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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. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURV EY Californians and Their Government 3 CONTACT Linda Strean 415 -291 -4412 Serina Correa 415 -291 -4417 News Release EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 23 , 2016. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THE IR GOVERNMENT Trump Leads with 38 Percent , Clinton Has 48 Percent Support among Primary Likely Voters HARRIS, SANCHEZ LEAD IN SENATE RACE, BUT NEARLY A THIRD ARE U NDECIDED SAN FRANCISCO, March 23 , 201 6— Donald Trump leads his rivals in the presidential race with support from 38 percent of Republican primary likely voters, according to a statewide survey released today by the P ublic Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding fro m The James Irvine Foundation. Hillary Clinton has 48 percent support and Bernie Sanders has 41 percent among Democratic primary likely voters —a group that includes Democrats and independent voters who say they will vote in the Democratic primary. Another 11 percent favor someone else (7%) or are undecided (4%). In the survey —which ended March 15, the same evening that Marco Rubio left the Republican presidential race —Trump (38%) is trailed by Ted Cruz (19%), and John Kasich and Rubio (12% each). The survey also asked Republican primary likely voters for their second choices, and when the responses are recalculated to exclude Rubio, Trump maintains his 38 percent support, while Cruz’s support increa ses to 27 percent and Kasich’s to 14 percent. Twenty percent favor someone else (11%) or are undecided (9%). Trump leads across age, education, gender, and income groups. In the Democratic race, most voters age 45 and older support Clinton (63%), while most younger voters support Sanders (63%). Clinton leads among Latino voters (58% to 35%), women (54% to 35%), and those who describe themselves as politically middle of the road (51% to 33%). Sanders leads among those who describe themselves as very liberal (57% to 41%) and among men (48% to 39%). A solid majority of Democratic likely voters (65%) are satisfied with their choice of candidates . Less than half of Republican s (46%) and a third of independent likely voters (34%) are satisfied. Harris Leads Senate Candidates—Latinos Prefer Sanchez In the race to fill the seat of retiring U.S. senator Barbara Boxer, a third of likely voters (31%) say they are undecided. Among the candidates , Kamala Harris, Democratic state attorney general, has 26 percent support , followed by Loretta Sanchez, Democratic member of Congress, with 17 percent. Tom Del Beccaro, former chairman of the state Republican Party, has 9 percent and Duf Sundheim, also a former Republican Party chair, has 6 percent. Republican Ron Unz entered th e race after the survey was completed. The top two vote getters in the June primary will advance to the November election. Among Democratic likely voters, 38 percent favor Harris, 30 percent favor Sanchez, and 24 percent are undecided. Among Republican lik ely voters, 41 percent are undecided, while 23 percent favor Del Beccaro and 12 percent favor Sundheim. While 37 percent of independents are undecided, Harris gets the most support (22%). Latino voters are most likely to support Sanchez (36%), while 22 per cent would vote for Harris. White voters are most likely to be either undecided (31%) or support Harris (27%). Democrats (64%) PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURV EY Californians and Their Government 4 are far more likely than independents (38%) or Republicans (31%) to say they are satisfied with their choice of candidates for Se nate. “The defining characteristic of the California presidential and senate primaries is the striking partisan difference in satisfaction with the candidate choices,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. Majorities Approve of Obama, But Few Approve of Congress A majority of California adults (59%) and over half of likely voters (53%) approve of President Obama’s job performance. Congress’ approval rating is considerably lower: 24 percent among adults and 14 percent among likely voters. Just 20 p ercent of Democrats and 18 percent of independents approve of Congress’ job performance . Even fewer Republicans (11%) approve —smaller than the share of Republicans who approve of Obama’s performance (20%). Baldassare noted: “In election season where deep p artisan divisions are surfacing, one area of continuing consensus is overwhelming disapproval of the way that the Congress is handling its job.” Divided on Outlook for State, U.S .— and on Government Role on Inequality As the primary nears, 40 percent of Cal ifornia adults and 34 percent of likely voters say things in the U.S. are going in the right direction. Californians are feeling somewhat more optimistic about the state’s direction ( right direction: 50% adults, 45% likely voters ). After weeks of turmoil i n financial markets, the outlook on the U.S. economy is mixed, with 48 percent of California adults and 45 percent of likely voters saying that the nation will ha ve good times in the next year. Californians are also divided about whether the state will hav e good times in the year ahead (51% adults, 46% likely voters). With income inequality an issue in the presidential campaign, solid majorities of Californians (69%) and likely voters (77%) say the gap between the rich and poor in the United States is gett ing larger—a view that holds across party lines . Should government do more to reduce the gap? Most (68% adults, 58% likely voters) say yes, while fewer (29% adults, 39% likely voters) say this is something government should not be doing. Likely voters are somewhat more likely than adults overall to say the gap between the rich and the poor is growing (77% to 69%), but they are less likely to say that the government should do more to reduce it (58% to 68%). Californians are divided over whet her everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy . About half (48% adults, 49% likely voters) say everyone does have a fair chance and about half (48% adults, 47% likely voters) say that just a few people at the top have a chance. Baldassare summed up: “California Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided in their views about the direction of the state and the nation and the government’s role in bridging the economic gap.” Most See Business Regulation as Necessary On another election year issue, Californians are more likely to say that government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest (60% adults, 57% likely voters) than to say that government regulation of business does more harm than good (34% adults, 40% likely voters). Asked whether they prefer a smaller government providing fewer services or a bigger government providing more services, 57 percent of California adults prefer a larger government (39% smaller government). Likely voters are less inclined to prefer large r government (44% larger, 51% smaller ). And most adults (58%) and likely voters (61%) believe that Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay for in taxes. Fewer (37% adults, 36% likely voters) say that most Americans are willing to pay the taxes needed to fund services they expect government to provide. Majorities Favor Extending Proposition 30 Tax on High Earnings As the statewide ballot takes shape, the survey asked about one initiative that may be on it: an extension of one of the temporary taxes voters approved in Proposition 30 in 2012. The new initiative would extend for 12 years PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURV EY Californians and Their Government 5 the tax on earnings over $250,0 00 to fund education and health care. Most adults (61%) and likely voters (58%) are in favor, with sharp divisions along party lines (77% Democrats, 52% independents, 37% Republicans favor). Regardless of how they feel about the initiative, solid majoritie s of adults (66%), voters across party lines, and likely voters (70%) believe Californians should decide whether to extend Proposition 30 tax increases by voting on an initiative in November. Asked in the midst of tax season about the fairness of the state and local tax system, a majority of Californians say it is moderately fair (48% adults, 49% likely voters) or very fair (8% adults, 5% likely voters). And most (63% adults, 78% likely voters) believe that compared to other states, California ranks near th e top or is above average in its tax burden per capita . This view is in line with fiscal facts : the Tax Policy Center ranked California 11th in N ovember 2015. Jobs and Economy Seen as the State’s Top Issue About half of Californians (51% adults, 53% likely voters) approve of Governor Jerry Brown’s job performance. The state legislature has a job approval rating of 44 percent among adults and 38 percent among likely voters . Jobs/economy (27% adults, 29% likely voters) edges out water/ drought (20% adults, 23 % likely voters) as the most important issue facing Californians today. As seasonal rainfall has increased and Californians have slowed their conservation efforts, residents are also less likely today (57% adults) to say the supply of water as a big probl em in their part of the state than they were in September 2015, when a record -high 70 percent held this view. Half (49% adults) say that the people in their part of California are not doing enough to respond to the drought, while 38 percent say people are doing the right amount. Public Higher Education, Road Maintenance Seen as Key for Future The survey asked how important four major areas of spending are to the future of California: Maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges: Most Californians (58% adults, 64% likely voters) say traffic congestion is a big problem in their region. And most (62% adults, 68% likely voters) say spending more money on the maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges is very important for the future quality of life and eco nomic vitality of the state. Which projects have the highest priority? Residents are divided between public bus and transit (34%) and freeways and highways (33%), with fewer choosing local streets and roads (24%) or carpool lanes (6%). Likely voters are somewhat more likely to prefer spending on freeways and highways (38%) to bus and transit (30%). Tunnels in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta : The governor has proposed building tunnels in the Delta to improve the reliability of water supplies. About half of adults (54%) and 45 percent of likely voters say building the tunnels is very important to the future of California. Residents in Los Ange les (61%) and the Inland Empire (61%) are the most likely to say this is very important, followed by the Central Valley (51%), San Francisco Bay Area (49%), and Orange/San Diego (47%). High-speed rail: Eight years after state voters passed the $10 billion bond to build high -speed rail with 53 p ercent support, 52 percent of adults and 44 percent of likely voters continue to favor building it. When those who are opposed are asked how they would feel if it cost less, overall support increases to 66 percent am ong adults and 59 percent among likely voters. How important is high -speed rail to the future quality of lif e and economic vitality of California? A third of adults (34%) and a quarter of likely voters (26%) say it is very important. The public higher educ ation system: Overwhelming majorities of adults (80%) and likely voters (78%) say California’s public higher education system is very important to the state’s future. PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEYMARCHnlmr PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government r Election and National Issues Key Findings Half of likely voters are satisfied with their choice of presidential candidates; Democrats are much more likely than Republicans or independen ts to be satisfied. Forty-eight percent of Democratic primary likely voters support Hillary Clinton, while ot percent of Republican primary likely voters support Donald Trump. (page s) About half of likely voters are satisfied with their choice of candidates for the open U.S. Senate seat; Democrats are far more likely than Republicans and independents to be satisfied. Nearly a third of likely voters are unsure how they would vote if the primary were held today. Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez would be the top two vote getters. (page t) Six in ml Californians ( qu%) and about half of likely voters ( qo%) approve of President Obama; fewer than one in four adults ( np %) and likely voters ( mp%) approve of the U.S. Congress. (page u) Fewer than half of California adults and likely voters say the nation is going in the right direction. The outlook on the national economy is mixed, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to expect the United States will have good economic times in the next mn months. (page ml) Strong majorities of Californians say the gap between the rich and the poor in the United State s is getting larger and that government should do more to reduce this gap. (page mm) Californians are more likely to prefer a bigger government providing more services than a smaller government providing fewer services. About six in ml adults say most Americans demand more from government than they are willing to pay taxes for. (page mn) 59 24 0 20 40 60 80 Mar-12 Mar-13 Mar-14 Mar-15 Mar-16 Percent all adults President Obama U.S. Congress Approval ratings of federal elected officials 68 81 34 55 0 20 40 60 80 100 All adults Dem Rep Ind Percent Belief that government should do more to address the gap between rich and poor in this country 57 38 39 53 0 20 40 60 80 California United States* Percent all adults Bigger government, more services Smaller government, fewer services * Pew Research Center, September nlmq. Preferences for size of government PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 7 Presidential Election On June 7 , California voters will have their chance to weigh in on the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations. Today, a solid majority of independent likely voters (63%) say they are following news about the candidates very closely, and about half of Republican (53%) and Democratic (48%) voters say the same. A solid majority of Democratic voters (65%) say they are satisfied with their choices of candidates, while fewer than half of Republicans (46%) and just one in three independents (34%) say they are satisfied. Compared to our recent surveys, Democrats are more likely to say they are satisfied with their choices today, while Republican and independent voters are less likely to say they are satisfied. Among Democratic primary likely voters (including Democrats and independent voters who say they will vote in the Democratic primary), 48 percent support Hillary Clinton and 41 percent support Bernie Sanders . Eleven percent say either that they would vote for someone else (7%) or that they are undecided (4%). Among voters age 45 and older, 63 percent support Clinton, and among younger voters, 63 percent support Sanders. Clinton leads among Latino voters (58% to 35%), women (54% to 35%), and those who describe themselves as politically middle-of -the- road (51% to 33%). Sanders leads among those who describe themselves as very liberal (57% to 41%) and also among men (48% to 39%) . “If the 2016 Democratic p ri ma r y for president were being hel d today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Democratic primary likely voters only Likely voters Age Race* 18 to 44 45 and older Latino White Hillary Clinton 48% 22% 63% 58% 41% Bernie Sanders 41 63 27 35 46 Someone else 7 11 5 3 9 Don't know 4 4 4 4 4 *Sample sizes for other groups are too small for analysis Interviews for our survey concluded on March 15, the same evening that Marco Rubio dropped out of the Republican presidential race. With Rubio included among the candidates, Donald Trump leads the Republican field with support from 38 percent of Republican likely voters, followed by Ted Cruz at 19 percent and both John Kasich and Marco Rubio at 12 perc ent. With totals recalculated to exclude Rubio and show his supporters’ second choices, Trump , still with 38 percent support, is followed by Cruz at 27 percent and Kasich at 14 percent. One in five likely voters say either that they would support someone e lse (11%) or that they are undecided (9%). Trump leads all candidates across age, education, gender, and income groups . 