since 2008, 52 percent of adults favor same -sex marriage. Catholics are divided, while just over half of Protestants are opposed. Six in 10 evangelicals oppose same -sex marriage. Support has grown in most groups since 2008. ( pages 2 2, 2 3) 71 6358525651 59 4339 2426302724 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mar09Sep09Mar10Sep10Mar11Sep11Mar12 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 3944444444 5053525550485049 454241 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Jan00Feb04Sep06Oct08Mar09Mar10Sep11Mar12 Percent all adults Favor Oppose Allowing Same-Sex Marriage 41 34 4242414446 40 2624232326252825 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11Mar11May11July11Sep11Nov11Jan12Mar12 Percent all adults Governor Brown Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 15 STATE AND FEDERAL ELECTED OFFI CIALS’ APPROVAL RATINGS Forty percent of Californians and 46 percent of likely voters approve of Governor Brown’s job performance. In January, approval was slightly higher among all Californians (46%), while similar among likely voters (44%). Since he took office in January 2011, Brown’s approval ratings among all adults has hardly changed , while disapproval has grown (19% January 2011 , 33% today) and the share with no opinion has declined (39% to 27%). Similarly, among likely voters, approval has remained about the same since January 2011, while disapproval has risen (from 20% to 38%) and the share with no opinion has declined (33% to 16%). Most Democrats approve (59%) ; most Republicans disapprove (57%); ratings are mixed among independents (39% approve, 36% disapprove, 26% don’t know ). Job approval ratings of the California Legislature continue to be low (25% all adults, 21% likely voters), while majorities disapprove. Since April 2008, approval has been below 30 percent among all adults and below 25 percent among likely voters. Majorities across partie s—particularly Republicans —disapprove of the legislature (75% Republicans, 57% Democrats, 56% independents). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 40% 59% 26% 39% 46% Disapprove 33 23 57 36 38 Don't know 27 18 16 26 16 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 25 25 14 23 21 Disapprove 54 57 75 56 66 Don't know 21 18 11 21 14 President Obama’s approval rating among Californians has steadily increased after reaching a low of 51 percent last September (53% December, 54% January, 59% today). His approval rating among likely voters (55 % today) has also increase d from a low of 47 percent last September, reaching the highest level since April 2010 (56%). Voters are split along party lines: A majority of Democrats (83%) and independents (59%) approve of his job performance, while a majority of Republicans (77%) disapprove. In a recent USA Today/ Gallup poll, adults nationwide were divided (46% approve, 49% disapprove). Only 24 percent of all Californians and 17 percent of likely voters approve of the way the Congress is handli ng its j ob. Adults nationwide are less approving (10% approve, 82% disapprove in a recent CBS News/ New York Ti mes poll). Approval among Californians was similar la st month and has been below 30 percent since last July. Strong majorities across parties disapprove of Congress. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 59% 83% 20% 59% 55% Disapprove 36 15 77 34 43 Don't know 5 2 3 7 2 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 24 23 16 16 17 Disapprove 68 73 80 72 79 Don't know 8 4 5 11 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 16 CALIFORNIA’S ECONOMIC SITUATION Despite some positive signs in the state and national economies, an overwhelming majority of Californians continue to believe that the state is in an economic recession: 41 percent say it is in a serious recession, while 31 percent believe it is in a moderate recession and 9 percent a mild one. Only 16 percent say the state is not in a recession. Still , the percentage believing the state is in a serious recession has declined 9 points since last September (50%) and 22 points since its peak in March 2 009 (63%). Across parties, at least three in four say the state is in a recession, with Republicans the most likely to consider it a serious one ( 53% Republicans, 44% Democrats, 37% independents). “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?)” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Serious recession 41% 44% 53% 37% 48% Moderate recession 31 32 23 30 29 Mild recession 9 8 6 8 7 Not in a recession 16 14 15 21 14 Don’t know 2 2 2 4 2 Reflecting their negative views of the state’s economy, 52 percent of Californians in an open- ended question say that “jobs and the economy” is the most important issue facing the state, but this is down 11 points since December 2011. Far fewer name other issues, such as education and schools (8%), the state budget (8%), or immigration (4%). Four percent of Californians this month say g as prices. Most Californians (56%) and likely voters (62%) also believe that the state will face bad times financially over the next 12 months. Only 34 percent of all Californians and 28 percent of likely voters expect good fiscal times. Last March, 61 percent expected bad times and 30 percent good times. To put these findings in perspective, a record high 78 percent of Californians expected bad times financially in June and July of 2008. Across parties, majorities believe the state will experience bad times financially over the next 12 months , with pessimism highest among Republicans (72% Republicans, 56% independents, 53% Democrats). M ajorities across all income groups also expect bad times over the next year. “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 Household Income Likely Voters Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Good times 34% 39% 26% 36% 28% Bad times 56 54 60 57 62 Don’t know 10 8 14 7 11 Most Californians not only expect bad economic times, but also say that the state is headed in the wrong direction (56% all adults, 59% likely voters) . About one in three (34% all adults, 32% likely voters) say the state is going in the right direction. Findings among all adults were similar in January and last March. Pessimism reached a record high in July 2009 (79%) and stayed above 70 percent for a f ull year. Since the start of 2011, pessimism has fluctuated slightly but has not exceeded 61 percent. Across parties, Republicans are the most pessimistic (77% wrong direction) , and a majority of independents (55%) also say wrong direction. Democrats are divided (46% wrong direction, 41% right direction ). PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 17 HIGH-SPEED RAIL SYSTEM AND CALIFORNIA’S FUT URE In 2008, voters passed a $10 billion state bond measure (53% to 47%) for planning and building a high - speed rail system from Southern California to the Centr al Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The state has also received federal funding for this project. Governor Brown has recently expressed support of high -speed rail to promote the economic vitality of the state. Others have questioned its importance in light of the state’s large budget deficit and the project’s projected cost of $100 billion. The state’s r esidents are divided over this infrastructure project : Half (51%) favor building a high-speed rail system, while 45 percent oppose it. Likely voters are more likely to oppose (53%) than favor (43%) this project . A majority of Democrats (58%) favor building a high -speed rail system, while a strong majority of Republicans (66%) oppose it . Independents are divided (45% favor, 49% oppose). Across regions, a majority of those in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (54%) favor high -speed rail , while residents of the Central Valley are divided (50% favor, 47% oppose) and a slight majority of those in the Other Southern California region are opposed (42% favor, 52% oppose). Majorities of Asians (69%) and Latinos (56%) favor the project, while a majority of whites (55%) oppose it. Those earning less than $40,000 are more likely than those earning more to favor such a system. Those who think the state budget situation is a big problem are slightly more likely to oppose it (45% favor, 52% oppose) . “As you may know, California v oters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for planning and construction of a high- speed rail system from Southern California to the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The estimated costs associated with the 800 -mile high-speed rail system are about $100 billion over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high- speed rail system in California?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 51% 58% 32% 45% 43% Oppose 45 36 66 49 53 Don’t know 4 6 2 5 4 About six in 10 residents believe that a high- speed rail system is very important (33%) or somewhat important (26%) for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California; 38 percent say it is not too important (17%) or not at all important (21%). Likely voters hold similar views. Democrats (44%) are much more likely than independents (26%) and far more likely than Republicans (18%) to say that high- speed rail is very imp ortant to California’s future. More than six in 10 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (65%), Los Angeles (64%), and the Central Valley (61%) think the high- speed rail system is at least somewhat important to the state’s future , while about half of those in the Other Southern California region (49%) share this view. Those who favor high -speed rail are far more likely than those who oppose it to say it is very important (58% to 6%). “Thinking ahead, how important is the high- speed rail system for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California—i s it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? ” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Very important 33% 30% 40% 35% 25% 30% Somewhat important 26 31 25 29 24 23 Not too important 17 18 15 17 19 19 Not at all important 21 19 17 17 30 26 Don’t know 2 2 3 2 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 18 IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a case involving Arizona’s strict immigration law, SB 1070, and with immigration an important issue in the presidential race, how do Californians feel about the immigrants residing in their state? Nearly six in 10 Californians (58%) and half of likely voters (51%) believe immigrants benefit the state because of their hard work and job skills. Fewer adults (35%) and likely voters (39%) say immigrants are a burden because they use public services. The percentage of Californians who believe that immigrants are a benefit was similar in September 2010 (54%) and March 2010 (54%) and has been at least 54 percent each time we have asked this question since 2000. Across parties, 66 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of in dependents view immigrants as a benefit, while 60 percent of Republicans consider immigrants a burden. The perception that immigrants are a benefit is most widely held by residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (64%) and Los Angeles (63%), followed by resi dents in the Central Valley (55%) and the Other Southern California region (49%). Most Latinos (85%) and Asians (60%) view immigrants as a benefit because of their hard work and job skills, while whites are somewhat more likely to say they are a burden (49%) than a benefit (42%). Compared to others, t he belief that immigrants are a benefit is higher among those under age 55, those with only a high school diploma or less, and those with a household income of under $40,000. “Which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right: Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills or Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Immigrants are a benefit to California 58% 66% 32% 52% 51% Immigrants are a burden to California 35 28 60 33 39 Don’t know 8 6 8 15 10 A strong majority of Californians (70%) think that most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. Only 25 percent say they should be deported. Similarly, a s olid majority of likely voters (62%) believe they should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. Since June 2007, at least 65 percent of Californians have held this view in the nine times we have asked this question. Strong majorities of Democrats (74%) and ind ependents (67%) think illegal immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status, while Republicans are divided (50% keep their jobs, 45% deport them ). Nearly all Latinos (92%), and solid majorities of Asians (65%) and whites (60%), say th at illegal immigrants sho uld be able to keep their jobs. Among those who view immigrants as a benefit, 89 percent say illegal immigrants should be able to keep their jobs, while 53 percent of those who say immigrants are a burden say illegal immigrants should be deported. “If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years: They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status or they should be deported back to their native country?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Chance to keep their jobs 70% 74% 50% 67% 62% Deported back to their native country 25 21 45 26 31 Don’t know 5 5 5 7 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 19 HEALTH CARE REFORM With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to review the constitutionality of health care reform passed by Congress and President Obama, how do Californians view the changes in the health care system? Forty -seven percent support the changes ; 39 percent are opposed. Support among likely voters is similar (49% support, 44% oppose). Support among all adults is now just below 50 percent ( September 2009: 51% support, 38% oppose; December 2009: 52% support, 39% oppose; March 2010: 50% support, 39% oppose; February 2011: 51% support, 36% oppose; today: 47% support, 39% oppose). Two in three Democrats (67%) and half of independents (50%) support the changes in the health care system, while seven in 10 Republicans (69%) oppose them . Half of the residents in Los Angeles (52%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (50%) support the changes, while residents are divided in the Central Valley (43% support, 45% oppose) and the Other Southern California region (43% support, 45% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, a majority of La tinos (58%) and Asians (51%) support the changes, while whites are more likely to oppose th em (38% support, 49% oppose). Those without health insurance are more likely to support than oppose the enacted changes (53% support, 29% oppose), while those who are insured are divided (46% support, 41% oppose). “O verall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Support 47% 67% 20% 50% 49% Oppose 39 21 69 40 44 Don’t know 14 12 11 10 7 One particularly controversial aspect of the changes in the health care system is the individual mandate . Solid majorities of Californians (63%) and likely voters (65%) oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine if they don’t , while about three in 10 adults (32%) and likely voters (31%) favor this requirement . An overwhelming majo rity of Republicans (84%) and smaller majorities of independents (56%) and Democrats (52%) oppose this requirement, as do majorities across regions (54% San Francisco Bay Area, 63% Central Valley, 63% Los Angeles, 67% Other Southern California Region). Alt hough half of Asians favor this requirement (50% favor, 39% oppose) , solid majorities of Latinos (59%) and whites (72%) oppose it. Majorities across gender, age, education, and income groups oppose this requirement. Among those who are opposed to the chang es in the health care system, 81 percent oppose this particular requirement, while those who support the changes are divided (48% favor, 48% oppose). Among those who disapprove of President Obama, 83 percent oppose the insurance requirement, while t hose wh o approve of the president are divided (45% favor, 50% oppose). “Do you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine if they don't?