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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_315MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "589765" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(96510) "ppic statewide survey MARCH 2015 &Californians their government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Renatta DeFever Lunna Lopes Jui Shrestha CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 16 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 148th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 310,000 Californians. This is the 66th 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. The context for this survey includes ongoing discussions on funding for higher education and transportation projects. Governor Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano have differing views on public university funding. Governor Brown highlighted the maintenance of roads in his inaugural address, and lawmakers are looking for ways to fund transportation projects. With the state mired in a drought, the governor and legislature announced $1 billion in drought relief just after our interviews were complete. Discussions are taking place to boost voter turnout, following record low participation in recent elections. At the national level, the Senate failed to override President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL project. The Supreme Court has begun hearing a case that could end health care subsidies in a majority of states under the Affordable Care Act. Immigration action taken by President Obama is facing legal battles in some states. Growing inequality remains a concern. The survey presents the responses of 1,706 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; opinions on extending Proposition 30 taxes; assessments of the current state and local tax system; views on the current and future water supply, and whether people are doing enough in response to the drought; opinions about the condition of roads, highways, and bridges, the importance of more spending to maintain them, and proposals to raise money for this purpose; perceptions of the high-speed rail system; preferences on using the budget surplus; views on the conditions under which the state should increase funding to public universities; and reasons for not registering to vote, or not voting in all elections.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials; overall outlook; opinions on the 2010 health reform law and concern about not being able to afford health care; opinions on immigration policy, including President Obama’s recent executive action; attitudes toward income inequality and the government’s role in reducing it; seriousness of global warming as a threat to the nation, support for the Keystone XL pipeline; and views on 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 www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey NEWS RELEASE CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Californians Say Their Neighbors Aren’t Doing Enough About Drought FEW SUPPORT RAISING GAS TAX, SLIM MAJORITY FAVOR LEGALIZING MARIJUANA SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2015—Large majorities of Californians say the supply of water in their part of the state is a big problem and that people in their regions are not doing enough to respond to the drought, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Two-thirds of adults (66%) say the regional water supply is a big problem, near the record high reached last October (68%) on this question. Another 19 percent say it is somewhat of a problem (14% not much of a problem). Central Valley residents are the most likely to see the water supply as a big problem (76%), followed by Orange/San Diego (71%), the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Los Angeles (60%), and the Inland Empire (56%). Asked about the water supply in their area 10 years from now, 69 percent expect it to be somewhat inadequate (26%) or very inadequate (43%) for what is needed. The share of residents saying the supply will be very inadequate has increased 12 points since last March. Two-thirds of Californians (66%) say people in their part of the state are not doing enough to respond to the drought (24% right amount, 6% too much). Majorities across regions, parties, and racial/ethnic, education, and income groups say not enough is being done. What is the most important issue facing people in California today? Residents are equally likely to name water and the drought (23%) as jobs and the economy (24%). They are much less likely to name other issues (education and schools 6%, immigration 6%, crime 5%). “The ongoing drought is raising concerns about the long-term water supply,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Most Californians think their neighbors could be doing more to save water today.” OPPOSED TO PAYING MORE FOR ROAD MAINTENANCE, DIVIDED ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL Governor Jerry Brown emphasized the maintenance of the state’s roads and infrastructure in his inaugural address. How do Californians view the condition of roads, highways and bridges? About a third (34%) say it is a big problem in their part of the state, another third (33%) say it’s somewhat of a problem, and a third (32%) say it is not much of a problem. Majorities of Californians (53% adults, 58% likely voters) say spending more money to maintain state roads, highways, and bridges is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. But when asked about three ways to increase state funding for this purpose, most Californians did not favor any of them. Just 18 percent favor increasing the state’s gas tax, 23 percent favor increasing the vehicle registration fee, and 47 percent favor issuing bonds paid for through the state’s general fund. “Californians agree with the governor that highway, road, and bridge maintenance is important to the state’s future,” Baldassare said. “But they are reluctant to invest their money in state infrastructure projects.” March 2015 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey The survey asks about another transportation issue, high-speed rail. When read a brief description of the project and its associated costs, residents are divided: 47 percent favor it and 48 percent are opposed. Support for high-speed rail has hovered around 50 percent in recent years. When those who oppose it are asked how they would feel if it cost less, support increases to 64 percent. Just 28 percent say highspeed rail is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California—down from previous years (33% March 2012, 36% March 2013, 35% March 2014). HALF SUPPORT EXTENDING PROPOSITION 30—TEMPORARILY The share of Californians saying the budget is a big problem is 45 percent—the lowest since May 2007. The survey asks about extending the temporary Proposition 30 tax increases that have helped improve the budget picture. About half of Californians (51%) and likely voters (48%) favor extending these increases in sales taxes and the income taxes of high earners, which are set to fully expire in 2018. But when those who favor extending the taxes are asked about making them permanent, support drops from 51 percent to 35 percent among all adults, and from 48 percent to 32 percent among likely voters. Regardless of their opinions on the issue, 66 percent of adults and 68 percent of likely voters say state voters should decide whether to extend the tax increases. HALF FAVOR MORE HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING—IF FEES DON’T RISE With a budget surplus projected over the next several years, the survey asks whether Californians prefer spending it to pay down debt and build a reserve or restore some funding for public colleges and universities. Most adults (56%) choose restoring higher education funding. Likely voters are divided (48% pay down debt, 47% higher education funding). The governor has proposed increasing funding for California’s public colleges and universities if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. When asked their views, 48 percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters say state funding should be increased only if tuition and fees are not increased. Fewer (28% adults, 27% likely voters) say the state should not increase funding or that funding should be increased even if tuition and fees go up (19% adults, 18% likely voters). RECORD-HIGH SUPPORT FOR LEGALIZING MARIJUANA As advocates for legalizing marijuana again consider putting the issue on the ballot, support for legalization is at its highest point since PPIC began asking this question in May 2010. Today, 53 percent of residents say marijuana should be legal and 45 percent say it should not. Slim majorities supported legalization in October 2014 (51%) and September 2013 (52%). Among likely voters, 55 percent favor legalization. About three-quarters of adults (74%) who have tried marijuana say it should be legal, while only a third (35%) who have never tried it favor legalization. Residents aged 18 to 34 (61%) are more likely than older adults to say marijuana use should be legal (47% age 35 to 54, 52% age 55 and older). Most adults without children under 18 (59%) favor legalization. Most parents with children (54%) are opposed. If marijuana were legal, 53 percent of adults say it would not bother them if a store or business selling it opened up in their neighborhood, while 44 percent say it would. Most parents (54%) would be bothered. BROWN, OBAMA HAVE 55 PERCENT APPROVAL The governor’s job approval rating is 55 percent among adults (28% disapprove, 17% don’t know) and 56 percent among likely voters (36% disapprove, 8% don’t know). This is down from his record high in January (61% adults, 58% likely voters) but higher than his rating a year ago (49% adults, 52% likely voters in March 2014). The legislature’s approval rating has also dipped since January. Today it is 45 percent among adults and 39 percent among likely voters (49% adults, 41% likely voters in January). March 2015 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey President Obama’s approval rating among adults matches the governor’s, at 55 percent, but disapproval of his job performance is higher (41%, 4% don’t know). Likely voters are divided (49% approve, 48% disapprove). Californians continue to disapprove of the U.S. Congress’ job performance. Just 24 percent of adults and 16 percent of likely voters approve. Half of adults (50%) say things in California are generally going in the right direction (41% wrong direction), and 52 percent say we will have good times financially in the next year. Adults are more pessimistic about the direction of the nation, with 54 percent saying things are going in the wrong direction (40% right direction). Their opinion of the nation’s economic outlook mirrors their view for the state: 53 percent say the U.S. will have good times financially in the next year (41% bad times). CALIFORNIANS DIVERGE FROM ADULTS NATIONWIDE ON KEY ISSUES The survey asks about four other issues being discussed at both the state and federal levels. Compared to adults nationwide, Californians are more likely to:  View health care reform favorably. About half of Californians (52%) have a generally favorable opinion of the health reform law (42% generally unfavorable). In a national Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 41 percent had a favorable view. The PPIC survey also asks Californians how concerned they are about being able to afford necessary health care when a family gets sick. A strong majority are at least somewhat concerned (51% very concerned, 23% somewhat).  View global warming as a very serious problem. Most Californians (60%) say global warming will be a very serious problem for the U.S. if nothing is done to reduce it, compared to 44 percent of adults nationwide in a recent New York Times/Stanford/RFF poll. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (75%) are most likely to see global warming as very serious, followed by blacks (70%), Asians (58%), and whites (46%). Adults age 55 and older (47%) are less likely than younger Californians to view global warming as a serious problem (65% age 18 to 34, 66% age 35 to 54).  Support Obama’s executive order on immigration. A strong majority of Californians (70%) support the president’s order protecting up to 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. A December ABC News/Washington Post poll showed support at 52 percent nationally. Across all regions and demographic groups, an overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements.  Say the government should do more to reduce income inequality. Asked about the gap between rich and poor, 72 percent of Californians say it is growing—similar to their national counterparts in the January CBS News poll (69% getting larger). However, Californians (61%) are slightly more likely than adults nationwide (55%) to say the government should do more about it. California’s likely voters (80%) are more likely than state residents overall to say the income gap is growing—but less likely (51%) to say that government should do more to reduce it. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Most say they’re paying more taxes than they should—page 9 Half of Californians say the state and local tax system is fair, but 57 percent say they are paying much more or somewhat more than they feel they should.  Top reason adults aren’t registered to vote? Lack of citizenship—page 15 When Californians are asked why they don’t register to vote, the most frequently cited reason is not being a U.S. citizen (34%), followed by the view that voting doesn’t change things (13%).  A majority favor the Keystone XL pipeline—page 22 In the wake of Obama’s veto of the pipeline bill, 54 percent say they favor building the pipeline. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  A majority of Californians (55%) approve of Governor Brown, and 45 percent approve of the legislature—both ratings have declined from their highest point in January. (page 7)  The ongoing drought continues to concern Californians. Today, a quarter of adults (23%) name water and drought as the top issue facing the state. (page 8)  A majority of adults (57%) say they pay more state and local taxes than they should and 37 percent believe California ranks near the top in state and local tax burden per capita. (page 9)  Half of adults (51%) favor extending the Proposition 30 tax increases. One in three Californians (35%) favor making the increases permanent. (page 10)  Seven in 10 Californians expect the supply of water in their area to be inadequate in the future. Two in three adults say people in their part of California are not doing enough in response to the drought. (page 11)  Despite a majority of adults (53%) saying that spending money on infrastructure maintenance is very important, there is little support for increasing the gasoline tax (18%) or vehicle registration fees (23%) to pay for infrastructure projects. (page 12)  Today, only 47 percent of adults favor building the high-speed rail system in California, marking a decline from last year when 53 percent favored the project. (page 13)  Half of Californians (48%) think the state should increase funding to public universities only if the universities freeze tuition and fees. (page 14) March 2015 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Percent all adults 80 60 34 40 40 20 24 25 Governor Brown California Legislature 55 49 49 45 36 34 0 Mar Mar Mar 11 12 13 Mar Mar 14 15 Perception That Area Water Supply Will Be Inadequate in the Next 10 Years Very inadequate 80 Somewhat inadequate Percent all adults 60 31 43 40 26 20 27 29 26 0 Sep Mar Mar 13 14 15 Support for Ways to Raise Funds for Roads, Highways, and Bridges 80 60 40 20 18 23 47 0 Increase Increase Issue bonds gas tax vehicle through registration the state's fees general fund 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Fifty-five percent of adults and 56 percent of likely voters approve of the way Jerry Brown is handling his job as California’s governor. In January, the governor’s approval rating among adults (61%) was at its highest point, and a similar share of likely voters (58%) approved. Last March, approval was lower (49% adults, 52% likely voters). Today, approval is far higher among Democrats (75%) than among independents (47%) and Republicans (32%). Approval is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (64%) than in Los Angeles (58%), the Inland Empire (52%), Orange/San Diego (51%), and the Central Valley (48%). Majorities of Asians (62%), blacks (58%), Latinos (58%), and whites (51%) approve. 