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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (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_314MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "611138" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(98093) "ppic statewide survey MARCH 2014 &Californians their government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 15 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. This is the 140th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 293,000 Californians. This is the 61st in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about important state and national issues. This survey was conducted in the context of one of the most severe droughts in California’s history. Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and recently signed a $687.4 million bill to provide relief. Meanwhile, the legislature is considering alternate proposals for the $11.1 billion water bond currently on the November ballot. The bond was originally introduced for the 2010 ballot and has been moved twice. In other news, the state currently has a budget surplus for the first time in years. Governor Brown officially declared his reelection bid. Costs related to California’s proposed high-speed rail remain controversial. Nationally, the March deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is approaching. Congress increased the debt limit, ending years of brinkmanship. There is little development on immigration reform and gun controls. Revising overtime pay rules, increasing the federal minimum wage, and other ideas are being considered to help lower-income Americans. The survey presents the responses of 1,702 adult residents throughout California, interviewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the following topics:  State government, including approval ratings of elected officials; overall mood, including the most important issue facing the state; views on the fairness of the state and local tax system, assessments of Californians’ own tax burden, views of where California’s tax burden falls compared to other states, and opinions on whether changes are needed to the tax system; attitudes toward specific state tax increases; views on the seriousness of the water supply problem and whether future supplies will be adequate, and responses on reducing water use due to the drought; support for the state water bond and high-speed rail; and preferences in the gubernatorial election.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials, overall mood, and economic outlook; approval ratings of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; opinions on health care reform and immigration reform; views on income inequality and the government’s role in reducing it; and attitudes toward abortion, environmental protection, gun control, and marijuana.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government based on political party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. Try our PPIC Statewide Survey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. 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 Nearly All Say They Have Cut Water Use—Half of Likely Voters Support Water Bond AS CONCERN ABOUT ECONOMY EASES, WATER WORRIES RISE SAN FRANCISCO, March 26, 2014—A record-high share of Californians say the supply of water is a big problem in their part of the state, and nearly all residents say they have reduced their water use in response to the drought. These are among the key findings in a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Asked about the supply of water in their area, 55 percent of residents say it is a big problem (20% somewhat of a problem, 23% not much of a problem). In contrast, 44 percent of Californians expressed this view in December 2009, during another drought. Today, majorities across regions characterize their area’s water supply as a big problem, with residents in the Central Valley (65%) most likely to do so (55% Orange/San Diego, 54% Inland Empire, 52% San Francisco Bay Area, 51% Los Angeles). Most (60%) also say the water supply in their area will be inadequate 10 years from now. Almost all Californians (92%) say they and their families have done a lot (57%) or a little (35%) to reduce water use in response to the drought. Central Valley residents (68%) are most likely to say they have done a lot (58% Inland Empire, 54% Los Angeles, 53% San Francisco Bay Area and Orange/San Diego). Residents’ increasing concern about water is evident when they are asked to name the most important issue facing Californians. While jobs and the economy (32%) is still the most frequently mentioned, the share of residents who choose it has dropped 13 points in the last year (45% March 2013). The share naming water and drought as most important has grown 13 points (15% today, 2% March 2013). Californians today are more likely than they were a year ago to favor an $11.1 billion bond for state water projects. As the legislature continues to discuss the measure—now on the November ballot—60 percent of adults and 50 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes. Last March, 44 percent of adults and 42 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes. Today, when those who oppose the bond are asked how they would vote if the amount were lower, support rises (69% adults, 59% likely voters). A slim majority of adults (52%) and 44 percent of likely voters say it is very important that voters pass the bond. “The percentage of Californians saying that water supply is big problem in their region has reached a new high,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Nearly all state residents say that they are doing something to reduce water use as a response to this historic drought, while support for an $11.1 billion state water bond hovers at around 50 percent among likely voters.” March 2014 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey SLIM MAJORITY OF ADULTS FAVOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL—LIKELY VOTERS LESS SUPPORTIVE Californians were asked about another big project: a high-speed rail system. In 2008, voters passed a $10 billion state bond for its planning and construction. Today, when read a description of the system and its $68 billion price tag, 53 percent favor it and 42 percent oppose it. Likely voters are less supportive (45% favor, 50% oppose). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (52%) are in favor. Inland Empire residents are divided (45% favor, 46% oppose). When opponents of high-speed rail are asked how they would feel if the cost were lower, support rises (69% adults, 60% likely voters). Asked about high-speed rail’s importance, 35 percent of adults and 29 percent of likely voters say it is very important to the future quality of life and state’s economic vitality. LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? SLIM MAJORITY OF LIKELY VOTERS SAY YES As proponents of marijuana legalization consider putting the issue on the ballot again, Californians are divided. Half of adults (49%) say marijuana should be legal, and 47 percent say it should be illegal. A slim majority of likely voters (53%) favor legalization (44% oppose). Last September, a slim majority of adults (52%) said for the first time that marijuana should be legal and 60 percent of likely voters said so. Today, majorities of independents (60%) and Democrats (57%) favor legalization, while 62 percent of Republicans oppose it. Most blacks (63%) and whites (57%) favor legalization, while most Latinos (60%) oppose it. Asians are split (44% yes, 48% no). Younger Californians are much more likely than adults age 35 or older to say marijuana should be legal (64% 18 to 34, 39% 35 to 54, 47% 55 and older). BROWN’S JOB APPROVAL SLIPS, OBAMA’S REMAINS NEAR RECORD LOW Three months before the primary, 49 percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters approve of the way Governor Jerry Brown is handling his job. This is somewhat lower than his record-high job approval in January (58% adults, 60% likely voters). It is similar to his job approval rating last March (49% adults, 48% likely voters). When primary likely voters are asked how they would vote in the governor’s race, 47 percent choose Brown and 10 percent choose Republican Tim Donnelly. Fewer support Republicans Andrew Blount (2%) or Neel Kashkari (2%)—the other candidates included in the survey—while 3 percent name someone else and 36 percent are undecided. The legislature’s approval rating (36%) has also slipped among adults since January (42%). Among likely voters, it is similar to January (32% today, 33% January). Asked to rate their federal leaders, 52 percent of California adults and 49 percent of likely voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance—similar to his ratings in January (53% adults, 46% likely voters) and to his record lows (51% among adults, last reached in December 2013; 46% among likely voters in January 2014). Congress’ job approval rating has slipped 7 points since January among adults and is 19 percent today, similar to the record low of 18 percent last December. Approval among likely voters has fallen to single digits (9%), matching the record low first reached in December 2011. Although the president and Congress averted another budget showdown or government shutdown, Californians remain critical of their federal leaders on fiscal issues. Asked how the president is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, 41 percent of adults approve, similar to his rating since last September (46% September, 42% December, 45% January). Among likely voters, 41 percent approve (43% September, 42% December, 40% January). The Republicans in Congress get much poorer ratings for their handling of these issues: 21 percent of California adults and 15 percent of likely voters approve. LARGE MAJORITY OF UNINSURED SAY THEY WILL GET HEALTH COVERAGE With the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act ending March 31, a strong majority (75%) of uninsured Californians say they will obtain insurance by the deadline and 21 percent say they will remain March 2014 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey uninsured. With enrollment lagging among Latinos and younger Californians, strong majorities in these groups (74% Latinos, 77% residents ages 18 to 44) say that they plan to get insurance. The health reform law continues to divide Californians, with 47 percent generally favorable and 45 percent generally unfavorable. Opinion is split among those who have health insurance (47% favorable, 45% unfavorable) and those who don’t (49% favorable, 46% unfavorable). About a third of Californians (34%) say the law will be good for them and their families in the long run, a quarter (26%) say it will be bad, and about a third (36%) say it will make no difference. RECORD-HIGH SHARE OF ADULTS SAY IMMIGRANTS BENEFIT STATE A record-high 65 percent of Californians say that immigrants are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills rather than a burden because they use public services (27%). State residents are far less divided on this question than when PPIC first asked it in April 1998 (46% benefit, 42% burden). On immigration reform, an overwhelming majority of adults (86%) and likely voters (83%) favor providing a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements—including waiting a certain period of time, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English. Even among Californians who say immigrants are a burden there is majority support (72%) for a path to citizenship. MOST BELIEVE GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR IS GROWING Three-quarters of residents (73%) say the gap between the rich and the poor in the nation is getting larger (21% stayed the same, 3% getting smaller). The share of likely voters who say it is growing is even larger (81%). Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the gap is getting larger. Notably, the share saying the gap is widening increases as income levels rise. How much opportunity is there to get ahead in today’s economy? About half of adults (49%) say everyone has a fair chance in the long run, while 47 percent say it’s mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance. Asked about the government’s role in reducing the gap between rich and poor, 61 percent of adults say the government should do more. A third (33%) say this is not something the government should be doing. “While Californians’ views of the economy have improved, three in four say that the gap between rich and poor is growing and six in 10 want to the government to do more to reduce it,” Baldassare said. The survey examines opinions on the role of government in other areas:  Abortion. A solid majority of adults (69%) say the government should not interfere with access to abortion, and about a quarter (26%) say government should pass more laws restricting its availability. Mainline Protestants (81%) and adults with no religion (88%) are more likely than Catholics (58%) and evangelical Protestants (50%) to say that government should not interfere with abortion access.  Environmental laws. A majority (55%) say that stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. Fewer (38%) say that this type of regulation costs too many jobs and hurts the economy.  Gun control. A majority (56%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. Fewer (37%) say the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Half say tax system is fair, but majority say they pay too much—page 9 While 50 percent of adults say the state and local tax system is at least moderately fair—a perception that is similar across income groups—a record-high 60 percent say they pay at least somewhat more than they should.  Solid majority favor raising income taxes on the wealthy—page 10 Asked about raising specific types of state taxes, 63 percent of adults favor raising the top income tax rate paid by the wealthiest Californians. About half (51%) favor raising taxes for California corporations. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  About half of Californians (49%) approve of Governor Brown, and 36 percent approve of the legislature—both ratings have declined since January. (page 7)  The share of Californians naming jobs and the economy as the top state issue has dropped by 13 points since last March, while the share naming water and drought has grown by 13 points. (page 8)  Californians are divided on whether the state and local tax system is fair or unfair, while 60 percent think they pay more state and local taxes than they should. (page 9)  Strong majorities of Californians want to raise the income taxes paid by the wealthy. Six in 10 oppose extending the sales tax to services not currently taxed, but support is higher if the proposal involves lowering the overall tax rate. (page 10)  Fifty-five percent of Californians say the supply of water is a big problem in their area. Nearly all say they have taken steps to reduce water use due to the drought. (page 11)  Among likely voters, 50 percent would vote yes on the $11.1 billion state water bond; 44 percent consider its passage very important. (page 12)  A slim majority of Californians (53%) favor building the high-speed rail system in California; support is lower among likely voters (45%). (page 13)  Jerry Brown (47%) leads in the gubernatorial race among primary likely voters, with 36 percent still undecided, in a contest that is attracting much less attention than recent California primaries. (page 14) March 2014 Californians and Their Government Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Governor Brown 80 California Legislature Percent all adults 60 40 40 20 25 49 34 49 36 0 Mar 2012 Mar 2013 Mar 2014 Most Important Issue Facing California 80 Jobs, economy Water, drought 60 52 45 40 32 Percent all adults 20 15 1 0 Mar 2012 2 Mar 2013 Mar 2014 Support for the State Water Bond 80 Would vote yes Would vote no 60 51 51 50 Percent likely voters 40 42 35 20 32 0 Mar 2012 Mar 2013 Mar 2014 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Three months before California’s June primary, 49 percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters approve of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as California governor. In January the governor’s approval rating was somewhat higher among adults (58%), but it was similar in March 2013 (49%) and lower in both March 2012 (40%) and March 2011 (34%). And while approval among likely voters is lower today (52%) than in January (60%), it is similar to or higher than previous years (41% March 2011, 46% March 2012, 48% March 2013). The governor’s approval rating stands at 67 percent among Democrats, 49 percent among independents, and 32 percent among Republicans. About half of men and women, homeowners and renters, adults age 35 and older, and lower-, middle-, and higher-income residents approve of Brown. Approval of the governor is much higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) than in Los Angeles (48%), the Central Valley (46%), the Inland Empire (44%), and Orange/San Diego (44%). Blacks (61%) are more likely than Asians (54%), Latinos (52%), and whites (46%) to approve of the way Brown is handling his job as governor. All adults Likely voters Party Region “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California?” Approve Disapprove 49% 28% 52 35 Democrats 67 14 Republicans 32 55 Independents 49 26 Central Valley 46 26 San Francisco Bay Area 61 17 Los Angeles 48 28 Orange/San Diego 44 32 Inland Empire 44 36 Don’t know 23% 13 18 13 25 28 22 24 24 20 Thirty-six percent of adults and 32 percent of likely voters approve of the way the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval was slightly higher in our January survey for adults (42%) although it was similar in March 2013 (34%) and lower in March 2012 (25%). Today, 47 percent of Democrats approve of the legislature, compared to 31 percent of independents and 18 percent of Republicans. San Francisco Bay Area residents (46%) are once again the most likely to approve, followed by Central Valley (37%), Los Angeles (35%), Orange/San Diego (33%), and Inland Empire (25%) residents. Latinos (45%) are more likely than Asians (38%) and blacks (38%) and much more likely than whites (28%) to approve of the legislature. Approval of the legislature is similar across age groups, higher among renters than homeowners (41% to 31%), and highest among adults with the lowest education and income levels. Among those who approve of the governor, 59 percent also approve of the legislature. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 36% 47% 18% 31% 45 31 75 51 19 21 7 18 Likely voters 32% 57 12 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Californians name jobs and the economy (32%) as the most important issue facing the people of California, followed by water and the drought (15%) and then education (7%), immigration (7%), health care (5%), crime (4%), and the state budget (4%). This represents a notable increase in mentions of water and the drought and a decline in mentions of jobs and the economy. Among the state’s regions, water and the drought are mentioned the most in the Central Valley (24%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (19%), followed by Los Angeles (11%), Orange/San Diego (10%), and the Inland Empire (5%). Forty-five percent of Californians say the state is going in the right direction, while 48 percent say it is going in the wrong direction. Likely voters are more likely to say wrong direction (53%) than right direction (41%). The perception that the state is going in the right direction has declined somewhat among adults since our January poll (53%) but it is similar to March 2013 (44%) and higher than in March 2012 (34%). Today, Democrats (59%) are much more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (20%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (65%) are much more likely than those living in Los Angeles (46%), Orange/San Diego (41%), the Central Valley (37%), and the Inland Empire (31%) to hold this view. Majorities of Asians (57%) and blacks (54%) say right direction, compared to fewer than half of Latinos (48%) and whites (39%). Positive perceptions decline with age (51% 18 to 34, 44% 35 to 54, 39% 55 and older). Sixty-seven percent of those approving of Brown and 77 percent of those approving of the legislature say that things are going in the right direction. “Do you think that things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Right direction 45% 59% 20% 45% 41% Wrong direction 48 34 75 47 53 Don’t know 78586 When asked about the 12-month economic outlook, 46 percent say the state will have good times financially and 45 percent say it will have bad times. Responses are similar among likely voters (42% good times, 48% bad times). In January, a similar 49 percent of Californians expected good times financially. The responses today are similar to those in March 2013 (44% good times), while fewer held optimistic views in March 2012 (34% good times). Today, Democrats (52%) are somewhat more likely than independents (46%) and far more likely than Republicans (30%) to expect good times. San Francisco Bay Area residents (66%) are far more likely to expect good economic times than Orange/San Diego (44%), Los Angeles (41%), Central Valley (40%), and Inland Empire (36%) residents. Latinos (53%) and Asians (51%) are more likely than blacks (45%) and whites (40%) to expect good economic times. The expectations for good economic times are highest for the upper-income group (i.e. 54% $80,000 or more, 43% lower incomes). Fifty-nine percent of those approving of Brown and 67 percent of those approving of the legislature expect good economic times. Good times Bad times Don’t know “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults 46% Central Valley 40% San Francisco Bay Area 66% Region Los Angeles 41% Orange/ San Diego 44% Inland Empire 36% 45 50 24 50 51 52 10 10 10 9 5 11 Likely voters 42% 48 10 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE AND LOCAL TAX SYSTEM As the federal and state income tax deadline of April 15 approaches, how do Californians perceive the state and local tax system? About half of adults (3% very, 47% moderately) and likely voters (3% very, 44% moderately) view the system as fair, while about half view it as not too or not at all fair (47% adults, 51% likely voters). Californians were slightly more likely to view the system as fair in past years (57% January 2011, 57% January 2012), and many more held this view in June 2003 (66%). Today, Democrats (59%) are much more likely than independents (48%) or Republicans (41%) to say the state and local tax system is very or moderately fair. Perceptions that it is fair are similar across income groups (49% under $40,000, 52% $40,000 to under $80,000, 53% $80,000 or more). Very fair Moderately fair Not too fair Not at all fair Don’t know “Overall, how fair do you think our present state and local tax system is— would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair?” All adults 3% Under $40,000 4% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more 2% 2% 47 45 50 51 32 35 34 27 15 13 12 16 3333 Likely voters 3% 44 32 19 2 While about half of Californians view the state and local tax system as fair, a record-high 60 percent of adults say they pay much more (30%) or somewhat more (30%) than they feel they should in state and local taxes; 35 percent think they pay about the right amount and 3 percent say they pay less than they should. Opinions of likely voters are similar. Fewer adults said that they paid more than they should in state and local taxes in January 2012 (46%) before passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative, while majorities held this view in January 2011 (53%) and January 2010 (56%). Republicans (72%) are more likely than independents (61%) and far more likely than Democrats (49%) to say that they pay more than they should. Among income groups, upper-income residents are the most likely to say they are paying more than they should (56% under $40,000, 59% $40,000 to under $80,000, 64% $80,000 or more). Among those who say the tax system is fair, 49 percent say they pay more than they should. Among those who say it is not fair, 72 percent say they pay more than they should. “When you combine all of the taxes you pay to state and local governments, do you feel that you pay much more than you should, somewhat more than you should, about the right amount, or less than you should?” Much more than you should All adults 30% Under $40,000 27% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 31% $80,000 or more 31% Likely voters 31% Somewhat more 30 29 28 33 27 About the right amount 35 38 35 32 36 Less than you should 3 2 3 3 4 Don’t know 33212 In findings that are similar to our past polling, eight in 10 Californians say major (51%) or minor changes (30%) are needed in the state and local tax system. Six in 10 say that California ranks near the top (36%) or above average (24%) in state and local taxes compared to other states. The Tax Policy Center’s most recent report (2013) ranked California’s 2011 state and local tax burden 11th highest in the nation. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey RAISING STATE REVENUES In light of their overall impressions of the state and local tax system, how do Californians feel about raising some state taxes? Among four types of state taxes, we find solid majority support for raising income taxes on the wealthy, while half favor raising state taxes paid by California corporations. A majority is opposed to extending the sales tax to services not currently taxed, but when asked about extending the sales tax to services while lowering the overall tax rate, they are closely divided. Similar trends were evident in our recent polling on raising income taxes paid by the wealthy (e.g. 66% favor in October 2012) and extending the sales tax to services (e.g. 61% oppose in January 2013). Larger majorities were in favor of raising state taxes paid by California corporations in earlier polling (60% January 2011, 68% January 2012) than in our recent polling (54% January 2013, 51% March 2014). Favor Oppose Don’t know “For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal.” Extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed Extending the sales tax to services not currently taxed while lowering the overall tax rate Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations Raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians 30% 44% 51% 63% 59 43 43 33 11 13 64 Overall trends in support and opposition for these four state taxes are similar among likely voters. Half or more of Democrats and independents favor raising taxes on the wealthy and California corporations, while Republican support is below 30 percent. The proposal to extend the sales tax to services not currently taxed has low support in all regions of the state, and extending the sales tax to services while lowering the overall tax rate generates the most favorable responses in Orange/San Diego. Those with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more express less support than others for raising income taxes on the wealthy and extending the sales tax to services. “For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal.” Percent saying favor Extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed Extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed while lowering the overall tax rate Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations Raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians All adults 30% 44% 51% 63% Likely voters 24 39 48 56 Democrats 35 51 67 80 Party Republicans 16 34 21 27 Independents 22 45 50 62 Central Valley 28 45 43 59 San Francisco Bay Area 35 40 69 72 Region Los Angeles 31 40 52 63 Orange/San Diego 25 53 41 62 Inland Empire 33 49 43 59 Under $40,000 33 47 54 70 Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 34 44 51 66 $80,000 or more 23 42 49 50 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE WATER SUPPLY California is currently experiencing a severe drought. Governor Brown declared a drought emergency earlier in the year and recently signed a bill to provide $687.4 million in drought relief. How do Californians perceive this situation in their own area? Fifty-five percent of Californians say that the supply of water is a big problem in their part of the state; 20 percent say it is somewhat of a problem, and 23 percent say it is not much of a problem. The share saying water supply is a big problem is at a record high today. In December 2009, when the state was experiencing another drought, 44 percent said that the water supply in their area was a big problem. Views were similar five months later (42% May 2010). Two years after the previous drought ended, Californians were less likely to view water supply as big problem in their area (30% March 2012, 31% December 2012). Majorities across regions consider the supply of water to be a big problem, but Central Valley (65%) residents are more likely that those in other regions to hold this view (55% Orange/San Diego, 54% Inland Empire, 52% San Francisco Bay Area, 51% Los Angeles). Those in inland areas (60%) are slightly more likely than Californians in coastal areas (53%) to say water supply is a big problem. The perception that water supply is a big problem in their area increases with age (42% 18 to 34, 57% 35 to 54, 66% 55 and over). Whites (66%) are far more likely than Asians (47%), Latinos (45%), or blacks (41%) to say water supply is a big problem in their part of California. “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” Big problem All adults 55% Central Valley 65% San Francisco 52% Region Los Angeles 51% Orange/ San Diego 55% Inland Empire 54% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 60% 53% Somewhat of a problem 20 14 27 17 25 17 16 22 Not much of a problem 23 21 20 28 19 27 23 23 Don’t know 1 – 1 3 1 2 12 When asked about their response to the drought, nearly all Californians (92%) say that they and their family have done a lot (57%) or a little (35%) to reduce water use. Across regions, Central Valley (68%) residents are more likely than residents in the Inland Empire (58%), Los Angeles (54%), the San Francisco Bay Area (53%), and Orange/San Diego (also 53%) to report having done a lot to reduce water use. Majorities of Latinos (65%), blacks (58%), and whites (57%) say they have done a lot to reduce water use, compared to 33 percent of Asians. Younger Californians (44% 18 to 34) are far less likely than older Californians to report doing a lot to reduce water use (64% 35 to 54, 61% 55 and over). Those earning under $80,000 (61%) are much more likely than those earning more (45%) to report doing a lot to reduce use. “Would you say that you and your family have taken steps to reduce water use recently in response to the current drought? (if yes: “Have you done a little or a lot to reduce water use?”) Yes, total All adults 92% Central Valley 90% San Francisco 94% Region Los Angeles 90% Orange/ San Diego 91% Inland Empire 98% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 92% 92% Yes, done a lot 57 68 53 54 53 58 63 54 Yes, done a little 35 22 41 36 38 40 29 38 No, have not taken steps 7 9 4 8 9 2 77 Don’t know 1 – 1 2 – – –1 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE WATER BOND The legislature is evaluating alternate proposals to the $11.1 billion state bond measure for water projects that is currently on the November ballot. Sixty percent of Californians would vote yes on this bond measure, 23 percent would vote no, and 16 percent are undecided. Support is lower among likely voters: 50 percent would vote yes, 32 percent no, and 19 percent are undecided. Last March, support was lower among adults (44%) and likely voters (42%). Support in March 2012 was similar to today (54% adults, 51% likely voters). Last September, when asked about an approximately $6.5 billion bond measure, 55 percent of all adults were in favor (33% opposed), as were 50 percent of likely voters (38% opposed). Today, a majority of Democrats (66%) and independents (56%) would vote yes, while Republicans are divided (43% yes, 42% no) on the $11.1 billion state water bond. When those who would vote no are asked how they would vote if the state water bond was a lower amount, support increases (all adults: 69% yes, 14% no, likely voters: 59% yes, 23% no). “The legislature is considering an approximately $11.1 billion bond measure for the November 2014 ballot to pay for state water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on this state water bond?”* Yes No Don’t know All adults 60% 23% 16% Likely voters 50 32 19 Democrats 66 16 19 Party Republicans 43 42 15 Independents 56 25 19 Central Valley 64 22 14 San Francisco Bay Area 56 21 24 Region Los Angeles 64 23 13 Orange/San Diego 63 24 12 Inland Empire 57 23 21 *For complete text of question, see p. 29. Fifty-two percent of adults and 44 percent of likely voters say it is very important that voters pass the state water bond measure. The share of adults saying it is very important for the water bond measure to pass was lower in March 2013 (39%) and March 2012 (42%) than it is today. It was also lower among likely voters (44% today, 33% March 2013, 37% March 2012). When asked about water supply in their area 10 years from now, 33 percent of adults say it will be adequate and 60 percent say it will be inadequate (29% somewhat inadequate, 31% very inadequate). Views were similar in December 2009, during the last drought (32% adequate, 28% somewhat inadequate, 29% very inadequate). “How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?” Very important All adults 52% Central Valley 61% San Francisco 43% Region Los Angeles 55% Orange/ San Diego 47% Inland Empire 55% Somewhat important 25 20 25 28 28 24 Not too important 65 7 4 7 4 Not at all important 6 6 8 5 9 5 Don’t know 11 8 17 8 9 12 Likely voters 44% 27 8 10 11 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey HIGH-SPEED RAIL SYSTEM California voters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for the planning and construction of a highspeed rail system. When read a description of the proposed system, including its $68 billion price tag, 53 percent of Californians favor it, and 42 percent oppose it. Likely voters are less supportive, with half saying they are against this proposal (45% favor, 50% oppose). Support was similar last March among adults (48%) and likely voters (43%), and similar in March 2012 when estimated costs were about $100 billion (51% all adults, 43% likely voters). Most Democrats (56%) favor the high-speed rail system, most Republicans (68%) oppose it, and independents are divided (48% favor, 50% oppose). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), the Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (52%) are in favor; Inland Empire residents are divided (45% favor, 46% oppose). When those who oppose the high-speed rail system are asked how they would feel about it if it cost less, overall support increases among adults (69% favor, 26% oppose) and likely voters (60% favor, 35% oppose). “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 $68 billion over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high-speed rail system in California?”* Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 53% 42% 5% Likely voters 45 50 4 Democrats 56 39 5 Party Republicans 26 68 5 Independents 48 50 2 Central Valley 57 40 3 San Francisco Bay Area 63 35 2 Region Los Angeles 52 41 7 Orange/San Diego 54 43 2 Inland Empire 45 46 10 *For complete text of question, see p. 30. Thirty-five percent of California adults and 29 percent of likely voters say the high-speed rail system is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. California adults held similar views in March 2013 (36% very, 31% somewhat) and March 2012 (33% very, 26% somewhat). Among those who say the system is very important for the state’s future, 88 percent favor building it; among those who say it is somewhat important for the state’s future, 62 percent are in favor. “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?” Very important All adults 35% Central Valley 36% San Francisco Bay Area 41% Region Los Angeles 35% Orange/ San Diego 34% Inland Empire 30% Likely voters 29% Somewhat important 32 26 32 34 29 33 30 Not too important 16 18 11 18 16 18 17 Not at all important 16 19 15 12 20 16 23 Don’t know 11 2 1 1 31 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY With the gubernatorial primary three months away, only 37 percent of primary likely voters are following news about candidates very (8%) or fairly (29%) closely. Attention to news about candidates has increased since January (28%) and December 2013 (22%), but attention is far lower than in March 2010 (63%) and March 2006 (52%), three months before the 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial primaries. Today, attention to news about candidates is similar across parties and doesn’t rise above 50 percent in any regional or demographic group. California will be using the top-two primary system in a gubernatorial election for the first time this June. In our question about the primary we included Governor Brown along with Republicans Andrew Blount, Tim Donnelly, and Neel Kashkari. If the primary were held today, Governor Brown, with the support of 47 percent of primary likely voters, and Tim Donnelly, with the support of 10 percent of primary likely voters, are currently the top two candidates, although 36 percent remain undecided. Fewer primary likely voters support Blount (2%) or Kashkari (2%) and 3 percent name someone else. An overwhelming majority of Democrats (78%) support Brown. Slightly more than half of Republicans are undecided (54% undecided, 20% Donnelly, 15% Brown, 5% Blount, 4% Kashkari, 2% someone else). Among independents, 45 percent are unsure and 37 percent support Brown, while 11 percent support Donnelly. Across regions, at least one in four are unsure of who they will support and at least one in three support Brown. Donnelly’s highest level of support comes in the Inland Empire (23%), while the other Republican candidates garner less than 5 percent of the vote across regions. A plurality of primary likely voters across gender, age, and income groups—and a plurality of Latino and white primary likely voters—support Brown. “…If the June primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Primary likely voters only All primary likely voters Dem Party Rep Ind Jerry Brown, a Democrat 47% 78% 15% 37% Tim Donnelly, a Republican 10 2 20 11 Andrew Blount, a Republican 2 –52 Neel Kashkari, a Republican 2 –42 Someone else 3 124 Don’t know 36 19 54 45 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 58% 44% 8 11 12 22 53 27 39 Forty-two percent of primary likely voters are satisfied with their choices of candidates in the primary election for governor; 35 percent are not satisfied, and 23 percent are unsure. Satisfaction was similar in January (43%) and in December 2013 (40%). Satisfaction was also similar in March 2010 (46%) before the last gubernatorial primary. Today, Democrats (57%) are far more likely than independents (33%) and Republicans (27%) to be satisfied with their choices in the gubernatorial primary. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June?” Primary likely voters only All primary likely voters Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Satisfied 42% 57% 27% 33% 41% 39% Not satisfied 35 28 38 38 38 37 Don’t know 23 14 34 29 21 24 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 14 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  President Obama’s approval rating is at 52 percent; approval ratings of the U.S. Congress are at 19 percent. (page 16)  After successfully raising the debt limit, President Obama’s approval rating on handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling is essentially unchanged at 41 percent, while 21 percent approve of the Congressional Republicans on this dimension. (page 18)  Californians remain divided on the health care reform law, with mixed views of its long-term effects. Three in four uninsured Californians (75%) say they will get insurance before the deadline. (page 19)  A record-high 65 percent of Californians say immigrants are a benefit (rather than a burden) to the state. An overwhelming majority (86%) favor providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions. (page 20)  Three in four Californians say the income gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is growing. They are divided about whether all people, or just a few at the top, have a chance to get ahead. Six in 10 say the government should do more to reduce the income gap. (page 21)  Seven in 10 Californians believe the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Fifty-five percent say that stricter environmental laws are worth the cost. (page 22)  Majorities of Californians continue to say that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. Californians are divided on legalizing marijuana: 49 percent say it should be legal, 47 percent say illegal. (page 23) March 2014 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials President Obama 100 U.S. Congress 80 59 60 66 52 40 20 24 0 Mar 2012 29 Mar 2013 19 Mar 2014 Will Uninsured Californians Obtain Insurance in March? 