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 32% 43% 12% 37% 31% Oppose 63 52 84 56 65 Don’t know 5 5 4 7 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 20 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT In the wake of the financial crisis , and with some efforts to regulate the financial system (including the passage of the Dodd- Frank Act ), how do Californians feel about government regulation of business? Our August 2008 survey in the early days of the recession found that a record high 57 percent of Californians believed that regulation is necessary, while 34 percent said it does more harm t han good. Today, Californians are more divided: 48 percent think government regulation is necessary, 43 percent believe it does more harm than good. Likely voters are slightly more negative (44 % say it’s necessary, 50% say it’s detrimental). In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 40 percent of adults nationwide said that regulation is necessary, while a majority (52%) said that regulation does more harm than good. Partisan differences are evident : M ajorities of Democrats (63%) say regulation of business i s necessary, while majorities of Republicans (73%) say that regulation does more harm than good. Independents are slightly more likely to say it is necessary (49%) than to say it does harm (41%). Com pared to August 2008, the opinions of Democrats are similar , but the view that regulation does more harm than good has increased 21 points among Republicans (52% to 73%) , while the view that regulation is necessary has declined 9 points among independents (58% to 49%). Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (52%) are more likely to say regulation is necessary, while half of the residents in the Central Valley and Other Southern California (51% each) say regulation does more harm than good. “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest or government regulation of business does more harm than good.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Government regulation of business is necessary 48% 63% 21% 49% 44% Government regulation of business does more harm than good 43 30 73 41 50 Don’t know 8 7 6 10 6 Californians are divided when asked about stricter environmental laws and regulations: 47 percent say they are worth the cost, while 45 percent say they cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. This is a marked change from much earlier surveys in which maj orities said stricter laws and regulations were worth the cost (58% May 1998, 64% January 2000, 57% June 2000, 59% February 2002, 64% June 2002, 60% February 2004, 47% today). Partisan differences are evident , and there have been big changes since 2004. Most Republicans (65%, up 18 points from 2004) say regulations cost too many jobs. Independents are divided , with 46 percent saying regulations cost too many jobs (up 19 points from 2004) and 47 percent saying they are worth the cost (down 15 points from 2004). Most Democrats (64%, down 7 points from 2004) say regulations are worth the cost. San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to say that environmental regulations are worth the cost, while Other Southern California residents (38%) are t he least likely to share this view. “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy or s tricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Cost too many jobs and hurt the economy 45% 30% 65% 46% 47% Are worth the cost 47 64 29 47 47 Don’t know 8 6 6 7 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 21 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT (CONTINUED) Another issue with evident partisan divide is gun control. A majority of Californians (53%) think that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, while 38 percent say the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. The percentage say ing government does not do enough is at a record low (62% January 2000, 62% February 2004, 58% August 2008, 53% today). T wo in three Democrats (68%) say that the government does not do enough, while two in three Republicans (66%) say the government goes to o far. Over half of independents (54%) say the government does not do enough. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) and Los Angeles (59%) are the most likely to think the government does not do enough, followed by those in the Centr al Valley (43% too much, 50% not enough). Other Southern California residents are divided (46% too much , 42% not enough). Solid majorities of Asians (64%) and Latinos (63%) think the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, while half of whites say government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns or the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Government goes too far 38% 27% 66% 37% 45% Government does not do enough 53 68 27 54 48 Don’t know 9 5 7 9 7 Given the current national debate about birth control and abortion, how do Californians view the role of government when it comes to availability and access to abortion? Sixty -eight percent of Californians think the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion, while 28 percent say the government should pass more laws that restrict availability. The perception that government should not interfere is similar to our findings in September 2011 (69%) and March 2010 (65%), and more than six in 10 have held th is view in each of the 10 surveys where we have asked this question since 2000. Across parties, a majority of Democrats (83%), Republicans (68%), and independents (68%) believe that the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. And majorities across regions and demographic groups agree that the government should not interfere with access. Across religious groups, Protestants (70%) are more likely than Catholics (55%) to say the government should not interfere with access ; and 91 per cent of those who are agnostic, atheist, or not religious agree. Among those who are evangelical Christians, 54 percent say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion . “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. The government should pass more laws that restri ct the availability of abortion or the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Should pass more laws 28% 15% 27% 28% 20% Should not interfere with access 68 83 68 68 76 Don’t know 3 2 6 3 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 22 LEGALIZING MARIJUANA USE Currently the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in the state of California ( although not legal under federal law ) due to voter approval of a citizen’s initiative in 1996. Another citizen’s initiative— Proposition 19 —on the November 2010 statewide ballot would have legalized marijuana for personal use but was defeated by California voters (47% yes, 53% no). Public opinion on the issue remains relatively unchanged. Today, 45 percent of Californians believe the use of marijuana should be made legal while 51 percent believe it should not. Californians were similarly divided each time this question was asked in the past (M ay 2010: 48% yes, 49% no; September 2010: 47% yes, 49% no; September 2011: 46% yes, 51% no). The legalization issue has also divided likely voters since 2010 (May 2010: 49% yes, 48% no; September 2010: 51% yes, 45% no ; September 2011: 48% yes, 48% no; today: 49% yes, 47% no). Among Democrats, 59 percent support legalization, and 37 percent oppose it. Among Republicans, the results are reversed (39% yes, 58% no). Independents are divided (46% yes, 49% no). Across regions, residents in the Central Valley are the most opposed to this idea (37% yes, 59% no) , although there is slight opposition in the Other Southern California region (43% yes, 52% no) and Los Angeles (44% yes, 51% no). San Francisco Bay Area residents are divided (48% yes, 47% no). Solid majoriti es of Latinos (68%) and Asians (61%) oppose legalization, while 57 percent of whites support it. Across age groups, s upport is less than 50 percent (49% ages 18-34 ; 42% ages 35-54 ; 45% age 55 and older). Men are more likely than women to favor legalization (50% to 40%) , and about half of those with at least some college education support this idea , compared to 38 percent of those with high school or less. “In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Should be made legal 45% 59% 39% 46% 49% Should not be made legal 51 37 58 49 47 Don’t know 4 4 3 5 4 LEGALIZING SAME -SEX MARRIAGE The latest chapter of the same- sex marriage debate in California recently played out in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A three -judge panel upheld a lower court ruling that Proposition 8— which bans same -sex marriage and was passed by California voters in 2008 (52% yes, 48% no) —is unconstitutional. In the opinion of the court, there is no legitimate reason to treat a class of people differently by stripping away their right to marry, a right that had previously been granted in the state of California. Proposition 8 proponents have now appealed to the full Ninth Circuit. The issue has also made headlines recently as the states of Maryland and Washington passed laws legalizing same- sex marriage. In PPIC Statewide Surveys, support for allowing same -sex marriage reached 50 percent for the first time in March 2010 (50% favor, 45% oppose), with the margin widening to 10 points in September 2010 (52% favor, 42% oppose) and to 11 points in September 2011 (53% favor, 42% oppose) and today (52% favor, 41% oppose). When the question was first asked in January 2000 (just prior to voters approving a March statewide ballot measure that defined marriage as between a man and a woman), 39 percent of Californians favored same -sex marriage and 55 percent were opposed. In February 2004, just after then - San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began conducting same -sex marriages (against state law), 44 percent of Californians expressed support, while 50 percent were opposed. Marriages were subsequently halted by the state. Then, in June 2008, the California State Supreme Court ruled that the 2000 initiative was unconstitutional, which led to a brief period in which same -sex marriag e was legal. PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 23 LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (CONTINUED) Leading up to the November 2008 election that included Proposition 8, Californians were slightly opposed (October 2008: 44% favor, 50% oppose). Today, just over half of Californians favor allowing same-sex marriage (52% favor, 41% oppose). The margin of support is larger among likely voters (56% favor, 38% oppose). A strong majority of Democrats (72%) and 56 percent of independents are in favor, while most Republicans (61%) are opposed. Women are in favor, while men are divided. A solid majority of younger Californians support this idea, while those age 35 and older are divided. Support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%); residents in the Other Southern California region and Los Angeles are somewhat more likely to favor than oppose same-sex marriage; Central Valley residents are divided. Majorities of both whites (57%) and Asians (54%) express support, while the issue divides Latinos. Support increases with rising income and education. Married Californians and parents are divided, while two in three who have never been married support same-sex marriage. A strong majority of those unaffiliated with any religion express support, while Protestants are opposed and Catholics are divided. Six in 10 evangelical Christians oppose same-sex marriage. Californians in our survey hold similar views to adults nationwide in a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll (49% favor, 40% oppose). “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 52% 41% 6% Likely Voters 56 38 6 Party Democrats 72 25 4 Republicans 34 61 5 Independents 56 30 14 Gender Men 48 46 6 Women 56 37 6 Religion Catholics 48 43 9 Protestants 39 53 8 No religion 79 18 3 Born-again or Evangelical Christians Yes 36 60 4 All others 59 34 7 Age 18 to 34 63 31 6 35 to 54 48 46 6 55 and older 47 46 7 Support for same-sex marriage has grown in most of the state’s political and demographic groups since October 2008 (the last PPIC survey before the November 2008 election). Since then, support has grown 16 points among Democrats (from 56% to 72%) and 11 points among Republicans (from 23% to 34%), while remaining about the same among independents (from 53% to 56%). Support has risen 10 points among Latinos (from 36% to 46%) and 7 points among whites (from 50% to 57%). Across age groups, support has increased by 10 points in the under 35 age group (from 53% to 63%) and by 13 points among those age 55 and older (from 34% to 47%); support has remained about the same in the 35 to 54 age group (45% to 48%). Among evangelical Christians, support grew 15 points between October 2008 and today (from 21% to 36%). Among parents (a key voting group in the Proposition 8 campaign), opinions have narrowed since 2008 (October 2008: 42% favor, 54% oppose; today: 46% favor, 47% oppose). March 2012 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP March 2012 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner and Jui Shrestha, co-project managers for this survey, and survey research associate Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts ; but the methods, questions, and content of this report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 2,001 California adult residents, including 1,601 interviewed on landline telephones and 400 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews to ok an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from February 21 to 28, 2012 . Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI , Inc. in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 –2009 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for Califor nia to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample— region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2007– 2009 ACS for California both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare the data against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for any differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total sample of 2,00 1 adults. This means that 95 times PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 26 out of 100, the results will be within 3.4 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,334 registered voters, it is ±3.8 percent; for the 859 likely voters, it is ±4.2 percent; for the 281 Republican p rimary likely voters, it is ±7.4 percent . Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters ; but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results for non -Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as non- Hispanic blacks and Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters ; but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to -state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in another party are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, intentions to vote in the June primary, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by CBS News/ New York Times, NBC News/Wall Street Journal , Pew Research Center, and USA Today/Gallup. Additional details about our methodology can be found at http://www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . March 2012 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT February 21–28, 2012 2,001 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.4% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDI NG 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] 52% jobs, economy 8 education, schools 8 state budget, deficit, taxes 4 gas prices 4 immigration, illegal immigration 3 crime, gangs, drugs 3 housing costs 2 government in general 2 health care, health costs 11 other 3 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 33 disapprove 27 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 25% approve 54 disapprove 21 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 34% right directi on 56 wrong direction 10 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 34% good times 56 bad times 10 don’t know 5a. 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?) 41% yes, serious recession 31 yes, moderate recession 9 yes, mild recession 16 no 2 don’t know [questions 6 –10 and 13 –26 reported for likely voters only] 6. [likely voters only] Next, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 78% big problem 17 somewhat of a problem 3 not a problem 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 28 7. [likely voters only] Would you say that your local government services— such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( if they have, ask: Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?) 66% affected a lot 25 affected somewhat 6 not affected 3 don’t know 8. [likely voters only] As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund 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? 34% mostly through spending cuts 11 mostly through tax increases 45 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 4 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 3 other (specify) 4 don’t know 9. [likely voters only] Governor Brown has proposed a tax initiative for the November ballo t titled the “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It increases the personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for five years and increases the sales and use tax by a hal f cent for four years. It allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K –12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. It guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments. Increased state revenues of about $5 to $7 billion annually would be available to pay for the state’s school and community college funding requirements, as increased by this measure, and to address the state’s budgetary problem by paying for other spending commitments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative? 52% yes 40 no 8 don’t know 10 . [likely voters only] If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governor Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K– 12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools? 23% favor 72 oppose 5 don’t know 11 . Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 67% yes [ask q11a] 33 no [skip to q12 d] PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 29 11a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q12] 31 Republican [skip to q12a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q14] 21 independent [skip to q12b] 12. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 45 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q14] 12a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q13] 12b.[independents only] Would you join a political par ty if it was a good reflection of your poli tical views or do you prefer to be unaffiliated with any specific party? 21% join a political party 74 remain unaffiliated 5 don’t know 12c. [independents only] And were you previously registered with a major party or have you always been a decline -to -state or independent voter? 29% previously registered 70 always an independent 1 don’t know 12d. [independents and those not registered to vote ] Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republ ican Party or Democratic Party? 22% Republican Party 41 Democratic Party 31 neither (volunteered) 6 don’t know [skip to q14] 13. [Republican primary likely voters only] Next, if the 2012 Republican primary for president were being held today, and these were the cand idates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask: or someone else?] 28% Mitt Romney 22 Rick Santorum 17 Newt Gingrich 8 Ron Paul 2 someone else (specify ) 22 don’t know 14. [likely voters only] If the 2012 presidential election were being held today, would you vote: [ rotate ] for Barack Obama, the Democrat [ or ] for the Republican candidate? 53% Barack Obama, the Democrat 37 Republican candidate 1 someone else (specify ) 10 don’t know 15. [likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. President in 2012? 53% satisfied 41 not satisfied 7 don’t know 16. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election —very closely, fairly close ly, not too closely, or not at all closely? 41% very closely 42 fairly c l osely 14 not too closely 2 not at all closely – don’t know 17. [likely voters only] Next, what is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: [rotate] a Congress controlled by Republicans [ or ] a Congress controlled by Democrats? 35% controlled by Republicans 50 controlled by Democrats 7 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 30 Next, the June 5th statewide primary election includes two statewide ballot initiatives. 18. [likely voters only] Proposition 28 is called the “Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It reduces the total amount of time a person may ser ve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years and allows 12 years’ service in one house. It applies only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. There would be no direct fiscal effect on state or local governments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28? 68% yes 24 no 8 don’t know 19. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 28— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 22% very important 45 somewhat important 21 not too important 8 not at all important 4 don’t know 20. [likely voters only] The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference? 68% good thing 11 bad thing 18 no difference 3 don’t know 21. [likely voters only] Proposition 29, is called the “Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research, Initiative Statute.” It imposes an additional $1 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products . Revenues fund research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. Fiscal impacts include a net increase in cigarette excise tax revenues of about $735 million annually by 2013– 14 for certain research and tobacco prevention and cessation programs and other st ate and local revenue increases amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29? 67% yes 30 no 3 don’t know 22. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 29— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 41% very important 37 somewhat important 15 not too important 6 not at all important 1 don’t know 23. [likely voters only] Tax increases cou ld be used to help pay for state spending. In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? 63% favor 34 oppose 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 31 24. [likely voters only] Next, the governor and legislature passed a water package in 2010 that includes water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean -up and recycling, and a council to oversee restorat ion of the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta. This package includes an $11.1 billion state bond measure on the November 2012 ballot to pay for water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on the $11.1 billion state water bond? 51% yes 35 no 14 don’t know 25. [likely voters only] How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure? 37% very important 32 somewhat important 11 not too important 12 not at all important 8 don’t know 26. [likely voters only] Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a pro blem in your part of California? 35% big problem 35 somewhat of a problem 28 not much of a problem 2 don’t know Next, as you may know, California voters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for planning and construction of a high -speed rail system from Southern California to the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The estimated costs associated with the 800 –mile high -speed rail system are about $100 billion over the next 20 years. 27. Do you favor or oppose building a high - speed rail syst em in California? 51% favor 45 oppose 4 don’t know 28. Thinking ahead, how important is the high - speed rail system for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California —is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 33% very important 26 somewhat important 17 not too important 21 not at all important 2 don’t know 29. 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? 59% approve 36 disapprove 5 don’t know 30. 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 For each of the following issues, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, ev en if neither is exactly r ight. [rotate questions 31 to 34] 31. [rotate ] (1) Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest [or] (2) Government regulation of business does more harm than good. 48% is necessary 43 does more harm than good 8 don’t know 32. [rotate] (1) Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy [or] (2) Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. 45% cost too many jobs, hurt the economy 47 are worth the cost 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 32 33. [rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion [or] (2) T he government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 28% should pass more laws 68 should not interfere 3 don’t know 34. [rota te] (1) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns [or] (2) The government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 38% goes too far 53 does not do enough 9 don’t know 35. In general, do you think the use of mar ijuana should be made legal or not? 45% yes, legal 51 no, not legal 4 don’t know 36. Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 52% favor 41 oppose 6 don’t know 37. 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. 58% immigrants are a benefit to California 35 immigrants are a burden to California 8 don’t know 38. 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 deport ed back to their native country. 70% chance to keep their jobs 25 deported back to their native country 5 don’t know 39. Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by [rotate] (1) Congress [and ] (2) the Obama administration? 47% support 39 oppose 14 don’t know 40. Do you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine if they don't? 32% favor 63 oppose 5 don’t know 41. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 31 middle -of -the -road 21 somewhat conservative 11 very conservative 4 don’t know 42. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 24% great deal 35 fair amount 32 only a li t tle 9 none 1 don’t know [d1–d19: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Senior 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 Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register 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 Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Marí a Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Chief Executive Officer International Strategic Planning, Inc. Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 2 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(109) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-march-2012/s_312mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8824) ["ID"]=> int(8824) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:11" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4194) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 312MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_312mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_312MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "495667" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(98180) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 2012 Elections 6 State and National Issues 14 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 their government MARCH 2012 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation March 2012 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy- free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 124th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 262,000 Californians. This sur vey is the 51st 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 suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation. This sur vey seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impo r tant state and national issues. This sur vey was conducted as the 2012 presidential election season gears up and ballot measures for California’s June primar y and November general election take shape. Although t here have been some positive signs in the California economy, the state’s multibillion dollar budget gap has not improved. In this fiscal context, the g overnor’s budget plan and his tax initiative as well as alternative tax proposals that may qualify for the November ballot are being closely watched. Moreover, two high- profile infrastructure projects— a multibillion dollar state water bond and a California high -speed rail system —have been under greater public scrutiny in light of state budget constraints and their costs. Among the state’s social concerns , the U.S . 9th Circuit Cour t of Appeals upheld a lower cour t’s ruling that Prop osition 8, banning same -sex marriage, is unconstitutional. Same -sex marriage has also been debated by lawmakers in other state s, as well as at the national level , with a federal judge recently striking down a key component of the U.S. Defense of Marriage Act. This survey presents the responses of 2,00 1 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  2012 Elections , including the preferences of Republican s most likely to vote in the GOP primar y; the preference of likely voters in a hypothetical matchup between President Obama and the Republican candidate; satisfaction with and attention to news about presidential candidates; voting intention s on the two statewide propos itions in the June primar y— legislative term limit s and tax hikes on cigarettes to fund cancer research; attitudes toward the $11.1 billion state water bond on the November ballot; and opinions about the governor’s proposed tax initiative and the automatic spending cuts in K –12 education if the initiative does not pass .  State and national issues, including approval ratings of Governor Brown, the legislature, President Obama, and Congress; perceptions of the economy; suppor t for a high-speed rail sy stem, as well as views on its impor tance to the future of California; preferences for reforms to immigration ; attitudes toward healthcare policy; opinions on the role of government in regulating businesses, gun ownership, access to abortion, and environmental protection; and attitudes toward legalizing marijuana and same- sex marriage.