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 55% 28% 56 36 Democrats 75 12 Republicans 32 56 Independents 47 38 Central Valley 48 30 San Francisco Bay Area 64 23 Los Angeles 58 26 Orange/San Diego 51 32 Inland Empire 52 31 Don’t know 17% 8 12 12 15 23 14 15 18 17 Forty-five percent of adults and 39 percent of likely voters approve of the way the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval was at a higher point in January (49% adults, 41% likely voters) but it was lower in March 2014 (36% adults, 32% likely voters). Today, Democrats (58%) are more likely than independents (36%) and Republicans (18%) to approve of the legislature. San Francisco Bay Area residents (52%) are the most likely to approve of the legislature, followed by those in Los Angeles (49%), the Inland Empire (47%), Orange/San Diego (40%), and the Central Valley (34%). Majorities of Asians (58%) and Latinos (54%)—but fewer blacks (46%) and whites (34%)—approve of the legislature. All adults Likely voters Party Region “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove 45% 39% 39 50 Democrats 58 28 Republicans 18 67 Independents 36 50 Central Valley 34 45 San Francisco Bay Area 52 32 Los Angeles 49 41 Orange/San Diego 40 39 Inland Empire 47 42 Don’t know 16% 11 13 15 13 22 16 11 21 12 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Californians are equally likely to name either jobs and the economy (24%) or water and the drought (23%) as the most important issues facing people in California today, followed by education and schools (6%), immigration (6%), and crime (5%). In March 2014, jobs and the economy (32%) topped the list, followed by water and the drought (15%); fewer than 10 percent mentioned any other issue. Water and the drought are mentioned more often today in the Central Valley (32%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (32%) than in other regions. Views are similar among likely voters and all adults. Top five issues mentioned Jobs, economy Water, drought Education, schools, teachers Immigration, illegal immigration Crime, gangs, drugs “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” All adults 24% Central Valley 17% San Francisco Bay Area 15% Region Los Angeles 29% Orange/ San Diego 27% Inland Empire 35% 23 32 32 13 22 15 67 8 47 4 65 2 97 3 55 4 86 5 Likely voters 23% 24 7 8 2 Fifty percent of all adults and 49 percent of likely voters say that things in California are generally going in the right direction. This response is lower than it was in January for all adults (57%) but was identical among likely voters (49%). Results among adults and likely voters are slightly higher than they were in March 2014 (45% adults, 41% likely voters). Today, Democrats (69%) are far more likely than independents (47%) and Republicans (21%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (62%) are more likely than Los Angeles (51%), Inland Empire (49%), Orange/San Diego (43%), and Central Valley (42%) residents to hold this view. Half or more of Asians (62%), Latinos (58%), and blacks (50%)— but fewer whites (41%)—say the state is going in the right direction. Across income groups, half or more of all adults say that things in California are generally going in the right direction (52% less than $40,000, 51% $40,000 to $80,000, 50% $80,000 or more). “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Right direction 50% 69% 21% 47% 49% Wrong direction 41 24 73 46 47 Don’t know 88675 When asked about economic conditions in California, 52 percent of all adults and 49 percent of likely voters say that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially. Optimistic responses were higher in January (58% adults, 54% likely voters) and lower in March 2014 (46% adults, 42% likely voters). Today, San Francisco Bay Area residents (63%) are more likely to expect good times than those in Los Angeles (53%), the Inland Empire (51%), Orange/San Diego (48%), and the Central Valley (45%). Democrats (61%) are more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (29%) to expect good times. Majorities of Asians (62%), blacks (58%), and Latinos (56%)—but fewer whites (45%)—say that we will have good economic times. Upper-income residents are the most likely to say that California will have good times financially (50% less than $40,000, 52% $40,000 to $80,000, 58% $80,000 or more). March 2015 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE AND LOCAL TAX SYSTEM With the April 15 income tax deadline looming, half of California adults (3% very, 47% moderately) and likely voters (3% very, 47% moderately) say the present state and local tax system is fair. However, six in 10 adults (57%) and likely voters (58%) say they are paying much more or somewhat more than they feel they should pay in state and local taxes. Last March, a similar 60 percent of all adults and 58 percent of likely voters said that they pay much or somewhat more than they should. Fewer than half of adults (46%) said that they paid more than they should in January 2012, while majorities had this perception in January 2011 (53%) and January 2010 (56%). Today, Republicans (48%) are more likely than independents (32%) and Democrats (22%) to say that they pay much more than they should. Across income groups, higher-income adults are the most likely to say they pay much more than they should (29% less than $40,000, 34% $40,000 to $80,000, 36% $80,000 or more). “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 32% Under $40,000 29% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 34% $80,000 or more 36% Likely voters 35% Somewhat more 25 24 28 25 23 About the right amount 36 37 34 34 35 Less than you should 5 6 4 5 5 Don’t know 24–12 Most Californians say that their state is a national leader in high taxes. Solid majorities (62% adults, 71% likely voters) say that California ranks near the top or is above average in the per capita state and local tax burden compared to other states. The public’s perceptions are in line with the fiscal facts: California’s state and local tax collections per capita in 2012 were ranked 15th highest in the nation (Tax Policy Center, 2015). A similar share said that California is near the top or above average in state and local tax burden in March 2014 (60% percent adults, 70% likely voters) and in May 2006 (57% adults, 64% likely voters). Today, upper-income adults are more likely to say the state ranks near the top or is above average (53% less than $40,000, 61% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). When asked about the state and local tax system, a majority of adults (78%) say that the state and local tax system is in need of major (47%) or minor (31%) changes, and 84 percent of those who say that California ranks near the top or is above average say that major (49%) or minor (35%) changes are needed. “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?” Near the top All adults 37% Under $40,000 32% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more 34% 52% Likely voters 45% Above average 25 21 27 29 26 Average 19 27 19 8 13 Below average 67724 Near the bottom 46424 Don’t know 88967 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE BUDGET SITUATION As the economy continues to improve, so does the state budget situation in California. Today, the share of Californians saying the state budget is a big problem is at its lowest point since May 2007: 45 percent call the budget a big problem, 36 percent say it is somewhat of a problem, and 11 percent say it is not a problem. Between January 2008 and May 2013, more than 60 percent of adults viewed the budget as a big problem. Today, Republicans (66%) are much more likely than independents (54%) and far more likely than Democrats (30%) to call the budget a big problem. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (37%) are less likely than those elsewhere to hold this view (46% Orange/San Diego, 48% Central Valley, 48% Inland Empire, 49% Los Angeles). With the improving budget situation due in part to Proposition 30 tax revenues, some in Sacramento are discussing extending these temporary tax increases, which are set to fully expire in 2018. Half of Californians (51%) are in favor and four in 10 are opposed to extending these taxes. Findings among adults were similar this January (50% favor, 42% oppose) and in December 2014 (53% favor, 40% oppose). Likely voters are divided (48% favor, 45% opposed). Democrats (61%) and independents (52%) are in favor, while most Republicans (64%) are opposed. San Francisco Bay Area residents (59%) are the most likely to be in favor, followed by those in Los Angeles (51%), the Inland Empire (48%), Orange/San Diego (48%), and the Central Valley (47%). When those who are in favor are asked if they approve of making the tax increases permanent, support drops from 51 to 35 percent. Support for making the tax increases permanent falls short of a majority across all groups, but is highest among Democrats (46%) and San Francisco Bay Area residents (45%). “As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018? (If favor: And would you favor or oppose making the Proposition 30 tax increases permanent?)” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor (total) Favor, even if it is permanent Favor, but oppose if it is permanent Oppose 51% 61% 28% 52% 48% 35 46 16 37 32 16 15 12 15 16 40 31 64 42 45 Don’t know 87857 Regardless of how they feel about the issue, two in three Californians (66%) and likely voters (68%) favor having California voters decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases by placing a state proposition on the November 2016 ballot. Solid majorities across parties, regions and demographic groups agree. “Regardless of how you feel personally about the issue, do you favor or oppose having California voters decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases with a state proposition in the November 2016 election?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 66% 69% 64% 75% 68% Oppose 28 25 32 23 28 Don’t know 66424 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE WATER SUPPLY In the midst of a severe drought and more restrictions on water use, 66 percent of Californians say that the supply of water in their part of California is a big problem, 19 percent say it is somewhat of a problem, and 14 percent say it is not much of a problem. This marks a slight increase from January (59%) and is near the record high reached in October 2014 (68%). While majorities across regions say their regional water supply is a big problem, Central Valley residents (76%) are the most likely to call their regional water supply a big problem, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (71%), the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Los Angeles (60%), and the Inland Empire (56%). Inland (69%) and coastal residents (65%) have similar views. Three in four whites (77%)—compared to fewer than 6 in 10 blacks (59%), Asians (58%), and Latinos (56%)—say their regional water supply is a big problem. Residents age 55 and older (72%), those with at least some college education (72%), and those with household incomes greater than $40,000 (72%) are more likely than others to view their regional water supply as a big problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All adults 66% Central Valley 76% San Francisco Bay Area 63% Region Los Angeles 60% Orange/ San Diego 71% Inland Empire 56% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 69% 65% 19 14 23 21 21 21 16 21 14 9 14 16 8 23 14 13 1 1 – 3 – – 11 When asked about the water supply in their area 10 years from now, 26 percent say it will be adequate for what is needed, while 69 percent say it will be somewhat inadequate (26%) or very inadequate (43%). The share saying the water supply will be very inadequate has increased 12 points since last March and 17 points since September 2013. Central Valley residents (59%) are much more likely than those elsewhere to say the supply of water will be very inadequate (44% Los Angeles, 42% San Francisco Bay Area, 39% Orange/San Diego, 30% Inland Empire). Notably, a plurality of Inland Empire (39%) residents think their water supply will be adequate. Republicans (58%) are more likely than Democrats (47%) and independents (44%) to say the water supply will be very inadequate. Whites (56%) are far more likely than blacks (36%), Asians (35%), and Latinos (31%) to say the supply will be very inadequate. Even though most Californians say their water supply is a big problem, two in three (66%) say that people in their part of California are not doing enough to respond to the current drought. More than six in 10 across regions, parties, and racial/ethnic, education, and income groups say not enough is being done. “Overall, do you think that the people in your part of California are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California?” Too much All adults 6% Central Valley 8% San Francisco Bay Area 8% Region Los Angeles 6% Orange/ San Diego 2% Inland Empire 5% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 6% 5% Right amount 24 28 24 17 27 22 27 23 Not enough 66 62 63 72 68 69 64 67 Don’t know 4 2 5 6 3 4 34 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE Governor Brown emphasized the maintenance of the state’s roads and infrastructure in his inaugural address. Californians have mixed views on the condition of roads, highways, and bridges in their part of the state: 34 percent say it is a big problem, 33 percent say somewhat of a problem, and 32 percent say not much of a problem. Likely voters are slightly more likely to call it a big problem (41%) than are all adults (34%). A majority of blacks (56%) see the condition of roads, highways, and bridges in their area as a big problem, but fewer whites (42%) and far fewer Latinos (26%) and Asians (22%) share this view. Strong majorities across regions consider infrastructure at least somewhat of a problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know “Would you say the condition of roads, highways, and bridges is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All adults 34% Central Valley 30% San Francisco Bay Area 38% Region Los Angeles 37% Orange/ San Diego 30% Inland Empire 33% 33 36 30 30 35 36 32 34 31 32 34 31 1– 1 11 – Likely voters 41% 37 21 1 A majority of Californians (53%) think spending more money on maintaining the state’s roads, highways, and bridges is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of the state (35% somewhat important, 8% not too important, 2% not at all important). Across regions, Inland Empire (60%) residents are the most likely to consider this spending to be very important to the state’s future, while those in Orange/San Diego (47%) are least likely to do so. A majority of Democrats (58%) and Republicans (55%) as well as a plurality of independents (47%) view spending in this area as very important. The perception that spending more money to maintain roads is very important increases as age increases. Blacks (60%) are the most likely, followed by whites (56%), Latinos (53%), and Asians (46%), to consider it very important to spend money in this area. “Thinking ahead, how important is spending more money on the maintenance of California’s roads, highways, and bridges 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 53% Central Valley 55% San Francisco Bay Area 53% Region Los Angeles 57% Orange/ San Diego 47% Inland Empire 60% Likely voters 58% Somewhat important 35 32 33 37 37 31 32 Not too important 8 8 13 5 12 7 8 Not at all important 2 5 1 12 1 2 Don’t know 1– – 12 1 1 We asked about support for three different ways to increase state funding for California’s roads, highways, and bridges. Only 18 percent of Californians favor increasing the state gas tax, while 23 percent favor increasing the vehicle registration fee. Forty-seven percent favor issuing new bonds paid through the state’s general fund. Across parties, fewer than three in 10 Californians favor increasing the state gas tax and increasing the vehicle registration fee. Democrats (51%) and independents (45%) are more likely than Republicans (38%) to favor issuing bonds. San Francisco Bay Area residents are much more likely than Californians in other regions to favor raising the gas tax (33%) and increasing the vehicle registration fee (35%). Fewer than one in four Californians support these proposals in other regions. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey HIGH-SPEED RAIL Seven years after passing a $10 billion state bond for the planning and construction of a high-speed rail system, how do Californians view this project? Three in 10 adults (28%) say that the high-speed rail system is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. The share of adults who consider the high-speed rail system very important to the state has declined from past years (33% March 2012, 36% March 2013, 35% March 2014, 28% today). Today, the share of likely voters (25%) who consider the project very important is similar to the share of adults overall (28%). Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area residents (41%) are much more likely than those in Los Angeles (29%), the Inland Empire (26%), Orange/San Diego (21%), and the Central Valley (20%) to consider the highspeed rail system very important. Democrats (34%) and independents (31%) are much more likely than Republicans (15%) to hold this view. Whites (21%) are less likely than Latinos (31%), Asians (38%), and blacks (38%) to consider the high-speed rail system very important for California’s future. “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 28% Central Valley 20% San Francisco Bay Area 41% Region Los Angeles 29% Orange/ San Diego 21% Inland Empire 26% Likely voters 25% Somewhat important 36 40 28 39 40 35 33 Not too important 18 15 17 17 23 21 17 Not at all important 17 23 14 13 15 18 24 Don’t know 11 – 2 1 –1 When read a brief description of the high-speed rail project and the costs associated with it, Californians are divided (47% favor, 48% oppose) over building it. Support has hovered around 50 percent with a similar question in earlier polls (51% March 2012, 48% March 2013, 53% March 2014, 47% today). Today, likely voters (48% favor, 48% oppose) have opinions similar to all adults on this issue. A majority of San Francisco Bay Area residents (60%) favor building high-speed rail, while those in the Inland Empire (57%), the Central Valley (55%), and Orange/San Diego (51%) oppose it. Los Angeles residents are evenly divided (47% favor, 47% oppose). Democrats favor (61%) the project, Republicans oppose (74%) it, and independents are divided (50% favor, 48% oppose). When those who oppose the high-speed rail system are asked how they would feel if it cost less, overall support increases to 64% among all adults and 61% among likely voters. A majority across regions would favor the project if it cost less. Three in four Democrats (76%) and a strong majority of independents would also favor (68%) the project in this case, but support falls short of a majority among Republicans (48%) even if the high-speed rail system cost less. “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 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 All adults 47% Central Valley 43% San Francisco Bay Area 60% Region Los Angeles 47% Orange/ San Diego 41% Inland Empire 40% Likely voters 48% Oppose 48 55 38 47 51 57 48 Don’t know 53 2 6 9 24 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. We asked Californians whether they preferred to spend the surplus on paying down debt and building a reserve or on restoring some funding for public colleges and universities. A majority of adults would prefer using this money to restore funding for higher education (56%) over paying down debt (39%). Likely voters are divided: 47 percent say restore funding for higher education, 48 percent say pay down debt. Democrats (67%) prefer to restore funding while Republicans prefer paying down debt (72%). Independents are divided (49% restore funding, 48% debt payment). Solid majorities of Asians (61%), Latinos (71%), and blacks (75%) prefer restoring higher education funding; a majority of whites (56%) prefer paying down debt. A majority of Californians age 18 to 34 (58%) and age 35 to 54 (64%) prefer restoring funding; those age 55 and older are divided (45% restoring funding, 47% debt payment). Californians in low-income (63%) and middle-income (56%) households prefer restoring funding; those in high-income households are divided (48% restoring funding, 47% debt payment). “The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. In general, how would you prefer to use this extra money? Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve or would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for California’s public colleges and universities that were cut in recent years?