4 21 Uninsured adults 75 Will obtain insurance Will remain uninsured Don't know Preferred Role of Government in Reducing Income Inequality 80 61 60 Should do more Should not be doing at all 49 45 40 33 Percent all adults 20 0 Californians Adults nationwide* 15 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating continues to hover around 50 percent—today, it is at 52 percent. His current rating is similar to his January ratings (53%) and to his record-low ratings, reached in December 2013 and September 2011 (51% each). Last March a much higher share of Californians approved of the president (66%). Approval among likely voters is at 49 percent, similar to the record low of 46 percent reached in January. In a recent CNN/ORC poll, adults nationwide (43% approve, 53% disapprove) were less approving than the Californians in our survey. Most Democrats (74%) approve of President Obama, while most Republicans (85%) disapprove; independents are much more likely to approve (55%) than disapprove (42%). Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (70%) are the most approving, followed by those in Los Angeles (53%) and Orange/San Diego (50%). Residents in the Inland Empire (44% approve, 51% disapprove) and the Central Valley (39% approve, 56% disapprove) are more likely to disapprove than approve of President Obama. Blacks (95%) are far more likely than Asians (58%), Latinos (50%), and whites (45%) to approve. Approval is higher among Californians age 18 to 34 than among older residents, and higher among college graduates than among less educated Californians. Overwhelming majorities of those who view the health care law favorably approve of the president (76%), while overwhelming majorities of those who view it unfavorably disapprove of his job performance (71%). Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 52% 74% 12% 55% 44 23 85 42 4324 Likely voters 49% 48 3 Californians continue to give poor ratings to the U.S. Congress, and today only 19 percent approve of its job performance. Approval of Congress has slipped 7 points since January (26%) and is similar to the record low of 18 percent reached in December 2013. Approval among likely voters is in the single digits again (9%) and matches the record-low approval first reached in December 2011. In a recent Gallup poll, adults nationwide (15% approve, 83% disapprove) held views similar to those of Californians in our survey. Partisans in California are united in their disapproval of Congress, with more than eight in 10 disapproving. Californians across regions are similarly negative, with more than seven in 10 disapproving. Disapproval is above 60 percent across age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups. Three in four men (75%) and women (73%) disapprove. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Approve 19% 15% 8% 13% 9% Disapprove 74 82 88 81 87 Don’t know 73454 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 16 PPIC Statewide Survey NATIONAL OUTLOOK Most Californians (56%) think things in the United States are generally going in the wrong direction; 39 percent say they are going in the right direction. Findings among likely voters (61% wrong direction, 35% right direction) are similar to those for all adults. Californians were similarly negative in December 2013 (57% wrong direction, 35% right direction), but they were much more positive in January 2013, shortly after the 2012 presidential election (39% wrong direction, 56% right direction). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans nationwide (65% wrong track, 26% right direction) were more negative than the Californians in our survey. Optimism about the direction of the country is expressed by half of Democrats (51%), but solid majorities of Republicans (84%) and independents (62%) are pessimistic. Pessimistic views are held by more than half of Californians across regions—except among residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (49% right direction, 45% wrong direction). Whites (66%) are the most pessimistic among racial/ethnic groups followed by Latinos (50%), Asians (44%), and blacks (37%). At least half of Californians across education and income groups think the nation is heading in the wrong direction. Right direction Wrong direction Don’t know “Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 39% 51% 13% 34% 56 41 84 62 5734 Likely voters 35% 61 5 Californians are divided when it comes to the economic outlook of the United States during the next 12 months—45 percent expect good times financially while 48 percent expect bad times. Findings were similar in December 2013 (43% good times, 48% bad times). Likely voters (40% good times, 51% bad times) hold roughly similar opinions to those of all adults. Democrats are economically optimistic (54% good times), while Republicans (71%) and independents (50%) are pessimistic. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) are by far the most optimistic, while at least half of residents in Los Angeles (50%), the Inland Empire (51%), and the Central Valley (58%) are pessimistic. Orange/San Diego residents are divided (46% good times, 48% bad times). Slim majorities of Latinos (54%) and blacks (53%) expect good times; far fewer whites (36%) hold this view. Asians are divided (49% good times, 48% bad times). Californians’ opinion of the economic outlook for the nation (45% good times, 48% bad times) mirrors their outlook for the state (46% good times, 45% bad times), however Californians are somewhat more negative about the direction of the nation (39% right direction, 56% wrong direction) than about the direction of the state (45% right direction, 48% wrong direction). Good times Bad times Don’t know “Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind 45% 54% 23% 43% 40% 48 40 71 50 51 76678 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT AND DEBT CEILING In mid-January, the president and Congress agreed on a spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year and in early February they agreed to raise the debt limit without condition, avoiding a repeat of recent years’ budgetary showdowns and averting a federal government shutdown. Nevertheless, Californians remain critical of federal elected officials when it comes to their handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling: 50 percent disapprove of President Obama and 69 percent disapprove of Republicans in Congress. PPIC Statewide Surveys have tracked approval ratings on the deficit and debt ceiling since January 2013. Approval of the way President Obama is handling these issues has been similar since last September (56% January 2013, 46% September 2013, 42% December 2013, 45% January 2013, 41% today). Approval among likely voters has also been similar since last September (49% January 2013, 43% September 2013, 42% December 2013, 40% January 2014, 41% today). Two in three Democrats (64%) express approval, while majorities of Republicans (85%) and independents (56%) express disapproval. A majority of San Francisco Bay Area residents (55%) approve of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling, but fewer than half in other regions approve (44% Los Angeles, 43% Orange/San Diego, 34% Inland Empire, 29% Central Valley). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks are by far the most likely racial/ethnic group to approve (75% blacks, 50% Asians, 44% Latinos, 32% whites). Opinion of the president’s handling the deficit and debt ceiling is closely tied to opinion of his job performance overall: 71 percent who approve overall also approve in this area; 87 percent who disapprove overall also disapprove in this area. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 41% 64% 10% 37% 50 30 85 56 9657 Likely voters 41% 55 4 By comparison, 21 percent of Californians approve of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. Fewer than three in 10 have expressed approval over time (26% January 2013, 27% September 2013, 17% December 2013, 23% January 2014, 21% today). Approval is slightly lower among likely voters (15%) than among all adults (21%). Bipartisan majorities disapprove of Republicans in Congress on their handling of the deficit and debt ceiling (83% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans) and 77 percent of independents agree. More than six in 10 across regions, racial/ethnic groups, and other demographic groups disapprove. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 21% 10% 27% 17% 69 83 65 77 10 7 8 6 Likely voters 15% 79 6 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Californians remain closely divided on the health reform law: 47 percent have a generally favorable opinion and 45 percent have a generally unfavorable opinion. Results were nearly identical in December 2013 and in January of this year. Likely voters are also divided (44% favorable, 50% unfavorable). This law continues to divide voters along party lines (63% of Democrats are in support; 77% of Republicans are opposed). Independents are evenly divided (48% support, 48% oppose). Opinion is also divided among both those who currently have health insurance and those who are currently uninsured. Majorities of blacks (66%), Asians (55%), and Latinos (54%) view the law positively, compared with 39 percent of whites. Residents age 18 to 34 (50%) and age 35 to 54 (50%) are somewhat more favorable than those age 55 and older (42%). In a February Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide were less likely to view the law favorably (35% favorably, 47% unfavorable) than the Californians in our survey. “As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?” All adults Dem Party Rep Have health insurance Ind Yes No Generally favorable 47% 63% 17% 48% 47% 49% Generally unfavorable 45 28 77 48 45 46 Don’t know 7 9 6 4 85 With the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act about to end, most uninsured Californians (75%) say they will obtain insurance by March 31, while 21 percent say they will remain uninsured. As of midMarch, Covered California reported that more than one million people statewide had enrolled in health care coverage. Enrollment has lagged in key groups, including Latinos and younger Californians. In our survey, strong majorities in these groups say they plan to obtain insurance before the deadline (74% among Latinos, 77% among those age 18 to 44). In its February poll, Kaiser found that 49 percent of uninsured adults nationwide were planning to get health care coverage, while 44 percent were not. About a third of Californians (34%) say the health care law will be good for them and their families in the long run, a quarter (26%) say it will be bad, and about a third (36%) say it will make no difference. In Kaiser’s poll, adults nationwide were less optimistic about the law’s long-term personal effects (26% good, 30% bad, 38% no difference). Among the uninsured in our survey, a plurality (38%) say it will be good. A plurality of Democrats (49%) say the law will be good for them, while a majority of Republicans (52%) say it will be bad. Nearly six in 10 blacks (59%) and Asians (58%) are optimistic, compared with 33 percent of Latinos and 25 percent of whites. A plurality of Latinos (40%) say it will make no difference. Whites are the most likely to say it will be bad for them (35%). Californians age 18 to 34 (44%) are more optimistic about the health care law than those age 35 to 54 (31%) or 55 and older (27%). “In the long run, do you think the health care law will be good or bad for you and your family, or won’t it make much difference?” All adults Dem Party Rep Have health insurance Ind Yes No Good 34% 49% 8% 31% 33% 38% Bad 26 12 52 29 27 25 Won’t make much difference 36 35 36 38 38 31 Don’t know 3 4 4 2 26 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM A record-high 65 percent of Californians say that immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills rather than a burden to California because they use public services (27%). When we first asked this question in April 1998, Californians were more closely divided on the impact of immigrants to the state: 46 percent considered immigrants a benefit and 42 percent said they were a burden. In 17 surveys since that time, majorities of Californians have said immigrants are a benefit, including more than six in 10 since January 2013 (63% January 2013, 61% May 2013, 65% today). To a slightly lesser extent, likely voters today are also more likely to view immigrants as benefit (58%) than as a burden (35%). Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans (73% to 38%) to say immigrants are a benefit because of their hard work and job skills. Among independents, 59 percent say immigrants are a benefit. Although majorities across racial/ethnic groups say that immigrants are a benefit to the state, Latinos (83%) and Asians (73%) are much more likely than blacks (58%) and whites (53%) to hold this view. Those age 18 to 34 (76%) and age 35 to 54 (70%) are far more likely than those age 55 and older (50%) to consider immigrants a benefit. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills; or immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” Immigrants are a benefit to California Immigrants are a burden to California Don’t know All adults 65% 27 7 Dem 73% 21 6 Party Rep 38% 51 11 Ind 59% 34 8 Asians 73% 19 9 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 58% 83% 32 14 10 3 Whites 53% 39 8 When it comes to immigration reform, an overwhelming majority of Californians (86%) and likely voters (83%) favor providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants if they meet certain requirements, including participating in a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English. Support was similarly overwhelming among all adults in January (83%) and last September (85%). Support for this reform is widespread regardless of Californians’ views on immigrants generally (among those who say immigrants are a benefit, 93% express support, and among those who consider immigrants a burden, 72% express support). The requirements described in this question were the basic elements of the U.S. Senate bill passed last June—since then there has been little progress made by federal lawmakers. Strong support for a path to citizenship is also found among adults nationwide (for example, 77% expressed support in an October CBS News poll). In California today, strong majorities of Democrats (90%), independents (83%), and Republicans (76%) favor a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and more than three in four across regions and racial/ethnic and other demographic groups express support. “Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements, including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English?” All adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Asians Blacks Latinos Favor 86% 90% 76% 83% 78% 89% 96% Oppose 13 9 23 16 21 10 4 Don’t know 2 2 1 2 1–1 Whites 82% 15 2 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey POVERTY AND INCOME INEQUALITY Nearly three in four Californians (73%) believe that the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is getting larger, 21 percent say it has stayed the same, and only 3 percent say it is getting smaller. Views among adults nationwide were very similar in a mid-January CBS News poll (70% larger, 24% same, 5% smaller). Likely voters in our survey (81%) are more likely than all adults (73%) to say the gap is widening. More than six in 10 across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the gap is getting larger. Interestingly, the share saying the gap is widening increases as income levels rise (68% less than $40,000 a year, 76% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). Those with household incomes of less than $40,000 are more likely than those earning more to say the gap has stayed the same. Six in 10 Californians (61%) say the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, while one in three (33%) say this is something the government should not be doing. By comparison, in the CBS News poll, adults nationwide were closely divided on the role of government in reducing income inequality (49% should do more, 45% should not be doing at all). In our survey, half of likely voters (52%) say government should do more (43% should not). Most Democrats (74%) and independents (59%) say the government should do more, while most Republicans (68%) disagree. Support for the government doing more declines as income levels rise. It is much higher among blacks (76%), Latinos (75%), and Asians (68%) than among whites (50%). Among those who say the income gap is growing, 68 percent say the government should do more to reduce it. “Should the government do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing?” Government should do more Government should not be doing Don’t know All adults 61% 33 6 Under $40,000 69% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 59% $80,000 or more 52% 24 37 43 7 45 Asians 68% 31 1 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 76% 75% 18 20 66 Whites 50% 44 6 Californians are closely divided on the question of opportunity in today’s economy: 49 percent say everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run while 47 percent say it’s mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance. In the CBS News poll, adults nationwide were more likely to say everyone has a chance (52%) than to say just a few people at the top have a chance (43%). In our survey, likely voters are divided (49% everyone, 48% just a few at the top). Among Democrats, 38 percent say everyone has a fair chance and 60 percent say only those at the top have a chance. The converse is true among Republicans (60% everyone, 34% just a few at the top). Independents are divided (48% everyone, 50% just a few at the top). Those earning $80,000 or more are slightly more likely than those earning less to say everyone has a fair chance. Across racial/ethnic groups, about half of Asians (52%), Latinos (51%), and whites (49%) say everyone has a fair chance, compared to 41 percent of blacks. “Which comes closer to your view? In today's economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run; or in today's economy, it's mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead.” Everyone has a fair chance in the long run Just a few people at the top have a chance Don’t know All adults 49% 47 4 Under $40,000 44% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 49% $80,000 or more 55% 51 49 43 523 Asians 52% 47 1 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 41% 51% 57 45 14 Whites 49% 46 4 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: ABORTION, ENVIRONMENT A solid majority of Californians (69%) and a somewhat higher share of likely voters (78%) say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion; 26 percent of adults and 18 percent of likely voters say the government should pass more laws to restrict access. More than six in 10 Californians have said that the government should not interfere with access in 10 surveys dating back to January 2000. Solid majorities across parties say the government should not restrict access to abortion (81% Democrats, 66% Republicans, 78% independents). Mainline Protestants (81%) and those without a religious affiliation (88%) are far more likely than Catholics (58%) and evangelical Protestants (50%) to say the government should not interfere with access. Whites and blacks (77% each) and Asians (70%) are more likely than Latinos (57%) to say the government should not restrict access. The share saying the government should not restrict access increases as income levels rise (63% less than $40,000, 70% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). Those with some college education (77%) and college graduates (80%) are more likely to favor not interfering than Californians with a high school education or less (56%). Among parents of children age 18 and younger, 57 percent say the government should not interfere with access, while 39 percent say it should pass more laws that restrict access. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; or the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion.” All adults Pass more laws Not interfere with access Don’t know 26% 69 5 Dem 16% 81 3 Party Rep 30% 66 4 Ind 18% 78 3 Evangelical Protestants 43% 50 7 Religion Mainline Protestants Catholics 14% 38% 81 58 44 No religion 8% 88 3 When asked about environmental tradeoffs, Californians (55%) and likely voters (53%) say that stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. Fewer adults (38%) and likely voters (42%) say that these types of regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. In March 2012, Californians were divided (45% hurt the economy, 47% worth the cost). Between May 1998 and February 2004, majorities of Californians said that stricter environmental laws and regulations were worth the cost. Most Democrats (70%) and independents (60%) believe that stricter environmental regulations are worth the cost; most Republicans (68%) think they hurt the economy. Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (71%), Orange/San Diego (59%), and Los Angeles (55%) say regulations are worth it. Residents are divided in the Central Valley (46% hurt the economy, 48% worth the cost) and the Inland Empire (47% hurt the economy, 45% worth the cost). Adults age 55 and older are also divided (46% hurt the economy, 44% worth the cost), while younger Californians (60% 18 to 54) say environmental regulations are worth the cost. “Please indicate 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 stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.” Cost too many jobs, hurt the economy Are worth the cost All adults 38% 55 Dem 24% 70 Party Rep 68% 24 Likely voters Ind 37% 42% 60 53 Don’t know 75835 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: GUN CONTROL, MARIJUANA With gun regulations being debated at the local, state, and national level, and in the courts, how do Californians view the role of government? Fifty-six percent of Californians say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns and 37 percent say the government goes too far in restricting citizens’ rights to own guns. Today’s share saying the government does not do enough is nearly identical to last May’s share (57%) and somewhat lower than the high reached January 2013 (65%). Since we first asked this question in January 2000, majorities of Californians have said the government does not do enough. Three in four Democrats (75%) and more than half of independents (54%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access, while two in three Republicans (67%) say the government goes too far. Majorities across most regions and demographic groups say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. The few exceptions are whites, those with only some college education, and Inland Empire residents, whose views are closely divided. Sixty-three percent of gun owners say the government goes too far and a similar share of those who do not own guns (65%) say the government does not do enough. “Please indicate 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 Dem Party Rep Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Ind Yes No Government goes too far 37% 21% 67% 38% Government does not do enough 56 75 24 54 Don’t know 74 9 8 63% 30 7 28% 65 7 As proponents of marijuana legalization consider another ballot measure, Californians are currently divided on legalizing marijuana: 49 percent say it should be legal, 47 percent say it should not be legal. Among likely voters, a slim majority (53%) say marijuana should be legal, and 44 percent say it should be illegal. Last September, 52 percent of adults and 60 percent of likely voters said it should be legal. Slim majorities of adults said it should be illegal in March 2012 and September 2011 (51% each). In 2010, California adults were divided (September 2010: 47% yes, 49% no; May 2010: 48% yes, 49% no). In a February Pew Research Center survey of adults nationwide, 54 percent said legal, 42 percent said illegal. Majorities of independents (60%) and Democrats (57%) say marijuana should be legal; 62 percent of Republicans say it should be illegal. Blacks (63%) and whites (57%) say it should be legal, a majority of Latinos say it should be illegal (60%), and Asians are divided (44% yes, 48% no). Younger Californians are much more likely than adults age 35 and older to say it should be legal (64% 18 to 34, 39% 35 to 54, 47% 55 and older). There is majority support for legalizing marijuana in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%) and the Inland Empire (52%), while Central Valley residents are divided (50% yes, 49% no), and majorities of Orange/San Diego (55%) and Los Angeles (52%) residents are opposed. Yes, legal No, not legal Don’t know “Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not?” All adults 18 to 34 Age 35 to 54 55 and above Likely voters 49% 64% 39% 47% 53% 47 34 58 48 44 32253 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP March 2014 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Jui Shrestha, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its own advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,702 California adult residents, including 1,191 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from March 11–18, 2014. 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 new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010–2012 American Community Survey’s (ACS) Public Use Microdata Series for California (with regional coding information from the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California) to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample—region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education—with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2012 state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS—and 2013 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,702 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1,380 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4 percent; for the 1,091 likely voters, it is ±4.5 percent; for the 936 primary likely voters, it is ±4.7 percent; for the 187 uninsured adults, it is ±9.7%. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. In several places, we refer to coastal and inland counties. The “coastal” region refers to the counties along the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. All other counties are included in the “inland” region. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and nonHispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups—such as Native Americans—are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. Results for questions 8 to 10 are based on primary likely voters. In addition to criteria used to determine likely voters, we used responses to questions on following news about the candidates for the gubernatorial election and intention to vote in the June primary as criteria to determine primary likely voters. For the gubernatorial primary (question 8), the candidate list was based on news coverage and campaign publicity before our interviewing began on March 11. In addition, respondents could name other candidates who were not on our list. The Secretary of State will release the certified list of candidates on March 27th. 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, CNN/ORC, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and the Pew Research Center. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 11–18, 2014 1,702 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.6% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, 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] 32% jobs, economy 15 water, drought 7 education, schools, teachers 7 immigration, illegal immigration 5 health care, health reform, Obamacare 4 crime, gangs, drugs 4 state budget, deficit, taxes 3 housing costs, availability 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 government in general 16 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? 49% approve 28 disapprove 23 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 36% approve 45 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 45% right direction 48 wrong direction 7 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? 46% good times 45 bad times 10 don’t know 6. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 66% yes [ask q6a] 34 no [skip to q7b] 6a. 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 q7] 29 Republican [skip to q7a] 6 another party (specify) [skip to q8] 22 independent [skip to q7b] 7. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 45 not very strong 2 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey [skip to q11] 7a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 46 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q8] 7b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 20% Republican Party 46 Democratic Party 25 neither (volunteered) 9 don’t know [questions 8 to 10 reported for primary likely voters] 8. [primary likely voters only] As you may know, California now has a top-two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes, regardless of party, will advance to the general election. If the June primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask: “or someone else?”] 47% Jerry Brown, a Democrat 10 Tim Donnelly, a Republican 2 Neel Kashkari, a Republican 2 Andrew Blount, a Republican 3 someone else (specify) 36 don’t know 9. [primary likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 8% very closely 29 fairly closely 37 not too closely 24 not at all closely 2 don’t know 10.[primary likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June? 42% satisfied 35 not satisfied 23 don’t know For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 11 to 14] 11.How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? 30% favor 59 oppose 11 don’t know 12.How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed while lowering the overall sales tax rate? 44% favor 43 oppose 13 don’t know 13.How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 51% favor 43 oppose 6 don’t know 14.How about raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 63% favor 33 oppose 4 don’t know Next, 15.Overall, do you think the state and local tax system is in need of major changes, minor changes, or do you think it is fine the way it is? 51% major changes 30 minor changes 14 fine the way it is 4 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 16.Overall, how fair do you think our present state and local tax system is—would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair? 3% very fair 47 moderately fair 32 not too fair 15 not at all fair 3 don’t know 17.When you combine all of the taxes you pay to state and local governments, do you feel that you pay much more than you should, somewhat more than you should, about the right amount, or less than you should? 30% much more 30 somewhat more 35 about the right amount 3 less than you should 3 don’t know 18.Where do you think California currently ranks in state and local tax burden per capita? Compared to other states, is California's tax burden per capita near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom? 36% near the top 24 above average 21 average 5 below average 2 near the bottom 11 don’t know 19.On another topic, would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 55% big problem 20 somewhat of a problem 23 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 20.Do you think that the water supply that is available for your part of California will be adequate or inadequate for what is needed ten years from now? (If inadequate: “Is that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate?”) 33% adequate 29 somewhat inadequate 31 very inadequate 8 don’t know 21.The legislature is considering an approximately $11.1 billion bond measure for the November 2014 ballot to pay for state water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on this state water bond? (If no: “What if the state water bond was a lower amount, would you vote yes or no?”) 60% yes 23 total no 9 no, but would vote yes if it was a lower amount 14 no, even if it was a lower amount 16 don’t know 21a.How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 52% very important 25 somewhat important 6 not too important 6 not at all important 11 don’t know 21b.Would you say that you and your family have taken steps to reduce water use recently in response to the current drought? (If yes: “Have you done a lot or a little to reduce water use?”) 92% total, yes takes steps 57 yes, done a lot 35 yes, done a little 7 no, have not taken steps 1 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 22.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 $68 billion dollars over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high-speed rail system in California? (If oppose: “What if the high-speed rail system cost less, would you favor or oppose building it?”) 53% favor 42 total oppose 16 oppose, but would favor if it cost less 26 oppose, even if it cost less 5 don’t know 23.Thinking ahead, how important is the highspeed 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? 35% very important 32 somewhat important 16 not too important 16 not at all important 1 don’t know 24.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? 52% approve 44 disapprove 4 don’t know 25.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 19% approve 74 disapprove 7 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 26.Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 39% right direction 56 wrong direction 5 don’t know 27.Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 45% good times 48 bad times 7 don’t know [rotate questions 28 and 29] 28.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 41% approve 50 disapprove 9 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 21% approve 69 disapprove 10 don’t know Next, 30.As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a [rotate] (1) [generally favorable] [or] (2) [generally unfavorable] opinion of it? 47% generally favorable 45 generally unfavorable 7 don’t know 31.In the long run, do you think the health care law will be [rotate] (1) [good] [or] (2) [bad] for you and your family, or won’t it make much difference? 34% good 26 bad 36 won’t make much difference 3 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 32.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. 65% immigrants are a benefit to California 27 immigrants are a burden to California 7 don’t know 33.Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English? 86% favor 13 oppose 2 don’t know On another topic, 33a.Do you think the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is getting larger, getting smaller, or has it stayed the same? 73% getting larger 3 getting smaller 21 has stayed the same 3 don’t know 34.Should the government do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing? 61% should do more 33 should not be doing 6 don’t know 35.Which comes closer to your view? [rotate] (1) In today's economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run. [or] (2) In today's economy, it's mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead. 49% everyone has a fair chance 47 just a few people at the top have a chance 4 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government Changing topics, For each of the following issues, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate questions 36 to 38] 36.[rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; [or] (2) the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 26% government should pass more laws 69 government should not interfere with access 5 don’t know 37.[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. 38% stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy 55 stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost 7 don’t know 38.[rotate] (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. 37% government goes too far 56 government does not do enough 7 don’t know 39.Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not? 49% yes, legal 47 no, not legal 3 don’t know 40.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 13% very liberal 21 somewhat liberal 31 middle-of-the-road 22 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 41.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 20% great deal 37 fair amount 34 only a little 9 none – don’t know [d1 to d3a: demographic questions] D3b. Do you happen to have any guns, rifles, or pistols in your home? 18% yes 82 no – don’t know [d4 to d5a: demographic questions] D6.Are you, yourself, now covered by any form of health insurance or health plan or do you not have health insurance at this time? D6a.Which of the following is your main source of health insurance coverage? Is it a plan through your employer, a plan through your spouse’s employer, a plan you purchased yourself either from an insurance company or the state or federal marketplace, are you covered by Medicare or Medi-Cal, or do you get your health insurance from somewhere else? 81% yes, covered by health insurance 30% through employer 11 through spouse’s employer 12 Medicare 11 Medi-Cal 9 self-purchased plan [ask d6b] 4 through parents/mother/ father (volunteered) 3 somewhere else (specify) 1 other government plan (volunteered) 18 not insured 2 don’t know/refused D6b.[of those who purchased a plan themselves] Did you purchase your plan directly from an insurance company, or from the marketplace known as healthcare.gov or Covered California? (if they say they purchased insurance through a broker: “Do you know if that was a plan from the California marketplace or exchange, such as one labeled Gold, Silver, or Bronze, or was it a plan purchased directly from an insurance company and not through an exchange or marketplace?”) 51% insurance company 38 healthcare.gov/Covered California 4 insurance broker, not sure if it was an exchange plan (volunteered) 6 don’t know D6c.[of those who do not have health insurance] As you may know, the 2010 health care law requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance by the end of March or else pay a fine. Do you think you will obtain health insurance, or do you think you will remain uninsured? (if don't know: “We realize there is still some uncertainty, but if you had to guess, do you think you will obtain health insurance by the end of March, or do you think you will remain uninsured?”) 75% will obtain health insurance 21 will remain uninsured 4 don’t know [d7 to d17: demographic questions] March 2014 Californians and Their Government 32 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey 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 Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Member, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Vice Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decision makers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 2014 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(109) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-march-2014/s_314mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8905) ["ID"]=> int(8905) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:59" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4347) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 314MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_314mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_314MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "611138" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(98093) "ppic statewide survey MARCH 2014 &Californians their government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 15 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. This is the 140th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 293,000 Californians. This is the 61st in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about important state and national issues. This survey was conducted in the context of one of the most severe droughts in California’s history. Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and recently signed a $687.4 million bill to provide relief. Meanwhile, the legislature is considering alternate proposals for the $11.1 billion water bond currently on the November ballot. The bond was originally introduced for the 2010 ballot and has been moved twice. In other news, the state currently has a budget surplus for the first time in years. Governor Brown officially declared his reelection bid. Costs related to California’s proposed high-speed rail remain controversial. Nationally, the March deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is approaching. Congress increased the debt limit, ending years of brinkmanship. There is little development on immigration reform and gun controls. Revising overtime pay rules, increasing the federal minimum wage, and other ideas are being considered to help lower-income Americans. The survey presents the responses of 1,702 adult residents throughout California, interviewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on the following topics:  State government, including approval ratings of elected officials; overall mood, including the most important issue facing the state; views on the fairness of the state and local tax system, assessments of Californians’ own tax burden, views of where California’s tax burden falls compared to other states, and opinions on whether changes are needed to the tax system; attitudes toward specific state tax increases; views on the seriousness of the water supply problem and whether future supplies will be adequate, and responses on reducing water use due to the drought; support for the state water bond and high-speed rail; and preferences in the gubernatorial election.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials, overall mood, and economic outlook; approval ratings of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; opinions on health care reform and immigration reform; views on income inequality and the government’s role in reducing it; and attitudes toward abortion, environmental protection, gun control, and marijuana.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government based on political party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. Try our PPIC Statewide Survey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. 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 Nearly All Say They Have Cut Water Use—Half of Likely Voters Support Water Bond AS CONCERN ABOUT ECONOMY EASES, WATER WORRIES RISE SAN FRANCISCO, March 26, 2014—A record-high share of Californians say the supply of water is a big problem in their part of the state, and nearly all residents say they have reduced their water use in response to the drought. These are among the key findings in a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Asked about the supply of water in their area, 55 percent of residents say it is a big problem (20% somewhat of a problem, 23% not much of a problem). In contrast, 44 percent of Californians expressed this view in December 2009, during another drought. Today, majorities across regions characterize their area’s water supply as a big problem, with residents in the Central Valley (65%) most likely to do so (55% Orange/San Diego, 54% Inland Empire, 52% San Francisco Bay Area, 51% Los Angeles). Most (60%) also say the water supply in their area will be inadequate 10 years from now. Almost all Californians (92%) say they and their families have done a lot (57%) or a little (35%) to reduce water use in response to the drought. Central Valley residents (68%) are most likely to say they have done a lot (58% Inland Empire, 54% Los Angeles, 53% San Francisco Bay Area and Orange/San Diego). Residents’ increasing concern about water is evident when they are asked to name the most important issue facing Californians. While jobs and the economy (32%) is still the most frequently mentioned, the share of residents who choose it has dropped 13 points in the last year (45% March 2013). The share naming water and drought as most important has grown 13 points (15% today, 2% March 2013). Californians today are more likely than they were a year ago to favor an $11.1 billion bond for state water projects. As the legislature continues to discuss the measure—now on the November ballot—60 percent of adults and 50 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes. Last March, 44 percent of adults and 42 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes. Today, when those who oppose the bond are asked how they would vote if the amount were lower, support rises (69% adults, 59% likely voters). A slim majority of adults (52%) and 44 percent of likely voters say it is very important that voters pass the bond. “The percentage of Californians saying that water supply is big problem in their region has reached a new high,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Nearly all state residents say that they are doing something to reduce water use as a response to this historic drought, while support for an $11.1 billion state water bond hovers at around 50 percent among likely voters.” March 2014 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey SLIM MAJORITY OF ADULTS FAVOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL—LIKELY VOTERS LESS SUPPORTIVE Californians were asked about another big project: a high-speed rail system. In 2008, voters passed a $10 billion state bond for its planning and construction. Today, when read a description of the system and its $68 billion price tag, 53 percent favor it and 42 percent oppose it. Likely voters are less supportive (45% favor, 50% oppose). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (52%) are in favor. Inland Empire residents are divided (45% favor, 46% oppose). When opponents of high-speed rail are asked how they would feel if the cost were lower, support rises (69% adults, 60% likely voters). Asked about high-speed rail’s importance, 35 percent of adults and 29 percent of likely voters say it is very important to the future quality of life and state’s economic vitality. LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? SLIM MAJORITY OF LIKELY VOTERS SAY YES As proponents of marijuana legalization consider putting the issue on the ballot again, Californians are divided. Half of adults (49%) say marijuana should be legal, and 47 percent say it should be illegal. A slim majority of likely voters (53%) favor legalization (44% oppose). Last September, a slim majority of adults (52%) said for the first time that marijuana should be legal and 60 percent of likely voters said so. Today, majorities of independents (60%) and Democrats (57%) favor legalization, while 62 percent of Republicans oppose it. Most blacks (63%) and whites (57%) favor legalization, while most Latinos (60%) oppose it. Asians are split (44% yes, 48% no). Younger Californians are much more likely than adults age 35 or older to say marijuana should be legal (64% 18 to 34, 39% 35 to 54, 47% 55 and older). BROWN’S JOB APPROVAL SLIPS, OBAMA’S REMAINS NEAR RECORD LOW Three months before the primary, 49 percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters approve of the way Governor Jerry Brown is handling his job. This is somewhat lower than his record-high job approval in January (58% adults, 60% likely voters). It is similar to his job approval rating last March (49% adults, 48% likely voters). When primary likely voters are asked how they would vote in the governor’s race, 47 percent choose Brown and 10 percent choose Republican Tim Donnelly. Fewer support Republicans Andrew Blount (2%) or Neel Kashkari (2%)—the other candidates included in the survey—while 3 percent name someone else and 36 percent are undecided. The legislature’s approval rating (36%) has also slipped among adults since January (42%). Among likely voters, it is similar to January (32% today, 33% January). Asked to rate their federal leaders, 52 percent of California adults and 49 percent of likely voters approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance—similar to his ratings in January (53% adults, 46% likely voters) and to his record lows (51% among adults, last reached in December 2013; 46% among likely voters in January 2014). Congress’ job approval rating has slipped 7 points since January among adults and is 19 percent today, similar to the record low of 18 percent last December. Approval among likely voters has fallen to single digits (9%), matching the record low first reached in December 2011. Although the president and Congress averted another budget showdown or government shutdown, Californians remain critical of their federal leaders on fiscal issues. Asked how the president is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling, 41 percent of adults approve, similar to his rating since last September (46% September, 42% December, 45% January). Among likely voters, 41 percent approve (43% September, 42% December, 40% January). The Republicans in Congress get much poorer ratings for their handling of these issues: 21 percent of California adults and 15 percent of likely voters approve. LARGE MAJORITY OF UNINSURED SAY THEY WILL GET HEALTH COVERAGE With the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act ending March 31, a strong majority (75%) of uninsured Californians say they will obtain insurance by the deadline and 21 percent say they will remain March 2014 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey uninsured. With enrollment lagging among Latinos and younger Californians, strong majorities in these groups (74% Latinos, 77% residents ages 18 to 44) say that they plan to get insurance. The health reform law continues to divide Californians, with 47 percent generally favorable and 45 percent generally unfavorable. Opinion is split among those who have health insurance (47% favorable, 45% unfavorable) and those who don’t (49% favorable, 46% unfavorable). About a third of Californians (34%) say the law will be good for them and their families in the long run, a quarter (26%) say it will be bad, and about a third (36%) say it will make no difference. RECORD-HIGH SHARE OF ADULTS SAY IMMIGRANTS BENEFIT STATE A record-high 65 percent of Californians say that immigrants are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills rather than a burden because they use public services (27%). State residents are far less divided on this question than when PPIC first asked it in April 1998 (46% benefit, 42% burden). On immigration reform, an overwhelming majority of adults (86%) and likely voters (83%) favor providing a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements—including waiting a certain period of time, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English. Even among Californians who say immigrants are a burden there is majority support (72%) for a path to citizenship. MOST BELIEVE GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR IS GROWING Three-quarters of residents (73%) say the gap between the rich and the poor in the nation is getting larger (21% stayed the same, 3% getting smaller). The share of likely voters who say it is growing is even larger (81%). Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the gap is getting larger. Notably, the share saying the gap is widening increases as income levels rise. How much opportunity is there to get ahead in today’s economy? About half of adults (49%) say everyone has a fair chance in the long run, while 47 percent say it’s mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance. Asked about the government’s role in reducing the gap between rich and poor, 61 percent of adults say the government should do more. A third (33%) say this is not something the government should be doing. “While Californians’ views of the economy have improved, three in four say that the gap between rich and poor is growing and six in 10 want to the government to do more to reduce it,” Baldassare said. The survey examines opinions on the role of government in other areas:  Abortion. A solid majority of adults (69%) say the government should not interfere with access to abortion, and about a quarter (26%) say government should pass more laws restricting its availability. Mainline Protestants (81%) and adults with no religion (88%) are more likely than Catholics (58%) and evangelical Protestants (50%) to say that government should not interfere with abortion access.  Environmental laws. A majority (55%) say that stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. Fewer (38%) say that this type of regulation costs too many jobs and hurts the economy.  Gun control. A majority (56%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. Fewer (37%) say the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Half say tax system is fair, but majority say they pay too much—page 9 While 50 percent of adults say the state and local tax system is at least moderately fair—a perception that is similar across income groups—a record-high 60 percent say they pay at least somewhat more than they should.  Solid majority favor raising income taxes on the wealthy—page 10 Asked about raising specific types of state taxes, 63 percent of adults favor raising the top income tax rate paid by the wealthiest Californians. About half (51%) favor raising taxes for California corporations. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  About half of Californians (49%) approve of Governor Brown, and 36 percent approve of the legislature—both ratings have declined since January. (page 7)  The share of Californians naming jobs and the economy as the top state issue has dropped by 13 points since last March, while the share naming water and drought has grown by 13 points. (page 8)  Californians are divided on whether the state and local tax system is fair or unfair, while 60 percent think they pay more state and local taxes than they should. (page 9)  Strong majorities of Californians want to raise the income taxes paid by the wealthy. Six in 10 oppose extending the sales tax to services not currently taxed, but support is higher if the proposal involves lowering the overall tax rate. (page 10)  Fifty-five percent of Californians say the supply of water is a big problem in their area. Nearly all say they have taken steps to reduce water use due to the drought. (page 11)  Among likely voters, 50 percent would vote yes on the $11.1 billion state water bond; 44 percent consider its passage very important. (page 12)  A slim majority of Californians (53%) favor building the high-speed rail system in California; support is lower among likely voters (45%). (page 13)  Jerry Brown (47%) leads in the gubernatorial race among primary likely voters, with 36 percent still undecided, in a contest that is attracting much less attention than recent California primaries. (page 14) March 2014 Californians and Their Government Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Governor Brown 80 California Legislature Percent all adults 60 40 40 20 25 49 34 49 36 0 Mar 2012 Mar 2013 Mar 2014 Most Important Issue Facing California 80 Jobs, economy Water, drought 60 52 45 40 32 Percent all adults 20 15 1 0 Mar 2012 2 Mar 2013 Mar 2014 Support for the State Water Bond 80 Would vote yes Would vote no 60 51 51 50 Percent likely voters 40 42 35 20 32 0 Mar 2012 Mar 2013 Mar 2014 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Three months before California’s June primary, 49 percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters approve of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as California governor. In January the governor’s approval rating was somewhat higher among adults (58%), but it was similar in March 2013 (49%) and lower in both March 2012 (40%) and March 2011 (34%). And while approval among likely voters is lower today (52%) than in January (60%), it is similar to or higher than previous years (41% March 2011, 46% March 2012, 48% March 2013). The governor’s approval rating stands at 67 percent among Democrats, 49 percent among independents, and 32 percent among Republicans. About half of men and women, homeowners and renters, adults age 35 and older, and lower-, middle-, and higher-income residents approve of Brown. Approval of the governor is much higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) than in Los Angeles (48%), the Central Valley (46%), the Inland Empire (44%), and Orange/San Diego (44%). Blacks (61%) are more likely than Asians (54%), Latinos (52%), and whites (46%) to approve of the way Brown is handling his job as governor. All adults Likely voters Party Region “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California?” Approve Disapprove 49% 28% 52 35 Democrats 67 14 Republicans 32 55 Independents 49 26 Central Valley 46 26 San Francisco Bay Area 61 17 Los Angeles 48 28 Orange/San Diego 44 32 Inland Empire 44 36 Don’t know 23% 13 18 13 25 28 22 24 24 20 Thirty-six percent of adults and 32 percent of likely voters approve of the way the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval was slightly higher in our January survey for adults (42%) although it was similar in March 2013 (34%) and lower in March 2012 (25%). Today, 47 percent of Democrats approve of the legislature, compared to 31 percent of independents and 18 percent of Republicans. San Francisco Bay Area residents (46%) are once again the most likely to approve, followed by Central Valley (37%), Los Angeles (35%), Orange/San Diego (33%), and Inland Empire (25%) residents. Latinos (45%) are more likely than Asians (38%) and blacks (38%) and much more likely than whites (28%) to approve of the legislature. Approval of the legislature is similar across age groups, higher among renters than homeowners (41% to 31%), and highest among adults with the lowest education and income levels. Among those who approve of the governor, 59 percent also approve of the legislature. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 36% 47% 18% 31% 45 31 75 51 19 21 7 18 Likely voters 32% 57 12 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Californians name jobs and the economy (32%) as the most important issue facing the people of California, followed by water and the drought (15%) and then education (7%), immigration (7%), health care (5%), crime (4%), and the state budget (4%). This represents a notable increase in mentions of water and the drought and a decline in mentions of jobs and the economy. Among the state’s regions, water and the drought are mentioned the most in the Central Valley (24%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (19%), followed by Los Angeles (11%), Orange/San Diego (10%), and the Inland Empire (5%). Forty-five percent of Californians say the state is going in the right direction, while 48 percent say it is going in the wrong direction. Likely voters are more likely to say wrong direction (53%) than right direction (41%). The perception that the state is going in the right direction has declined somewhat among adults since our January poll (53%) but it is similar to March 2013 (44%) and higher than in March 2012 (34%). Today, Democrats (59%) are much more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (20%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (65%) are much more likely than those living in Los Angeles (46%), Orange/San Diego (41%), the Central Valley (37%), and the Inland Empire (31%) to hold this view. Majorities of Asians (57%) and blacks (54%) say right direction, compared to fewer than half of Latinos (48%) and whites (39%). Positive perceptions decline with age (51% 18 to 34, 44% 35 to 54, 39% 55 and older). Sixty-seven percent of those approving of Brown and 77 percent of those approving of the legislature say that things are going in the right direction. “Do you think that things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Right direction 45% 59% 20% 45% 41% Wrong direction 48 34 75 47 53 Don’t know 78586 When asked about the 12-month economic outlook, 46 percent say the state will have good times financially and 45 percent say it will have bad times. Responses are similar among likely voters (42% good times, 48% bad times). In January, a similar 49 percent of Californians expected good times financially. The responses today are similar to those in March 2013 (44% good times), while fewer held optimistic views in March 2012 (34% good times). Today, Democrats (52%) are somewhat more likely than independents (46%) and far more likely than Republicans (30%) to expect good times. San Francisco Bay Area residents (66%) are far more likely to expect good economic times than Orange/San Diego (44%), Los Angeles (41%), Central Valley (40%), and Inland Empire (36%) residents. Latinos (53%) and Asians (51%) are more likely than blacks (45%) and whites (40%) to expect good economic times. The expectations for good economic times are highest for the upper-income group (i.e. 54% $80,000 or more, 43% lower incomes). Fifty-nine percent of those approving of Brown and 67 percent of those approving of the legislature expect good economic times. Good times Bad times Don’t know “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults 46% Central Valley 40% San Francisco Bay Area 66% Region Los Angeles 41% Orange/ San Diego 44% Inland Empire 36% 45 50 24 50 51 52 10 10 10 9 5 11 Likely voters 42% 48 10 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE AND LOCAL TAX SYSTEM As the federal and state income tax deadline of April 15 approaches, how do Californians perceive the state and local tax system? About half of adults (3% very, 47% moderately) and likely voters (3% very, 44% moderately) view the system as fair, while about half view it as not too or not at all fair (47% adults, 51% likely voters). Californians were slightly more likely to view the system as fair in past years (57% January 2011, 57% January 2012), and many more held this view in June 2003 (66%). Today, Democrats (59%) are much more likely than independents (48%) or Republicans (41%) to say the state and local tax system is very or moderately fair. Perceptions that it is fair are similar across income groups (49% under $40,000, 52% $40,000 to under $80,000, 53% $80,000 or more). Very fair Moderately fair Not too fair Not at all fair Don’t know “Overall, how fair do you think our present state and local tax system is— would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair?” All adults 3% Under $40,000 4% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more 2% 2% 47 45 50 51 32 35 34 27 15 13 12 16 3333 Likely voters 3% 44 32 19 2 While about half of Californians view the state and local tax system as fair, a record-high 60 percent of adults say they pay much more (30%) or somewhat more (30%) than they feel they should in state and local taxes; 35 percent think they pay about the right amount and 3 percent say they pay less than they should. Opinions of likely voters are similar. Fewer adults said that they paid more than they should in state and local taxes in January 2012 (46%) before passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative, while majorities held this view in January 2011 (53%) and January 2010 (56%). Republicans (72%) are more likely than independents (61%) and far more likely than Democrats (49%) to say that they pay more than they should. Among income groups, upper-income residents are the most likely to say they are paying more than they should (56% under $40,000, 59% $40,000 to under $80,000, 64% $80,000 or more). Among those who say the tax system is fair, 49 percent say they pay more than they should. Among those who say it is not fair, 72 percent say they pay more than they should. “When you combine all of the taxes you pay to state and local governments, do you feel that you pay much more than you should, somewhat more than you should, about the right amount, or less than you should?” Much more than you should All adults 30% Under $40,000 27% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 31% $80,000 or more 31% Likely voters 31% Somewhat more 30 29 28 33 27 About the right amount 35 38 35 32 36 Less than you should 3 2 3 3 4 Don’t know 33212 In findings that are similar to our past polling, eight in 10 Californians say major (51%) or minor changes (30%) are needed in the state and local tax system. Six in 10 say that California ranks near the top (36%) or above average (24%) in state and local taxes compared to other states. The Tax Policy Center’s most recent report (2013) ranked California’s 2011 state and local tax burden 11th highest in the nation. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey RAISING STATE REVENUES In light of their overall impressions of the state and local tax system, how do Californians feel about raising some state taxes? Among four types of state taxes, we find solid majority support for raising income taxes on the wealthy, while half favor raising state taxes paid by California corporations. A majority is opposed to extending the sales tax to services not currently taxed, but when asked about extending the sales tax to services while lowering the overall tax rate, they are closely divided. Similar trends were evident in our recent polling on raising income taxes paid by the wealthy (e.g. 66% favor in October 2012) and extending the sales tax to services (e.g. 61% oppose in January 2013). Larger majorities were in favor of raising state taxes paid by California corporations in earlier polling (60% January 2011, 68% January 2012) than in our recent polling (54% January 2013, 51% March 2014). Favor Oppose Don’t know “For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal.” Extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed Extending the sales tax to services not currently taxed while lowering the overall tax rate Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations Raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians 30% 44% 51% 63% 59 43 43 33 11 13 64 Overall trends in support and opposition for these four state taxes are similar among likely voters. Half or more of Democrats and independents favor raising taxes on the wealthy and California corporations, while Republican support is below 30 percent. The proposal to extend the sales tax to services not currently taxed has low support in all regions of the state, and extending the sales tax to services while lowering the overall tax rate generates the most favorable responses in Orange/San Diego. Those with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more express less support than others for raising income taxes on the wealthy and extending the sales tax to services. “For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal.” Percent saying favor Extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed Extending the state sales tax to services not currently taxed while lowering the overall tax rate Raising the state taxes paid by California corporations Raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians All adults 30% 44% 51% 63% Likely voters 24 39 48 56 Democrats 35 51 67 80 Party Republicans 16 34 21 27 Independents 22 45 50 62 Central Valley 28 45 43 59 San Francisco Bay Area 35 40 69 72 Region Los Angeles 31 40 52 63 Orange/San Diego 25 53 41 62 Inland Empire 33 49 43 59 Under $40,000 33 47 54 70 Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 34 44 51 66 $80,000 or more 23 42 49 50 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE WATER SUPPLY California is currently experiencing a severe drought. Governor Brown declared a drought emergency earlier in the year and recently signed a bill to provide $687.4 million in drought relief. How do Californians perceive this situation in their own area? Fifty-five percent of Californians say that the supply of water is a big problem in their part of the state; 20 percent say it is somewhat of a problem, and 23 percent say it is not much of a problem. The share saying water supply is a big problem is at a record high today. In December 2009, when the state was experiencing another drought, 44 percent said that the water supply in their area was a big problem. Views were similar five months later (42% May 2010). Two years after the previous drought ended, Californians were less likely to view water supply as big problem in their area (30% March 2012, 31% December 2012). Majorities across regions consider the supply of water to be a big problem, but Central Valley (65%) residents are more likely that those in other regions to hold this view (55% Orange/San Diego, 54% Inland Empire, 52% San Francisco Bay Area, 51% Los Angeles). Those in inland areas (60%) are slightly more likely than Californians in coastal areas (53%) to say water supply is a big problem. The perception that water supply is a big problem in their area increases with age (42% 18 to 34, 57% 35 to 54, 66% 55 and over). Whites (66%) are far more likely than Asians (47%), Latinos (45%), or blacks (41%) to say water supply is a big problem in their part of California. “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” Big problem All adults 55% Central Valley 65% San Francisco 52% Region Los Angeles 51% Orange/ San Diego 55% Inland Empire 54% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 60% 53% Somewhat of a problem 20 14 27 17 25 17 16 22 Not much of a problem 23 21 20 28 19 27 23 23 Don’t know 1 – 1 3 1 2 12 When asked about their response to the drought, nearly all Californians (92%) say that they and their family have done a lot (57%) or a little (35%) to reduce water use. Across regions, Central Valley (68%) residents are more likely than residents in the Inland Empire (58%), Los Angeles (54%), the San Francisco Bay Area (53%), and Orange/San Diego (also 53%) to report having done a lot to reduce water use. Majorities of Latinos (65%), blacks (58%), and whites (57%) say they have done a lot to reduce water use, compared to 33 percent of Asians. Younger Californians (44% 18 to 34) are far less likely than older Californians to report doing a lot to reduce water use (64% 35 to 54, 61% 55 and over). Those earning under $80,000 (61%) are much more likely than those earning more (45%) to report doing a lot to reduce use. “Would you say that you and your family have taken steps to reduce water use recently in response to the current drought? (if yes: “Have you done a little or a lot to reduce water use?”) Yes, total All adults 92% Central Valley 90% San Francisco 94% Region Los Angeles 90% Orange/ San Diego 91% Inland Empire 98% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 92% 92% Yes, done a lot 57 68 53 54 53 58 63 54 Yes, done a little 35 22 41 36 38 40 29 38 No, have not taken steps 7 9 4 8 9 2 77 Don’t know 1 – 1 2 – – –1 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE WATER BOND The legislature is evaluating alternate proposals to the $11.1 billion state bond measure for water projects that is currently on the November ballot. Sixty percent of Californians would vote yes on this bond measure, 23 percent would vote no, and 16 percent are undecided. Support is lower among likely voters: 50 percent would vote yes, 32 percent no, and 19 percent are undecided. Last March, support was lower among adults (44%) and likely voters (42%). Support in March 2012 was similar to today (54% adults, 51% likely voters). Last September, when asked about an approximately $6.5 billion bond measure, 55 percent of all adults were in favor (33% opposed), as were 50 percent of likely voters (38% opposed). Today, a majority of Democrats (66%) and independents (56%) would vote yes, while Republicans are divided (43% yes, 42% no) on the $11.1 billion state water bond. When those who would vote no are asked how they would vote if the state water bond was a lower amount, support increases (all adults: 69% yes, 14% no, likely voters: 59% yes, 23% no). “The legislature is considering an approximately $11.1 billion bond measure for the November 2014 ballot to pay for state water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on this state water bond?”* Yes No Don’t know All adults 60% 23% 16% Likely voters 50 32 19 Democrats 66 16 19 Party Republicans 43 42 15 Independents 56 25 19 Central Valley 64 22 14 San Francisco Bay Area 56 21 24 Region Los Angeles 64 23 13 Orange/San Diego 63 24 12 Inland Empire 57 23 21 *For complete text of question, see p. 29. Fifty-two percent of adults and 44 percent of likely voters say it is very important that voters pass the state water bond measure. The share of adults saying it is very important for the water bond measure to pass was lower in March 2013 (39%) and March 2012 (42%) than it is today. It was also lower among likely voters (44% today, 33% March 2013, 37% March 2012). When asked about water supply in their area 10 years from now, 33 percent of adults say it will be adequate and 60 percent say it will be inadequate (29% somewhat inadequate, 31% very inadequate). Views were similar in December 2009, during the last drought (32% adequate, 28% somewhat inadequate, 29% very inadequate). “How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?” Very important All adults 52% Central Valley 61% San Francisco 43% Region Los Angeles 55% Orange/ San Diego 47% Inland Empire 55% Somewhat important 25 20 25 28 28 24 Not too important 65 7 4 7 4 Not at all important 6 6 8 5 9 5 Don’t know 11 8 17 8 9 12 Likely voters 44% 27 8 10 11 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey HIGH-SPEED RAIL SYSTEM California voters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for the planning and construction of a highspeed rail system. When read a description of the proposed system, including its $68 billion price tag, 53 percent of Californians favor it, and 42 percent oppose it. Likely voters are less supportive, with half saying they are against this proposal (45% favor, 50% oppose). Support was similar last March among adults (48%) and likely voters (43%), and similar in March 2012 when estimated costs were about $100 billion (51% all adults, 43% likely voters). Most Democrats (56%) favor the high-speed rail system, most Republicans (68%) oppose it, and independents are divided (48% favor, 50% oppose). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), the Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (52%) are in favor; Inland Empire residents are divided (45% favor, 46% oppose). When those who oppose the high-speed rail system are asked how they would feel about it if it cost less, overall support increases among adults (69% favor, 26% oppose) and likely voters (60% favor, 35% oppose). “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 $68 billion over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high-speed rail system in California?”* Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 53% 42% 5% Likely voters 45 50 4 Democrats 56 39 5 Party Republicans 26 68 5 Independents 48 50 2 Central Valley 57 40 3 San Francisco Bay Area 63 35 2 Region Los Angeles 52 41 7 Orange/San Diego 54 43 2 Inland Empire 45 46 10 *For complete text of question, see p. 30. Thirty-five percent of California adults and 29 percent of likely voters say the high-speed rail system is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. California adults held similar views in March 2013 (36% very, 31% somewhat) and March 2012 (33% very, 26% somewhat). Among those who say the system is very important for the state’s future, 88 percent favor building it; among those who say it is somewhat important for the state’s future, 62 percent are in favor. “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?” Very important All adults 35% Central Valley 36% San Francisco Bay Area 41% Region Los Angeles 35% Orange/ San Diego 34% Inland Empire 30% Likely voters 29% Somewhat important 32 26 32 34 29 33 30 Not too important 16 18 11 18 16 18 17 Not at all important 16 19 15 12 20 16 23 Don’t know 11 2 1 1 31 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey JUNE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY With the gubernatorial primary three months away, only 37 percent of primary likely voters are following news about candidates very (8%) or fairly (29%) closely. Attention to news about candidates has increased since January (28%) and December 2013 (22%), but attention is far lower than in March 2010 (63%) and March 2006 (52%), three months before the 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial primaries. Today, attention to news about candidates is similar across parties and doesn’t rise above 50 percent in any regional or demographic group. California will be using the top-two primary system in a gubernatorial election for the first time this June. In our question about the primary we included Governor Brown along with Republicans Andrew Blount, Tim Donnelly, and Neel Kashkari. If the primary were held today, Governor Brown, with the support of 47 percent of primary likely voters, and Tim Donnelly, with the support of 10 percent of primary likely voters, are currently the top two candidates, although 36 percent remain undecided. Fewer primary likely voters support Blount (2%) or Kashkari (2%) and 3 percent name someone else. An overwhelming majority of Democrats (78%) support Brown. Slightly more than half of Republicans are undecided (54% undecided, 20% Donnelly, 15% Brown, 5% Blount, 4% Kashkari, 2% someone else). Among independents, 45 percent are unsure and 37 percent support Brown, while 11 percent support Donnelly. Across regions, at least one in four are unsure of who they will support and at least one in three support Brown. Donnelly’s highest level of support comes in the Inland Empire (23%), while the other Republican candidates garner less than 5 percent of the vote across regions. A plurality of primary likely voters across gender, age, and income groups—and a plurality of Latino and white primary likely voters—support Brown. “…If the June primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Primary likely voters only All primary likely voters Dem Party Rep Ind Jerry Brown, a Democrat 47% 78% 15% 37% Tim Donnelly, a Republican 10 2 20 11 Andrew Blount, a Republican 2 –52 Neel Kashkari, a Republican 2 –42 Someone else 3 124 Don’t know 36 19 54 45 Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 58% 44% 8 11 12 22 53 27 39 Forty-two percent of primary likely voters are satisfied with their choices of candidates in the primary election for governor; 35 percent are not satisfied, and 23 percent are unsure. Satisfaction was similar in January (43%) and in December 2013 (40%). Satisfaction was also similar in March 2010 (46%) before the last gubernatorial primary. Today, Democrats (57%) are far more likely than independents (33%) and Republicans (27%) to be satisfied with their choices in the gubernatorial primary. “In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June?” Primary likely voters only All primary likely voters Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Latinos Whites Satisfied 42% 57% 27% 33% 41% 39% Not satisfied 35 28 38 38 38 37 Don’t know 23 14 34 29 21 24 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 14 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  President Obama’s approval rating is at 52 percent; approval ratings of the U.S. Congress are at 19 percent. (page 16)  After successfully raising the debt limit, President Obama’s approval rating on handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling is essentially unchanged at 41 percent, while 21 percent approve of the Congressional Republicans on this dimension. (page 18)  Californians remain divided on the health care reform law, with mixed views of its long-term effects. Three in four uninsured Californians (75%) say they will get insurance before the deadline. (page 19)  A record-high 65 percent of Californians say immigrants are a benefit (rather than a burden) to the state. An overwhelming majority (86%) favor providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions. (page 20)  Three in four Californians say the income gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is growing. They are divided about whether all people, or just a few at the top, have a chance to get ahead. Six in 10 say the government should do more to reduce the income gap. (page 21)  Seven in 10 Californians believe the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Fifty-five percent say that stricter environmental laws are worth the cost. (page 22)  Majorities of Californians continue to say that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. Californians are divided on legalizing marijuana: 49 percent say it should be legal, 47 percent say illegal. (page 23) March 2014 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials President Obama 100 U.S. Congress 80 59 60 66 52 40 20 24 0 Mar 2012 29 Mar 2013 19 Mar 2014 Will Uninsured Californians Obtain Insurance in March? 