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2012 elections and state and national issues, based on their political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. March 2012 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. 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 Economy, Financial Worries Weigh on Likely Voters SLIM MAJORITY BACKS BROWN TAX PLAN, HALF FAVOR WATER BOND SAN FRANCISCO, March 7, 2012 —California’s l ikely voters approach the elections this year with big concerns about the economy and the state’s fiscal future, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with support from The James Irvine Foundation. Despite signs of an improving economy, an overwhelming majority of likely voters (84%) believe that the state is in a recession. Nearly half (48%) say the recession is serious . Fewer (3 6%) say it is moderate or mild , and just 14 percent say the state is not in recession. Most (62%) expect bad economic times in the next year and most (59%) see the state going in the wrong direction. While a strong majority of likely voters (78%) describe the state budget situation as a big problem, slightly more than half (52%) say they would vote yes on Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative when they are read the ballot title and a summary (40% no, 8% undecided). Most Democrat ic likely voters (71 %) would vote yes, most Republicans (65%) would vote no, and independent s are more closely divided (49% yes, 41% no). Because t his is the first time PPIC has been able to ask about the governor’s proposal using the ballot title and a summary, direct compar ison to previous surveys is not possible. However, past surveys found majority support for his plan to temporarily raise taxes (68% January 2012, 60% December 2011). Among likely voters supporting the initiative , 69 percent say their local government servi ces have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. But so do most —61 percent —of those who would vote no. “A slim majority support Governor Brown’s proposed tax initiative,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “ Of those who plan to vote against it, most also say that their local governments have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts and they would prefer to deal with the budget gap mainly through spending cuts.“ Brown’s overall budget plan calls for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases , and 45 percent of likely voters prefer this approach . About a third (34%) prefer that spending cuts mostly be used to fill the budget gap, and 11 percent prefer mostly tax increases. Brown’s budget proposal calls for automatic spending cuts to K– 12 public schools if his tax initiative is rejected in November. Most likely voters (72%) oppose these trigger cuts, a view held across parties (Democrats 83%, independents 71%, Republicans 61%). The governor’s job approval rating among likely voters is at 46 percent, similar to January (44%). Since taking office in January 2011, his approval rating has changed little, but disapproval has grown (20% January 2011 , 38% today ). Fewer are undecided about Brown (33 % January 2011, 16% today ). PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 4 By comparison, the legislature’s approval rating remains low, at 21 percent among likely voters . Approval of the legislature has been below 25 percent among this gr oup since April 2008. HALF SUPPORT WATER B OND, OPPOSE BUILDING HIGH-SPEED RAIL In light of constraints on the state budget, two high -profile infrastructure projects ar e the focus of debate: an $11.1 billion water bond that is on the November ballot , and the planning and construction of a high -speed rail system, which was approved by voters in 2008 (53% to 47%). While a large majority of likely voters —70 percent —say the water supply in their area is a big problem or somewhat of a problem, there is less agreement on the water bond. Half of likely voters (51%) say they would vote yes (35 % no, 14% undecided) . Thirty-seven percent say it is very important that voters pass t he measure, 32 percent say it is somewhat important, and 23 percent say it is not too important or not at all important. California has received federal funding for the high-speed rail project, and the governor recently expressed strong support for it. Some have criticized the projected cost of $100 billion. Today, likely voters are more likely to oppose (53%) than support (43%) building a high -speed rail system. Across regions , Californians in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (54%) are in favor, Central Valley residents are split (50% favor, 47% oppose), and those in the Other Southern California region are opposed (52% oppose, 42% favor ). At the same time, 53 percent of likely voters say high- speed rail is at least somewhat important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. TERM LIMITS, CIGARET TE TAX DRAW MAJORITY SUPPORT Two ballot initiatives on the June ballot enjoy strong majority support in the ea rly stages of the campaign. Proposition 28 would reduce the amount of time state legislators may serve from 14 years to 12 years and would allow the 12 years of service in one house. The measure has the support of 68 percent of likely voters (24% oppose, 8% undecided). Majorities support it across party, ideological, regional, and demographic groups. Sixty-seven percent of likely voters say the outcome of the vote on this measure is important, and 22 percent say it is very important. Likely vote rs’ views of Proposition 28 are in keeping with their general perceptions of legislative term limits: 68 percent say they are a good thing for California, while just 11 percent say they are a bad thing. “Californians have steadfastly believed that legislative term lim its are a good thing for California, even as policy experts disagree about their overall impact,” says Baldassare. “Proposition 28 has strong majority support, and most of those who would vote yes on this reform also say that term limits are a good thing.” Proposition 29 would impose an additional one- dollar tax on each pack of cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products. The revenues would fund research for cancer and tobacco- related diseases. When read the ballot title and label for this initiative, 67 percent of likely voters would vote yes, 30 percent would vote no, and 3 percent are undecided. The proposition has majority support across political, ideological, regional, and demographic groups. Most (78%) say the outcome of the vo te on the measure is important to them, with 41 percent saying it is very important and 37 percent saying it is somewhat important. Most (63%) also say they support the general idea of increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes to help pay for state spending. ROMNEY, SANTORUM IN TIGHT RACE—OBAMA LEADS IN MATCH UP As the J une presidential primary approaches, Republican candidates Mitt Romney (28%) and Rick Santorum (22%) are in a close race —within the margin of error for GOP likely voters. They are followed by Newt Gingrich (17%) and Ron Paul (8%), with 22 percent of Republican likely voters undecided (the PPIC survey was taken before Super Tuesday ). Support for Santorum grew 11 points (4% to 15%) between December and January and has grown 7 more points since January. PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 5 In a hypothetical matchup for the presidential race, President Barack Obama leads the Republican candidate by 16 points (53% to 37%), with 10 percent undecided. President Obama’s job approval rating among California likely voters has improved after sinking to a low of 47 percent last September. Today it is at 55 percent, the highest level since April 2010 (56%). HALF FAVOR A CONGRESS CONTROLLED BY DEMOCRATS When it comes to the outcome of congressional elections, half of lik ely voters (50%) prefer that Congress be controlled by Democrats, while 35 percent prefer Republican control (8% unsure, 7% volunteer they want neither part y). A month before the 2006 midterm elections, 55 percent of likely voters preferred Democratic cont rol; they were closely divided in October 2010 (45% Democratic control, 43% Republican control). Today, just 17 percent approve of the way Congress is handling its job (79% disapprove). SUPPORT GROWS FOR LEGALIZING SAME -SEX MARRIAGE A number of social issues are being debated this election year. Californians’ views have undergone a marked shift on one issue : same-sex marriage. Today, 56 percent of likely voters favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry— up from 47 percent in October 2008, just before voters passed Proposition 8 , which banned same-sex marriage. Among registered voters, m ajorities of Democrats (72%) and independents (56%) today favor legalizing same -sex marriage. Most Republicans (61%) are opposed. Support has grown in most political and demographic groups since October 2008. It is up 16 points among Democrats (56% to 72%), 11 points among Republicans (23% to 34%), and is similar among independents (53% to 56%). Support is up 10 points among Latinos (36% to 4 6%) and 7 points among whites (50% to 57%). Across age groups, support grew 10 points among those age 18– 34 (53% to 63%), 13 points among those 55 and older (34% to 47%), and is similar among those age 35 –54 (45% to 48%). Among evangelical Christians, supp ort increased 15 points (21% to 36%). In the context of contentious debate about birth control and abortion at the national level, how do California likely voters view the role of government when it comes to the availability of abortion? A strong majority ( 76 %) say the government should not interfere with access, while 20 percent say more laws should be passed to restrict it. This view holds across registered voter groups (Democrats 83%, Republicans 68%, independents 68%). Acros s religious groups, 70 percent of Protestants, 55 percent of Catholics, and 54 percent of evangelical Christians say the government should not interfere with access. The survey asked about several other issues that have been the subject of election-year debate:  Immigration : About half of likely voters (51%) say immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, and 39 percent say they are a burden because they use public services. Asked what should happen to most illegal immig rants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years, 62 percent would give them a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, while 31 percent say they should be deported.  Health care reform : About half of likely voters (49%) support the changes in the health care system enacted by Congress and the Obama administration, while 44 percent are opposed. Most (65%) oppose the individual mandate, which requires Americans to buy health insurance coverage or pay a fine. Thirty -one percent favor this provision.  Government regulation of business : Half of likely voters (50%) say government regulation of business does more harm than good, and 44 percent say it is necessary.  Environmental regulation: Do stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy or are they worth the cost? Likely voters are divided (47% to 47%).  Gun control : Likely voters are divided about whether the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns (45%) or does not do enough to regulate access to guns (48%). March 2012 Californians and Their Government 6 2012 ELECTIONS KEY FINDINGS  Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a close race a mong Republican likely voters. Support for Rick Santorum has grown by 18 points since December . Just over h alf of likely voters are satisfied with t heir choices of candidates in the presidential election, and 41 percent say they are following news about candidates very closely. (page 7)  If the election were held today, 53 percent of likely voters would favor President Obama and 37 percent would favor the Repub lican candidate . They are more likely to prefer Democratic (50%) than Republican (35%) control of Congress . (page 8)  Sixty -eight percent of likely voters support Proposition 28 (reducing the maximum time in the legislature to 1 2 year s). One in five say the outcome is very important to them , and two in three say term limits have been a good thing for California. (page 9)  Sixty -seven percent of likely voters support Proposition 29 (taxing cigarettes to fund cancer research) , and four in 10 say the out come is very important. (page 10 )  Half of likely voters support a bond measure for water conservation projects (51% yes, 35% no) , and 37 percent say the outcome is very important. (page 11 )  Fifty -two percent of likely voters support the governor’s tax initiative proposed for the November ballot (funding education and guaranteeing local public safety funding) when read the ballot title and a summary . Seven in 10 oppose automatic cuts to K–12 education if the measure fails. Two in three likely voters who support the initiative favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to resolve the budget deficit; those who oppose the initiative prefer spending cuts. ( pages 12, 13 ) 6867 2430 0 20 40 60 80 100 Prop 28:Term limits Prop 29:Cigarette tax Percent likely voters Yes No Vote on Propositions in the June 5th Primary 28 2217 8 24 Mitt Romney Rick Santorum Newt Gingrich Ron Paul Other/Don't know 2012 Republican Presidential Primary Likely voters 5240 8 Yes No Don't know Vote onGovernor Brown's Proposed Tax Initiative, with BallotTitle and a Summary Likely voters PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 7 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES With the June primar y three months away, Mitt Romney (28%) and Rick Santorum (22%) are in a close race among Republican likely voters in California (i.e., within the margin of error for Republican likely voters ), followed by Newt Gingrich (17%) and Ron Paul ( 8%) ; 22 percent are unsure. Romney led in January (37%) as well, and had 25 percent support in December. Support for Santorum grew 11 points (4% to 15%) between December and January, and has grown 7 points since January, to 22 percent today. Just over half of likely voters (53%) are satisfied with their choices of presidential candidates in the 2012 election for U.S. president . Satisfaction with presidential choices was similar in January (53%) and December (49%). Solid majorit ies of Democrats (65%) are satisfied with their choices, while fewer than half of Republicans (45%) and independents (43%) are satisfied. Among Democrats, satisfaction was similar in January , at 67 percent, but has grown from 57 percent in December. Republicans were split in December (47% satisfied, 47% not satisfied) and more likely to be dissatisfied in January (52%). Independents were also dissatisfied in December (58%) and January (51%). Latino (58%) and white (51%) likely voters are satisfied with thei r choices of candidates. (Sample sizes for Asian and black likely voters are too small for separate analysis.) Just over half of men (53%) and women (52%) are satisfied. Satisfaction is similar across income groups. Among those who approve of President Obama, 67 percent are satisfied , and among those who disapprove of Obama, 37 percent are satisfied with their choices of candidates. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the electi on for U.S. president in 2012?