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Pay debt, build reserve 39% 28% 72% 48% 48% Restore some funding for public colleges and universities 56 67 21 49 47 Don’t know 55 6 3 5 Governor Brown has proposed increasing state funding for California’s public universities only if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. When asked about the conditions under which the state should increase funding for public universities, 48 percent of Californians say that state funding should be increased only if public universities freeze their tuition and fees, 28 percent say the state should not increase the level of funding, and 19 percent say funding should be increased even if tuition and fees increase. A majority of Democrats and independents (56% each) say that state funding to public universities should be increased only if they freeze their tuition and fees. Among Republicans, 43 percent say that funding should be increased only if public universities freeze tuition and 36 percent say that the level of funding should not be increased at all. Californians who have some college education (54%) or are college graduates (57%) think that state funding for public universities should be increased only if there is a tuition freeze. Those with a high school degree or less are as likely to say funding should increase if there is a tuition freeze (38%) as to say that it should not be increased at all (35%). “Governor Brown has proposed increasing state funding for California’s public universities if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. Which of the following statements is closer to your view about increasing funding for California’s public universities – The state should only increase funding to public universities if they freeze their tuition and fees, the state should increase funding to public universities even if they raise their tuition and fees, or the state should not increase the level of funding to public universities?” Increase only if they freeze their tuition and fees Increase even if they raise their tuition and fees Should not increase the level of funding Don’t know/Other (specify) All adults 48% 19 28 6 Dem 56% 19 20 4 Party Rep 43% 16 36 5 Likely Ind voters 56% 52% 18 18 24 27 24 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey VOTING AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Low voter turnout in recent elections has sparked discussion on how to increase registration and turnout. To address this issue effectively, it is important to understand the reasons behind low registration and turnout. The top reason Californians give for not being registered to vote is that they are not U.S. citizens (34%). Other top reasons include the belief that voting does not change things (13%), not having the time (9%), not having confidence in government (6%), and a lack of interest in politics (5%). Some other reasons have to do with not knowing enough about the choices or issues (4%), religion (3%), having moved recently (2%), and not wanting to be called for jury duty (2%). Those ages 18 to 44 (18%) are more likely than older unregistered Californians (5%) to say that voting does not change things. Men (16%) are more likely than women (9%) to hold this view. Men (10%) are also more likely than women (1%) to say they have no confidence in government. Latinos (43%) are more likely than unregistered adults overall (34%) to say they don’t vote because they are not U.S. citizens. “There are many reasons why people don’t register to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you’re not registered to vote?” Unregistered adults only (top 5 reasons) All unregistered Age 18 to 44 45 and older Gender Men Women Not a U.S. citizen 34% 32% 37% 29% 39% Voting doesn’t change things/ my vote doesn’t matter Too busy to register/no time No confidence in government, politics,or politicians Not interested in politics 13 18 98 65 57 5 16 9 10 9 8 7 10 1 2 55 Latinos 43% 13 6 2 7 Among registered adults who do not always vote, 29 percent say they did not vote because they got too busy. Other top reasons for not voting are a lack of interest in the issues or the particular election (12%), not knowing enough about the choices or issues involved (9%), a lack of interest in politics (8%), and the belief that voting does not matter (6%). Other reasons include not liking the candidates (5%), lack of transportation (3%), and health (3%). Republicans are more likely than others to cite a lack of interest in the issues or a particular election (20%) and not knowing enough about the choices and issues (16%). Democrats (13%) are more likely than Republicans (4%) and independents (3%) to state a lack of interest in politics. Californians age 18 to 34 (33%) are more likely than older adults to mention time constraints. Men are somewhat more likely than women to mention time constraints (33% to 26%) and a lack of interest in the particular issues (16% to 9%). Latinos (38%) are more likely than whites (23%) to mention time constraints. “There are many reasons why people aren’t able to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you don’t always vote?” Registered adults who say they do not always vote (top 5 reasons) Registered voters Dem Party Rep Age Ind 18 to 34 35 to 54 Too busy/no time 29% 29% 28% 28% 32% Lack of interest in the issues/ particular election Don’t know enough about the choices or issues Not interested in politics 12 9 8 8 20 7 16 13 4 5 6 3 14 10 9 Voting doesn't change things/ my vote doesn’t matter 6 8 65 4 26% 11 8 9 11 55 and older 28% 13 7 6 3 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  President Obama’s approval rating is at 55 percent; approval of the U.S. Congress is at 24 percent—both ratings have declined since January. (page 17)  While a majority of Californians (54%) say that the country is headed in the wrong direction, a similar proportion (53%) expect good times financially in the next 12 months. (page 18)  Half of Californians (52%) have a favorable view of the health care reform law. A similar share (51%) are very concerned about being able to afford health care if a family member gets sick. (page 19)  An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) favor providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions. Seven in 10 support President Obama’s executive action. (page 20)  Seventy-two percent of Californians say the income gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is getting larger. Sixty-one percent say the government should do more to reduce the income gap. (page 21)  Six in 10 Californians think that global warming will be a very serious problem for the United States in the future. A majority of adults in the state (54%) favor building the Keystone XL pipeline. (page 22)  Support for marijuana legalization has reached a record high53 percent of Californians say that marijuana should be legal. If it were legal, 53 percent say they would not be bothered if a business selling marijuana opened up in their neighborhood. (page 23) March 2015 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 80 60 56 59 President Obama U.S. Congress 66 55 52 Percent all adults 40 20 30 24 29 0 Mar Mar Mar 11 12 13 24 19 Mar Mar 14 15 Global Warming as a Serious Problem for the United States Very serious 100 Somewhat serious 80 60 60 40 44 20 21 34 0 Californians Adults nationwide* *Stanford/NYT/RFF Poll, January 2015 Support for Legalizing Marijuana Yes, legal 80 No, not legal 60 49 49 51 51 52 49 51 53 40 48 47 46 45 45 47 44 45 20 0 May Sep Sep Mar Sep Mar Oct Mar 10 10 11 12 13 14 14 15 16 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Most Californians continue to view the president in a positive light. Fifty-five percent approve of his job performance, while 41 percent disapprove. Likely voters are divided (49% approve, 48% disapprove). Approval among adults was higher in January (60%) and similar in March 2014 (52%). Adults nationwide in a recent CNN/ORC poll were less approving (46% approve, 51% disapprove). An overwhelming share of Democrats (78%) approve of the president, while the share of Republicans (86%) who disapprove is even higher; independents are divided (46% approve, 49% disapprove). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (67%) and Los Angeles (62%) are more likely to approve than those in Orange/San Diego (52%), the Inland Empire (47%), and the Central Valley (43%). Blacks (88%) are the most likely racial/ethnic group to approve, followed by Latinos (69%), Asians (59%), and whites (38%). All adults All likely voters Party Region “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” Approve Disapprove 55% 41% 49 48 Democrats 78 18 Republicans 12 86 Independents 46 49 Central Valley 43 55 San Francisco Bay Area 67 28 Los Angeles 62 33 Orange/San Diego 52 46 Inland Empire 47 49 Don't know 4% 3 5 2 5 2 5 5 2 4 Californians continue to be critical of the U.S. Congress: just 24 percent approve of its job performance— a 14 point decline since January—while 69 percent disapprove. Approval today is similar to March 2014 (19%). Partisans are in agreement, with fewer than one in four Democrats (23%) and Republicans (20%) approving. Across regions, three in 10 or fewer approve. Adults nationwide in a recent Gallup poll (18% approve, 75% disapprove) were even more negative than Californians in our survey. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove Don't know All adults 24% 69% 7% All likely voters 16 80 4 Democrats 23 71 6 Party Republicans 20 75 5 Independents 20 73 7 Central Valley 19 72 9 San Francisco Bay Area 30 63 7 Region Los Angeles 27 67 6 Orange/San Diego 17 75 8 Inland Empire 21 73 5 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey NATIONAL OUTLOOK Californians are more likely to say that things in the United States are going in the wrong direction (54%) than to say they are headed in the right direction (40%). Views today are similar to those in March 2014 (39% right direction, 56% wrong direction) and December 2013 (35% right direction, 57% wrong direction). But views were far more positive in January 2013, shortly after the 2012 presidential election (56% right direction, 39% wrong direction). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans nationwide were more negative (32% right direction, 60% wrong track) than the Californians in our survey. Likely voters (34% right direction, 61% wrong direction) are more negative than adults overall. More than half of Democrats (55%) think the nation is headed in the right direction, while just 35 percent of independents and 13 percent of Republicans hold this view. Optimism about the direction of the nation is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%), followed by Los Angeles (44%), the Inland Empire (37%), the Central Valley (36%), and Orange/San Diego (32%). Blacks (72%), Asians (56%), and Latinos (49%) are far more likely than whites (23%) to say the nation is headed in the right 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 40% 55% 13% 35% 54 40 84 59 6536 Likely voters 34% 61 5 When it comes to the economic outlook of the United States, half of Californians (53%) expect good times in the next 12 months, while four in 10 (41%) expect bad times. This marks an 8 point increase in optimism since March 2014 (45% good times, 48% bad times). Likely voters are similarly optimistic (50% good times, 42% bad times). Majorities of Democrats (65%) and independents (52%) are optimistic about the economic outlook, while just 29 percent of Republicans hold this view. There are also wide regional differences: residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (66%) are the most optimistic, followed by those in Los Angeles (56%), the Inland Empire (52%), Orange/San Diego (47%), and the Central Valley (39%). Men (60%) are much more optimistic than women (46%), and those with household incomes below $40,000 (56%) and above $80,000 (59%) are much more optimistic than middle-income Californians (43%). 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 53% 65% 29% 52% 50% 41 29 64 42 42 66768 Californians’ opinions of the economic outlook for the nation (53% good times, 41% bad times) mirror their opinions about the state (52% good times, 38% bad times). However, Californians are more negative about the direction of the nation (40% right direction, 54% wrong direction) than about the direction of the state (50% right direction, 41% wrong direction). March 2015 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Today, 52 percent of California adults have a generally favorable opinion of the health reform law and 42 percent have a generally unfavorable opinion. These opinions are nearly identical to those in our January survey (51% generally favorable, 41% generally unfavorable) but different than our previous seven surveys dating back to 2013 when Californians were divided on this topic. Compared to adults nationally in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, Californians are more likely to view the health care law favorably (41% nationally, 52% California). A strong majority of Democrats (70%) have a favorable opinion, while a strong majority of Republicans (75%) have an unfavorable one; independents are divided (46% favorable, 47% unfavorable). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (70%) are the most likely to have a favorable opinion, followed by Latinos (61%), Asians (58%), and whites (40%). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (59%) are more likely to have a favorable opinion, compared to those in the Central Valley (43%), Orange/San Diego (43%), and the Inland Empire (42%). While the majority of residents with health insurance (53%) have a favorable opinion of the law, among those without health insurance, 49 percent have an unfavorable opinion of it. “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 52% 70% 17% 46% 53% 44% Generally unfavorable 42 24 75 47 41 49 Don’t know 6 6 7 7 67 A strong majority of Californians are at least somewhat concerned (51% very concerned, 23% somewhat concerned) about being able to afford the necessary health care when a family member gets sick, while a quarter are not too concerned (12%) or not at all concerned (13%). In September 2004, the share of adults who were very concerned was at 57 percent; in June 2007 it was 56 percent. Concern is higher among those with incomes below $40,000 (62%) than among those with higher incomes. Adults with a high school degree or less are more likely than residents with some college education (52%) and far more likely than those with a college degree (36%) to be very concerned (61%). Latinos (63%) are more likely than blacks (52%) and far more likely than Asians (47%) and whites (43%) to be very concerned. Inland Empire residents (60%) are the most likely to be concerned, followed by those in Los Angeles (54%), the Central Valley (51%), Orange/San Diego (46%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (43%). Those without insurance are far more likely to be very concerned (69%) than those who have insurance (48%). Adults who are very concerned about being able to afford health care are divided in their opinions of the 2010 health care law (49% generally favorable, 44% generally unfavorable). “How concerned are you personally about being able to afford necessary health care when a family member gets sick?” All adults Under $40,000 Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Have health insurance? Yes No Very concerned 51% 62% 48% 38% 48% 69% Somewhat concerned 23 24 22 21 23 24 Not too concerned 12 7 13 20 13 5 Not at all concerned 13 7 17 20 15 2 Don’t know 11 1 1 1– March 2015 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) are in favor of providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they meet certain requirements, while one in four residents (19%) are opposed. Since we first asked this question in September 2013, more than eight in 10 Californians have expressed support for providing a path to citizenship (85% September 2013, 83% January 2014, 86% March 2014, 82% September 2014). Today, strong majorities across all regions and demographic groups say they support offering a path to citizenship. Democrats (85%) are more likely than independents (77%) and far more likely than Republicans (66%) to hold this view. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (90%) are the most likely to favor a path to citizenship, followed by blacks (82%), Asians (77%), and whites (73%). More than seven in 10 across age, education, and income 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 Ind Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Favor 80% 85% 66% 77% 77% 82% 90% 73% Oppose 19 13 30 22 20 15 9 25 Don’t know 2 241 3 3 1 1 Although President Obama’s executive order on immigration has been challenged in the courts, a strong majority of Californians (70%) support the president’s order, which protects as many as 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation; 27 percent are opposed. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters support the president’s action. Support was similar in January (69% support, 30% oppose). According to a December ABC News/Washington Post Poll, adults nationally are less supportive of the president’s actions on immigration than Californians in our survey (52% nationally, 70% California). Majorities across regions and demographic groups say they support the president’s actions on this issue. But there are sharp differences across parties: strong majorities of Democrats (80%) and independents (68%) say they support action on immigration, while a solid majority of Republicans (65%) say they oppose it. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (88%) and blacks (81%) are much more likely than Asians (69%) and whites (55%) to support executive action on immigration. “President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Support 70% 80% 30% 68% 69% 81% 88% 55% Oppose 27 17 65 30 27 18 10 40 Don’t know 3 352 4 1 2 5 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey INCOME INEQUALITY Seven in 10 Californians (72%) and eight in 10 likely voters (80%) think that the gap between the rich and poor in the Unites States is getting larger. These findings are similar to a January CBS News poll in which 69 percent of Americans said the gap is getting larger. Across all parties, at least seven in 10 say the gap between the rich and poor is growing. Californians with household incomes of $80,000 or more (80%) are more likely than those with household incomes under $40,000 (67%) to say that the gap is getting larger. Similarly, college graduates (85%) are more likely than those with a high school diploma or less (57%) to say that the gap between the rich and poor is growing. Latinos (57%) are far less likely than whites (81%), Asians (80%) or blacks (77%) to say that the gap is getting larger. Getting larger Getting smaller Stayed the same Don’t know “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?” All adults 72% Dem 77% Party Rep 70% Household income Ind Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 83% 67% 75% 4 3 41 6 3 21 17 22 14 24 20 3 3 42 3 3 $80,000 or more 80% 2 15 3 Californians (61%) are slightly more likely than adults nationwide (55%) in the CBS News poll to think the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. While California likely voters are more likely than adults overall to say the gap is growing, they are less likely to say that the government should do more to reduce this gap (51%). There are notable partisan differences on this issue: majorities of Democrats (72%) and independents (60%) believe the government should do more, while 69 percent of Republicans say that this is not a role for government. Although whites are the most likely racial/ethnic group to say the gap between rich and poor is getting larger, they are the least likely to say the government should do more to address it (49% whites, 69% Asians, 69% Latinos, 79% blacks). Californians earning less than $40,000 are less likely than higher earners to say the gap between the rich and the poor is growing, yet they are the most likely to say that the government should do more to address the gap. “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?” Should do more Should not be doing Don’t know All adults 61% 34 5 Dem 72% 22 6 Party Rep 27% 69 5 Ind 60% 35 5 Under $40,000 68% 27 5 Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 56% $80,000 or more 55% 38 41 54 Californians are divided on whether everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy (49%) or whether just a few people at the top have a chance (48%). Republicans (63%) are more likely than independents (51%) and Democrats (42%) to say that everyone has a fair chance. While a majority of homeowners (55%) say that everyone has a fair chance, only 43 percent of renters hold this view. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (63%) are far more likely than whites (49%), Asians (49%), and Latinos (45%) to say that only a few people at the top have a chance to get ahead. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY Six in 10 Californians (60%) think that global warming will be a very serious problem for the United States if nothing is done to reduce it. Likely voters (52%) are slightly less likely than adults overall to say that it will be a very serious problem. Californians (60%) are more likely than adults nationwide (44%) to say that global warming will be a very serious problem according to a recent New York Times/Stanford University/RFF poll. Notably, fewer than two in 10 Californians think global warming will not present a serious problem. There are strong partisan differences in California with seven in 10 Democrats (70%) and half of independents (51%) saying that it will be a very serious problem, compared to less than three in 10 Republicans (29%) who say the same. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (75%) are the most likely to see global warming as a very serious problem, followed by blacks (70%), Asians (58%) and whites (46%). Adults age 55 and older (47%) are less likely than younger Californians to say that global warming will be a very serious problem (65% age 18 to 34, 66% age 35 to 54). Parents of children 18 and under (67%) are more likely than those without (55%) to think global warming will present a very serious problem for the United States. “If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious a problem do you think it will be for the United States—very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?” All adults Dem Party Rep Age Ind 18 to 34 35 to 54 55 and above Very serious 60% 70% 29% 51% 65% 66% 47% Somewhat serious 21 23 24 26 22 16 25 Not so serious 8 4 15 10 6 9 7 Not serious at all 10 2 30 12 6 8 18 Don’t know 2121 1 1 3 Following President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline bill, a majority of Californians (54%) continue to favor the building of the pipeline. These findings are similar to July 2014 when 53 percent of adults expressed support for building the pipeline. While an overwhelming majority of Republicans (80%) and a slight majority of independents (55%) favor building the Keystone XL pipeline, Democrats are divided on the issue (44% favor, 47% oppose). Support for the Keystone XL pipeline increases with age: younger adults (age 18 to 34) are divided on the proposed pipeline (49% favor, 43% oppose), while majorities of older Californians favor building it (55% age 35 to 54, 58% age 55 and older). Regionally, support for the Keystone XL pipeline is highest in the Inland Empire (66%) and lowest in Orange/San Diego (49%). Asians (61%) are the most likely racial/ethnic group to favor the pipeline, followed by whites (55%), blacks (52%), and Latinos (49%). Favor Oppose Don’t know “Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas?” All adults Dem Party Rep Age Ind 18 to 34 35 to 54 55 and above 54% 44% 80% 55% 49% 55% 58% 35 47 10 37 43 32 30 11 10 10 8 8 13 12 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION Support for legalizing marijuana is at its highest point since we began asking about it in May 2010. Today, 53 percent of Californians think that the use of marijuana should be legal (45% not legal). Slim majorities supported legalization in October 2014 (51%) and September 2013 (52%), and Californians were divided in the other five times we asked about it. With ballot measures once again being considered, 55 percent of likely voters currently favor making it legal. Majorities of Democrats (63%) and independents (57%) think that it should be legal; a majority of Republicans (54%) think it should be illegal. Nearly three in four residents who have tried marijuana (74%) think that it should be legal. Only a third of adults who have never tried it (35%) say the same. Adults age 18 to 34 (61%) are more likely than older adults to think marijuana use should be legal (47% age 35 to 54, 52% age 55 and older). More than half of parents with children 18 and under say that it should not be legal (54%), while a majority of adults without children under 18 (59%) favor legalization. Blacks (69%) and whites (64%) are far more likely than Latinos (42%) and Asians (39%) to favor legalization. “Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not?” Yes, legal No, not legal Don't know All adults 53% 45% 2% All likely voters 55 43 3 Democrats 63 36 2 Party Republicans 44 54 2 Independents 57 38 5 Asians 39 56 5 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 69 30 1 42 56 2 Whites 64 33 3 Ever tried marijuana? Yes No 74 24 2 35 63 3 If marijuana were legal, 44 percent of adults say that it would bother them if a store selling it opened up in their neighborhood while 53 percent say it would not. Republicans (47%) are the most likely to say they would be bothered by a business selling marijuana in their neighborhood, followed by Democrats (40%) and independents (37%). Only a third of Californians age 18 to 34 (32%) say they would be bothered if a business selling marijuana opened in their neighborhood, compared to about half of older Californians. Three in four Californians (74%) who have tried marijuana say that they would not be bothered, while only 35 percent of those who have never tried it say the same. Notably, a majority of parents with children 18 and under (54%) say that they would be bothered by a store selling marijuana in their neighborhood. “If marijuana were legal, would it bother you if a store or a business selling marijuana opened up in your neighborhood or would this not bother you?” All adults 18 to 34 Age 35 to 54 55 and above Ever tried marijuana? Yes No Yes, would bother me 44% 32% 53% 47% 23% 63% No, would not bother me 53 66 44 51 74 35 Depends (volunteered) 22 3 22 2 Don’t know –– – 11 – March 2015 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP March 2015 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Lunna Lopes and Jui Shrestha, co-project managers for this survey, Dean Bonner, associate survey director, and survey research associate Renatta DeFever. 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 1,706 California adult residents, including 1,025 interviewed on landline telephones and 681 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from March 8–17, 2015. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2013 American Community Survey’s (ACS) Public Use Microdata Series for California (with regional coding information from the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California) to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample—region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education—with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2013 state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS—and 2014 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,706 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.7 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1,427 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.0 percent; for the 1,064 likely voters, it is ±4.7 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populous areas are not large enough to report separately. In several places, we refer to coastal and inland counties. The coastal region refers to the counties along the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. All other counties are included in the inland region. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites, who account for 43 percent of the state’s adult population, and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 15 percent of the state’s adult population, and non-Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups—such as Native Americans—are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated per their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News, CNN/ORC, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times/Stanford University/Resources for the Future Poll on Global Warming. 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 2015 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 8–17, 2015 1,706 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.7% 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] 24% jobs, economy 23 water, drought 6 education, schools, teachers 6 immigration, illegal immigration 5 crime, gangs, drugs 4 state budget, deficit, taxes 3 environment, pollution, global warming 3 health care, health reform, Obamacare 3 government in general 3 housing costs, availability 2 infrastructure 12 other 6 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 55% approve 28 disapprove 17 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 45% approve 39 disapprove 16 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 50% right direction 41 wrong direction 8 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? 52% good times 38 bad times 10 don’t know 6. Next, do you think the state budget situation in California—that is, the balance between government spending and revenues—is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 45% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 8 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 7. As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018 (if favor, ask: And would you favor or oppose making the Proposition 30 tax increases permanent?) 35% favor, even if it is permanent 16 favor, but oppose if it is permanent 40 oppose 8 don’t know 7a. Regardless of how you feel personally about the issue, do you favor or oppose having California voters decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases with a state proposition in the November 2016 election? 66% favor 28 oppose 6 don’t know Next, 8. 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? 47% major changes 31 minor changes 18 fine the way it is 4 don’t know 8a. 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 31 not too fair 16 not at all fair 2 don’t know 9. 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? 32% much more 25 somewhat more 36 about the right amount 5 less than you should 2 don’t know 10.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? 37% near the top 25 above average 19 average 6 below average 4 near the bottom 8 don’t know 11.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? 66% big problem 19 somewhat of a problem 14 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 12.Do you think 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, ask: Is that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate?) 26% adequate 26 somewhat inadequate 43 very inadequate 5 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 12a. Overall, do you think that the people in your part of California are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California? 6% too much 24 the right amount 66 not enough 4 don’t know On another topic, 13.Would you say the condition of roads, highways, and bridges is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 34% big problem 33 somewhat of a problem 32 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 13a. Thinking ahead, how important is spending more money on the maintenance of California’s roads, highways, and bridges 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? 53% very important 35 somewhat important 8 not too important 2 not at all important 1 don’t know Next, please tell me if you favor or oppose each of the following proposals to increase state funding for California’s roads, highways and bridges. [rotate question 14a to 14c] 14a. How about increasing the state gasoline tax? 18% favor 81 oppose 1 don’t know 14b. How about increasing vehicle registration fees? 23% favor 74 oppose 3 don’t know 14c. How about issuing new state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund? 47% favor 42 oppose 11 don’t know 15.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 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? (if oppose, ask: What if the highspeed rail system cost less, would you favor or oppose building it?) 47% favor 17 oppose, but would favor if it cost less 31 oppose, even if it cost less 5 don’t know 16.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? 28% very important 36 somewhat important 18 not too important 17 not at all important 1 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey Changing topics, 17.The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. In general, how would you prefer to use this extra money? [rotate] (1) Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve [or] (2) would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for California’s public colleges and universities that were cut in recent years? 39% pay down debt and build up reserve 56 restore funding for public colleges and universities 5 don’t know 18.Governor Brown has proposed increasing state funding for California’s public universities if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. Which of the following statements is closer to your view about increasing funding for California’s public universities—[rotate] (1)The state should only increase funding to public universities if they freeze their tuition and fees, (2) The state should increase funding to public universities even if they raise their tuition and fees, [or] (3) The state should not increase the level of funding to public universities. 48% only increase funding to public universities if they freeze their tuition and fees 19 increase funding to public universities even if they raise their tuition and fees 28 state should not increase the level of funding to public universities 2 other (specify) 4 don’t know 19.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? 55% approve 41 disapprove 4 don’t know 20.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 24% approve 69 disapprove 7 don’t know 21.Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 40% right direction 54 wrong direction 6 don’t know 22.Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 53% good times 41 bad times 6 don’t know Next, 23.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? 52% generally favorable 42 generally unfavorable 6 don’t know 24.How concerned are you personally about being able to afford necessary health care when a family member gets sick? 51% very concerned 23 somewhat concerned 12 not too concerned 13 not at all concerned 1 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 30 PPIC Statewide Survey Next, 25.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? 80% favor 19 oppose 2 don’t know 26. President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program? 70% support 27 oppose 3 don’t know On another topic, 27.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? 72% getting larger 4 getting smaller 21 stayed the same 3 don’t know 28.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 34 should not be doing 5 don’t know 28a.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 48 just a few people at the top have a chance 3 don’t know Changing topics, 29.If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious a problem do you think it will be for the United States—very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious or not serious at all? 60% very serious 21 somewhat serious 8 not so serious 10 not serious at all 2 don’t know 30.Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas? 54% favor 35 oppose 11 don’t know 31.Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not? 53% yes, legal 45 no, not legal 2 don’t know 31a. If marijuana were legal, would it bother you if a store or a business selling marijuana opened up in your neighborhood or would this not bother you? 44% yes, would bother me 53 no, would not bother me 2 depends (volunteered) – don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 32.Keeping in mind that all of your answers in the survey are confidential, have you ever tried marijuana? (if yes, ask: have you used marijuana in the last 12 months?) 17% yes have tried marijuana, used in the past year 29 yes, have tried marijuana, not in the past year 54 no, have not tried marijuana – don’t know 33.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 q33a] 34 no [skip to q34b] 33a.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 q34] 28 Republican [ask q34a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q35] 24 independent [skip to q34b] 34.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 50% strong 48 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q35] 34a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 43% strong 52 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q35] 34b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 26% Republican Party 48 Democratic Party 21 neither 6 don’t know 34c. [unregistered adults only] There are many reasons why people don’t register to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you’re not registered to vote? [code, don’t read] 34% not a U.S. citizen 13 voting doesn't change things/my vote doesn’t matter 9 too busy to register/no time 6 no confidence in government, politics, or politicians 5 not interested in politics 4 don’t know enough about the choices or issues 3 just don’t want to 3 religious reasons 2 avoid jury duty 2 felony, parole 2 in transition, just turned 18 2 recently moved/relocated 2 registered in another state 9 something else (specify) 4 don’t know 35.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 30 middle-of-the-road 23 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 36.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 32 only a little 11 none – don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 32 PPIC Statewide Survey 37a.[among those who say they do not always vote] There are many reasons people aren’t able to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you don’t always vote? [code, don’t read] 29% too busy to vote/no time 12 lack of interest in the issues/ particular election 9 don’t know enough about the choices or issues 8 not interested in politics 6 voting does not change things/my vote doesn’t matter 5 didn’t like the candidates 3 illness 3 in transition, just moved, just old enough, just registered 3 no way to get to polls 3 no confidence in government, politics, or politicians 2 forgot to vote 2 traveling 2 unfamiliar with the process, particular election, undecided 9 something else (specify) 4 don’t know [d1 to d17:demographic questions] March 2015 Californians and Their Government 33 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey Joshua J. Dyck Co-Director Center for Public Opinion University of Massachusetts, Lowell Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Chairman US Hispanic Media, Inc. Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President Brigitte Bren Attorney Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust Walter B. Hewlett Member, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Vice Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decision makers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 2015 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(109) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-march-2015/s_315mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8956) ["ID"]=> int(8956) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:42:28" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4445) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 315MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_315mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_315MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "589765" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(96510) "ppic statewide survey MARCH 2015 &Californians their government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Renatta DeFever Lunna Lopes Jui Shrestha CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 16 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 148th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 310,000 Californians. This is the 66th 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. The context for this survey includes ongoing discussions on funding for higher education and transportation projects. Governor Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano have differing views on public university funding. Governor Brown highlighted the maintenance of roads in his inaugural address, and lawmakers are looking for ways to fund transportation projects. With the state mired in a drought, the governor and legislature announced $1 billion in drought relief just after our interviews were complete. Discussions are taking place to boost voter turnout, following record low participation in recent elections. At the national level, the Senate failed to override President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL project. The Supreme Court has begun hearing a case that could end health care subsidies in a majority of states under the Affordable Care Act. Immigration action taken by President Obama is facing legal battles in some states. Growing inequality remains a concern. The survey presents the responses of 1,706 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; opinions on extending Proposition 30 taxes; assessments of the current state and local tax system; views on the current and future water supply, and whether people are doing enough in response to the drought; opinions about the condition of roads, highways, and bridges, the importance of more spending to maintain them, and proposals to raise money for this purpose; perceptions of the high-speed rail system; preferences on using the budget surplus; views on the conditions under which the state should increase funding to public universities; and reasons for not registering to vote, or not voting in all elections.  Federal government, including approval ratings of elected officials; overall outlook; opinions on the 2010 health reform law and concern about not being able to afford health care; opinions on immigration policy, including President Obama’s recent executive action; attitudes toward income inequality and the government’s role in reducing it; seriousness of global warming as a threat to the nation, support for the Keystone XL pipeline; and views on 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 www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey NEWS RELEASE CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Californians Say Their Neighbors Aren’t Doing Enough About Drought FEW SUPPORT RAISING GAS TAX, SLIM MAJORITY FAVOR LEGALIZING MARIJUANA SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2015—Large majorities of Californians say the supply of water in their part of the state is a big problem and that people in their regions are not doing enough to respond to the drought, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Two-thirds of adults (66%) say the regional water supply is a big problem, near the record high reached last October (68%) on this question. Another 19 percent say it is somewhat of a problem (14% not much of a problem). Central Valley residents are the most likely to see the water supply as a big problem (76%), followed by Orange/San Diego (71%), the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Los Angeles (60%), and the Inland Empire (56%). Asked about the water supply in their area 10 years from now, 69 percent expect it to be somewhat inadequate (26%) or very inadequate (43%) for what is needed. The share of residents saying the supply will be very inadequate has increased 12 points since last March. Two-thirds of Californians (66%) say people in their part of the state are not doing enough to respond to the drought (24% right amount, 6% too much). Majorities across regions, parties, and racial/ethnic, education, and income groups say not enough is being done. What is the most important issue facing people in California today? Residents are equally likely to name water and the drought (23%) as jobs and the economy (24%). They are much less likely to name other issues (education and schools 6%, immigration 6%, crime 5%). “The ongoing drought is raising concerns about the long-term water supply,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Most Californians think their neighbors could be doing more to save water today.” OPPOSED TO PAYING MORE FOR ROAD MAINTENANCE, DIVIDED ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL Governor Jerry Brown emphasized the maintenance of the state’s roads and infrastructure in his inaugural address. How do Californians view the condition of roads, highways and bridges? About a third (34%) say it is a big problem in their part of the state, another third (33%) say it’s somewhat of a problem, and a third (32%) say it is not much of a problem. Majorities of Californians (53% adults, 58% likely voters) say spending more money to maintain state roads, highways, and bridges is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. But when asked about three ways to increase state funding for this purpose, most Californians did not favor any of them. Just 18 percent favor increasing the state’s gas tax, 23 percent favor increasing the vehicle registration fee, and 47 percent favor issuing bonds paid for through the state’s general fund. “Californians agree with the governor that highway, road, and bridge maintenance is important to the state’s future,” Baldassare said. “But they are reluctant to invest their money in state infrastructure projects.” March 2015 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey The survey asks about another transportation issue, high-speed rail. When read a brief description of the project and its associated costs, residents are divided: 47 percent favor it and 48 percent are opposed. Support for high-speed rail has hovered around 50 percent in recent years. When those who oppose it are asked how they would feel if it cost less, support increases to 64 percent. Just 28 percent say highspeed rail is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California—down from previous years (33% March 2012, 36% March 2013, 35% March 2014). HALF SUPPORT EXTENDING PROPOSITION 30—TEMPORARILY The share of Californians saying the budget is a big problem is 45 percent—the lowest since May 2007. The survey asks about extending the temporary Proposition 30 tax increases that have helped improve the budget picture. About half of Californians (51%) and likely voters (48%) favor extending these increases in sales taxes and the income taxes of high earners, which are set to fully expire in 2018. But when those who favor extending the taxes are asked about making them permanent, support drops from 51 percent to 35 percent among all adults, and from 48 percent to 32 percent among likely voters. Regardless of their opinions on the issue, 66 percent of adults and 68 percent of likely voters say state voters should decide whether to extend the tax increases. HALF FAVOR MORE HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING—IF FEES DON’T RISE With a budget surplus projected over the next several years, the survey asks whether Californians prefer spending it to pay down debt and build a reserve or restore some funding for public colleges and universities. Most adults (56%) choose restoring higher education funding. Likely voters are divided (48% pay down debt, 47% higher education funding). The governor has proposed increasing funding for California’s public colleges and universities if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. When asked their views, 48 percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters say state funding should be increased only if tuition and fees are not increased. Fewer (28% adults, 27% likely voters) say the state should not increase funding or that funding should be increased even if tuition and fees go up (19% adults, 18% likely voters). RECORD-HIGH SUPPORT FOR LEGALIZING MARIJUANA As advocates for legalizing marijuana again consider putting the issue on the ballot, support for legalization is at its highest point since PPIC began asking this question in May 2010. Today, 53 percent of residents say marijuana should be legal and 45 percent say it should not. Slim majorities supported legalization in October 2014 (51%) and September 2013 (52%). Among likely voters, 55 percent favor legalization. About three-quarters of adults (74%) who have tried marijuana say it should be legal, while only a third (35%) who have never tried it favor legalization. Residents aged 18 to 34 (61%) are more likely than older adults to say marijuana use should be legal (47% age 35 to 54, 52% age 55 and older). Most adults without children under 18 (59%) favor legalization. Most parents with children (54%) are opposed. If marijuana were legal, 53 percent of adults say it would not bother them if a store or business selling it opened up in their neighborhood, while 44 percent say it would. Most parents (54%) would be bothered. BROWN, OBAMA HAVE 55 PERCENT APPROVAL The governor’s job approval rating is 55 percent among adults (28% disapprove, 17% don’t know) and 56 percent among likely voters (36% disapprove, 8% don’t know). This is down from his record high in January (61% adults, 58% likely voters) but higher than his rating a year ago (49% adults, 52% likely voters in March 2014). The legislature’s approval rating has also dipped since January. Today it is 45 percent among adults and 39 percent among likely voters (49% adults, 41% likely voters in January). March 2015 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey President Obama’s approval rating among adults matches the governor’s, at 55 percent, but disapproval of his job performance is higher (41%, 4% don’t know). Likely voters are divided (49% approve, 48% disapprove). Californians continue to disapprove of the U.S. Congress’ job performance. Just 24 percent of adults and 16 percent of likely voters approve. Half of adults (50%) say things in California are generally going in the right direction (41% wrong direction), and 52 percent say we will have good times financially in the next year. Adults are more pessimistic about the direction of the nation, with 54 percent saying things are going in the wrong direction (40% right direction). Their opinion of the nation’s economic outlook mirrors their view for the state: 53 percent say the U.S. will have good times financially in the next year (41% bad times). CALIFORNIANS DIVERGE FROM ADULTS NATIONWIDE ON KEY ISSUES The survey asks about four other issues being discussed at both the state and federal levels. Compared to adults nationwide, Californians are more likely to:  View health care reform favorably. About half of Californians (52%) have a generally favorable opinion of the health reform law (42% generally unfavorable). In a national Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 41 percent had a favorable view. The PPIC survey also asks Californians how concerned they are about being able to afford necessary health care when a family gets sick. A strong majority are at least somewhat concerned (51% very concerned, 23% somewhat).  View global warming as a very serious problem. Most Californians (60%) say global warming will be a very serious problem for the U.S. if nothing is done to reduce it, compared to 44 percent of adults nationwide in a recent New York Times/Stanford/RFF poll. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (75%) are most likely to see global warming as very serious, followed by blacks (70%), Asians (58%), and whites (46%). Adults age 55 and older (47%) are less likely than younger Californians to view global warming as a serious problem (65% age 18 to 34, 66% age 35 to 54).  Support Obama’s executive order on immigration. A strong majority of Californians (70%) support the president’s order protecting up to 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. A December ABC News/Washington Post poll showed support at 52 percent nationally. Across all regions and demographic groups, an overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements.  Say the government should do more to reduce income inequality. Asked about the gap between rich and poor, 72 percent of Californians say it is growing—similar to their national counterparts in the January CBS News poll (69% getting larger). However, Californians (61%) are slightly more likely than adults nationwide (55%) to say the government should do more about it. California’s likely voters (80%) are more likely than state residents overall to say the income gap is growing—but less likely (51%) to say that government should do more to reduce it. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Most say they’re paying more taxes than they should—page 9 Half of Californians say the state and local tax system is fair, but 57 percent say they are paying much more or somewhat more than they feel they should.  Top reason adults aren’t registered to vote? Lack of citizenship—page 15 When Californians are asked why they don’t register to vote, the most frequently cited reason is not being a U.S. citizen (34%), followed by the view that voting doesn’t change things (13%).  A majority favor the Keystone XL pipeline—page 22 In the wake of Obama’s veto of the pipeline bill, 54 percent say they favor building the pipeline. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  A majority of Californians (55%) approve of Governor Brown, and 45 percent approve of the legislature—both ratings have declined from their highest point in January. (page 7)  The ongoing drought continues to concern Californians. Today, a quarter of adults (23%) name water and drought as the top issue facing the state. (page 8)  A majority of adults (57%) say they pay more state and local taxes than they should and 37 percent believe California ranks near the top in state and local tax burden per capita. (page 9)  Half of adults (51%) favor extending the Proposition 30 tax increases. One in three Californians (35%) favor making the increases permanent. (page 10)  Seven in 10 Californians expect the supply of water in their area to be inadequate in the future. Two in three adults say people in their part of California are not doing enough in response to the drought. (page 11)  Despite a majority of adults (53%) saying that spending money on infrastructure maintenance is very important, there is little support for increasing the gasoline tax (18%) or vehicle registration fees (23%) to pay for infrastructure projects. (page 12)  Today, only 47 percent of adults favor building the high-speed rail system in California, marking a decline from last year when 53 percent favored the project. (page 13)  Half of Californians (48%) think the state should increase funding to public universities only if the universities freeze tuition and fees. (page 14) March 2015 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Percent all adults 80 60 34 40 40 20 24 25 Governor Brown California Legislature 55 49 49 45 36 34 0 Mar Mar Mar 11 12 13 Mar Mar 14 15 Perception That Area Water Supply Will Be Inadequate in the Next 10 Years Very inadequate 80 Somewhat inadequate Percent all adults 60 31 43 40 26 20 27 29 26 0 Sep Mar Mar 13 14 15 Support for Ways to Raise Funds for Roads, Highways, and Bridges 80 60 40 20 18 23 47 0 Increase Increase Issue bonds gas tax vehicle through registration the state's fees general fund 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Fifty-five percent of adults and 56 percent of likely voters approve of the way Jerry Brown is handling his job as California’s governor. In January, the governor’s approval rating among adults (61%) was at its highest point, and a similar share of likely voters (58%) approved. Last March, approval was lower (49% adults, 52% likely voters). Today, approval is far higher among Democrats (75%) than among independents (47%) and Republicans (32%). Approval is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (64%) than in Los Angeles (58%), the Inland Empire (52%), Orange/San Diego (51%), and the Central Valley (48%). Majorities of Asians (62%), blacks (58%), Latinos (58%), and whites (51%) approve. 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 55% 28% 56 36 Democrats 75 12 Republicans 32 56 Independents 47 38 Central Valley 48 30 San Francisco Bay Area 64 23 Los Angeles 58 26 Orange/San Diego 51 32 Inland Empire 52 31 Don’t know 17% 8 12 12 15 23 14 15 18 17 Forty-five percent of adults and 39 percent of likely voters approve of the way the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval was at a higher point in January (49% adults, 41% likely voters) but it was lower in March 2014 (36% adults, 32% likely voters). Today, Democrats (58%) are more likely than independents (36%) and Republicans (18%) to approve of the legislature. San Francisco Bay Area residents (52%) are the most likely to approve of the legislature, followed by those in Los Angeles (49%), the Inland Empire (47%), Orange/San Diego (40%), and the Central Valley (34%). Majorities of Asians (58%) and Latinos (54%)—but fewer blacks (46%) and whites (34%)—approve of the legislature. All adults Likely voters Party Region “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove 45% 39% 39 50 Democrats 58 28 Republicans 18 67 Independents 36 50 Central Valley 34 45 San Francisco Bay Area 52 32 Los Angeles 49 41 Orange/San Diego 40 39 Inland Empire 47 42 Don’t know 16% 11 13 15 13 22 16 11 21 12 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Californians are equally likely to name either jobs and the economy (24%) or water and the drought (23%) as the most important issues facing people in California today, followed by education and schools (6%), immigration (6%), and crime (5%). In March 2014, jobs and the economy (32%) topped the list, followed by water and the drought (15%); fewer than 10 percent mentioned any other issue. Water and the drought are mentioned more often today in the Central Valley (32%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (32%) than in other regions. Views are similar among likely voters and all adults. Top five issues mentioned Jobs, economy Water, drought Education, schools, teachers Immigration, illegal immigration Crime, gangs, drugs “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” All adults 24% Central Valley 17% San Francisco Bay Area 15% Region Los Angeles 29% Orange/ San Diego 27% Inland Empire 35% 23 32 32 13 22 15 67 8 47 4 65 2 97 3 55 4 86 5 Likely voters 23% 24 7 8 2 Fifty percent of all adults and 49 percent of likely voters say that things in California are generally going in the right direction. This response is lower than it was in January for all adults (57%) but was identical among likely voters (49%). Results among adults and likely voters are slightly higher than they were in March 2014 (45% adults, 41% likely voters). Today, Democrats (69%) are far more likely than independents (47%) and Republicans (21%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (62%) are more likely than Los Angeles (51%), Inland Empire (49%), Orange/San Diego (43%), and Central Valley (42%) residents to hold this view. Half or more of Asians (62%), Latinos (58%), and blacks (50%)— but fewer whites (41%)—say the state is going in the right direction. Across income groups, half or more of all adults say that things in California are generally going in the right direction (52% less than $40,000, 51% $40,000 to $80,000, 50% $80,000 or more). “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Right direction 50% 69% 21% 47% 49% Wrong direction 41 24 73 46 47 Don’t know 88675 When asked about economic