4 21 Uninsured adults 75 Will obtain insurance Will remain uninsured Don't know Preferred Role of Government in Reducing Income Inequality 80 61 60 Should do more Should not be doing at all 49 45 40 33 Percent all adults 20 0 Californians Adults nationwide* 15 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS President Obama’s approval rating continues to hover around 50 percent—today, it is at 52 percent. His current rating is similar to his January ratings (53%) and to his record-low ratings, reached in December 2013 and September 2011 (51% each). Last March a much higher share of Californians approved of the president (66%). Approval among likely voters is at 49 percent, similar to the record low of 46 percent reached in January. In a recent CNN/ORC poll, adults nationwide (43% approve, 53% disapprove) were less approving than the Californians in our survey. Most Democrats (74%) approve of President Obama, while most Republicans (85%) disapprove; independents are much more likely to approve (55%) than disapprove (42%). Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (70%) are the most approving, followed by those in Los Angeles (53%) and Orange/San Diego (50%). Residents in the Inland Empire (44% approve, 51% disapprove) and the Central Valley (39% approve, 56% disapprove) are more likely to disapprove than approve of President Obama. Blacks (95%) are far more likely than Asians (58%), Latinos (50%), and whites (45%) to approve. Approval is higher among Californians age 18 to 34 than among older residents, and higher among college graduates than among less educated Californians. Overwhelming majorities of those who view the health care law favorably approve of the president (76%), while overwhelming majorities of those who view it unfavorably disapprove of his job performance (71%). Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 52% 74% 12% 55% 44 23 85 42 4324 Likely voters 49% 48 3 Californians continue to give poor ratings to the U.S. Congress, and today only 19 percent approve of its job performance. Approval of Congress has slipped 7 points since January (26%) and is similar to the record low of 18 percent reached in December 2013. Approval among likely voters is in the single digits again (9%) and matches the record-low approval first reached in December 2011. In a recent Gallup poll, adults nationwide (15% approve, 83% disapprove) held views similar to those of Californians in our survey. Partisans in California are united in their disapproval of Congress, with more than eight in 10 disapproving. Californians across regions are similarly negative, with more than seven in 10 disapproving. Disapproval is above 60 percent across age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups. Three in four men (75%) and women (73%) disapprove. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Approve 19% 15% 8% 13% 9% Disapprove 74 82 88 81 87 Don’t know 73454 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 16 PPIC Statewide Survey NATIONAL OUTLOOK Most Californians (56%) think things in the United States are generally going in the wrong direction; 39 percent say they are going in the right direction. Findings among likely voters (61% wrong direction, 35% right direction) are similar to those for all adults. Californians were similarly negative in December 2013 (57% wrong direction, 35% right direction), but they were much more positive in January 2013, shortly after the 2012 presidential election (39% wrong direction, 56% right direction). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans nationwide (65% wrong track, 26% right direction) were more negative than the Californians in our survey. Optimism about the direction of the country is expressed by half of Democrats (51%), but solid majorities of Republicans (84%) and independents (62%) are pessimistic. Pessimistic views are held by more than half of Californians across regions—except among residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (49% right direction, 45% wrong direction). Whites (66%) are the most pessimistic among racial/ethnic groups followed by Latinos (50%), Asians (44%), and blacks (37%). At least half of Californians across education and income groups think the nation is heading in the wrong direction. Right direction Wrong direction Don’t know “Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 39% 51% 13% 34% 56 41 84 62 5734 Likely voters 35% 61 5 Californians are divided when it comes to the economic outlook of the United States during the next 12 months—45 percent expect good times financially while 48 percent expect bad times. Findings were similar in December 2013 (43% good times, 48% bad times). Likely voters (40% good times, 51% bad times) hold roughly similar opinions to those of all adults. Democrats are economically optimistic (54% good times), while Republicans (71%) and independents (50%) are pessimistic. Across regions, residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) are by far the most optimistic, while at least half of residents in Los Angeles (50%), the Inland Empire (51%), and the Central Valley (58%) are pessimistic. Orange/San Diego residents are divided (46% good times, 48% bad times). Slim majorities of Latinos (54%) and blacks (53%) expect good times; far fewer whites (36%) hold this view. Asians are divided (49% good times, 48% bad times). Californians’ opinion of the economic outlook for the nation (45% good times, 48% bad times) mirrors their outlook for the state (46% good times, 45% bad times), however Californians are somewhat more negative about the direction of the nation (39% right direction, 56% wrong direction) than about the direction of the state (45% right direction, 48% wrong direction). Good times Bad times Don’t know “Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind 45% 54% 23% 43% 40% 48 40 71 50 51 76678 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT AND DEBT CEILING In mid-January, the president and Congress agreed on a spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year and in early February they agreed to raise the debt limit without condition, avoiding a repeat of recent years’ budgetary showdowns and averting a federal government shutdown. Nevertheless, Californians remain critical of federal elected officials when it comes to their handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling: 50 percent disapprove of President Obama and 69 percent disapprove of Republicans in Congress. PPIC Statewide Surveys have tracked approval ratings on the deficit and debt ceiling since January 2013. Approval of the way President Obama is handling these issues has been similar since last September (56% January 2013, 46% September 2013, 42% December 2013, 45% January 2013, 41% today). Approval among likely voters has also been similar since last September (49% January 2013, 43% September 2013, 42% December 2013, 40% January 2014, 41% today). Two in three Democrats (64%) express approval, while majorities of Republicans (85%) and independents (56%) express disapproval. A majority of San Francisco Bay Area residents (55%) approve of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling, but fewer than half in other regions approve (44% Los Angeles, 43% Orange/San Diego, 34% Inland Empire, 29% Central Valley). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks are by far the most likely racial/ethnic group to approve (75% blacks, 50% Asians, 44% Latinos, 32% whites). Opinion of the president’s handling the deficit and debt ceiling is closely tied to opinion of his job performance overall: 71 percent who approve overall also approve in this area; 87 percent who disapprove overall also disapprove in this area. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 41% 64% 10% 37% 50 30 85 56 9657 Likely voters 41% 55 4 By comparison, 21 percent of Californians approve of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. Fewer than three in 10 have expressed approval over time (26% January 2013, 27% September 2013, 17% December 2013, 23% January 2014, 21% today). Approval is slightly lower among likely voters (15%) than among all adults (21%). Bipartisan majorities disapprove of Republicans in Congress on their handling of the deficit and debt ceiling (83% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans) and 77 percent of independents agree. More than six in 10 across regions, racial/ethnic groups, and other demographic groups disapprove. Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 21% 10% 27% 17% 69 83 65 77 10 7 8 6 Likely voters 15% 79 6 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Californians remain closely divided on the health reform law: 47 percent have a generally favorable opinion and 45 percent have a generally unfavorable opinion. Results were nearly identical in December 2013 and in January of this year. Likely voters are also divided (44% favorable, 50% unfavorable). This law continues to divide voters along party lines (63% of Democrats are in support; 77% of Republicans are opposed). Independents are evenly divided (48% support, 48% oppose). Opinion is also divided among both those who currently have health insurance and those who are currently uninsured. Majorities of blacks (66%), Asians (55%), and Latinos (54%) view the law positively, compared with 39 percent of whites. Residents age 18 to 34 (50%) and age 35 to 54 (50%) are somewhat more favorable than those age 55 and older (42%). In a February Kaiser Family Foundation poll, adults nationwide were less likely to view the law favorably (35% favorably, 47% unfavorable) than the Californians in our survey. “As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?” All adults Dem Party Rep Have health insurance Ind Yes No Generally favorable 47% 63% 17% 48% 47% 49% Generally unfavorable 45 28 77 48 45 46 Don’t know 7 9 6 4 85 With the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act about to end, most uninsured Californians (75%) say they will obtain insurance by March 31, while 21 percent say they will remain uninsured. As of midMarch, Covered California reported that more than one million people statewide had enrolled in health care coverage. Enrollment has lagged in key groups, including Latinos and younger Californians. In our survey, strong majorities in these groups say they plan to obtain insurance before the deadline (74% among Latinos, 77% among those age 18 to 44). In its February poll, Kaiser found that 49 percent of uninsured adults nationwide were planning to get health care coverage, while 44 percent were not. About a third of Californians (34%) say the health care law will be good for them and their families in the long run, a quarter (26%) say it will be bad, and about a third (36%) say it will make no difference. In Kaiser’s poll, adults nationwide were less optimistic about the law’s long-term personal effects (26% good, 30% bad, 38% no difference). Among the uninsured in our survey, a plurality (38%) say it will be good. A plurality of Democrats (49%) say the law will be good for them, while a majority of Republicans (52%) say it will be bad. Nearly six in 10 blacks (59%) and Asians (58%) are optimistic, compared with 33 percent of Latinos and 25 percent of whites. A plurality of Latinos (40%) say it will make no difference. Whites are the most likely to say it will be bad for them (35%). Californians age 18 to 34 (44%) are more optimistic about the health care law than those age 35 to 54 (31%) or 55 and older (27%). “In the long run, do you think the health care law will be good or bad for you and your family, or won’t it make much difference?” All adults Dem Party Rep Have health insurance Ind Yes No Good 34% 49% 8% 31% 33% 38% Bad 26 12 52 29 27 25 Won’t make much difference 36 35 36 38 38 31 Don’t know 3 4 4 2 26 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM A record-high 65 percent of Californians say that immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills rather than a burden to California because they use public services (27%). When we first asked this question in April 1998, Californians were more closely divided on the impact of immigrants to the state: 46 percent considered immigrants a benefit and 42 percent said they were a burden. In 17 surveys since that time, majorities of Californians have said immigrants are a benefit, including more than six in 10 since January 2013 (63% January 2013, 61% May 2013, 65% today). To a slightly lesser extent, likely voters today are also more likely to view immigrants as benefit (58%) than as a burden (35%). Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans (73% to 38%) to say immigrants are a benefit because of their hard work and job skills. Among independents, 59 percent say immigrants are a benefit. Although majorities across racial/ethnic groups say that immigrants are a benefit to the state, Latinos (83%) and Asians (73%) are much more likely than blacks (58%) and whites (53%) to hold this view. Those age 18 to 34 (76%) and age 35 to 54 (70%) are far more likely than those age 55 and older (50%) to consider immigrants a benefit. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills; or immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” Immigrants are a benefit to California Immigrants are a burden to California Don’t know All adults 65% 27 7 Dem 73% 21 6 Party Rep 38% 51 11 Ind 59% 34 8 Asians 73% 19 9 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 58% 83% 32 14 10 3 Whites 53% 39 8 When it comes to immigration reform, an overwhelming majority of Californians (86%) and likely voters (83%) favor providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants if they meet certain requirements, including participating in a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English. Support was similarly overwhelming among all adults in January (83%) and last September (85%). Support for this reform is widespread regardless of Californians’ views on immigrants generally (among those who say immigrants are a benefit, 93% express support, and among those who consider immigrants a burden, 72% express support). The requirements described in this question were the basic elements of the U.S. Senate bill passed last June—since then there has been little progress made by federal lawmakers. Strong support for a path to citizenship is also found among adults nationwide (for example, 77% expressed support in an October CBS News poll). In California today, strong majorities of Democrats (90%), independents (83%), and Republicans (76%) favor a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and more than three in four across regions and racial/ethnic and other demographic groups express support. “Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements, including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English?” All adults Dem Party Rep Race/Ethnicity Ind Asians Blacks Latinos Favor 86% 90% 76% 83% 78% 89% 96% Oppose 13 9 23 16 21 10 4 Don’t know 2 2 1 2 1–1 Whites 82% 15 2 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey POVERTY AND INCOME INEQUALITY Nearly three in four Californians (73%) believe that the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is getting larger, 21 percent say it has stayed the same, and only 3 percent say it is getting smaller. Views among adults nationwide were very similar in a mid-January CBS News poll (70% larger, 24% same, 5% smaller). Likely voters in our survey (81%) are more likely than all adults (73%) to say the gap is widening. More than six in 10 across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the gap is getting larger. Interestingly, the share saying the gap is widening increases as income levels rise (68% less than $40,000 a year, 76% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). Those with household incomes of less than $40,000 are more likely than those earning more to say the gap has stayed the same. Six in 10 Californians (61%) say the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, while one in three (33%) say this is something the government should not be doing. By comparison, in the CBS News poll, adults nationwide were closely divided on the role of government in reducing income inequality (49% should do more, 45% should not be doing at all). In our survey, half of likely voters (52%) say government should do more (43% should not). Most Democrats (74%) and independents (59%) say the government should do more, while most Republicans (68%) disagree. Support for the government doing more declines as income levels rise. It is much higher among blacks (76%), Latinos (75%), and Asians (68%) than among whites (50%). Among those who say the income gap is growing, 68 percent say the government should do more to reduce it. “Should the government do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing?” Government should do more Government should not be doing Don’t know All adults 61% 33 6 Under $40,000 69% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 59% $80,000 or more 52% 24 37 43 7 45 Asians 68% 31 1 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 76% 75% 18 20 66 Whites 50% 44 6 Californians are closely divided on the question of opportunity in today’s economy: 49 percent say everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run while 47 percent say it’s mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance. In the CBS News poll, adults nationwide were more likely to say everyone has a chance (52%) than to say just a few people at the top have a chance (43%). In our survey, likely voters are divided (49% everyone, 48% just a few at the top). Among Democrats, 38 percent say everyone has a fair chance and 60 percent say only those at the top have a chance. The converse is true among Republicans (60% everyone, 34% just a few at the top). Independents are divided (48% everyone, 50% just a few at the top). Those earning $80,000 or more are slightly more likely than those earning less to say everyone has a fair chance. Across racial/ethnic groups, about half of Asians (52%), Latinos (51%), and whites (49%) say everyone has a fair chance, compared to 41 percent of blacks. “Which comes closer to your view? In today's economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run; or in today's economy, it's mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead.” Everyone has a fair chance in the long run Just a few people at the top have a chance Don’t know All adults 49% 47 4 Under $40,000 44% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 49% $80,000 or more 55% 51 49 43 523 Asians 52% 47 1 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 41% 51% 57 45 14 Whites 49% 46 4 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: ABORTION, ENVIRONMENT A solid majority of Californians (69%) and a somewhat higher share of likely voters (78%) say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion; 26 percent of adults and 18 percent of likely voters say the government should pass more laws to restrict access. More than six in 10 Californians have said that the government should not interfere with access in 10 surveys dating back to January 2000. Solid majorities across parties say the government should not restrict access to abortion (81% Democrats, 66% Republicans, 78% independents). Mainline Protestants (81%) and those without a religious affiliation (88%) are far more likely than Catholics (58%) and evangelical Protestants (50%) to say the government should not interfere with access. Whites and blacks (77% each) and Asians (70%) are more likely than Latinos (57%) to say the government should not restrict access. The share saying the government should not restrict access increases as income levels rise (63% less than $40,000, 70% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). Those with some college education (77%) and college graduates (80%) are more likely to favor not interfering than Californians with a high school education or less (56%). Among parents of children age 18 and younger, 57 percent say the government should not interfere with access, while 39 percent say it should pass more laws that restrict access. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; or the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion.” All adults Pass more laws Not interfere with access Don’t know 26% 69 5 Dem 16% 81 3 Party Rep 30% 66 4 Ind 18% 78 3 Evangelical Protestants 43% 50 7 Religion Mainline Protestants Catholics 14% 38% 81 58 44 No religion 8% 88 3 When asked about environmental tradeoffs, Californians (55%) and likely voters (53%) say that stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. Fewer adults (38%) and likely voters (42%) say that these types of regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy. In March 2012, Californians were divided (45% hurt the economy, 47% worth the cost). Between May 1998 and February 2004, majorities of Californians said that stricter environmental laws and regulations were worth the cost. Most Democrats (70%) and independents (60%) believe that stricter environmental regulations are worth the cost; most Republicans (68%) think they hurt the economy. Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (71%), Orange/San Diego (59%), and Los Angeles (55%) say regulations are worth it. Residents are divided in the Central Valley (46% hurt the economy, 48% worth the cost) and the Inland Empire (47% hurt the economy, 45% worth the cost). Adults age 55 and older are also divided (46% hurt the economy, 44% worth the cost), while younger Californians (60% 18 to 54) say environmental regulations are worth the cost. “Please indicate 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 stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.” Cost too many jobs, hurt the economy Are worth the cost All adults 38% 55 Dem 24% 70 Party Rep 68% 24 Likely voters Ind 37% 42% 60 53 Don’t know 75835 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: GUN CONTROL, MARIJUANA With gun regulations being debated at the local, state, and national level, and in the courts, how do Californians view the role of government? Fifty-six percent of Californians say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns and 37 percent say the government goes too far in restricting citizens’ rights to own guns. Today’s share saying the government does not do enough is nearly identical to last May’s share (57%) and somewhat lower than the high reached January 2013 (65%). Since we first asked this question in January 2000, majorities of Californians have said the government does not do enough. Three in four Democrats (75%) and more than half of independents (54%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access, while two in three Republicans (67%) say the government goes too far. Majorities across most regions and demographic groups say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. The few exceptions are whites, those with only some college education, and Inland Empire residents, whose views are closely divided. Sixty-three percent of gun owners say the government goes too far and a similar share of those who do not own guns (65%) say the government does not do enough. “Please indicate 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 Dem Party Rep Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Ind Yes No Government goes too far 37% 21% 67% 38% Government does not do enough 56 75 24 54 Don’t know 74 9 8 63% 30 7 28% 65 7 As proponents of marijuana legalization consider another ballot measure, Californians are currently divided on legalizing marijuana: 49 percent say it should be legal, 47 percent say it should not be legal. Among likely voters, a slim majority (53%) say marijuana should be legal, and 44 percent say it should be illegal. Last September, 52 percent of adults and 60 percent of likely voters said it should be legal. Slim majorities of adults said it should be illegal in March 2012 and September 2011 (51% each). In 2010, California adults were divided (September 2010: 47% yes, 49% no; May 2010: 48% yes, 49% no). In a February Pew Research Center survey of adults nationwide, 54 percent said legal, 42 percent said illegal. Majorities of independents (60%) and Democrats (57%) say marijuana should be legal; 62 percent of Republicans say it should be illegal. Blacks (63%) and whites (57%) say it should be legal, a majority of Latinos say it should be illegal (60%), and Asians are divided (44% yes, 48% no). Younger Californians are much more likely than adults age 35 and older to say it should be legal (64% 18 to 34, 39% 35 to 54, 47% 55 and older). There is majority support for legalizing marijuana in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%) and the Inland Empire (52%), while Central Valley residents are divided (50% yes, 49% no), and majorities of Orange/San Diego (55%) and Los Angeles (52%) residents are opposed. Yes, legal No, not legal Don’t know “Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not?” All adults 18 to 34 Age 35 to 54 55 and above Likely voters 49% 64% 39% 47% 53% 47 34 58 48 44 32253 March 2014 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP March 2014 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Jui Shrestha, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its own advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,702 California adult residents, including 1,191 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from March 11–18, 2014. 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 new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010–2012 American Community Survey’s (ACS) Public Use Microdata Series for California (with regional coding information from the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California) to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample—region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education—with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2012 state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS—and 2013 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,702 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1,380 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4 percent; for the 1,091 likely voters, it is ±4.5 percent; for the 936 primary likely voters, it is ±4.7 percent; for the 187 uninsured adults, it is ±9.7%. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. In several places, we refer to coastal and inland counties. The “coastal” region refers to the counties along the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. All other counties are included in the “inland” region. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and nonHispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups—such as Native Americans—are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. Results for questions 8 to 10 are based on primary likely voters. In addition to criteria used to determine likely voters, we used responses to questions on following news about the candidates for the gubernatorial election and intention to vote in the June primary as criteria to determine primary likely voters. For the gubernatorial primary (question 8), the candidate list was based on news coverage and campaign publicity before our interviewing began on March 11. In addition, respondents could name other candidates who were not on our list. The Secretary of State will release the certified list of candidates on March 27th. 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, CNN/ORC, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and the Pew Research Center. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. March 2014 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 11–18, 2014 1,702 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.6% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, 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] 32% jobs, economy 15 water, drought 7 education, schools, teachers 7 immigration, illegal immigration 5 health care, health reform, Obamacare 4 crime, gangs, drugs 4 state budget, deficit, taxes 3 housing costs, availability 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 government in general 16 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? 49% approve 28 disapprove 23 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 36% approve 45 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 45% right direction 48 wrong direction 7 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? 46% good times 45 bad times 10 don’t know 6. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 66% yes [ask q6a] 34 no [skip to q7b] 6a. 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 q7] 29 Republican [skip to q7a] 6 another party (specify) [skip to q8] 22 independent [skip to q7b] 7. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 45 not very strong 2 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey [skip to q11] 7a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 49% strong 46 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q8] 7b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 20% Republican Party 46 Democratic Party 25 neither (volunteered) 9 don’t know [questions 8 to 10 reported for primary likely voters] 8. [primary likely voters only] As you may know, California now has a top-two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes, regardless of party, will advance to the general election. If the June primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask: “or someone else?”] 47% Jerry Brown, a Democrat 10 Tim Donnelly, a Republican 2 Neel Kashkari, a Republican 2 Andrew Blount, a Republican 3 someone else (specify) 36 don’t know 9. [primary likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2014 governor’s election—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 8% very closely 29 fairly closely 37 not too closely 24 not at all closely 2 don’t know 10.[primary likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the primary election for governor this June? 42% satisfied 35 not satisfied 23 don’t know For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 11 to 14] 11.How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? 30% favor 59 oppose 11 don’t know 12.How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed while lowering the overall sales tax rate? 44% favor 43 oppose 13 don’t know 13.How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 51% favor 43 oppose 6 don’t know 14.How about raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 63% favor 33 oppose 4 don’t know Next, 15.Overall, do you think the state and local tax system is in need of major changes, minor changes, or do you think it is fine the way it is? 51% major changes 30 minor changes 14 fine the way it is 4 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 16.Overall, how fair do you think our present state and local tax system is—would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair? 3% very fair 47 moderately fair 32 not too fair 15 not at all fair 3 don’t know 17.When you combine all of the taxes you pay to state and local governments, do you feel that you pay much more than you should, somewhat more than you should, about the right amount, or less than you should? 30% much more 30 somewhat more 35 about the right amount 3 less than you should 3 don’t know 18.Where do you think California currently ranks in state and local tax burden per capita? Compared to other states, is California's tax burden per capita near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom? 36% near the top 24 above average 21 average 5 below average 2 near the bottom 11 don’t know 19.On another topic, would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 55% big problem 20 somewhat of a problem 23 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 20.Do you think that the water supply that is available for your part of California will be adequate or inadequate for what is needed ten years from now? (If inadequate: “Is that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate?”) 33% adequate 29 somewhat inadequate 31 very inadequate 8 don’t know 21.The legislature is considering an approximately $11.1 billion bond measure for the November 2014 ballot to pay for state water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on this state water bond? (If no: “What if the state water bond was a lower amount, would you vote yes or no?”) 60% yes 23 total no 9 no, but would vote yes if it was a lower amount 14 no, even if it was a lower amount 16 don’t know 21a.How important is it that voters pass the state water bond measure—is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 52% very important 25 somewhat important 6 not too important 6 not at all important 11 don’t know 21b.Would you say that you and your family have taken steps to reduce water use recently in response to the current drought? (If yes: “Have you done a lot or a little to reduce water use?”) 92% total, yes takes steps 57 yes, done a lot 35 yes, done a little 7 no, have not taken steps 1 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 22.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 $68 billion dollars over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high-speed rail system in California? (If oppose: “What if the high-speed rail system cost less, would you favor or oppose building it?”) 53% favor 42 total oppose 16 oppose, but would favor if it cost less 26 oppose, even if it cost less 5 don’t know 23.Thinking ahead, how important is the highspeed 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? 35% very important 32 somewhat important 16 not too important 16 not at all important 1 don’t know 24.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? 52% approve 44 disapprove 4 don’t know 25.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 19% approve 74 disapprove 7 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government 26.Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 39% right direction 56 wrong direction 5 don’t know 27.Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 45% good times 48 bad times 7 don’t know [rotate questions 28 and 29] 28.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 41% approve 50 disapprove 9 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 21% approve 69 disapprove 10 don’t know Next, 30.As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a [rotate] (1) [generally favorable] [or] (2) [generally unfavorable] opinion of it? 47% generally favorable 45 generally unfavorable 7 don’t know 31.In the long run, do you think the health care law will be [rotate] (1) [good] [or] (2) [bad] for you and your family, or won’t it make much difference? 34% good 26 bad 36 won’t make much difference 3 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 32.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. 65% immigrants are a benefit to California 27 immigrants are a burden to California 7 don’t know 33.Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English? 86% favor 13 oppose 2 don’t know On another topic, 33a.Do you think the gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is getting larger, getting smaller, or has it stayed the same? 73% getting larger 3 getting smaller 21 has stayed the same 3 don’t know 34.Should the government do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing? 61% should do more 33 should not be doing 6 don’t know 35.Which comes closer to your view? [rotate] (1) In today's economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run. [or] (2) In today's economy, it's mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead. 49% everyone has a fair chance 47 just a few people at the top have a chance 4 don’t know March 2014 Californians and Their Government Changing topics, For each of the following issues, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate questions 36 to 38] 36.[rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; [or] (2) the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 26% government should pass more laws 69 government should not interfere with access 5 don’t know 37.[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. 38% stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy 55 stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost 7 don’t know 38.[rotate] (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. 37% government goes too far 56 government does not do enough 7 don’t know 39.Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not? 49% yes, legal 47 no, not legal 3 don’t know 40.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 13% very liberal 21 somewhat liberal 31 middle-of-the-road 22 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 41.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 20% great deal 37 fair amount 34 only a little 9 none – don’t know [d1 to d3a: demographic questions] D3b. Do you happen to have any guns, rifles, or pistols in your home? 18% yes 82 no – don’t know [d4 to d5a: demographic questions] D6.Are you, yourself, now covered by any form of health insurance or health plan or do you not have health insurance at this time? D6a.Which of the following is your main source of health insurance coverage? Is it a plan through your employer, a plan through your spouse’s employer, a plan you purchased yourself either from an insurance company or the state or federal marketplace, are you covered by Medicare or Medi-Cal, or do you get your health insurance from somewhere else? 81% yes, covered by health insurance 30% through employer 11 through spouse’s employer 12 Medicare 11 Medi-Cal 9 self-purchased plan [ask d6b] 4 through parents/mother/ father (volunteered) 3 somewhere else (specify) 1 other government plan (volunteered) 18 not insured 2 don’t know/refused D6b.[of those who purchased a plan themselves] Did you purchase your plan directly from an insurance company, or from the marketplace known as healthcare.gov or Covered California? (if they say they purchased insurance through a broker: “Do you know if that was a plan from the California marketplace or exchange, such as one labeled Gold, Silver, or Bronze, or was it a plan purchased directly from an insurance company and not through an exchange or marketplace?”) 51% insurance company 38 healthcare.gov/Covered California 4 insurance broker, not sure if it was an exchange plan (volunteered) 6 don’t know D6c.[of those who do not have health insurance] As you may know, the 2010 health care law requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance by the end of March or else pay a fine. Do you think you will obtain health insurance, or do you think you will remain uninsured? (if don't know: “We realize there is still some uncertainty, but if you had to guess, do you think you will obtain health insurance by the end of March, or do you think you will remain uninsured?”) 75% will obtain health insurance 21 will remain uninsured 4 don’t know [d7 to d17: demographic questions] March 2014 Californians and Their Government 32 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey 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 Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Member, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Vice Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decision makers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 2014 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:59" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_314mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:59" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:59" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_314MBS.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) }