65 46 34 0 20 40 60 80 Dec-15 Jan-16Mar-16 Percent likely voters DemocratRepublicanIndependent Satisfaction with c hoices of candidates in the election for U.S. president in 2016 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 8 “If the 2016 Republ ican p ri ma r y for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only Likely voters Change when including Rubio supporters’ second choices Including candidate Rubio Excluding candidate Rubio* Donald Trump 38% 38% +0 Ted Cruz 19 27 +8 John Kasich 12 14 +2 Marco Rubio 12 – – Someone else 10 11 +1 Don't know 9 9 +0 *Totals recalculated to show Rubio supporters’ second choices . California U.S. Senate Race Senator Barbara Boxer will be retiring after her current term ends . Under California's top -two primary system in place since 2011, the primary race for her replacement will include all candidates, regardless of party and it will be open to all registered voters. The two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to t he November general election. At this stage of the campaign, 31 percent of likely voters say they don’t know which candidate they would support in the primary. Among the candidates, state attorney general Kamala Harris, a Democrat, leads with support from 26 percent of likely voters, followed by Democratic U.S. representative Loretta Sanchez at 17 percent. Tom Del Bec caro, former chairman of the state Republican Party, gets support from 9 percent of likely voters and Duf Sundheim, also a former chairman of the state Republican Party, gets support from 6 percent . Republican Ron Unz entered the U.S. Senate race the day after our interviewing was completed. “If the June primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” All likely voters Likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Kamala Harris, a Democrat 26% 38% 8% 22% 22% 27% Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat 17 30 4 10 36 11 Tom Del Beccaro, a Republican 9 – 23 9 7 11 Duf Sundheim, a Republican 6 1 12 8 1 8 Someone else 11 6 11 14 12 11 Don’t know 31 24 41 37 22 31 Among Democratic likely voters, 38 percent would vote for Harris, 30 percent would vote for Sanchez, and one in four (24%) are undecided. Four in 10 Republican voters say they are undecided, 23 percent would vote for Del Beccaro, and 12 percent would vote for Sundheim. Among independents, 37 percent say they don’t know who they would vote for ; the candidate who gets the most support is Harris (22%). Latino voters are most likely to support Sanchez (36%), while 22 percent would vote for Harris. White voters are most likely to be undecided (31%) or support Harris (27%). Democrats (64%) are far more likely than independents (38%) or Republicans (31%) to say they are satisfied with their choice of candidates. Seven in 10 Republican voters say either that they ar e not satisfied (41%) or that they have no opinion (28%). PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 9 Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials Nearly six in ten Californians (59%) and slightly more than half of likely voters (53%) approve of President Obama’s job performance today. The preside nt’s approval has held steady in recent months, and more than half of Californians have approved of his job performance since January 2015. Californians are slightly more likely to approve of the president than are adults nationwide (51%) in a March ABC Ne ws/Washington Post poll. Among Democrats, 84 percent approve of the president , compared to 51 percent of independents and 20 percent of Republicans. Across regions, the president’s approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (67%) and Los Angeles (67%), and lowest in the Inland Empire (44%). Strong majorities of blacks (83%), Latinos (68%), and Asians (66%) and about half of whites (49%) approve of the president . Approval of President Obama is similarly overwhelming among likely voters who say they would vote for Hillary Clinton (88%) or Bernie Sanders (89%). Among Republican primary likely voters, just 15 percent approve of the president’s job performance. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 59% 84% 20% 51% 53% Disapprove 38 14 79 47 46 Don't know 3 1 1 2 1 Twenty -four percent of adults and 14 percent of likely voters approve of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job. Approval of Congress has been similar over the past year. Californians in our survey are more likely to approve of Congress than are adults nationwide (13%) in a Marc h Gallup poll. About two in ten Democrats (20%) and independents (18%) approve of Congress, while 11 percent of Republicans approve. Approval of Congress is similarly low among those describing themselves as liberal (22%), middle -of -the -road (27%), and co nservative (26%). Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (38%), Asians (32%), and blacks (24%) are more likely to approve than are whites (12%). Across regions, residents of Los Angeles (35%) are most likely to approve of Congress, followed by residents of t he Central Valley (23%), Orange/San Diego (22%), the Inland Empire (21%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (17%). Support for Congress decreases as age and income increase, and it is higher among those with no college education (36%) than among those with mo re education (17%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 24% 20% 11% 18% 14% Disapprove 70 77 83 77 83 Don't know 6 3 6 5 2 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 10 National Outlook As the 2016 presidential campaigns continue to ramp up, 40 percent of adults and 34 percent of likely voters say things in the United States are going in the right direction. Findings were similar in September and March of last year. Today , a majority of Democrats (57%) say things in the nation are going in the right direction , compared to far fewer independents (27%) and Republicans (10%). About four in 10 Californians across regions are optimistic a bout the direction of the nation (44% Los Angeles , 41% San Francisco Bay Area , 38% Central Valley, 36% Orange/San Diego, 36% Inland Empire ). Across racial/ethnic groups, about half of Asians (54%), blacks (50%) , and Latinos (49%), compared to 28 percent of whites , say the nation is headed in the right direction. Californians under age 35 are somewhat more likely than adults age 55 and older to be optimistic about the direction of the country ( 44 % to 34%). Among likely voters, Hillary Clinton supporters (63%) are more likely than supporters of Bernie Sanders (50%) to say things in the United States are heading in the right direction. “Do you think things in United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 40% 57 % 10 % 27 % 34 % Wrong direction 56 38 85 69 63 Don’t know 4 5 5 4 3 Following what some have described as a volatile few m onths in the financial markets, the outlook on the national economy is decidedly mixed. California adults are slightly more likely to expect good times (48%) than bad times (42%) financially during the next 12 months, while likely voters are divided (45% g ood times, 47% bad times). Perceptions of the national econom y were similar in September and March 2015. Today, a majority of Democrats (56%) expect the country to experience good times financially in the next 12 months , while fewer independents (38%) and Republicans ( 29%) do so . Across the state’s r egions, about half in Los Angeles (52%), the Inland Empire (51%), the San Francisco Bay Area ( 50%) , and Orange/San Diego (50%) expect good economic times for the nation, compared to 43 percent in the Central Val ley. Across racial/ethnic groups, majorities of Latinos (60%) and Asians (55%) , but fewer blacks (43%) and whites (40%) , say the country will have good times financially in the next 12 months. E xpectations for good times financially in the United States du ring the next 12 months are higher for those under age 35 than for those age 55 and older (53% to 41%) . “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 48% 56 % 29 % 38 % 45 % Bad times 42 36 60 52 47 Don’t know 10 8 11 9 9 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 11 Income Inequality Solid majorities of Californians (69%) and likely voters (77%) say that the gap between rich and poor in the United States is getting larger. Findings were similar in March 2015 (72% all adults, 80% likely voters) and March 2014 (73% all adults, 81% likely voters). While solid majorities across parties say the gap between rich and poor is getting larger, Democrats (83%) are more likely than independents (75%) an d Republicans (62%) to say so. Across racial/ethnic groups, more than seven in 10 whites, Asians, and blacks say that the gap is getting larger, while only 56 percent of Latinos hold this view. T hose with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more (74%) are somewhat more likely than those with incomes under $40,000 (65%) to say that the gap is gettin g larger. Californians remain divided on whether everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy (48%) or whether just a few people at the top have a chance (48%). Findings were similar in March 2015 (49% everyone, 48% just a few) and March 201 4 (49% everyone, 47% just a few). There are striking partisan differences: a solid majority of Republicans (67%) say everyone has a fair chance to get ahead, and a similar proportion of Democrats (63%) believe that just a few people at the top have a chanc e. Among independents, half (50%) believe everyone has a fair chance, while 43 percent say only a few have a chance. Notably, men (54%) are more likely than women (42%) and homeowners (55%) are more likely than renters (42%) to say that everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy. “Which comes closer to your view: In today's economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run, or in today's economy, it's mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Everyone has a fair chance to get ahead 48% 34% 67% 50% 49% Just a few people at the top have a chance 48 63 29 43 47 Don't know 4 3 4 7 4 When asked if the government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor, 68 percent of Californians say the government should do more, while 29 percent say this is not something the government should be doing. Notably, while likely voters are somewhat more likely than adults overall to say the gap bet ween rich and poor is getting larger (77% to 69%), they are less likely to say that the government should do more to reduce this gap (58% to 68%). There are stark differences across parties on this issue —while an overwhelming majority of Democrats (81%) be lieve the government should do more, a solid majority of Republicans (63%) believe this is not something the government should be doing. Independents are more likely to say the government should do more (55%) than to say this is not the government ’s role ( 41%). Majorities across age, income, and racial/ethnic groups say government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor. “Should the government do more to reduce the gap bet ween the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Government should do more to reduce the gap 68% 81 % 34 % 55 % 58 % Government should not be doing this 29 15 63 41 39 Don't know 3 4 2 4 3 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 12 Role of Government California adults are more likely to prefer a larger government with more services (57%) than a smaller government with fewer services (39%). Support for a bigger government has increased since we last asked this question in February 2002 (47% bigger gover nment, 48% smaller government ). Notably, while adults overall prefer a bigger government, likely voters are somewhat more likely to prefer a smaller government with fewer services than a bigger government with more services (51% to 44%). Nationally, 53 percent of all adults support a smaller government with fewer services, according to a September 2015 Pew Research Center poll (38% bigger government) . While nearly eight in 10 California Republicans prefer a smaller government, seven in 10 Democrats prefer a bigger government. Half of independents prefer a smaller government with fewer services while 44 percent prefer a bigger government. While majorities of blacks (78%), Latinos (74%) , and Asians (61%) prefer a bigger government that provides more services, a majority of whites (55%) say they prefer a smaller government with fewer services. The likelihood of preferring a smaller government providing fewer services increases with age , homeownership, and income. “If you had to choose, would you rather have, a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Smaller government providing fewer services 39% 26 % 78 % 51 % 51 % Bigger government providing more services 57 70 17 44 44 Don't know 4 4 4 5 5 Majorities of Californians (58%) and likely voters (61%) believe that most Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay for in taxes. Majorities across all regions and demographic groups hold this view. Indeed, Californians in our survey are slightly more likely than adults nationwide (52% in an October 2015 Pew Research Center poll) to say that most Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay for. Californians are more likely to say that government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public (60%) than to say that government regulation does more harm than good (34%). The proportion of Calif ornians who view government regulation as necessary is at its highest point since we began ask ing this question in May 1998. Californians are much more likely than adults nationwide (in an October 2015 Pew Research Center poll ) to say that government regulation of business is necessary (45 % necessary, 50% more harm than good ). Democrats (71%) are more likely than independents (55%) and far more likely than Republicans (31%) to say government regulation of business is necessary. M ajorities across regions and demographic groups hold this view . Latinos (68%) and Asians (65%) are more likely than blacks (56%) and whites (54%) to say government regulation is necessary. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: government regulation of business is necessary to p rotect the public interest; or g overnment regulation of business does more harm than good.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Government regulation of business is necessary 60% 71 % 31 % 55 % 57 % Government regulation of business does more harm than good 34 23 66 42 40 Don't know 6 6 3 3 3 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 13 State and Fiscal Issues Key Findings  About half of Californians continue to approve of Governor Jerry Brown, while 44 percent approve of the California Legislature. (page 14)  A majority of Californians think the state and local tax system is very fair (8%) or m oderately fair (48 %); a similar share feel they pay more than they should in state and local taxes (56%). (page 16)  Half of Californians think the state budget situation is a big problem. A majority of Californians (61%) and likely voters (58%) favor extending the Proposition 30 tax increase on upper-income Californians to fund education and health care. (page 17)  About six in 10 Californians think traffic congestion in their region is a big problem and that spending more to maintain roads, highways, and bridges is very important for California’s future. (page 18)  Most Californians think the supply of water is a big problem in their part of California. About h alf say that building tunnels in the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta is very important for California’s future. (page 19)  Half of Californians and 44 percent of likely voters favor building a high -speed rail system in California. Thirty -four percent of Californians and 26 percent of likely voters think the high -speed rail system is very important to California’s future. (pag e 20)  An o verwhelming majorit y of Californians think California’s public higher education system is very important to California’s future. Six in 10 Californians view a college education as necessary for success in today’s work world. (page 21) 51 44 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mar-12 Mar-13Mar-14Mar-15 Mar-16 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval ratings of state elected officials 32 24 44 43 24 24 34 22 0 20 40 60 80 100 All adults DemRep Ind Percent Somewhat more Much more Shares saying they pay more in state and local taxes than they should 80 62 54 34 0 20 40 60 80 100 Public higher education Maintenance of roads and bridges Delta tunnels High-speed rail Percent all adults Perception that each is very important to California's future PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 14 Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Fifty-one percent of adults and 53 percent of likely voters approve of the way Jerry Brown is handling his job as California’s governor. The governor’s approval rating was slightly higher in January (58% adults, 60% likely voters) and it was similar last March (55% adults, 56% likely voters). Today, t he governor’s approval rating is much higher among Democrats (69%) than among independents (39%) and Republicans (27%). Approv al is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) than in other regions. Latinos (62%) are more likely than whites (48%), blacks (47%), and Asians (40%) to approve of the governor. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handli ng his job as governor of California? ” Approve Disapprove Don’t know All adults 51% 29% 19% Likely voters 53 36 11 Party Democrats 69 15 16 Republicans 27 60 13 Independents 39 41 20 Region Central Valley 45 34 21 San Francisco Bay Area 58 23 19 Los Angeles 51 28 21 Orange/San Diego 51 33 17 Inland Empire 46 30 24 Forty-four percent of adults and 38 percent of likely voters approve of the way the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval of the state legislature was in a similar range in January (46% adults, 41% likely voters) and last March (45% adults, 39% likely voters). Today, a majority of Democrats (58%) approve of the legislature , while fewer independents (35%) and Republicans (16%) hold this view. Approval is slightly higher in Los Angeles (49%) than in other regions. Latinos (56%) are more likely than Asians (39%), whites (39%) , and b lacks (37%) to approve of the legislature. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove Don’t know All adults 44% 39% 18% Likely voters 38 50 12 Party Democrats 58 27 15 Republicans 16 71 14 Independents 35 49 16 Region Central Valley 40 42 17 San Francisco Bay Area 43 32 25 Los Angeles 49 35 16 Orange/San Diego 44 43 14 Inland Empire 37 48 15 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 15 Overall Mood Californians are most likely to name jobs and the economy (27%) and water and the drought (20%) as the most important issues facing people in California today ; fewer than one in 10 name any other issue. Jobs and the economy (24%) and water and the drought (23%) also topped the issues list in March 2015. Water and the drought ( 29%) and jobs and the economy ( 34%) are both named more often today in the Central Valley than in other regions. The top two issues are similar among likely voters and all adults. “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” Top five issues All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Jobs, economy 27% 34% 26% 23% 26% 27% 29% Water, drought 20 29 21 17 16 18 23 Immigration, illegal immigration 7 5 4 8 9 9 8 Crime, gangs, drugs 5 3 1 5 4 8 2 Education, schools, teachers 5 3 5 6 4 4 5 W ith an election year underway , what is the mood in California ? Fifty percent of all adults and 45 percent of likely voters say that things in California are generally going in the right direction. The view that the state is headed in the right direction was in a similar range in January (54% adults, 49% likely voters) and last March (50% adults, 49% likely voters). Today, Democrats (65%) are far more likely than independents (38%) and Republicans (24%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (56%) are more likely to hold this view than those living in other regions (50% Inland Empire, 50% Los Angel es, 49% Orange/San Diego, 44% Central Valley). Majorities of Latinos (58%) and Asians (57%) and fewer than half of blacks (47%) and whites (44%) say the state is going in the right direction. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 50% 65% 24% 38% 45% Wrong direction 43 26 72 57 50 Don’t know 8 8 5 6 5 Perceptions of the economy’s direction are divided, with 51 percent of all adults and 46 percent of likely voters saying that California will have good times financially in the next 12 months. Expectations for good economic times were similar in January (49% adults, 44% likely voters) and last March (52% adults, 49 % likely voters). Today, Democrats (59%) are more likely than independents (43%) and Republicans (33%) to expect good economic times. About half across the state’s regions expect good economic times in California (53% San Francisco Bay Area, 52% Los Angele s, 50% Orange/San Diego, 49% Central Valley, 47% the Inland Empire). Half or more of Latinos (58%) and Asians (52%) compared to fewer whites (46%) and blacks (45%) expect good economic times. Expectations for good economic times decline with age (59% under 35 , 53% 35 to 54 , 38% 55 and older). PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 16 State and Local Tax System In the midst of tax season, we asked about the fairness of the state and local tax system. S imilar majorities of adults (8% very, 48% moderately) and likely voters (5% very, 49% moderately) view the system as fair . Majorities across income groups hold this view of tax fairness. Still, majorities of adults (56%) and likely voters (61%) say they are paying much more or somewhat more than they feel they should pay in state and local taxes. Half or more across income groups hold this view. Findings were similar last March: similar shares perceived the tax system as very or moderately fair (50% adults, 50% likely voters) and said that they were paying more than they should (57% adults, 58% likely voters). Today, Republicans (43%) are less likely than other voters (52% independents, 63% Democrats) to say the tax system is very fair or moderately fair and more likely than other voters to say they pay much more or somewhat more than they sh ould (78% Republicans, 65% independents, 48% Democrats). “Overall, how fair do you think our present state and local tax system is— would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair?” All adults Household income Likely voters Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Very fair 8% 11% 8% 5% 5% Moderately fair 48 46 47 53 49 Not too fair 25 27 25 22 24 Not at all fair 16 14 18 18 19 Don’t know 3 3 3 2 3 Some leaders and interest groups argue against raising state and local taxes because California already has a high tax burden compared to other states. How do Californians view the relative tax burden? Solid majorities (63% adults, 78% likely voters) say that California ranks near the top or is above average in 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 2013 were ranked 11th highest in the nation (Tax Policy Center, November 2015). Solid majorities said that California is near the top or above average in state and local tax burden last March (62% adults, 71% likely voters). Today, while majorities across inco me groups ho ld this perspective, this perception is more common i n higher-income groups (51% less than $40,000, 68% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). Majorities across voter groups, although more Republicans (85%) than independents (68%) or Democrats (67%), ho ld the view that California currently ranks near the top or above average in state and local tax burden per capita. “Where do you think California currently ranks in state and local tax burden per capita? Compared to other states, is California's tax bur den per capita near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom?” All adults Household i ncome Likely voters Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Near the top 36% 25% 38% 52% 46% Above average 27 26 30 29 32 Average 17 23 16 8 13 Below average 5 7 4 2 1 Near the bottom 6 9 5 2 1 Don’t know 9 9 8 6 6 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 17 State Spending and Revenues About half of California adults (48%) and likely voters (55%) say the state budget is a big problem. Republicans (69%) are much more likely to call the budget a big problem than are independents (59%) and Democrats (40%). Slightly smaller shares viewed the budget as a big problem in January (42% adults, 46% likely voters ) and the percentages were similar last March (45% adults, 50% likely voters ). More than six in 10 called the budget a big problem from 2008 through May 2013. “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?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 48% 40% 69% 59% 55% Somewhat of a problem 36 45 23 30 33 Not a problem 11 12 5 8 9 Don't know 5 3 3 2 3 The Proposition 30 tax increase that passed in November 2012 included a one quarter cent sales tax that expires in December 2016 and a tax on higher -income Californians that expires in 2018. An initiative is circulating for the November 2016 ballot that includes a 12 -year extension of the tax increase on higher - income Californians to fund education and healthcare. Sixty -one percent of adults and 58 percent of likely voters support this version of a Proposition 30 tax extension. There are sharp divisions along party lines. “As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 until 2018 and sales taxes by one quarter cent until 2016. Do you favor or oppose extending for 12 years the tax increase on earnings over $250,000 to fund education and healthcare?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 61% 77% 37% 52% 58% Oppose 35 20 58 42 38 Don't know 4 3 4 6 4 Solid majorities of adults (6 6%), voters across pa rty lines, and likely voters (70 %) think California voters should decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases by voting on a state proposition in November. Support for voters deciding was similar last March (66% adults, 68% likely voters). “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 66% 7 5% 66 % 64 % 70 % Oppose 26 19 27 31 24 Don't know 8 6 7 6 6 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 18 74 62 53 62 0 20 406080 55 and older35-54 18-34 All adults Percent Surface Transportation System About six in 10 California adults ( 58 %) and likely voters (64%) say traffic congestion on freeways and major roads is a big problem in their region of California today . Residents in the Central Valley (36%) are by far the least likely to call it a big problem, while majorities in other regions hold this view. About half or more of adults across demographic groups say this is a big problem. When we last asked this question in July 2006, a similar share of adults viewed traffic congestion as a big problem (64%). Solid majorities of adults (62%) and likely voters (68%) think that spending more money on the maintenance of the state’s roads is very important for the future of California . Solid majorities across regions view the maintenance of roads as very important as do at least six in 10 Democrats (70%), Republicans (61%), and independents (60%). The perception that maintenance is very important in creases as age increases and is similar across education and income groups. “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?” When asked about which aspects of surface transportation should have the highest priority, Californians are divided between public bus and transit (34%) and freeways and highways (33%), with fewer prioritizing local streets and roads (24%) or carpool lanes (6%). In January 2006 , a plurality prioritized freeways and hig hways (38%), while fewer selected public transit (29%) or local streets (24%). Today, half of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area prioritize public transit, compared to fewer than four in 10 elsewhere in the state. Half of Inland Empire residents prioritize freeways and highways. Public transit is more likely to be prioritized among Asians, younger Californians ( age 18 t o 34 ), those with a college degree, and those with household incomes under $40,000. “Which of the following types of surface transportation projects do you think should have the top priority for additional state funding?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Public bus and transit 34% 23% 50% 38% 30% 21% 30% Freeways and highways 33 37 25 28 38 51 38 Local streets and roads 24 26 20 23 24 20 24 Carpool lanes 6 10 3 9 7 3 6 Other ( volunteered) 1 1 – 1 – 4 1 Don't know 1 3 2 1 – 1 2 62 62 65 64 62 0 20 40 60 80 100 CentralValley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San DIego Inland Empire Percent Very important PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 19 State Water Supply Today, 57 percent of Californians say that the supply of water is a big problem in their part of California—down from a record high of 70 percent in September 2015, when we last asked this question. This comes as much of California has seen increased season al rainfall and the slowing of statewide conservation efforts . Residents in the Central Valley are the most likely to see their regional water su pply as a big problem, while residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are the least likely. The share holding this view increases with age and is highest among whites (66%) and lowest among Asians (47%) across racial/ethnic groups. “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?” Half of Californians (49%) think that the people in their part of California are not doing enough to respond to the current drought, while 38 percent think the response is about right. The perception that not enough is being done was similar last September (48%), but it has dropped 17 points since last March (66%). Today, a plurality in the Central Valley say the right amount is being done; pluralities elsewhere say not enough is being done . The view that not enough is being done is more prevalent among blacks (67%) than among Latinos (53%), whites (45%), or Asians (43%) ; the share holding this view declines sharply as age increases . “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?” All adults Region Inland/Coastal Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Inland Coastal Too much 10% 13% 12% 7% 8% 13% 13% 9% Right amount 38 44 39 34 41 30 39 38 Not enough 49 41 45 56 47 52 46 50 Don't know 3 2 3 3 4 5 3 3 The governor has proposed building tunnels in the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta to improve the reliability of water supplies . About half of California adults (54%) and 45 percent of likely voters view this as very important for the future of California. Residents in Los Angeles (61%) and the Inland Empire (61%) are the most likely to view this as very important , followed by those in the Central Valley (51%), the San Francisco Bay Area (49%), and Orange/San Diego (47%). Democrats (57%) are more likely than Republicans (41%) and independents (44%) to hold thi s view. 68 53 56 60 56 0 20 40 60 80 100 CentralValley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Percent Big problem 55 59 54 65 68 60 59 66 69 68 70 57 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mar-14 Sep-14Mar-15 Sep-15Mar-16 Percent all adults PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 20 High -S peed Rail In November 2008 California voters passed Proposition 1A, the Safe, Reliable High -Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century, with 53 percent support. How do Californians view this project today? Thirty-four percent of California adults and 26 percent of likely voters view the high-speed rail system as very important for the future of California. The perception that the rail system is very important has ranged from a high of 36 percent in March 2013 to a low of 28 percen t last March. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are the most likely to call the high -speed rail system very important, while about a third in other regions hold this view. Democrats (37%) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (15%) to hold this view. Latinos (45%) are the most likely to call the system very important , followed by Asians (40%), blacks (33%), and whites (25%). “Thinking ahead, how important is the high-speed rail system for the future quality of life and economic vitality of Cali fornia?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very important 34% 33% 45% 32% 31% 32% 26% Somewhat important 29 23 27 31 26 37 29 Not too important 17 16 13 19 25 14 17 Not at all important 18 27 13 17 18 18 27 Don't know 1 1 2 1 1 – 1 Fifty -two percent of Californians favor building the high -speed rail system ; shares have been similar since we first asked this question in March 2012. Today, 44 percent of likely voters favor the project. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) are the most likely to favor the project, while residents elsewhere are more divided. There is a wide partisan divide , with six in 10 Democrats and three in 10 Repub licans in favor. Support is higher among Asians (66%) and Latinos (58%) than among whites (44%) and blacks (42%) , and declines sharply with increasing age. When those who oppose the high - speed rail system are asked how they would feel if it cost less, over all support increases to 66 percent among all adults and 59 percent among likely voters. “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?” 51 63 50 47 48 45 29 48 51 45 0 20 40 60 80 100 CentralValley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Percent all adults 69 50 38 54 45 29 47 59 44 52 0 20 40608010 Republicans Independents Democrats Likely voters All adults Percent Favor Oppose PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 21 Public Higher Ed ucation Overwhelming majorit ies of California adults (80%) and likely voters (78%) view California ’s public higher education system as very important to the state ’s future. Since we first asked this question in 2007, more than seven in 10 Californians have said that the public higher education system is very important. Today, Californians are much more likely to say that the public higher education system is very important to the state’s future than to say the same of the maintenance of roads, highways , and bridges (62% very important), the building of the Delta tunnels (54% very important), or the high-speed rail system (34% very important). Indeed, more than seven in 10 Californians across regions and demographic groups say that the public higher education system is very important to the state’s future . Across parties, Democrats (89%) are more likely than independents (69%) and Republicans (67%) to hold this view . “In general, how important is California’s public higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years? ” All adults Education Race/Ethnicity High school or less Some college College graduate Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very important 80% 79% 79% 83% 86% 83% 85% 75% Somewhat important 14 15 14 13 14 14 12 16 Not too important 3 3 5 2 – 2 2 5 Not at all important 2 1 2 2 – – – 3 Don't know 1 2 1 – – – 1 1 The perceived importance of public higher education makes sense in the context of 59 percent of Californians believ ing that a college degree is necessary for a person to be s uccessful in today’s work world. Thirty -nine percent say there are many ways to succeed without a college degree. Findings were similar in November 2011, when we last asked this question (58% college degree is necessary). T here are notable differences across racial/ethnic groups : large majorities of Asians (79%), Latinos (72%) , and blacks (67%) think a college education is necessary, while fewer than half of whites (44%) hold this view . Parents of children 18 or younger are more likely to see college as necessary (68%) than are those without children (54%). Democrats (64%) are much more likely than independents (48%) and far more likely than Republicans (38%) to say a college education is necessary for success. Across regions , the belief that a college education is necessary for su ccess is highest in Los Angeles (66%), and lowest in the Central Valley (51%). Solid majorities of college graduates (60%) and Californians with no college education (65%) say a college education is necessary , while 51 percent of those with some college sa y a college education is necessary for success. “Do you think that a college education is necessary for a person to be successful in today’s work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today’s work world without a college education? ” All adults Education Race/Ethnicity High school or less Some college College graduate Asians Blacks Latinos Whites College education is necessary 59% 65% 51% 60% 79% 67% 72% 44% There are many ways to succeed 39 34 46 38 21 33 27 53 Don't know 2 1 2 1 – – 1 3 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 22 Regional Map PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 23 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 associate survey director Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates David Kordus and Lunna Lopes. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation and the PPIC Donor Circle . 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 1,7 10 California adult residents, including 85 2 interviewed on landline telephones and 85 8 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights fr om March 6 –15 , 201 6. 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 selectio n, 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 birthd ay 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 numb ers 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 su rvey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance fr om Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 201 0–201 4 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 fo r 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 201 4 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 2015 estimates for the W est 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 r egistration 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/et hnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,710 adults. This mea ns that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3. 6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 24 were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1, 385 registered v oters, the sampling error is ±3.9 percent; for the 1, 039 likely voters, it is ±4.4 percent ; for the 529 Democratic Primary likely voters, it is ±6.2 percent ; for the 321 Republican Primary likely voters, it is ±7.3 percent . Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for 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 M ateo, 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. We present specific results for non -Hisp anic whites, who account for 4 3 p ercent of the state’s adult population, and also for Latinos, who account for about 34 percent 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 1 5 percen t of the state’s adult population, and non -Hispa nic 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 ot her 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. In addition, we analyze the response of Democratic primary likely voters which include registered Democrats and independents who say they will vote in the Democratic primary. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 du e 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, Gallup , and Pew Research Center . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 25 Questionnaire and Results CALIFORNIANS AND THE IR GOVERNMENT March 6 –15 , 2016 1,7 10 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ± 3.6% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO RO UNDING First, thinking about the state as a whole, 1. what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 27% jobs, economy 20 water, drought 7 immigration, illegal immigration 5 crime, gangs, drugs 5 education, schools, teachers 4 environment, pollution, global warming 4 government in general 4 housing costs, housing availability 3 health care, health insurance 3 homelessness 3 infrastructure 3 state budget, deficit, taxes 2 poverty 4 other ( specify) 6 don’t know Overall, do you approve or disapprove of 2. the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 51% approve 29 disapprove 19 don’t know Overall, do you approve or disapprove of 3. the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 44% approve 39 disapprove 18 don’t know Do you think things in California are 4. generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 50% right direction 43 wrong direction 8 don’t know Turning to economic conditions in 5. California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 51% good times 40 bad times 9 don’t know Next, some people are registered to vote 6. and others are n ot. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 63% yes [ask Q6a] 37 no [skip to Q7b] 6a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline-to -state or independent voter? 43% Democrat [ask Q7] 27 Republican [skip to Q7a] 5 another party ( specify) [skip to Q9] 25 independent [skip to Q7b] Would you call yourself a strong Democrat 7. or not a very strong Democrat? 60% strong 37 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to Q8a] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 26 7a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 53% strong 41 not very strong 6 don’t know [skip to Q8b] 7b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 49 Democratic Party 18 neither ( volunteered) 7 don’t know 7c. [independent voters only] California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 7th. Both ballots include state proposition measures. D o you plan to vote in the Democratic primary or on the nonpartisan ballot? 22% Democratic primary [ask Q8a] 57 nonpartisan ballot [skip to Q9] 4 not planning to vote ( volunteered) [skip to Q9] 17 don’t know [skip to Q9] [questions 8a to 12 reported for primary likely voters] 8a. [Democratic p rimary likely voters only] If the 2016 Democratic primary for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names an d then ask “or someone else?”] 48% Hil lary Clinton 41 Bernie Sanders 7 someone else ( specify) 4 don’t know 8b. [Republican primary likely voters only with candidate Rubio] If the 2016 Republican primary for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 38% Donald Trump 19 Ted Cruz 12 John Kasich 12 Marco Rubio 10 someone else ( specify) 10 don’t know 8c. [Republican primary likely voters only without candidate Rubio] And who would be your second choice for the Republican nomination for president? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 25% Ted Cruz 22 John Kasich 15 Donald Trump 13 Marco Rubio 12 someone else ( specify) 12 don’t know 8d. [Republican primary likely voters only with totals recalculated to show Rubio supporters’ second choices] If the 2016 Republican primary for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 38% Donald Trump 27 Ted Cruz 14 John Kasich 11 someone else ( specify) 9 don’t know [likely voters only] In general, would you say 9. you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. President in 2016? 51% satis fied 45 not satisfied 2 both ( volunteered) 2 don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 27 [likely voters only] How closely are you 10. following news about candidates for the 2016 presidential election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 52% very closely 37 fairly closely 9 not too closely 2 not at all closely 1 don’t know [likely voters only] As you may know, 11. California now has a top -two primary system for statewide races in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes— regardless of party—will advance to the general election. If the June primary for U.S. Senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 26% Kamala Harris, a Democrat 17 Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat 9 Tom Del Beccaro, a Republican 6 Duf Sundheim, a Republican 11 someone else ( specify) 31 don’t know [likely voters only] In general, would you say 12. you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. Senate in 2016? 47% satisfied 30 not satisfied 1 both ( volunteered) 23 don’t know Next, d o you think the state budget 13. 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? 48% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 5 don’t know As you may know, voters passed 14. Proposition 30 in November 2012. It inc reased taxes on earnings over $250,000 until 2018 and sales taxes by one quarter cent until 2016. Do you favor or oppose extending for 12 years the tax increase on earnings over $250,000 to fund education and healthcare? 61% favor 35 oppose 4 don’t know Regardless of how you feel personally 15. 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 26 oppose 8 don’t know On another topic, Would you say traffic congestion on 16. freeways and major roads is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in your region of California? 58% big problem 25 somewhat of a problem 17 not a problem – don’t know Thinking ahea d, how important is 17. 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? 62% very important 30 somewhat important 5 not too important 3 not at all important – don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 28 Which of the following types of surface 18. transportation projects do you think should have the top priority for additional state funding —[rotate] (1) fr eeways and highways, ( 2) public bus and transit systems, ( 3) carpool lanes, [or] ( 4 ) local streets and roads? 34% public bus and transit systems 33 freeways and highways 24 local streets and roads 6 carpool lanes 1 other ( specify) 1 don’t know Next, Overall, how fair do you think our present 19. state and local tax system is— would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair? 8% very fair 48 moderately fair 25 not too fair 16 not at all fair 3 don’t know When you combine all of the taxes you 20. 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 24 somewhat more 37 about the right amount 4 less than you should 3 don’t know Where do you think California currently 21. ranks in state and local tax burden per capita? Compared to other states, is California's tax burden per capita near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom ? 36% near the top 27 above average 17 average 5 below average 6 near the bottom 9 don’t know On another topic, would you say that the 22. supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 57% big problem 23 somewhat of a problem 19 not much of a problem – don’t know The governor has proposed to improve the 23. reliability of water supplies by building tunnels in the Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta. How important is this proposal 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? 54% very important 26 somewhat important 6 not too important 7 not at all important 8 don’t know 23a. 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? 10% too much 38 the right amount 49 not enough 3 don’t know Next, as you may know, California voters 24. p assed 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 high -speed rail system cost less, would you favor or oppose building it?”] 52% favor 14 oppose, but would favor if it cost less 30 oppose, even if it cost less 4 don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 29 Thinking ahead, how important is the high - 25. 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? 34% very important 29 somewhat important 17 not too important 18 not at all important 1 don’t know On another topic, In general, how important is California’s 26. public higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years —ver y important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 80% very important 14 somewhat important 3 not too important 2 not at all important 1 don’t know Do you think that a college education is 27. necessary for a person to be successful in today’s work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today’s work world without a college education? 59% college education is necessary to be successful 39 succeed without a college educati on 2 don’t know On another topic, overall, do you approve 28. or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 59% approve 38 disapprove 3 don’t know Overall, do you approve or disapprove of 29. the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 24% approve 70 disapprove 6 don’t know Do you think things in the United States 30. are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 40% right direction 56 wrong direction 4 don’t know Turning to economic conditions, do you 31. think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 48% good times 42 bad times 10 don’t know On another topic, Do you think the gap between the rich and 32. the poor in the U.S. is getti ng larger, getting smaller, or has it stayed the same? 69% getting larger 3 getting smaller 25 stayed the same 3 don’t know Should the government do more to reduce 33. the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the govern ment should not be doing? 68% should do more 29 should not be doing 3 don’t know 33a. 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. 48% everyone has a fair chance 48 just a few people at the top have a chance 4 don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 30 On another topic, [rotate questions 34 to 35a] If you had to choose, would you rather 34. have, a smaller gover nment providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services? 39% smaller government, fewer services 57 bigger government, more services 4 don’t know Please indicate which statement comes 35. closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right [rotate] (1 ) m ost Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay taxes for [or] (2) m ost Americans are willing to pay the taxes needed to fund services they expect government to provide 58% most Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay taxes for 37 most Americans are willing to pay the taxes needed to fund services they expect government to provide 5 don’t know 35a. Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right [rotate ] (1 ) government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest; [or ] ( 2 ) g overnment regulation of business does more harm than good. 60% government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest 34 government regulation of business does more harm than good 6 don’t know Next, would you consider yourself to be 36. politically: [read list, rotate order from top to bottom] 15% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 28 middle -of-the -road 19 somewhat conservative 14 very conservative 2 don’t know Generally speaking, how much interest 37. would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 24% great deal 36 fair amount 32 only a little 7 none – don’t know [d1 to d4: demographic questions] d5. [asked of those employed full - or part -time] How do you usually commute to work — drive alone, carpool, take public bus or transit, walk, or bicycle? 67% drive alone 11 carpool 12 take public bus or transit 3 walk 4 bicycle 4 work at home (volunteered) 1 other (specify) [d6 to d15: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Glover Blackwell President and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director B ill 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 Sil icon Valley Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Professor Sol Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Sonja Petek 2016 Master of Public Policy Candidate Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley Lisa Pitney Vice President of Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Mindy Romero Founder and Director California Civic Engagement Project at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change Robert K. Ross, MD President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside Principal California Strategies 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 Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust A. Marisa Chun Partner McDermott Will & Emery LLP Phil Isenberg Vice Chair Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Gerald L. Parsky Chairman Aurora Capital Group Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Gaddi H. Vasquez Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Edison International Southern California Edison Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94111 T: 415.291.4400 F: 415.291.4401 PPIC.ORG PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, CA 95814 T: 916.440.1120 F: 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-2016/s_316mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8991) ["ID"]=> int(8991) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:42:46" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4513) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 316MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_316mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_316MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "2034070" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(83410) "PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 Californians & Their Government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner David Kordus Lunna Lopes CONTENTS Press Release 3 Election and National Issues 6 State and Fiscal Issues 13 Regional Map 22 Methodology 23 Questionnaire and Results 25 Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation and the PPIC Donor Circle The PPIC Statewide Survey provides a voice for the public and likely voters— informing policymakers, encouraging discussion, and raising awareness on critical issues of the day. © 2016 Public Policy Institute of California The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. 