conditions in California, 52 percent of all adults and 49 percent of likely voters say that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially. Optimistic responses were higher in January (58% adults, 54% likely voters) and lower in March 2014 (46% adults, 42% likely voters). Today, San Francisco Bay Area residents (63%) are more likely to expect good times than those in Los Angeles (53%), the Inland Empire (51%), Orange/San Diego (48%), and the Central Valley (45%). Democrats (61%) are more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (29%) to expect good times. Majorities of Asians (62%), blacks (58%), and Latinos (56%)—but fewer whites (45%)—say that we will have good economic times. Upper-income residents are the most likely to say that California will have good times financially (50% less than $40,000, 52% $40,000 to $80,000, 58% $80,000 or more). March 2015 Californians and Their Government 8 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE AND LOCAL TAX SYSTEM With the April 15 income tax deadline looming, half of California adults (3% very, 47% moderately) and likely voters (3% very, 47% moderately) say the present state and local tax system is fair. However, six in 10 adults (57%) and likely voters (58%) say they are paying much more or somewhat more than they feel they should pay in state and local taxes. Last March, a similar 60 percent of all adults and 58 percent of likely voters said that they pay much or somewhat more than they should. Fewer than half of adults (46%) said that they paid more than they should in January 2012, while majorities had this perception in January 2011 (53%) and January 2010 (56%). Today, Republicans (48%) are more likely than independents (32%) and Democrats (22%) to say that they pay much more than they should. Across income groups, higher-income adults are the most likely to say they pay much more than they should (29% less than $40,000, 34% $40,000 to $80,000, 36% $80,000 or more). “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 32% Under $40,000 29% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 34% $80,000 or more 36% Likely voters 35% Somewhat more 25 24 28 25 23 About the right amount 36 37 34 34 35 Less than you should 5 6 4 5 5 Don’t know 24–12 Most Californians say that their state is a national leader in high taxes. Solid majorities (62% adults, 71% likely voters) say that California ranks near the top or is above average in the per capita state and local tax burden compared to other states. The public’s perceptions are in line with the fiscal facts: California’s state and local tax collections per capita in 2012 were ranked 15th highest in the nation (Tax Policy Center, 2015). A similar share said that California is near the top or above average in state and local tax burden in March 2014 (60% percent adults, 70% likely voters) and in May 2006 (57% adults, 64% likely voters). Today, upper-income adults are more likely to say the state ranks near the top or is above average (53% less than $40,000, 61% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). When asked about the state and local tax system, a majority of adults (78%) say that the state and local tax system is in need of major (47%) or minor (31%) changes, and 84 percent of those who say that California ranks near the top or is above average say that major (49%) or minor (35%) changes are needed. “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?” Near the top All adults 37% Under $40,000 32% Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more 34% 52% Likely voters 45% Above average 25 21 27 29 26 Average 19 27 19 8 13 Below average 67724 Near the bottom 46424 Don’t know 88967 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE BUDGET SITUATION As the economy continues to improve, so does the state budget situation in California. Today, the share of Californians saying the state budget is a big problem is at its lowest point since May 2007: 45 percent call the budget a big problem, 36 percent say it is somewhat of a problem, and 11 percent say it is not a problem. Between January 2008 and May 2013, more than 60 percent of adults viewed the budget as a big problem. Today, Republicans (66%) are much more likely than independents (54%) and far more likely than Democrats (30%) to call the budget a big problem. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (37%) are less likely than those elsewhere to hold this view (46% Orange/San Diego, 48% Central Valley, 48% Inland Empire, 49% Los Angeles). With the improving budget situation due in part to Proposition 30 tax revenues, some in Sacramento are discussing extending these temporary tax increases, which are set to fully expire in 2018. Half of Californians (51%) are in favor and four in 10 are opposed to extending these taxes. Findings among adults were similar this January (50% favor, 42% oppose) and in December 2014 (53% favor, 40% oppose). Likely voters are divided (48% favor, 45% opposed). Democrats (61%) and independents (52%) are in favor, while most Republicans (64%) are opposed. San Francisco Bay Area residents (59%) are the most likely to be in favor, followed by those in Los Angeles (51%), the Inland Empire (48%), Orange/San Diego (48%), and the Central Valley (47%). When those who are in favor are asked if they approve of making the tax increases permanent, support drops from 51 to 35 percent. Support for making the tax increases permanent falls short of a majority across all groups, but is highest among Democrats (46%) and San Francisco Bay Area residents (45%). “As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018? (If favor: And would you favor or oppose making the Proposition 30 tax increases permanent?)” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor (total) Favor, even if it is permanent Favor, but oppose if it is permanent Oppose 51% 61% 28% 52% 48% 35 46 16 37 32 16 15 12 15 16 40 31 64 42 45 Don’t know 87857 Regardless of how they feel about the issue, two in three Californians (66%) and likely voters (68%) favor having California voters decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases by placing a state proposition on the November 2016 ballot. Solid majorities across parties, regions and demographic groups agree. “Regardless of how you feel personally about the issue, do you favor or oppose having California voters decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases with a state proposition in the November 2016 election?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 66% 69% 64% 75% 68% Oppose 28 25 32 23 28 Don’t know 66424 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey STATE WATER SUPPLY In the midst of a severe drought and more restrictions on water use, 66 percent of Californians say that the supply of water in their part of California is a big problem, 19 percent say it is somewhat of a problem, and 14 percent say it is not much of a problem. This marks a slight increase from January (59%) and is near the record high reached in October 2014 (68%). While majorities across regions say their regional water supply is a big problem, Central Valley residents (76%) are the most likely to call their regional water supply a big problem, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (71%), the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Los Angeles (60%), and the Inland Empire (56%). Inland (69%) and coastal residents (65%) have similar views. Three in four whites (77%)—compared to fewer than 6 in 10 blacks (59%), Asians (58%), and Latinos (56%)—say their regional water supply is a big problem. Residents age 55 and older (72%), those with at least some college education (72%), and those with household incomes greater than $40,000 (72%) are more likely than others to view their regional water supply as a big problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All adults 66% Central Valley 76% San Francisco Bay Area 63% Region Los Angeles 60% Orange/ San Diego 71% Inland Empire 56% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 69% 65% 19 14 23 21 21 21 16 21 14 9 14 16 8 23 14 13 1 1 – 3 – – 11 When asked about the water supply in their area 10 years from now, 26 percent say it will be adequate for what is needed, while 69 percent say it will be somewhat inadequate (26%) or very inadequate (43%). The share saying the water supply will be very inadequate has increased 12 points since last March and 17 points since September 2013. Central Valley residents (59%) are much more likely than those elsewhere to say the supply of water will be very inadequate (44% Los Angeles, 42% San Francisco Bay Area, 39% Orange/San Diego, 30% Inland Empire). Notably, a plurality of Inland Empire (39%) residents think their water supply will be adequate. Republicans (58%) are more likely than Democrats (47%) and independents (44%) to say the water supply will be very inadequate. Whites (56%) are far more likely than blacks (36%), Asians (35%), and Latinos (31%) to say the supply will be very inadequate. Even though most Californians say their water supply is a big problem, two in three (66%) say that people in their part of California are not doing enough to respond to the current drought. More than six in 10 across regions, parties, and racial/ethnic, education, and income groups say not enough is being done. “Overall, do you think that the people in your part of California are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California?” Too much All adults 6% Central Valley 8% San Francisco Bay Area 8% Region Los Angeles 6% Orange/ San Diego 2% Inland Empire 5% Inland/Coastal Inland Coastal 6% 5% Right amount 24 28 24 17 27 22 27 23 Not enough 66 62 63 72 68 69 64 67 Don’t know 4 2 5 6 3 4 34 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE Governor Brown emphasized the maintenance of the state’s roads and infrastructure in his inaugural address. Californians have mixed views on the condition of roads, highways, and bridges in their part of the state: 34 percent say it is a big problem, 33 percent say somewhat of a problem, and 32 percent say not much of a problem. Likely voters are slightly more likely to call it a big problem (41%) than are all adults (34%). A majority of blacks (56%) see the condition of roads, highways, and bridges in their area as a big problem, but fewer whites (42%) and far fewer Latinos (26%) and Asians (22%) share this view. Strong majorities across regions consider infrastructure at least somewhat of a problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don’t know “Would you say the condition of roads, highways, and bridges is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All adults 34% Central Valley 30% San Francisco Bay Area 38% Region Los Angeles 37% Orange/ San Diego 30% Inland Empire 33% 33 36 30 30 35 36 32 34 31 32 34 31 1– 1 11 – Likely voters 41% 37 21 1 A majority of Californians (53%) think spending more money on maintaining the state’s roads, highways, and bridges is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of the state (35% somewhat important, 8% not too important, 2% not at all important). Across regions, Inland Empire (60%) residents are the most likely to consider this spending to be very important to the state’s future, while those in Orange/San Diego (47%) are least likely to do so. A majority of Democrats (58%) and Republicans (55%) as well as a plurality of independents (47%) view spending in this area as very important. The perception that spending more money to maintain roads is very important increases as age increases. Blacks (60%) are the most likely, followed by whites (56%), Latinos (53%), and Asians (46%), to consider it very important to spend money in this area. “Thinking ahead, how important is spending more money on the maintenance of California’s roads, highways, and bridges 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 53% Central Valley 55% San Francisco Bay Area 53% Region Los Angeles 57% Orange/ San Diego 47% Inland Empire 60% Likely voters 58% Somewhat important 35 32 33 37 37 31 32 Not too important 8 8 13 5 12 7 8 Not at all important 2 5 1 12 1 2 Don’t know 1– – 12 1 1 We asked about support for three different ways to increase state funding for California’s roads, highways, and bridges. Only 18 percent of Californians favor increasing the state gas tax, while 23 percent favor increasing the vehicle registration fee. Forty-seven percent favor issuing new bonds paid through the state’s general fund. Across parties, fewer than three in 10 Californians favor increasing the state gas tax and increasing the vehicle registration fee. Democrats (51%) and independents (45%) are more likely than Republicans (38%) to favor issuing bonds. San Francisco Bay Area residents are much more likely than Californians in other regions to favor raising the gas tax (33%) and increasing the vehicle registration fee (35%). Fewer than one in four Californians support these proposals in other regions. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey HIGH-SPEED RAIL Seven years after passing a $10 billion state bond for the planning and construction of a high-speed rail system, how do Californians view this project? Three in 10 adults (28%) say that the high-speed rail system is very important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California. The share of adults who consider the high-speed rail system very important to the state has declined from past years (33% March 2012, 36% March 2013, 35% March 2014, 28% today). Today, the share of likely voters (25%) who consider the project very important is similar to the share of adults overall (28%). Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area residents (41%) are much more likely than those in Los Angeles (29%), the Inland Empire (26%), Orange/San Diego (21%), and the Central Valley (20%) to consider the highspeed rail system very important. Democrats (34%) and independents (31%) are much more likely than Republicans (15%) to hold this view. Whites (21%) are less likely than Latinos (31%), Asians (38%), and blacks (38%) to consider the high-speed rail system very important for California’s future. “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 28% Central Valley 20% San Francisco Bay Area 41% Region Los Angeles 29% Orange/ San Diego 21% Inland Empire 26% Likely voters 25% Somewhat important 36 40 28 39 40 35 33 Not too important 18 15 17 17 23 21 17 Not at all important 17 23 14 13 15 18 24 Don’t know 11 – 2 1 –1 When read a brief description of the high-speed rail project and the costs associated with it, Californians are divided (47% favor, 48% oppose) over building it. Support has hovered around 50 percent with a similar question in earlier polls (51% March 2012, 48% March 2013, 53% March 2014, 47% today). Today, likely voters (48% favor, 48% oppose) have opinions similar to all adults on this issue. A majority of San Francisco Bay Area residents (60%) favor building high-speed rail, while those in the Inland Empire (57%), the Central Valley (55%), and Orange/San Diego (51%) oppose it. Los Angeles residents are evenly divided (47% favor, 47% oppose). Democrats favor (61%) the project, Republicans oppose (74%) it, and independents are divided (50% favor, 48% oppose). When those who oppose the high-speed rail system are asked how they would feel if it cost less, overall support increases to 64% among all adults and 61% among likely voters. A majority across regions would favor the project if it cost less. Three in four Democrats (76%) and a strong majority of independents would also favor (68%) the project in this case, but support falls short of a majority among Republicans (48%) even if the high-speed rail system cost less. “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 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 All adults 47% Central Valley 43% San Francisco Bay Area 60% Region Los Angeles 47% Orange/ San Diego 41% Inland Empire 40% Likely voters 48% Oppose 48 55 38 47 51 57 48 Don’t know 53 2 6 9 24 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. We asked Californians whether they preferred to spend the surplus on paying down debt and building a reserve or on restoring some funding for public colleges and universities. A majority of adults would prefer using this money to restore funding for higher education (56%) over paying down debt (39%). Likely voters are divided: 47 percent say restore funding for higher education, 48 percent say pay down debt. Democrats (67%) prefer to restore funding while Republicans prefer paying down debt (72%). Independents are divided (49% restore funding, 48% debt payment). Solid majorities of Asians (61%), Latinos (71%), and blacks (75%) prefer restoring higher education funding; a majority of whites (56%) prefer paying down debt. A majority of Californians age 18 to 34 (58%) and age 35 to 54 (64%) prefer restoring funding; those age 55 and older are divided (45% restoring funding, 47% debt payment). Californians in low-income (63%) and middle-income (56%) households prefer restoring funding; those in high-income households are divided (48% restoring funding, 47% debt payment). “The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. In general, how would you prefer to use this extra money? Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve or would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for California’s public colleges and universities that were cut in recent years?