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Satisfied 53% 65% 45% 43% 53% 52% Not satisfied 41 31 45 50 43 38 Don't know 7 4 10 6 3 10 Just over eight in 10 likely voters are following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election either very (41%) or fairly (42%) closely. The share following campaign news very closely was similar in December (40%) and January (36%). Three months before the February 2008 primary, just 26 percent of likely voters were following news about candidates very closely. About four in 10 across parties report following news very closely (43% Republicans, 41% Democrats, 38% independents). Men (47%) are more likely than women (36%) to say they are following election news very closely. Those age 55 and older are much more likely than younger voters to say they are following campaign news very closely (31% ages 18– 34, 33% age s 35 -–54, 52% age 55 and older). Among those satisfied with their choices of presidential candidates, 46 percent say they are following news very closely . “How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Very closely 41% 41% 43% 38% 47% 36% Fairly closely 42 41 43 47 39 46 Not too closely 14 15 13 13 12 15 Not at all closely 2 3 1 2 2 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 8 PRESIDENTIAL AND CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS In a hypothetical matchup for the presidential race, Barack Obama leads the Republican candidate by 16 points (53% to 37%), with 10 percent unsure how they would vote. Results were similar in December (50% Obama, 38% Republican candidate). Findings along party lines are also similar to December , when we first asked about the presidential race. Today, 83 percent of Democratic likely voters support Obama (81% December), while 78 percent of Republ ican likely voters support their party’s candidate (81% December). Among independents, 58 percent support Obama, 25 percent support the Republican candidate, and 17 percent are unsure ( in December: 55% Obama, 30% Republican candidate, 14% unsure). Liberal (88%) and moderate (56%) likely voters prefer Obama, and conservatives (69%) prefer the Republican candidate. Latinos (70%) support Obama over the Republican candidate, while whites are divided (45% Obama, 43% the Republican candidate). Three in four likely voters under age 35 (75%) prefer Obama, compared to half of older voters (50% ages 35–54, 48% age 55 and older). Two -thirds of those who are satisfied with their choices of candidates for presi dent would vote for Obama (66%); those not satisfied with their choices are divided. “If the 2012 presidential election were being held today, would you vote for Barack Obama, the Democrat , or for the Republican candidate? ” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Barack Obama 53% 83% 11% 58% 88% 56% 21% Republican candidate 37 10 78 25 6 27 69 Someone else (volunteered) 1 – 1 – 1 1 1 Don’t know 10 6 9 17 5 16 9 When it comes to the outcome of the congressional elections , 50 percent of likely voters prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats, 35 percent prefer a Republican-controlled Congress, 8 percent are unsure, and 7 percent volunteer that they prefer neither party to control Congress. A month before midterm elections in 2006, 55 percent of likely voters preferred Democratic control ; in October 2010 they were divided (45% Democratic control, 43% Republican control). Democrats (79% Democratic control) and Republicans (77% Republican control) prefer their own parties to control Congre ss. Over half of independents favor Democratic control (54%) , and one in four prefer Republican control (24%). Latino likely voters (64%) prefer Democratic control, while white voters are divided (44% Democratic control, 43% Republican control). Likely voters under age 35 (76%) are far more likely than others (45% 35– 54, 44% 55 and older) to prefer Democratic control. Two- thirds of conservatives prefer Republican control, while 86 percent of liberals and half of moderates (51%) prefer Democrats to contro l Congress. “What is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberal Moderate Conservative Controlled by Republicans 35% 9% 77% 24% 7% 28% 66% Controlled by Democrats 50 79 10 54 86 51 20 Neither (volunteered) 7 6 7 10 5 10 5 Don’t know 8 6 5 12 2 10 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 9 PROPOSITION 28: LEGISLATIVE TERM LIMITS In 1990, California voters passed Proposition 140, which limits members of the state legislature to six years in the assembly and eight years in the senate. Proposition 28 on the June ballot would reduce the total amount of time a person may serve in the s tate legislature from 14 years to 12 years and allows 12 years’ service in one house. The proposed term limits reform would apply only to legislators first elected after the measure passed. When read the ballot title and label for Proposition 28, 68 percent of likely voters would vote yes , 24 percent would vote no , and 8 percent are undecided. Proposition 28 has majority support across party, ideological , and regional groups , as well as age, education, gender, income, and racial /ethnic groups. While 67 percent of likely voters describe the outcome of Proposition 28 as important to them, just 22 percent say it is very important. Those who plan to vote yes are twice as likely as those who would vote no to say the outcome of Proposition 28 is very important (27% to 12%) . “Proposition 28 is called the ‘ Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initiative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28?” * Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 68% 24% 8% Party Democrats 65 27 8 Republicans 73 19 8 Independents 68 24 8 Ideology Liberals 56 36 8 Moderates 71 23 7 Conservatives 74 17 10 Education High school or less 74 16 10 Some college 69 24 6 College graduate 62 28 9 *For complete text of proposition question , see p. 30. When asked about their general perceptions of legislative term limits, 68 percent of likely voters say that term limits are a good thing for California, while just 11 percent say they are a bad thing . Since we began asking this question in October 1998 , no more than one in five likely voters have said that term limits are a bad thing for California. Similar to past trends, Republicans (76 %) are more likely than Democrats (66%) and independents (59%) to say that term limits are a good thing. Among the likely voters who are inclined to vote yes on Proposition 28, 8 0 percent say that term limits are a good thing for California. “The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop 28 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Good thing 68% 66% 76% 59% 80% 36% Bad thing 11 13 9 12 5 30 Do not make a difference 18 18 14 28 14 31 Don’t know 3 4 2 1 1 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 10 PROPOSITION 29: ADDITIONAL CI GARETTE TAX Proposition 29, also on the June ballot , is an initiative that would impose an additional $1.00 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products. The revenues would fund research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. W hen read the ballot title and label for Proposition 29, 67 percent of likely voters would vote yes , 30 percent would vote no, and 3 percent are undecided. Proposition 2 9 has majority support across party, ideological , and regional groups , as well as age, education, gender, income, and racial/ethnic groups. Nearly eight in 10 likely voters describe the outcome of Proposition 29 as important to them: 41 percent say it is very important and 3 7 percent say it is somewhat important to them. Those who plan to vote yes are much more likely than those who would vote no to say the outcome of Proposition 29 is very important to them (48% to 29%) . “Proposition 29 is called the ‘ Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cance r Research, Initiative Statute.’ … If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 67% 30% 3% Party Democrats 77 20 3 Republicans 54 43 3 Independents 71 28 1 Ideology Liberals 77 21 2 Moderates 71 26 2 Conservatives 55 42 3 Age 18 to 34 82 17 1 35 to 54 67 32 1 55 and older 62 34 4 *For complete text of proposition question , see p. 30. California likely voters support by a wide margin (63% favor, 34% oppose) the general idea of increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes t o help pay for state spending. In a January 2006 survey, 70 percent of likely voters were in favor of a cigarette tax increase. Today, strong majorities of Democrats (74%) and independents (66%) favor increasing taxes on cigarettes, while Republicans are divided (51% favor, 47% oppose). M ajorities across regions, age, education, gender, income, and racial /ethnic groups support the idea of increasing taxes on cigarettes to help pay for state spending. Conservatives are divided on cigarette tax increases (47% favor, 51% oppose). Among those who would vote yes on Proposition 29 , 89 percent are in favor of increasing taxes on cigarettes. Among those who are inclined to vote no on Proposition 29, 8 8 percent are opposed to cigarette tax increases. “Tax increases could be used to help pay for state spending. In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop 2 9 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 63% 74% 51% 66% 89% 9% Oppose 34 23 47 33 10 88 Don’t know 2 3 2 2 1 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 11 STATE WATER BOND Seven in 10 likely voters think the water supply in their area of California is a big (35%) or somewhat (35%) of a problem. In December 2009, amidst a serious drought, likely voters were much more likely to say that the water supply in their part of California was a big problem (52% big, 26% somewhat). When read a summary of the 2010 water package passed by the governor and legislature that includes an $11.1 billion bond measure on the November 2012 ballot, 51 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes, 35 percent would vote no , and 14 percent are undecided. Solid majorities of Democratic likely voters (66%) would vote yes, 52 percent of Republican likely voters would vote no, and independent voters are more likely to vote yes (48%) than no (35%). San Francisco Bay Area likely voters (60%) are more likely than those in other regions of the state to support the measure. “…If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on the $11.1 billion state water bond?” * Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 51% 35% 14% Party Democrats 66 22 12 Republicans 34 52 14 Independents 48 35 17 Home ownership Owners 48 38 14 Rent ers 61 25 14 Region Central Valley ** 47 35 18 San Francisco Bay Area 60 30 10 Los Angeles 52 35 13 Other Southern California 46 39 15 *For complete text of question, see p.31 . **Sample size for likely voters in the Central Valley smaller than in other regions. Thirty-seven percent of likely voters think that the passage of the water bond measure is very important. I n December 2009, 43 percent of likely voters said passage of a water bond measure was very important. Democrats (45%) are more likely than Republicans (32%) and independents (28%) to say passing the measure is very important. Among those saying their regional water supply is a big problem, 58 percent say passage is very important. Just over half (54%) of those intending to vote yes think passage of the bond measure is very important, while only one in five (20%) of those considering voting no think it is very important that voters pass the state water bond measure. “How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure? ” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Water Bond Dem Rep Ind Yes No Very important 37% 45% 32% 28% 54% 20% Somewhat important 32 32 24 42 41 22 Not too important 11 11 14 10 3 25 Not at all important 12 7 20 9 1 32 Don’t know 8 5 10 10 1 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 12 GOVERNOR BROWN’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE The governor’s budget plan released in January includes a proposed tax initiative on the November ballot that would temporarily increase the state personal income tax on wealthy Californians and increase the state sales tax. When read the ballot title and a brief summary, 52 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative , 40 percent say they would vote no, and 8 percent say they are undecided. While direct comparisons are not possible, majority support for the governor’s proposed tax initiative w as evident in questions that predated the ballot title and summary in our December 2011 survey (60% of likely voters in favor) and in our January 2012 survey (68% of likely voters in favor). Today, while 71 percent of Democrats would vote yes, 65 percent of Republicans would vote no, and independents are more divided (4 9% yes, 41 % no). Opposition to the proposed tax initiative is higher among men (47%) than women (33%) . Opposition is also higher among those with $80,000 or more in annual household income (4 7%) than others. San Francisco Bay Area likely voters ( 69%) are more likely to support the proposed tax initiative than others. Conservat ives (63%) are more opposed than others , and whites (48 %) are less supportive than Latinos (58%). “Governor Brown has proposed a tax initiative for the November ballot titled the ‘Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Fundin g. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative? ”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 52% 40% 8% Party Democrats 71 21 8 Republicans 29 65 7 Independents 49 41 10 Gender Men 49 47 3 Women 55 33 12 Household Income Under $40,000 54 34 12 $40,000 to under $80,000 61 33 6 $80,000 or more 48 47 5 *For complete text of question , see p.2 8. Governor Brown’s budget proposes that there will be automatic spending cuts to K–12 public schools if the proposed tax initiative i n November is rejected. Seventy -two percent of likely voters say they oppose the automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools. Solid majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents say they oppose these K–12 spending cuts. Among those who would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, 80 percent oppose the automatic spending cuts to K –12 schools. Among those who would vote no, 6 1 percent are also opposed to automatic K–12 spending cuts. “If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governor Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K –12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K –12 public sc hools?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Governor’s Proposed Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 23% 13% 34% 23% 16% 35% Oppose 72 83 61 71 80 61 Don’t know 5 4 5 6 4 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 13 GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE AND THE STATE BUDGET SITUATION In assessing the public opinion context of the governor’s proposed tax initiative, it is noteworthy that 78 percent of likely voters describe the state budget situation in California as a big problem , similar to our findings in December ( 83%) and January (78%) surveys . Today, the perception of the budget as a big problem is expressed by at least seven in 10 likely voters in all of the major political groups and regions. A majority of likely voters (66 %) also say that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. Similar proportions in December (65%) and in January (60%) said their local services had been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. Today, majorities of likely voters across po litical groups and regions share this view. Among those who say they would vote yes on the g overnor’s proposed tax initiative, 69 percent say that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts. However , 61 percent of those who would vote no on the g overnor’s proposed tax initiative also say they have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts . “Would you say that your local government services—such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools—have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts?” ( If they have : “Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?”) Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Governor’s Proposed Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Affected a lot 66% 72% 62% 59% 69% 61% Affected somewhat 25 22 24 35 23 27 Not affected 6 4 11 3 5 9 Don’t know 3 2 3 3 3 4 Governor Brown’s budget plan includes a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. While 45 percent of likely voters prefer this approach to dealing with the state’s budget gap , 34 percent prefer mostly spending cuts, and 11 percent prefer mostly tax increases. Sixty-eight p ercent of Democrats favor either a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (55 %) or mostly tax increases (13%), and 61 percent of independents prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (42% ) or mostly tax increases (19%). Most Republicans (61%) favor dealing with the budget gap mostly through spending cuts. Among those who would vote yes on the governor’s proposed tax initiative, 81 percent favor either a mix of spending cuts and tax increases ( 64%) or mostly tax increases (17 %). Among those who would vote no, 67 percent prefer to deal with the budget gap mostly through spending cuts. “As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund 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?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Governor’s Proposed Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No A mix of spending cuts and tax increases 45% 55% 31% 42% 64% 18% Mostly through spending cuts 34 16 61 30 10 67 Mostly through tax increases 11 13 4 19 17 4 Okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 4 6 1 4 4 5 Other 3 5 2 3 3 3 Don’t know 4 6 1 2 3 3 March 2012 Californians and Their Government 14 STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  Four in 10 adults approve of Governor Brown ’s job performance ; one in four approve of the state legislature’s. Nearly six in 10 approve of President Obama, but only one in four approve of Congress. (page 15 )  Forty -one percent of adults and 48 percent of l ikely voters say the state is in a serious recession. (page 16 )  Six in 10 residents say a high- speed rail system is at least somewhat important for the state’s future, but they are divided about building a high- speed rail system in California. (page 17)  Fifty -eight percent say immigrants benefit California. Seven in 10 support giving illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. ( page 18)  Forty -seven percent support and 39 percent oppose the changes to the healthcare system enacted by Congress and President Obama. About six in 10 oppose mandatory health insurance. (page 1 9)  Californians are divided about government regulation of business and whether strict environmental regulations hurt t he economy or are worth the cost. Just over half say the government does not do enough to regulate gun ownership. Sixty -eight percent say the government should not interfere with access to abortion. (pages 20 , 21)  Marking a shift in attitudes since 2008, 52 percent of adults favor same -sex marriage. Catholics are divided, while just over half of Protestants are opposed. Six in 10 evangelicals oppose same -sex marriage. Support has grown in most groups since 2008. ( pages 2 2, 2 3) 71 6358525651 59 4339 2426302724 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mar09Sep09Mar10Sep10Mar11Sep11Mar12 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 3944444444 5053525550485049 454241 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Jan00Feb04Sep06Oct08Mar09Mar10Sep11Mar12 Percent all adults Favor Oppose Allowing Same-Sex Marriage 41 34 4242414446 40 2624232326252825 0 20 40 60 80 Jan11Mar11May11July11Sep11Nov11Jan12Mar12 Percent all adults Governor Brown Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 15 STATE AND FEDERAL ELECTED OFFI CIALS’ APPROVAL RATINGS Forty percent of Californians and 46 percent of likely voters approve of Governor Brown’s job performance. In January, approval was slightly higher among all Californians (46%), while similar among likely voters (44%). Since he took office in January 2011, Brown’s approval ratings among all adults has hardly changed , while disapproval has grown (19% January 2011 , 33% today) and the share with no opinion has declined (39% to 27%). Similarly, among likely voters, approval has remained about the same since January 2011, while disapproval has risen (from 20% to 38%) and the share with no opinion has declined (33% to 16%). Most Democrats approve (59%) ; most Republicans disapprove (57%); ratings are mixed among independents (39% approve, 36% disapprove, 26% don’t know ). Job approval ratings of the California Legislature continue to be low (25% all adults, 21% likely voters), while majorities disapprove. Since April 2008, approval has been below 30 percent among all adults and below 25 percent among likely voters. Majorities across partie s—particularly Republicans —disapprove of the legislature (75% Republicans, 57% Democrats, 56% independents). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 40% 59% 26% 39% 46% Disapprove 33 23 57 36 38 Don't know 27 18 16 26 16 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 25 25 14 23 21 Disapprove 54 57 75 56 66 Don't know 21 18 11 21 14 President Obama’s approval rating among Californians has steadily increased after reaching a low of 51 percent last September (53% December, 54% January, 59% today). His approval rating among likely voters (55 % today) has also increase d from a low of 47 percent last September, reaching the highest level since April 2010 (56%). Voters are split along party lines: A majority of Democrats (83%) and independents (59%) approve of his job performance, while a majority of Republicans (77%) disapprove. In a recent USA Today/ Gallup poll, adults nationwide were divided (46% approve, 49% disapprove). Only 24 percent of all Californians and 17 percent of likely voters approve of the way the Congress is handli ng its j ob. Adults nationwide are less approving (10% approve, 82% disapprove in a recent CBS News/ New York Ti mes poll). Approval among Californians was similar la st month and has been below 30 percent since last July. Strong majorities across parties disapprove of Congress. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 59% 83% 20% 59% 55% Disapprove 36 15 77 34 43 Don't know 5 2 3 7 2 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 24 23 16 16 17 Disapprove 68 73 80 72 79 Don't know 8 4 5 11 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 16 CALIFORNIA’S ECONOMIC SITUATION Despite some positive signs in the state and national economies, an overwhelming majority of Californians continue to believe that the state is in an economic recession: 41 percent say it is in a serious recession, while 31 percent believe it is in a moderate recession and 9 percent a mild one. Only 16 percent say the state is not in a recession. Still , the percentage believing the state is in a serious recession has declined 9 points since last September (50%) and 22 points since its peak in March 2 009 (63%). Across parties, at least three in four say the state is in a recession, with Republicans the most likely to consider it a serious one ( 53% Republicans, 44% Democrats, 37% independents). “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?)” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Serious recession 41% 44% 53% 37% 48% Moderate recession 31 32 23 30 29 Mild recession 9 8 6 8 7 Not in a recession 16 14 15 21 14 Don’t know 2 2 2 4 2 Reflecting their negative views of the state’s economy, 52 percent of Californians in an open- ended question say that “jobs and the economy” is the most important issue facing the state, but this is down 11 points since December 2011. Far fewer name other issues, such as education and schools (8%), the state budget (8%), or immigration (4%). Four percent of Californians this month say g as prices. Most Californians (56%) and likely voters (62%) also believe that the state will face bad times financially over the next 12 months. Only 34 percent of all Californians and 28 percent of likely voters expect good fiscal times. Last March, 61 percent expected bad times and 30 percent good times. To put these findings in perspective, a record high 78 percent of Californians expected bad times financially in June and July of 2008. Across parties, majorities believe the state will experience bad times financially over the next 12 months , with pessimism highest among Republicans (72% Republicans, 56% independents, 53% Democrats). M ajorities across all income groups also expect bad times over the next year. “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 Household Income Likely Voters Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Good times 34% 39% 26% 36% 28% Bad times 56 54 60 57 62 Don’t know 10 8 14 7 11 Most Californians not only expect bad economic times, but also say that the state is headed in the wrong direction (56% all adults, 59% likely voters) . About one in three (34% all adults, 32% likely voters) say the state is going in the right direction. Findings among all adults were similar in January and last March. Pessimism reached a record high in July 2009 (79%) and stayed above 70 percent for a f ull year. Since the start of 2011, pessimism has fluctuated slightly but has not exceeded 61 percent. Across parties, Republicans are the most pessimistic (77% wrong direction) , and a majority of independents (55%) also say wrong direction. Democrats are divided (46% wrong direction, 41% right direction ). PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 17 HIGH-SPEED RAIL SYSTEM AND CALIFORNIA’S FUT URE In 2008, voters passed a $10 billion state bond measure (53% to 47%) for planning and building a high - speed rail system from Southern California to the Centr al Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The state has also received federal funding for this project. Governor Brown has recently expressed support of high -speed rail to promote the economic vitality of the state. Others have questioned its importance in light of the state’s large budget deficit and the project’s projected cost of $100 billion. The state’s r esidents are divided over this infrastructure project : Half (51%) favor building a high-speed rail system, while 45 percent oppose it. Likely voters are more likely to oppose (53%) than favor (43%) this project . A majority of Democrats (58%) favor building a high -speed rail system, while a strong majority of Republicans (66%) oppose it . Independents are divided (45% favor, 49% oppose). Across regions, a majority of those in the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (54%) favor high -speed rail , while residents of the Central Valley are divided (50% favor, 47% oppose) and a slight majority of those in the Other Southern California region are opposed (42% favor, 52% oppose). Majorities of Asians (69%) and Latinos (56%) favor the project, while a majority of whites (55%) oppose it. Those earning less than $40,000 are more likely than those earning more to favor such a system. Those who think the state budget situation is a big problem are slightly more likely to oppose it (45% favor, 52% oppose) . “As you may know, California v oters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for planning and construction of a high- speed rail system from Southern California to the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The estimated costs associated with the 800 -mile high-speed rail system are about $100 billion over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high- speed rail system in California?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 51% 58% 32% 45% 43% Oppose 45 36 66 49 53 Don’t know 4 6 2 5 4 About six in 10 residents believe that a high- speed rail system is very important (33%) or somewhat important (26%) for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California; 38 percent say it is not too important (17%) or not at all important (21%). Likely voters hold similar views. Democrats (44%) are much more likely than independents (26%) and far more likely than Republicans (18%) to say that high- speed rail is very imp ortant to California’s future. More than six in 10 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (65%), Los Angeles (64%), and the Central Valley (61%) think the high- speed rail system is at least somewhat important to the state’s future , while about half of those in the Other Southern California region (49%) share this view. Those who favor high -speed rail are far more likely than those who oppose it to say it is very important (58% to 6%). “Thinking ahead, how important is the high- speed rail system for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California—i s it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? ” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Very important 33% 30% 40% 35% 25% 30% Somewhat important 26 31 25 29 24 23 Not too important 17 18 15 17 19 19 Not at all important 21 19 17 17 30 26 Don’t know 2 2 3 2 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 18 IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a case involving Arizona’s strict immigration law, SB 1070, and with immigration an important issue in the presidential race, how do Californians feel about the immigrants residing in their state? Nearly six in 10 Californians (58%) and half of likely voters (51%) believe immigrants benefit the state because of their hard work and job skills. Fewer adults (35%) and likely voters (39%) say immigrants are a burden because they use public services. The percentage of Californians who believe that immigrants are a benefit was similar in September 2010 (54%) and March 2010 (54%) and has been at least 54 percent each time we have asked this question since 2000. Across parties, 66 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of in dependents view immigrants as a benefit, while 60 percent of Republicans consider immigrants a burden. The perception that immigrants are a benefit is most widely held by residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (64%) and Los Angeles (63%), followed by resi dents in the Central Valley (55%) and the Other Southern California region (49%). Most Latinos (85%) and Asians (60%) view immigrants as a benefit because of their hard work and job skills, while whites are somewhat more likely to say they are a burden (49%) than a benefit (42%). Compared to others, t he belief that immigrants are a benefit is higher among those under age 55, those with only a high school diploma or less, and those with a household income of under $40,000. “Which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right: Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills or Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Immigrants are a benefit to California 58% 66% 32% 52% 51% Immigrants are a burden to California 35 28 60 33 39 Don’t know 8 6 8 15 10 A strong majority of Californians (70%) think that most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. Only 25 percent say they should be deported. Similarly, a s olid majority of likely voters (62%) believe they should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status. Since June 2007, at least 65 percent of Californians have held this view in the nine times we have asked this question. Strong majorities of Democrats (74%) and ind ependents (67%) think illegal immigrants should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status, while Republicans are divided (50% keep their jobs, 45% deport them ). Nearly all Latinos (92%), and solid majorities of Asians (65%) and whites (60%), say th at illegal immigrants sho uld be able to keep their jobs. Among those who view immigrants as a benefit, 89 percent say illegal immigrants should be able to keep their jobs, while 53 percent of those who say immigrants are a burden say illegal immigrants should be deported. “If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years: They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status or they should be deported back to their native country?