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. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or board of directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURV EY Californians and Their Government 3 CONTACT Linda Strean 415 -291 -4412 Serina Correa 415 -291 -4417 News Release EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 23 , 2016. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THE IR GOVERNMENT Trump Leads with 38 Percent , Clinton Has 48 Percent Support among Primary Likely Voters HARRIS, SANCHEZ LEAD IN SENATE RACE, BUT NEARLY A THIRD ARE U NDECIDED SAN FRANCISCO, March 23 , 201 6— Donald Trump leads his rivals in the presidential race with support from 38 percent of Republican primary likely voters, according to a statewide survey released today by the P ublic Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding fro m The James Irvine Foundation. Hillary Clinton has 48 percent support and Bernie Sanders has 41 percent among Democratic primary likely voters —a group that includes Democrats and independent voters who say they will vote in the Democratic primary. Another 11 percent favor someone else (7%) or are undecided (4%). In the survey —which ended March 15, the same evening that Marco Rubio left the Republican presidential race —Trump (38%) is trailed by Ted Cruz (19%), and John Kasich and Rubio (12% each). The survey also asked Republican primary likely voters for their second choices, and when the responses are recalculated to exclude Rubio, Trump maintains his 38 percent support, while Cruz’s support increa ses to 27 percent and Kasich’s to 14 percent. Twenty percent favor someone else (11%) or are undecided (9%). Trump leads across age, education, gender, and income groups. In the Democratic race, most voters age 45 and older support Clinton (63%), while most younger voters support Sanders (63%). Clinton leads among Latino voters (58% to 35%), women (54% to 35%), and those who describe themselves as politically middle of the road (51% to 33%). Sanders leads among those who describe themselves as very liberal (57% to 41%) and among men (48% to 39%). A solid majority of Democratic likely voters (65%) are satisfied with their choice of candidates . Less than half of Republican s (46%) and a third of independent likely voters (34%) are satisfied. Harris Leads Senate Candidates—Latinos Prefer Sanchez In the race to fill the seat of retiring U.S. senator Barbara Boxer, a third of likely voters (31%) say they are undecided. Among the candidates , Kamala Harris, Democratic state attorney general, has 26 percent support , followed by Loretta Sanchez, Democratic member of Congress, with 17 percent. Tom Del Beccaro, former chairman of the state Republican Party, has 9 percent and Duf Sundheim, also a former Republican Party chair, has 6 percent. Republican Ron Unz entered th e race after the survey was completed. The top two vote getters in the June primary will advance to the November election. Among Democratic likely voters, 38 percent favor Harris, 30 percent favor Sanchez, and 24 percent are undecided. Among Republican lik ely voters, 41 percent are undecided, while 23 percent favor Del Beccaro and 12 percent favor Sundheim. While 37 percent of independents are undecided, Harris gets the most support (22%). Latino voters are most likely to support Sanchez (36%), while 22 per cent would vote for Harris. White voters are most likely to be either undecided (31%) or support Harris (27%). Democrats (64%) PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURV EY Californians and Their Government 4 are far more likely than independents (38%) or Republicans (31%) to say they are satisfied with their choice of candidates for Se nate. “The defining characteristic of the California presidential and senate primaries is the striking partisan difference in satisfaction with the candidate choices,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. Majorities Approve of Obama, But Few Approve of Congress A majority of California adults (59%) and over half of likely voters (53%) approve of President Obama’s job performance. Congress’ approval rating is considerably lower: 24 percent among adults and 14 percent among likely voters. Just 20 p ercent of Democrats and 18 percent of independents approve of Congress’ job performance . Even fewer Republicans (11%) approve —smaller than the share of Republicans who approve of Obama’s performance (20%). Baldassare noted: “In election season where deep p artisan divisions are surfacing, one area of continuing consensus is overwhelming disapproval of the way that the Congress is handling its job.” Divided on Outlook for State, U.S .— and on Government Role on Inequality As the primary nears, 40 percent of Cal ifornia adults and 34 percent of likely voters say things in the U.S. are going in the right direction. Californians are feeling somewhat more optimistic about the state’s direction ( right direction: 50% adults, 45% likely voters ). After weeks of turmoil i n financial markets, the outlook on the U.S. economy is mixed, with 48 percent of California adults and 45 percent of likely voters saying that the nation will ha ve good times in the next year. Californians are also divided about whether the state will hav e good times in the year ahead (51% adults, 46% likely voters). With income inequality an issue in the presidential campaign, solid majorities of Californians (69%) and likely voters (77%) say the gap between the rich and poor in the United States is gett ing larger—a view that holds across party lines . Should government do more to reduce the gap? Most (68% adults, 58% likely voters) say yes, while fewer (29% adults, 39% likely voters) say this is something government should not be doing. Likely voters are somewhat more likely than adults overall to say the gap between the rich and the poor is growing (77% to 69%), but they are less likely to say that the government should do more to reduce it (58% to 68%). Californians are divided over whet her everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy . About half (48% adults, 49% likely voters) say everyone does have a fair chance and about half (48% adults, 47% likely voters) say that just a few people at the top have a chance. Baldassare summed up: “California Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided in their views about the direction of the state and the nation and the government’s role in bridging the economic gap.” Most See Business Regulation as Necessary On another election year issue, Californians are more likely to say that government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest (60% adults, 57% likely voters) than to say that government regulation of business does more harm than good (34% adults, 40% likely voters). Asked whether they prefer a smaller government providing fewer services or a bigger government providing more services, 57 percent of California adults prefer a larger government (39% smaller government). Likely voters are less inclined to prefer large r government (44% larger, 51% smaller ). And most adults (58%) and likely voters (61%) believe that Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay for in taxes. Fewer (37% adults, 36% likely voters) say that most Americans are willing to pay the taxes needed to fund services they expect government to provide. Majorities Favor Extending Proposition 30 Tax on High Earnings As the statewide ballot takes shape, the survey asked about one initiative that may be on it: an extension of one of the temporary taxes voters approved in Proposition 30 in 2012. The new initiative would extend for 12 years PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURV EY Californians and Their Government 5 the tax on earnings over $250,0 00 to fund education and health care. Most adults (61%) and likely voters (58%) are in favor, with sharp divisions along party lines (77% Democrats, 52% independents, 37% Republicans favor). Regardless of how they feel about the initiative, solid majoritie s of adults (66%), voters across party lines, and likely voters (70%) believe Californians should decide whether to extend Proposition 30 tax increases by voting on an initiative in November. Asked in the midst of tax season about the fairness of the state and local tax system, a majority of Californians say it is moderately fair (48% adults, 49% likely voters) or very fair (8% adults, 5% likely voters). And most (63% adults, 78% likely voters) believe that compared to other states, California ranks near th e top or is above average in its tax burden per capita . This view is in line with fiscal facts : the Tax Policy Center ranked California 11th in N ovember 2015. Jobs and Economy Seen as the State’s Top Issue About half of Californians (51% adults, 53% likely voters) approve of Governor Jerry Brown’s job performance. The state legislature has a job approval rating of 44 percent among adults and 38 percent among likely voters . Jobs/economy (27% adults, 29% likely voters) edges out water/ drought (20% adults, 23 % likely voters) as the most important issue facing Californians today. As seasonal rainfall has increased and Californians have slowed their conservation efforts, residents are also less likely today (57% adults) to say the supply of water as a big probl em in their part of the state than they were in September 2015, when a record -high 70 percent held this view. Half (49% adults) say that the people in their part of California are not doing enough to respond to the drought, while 38 percent say people are doing the right amount. Public Higher Education, Road Maintenance Seen as Key for Future The survey asked how important four major areas of spending are to the future of California: Maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges: Most Californians (58% adults, 64% likely voters) say traffic congestion is a big problem in their region. And most (62% adults, 68% likely voters) say spending more money on the maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges is very important for the future quality of life and eco nomic vitality of the state. Which projects have the highest priority? Residents are divided between public bus and transit (34%) and freeways and highways (33%), with fewer choosing local streets and roads (24%) or carpool lanes (6%). Likely voters are somewhat more likely to prefer spending on freeways and highways (38%) to bus and transit (30%). Tunnels in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta : The governor has proposed building tunnels in the Delta to improve the reliability of water supplies. About half of adults (54%) and 45 percent of likely voters say building the tunnels is very important to the future of California. Residents in Los Ange les (61%) and the Inland Empire (61%) are the most likely to say this is very important, followed by the Central Valley (51%), San Francisco Bay Area (49%), and Orange/San Diego (47%). High-speed rail: Eight years after state voters passed the $10 billion bond to build high -speed rail with 53 p ercent support, 52 percent of adults and 44 percent of likely voters continue to favor building it. When those who are opposed are asked how they would feel if it cost less, overall support increases to 66 percent am ong adults and 59 percent among likely voters. How important is high -speed rail to the future quality of lif e and economic vitality of California? A third of adults (34%) and a quarter of likely voters (26%) say it is very important. The public higher educ ation system: Overwhelming majorities of adults (80%) and likely voters (78%) say California’s public higher education system is very important to the state’s future. PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEYMARCHnlmr PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government r Election and National Issues Key Findings Half of likely voters are satisfied with their choice of presidential candidates; Democrats are much more likely than Republicans or independen ts to be satisfied. Forty-eight percent of Democratic primary likely voters support Hillary Clinton, while ot percent of Republican primary likely voters support Donald Trump. (page s) About half of likely voters are satisfied with their choice of candidates for the open U.S. Senate seat; Democrats are far more likely than Republicans and independents to be satisfied. Nearly a third of likely voters are unsure how they would vote if the primary were held today. Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez would be the top two vote getters. (page t) Six in ml Californians ( qu%) and about half of likely voters ( qo%) approve of President Obama; fewer than one in four adults ( np %) and likely voters ( mp%) approve of the U.S. Congress. (page u) Fewer than half of California adults and likely voters say the nation is going in the right direction. The outlook on the national economy is mixed, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to expect the United States will have good economic times in the next mn months. (page ml) Strong majorities of Californians say the gap between the rich and the poor in the United State s is getting larger and that government should do more to reduce this gap. (page mm) Californians are more likely to prefer a bigger government providing more services than a smaller government providing fewer services. About six in ml adults say most Americans demand more from government than they are willing to pay taxes for. (page mn) 59 24 0 20 40 60 80 Mar-12 Mar-13 Mar-14 Mar-15 Mar-16 Percent all adults President Obama U.S. Congress Approval ratings of federal elected officials 68 81 34 55 0 20 40 60 80 100 All adults Dem Rep Ind Percent Belief that government should do more to address the gap between rich and poor in this country 57 38 39 53 0 20 40 60 80 California United States* Percent all adults Bigger government, more services Smaller government, fewer services * Pew Research Center, September nlmq. Preferences for size of government PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 7 Presidential Election On June 7 , California voters will have their chance to weigh in on the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations. Today, a solid majority of independent likely voters (63%) say they are following news about the candidates very closely, and about half of Republican (53%) and Democratic (48%) voters say the same. A solid majority of Democratic voters (65%) say they are satisfied with their choices of candidates, while fewer than half of Republicans (46%) and just one in three independents (34%) say they are satisfied. Compared to our recent surveys, Democrats are more likely to say they are satisfied with their choices today, while Republican and independent voters are less likely to say they are satisfied. Among Democratic primary likely voters (including Democrats and independent voters who say they will vote in the Democratic primary), 48 percent support Hillary Clinton and 41 percent support Bernie Sanders . Eleven percent say either that they would vote for someone else (7%) or that they are undecided (4%). Among voters age 45 and older, 63 percent support Clinton, and among younger voters, 63 percent support Sanders. Clinton leads among Latino voters (58% to 35%), women (54% to 35%), and those who describe themselves as politically middle-of -the- road (51% to 33%). Sanders leads among those who describe themselves as very liberal (57% to 41%) and also among men (48% to 39%) . “If the 2016 Democratic p ri ma r y for president were being hel d today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Democratic primary likely voters only Likely voters Age Race* 18 to 44 45 and older Latino White Hillary Clinton 48% 22% 63% 58% 41% Bernie Sanders 41 63 27 35 46 Someone else 7 11 5 3 9 Don't know 4 4 4 4 4 *Sample sizes for other groups are too small for analysis Interviews for our survey concluded on March 15, the same evening that Marco Rubio dropped out of the Republican presidential race. With Rubio included among the candidates, Donald Trump leads the Republican field with support from 38 percent of Republican likely voters, followed by Ted Cruz at 19 percent and both John Kasich and Marco Rubio at 12 perc ent. With totals recalculated to exclude Rubio and show his supporters’ second choices, Trump , still with 38 percent support, is followed by Cruz at 27 percent and Kasich at 14 percent. One in five likely voters say either that they would support someone e lse (11%) or that they are undecided (9%). Trump leads all candidates across age, education, gender, and income groups . 