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Pay debt, build reserve 39% 28% 72% 48% 48% Restore some funding for public colleges and universities 56 67 21 49 47 Don’t know 55 6 3 5 Governor Brown has proposed increasing state funding for California’s public universities only if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. When asked about the conditions under which the state should increase funding for public universities, 48 percent of Californians say that state funding should be increased only if public universities freeze their tuition and fees, 28 percent say the state should not increase the level of funding, and 19 percent say funding should be increased even if tuition and fees increase. A majority of Democrats and independents (56% each) say that state funding to public universities should be increased only if they freeze their tuition and fees. Among Republicans, 43 percent say that funding should be increased only if public universities freeze tuition and 36 percent say that the level of funding should not be increased at all. Californians who have some college education (54%) or are college graduates (57%) think that state funding for public universities should be increased only if there is a tuition freeze. Those with a high school degree or less are as likely to say funding should increase if there is a tuition freeze (38%) as to say that it should not be increased at all (35%). “Governor Brown has proposed increasing state funding for California’s public universities if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. Which of the following statements is closer to your view about increasing funding for California’s public universities – The state should only increase funding to public universities if they freeze their tuition and fees, the state should increase funding to public universities even if they raise their tuition and fees, or the state should not increase the level of funding to public universities?” Increase only if they freeze their tuition and fees Increase even if they raise their tuition and fees Should not increase the level of funding Don’t know/Other (specify) All adults 48% 19 28 6 Dem 56% 19 20 4 Party Rep 43% 16 36 5 Likely Ind voters 56% 52% 18 18 24 27 24 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey VOTING AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Low voter turnout in recent elections has sparked discussion on how to increase registration and turnout. To address this issue effectively, it is important to understand the reasons behind low registration and turnout. The top reason Californians give for not being registered to vote is that they are not U.S. citizens (34%). Other top reasons include the belief that voting does not change things (13%), not having the time (9%), not having confidence in government (6%), and a lack of interest in politics (5%). Some other reasons have to do with not knowing enough about the choices or issues (4%), religion (3%), having moved recently (2%), and not wanting to be called for jury duty (2%). Those ages 18 to 44 (18%) are more likely than older unregistered Californians (5%) to say that voting does not change things. Men (16%) are more likely than women (9%) to hold this view. Men (10%) are also more likely than women (1%) to say they have no confidence in government. Latinos (43%) are more likely than unregistered adults overall (34%) to say they don’t vote because they are not U.S. citizens. “There are many reasons why people don’t register to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you’re not registered to vote?” Unregistered adults only (top 5 reasons) All unregistered Age 18 to 44 45 and older Gender Men Women Not a U.S. citizen 34% 32% 37% 29% 39% Voting doesn’t change things/ my vote doesn’t matter Too busy to register/no time No confidence in government, politics,or politicians Not interested in politics 13 18 98 65 57 5 16 9 10 9 8 7 10 1 2 55 Latinos 43% 13 6 2 7 Among registered adults who do not always vote, 29 percent say they did not vote because they got too busy. Other top reasons for not voting are a lack of interest in the issues or the particular election (12%), not knowing enough about the choices or issues involved (9%), a lack of interest in politics (8%), and the belief that voting does not matter (6%). Other reasons include not liking the candidates (5%), lack of transportation (3%), and health (3%). Republicans are more likely than others to cite a lack of interest in the issues or a particular election (20%) and not knowing enough about the choices and issues (16%). Democrats (13%) are more likely than Republicans (4%) and independents (3%) to state a lack of interest in politics. Californians age 18 to 34 (33%) are more likely than older adults to mention time constraints. Men are somewhat more likely than women to mention time constraints (33% to 26%) and a lack of interest in the particular issues (16% to 9%). Latinos (38%) are more likely than whites (23%) to mention time constraints. “There are many reasons why people aren’t able to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you don’t always vote?” Registered adults who say they do not always vote (top 5 reasons) Registered voters Dem Party Rep Age Ind 18 to 34 35 to 54 Too busy/no time 29% 29% 28% 28% 32% Lack of interest in the issues/ particular election Don’t know enough about the choices or issues Not interested in politics 12 9 8 8 20 7 16 13 4 5 6 3 14 10 9 Voting doesn't change things/ my vote doesn’t matter 6 8 65 4 26% 11 8 9 11 55 and older 28% 13 7 6 3 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  President Obama’s approval rating is at 55 percent; approval of the U.S. Congress is at 24 percent—both ratings have declined since January. (page 17)  While a majority of Californians (54%) say that the country is headed in the wrong direction, a similar proportion (53%) expect good times financially in the next 12 months. (page 18)  Half of Californians (52%) have a favorable view of the health care reform law. A similar share (51%) are very concerned about being able to afford health care if a family member gets sick. (page 19)  An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) favor providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions. Seven in 10 support President Obama’s executive action. (page 20)  Seventy-two percent of Californians say the income gap between the rich and the poor in the U.S. is getting larger. Sixty-one percent say the government should do more to reduce the income gap. (page 21)  Six in 10 Californians think that global warming will be a very serious problem for the United States in the future. A majority of adults in the state (54%) favor building the Keystone XL pipeline. (page 22)  Support for marijuana legalization has reached a record high53 percent of Californians say that marijuana should be legal. If it were legal, 53 percent say they would not be bothered if a business selling marijuana opened up in their neighborhood. (page 23) March 2015 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 80 60 56 59 President Obama U.S. Congress 66 55 52 Percent all adults 40 20 30 24 29 0 Mar Mar Mar 11 12 13 24 19 Mar Mar 14 15 Global Warming as a Serious Problem for the United States Very serious 100 Somewhat serious 80 60 60 40 44 20 21 34 0 Californians Adults nationwide* *Stanford/NYT/RFF Poll, January 2015 Support for Legalizing Marijuana Yes, legal 80 No, not legal 60 49 49 51 51 52 49 51 53 40 48 47 46 45 45 47 44 45 20 0 May Sep Sep Mar Sep Mar Oct Mar 10 10 11 12 13 14 14 15 16 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Most Californians continue to view the president in a positive light. Fifty-five percent approve of his job performance, while 41 percent disapprove. Likely voters are divided (49% approve, 48% disapprove). Approval among adults was higher in January (60%) and similar in March 2014 (52%). Adults nationwide in a recent CNN/ORC poll were less approving (46% approve, 51% disapprove). An overwhelming share of Democrats (78%) approve of the president, while the share of Republicans (86%) who disapprove is even higher; independents are divided (46% approve, 49% disapprove). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (67%) and Los Angeles (62%) are more likely to approve than those in Orange/San Diego (52%), the Inland Empire (47%), and the Central Valley (43%). Blacks (88%) are the most likely racial/ethnic group to approve, followed by Latinos (69%), Asians (59%), and whites (38%). All adults All likely voters Party Region “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” Approve Disapprove 55% 41% 49 48 Democrats 78 18 Republicans 12 86 Independents 46 49 Central Valley 43 55 San Francisco Bay Area 67 28 Los Angeles 62 33 Orange/San Diego 52 46 Inland Empire 47 49 Don't know 4% 3 5 2 5 2 5 5 2 4 Californians continue to be critical of the U.S. Congress: just 24 percent approve of its job performance— a 14 point decline since January—while 69 percent disapprove. Approval today is similar to March 2014 (19%). Partisans are in agreement, with fewer than one in four Democrats (23%) and Republicans (20%) approving. Across regions, three in 10 or fewer approve. Adults nationwide in a recent Gallup poll (18% approve, 75% disapprove) were even more negative than Californians in our survey. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove Don't know All adults 24% 69% 7% All likely voters 16 80 4 Democrats 23 71 6 Party Republicans 20 75 5 Independents 20 73 7 Central Valley 19 72 9 San Francisco Bay Area 30 63 7 Region Los Angeles 27 67 6 Orange/San Diego 17 75 8 Inland Empire 21 73 5 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey NATIONAL OUTLOOK Californians are more likely to say that things in the United States are going in the wrong direction (54%) than to say they are headed in the right direction (40%). Views today are similar to those in March 2014 (39% right direction, 56% wrong direction) and December 2013 (35% right direction, 57% wrong direction). But views were far more positive in January 2013, shortly after the 2012 presidential election (56% right direction, 39% wrong direction). In a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans nationwide were more negative (32% right direction, 60% wrong track) than the Californians in our survey. Likely voters (34% right direction, 61% wrong direction) are more negative than adults overall. More than half of Democrats (55%) think the nation is headed in the right direction, while just 35 percent of independents and 13 percent of Republicans hold this view. Optimism about the direction of the nation is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%), followed by Los Angeles (44%), the Inland Empire (37%), the Central Valley (36%), and Orange/San Diego (32%). Blacks (72%), Asians (56%), and Latinos (49%) are far more likely than whites (23%) to say the nation is headed in the right 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 40% 55% 13% 35% 54 40 84 59 6536 Likely voters 34% 61 5 When it comes to the economic outlook of the United States, half of Californians (53%) expect good times in the next 12 months, while four in 10 (41%) expect bad times. This marks an 8 point increase in optimism since March 2014 (45% good times, 48% bad times). Likely voters are similarly optimistic (50% good times, 42% bad times). Majorities of Democrats (65%) and independents (52%) are optimistic about the economic outlook, while just 29 percent of Republicans hold this view. There are also wide regional differences: residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (66%) are the most optimistic, followed by those in Los Angeles (56%), the Inland Empire (52%), Orange/San Diego (47%), and the Central Valley (39%). Men (60%) are much more optimistic than women (46%), and those with household incomes below $40,000 (56%) and above $80,000 (59%) are much more optimistic than middle-income Californians (43%). 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 53% 65% 29% 52% 50% 41 29 64 42 42 66768 Californians’ opinions of the economic outlook for the nation (53% good times, 41% bad times) mirror their opinions about the state (52% good times, 38% bad times). However, Californians are more negative about the direction of the nation (40% right direction, 54% wrong direction) than about the direction of the state (50% right direction, 41% wrong direction). March 2015 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey HEALTH CARE REFORM Today, 52 percent of California adults have a generally favorable opinion of the health reform law and 42 percent have a generally unfavorable opinion. These opinions are nearly identical to those in our January survey (51% generally favorable, 41% generally unfavorable) but different than our previous seven surveys dating back to 2013 when Californians were divided on this topic. Compared to adults nationally in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, Californians are more likely to view the health care law favorably (41% nationally, 52% California). A strong majority of Democrats (70%) have a favorable opinion, while a strong majority of Republicans (75%) have an unfavorable one; independents are divided (46% favorable, 47% unfavorable). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (70%) are the most likely to have a favorable opinion, followed by Latinos (61%), Asians (58%), and whites (40%). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (59%) are more likely to have a favorable opinion, compared to those in the Central Valley (43%), Orange/San Diego (43%), and the Inland Empire (42%). While the majority of residents with health insurance (53%) have a favorable opinion of the law, among those without health insurance, 49 percent have an unfavorable opinion of it. “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 52% 70% 17% 46% 53% 44% Generally unfavorable 42 24 75 47 41 49 Don’t know 6 6 7 7 67 A strong majority of Californians are at least somewhat concerned (51% very concerned, 23% somewhat concerned) about being able to afford the necessary health care when a family member gets sick, while a quarter are not too concerned (12%) or not at all concerned (13%). In September 2004, the share of adults who were very concerned was at 57 percent; in June 2007 it was 56 percent. Concern is higher among those with incomes below $40,000 (62%) than among those with higher incomes. Adults with a high school degree or less are more likely than residents with some college education (52%) and far more likely than those with a college degree (36%) to be very concerned (61%). Latinos (63%) are more likely than blacks (52%) and far more likely than Asians (47%) and whites (43%) to be very concerned. Inland Empire residents (60%) are the most likely to be concerned, followed by those in Los Angeles (54%), the Central Valley (51%), Orange/San Diego (46%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (43%). Those without insurance are far more likely to be very concerned (69%) than those who have insurance (48%). Adults who are very concerned about being able to afford health care are divided in their opinions of the 2010 health care law (49% generally favorable, 44% generally unfavorable). “How concerned are you personally about being able to afford necessary health care when a family member gets sick?” All adults Under $40,000 Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Have health insurance? Yes No Very concerned 51% 62% 48% 38% 48% 69% Somewhat concerned 23 24 22 21 23 24 Not too concerned 12 7 13 20 13 5 Not at all concerned 13 7 17 20 15 2 Don’t know 11 1 1 1– March 2015 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) are in favor of providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they meet certain requirements, while one in four residents (19%) are opposed. Since we first asked this question in September 2013, more than eight in 10 Californians have expressed support for providing a path to citizenship (85% September 2013, 83% January 2014, 86% March 2014, 82% September 2014). Today, strong majorities across all regions and demographic groups say they support offering a path to citizenship. Democrats (85%) are more likely than independents (77%) and far more likely than Republicans (66%) to hold this view. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (90%) are the most likely to favor a path to citizenship, followed by blacks (82%), Asians (77%), and whites (73%). More than seven in 10 across age, education, and income 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 Ind Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Favor 80% 85% 66% 77% 77% 82% 90% 73% Oppose 19 13 30 22 20 15 9 25 Don’t know 2 241 3 3 1 1 Although President Obama’s executive order on immigration has been challenged in the courts, a strong majority of Californians (70%) support the president’s order, which protects as many as 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation; 27 percent are opposed. Fifty-seven percent of likely voters support the president’s action. Support was similar in January (69% support, 30% oppose). According to a December ABC News/Washington Post Poll, adults nationally are less supportive of the president’s actions on immigration than Californians in our survey (52% nationally, 70% California). Majorities across regions and demographic groups say they support the president’s actions on this issue. But there are sharp differences across parties: strong majorities of Democrats (80%) and independents (68%) say they support action on immigration, while a solid majority of Republicans (65%) say they oppose it. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (88%) and blacks (81%) are much more likely than Asians (69%) and whites (55%) to support executive action on immigration. “President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Support 70% 80% 30% 68% 69% 81% 88% 55% Oppose 27 17 65 30 27 18 10 40 Don’t know 3 352 4 1 2 5 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey INCOME INEQUALITY Seven in 10 Californians (72%) and eight in 10 likely voters (80%) think that the gap between the rich and poor in the Unites States is getting larger. These findings are similar to a January CBS News poll in which 69 percent of Americans said the gap is getting larger. Across all parties, at least seven in 10 say the gap between the rich and poor is growing. Californians with household incomes of $80,000 or more (80%) are more likely than those with household incomes under $40,000 (67%) to say that the gap is getting larger. Similarly, college graduates (85%) are more likely than those with a high school diploma or less (57%) to say that the gap between the rich and poor is growing. Latinos (57%) are far less likely than whites (81%), Asians (80%) or blacks (77%) to say that the gap is getting larger. Getting larger Getting smaller Stayed the same Don’t know “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?” All adults 72% Dem 77% Party Rep 70% Household income Ind Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 83% 67% 75% 4 3 41 6 3 21 17 22 14 24 20 3 3 42 3 3 $80,000 or more 80% 2 15 3 Californians (61%) are slightly more likely than adults nationwide (55%) in the CBS News poll to think the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. While California likely voters are more likely than adults overall to say the gap is growing, they are less likely to say that the government should do more to reduce this gap (51%). There are notable partisan differences on this issue: majorities of Democrats (72%) and independents (60%) believe the government should do more, while 69 percent of Republicans say that this is not a role for government. Although whites are the most likely racial/ethnic group to say the gap between rich and poor is getting larger, they are the least likely to say the government should do more to address it (49% whites, 69% Asians, 69% Latinos, 79% blacks). Californians earning less than $40,000 are less likely than higher earners to say the gap between the rich and the poor is growing, yet they are the most likely to say that the government should do more to address the gap. “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?” Should do more Should not be doing Don’t know All adults 61% 34 5 Dem 72% 22 6 Party Rep 27% 69 5 Ind 60% 35 5 Under $40,000 68% 27 5 Household income $40,000 to under $80,000 56% $80,000 or more 55% 38 41 54 Californians are divided on whether everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy (49%) or whether just a few people at the top have a chance (48%). Republicans (63%) are more likely than independents (51%) and Democrats (42%) to say that everyone has a fair chance. While a majority of homeowners (55%) say that everyone has a fair chance, only 43 percent of renters hold this view. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (63%) are far more likely than whites (49%), Asians (49%), and Latinos (45%) to say that only a few people at the top have a chance to get ahead. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY Six in 10 Californians (60%) think that global warming will be a very serious problem for the United States if nothing is done to reduce it. Likely voters (52%) are slightly less likely than adults overall to say that it will be a very serious problem. Californians (60%) are more likely than adults nationwide (44%) to say that global warming will be a very serious problem according to a recent New York Times/Stanford University/RFF poll. Notably, fewer than two in 10 Californians think global warming will not present a serious problem. There are strong partisan differences in California with seven in 10 Democrats (70%) and half of independents (51%) saying that it will be a very serious problem, compared to less than three in 10 Republicans (29%) who say the same. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (75%) are the most likely to see global warming as a very serious problem, followed by blacks (70%), Asians (58%) and whites (46%). Adults age 55 and older (47%) are less likely than younger Californians to say that global warming will be a very serious problem (65% age 18 to 34, 66% age 35 to 54). Parents of children 18 and under (67%) are more likely than those without (55%) to think global warming will present a very serious problem for the United States. “If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious a problem do you think it will be for the United States—very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?” All adults Dem Party Rep Age Ind 18 to 34 35 to 54 55 and above Very serious 60% 70% 29% 51% 65% 66% 47% Somewhat serious 21 23 24 26 22 16 25 Not so serious 8 4 15 10 6 9 7 Not serious at all 10 2 30 12 6 8 18 Don’t know 2121 1 1 3 Following President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline bill, a majority of Californians (54%) continue to favor the building of the pipeline. These findings are similar to July 2014 when 53 percent of adults expressed support for building the pipeline. While an overwhelming majority of Republicans (80%) and a slight majority of independents (55%) favor building the Keystone XL pipeline, Democrats are divided on the issue (44% favor, 47% oppose). Support for the Keystone XL pipeline increases with age: younger adults (age 18 to 34) are divided on the proposed pipeline (49% favor, 43% oppose), while majorities of older Californians favor building it (55% age 35 to 54, 58% age 55 and older). Regionally, support for the Keystone XL pipeline is highest in the Inland Empire (66%) and lowest in Orange/San Diego (49%). Asians (61%) are the most likely racial/ethnic group to favor the pipeline, followed by whites (55%), blacks (52%), and Latinos (49%). Favor Oppose Don’t know “Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas?” All adults Dem Party Rep Age Ind 18 to 34 35 to 54 55 and above 54% 44% 80% 55% 49% 55% 58% 35 47 10 37 43 32 30 11 10 10 8 8 13 12 March 2015 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION Support for legalizing marijuana is at its highest point since we began asking about it in May 2010. Today, 53 percent of Californians think that the use of marijuana should be legal (45% not legal). Slim majorities supported legalization in October 2014 (51%) and September 2013 (52%), and Californians were divided in the other five times we asked about it. With ballot measures once again being considered, 55 percent of likely voters currently favor making it legal. Majorities of Democrats (63%) and independents (57%) think that it should be legal; a majority of Republicans (54%) think it should be illegal. Nearly three in four residents who have tried marijuana (74%) think that it should be legal. Only a third of adults who have never tried it (35%) say the same. Adults age 18 to 34 (61%) are more likely than older adults to think marijuana use should be legal (47% age 35 to 54, 52% age 55 and older). More than half of parents with children 18 and under say that it should not be legal (54%), while a majority of adults without children under 18 (59%) favor legalization. Blacks (69%) and whites (64%) are far more likely than Latinos (42%) and Asians (39%) to favor legalization. “Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not?” Yes, legal No, not legal Don't know All adults 53% 45% 2% All likely voters 55 43 3 Democrats 63 36 2 Party Republicans 44 54 2 Independents 57 38 5 Asians 39 56 5 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 69 30 1 42 56 2 Whites 64 33 3 Ever tried marijuana? Yes No 74 24 2 35 63 3 If marijuana were legal, 44 percent of adults say that it would bother them if a store selling it opened up in their neighborhood while 53 percent say it would not. Republicans (47%) are the most likely to say they would be bothered by a business selling marijuana in their neighborhood, followed by Democrats (40%) and independents (37%). Only a third of Californians age 18 to 34 (32%) say they would be bothered if a business selling marijuana opened in their neighborhood, compared to about half of older Californians. Three in four Californians (74%) who have tried marijuana say that they would not be bothered, while only 35 percent of those who have never tried it say the same. Notably, a majority of parents with children 18 and under (54%) say that they would be bothered by a store selling marijuana in their neighborhood. “If marijuana were legal, would it bother you if a store or a business selling marijuana opened up in your neighborhood or would this not bother you?” All adults 18 to 34 Age 35 to 54 55 and above Ever tried marijuana? Yes No Yes, would bother me 44% 32% 53% 47% 23% 63% No, would not bother me 53 66 44 51 74 35 Depends (volunteered) 22 3 22 2 Don’t know –– – 11 – March 2015 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP March 2015 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Lunna Lopes and Jui Shrestha, co-project managers for this survey, Dean Bonner, associate survey director, and survey research associate Renatta DeFever. 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 1,706 California adult residents, including 1,025 interviewed on landline telephones and 681 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from March 8–17, 2015. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2013 American Community Survey’s (ACS) Public Use Microdata Series for California (with regional coding information from the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California) to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample—region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education—with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2013 state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS—and 2014 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. March 2015 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,706 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.7 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1,427 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.0 percent; for the 1,064 likely voters, it is ±4.7 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populous areas are not large enough to report separately. In several places, we refer to coastal and inland counties. The coastal region refers to the counties along the California coast from Del Norte County to San Diego County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. All other counties are included in the inland region. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites, who account for 43 percent of the state’s adult population, and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 15 percent of the state’s adult population, and non-Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups—such as Native Americans—are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated per their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News, CNN/ORC, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times/Stanford University/Resources for the Future Poll on Global Warming. 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 2015 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT March 8–17, 2015 1,706 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.7% 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] 24% jobs, economy 23 water, drought 6 education, schools, teachers 6 immigration, illegal immigration 5 crime, gangs, drugs 4 state budget, deficit, taxes 3 environment, pollution, global warming 3 health care, health reform, Obamacare 3 government in general 3 housing costs, availability 2 infrastructure 12 other 6 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 55% approve 28 disapprove 17 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 45% approve 39 disapprove 16 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 50% right direction 41 wrong direction 8 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? 52% good times 38 bad times 10 don’t know 6. Next, do you think the state budget situation in California—that is, the balance between government spending and revenues—is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 45% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 8 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 7. As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four years, to fund schools and guarantee public safety realignment funding. Do you favor or oppose extending the Proposition 30 tax increases which are set to fully expire in 2018 (if favor, ask: And would you favor or oppose making the Proposition 30 tax increases permanent?) 35% favor, even if it is permanent 16 favor, but oppose if it is permanent 40 oppose 8 don’t know 7a. Regardless of how you feel personally about the issue, do you favor or oppose having California voters decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases with a state proposition in the November 2016 election? 66% favor 28 oppose 6 don’t know Next, 8. 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? 47% major changes 31 minor changes 18 fine the way it is 4 don’t know 8a. 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 31 not too fair 16 not at all fair 2 don’t know 9. 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? 32% much more 25 somewhat more 36 about the right amount 5 less than you should 2 don’t know 10.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? 37% near the top 25 above average 19 average 6 below average 4 near the bottom 8 don’t know 11.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? 66% big problem 19 somewhat of a problem 14 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 12.Do you think 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, ask: Is that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate?) 26% adequate 26 somewhat inadequate 43 very inadequate 5 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 12a. Overall, do you think that the people in your part of California are doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to respond to the current drought in California? 6% too much 24 the right amount 66 not enough 4 don’t know On another topic, 13.Would you say the condition of roads, highways, and bridges is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 34% big problem 33 somewhat of a problem 32 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 13a. Thinking ahead, how important is spending more money on the maintenance of California’s roads, highways, and bridges 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? 53% very important 35 somewhat important 8 not too important 2 not at all important 1 don’t know Next, please tell me if you favor or oppose each of the following proposals to increase state funding for California’s roads, highways and bridges. [rotate question 14a to 14c] 14a. How about increasing the state gasoline tax? 18% favor 81 oppose 1 don’t know 14b. How about increasing vehicle registration fees? 23% favor 74 oppose 3 don’t know 14c. How about issuing new state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund? 47% favor 42 oppose 11 don’t know 15.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 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? (if oppose, ask: What if the highspeed rail system cost less, would you favor or oppose building it?) 47% favor 17 oppose, but would favor if it cost less 31 oppose, even if it cost less 5 don’t know 16.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? 28% very important 36 somewhat important 18 not too important 17 not at all important 1 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey Changing topics, 17.The state is projected to have a budget surplus of several billion dollars over the next several years. In general, how would you prefer to use this extra money? [rotate] (1) Would you prefer to pay down state debt and build up the reserve [or] (2) would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for California’s public colleges and universities that were cut in recent years? 39% pay down debt and build up reserve 56 restore funding for public colleges and universities 5 don’t know 18.Governor Brown has proposed increasing state funding for California’s public universities if they freeze tuition and fees for the next four years. Which of the following statements is closer to your view about increasing funding for California’s public universities—[rotate] (1)The state should only increase funding to public universities if they freeze their tuition and fees, (2) The state should increase funding to public universities even if they raise their tuition and fees, [or] (3) The state should not increase the level of funding to public universities. 48% only increase funding to public universities if they freeze their tuition and fees 19 increase funding to public universities even if they raise their tuition and fees 28 state should not increase the level of funding to public universities 2 other (specify) 4 don’t know 19.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? 55% approve 41 disapprove 4 don’t know 20.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 24% approve 69 disapprove 7 don’t know 21.Do you think things in the United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 40% right direction 54 wrong direction 6 don’t know 22.Turning to economic conditions, do you think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 53% good times 41 bad times 6 don’t know Next, 23.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? 52% generally favorable 42 generally unfavorable 6 don’t know 24.How concerned are you personally about being able to afford necessary health care when a family member gets sick? 51% very concerned 23 somewhat concerned 12 not too concerned 13 not at all concerned 1 don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 30 PPIC Statewide Survey Next, 25.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? 80% favor 19 oppose 2 don’t know 26. President Obama has taken an executive action under which as many as four million of the country's undocumented immigrants will not face deportation over the next three years if they pass a background check and meet other requirements. Most will need to show that they have been in the United States for at least five years and have children who were born here. Do you support or oppose this immigration program? 70% support 27 oppose 3 don’t know On another topic, 27.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? 72% getting larger 4 getting smaller 21 stayed the same 3 don’t know 28.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 34 should not be doing 5 don’t know 28a.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 48 just a few people at the top have a chance 3 don’t know Changing topics, 29.If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious a problem do you think it will be for the United States—very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious or not serious at all? 60% very serious 21 somewhat serious 8 not so serious 10 not serious at all 2 don’t know 30.Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas? 54% favor 35 oppose 11 don’t know 31.Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be legal, or not? 53% yes, legal 45 no, not legal 2 don’t know 31a. If marijuana were legal, would it bother you if a store or a business selling marijuana opened up in your neighborhood or would this not bother you? 44% yes, would bother me 53 no, would not bother me 2 depends (volunteered) – don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 32.Keeping in mind that all of your answers in the survey are confidential, have you ever tried marijuana? (if yes, ask: have you used marijuana in the last 12 months?) 17% yes have tried marijuana, used in the past year 29 yes, have tried marijuana, not in the past year 54 no, have not tried marijuana – don’t know 33.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 q33a] 34 no [skip to q34b] 33a.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 q34] 28 Republican [ask q34a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q35] 24 independent [skip to q34b] 34.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 50% strong 48 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q35] 34a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 43% strong 52 not very strong 5 don’t know [skip to q35] 34b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 26% Republican Party 48 Democratic Party 21 neither 6 don’t know 34c. [unregistered adults only] There are many reasons why people don’t register to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you’re not registered to vote? [code, don’t read] 34% not a U.S. citizen 13 voting doesn't change things/my vote doesn’t matter 9 too busy to register/no time 6 no confidence in government, politics, or politicians 5 not interested in politics 4 don’t know enough about the choices or issues 3 just don’t want to 3 religious reasons 2 avoid jury duty 2 felony, parole 2 in transition, just turned 18 2 recently moved/relocated 2 registered in another state 9 something else (specify) 4 don’t know 35.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 30 middle-of-the-road 23 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 36.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 32 only a little 11 none – don’t know March 2015 Californians and Their Government 32 PPIC Statewide Survey 37a.[among those who say they do not always vote] There are many reasons people aren’t able to vote. Could you please tell me the main reason why you don’t always vote? [code, don’t read] 29% too busy to vote/no time 12 lack of interest in the issues/ particular election 9 don’t know enough about the choices or issues 8 not interested in politics 6 voting does not change things/my vote doesn’t matter 5 didn’t like the candidates 3 illness 3 in transition, just moved, just old enough, just registered 3 no way to get to polls 3 no confidence in government, politics, or politicians 2 forgot to vote 2 traveling 2 unfamiliar with the process, particular election, undecided 9 something else (specify) 4 don’t know [d1 to d17:demographic questions] March 2015 Californians and Their Government 33 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University Jon Cohen Vice President of Survey Research SurveyMonkey Joshua J. Dyck Co-Director Center for Public Opinion University of Massachusetts, Lowell Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Chairman US Hispanic Media, Inc. Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Executive Director Undocumented Student Legal Services Center University of California Office of the President Brigitte Bren Attorney Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust Walter B. Hewlett Member, Board of Directors The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Vice Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decision makers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a public charity. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 2015 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:42:28" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_315mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:42:28" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:42:28" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_315MBS.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) }