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Chance to keep their jobs 70% 74% 50% 67% 62% Deported back to their native country 25 21 45 26 31 Don’t know 5 5 5 7 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 19 HEALTH CARE REFORM With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to review the constitutionality of health care reform passed by Congress and President Obama, how do Californians view the changes in the health care system? Forty -seven percent support the changes ; 39 percent are opposed. Support among likely voters is similar (49% support, 44% oppose). Support among all adults is now just below 50 percent ( September 2009: 51% support, 38% oppose; December 2009: 52% support, 39% oppose; March 2010: 50% support, 39% oppose; February 2011: 51% support, 36% oppose; today: 47% support, 39% oppose). Two in three Democrats (67%) and half of independents (50%) support the changes in the health care system, while seven in 10 Republicans (69%) oppose them . Half of the residents in Los Angeles (52%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (50%) support the changes, while residents are divided in the Central Valley (43% support, 45% oppose) and the Other Southern California region (43% support, 45% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, a majority of La tinos (58%) and Asians (51%) support the changes, while whites are more likely to oppose th em (38% support, 49% oppose). Those without health insurance are more likely to support than oppose the enacted changes (53% support, 29% oppose), while those who are insured are divided (46% support, 41% oppose). “O verall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Support 47% 67% 20% 50% 49% Oppose 39 21 69 40 44 Don’t know 14 12 11 10 7 One particularly controversial aspect of the changes in the health care system is the individual mandate . Solid majorities of Californians (63%) and likely voters (65%) oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine if they don’t , while about three in 10 adults (32%) and likely voters (31%) favor this requirement . An overwhelming majo rity of Republicans (84%) and smaller majorities of independents (56%) and Democrats (52%) oppose this requirement, as do majorities across regions (54% San Francisco Bay Area, 63% Central Valley, 63% Los Angeles, 67% Other Southern California Region). Alt hough half of Asians favor this requirement (50% favor, 39% oppose) , solid majorities of Latinos (59%) and whites (72%) oppose it. Majorities across gender, age, education, and income groups oppose this requirement. Among those who are opposed to the chang es in the health care system, 81 percent oppose this particular requirement, while those who support the changes are divided (48% favor, 48% oppose). Among those who disapprove of President Obama, 83 percent oppose the insurance requirement, while t hose wh o approve of the president are divided (45% favor, 50% oppose). “Do you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine if they don't?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 32% 43% 12% 37% 31% Oppose 63 52 84 56 65 Don’t know 5 5 4 7 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 20 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT In the wake of the financial crisis , and with some efforts to regulate the financial system (including the passage of the Dodd- Frank Act ), how do Californians feel about government regulation of business? Our August 2008 survey in the early days of the recession found that a record high 57 percent of Californians believed that regulation is necessary, while 34 percent said it does more harm t han good. Today, Californians are more divided: 48 percent think government regulation is necessary, 43 percent believe it does more harm than good. Likely voters are slightly more negative (44 % say it’s necessary, 50% say it’s detrimental). In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 40 percent of adults nationwide said that regulation is necessary, while a majority (52%) said that regulation does more harm than good. Partisan differences are evident : M ajorities of Democrats (63%) say regulation of business i s necessary, while majorities of Republicans (73%) say that regulation does more harm than good. Independents are slightly more likely to say it is necessary (49%) than to say it does harm (41%). Com pared to August 2008, the opinions of Democrats are similar , but the view that regulation does more harm than good has increased 21 points among Republicans (52% to 73%) , while the view that regulation is necessary has declined 9 points among independents (58% to 49%). Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (57%) and Los Angeles (52%) are more likely to say regulation is necessary, while half of the residents in the Central Valley and Other Southern California (51% each) say regulation does more harm than good. “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest or government regulation of business does more harm than good.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Government regulation of business is necessary 48% 63% 21% 49% 44% Government regulation of business does more harm than good 43 30 73 41 50 Don’t know 8 7 6 10 6 Californians are divided when asked about stricter environmental laws and regulations: 47 percent say they are worth the cost, while 45 percent say they cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. This is a marked change from much earlier surveys in which maj orities said stricter laws and regulations were worth the cost (58% May 1998, 64% January 2000, 57% June 2000, 59% February 2002, 64% June 2002, 60% February 2004, 47% today). Partisan differences are evident , and there have been big changes since 2004. Most Republicans (65%, up 18 points from 2004) say regulations cost too many jobs. Independents are divided , with 46 percent saying regulations cost too many jobs (up 19 points from 2004) and 47 percent saying they are worth the cost (down 15 points from 2004). Most Democrats (64%, down 7 points from 2004) say regulations are worth the cost. San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to say that environmental regulations are worth the cost, while Other Southern California residents (38%) are t he least likely to share this view. “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy or s tricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Cost too many jobs and hurt the economy 45% 30% 65% 46% 47% Are worth the cost 47 64 29 47 47 Don’t know 8 6 6 7 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 21 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT (CONTINUED) Another issue with evident partisan divide is gun control. A majority of Californians (53%) think that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, while 38 percent say the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. The percentage say ing government does not do enough is at a record low (62% January 2000, 62% February 2004, 58% August 2008, 53% today). T wo in three Democrats (68%) say that the government does not do enough, while two in three Republicans (66%) say the government goes to o far. Over half of independents (54%) say the government does not do enough. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) and Los Angeles (59%) are the most likely to think the government does not do enough, followed by those in the Centr al Valley (43% too much, 50% not enough). Other Southern California residents are divided (46% too much , 42% not enough). Solid majorities of Asians (64%) and Latinos (63%) think the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns, while half of whites say government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns or the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Government goes too far 38% 27% 66% 37% 45% Government does not do enough 53 68 27 54 48 Don’t know 9 5 7 9 7 Given the current national debate about birth control and abortion, how do Californians view the role of government when it comes to availability and access to abortion? Sixty -eight percent of Californians think the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion, while 28 percent say the government should pass more laws that restrict availability. The perception that government should not interfere is similar to our findings in September 2011 (69%) and March 2010 (65%), and more than six in 10 have held th is view in each of the 10 surveys where we have asked this question since 2000. Across parties, a majority of Democrats (83%), Republicans (68%), and independents (68%) believe that the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. And majorities across regions and demographic groups agree that the government should not interfere with access. Across religious groups, Protestants (70%) are more likely than Catholics (55%) to say the government should not interfere with access ; and 91 per cent of those who are agnostic, atheist, or not religious agree. Among those who are evangelical Christians, 54 percent say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion . “Which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. The government should pass more laws that restri ct the availability of abortion or the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Should pass more laws 28% 15% 27% 28% 20% Should not interfere with access 68 83 68 68 76 Don’t know 3 2 6 3 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 22 LEGALIZING MARIJUANA USE Currently the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal in the state of California ( although not legal under federal law ) due to voter approval of a citizen’s initiative in 1996. Another citizen’s initiative— Proposition 19 —on the November 2010 statewide ballot would have legalized marijuana for personal use but was defeated by California voters (47% yes, 53% no). Public opinion on the issue remains relatively unchanged. Today, 45 percent of Californians believe the use of marijuana should be made legal while 51 percent believe it should not. Californians were similarly divided each time this question was asked in the past (M ay 2010: 48% yes, 49% no; September 2010: 47% yes, 49% no; September 2011: 46% yes, 51% no). The legalization issue has also divided likely voters since 2010 (May 2010: 49% yes, 48% no; September 2010: 51% yes, 45% no ; September 2011: 48% yes, 48% no; today: 49% yes, 47% no). Among Democrats, 59 percent support legalization, and 37 percent oppose it. Among Republicans, the results are reversed (39% yes, 58% no). Independents are divided (46% yes, 49% no). Across regions, residents in the Central Valley are the most opposed to this idea (37% yes, 59% no) , although there is slight opposition in the Other Southern California region (43% yes, 52% no) and Los Angeles (44% yes, 51% no). San Francisco Bay Area residents are divided (48% yes, 47% no). Solid majoriti es of Latinos (68%) and Asians (61%) oppose legalization, while 57 percent of whites support it. Across age groups, s upport is less than 50 percent (49% ages 18-34 ; 42% ages 35-54 ; 45% age 55 and older). Men are more likely than women to favor legalization (50% to 40%) , and about half of those with at least some college education support this idea , compared to 38 percent of those with high school or less. “In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Should be made legal 45% 59% 39% 46% 49% Should not be made legal 51 37 58 49 47 Don’t know 4 4 3 5 4 LEGALIZING SAME -SEX MARRIAGE The latest chapter of the same- sex marriage debate in California recently played out in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A three -judge panel upheld a lower court ruling that Proposition 8— which bans same -sex marriage and was passed by California voters in 2008 (52% yes, 48% no) —is unconstitutional. In the opinion of the court, there is no legitimate reason to treat a class of people differently by stripping away their right to marry, a right that had previously been granted in the state of California. Proposition 8 proponents have now appealed to the full Ninth Circuit. The issue has also made headlines recently as the states of Maryland and Washington passed laws legalizing same- sex marriage. In PPIC Statewide Surveys, support for allowing same -sex marriage reached 50 percent for the first time in March 2010 (50% favor, 45% oppose), with the margin widening to 10 points in September 2010 (52% favor, 42% oppose) and to 11 points in September 2011 (53% favor, 42% oppose) and today (52% favor, 41% oppose). When the question was first asked in January 2000 (just prior to voters approving a March statewide ballot measure that defined marriage as between a man and a woman), 39 percent of Californians favored same -sex marriage and 55 percent were opposed. In February 2004, just after then - San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began conducting same -sex marriages (against state law), 44 percent of Californians expressed support, while 50 percent were opposed. Marriages were subsequently halted by the state. Then, in June 2008, the California State Supreme Court ruled that the 2000 initiative was unconstitutional, which led to a brief period in which same -sex marriag e was legal. PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 23 LEGALIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (CONTINUED) Leading up to the November 2008 election that included Proposition 8, Californians were slightly opposed (October 2008: 44% favor, 50% oppose). Today, just over half of Californians favor allowing same-sex marriage (52% favor, 41% oppose). The margin of support is larger among likely voters (56% favor, 38% oppose). A strong majority of Democrats (72%) and 56 percent of independents are in favor, while most Republicans (61%) are opposed. Women are in favor, while men are divided. A solid majority of younger Californians support this idea, while those age 35 and older are divided. Support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%); residents in the Other Southern California region and Los Angeles are somewhat more likely to favor than oppose same-sex marriage; Central Valley residents are divided. Majorities of both whites (57%) and Asians (54%) express support, while the issue divides Latinos. Support increases with rising income and education. Married Californians and parents are divided, while two in three who have never been married support same-sex marriage. A strong majority of those unaffiliated with any religion express support, while Protestants are opposed and Catholics are divided. Six in 10 evangelical Christians oppose same-sex marriage. Californians in our survey hold similar views to adults nationwide in a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll (49% favor, 40% oppose). “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 52% 41% 6% Likely Voters 56 38 6 Party Democrats 72 25 4 Republicans 34 61 5 Independents 56 30 14 Gender Men 48 46 6 Women 56 37 6 Religion Catholics 48 43 9 Protestants 39 53 8 No religion 79 18 3 Born-again or Evangelical Christians Yes 36 60 4 All others 59 34 7 Age 18 to 34 63 31 6 35 to 54 48 46 6 55 and older 47 46 7 Support for same-sex marriage has grown in most of the state’s political and demographic groups since October 2008 (the last PPIC survey before the November 2008 election). Since then, support has grown 16 points among Democrats (from 56% to 72%) and 11 points among Republicans (from 23% to 34%), while remaining about the same among independents (from 53% to 56%). Support has risen 10 points among Latinos (from 36% to 46%) and 7 points among whites (from 50% to 57%). Across age groups, support has increased by 10 points in the under 35 age group (from 53% to 63%) and by 13 points among those age 55 and older (from 34% to 47%); support has remained about the same in the 35 to 54 age group (45% to 48%). Among evangelical Christians, support grew 15 points between October 2008 and today (from 21% to 36%). Among parents (a key voting group in the Proposition 8 campaign), opinions have narrowed since 2008 (October 2008: 42% favor, 54% oppose; today: 46% favor, 47% oppose). March 2012 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP March 2012 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner and Jui Shrestha, co-project managers for this survey, and survey research associate Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts ; but the methods, questions, and content of this report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 2,001 California adult residents, including 1,601 interviewed on landline telephones and 400 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews to ok an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from February 21 to 28, 2012 . Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI , Inc. in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 –2009 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for Califor nia to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample— region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2007– 2009 ACS for California both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare the data against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for any differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total sample of 2,00 1 adults. This means that 95 times PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 26 out of 100, the results will be within 3.4 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1,334 registered voters, it is ±3.8 percent; for the 859 likely voters, it is ±4.2 percent; for the 281 Republican p rimary likely voters, it is ±7.4 percent . Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters ; but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results for non -Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as non- Hispanic blacks and Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters ; but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to -state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in another party are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, intentions to vote in the June primary, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by CBS News/ New York Times, NBC News/Wall Street Journal , Pew Research Center, and USA Today/Gallup. Additional details about our methodology can be found at http://www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . March 2012 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT February 21–28, 2012 2,001 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.4% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDI NG 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] 52% jobs, economy 8 education, schools 8 state budget, deficit, taxes 4 gas prices 4 immigration, illegal immigration 3 crime, gangs, drugs 3 housing costs 2 government in general 2 health care, health costs 11 other 3 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 33 disapprove 27 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 25% approve 54 disapprove 21 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 34% right directi on 56 wrong direction 10 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 34% good times 56 bad times 10 don’t know 5a. 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?) 41% yes, serious recession 31 yes, moderate recession 9 yes, mild recession 16 no 2 don’t know [questions 6 –10 and 13 –26 reported for likely voters only] 6. [likely voters only] Next, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 78% big problem 17 somewhat of a problem 3 not a problem 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 28 7. [likely voters only] Would you say that your local government services— such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( if they have, ask: Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?) 66% affected a lot 25 affected somewhat 6 not affected 3 don’t know 8. [likely voters only] As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund 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? 34% mostly through spending cuts 11 mostly through tax increases 45 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 4 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 3 other (specify) 4 don’t know 9. [likely voters only] Governor Brown has proposed a tax initiative for the November ballo t titled the “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It increases the personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for five years and increases the sales and use tax by a hal f cent for four years. It allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K –12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. It guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments. Increased state revenues of about $5 to $7 billion annually would be available to pay for the state’s school and community college funding requirements, as increased by this measure, and to address the state’s budgetary problem by paying for other spending commitments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative? 52% yes 40 no 8 don’t know 10 . [likely voters only] If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governor Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K– 12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools? 23% favor 72 oppose 5 don’t know 11 . Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 67% yes [ask q11a] 33 no [skip to q12 d] PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 29 11a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q12] 31 Republican [skip to q12a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q14] 21 independent [skip to q12b] 12. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 45 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q14] 12a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q13] 12b.[independents only] Would you join a political par ty if it was a good reflection of your poli tical views or do you prefer to be unaffiliated with any specific party? 21% join a political party 74 remain unaffiliated 5 don’t know 12c. [independents only] And were you previously registered with a major party or have you always been a decline -to -state or independent voter? 29% previously registered 70 always an independent 1 don’t know 12d. [independents and those not registered to vote ] Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republ ican Party or Democratic Party? 22% Republican Party 41 Democratic Party 31 neither (volunteered) 6 don’t know [skip to q14] 13. [Republican primary likely voters only] Next, if the 2012 Republican primary for president were being held today, and these were the cand idates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask: or someone else?] 28% Mitt Romney 22 Rick Santorum 17 Newt Gingrich 8 Ron Paul 2 someone else (specify ) 22 don’t know 14. [likely voters only] If the 2012 presidential election were being held today, would you vote: [ rotate ] for Barack Obama, the Democrat [ or ] for the Republican candidate? 53% Barack Obama, the Democrat 37 Republican candidate 1 someone else (specify ) 10 don’t know 15. [likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. President in 2012? 53% satisfied 41 not satisfied 7 don’t know 16. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election —very closely, fairly close ly, not too closely, or not at all closely? 41% very closely 42 fairly c l osely 14 not too closely 2 not at all closely – don’t know 17. [likely voters only] Next, what is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: [rotate] a Congress controlled by Republicans [ or ] a Congress controlled by Democrats? 35% controlled by Republicans 50 controlled by Democrats 7 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 30 Next, the June 5th statewide primary election includes two statewide ballot initiatives. 18. [likely voters only] Proposition 28 is called the “Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It reduces the total amount of time a person may ser ve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years and allows 12 years’ service in one house. It applies only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. There would be no direct fiscal effect on state or local governments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28? 68% yes 24 no 8 don’t know 19. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 28— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 22% very important 45 somewhat important 21 not too important 8 not at all important 4 don’t know 20. [likely voters only] The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference? 68% good thing 11 bad thing 18 no difference 3 don’t know 21. [likely voters only] Proposition 29, is called the “Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research, Initiative Statute.” It imposes an additional $1 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products . Revenues fund research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. Fiscal impacts include a net increase in cigarette excise tax revenues of about $735 million annually by 2013– 14 for certain research and tobacco prevention and cessation programs and other st ate and local revenue increases amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29? 67% yes 30 no 3 don’t know 22. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 29— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 41% very important 37 somewhat important 15 not too important 6 not at all important 1 don’t know 23. [likely voters only] Tax increases cou ld be used to help pay for state spending. In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes? 63% favor 34 oppose 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 31 24. [likely voters only] Next, the governor and legislature passed a water package in 2010 that includes water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean -up and recycling, and a council to oversee restorat ion of the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta. This package includes an $11.1 billion state bond measure on the November 2012 ballot to pay for water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on the $11.1 billion state water bond? 51% yes 35 no 14 don’t know 25. [likely voters only] How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure? 37% very important 32 somewhat important 11 not too important 12 not at all important 8 don’t know 26. [likely voters only] Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a pro blem in your part of California? 35% big problem 35 somewhat of a problem 28 not much of a problem 2 don’t know Next, as you may know, California voters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for planning and construction of a high -speed rail system from Southern California to the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The estimated costs associated with the 800 –mile high -speed rail system are about $100 billion over the next 20 years. 27. Do you favor or oppose building a high - speed rail syst em in California? 51% favor 45 oppose 4 don’t know 28. Thinking ahead, how important is the high - speed rail system for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California —is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 33% very important 26 somewhat important 17 not too important 21 not at all important 2 don’t know 29. 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? 59% approve 36 disapprove 5 don’t know 30. 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 For each of the following issues, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, ev en if neither is exactly r ight. [rotate questions 31 to 34] 31. [rotate ] (1) Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest [or] (2) Government regulation of business does more harm than good. 48% is necessary 43 does more harm than good 8 don’t know 32. [rotate] (1) Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy [or] (2) Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. 45% cost too many jobs, hurt the economy 47 are worth the cost 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey March 2012 Californians and Their Government 32 33. [rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion [or] (2) T he government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 28% should pass more laws 68 should not interfere 3 don’t know 34. [rota te] (1) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns [or] (2) The government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 38% goes too far 53 does not do enough 9 don’t know 35. In general, do you think the use of mar ijuana should be made legal or not? 45% yes, legal 51 no, not legal 4 don’t know 36. Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 52% favor 41 oppose 6 don’t know 37. 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. 58% immigrants are a benefit to California 35 immigrants are a burden to California 8 don’t know 38. 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 deport ed back to their native country. 70% chance to keep their jobs 25 deported back to their native country 5 don’t know 39. Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by [rotate] (1) Congress [and ] (2) the Obama administration? 47% support 39 oppose 14 don’t know 40. Do you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine if they don't? 32% favor 63 oppose 5 don’t know 41. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 31 middle -of -the -road 21 somewhat conservative 11 very conservative 4 don’t know 42. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 24% great deal 35 fair amount 32 only a li t tle 9 none 1 don’t know [d1–d19: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Senior 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 Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register 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 Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Marí a Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Chief Executive Officer International Strategic Planning, Inc. Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 2 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:11" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_312mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:11" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:11" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_312MBS.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) }