65 46 34 0 20 40 60 80 Dec-15 Jan-16Mar-16 Percent likely voters DemocratRepublicanIndependent Satisfaction with c hoices of candidates in the election for U.S. president in 2016 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 8 “If the 2016 Republ ican p ri ma r y for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only Likely voters Change when including Rubio supporters’ second choices Including candidate Rubio Excluding candidate Rubio* Donald Trump 38% 38% +0 Ted Cruz 19 27 +8 John Kasich 12 14 +2 Marco Rubio 12 – – Someone else 10 11 +1 Don't know 9 9 +0 *Totals recalculated to show Rubio supporters’ second choices . California U.S. Senate Race Senator Barbara Boxer will be retiring after her current term ends . Under California's top -two primary system in place since 2011, the primary race for her replacement will include all candidates, regardless of party and it will be open to all registered voters. The two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to t he November general election. At this stage of the campaign, 31 percent of likely voters say they don’t know which candidate they would support in the primary. Among the candidates, state attorney general Kamala Harris, a Democrat, leads with support from 26 percent of likely voters, followed by Democratic U.S. representative Loretta Sanchez at 17 percent. Tom Del Bec caro, former chairman of the state Republican Party, gets support from 9 percent of likely voters and Duf Sundheim, also a former chairman of the state Republican Party, gets support from 6 percent . Republican Ron Unz entered the U.S. Senate race the day after our interviewing was completed. “If the June primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” All likely voters Likely voters Party Race/Ethnicity Dem Rep Ind Latinos Whites Kamala Harris, a Democrat 26% 38% 8% 22% 22% 27% Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat 17 30 4 10 36 11 Tom Del Beccaro, a Republican 9 – 23 9 7 11 Duf Sundheim, a Republican 6 1 12 8 1 8 Someone else 11 6 11 14 12 11 Don’t know 31 24 41 37 22 31 Among Democratic likely voters, 38 percent would vote for Harris, 30 percent would vote for Sanchez, and one in four (24%) are undecided. Four in 10 Republican voters say they are undecided, 23 percent would vote for Del Beccaro, and 12 percent would vote for Sundheim. Among independents, 37 percent say they don’t know who they would vote for ; the candidate who gets the most support is Harris (22%). Latino voters are most likely to support Sanchez (36%), while 22 percent would vote for Harris. White voters are most likely to be undecided (31%) or support Harris (27%). Democrats (64%) are far more likely than independents (38%) or Republicans (31%) to say they are satisfied with their choice of candidates. Seven in 10 Republican voters say either that they ar e not satisfied (41%) or that they have no opinion (28%). PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 9 Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials Nearly six in ten Californians (59%) and slightly more than half of likely voters (53%) approve of President Obama’s job performance today. The preside nt’s approval has held steady in recent months, and more than half of Californians have approved of his job performance since January 2015. Californians are slightly more likely to approve of the president than are adults nationwide (51%) in a March ABC Ne ws/Washington Post poll. Among Democrats, 84 percent approve of the president , compared to 51 percent of independents and 20 percent of Republicans. Across regions, the president’s approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (67%) and Los Angeles (67%), and lowest in the Inland Empire (44%). Strong majorities of blacks (83%), Latinos (68%), and Asians (66%) and about half of whites (49%) approve of the president . Approval of President Obama is similarly overwhelming among likely voters who say they would vote for Hillary Clinton (88%) or Bernie Sanders (89%). Among Republican primary likely voters, just 15 percent approve of the president’s job performance. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 59% 84% 20% 51% 53% Disapprove 38 14 79 47 46 Don't know 3 1 1 2 1 Twenty -four percent of adults and 14 percent of likely voters approve of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job. Approval of Congress has been similar over the past year. Californians in our survey are more likely to approve of Congress than are adults nationwide (13%) in a Marc h Gallup poll. About two in ten Democrats (20%) and independents (18%) approve of Congress, while 11 percent of Republicans approve. Approval of Congress is similarly low among those describing themselves as liberal (22%), middle -of -the -road (27%), and co nservative (26%). Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (38%), Asians (32%), and blacks (24%) are more likely to approve than are whites (12%). Across regions, residents of Los Angeles (35%) are most likely to approve of Congress, followed by residents of t he Central Valley (23%), Orange/San Diego (22%), the Inland Empire (21%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (17%). Support for Congress decreases as age and income increase, and it is higher among those with no college education (36%) than among those with mo re education (17%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 24% 20% 11% 18% 14% Disapprove 70 77 83 77 83 Don't know 6 3 6 5 2 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 10 National Outlook As the 2016 presidential campaigns continue to ramp up, 40 percent of adults and 34 percent of likely voters say things in the United States are going in the right direction. Findings were similar in September and March of last year. Today , a majority of Democrats (57%) say things in the nation are going in the right direction , compared to far fewer independents (27%) and Republicans (10%). About four in 10 Californians across regions are optimistic a bout the direction of the nation (44% Los Angeles , 41% San Francisco Bay Area , 38% Central Valley, 36% Orange/San Diego, 36% Inland Empire ). Across racial/ethnic groups, about half of Asians (54%), blacks (50%) , and Latinos (49%), compared to 28 percent of whites , say the nation is headed in the right direction. Californians under age 35 are somewhat more likely than adults age 55 and older to be optimistic about the direction of the country ( 44 % to 34%). Among likely voters, Hillary Clinton supporters (63%) are more likely than supporters of Bernie Sanders (50%) to say things in the United States are heading in the right direction. “Do you think things in United States are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 40% 57 % 10 % 27 % 34 % Wrong direction 56 38 85 69 63 Don’t know 4 5 5 4 3 Following what some have described as a volatile few m onths in the financial markets, the outlook on the national economy is decidedly mixed. California adults are slightly more likely to expect good times (48%) than bad times (42%) financially during the next 12 months, while likely voters are divided (45% g ood times, 47% bad times). Perceptions of the national econom y were similar in September and March 2015. Today, a majority of Democrats (56%) expect the country to experience good times financially in the next 12 months , while fewer independents (38%) and Republicans ( 29%) do so . Across the state’s r egions, about half in Los Angeles (52%), the Inland Empire (51%), the San Francisco Bay Area ( 50%) , and Orange/San Diego (50%) expect good economic times for the nation, compared to 43 percent in the Central Val ley. Across racial/ethnic groups, majorities of Latinos (60%) and Asians (55%) , but fewer blacks (43%) and whites (40%) , say the country will have good times financially in the next 12 months. E xpectations for good times financially in the United States du ring the next 12 months are higher for those under age 35 than for those age 55 and older (53% to 41%) . “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 48% 56 % 29 % 38 % 45 % Bad times 42 36 60 52 47 Don’t know 10 8 11 9 9 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 11 Income Inequality Solid majorities of Californians (69%) and likely voters (77%) say that the gap between rich and poor in the United States is getting larger. Findings were similar in March 2015 (72% all adults, 80% likely voters) and March 2014 (73% all adults, 81% likely voters). While solid majorities across parties say the gap between rich and poor is getting larger, Democrats (83%) are more likely than independents (75%) an d Republicans (62%) to say so. Across racial/ethnic groups, more than seven in 10 whites, Asians, and blacks say that the gap is getting larger, while only 56 percent of Latinos hold this view. T hose with annual household incomes of $80,000 or more (74%) are somewhat more likely than those with incomes under $40,000 (65%) to say that the gap is gettin g larger. Californians remain divided on whether everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy (48%) or whether just a few people at the top have a chance (48%). Findings were similar in March 2015 (49% everyone, 48% just a few) and March 201 4 (49% everyone, 47% just a few). There are striking partisan differences: a solid majority of Republicans (67%) say everyone has a fair chance to get ahead, and a similar proportion of Democrats (63%) believe that just a few people at the top have a chanc e. Among independents, half (50%) believe everyone has a fair chance, while 43 percent say only a few have a chance. Notably, men (54%) are more likely than women (42%) and homeowners (55%) are more likely than renters (42%) to say that everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in today’s economy. “Which comes closer to your view: In today's economy, everyone has a fair chance to get ahead in the long run, or in today's economy, it's mainly just a few people at the top who have a chance to get ahead.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Everyone has a fair chance to get ahead 48% 34% 67% 50% 49% Just a few people at the top have a chance 48 63 29 43 47 Don't know 4 3 4 7 4 When asked if the government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor, 68 percent of Californians say the government should do more, while 29 percent say this is not something the government should be doing. Notably, while likely voters are somewhat more likely than adults overall to say the gap bet ween rich and poor is getting larger (77% to 69%), they are less likely to say that the government should do more to reduce this gap (58% to 68%). There are stark differences across parties on this issue —while an overwhelming majority of Democrats (81%) be lieve the government should do more, a solid majority of Republicans (63%) believe this is not something the government should be doing. Independents are more likely to say the government should do more (55%) than to say this is not the government ’s role ( 41%). Majorities across age, income, and racial/ethnic groups say government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor. “Should the government do more to reduce the gap bet ween the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the government should not be doing?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Government should do more to reduce the gap 68% 81 % 34 % 55 % 58 % Government should not be doing this 29 15 63 41 39 Don't know 3 4 2 4 3 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 12 Role of Government California adults are more likely to prefer a larger government with more services (57%) than a smaller government with fewer services (39%). Support for a bigger government has increased since we last asked this question in February 2002 (47% bigger gover nment, 48% smaller government ). Notably, while adults overall prefer a bigger government, likely voters are somewhat more likely to prefer a smaller government with fewer services than a bigger government with more services (51% to 44%). Nationally, 53 percent of all adults support a smaller government with fewer services, according to a September 2015 Pew Research Center poll (38% bigger government) . While nearly eight in 10 California Republicans prefer a smaller government, seven in 10 Democrats prefer a bigger government. Half of independents prefer a smaller government with fewer services while 44 percent prefer a bigger government. While majorities of blacks (78%), Latinos (74%) , and Asians (61%) prefer a bigger government that provides more services, a majority of whites (55%) say they prefer a smaller government with fewer services. The likelihood of preferring a smaller government providing fewer services increases with age , homeownership, and income. “If you had to choose, would you rather have, a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Smaller government providing fewer services 39% 26 % 78 % 51 % 51 % Bigger government providing more services 57 70 17 44 44 Don't know 4 4 4 5 5 Majorities of Californians (58%) and likely voters (61%) believe that most Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay for in taxes. Majorities across all regions and demographic groups hold this view. Indeed, Californians in our survey are slightly more likely than adults nationwide (52% in an October 2015 Pew Research Center poll) to say that most Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay for. Californians are more likely to say that government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public (60%) than to say that government regulation does more harm than good (34%). The proportion of Calif ornians who view government regulation as necessary is at its highest point since we began ask ing this question in May 1998. Californians are much more likely than adults nationwide (in an October 2015 Pew Research Center poll ) to say that government regulation of business is necessary (45 % necessary, 50% more harm than good ). Democrats (71%) are more likely than independents (55%) and far more likely than Republicans (31%) to say government regulation of business is necessary. M ajorities across regions and demographic groups hold this view . Latinos (68%) and Asians (65%) are more likely than blacks (56%) and whites (54%) to say government regulation is necessary. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right: government regulation of business is necessary to p rotect the public interest; or g overnment regulation of business does more harm than good.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Government regulation of business is necessary 60% 71 % 31 % 55 % 57 % Government regulation of business does more harm than good 34 23 66 42 40 Don't know 6 6 3 3 3 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 13 State and Fiscal Issues Key Findings  About half of Californians continue to approve of Governor Jerry Brown, while 44 percent approve of the California Legislature. (page 14)  A majority of Californians think the state and local tax system is very fair (8%) or m oderately fair (48 %); a similar share feel they pay more than they should in state and local taxes (56%). (page 16)  Half of Californians think the state budget situation is a big problem. A majority of Californians (61%) and likely voters (58%) favor extending the Proposition 30 tax increase on upper-income Californians to fund education and health care. (page 17)  About six in 10 Californians think traffic congestion in their region is a big problem and that spending more to maintain roads, highways, and bridges is very important for California’s future. (page 18)  Most Californians think the supply of water is a big problem in their part of California. About h alf say that building tunnels in the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta is very important for California’s future. (page 19)  Half of Californians and 44 percent of likely voters favor building a high -speed rail system in California. Thirty -four percent of Californians and 26 percent of likely voters think the high -speed rail system is very important to California’s future. (pag e 20)  An o verwhelming majorit y of Californians think California’s public higher education system is very important to California’s future. Six in 10 Californians view a college education as necessary for success in today’s work world. (page 21) 51 44 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mar-12 Mar-13Mar-14Mar-15 Mar-16 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval ratings of state elected officials 32 24 44 43 24 24 34 22 0 20 40 60 80 100 All adults DemRep Ind Percent Somewhat more Much more Shares saying they pay more in state and local taxes than they should 80 62 54 34 0 20 40 60 80 100 Public higher education Maintenance of roads and bridges Delta tunnels High-speed rail Percent all adults Perception that each is very important to California's future PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 14 Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials Fifty-one percent of adults and 53 percent of likely voters approve of the way Jerry Brown is handling his job as California’s governor. The governor’s approval rating was slightly higher in January (58% adults, 60% likely voters) and it was similar last March (55% adults, 56% likely voters). Today, t he governor’s approval rating is much higher among Democrats (69%) than among independents (39%) and Republicans (27%). Approv al is higher in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) than in other regions. Latinos (62%) are more likely than whites (48%), blacks (47%), and Asians (40%) to approve of the governor. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handli ng his job as governor of California? ” Approve Disapprove Don’t know All adults 51% 29% 19% Likely voters 53 36 11 Party Democrats 69 15 16 Republicans 27 60 13 Independents 39 41 20 Region Central Valley 45 34 21 San Francisco Bay Area 58 23 19 Los Angeles 51 28 21 Orange/San Diego 51 33 17 Inland Empire 46 30 24 Forty-four percent of adults and 38 percent of likely voters approve of the way the California Legislature is handling its job. Approval of the state legislature was in a similar range in January (46% adults, 41% likely voters) and last March (45% adults, 39% likely voters). Today, a majority of Democrats (58%) approve of the legislature , while fewer independents (35%) and Republicans (16%) hold this view. Approval is slightly higher in Los Angeles (49%) than in other regions. Latinos (56%) are more likely than Asians (39%), whites (39%) , and b lacks (37%) to approve of the legislature. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove Don’t know All adults 44% 39% 18% Likely voters 38 50 12 Party Democrats 58 27 15 Republicans 16 71 14 Independents 35 49 16 Region Central Valley 40 42 17 San Francisco Bay Area 43 32 25 Los Angeles 49 35 16 Orange/San Diego 44 43 14 Inland Empire 37 48 15 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 15 Overall Mood Californians are most likely to name jobs and the economy (27%) and water and the drought (20%) as the most important issues facing people in California today ; fewer than one in 10 name any other issue. Jobs and the economy (24%) and water and the drought (23%) also topped the issues list in March 2015. Water and the drought ( 29%) and jobs and the economy ( 34%) are both named more often today in the Central Valley than in other regions. The top two issues are similar among likely voters and all adults. “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” Top five issues All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Jobs, economy 27% 34% 26% 23% 26% 27% 29% Water, drought 20 29 21 17 16 18 23 Immigration, illegal immigration 7 5 4 8 9 9 8 Crime, gangs, drugs 5 3 1 5 4 8 2 Education, schools, teachers 5 3 5 6 4 4 5 W ith an election year underway , what is the mood in California ? Fifty percent of all adults and 45 percent of likely voters say that things in California are generally going in the right direction. The view that the state is headed in the right direction was in a similar range in January (54% adults, 49% likely voters) and last March (50% adults, 49% likely voters). Today, Democrats (65%) are far more likely than independents (38%) and Republicans (24%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area residents (56%) are more likely to hold this view than those living in other regions (50% Inland Empire, 50% Los Angel es, 49% Orange/San Diego, 44% Central Valley). Majorities of Latinos (58%) and Asians (57%) and fewer than half of blacks (47%) and whites (44%) say the state is going in the right direction. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 50% 65% 24% 38% 45% Wrong direction 43 26 72 57 50 Don’t know 8 8 5 6 5 Perceptions of the economy’s direction are divided, with 51 percent of all adults and 46 percent of likely voters saying that California will have good times financially in the next 12 months. Expectations for good economic times were similar in January (49% adults, 44% likely voters) and last March (52% adults, 49 % likely voters). Today, Democrats (59%) are more likely than independents (43%) and Republicans (33%) to expect good economic times. About half across the state’s regions expect good economic times in California (53% San Francisco Bay Area, 52% Los Angele s, 50% Orange/San Diego, 49% Central Valley, 47% the Inland Empire). Half or more of Latinos (58%) and Asians (52%) compared to fewer whites (46%) and blacks (45%) expect good economic times. Expectations for good economic times decline with age (59% under 35 , 53% 35 to 54 , 38% 55 and older). PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 16 State and Local Tax System In the midst of tax season, we asked about the fairness of the state and local tax system. S imilar majorities of adults (8% very, 48% moderately) and likely voters (5% very, 49% moderately) view the system as fair . Majorities across income groups hold this view of tax fairness. Still, majorities of adults (56%) and likely voters (61%) say they are paying much more or somewhat more than they feel they should pay in state and local taxes. Half or more across income groups hold this view. Findings were similar last March: similar shares perceived the tax system as very or moderately fair (50% adults, 50% likely voters) and said that they were paying more than they should (57% adults, 58% likely voters). Today, Republicans (43%) are less likely than other voters (52% independents, 63% Democrats) to say the tax system is very fair or moderately fair and more likely than other voters to say they pay much more or somewhat more than they sh ould (78% Republicans, 65% independents, 48% Democrats). “Overall, how fair do you think our present state and local tax system is— would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair?” All adults Household income Likely voters Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Very fair 8% 11% 8% 5% 5% Moderately fair 48 46 47 53 49 Not too fair 25 27 25 22 24 Not at all fair 16 14 18 18 19 Don’t know 3 3 3 2 3 Some leaders and interest groups argue against raising state and local taxes because California already has a high tax burden compared to other states. How do Californians view the relative tax burden? Solid majorities (63% adults, 78% likely voters) say that California ranks near the top or is above average in 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 2013 were ranked 11th highest in the nation (Tax Policy Center, November 2015). Solid majorities said that California is near the top or above average in state and local tax burden last March (62% adults, 71% likely voters). Today, while majorities across inco me groups ho ld this perspective, this perception is more common i n higher-income groups (51% less than $40,000, 68% $40,000 to $80,000, 81% $80,000 or more). Majorities across voter groups, although more Republicans (85%) than independents (68%) or Democrats (67%), ho ld the view that California currently ranks near the top or above average in state and local tax burden per capita. “Where do you think California currently ranks in state and local tax burden per capita? Compared to other states, is California's tax bur den per capita near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom?” All adults Household i ncome Likely voters Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Near the top 36% 25% 38% 52% 46% Above average 27 26 30 29 32 Average 17 23 16 8 13 Below average 5 7 4 2 1 Near the bottom 6 9 5 2 1 Don’t know 9 9 8 6 6 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 17 State Spending and Revenues About half of California adults (48%) and likely voters (55%) say the state budget is a big problem. Republicans (69%) are much more likely to call the budget a big problem than are independents (59%) and Democrats (40%). Slightly smaller shares viewed the budget as a big problem in January (42% adults, 46% likely voters ) and the percentages were similar last March (45% adults, 50% likely voters ). More than six in 10 called the budget a big problem from 2008 through May 2013. “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?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Big problem 48% 40% 69% 59% 55% Somewhat of a problem 36 45 23 30 33 Not a problem 11 12 5 8 9 Don't know 5 3 3 2 3 The Proposition 30 tax increase that passed in November 2012 included a one quarter cent sales tax that expires in December 2016 and a tax on higher -income Californians that expires in 2018. An initiative is circulating for the November 2016 ballot that includes a 12 -year extension of the tax increase on higher - income Californians to fund education and healthcare. Sixty -one percent of adults and 58 percent of likely voters support this version of a Proposition 30 tax extension. There are sharp divisions along party lines. “As you may know, voters passed Proposition 30 in November 2012. It increased taxes on earnings over $250,000 until 2018 and sales taxes by one quarter cent until 2016. Do you favor or oppose extending for 12 years the tax increase on earnings over $250,000 to fund education and healthcare?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 61% 77% 37% 52% 58% Oppose 35 20 58 42 38 Don't know 4 3 4 6 4 Solid majorities of adults (6 6%), voters across pa rty lines, and likely voters (70 %) think California voters should decide whether to extend the Proposition 30 tax increases by voting on a state proposition in November. Support for voters deciding was similar last March (66% adults, 68% likely voters). “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 66% 7 5% 66 % 64 % 70 % Oppose 26 19 27 31 24 Don't know 8 6 7 6 6 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 18 74 62 53 62 0 20 406080 55 and older35-54 18-34 All adults Percent Surface Transportation System About six in 10 California adults ( 58 %) and likely voters (64%) say traffic congestion on freeways and major roads is a big problem in their region of California today . Residents in the Central Valley (36%) are by far the least likely to call it a big problem, while majorities in other regions hold this view. About half or more of adults across demographic groups say this is a big problem. When we last asked this question in July 2006, a similar share of adults viewed traffic congestion as a big problem (64%). Solid majorities of adults (62%) and likely voters (68%) think that spending more money on the maintenance of the state’s roads is very important for the future of California . Solid majorities across regions view the maintenance of roads as very important as do at least six in 10 Democrats (70%), Republicans (61%), and independents (60%). The perception that maintenance is very important in creases as age increases and is similar across education and income groups. “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?” When asked about which aspects of surface transportation should have the highest priority, Californians are divided between public bus and transit (34%) and freeways and highways (33%), with fewer prioritizing local streets and roads (24%) or carpool lanes (6%). In January 2006 , a plurality prioritized freeways and hig hways (38%), while fewer selected public transit (29%) or local streets (24%). Today, half of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area prioritize public transit, compared to fewer than four in 10 elsewhere in the state. Half of Inland Empire residents prioritize freeways and highways. Public transit is more likely to be prioritized among Asians, younger Californians ( age 18 t o 34 ), those with a college degree, and those with household incomes under $40,000. “Which of the following types of surface transportation projects do you think should have the top priority for additional state funding?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Public bus and transit 34% 23% 50% 38% 30% 21% 30% Freeways and highways 33 37 25 28 38 51 38 Local streets and roads 24 26 20 23 24 20 24 Carpool lanes 6 10 3 9 7 3 6 Other ( volunteered) 1 1 – 1 – 4 1 Don't know 1 3 2 1 – 1 2 62 62 65 64 62 0 20 40 60 80 100 CentralValley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San DIego Inland Empire Percent Very important PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 19 State Water Supply Today, 57 percent of Californians say that the supply of water is a big problem in their part of California—down from a record high of 70 percent in September 2015, when we last asked this question. This comes as much of California has seen increased season al rainfall and the slowing of statewide conservation efforts . Residents in the Central Valley are the most likely to see their regional water su pply as a big problem, while residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are the least likely. The share holding this view increases with age and is highest among whites (66%) and lowest among Asians (47%) across racial/ethnic groups. “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?” Half of Californians (49%) think that the people in their part of California are not doing enough to respond to the current drought, while 38 percent think the response is about right. The perception that not enough is being done was similar last September (48%), but it has dropped 17 points since last March (66%). Today, a plurality in the Central Valley say the right amount is being done; pluralities elsewhere say not enough is being done . The view that not enough is being done is more prevalent among blacks (67%) than among Latinos (53%), whites (45%), or Asians (43%) ; the share holding this view declines sharply as age increases . “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?” All adults Region Inland/Coastal Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Inland Coastal Too much 10% 13% 12% 7% 8% 13% 13% 9% Right amount 38 44 39 34 41 30 39 38 Not enough 49 41 45 56 47 52 46 50 Don't know 3 2 3 3 4 5 3 3 The governor has proposed building tunnels in the Sacramento –San Joaquin Delta to improve the reliability of water supplies . About half of California adults (54%) and 45 percent of likely voters view this as very important for the future of California. Residents in Los Angeles (61%) and the Inland Empire (61%) are the most likely to view this as very important , followed by those in the Central Valley (51%), the San Francisco Bay Area (49%), and Orange/San Diego (47%). Democrats (57%) are more likely than Republicans (41%) and independents (44%) to hold thi s view. 68 53 56 60 56 0 20 40 60 80 100 CentralValley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Percent Big problem 55 59 54 65 68 60 59 66 69 68 70 57 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mar-14 Sep-14Mar-15 Sep-15Mar-16 Percent all adults PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 20 High -S peed Rail In November 2008 California voters passed Proposition 1A, the Safe, Reliable High -Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century, with 53 percent support. How do Californians view this project today? Thirty-four percent of California adults and 26 percent of likely voters view the high-speed rail system as very important for the future of California. The perception that the rail system is very important has ranged from a high of 36 percent in March 2013 to a low of 28 percen t last March. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area are the most likely to call the high -speed rail system very important, while about a third in other regions hold this view. Democrats (37%) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (15%) to hold this view. Latinos (45%) are the most likely to call the system very important , followed by Asians (40%), blacks (33%), and whites (25%). “Thinking ahead, how important is the high-speed rail system for the future quality of life and economic vitality of Cali fornia?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very important 34% 33% 45% 32% 31% 32% 26% Somewhat important 29 23 27 31 26 37 29 Not too important 17 16 13 19 25 14 17 Not at all important 18 27 13 17 18 18 27 Don't know 1 1 2 1 1 – 1 Fifty -two percent of Californians favor building the high -speed rail system ; shares have been similar since we first asked this question in March 2012. Today, 44 percent of likely voters favor the project. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) are the most likely to favor the project, while residents elsewhere are more divided. There is a wide partisan divide , with six in 10 Democrats and three in 10 Repub licans in favor. Support is higher among Asians (66%) and Latinos (58%) than among whites (44%) and blacks (42%) , and declines sharply with increasing age. When those who oppose the high - speed rail system are asked how they would feel if it cost less, over all support increases to 66 percent among all adults and 59 percent among likely voters. “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?” 51 63 50 47 48 45 29 48 51 45 0 20 40 60 80 100 CentralValley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Percent all adults 69 50 38 54 45 29 47 59 44 52 0 20 40608010 Republicans Independents Democrats Likely voters All adults Percent Favor Oppose PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 21 Public Higher Ed ucation Overwhelming majorit ies of California adults (80%) and likely voters (78%) view California ’s public higher education system as very important to the state ’s future. Since we first asked this question in 2007, more than seven in 10 Californians have said that the public higher education system is very important. Today, Californians are much more likely to say that the public higher education system is very important to the state’s future than to say the same of the maintenance of roads, highways , and bridges (62% very important), the building of the Delta tunnels (54% very important), or the high-speed rail system (34% very important). Indeed, more than seven in 10 Californians across regions and demographic groups say that the public higher education system is very important to the state’s future . Across parties, Democrats (89%) are more likely than independents (69%) and Republicans (67%) to hold this view . “In general, how important is California’s public higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years? ” All adults Education Race/Ethnicity High school or less Some college College graduate Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very important 80% 79% 79% 83% 86% 83% 85% 75% Somewhat important 14 15 14 13 14 14 12 16 Not too important 3 3 5 2 – 2 2 5 Not at all important 2 1 2 2 – – – 3 Don't know 1 2 1 – – – 1 1 The perceived importance of public higher education makes sense in the context of 59 percent of Californians believ ing that a college degree is necessary for a person to be s uccessful in today’s work world. Thirty -nine percent say there are many ways to succeed without a college degree. Findings were similar in November 2011, when we last asked this question (58% college degree is necessary). T here are notable differences across racial/ethnic groups : large majorities of Asians (79%), Latinos (72%) , and blacks (67%) think a college education is necessary, while fewer than half of whites (44%) hold this view . Parents of children 18 or younger are more likely to see college as necessary (68%) than are those without children (54%). Democrats (64%) are much more likely than independents (48%) and far more likely than Republicans (38%) to say a college education is necessary for success. Across regions , the belief that a college education is necessary for su ccess is highest in Los Angeles (66%), and lowest in the Central Valley (51%). Solid majorities of college graduates (60%) and Californians with no college education (65%) say a college education is necessary , while 51 percent of those with some college sa y a college education is necessary for success. “Do you think that a college education is necessary for a person to be successful in today’s work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today’s work world without a college education? ” All adults Education Race/Ethnicity High school or less Some college College graduate Asians Blacks Latinos Whites College education is necessary 59% 65% 51% 60% 79% 67% 72% 44% There are many ways to succeed 39 34 46 38 21 33 27 53 Don't know 2 1 2 1 – – 1 3 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 22 Regional Map PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 23 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 associate survey director Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates David Kordus and Lunna Lopes. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation and the PPIC Donor Circle . 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 1,7 10 California adult residents, including 85 2 interviewed on landline telephones and 85 8 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights fr om March 6 –15 , 201 6. 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 selectio n, 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 birthd ay 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 numb ers 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 su rvey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance fr om Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s 201 0–201 4 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 fo r 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 201 4 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 2015 estimates for the W est 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 r egistration 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/et hnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 6 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,710 adults. This mea ns that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3. 6 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and Their Government 24 were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: for the 1, 385 registered v oters, the sampling error is ±3.9 percent; for the 1, 039 likely voters, it is ±4.4 percent ; for the 529 Democratic Primary likely voters, it is ±6.2 percent ; for the 321 Republican Primary likely voters, it is ±7.3 percent . Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for 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 M ateo, 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. We present specific results for non -Hisp anic whites, who account for 4 3 p ercent of the state’s adult population, and also for Latinos, who account for about 34 percent 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 1 5 percen t of the state’s adult population, and non -Hispa nic 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 ot her 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. In addition, we analyze the response of Democratic primary likely voters which include registered Democrats and independents who say they will vote in the Democratic primary. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 du e 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, Gallup , and Pew Research Center . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 25 Questionnaire and Results CALIFORNIANS AND THE IR GOVERNMENT March 6 –15 , 2016 1,7 10 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ± 3.6% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO RO UNDING First, thinking about the state as a whole, 1. what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 27% jobs, economy 20 water, drought 7 immigration, illegal immigration 5 crime, gangs, drugs 5 education, schools, teachers 4 environment, pollution, global warming 4 government in general 4 housing costs, housing availability 3 health care, health insurance 3 homelessness 3 infrastructure 3 state budget, deficit, taxes 2 poverty 4 other ( specify) 6 don’t know Overall, do you approve or disapprove of 2. the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 51% approve 29 disapprove 19 don’t know Overall, do you approve or disapprove of 3. the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 44% approve 39 disapprove 18 don’t know Do you think things in California are 4. generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 50% right direction 43 wrong direction 8 don’t know Turning to economic conditions in 5. California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 51% good times 40 bad times 9 don’t know Next, some people are registered to vote 6. and others are n ot. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 63% yes [ask Q6a] 37 no [skip to Q7b] 6a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline-to -state or independent voter? 43% Democrat [ask Q7] 27 Republican [skip to Q7a] 5 another party ( specify) [skip to Q9] 25 independent [skip to Q7b] Would you call yourself a strong Democrat 7. or not a very strong Democrat? 60% strong 37 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to Q8a] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 26 7a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 53% strong 41 not very strong 6 don’t know [skip to Q8b] 7b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican Party 49 Democratic Party 18 neither ( volunteered) 7 don’t know 7c. [independent voters only] California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 7th. Both ballots include state proposition measures. D o you plan to vote in the Democratic primary or on the nonpartisan ballot? 22% Democratic primary [ask Q8a] 57 nonpartisan ballot [skip to Q9] 4 not planning to vote ( volunteered) [skip to Q9] 17 don’t know [skip to Q9] [questions 8a to 12 reported for primary likely voters] 8a. [Democratic p rimary likely voters only] If the 2016 Democratic primary for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names an d then ask “or someone else?”] 48% Hil lary Clinton 41 Bernie Sanders 7 someone else ( specify) 4 don’t know 8b. [Republican primary likely voters only with candidate Rubio] If the 2016 Republican primary for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 38% Donald Trump 19 Ted Cruz 12 John Kasich 12 Marco Rubio 10 someone else ( specify) 10 don’t know 8c. [Republican primary likely voters only without candidate Rubio] And who would be your second choice for the Republican nomination for president? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 25% Ted Cruz 22 John Kasich 15 Donald Trump 13 Marco Rubio 12 someone else ( specify) 12 don’t know 8d. [Republican primary likely voters only with totals recalculated to show Rubio supporters’ second choices] If the 2016 Republican primary for president were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 38% Donald Trump 27 Ted Cruz 14 John Kasich 11 someone else ( specify) 9 don’t know [likely voters only] In general, would you say 9. you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. President in 2016? 51% satis fied 45 not satisfied 2 both ( volunteered) 2 don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 27 [likely voters only] How closely are you 10. following news about candidates for the 2016 presidential election —very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 52% very closely 37 fairly closely 9 not too closely 2 not at all closely 1 don’t know [likely voters only] As you may know, 11. California now has a top -two primary system for statewide races in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes— regardless of party—will advance to the general election. If the June primary for U.S. Senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else?”] 26% Kamala Harris, a Democrat 17 Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat 9 Tom Del Beccaro, a Republican 6 Duf Sundheim, a Republican 11 someone else ( specify) 31 don’t know [likely voters only] In general, would you say 12. you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. Senate in 2016? 47% satisfied 30 not satisfied 1 both ( volunteered) 23 don’t know Next, d o you think the state budget 13. 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? 48% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 11 not a problem 5 don’t know As you may know, voters passed 14. Proposition 30 in November 2012. It inc reased taxes on earnings over $250,000 until 2018 and sales taxes by one quarter cent until 2016. Do you favor or oppose extending for 12 years the tax increase on earnings over $250,000 to fund education and healthcare? 61% favor 35 oppose 4 don’t know Regardless of how you feel personally 15. 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 26 oppose 8 don’t know On another topic, Would you say traffic congestion on 16. freeways and major roads is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in your region of California? 58% big problem 25 somewhat of a problem 17 not a problem – don’t know Thinking ahea d, how important is 17. 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? 62% very important 30 somewhat important 5 not too important 3 not at all important – don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 28 Which of the following types of surface 18. transportation projects do you think should have the top priority for additional state funding —[rotate] (1) fr eeways and highways, ( 2) public bus and transit systems, ( 3) carpool lanes, [or] ( 4 ) local streets and roads? 34% public bus and transit systems 33 freeways and highways 24 local streets and roads 6 carpool lanes 1 other ( specify) 1 don’t know Next, Overall, how fair do you think our present 19. state and local tax system is— would you say it is very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not at all fair? 8% very fair 48 moderately fair 25 not too fair 16 not at all fair 3 don’t know When you combine all of the taxes you 20. 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 24 somewhat more 37 about the right amount 4 less than you should 3 don’t know Where do you think California currently 21. ranks in state and local tax burden per capita? Compared to other states, is California's tax burden per capita near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom ? 36% near the top 27 above average 17 average 5 below average 6 near the bottom 9 don’t know On another topic, would you say that the 22. supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California? 57% big problem 23 somewhat of a problem 19 not much of a problem – don’t know The governor has proposed to improve the 23. reliability of water supplies by building tunnels in the Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta. How important is this proposal 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? 54% very important 26 somewhat important 6 not too important 7 not at all important 8 don’t know 23a. 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? 10% too much 38 the right amount 49 not enough 3 don’t know Next, as you may know, California voters 24. p assed 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 high -speed rail system cost less, would you favor or oppose building it?”] 52% favor 14 oppose, but would favor if it cost less 30 oppose, even if it cost less 4 don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 29 Thinking ahead, how important is the high - 25. 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? 34% very important 29 somewhat important 17 not too important 18 not at all important 1 don’t know On another topic, In general, how important is California’s 26. public higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years —ver y important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 80% very important 14 somewhat important 3 not too important 2 not at all important 1 don’t know Do you think that a college education is 27. necessary for a person to be successful in today’s work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today’s work world without a college education? 59% college education is necessary to be successful 39 succeed without a college educati on 2 don’t know On another topic, overall, do you approve 28. or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 59% approve 38 disapprove 3 don’t know Overall, do you approve or disapprove of 29. the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 24% approve 70 disapprove 6 don’t know Do you think things in the United States 30. are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 40% right direction 56 wrong direction 4 don’t know Turning to economic conditions, do you 31. think that during the next 12 months the United States will have good times financially or bad times? 48% good times 42 bad times 10 don’t know On another topic, Do you think the gap between the rich and 32. the poor in the U.S. is getti ng larger, getting smaller, or has it stayed the same? 69% getting larger 3 getting smaller 25 stayed the same 3 don’t know Should the government do more to reduce 33. the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, or is this something the govern ment should not be doing? 68% should do more 29 should not be doing 3 don’t know 33a. 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. 48% everyone has a fair chance 48 just a few people at the top have a chance 4 don’t know PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MARCH 2016 PPIC.ORG/SURVEY Californians and their Government 30 On another topic, [rotate questions 34 to 35a] If you had to choose, would you rather 34. have, a smaller gover nment providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services? 39% smaller government, fewer services 57 bigger government, more services 4 don’t know Please indicate which statement comes 35. closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right [rotate] (1 ) m ost Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay taxes for [or] (2) m ost Americans are willing to pay the taxes needed to fund services they expect government to provide 58% most Americans demand more from the government than they are willing to pay taxes for 37 most Americans are willing to pay the taxes needed to fund services they expect government to provide 5 don’t know 35a. Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right [rotate ] (1 ) government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest; [or ] ( 2 ) g overnment regulation of business does more harm than good. 60% government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest 34 government regulation of business does more harm than good 6 don’t know Next, would you consider yourself to be 36. politically: [read list, rotate order from top to bottom] 15% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 28 middle -of-the -road 19 somewhat conservative 14 very conservative 2 don’t know Generally speaking, how much interest 37. would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 24% great deal 36 fair amount 32 only a little 7 none – don’t know [d1 to d4: demographic questions] d5. [asked of those employed full - or part -time] How do you usually commute to work — drive alone, carpool, take public bus or transit, walk, or bicycle? 67% drive alone 11 carpool 12 take public bus or transit 3 walk 4 bicycle 4 work at home (volunteered) 1 other (specify) [d6 to d15: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Glover Blackwell President and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director B ill 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 Sil icon Valley Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Professor Sol Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Sonja Petek 2016 Master of Public Policy Candidate Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley Lisa Pitney Vice President of Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Mindy Romero Founder and Director California Civic Engagement Project at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change Robert K. Ross, MD President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside Principal California Strategies 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 Louise Henry Bryson Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees J. Paul Getty Trust A. Marisa Chun Partner McDermott Will & Emery LLP Phil Isenberg Vice Chair Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP Gerald L. Parsky Chairman Aurora Capital Group Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Gaddi H. Vasquez Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Edison International Southern California Edison Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94111 T: 415.291.4400 F: 415.291.4401 PPIC.ORG PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, CA 95814 T: 916.440.1120 F: 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:42:46" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_316mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:42:46" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:42:46" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_316MBS.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) }