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Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 107 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 22 8,000 Californians . This sur vey is the 41st in the Californians and Their Govern ment series, which is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation. This sur vey seeks to rais e public awareness, inform decisionmakers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about impor tant state and national issues. This sur vey was conducted in the weeks prior to the June primar y and as the 2010 election season gets in to full swing ; as the weak economy and high unemployment continue to weigh on the minds of Californians; and as more grim news a bout the state’s budget deficit —that revenues will not meet projections in the May budget revision— is released. The national backdrop includes P resident Obama and Congress debating Wall Street reform and consider ing whether to address comprehensive immigration reform and new climate change policies this year. This sur vey presents the responses of 2,003 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish and reached by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  The 2010 elections, including Republican primar y likely voter preferences for gubernatorial and senate candidates; likely voters’ preferences regarding Proposition 14 on the June ballot and potential match- ups in the gubernatorial and senate general elections; and attention to news about gubernatorial candidates. We also examine perceptions and preferences regarding t wo issues —mariju ana and water policy —that will be on the November ballot. The sur vey looks at residents’ overall mood and outlook for California, and approval rati ngs of state and federal elected officials.  The 2010– 11 California budget, including perceptions of the seriousness of the multibillion- dollar budget deficit and preferred methods for dealing with it ; satisfaction with the governor’s budget proposal ; and concerns about spending cuts and whether tax increases should have been included in that proposal. The sur vey also examines Californians’ willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain funding for major state programs; perceptions about potential new revenue sources; and suppor t for fiscal reforms being discussed in the legislature.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians —based on their political par ty affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics —may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2010 elections and state budget issues. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp . May 2010 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday , May 19, 2010. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Stunning Drop in Whitman’s Support Transforms GOP Race for Governor FIORINA, CAMPBELL IN DEAD HEAT WHILE DEVO RE’S SUPPORT DOUBLES SAN FRANCISCO, May 19 , 2010 —Support for Meg Whitman has plummeted 2 3 points since March, and she is now in a far close r race wit h Steve Poizner to become the Republican nominee for governor. These are among the results of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with support from The James Irvine Foundation. Less than a month before the June primary, Whitman leads Poizner 38 percent to 29 percent among Californians likely to vote in the Republican primary. A third of likely voters (31%) are undecided. In January, Whitman led Poizner by 30 points (41% Whitman, 11% Poizner, 44% undecided) and in March, by 50 points (61% Whitman , 11% Poizner, 25% undecided). Whitman ’s support has dropped at least 17 points across all demographic groups, with the sharpest declines among those who are not college graduates (29 points) and those whose annual household incomes are at least $80,000 ( 28 points). Support for Poizner has increased sharply across demographic groups, but a plurality in each group would still vote for Whitman. The Republican s enate primary race is also close, with Carly Fiorina (25%) and Tom Campbell (23%) deadlocked , as they were in March (24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell) , and support doubling for Chuck DeVore (16% today, 8% March) among GOP likely voters. Thirty -six percent are undecided. Fiorina and Campbell have similar levels of support among men (29% Fiorina, 25% Campbell, 17% Devore), with 2 9 percent undecided. Support for the two candidates is also similar among women (21% Fiorina, 20% Campbell, 14% DeVore), but 44 percent of women are still undecided. “This election is very much in flux,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO . “Voters are alienated . Republicans are struggling to figure out what to do about it and what their party stands for. The Democrats —with their candidates unchallenged —aren’t going through this soul search ing.” 60 PERCENT FAVOR PROPOSITION 14 In contrast to the closely contested candidate races, there is strong majority support for one ballot issue: primary reform. Proposition 14 would change the primary process so that the top two vote- getters— regardless of party —would advance to the general e lection. Among likely voters, 60 percent support Proposition 14, 27 percent oppose it, and 13 percent are undecided. Support is up 4 points from March. Likely voters were asked whether it is important to them that voters be able to choose any candidate, r egardless of party . A large majority (81%) say it is very important (51%) or somewhat important (30%). PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 4 A solid majority of likely voters also think either major changes (36%) or minor ones (35%) should be made to the primary system, with 23 percent saying the system is fine as it is. NOVEMBER MATCHUPS: BROWN EDGES AHEAD OF WHITMAN, STILL LEADS POIZNER Looking ahead to a potential matchup in the general election, Democrat Jerry Brown has a slim lead over Republican Whitman among likely voters (42% to 37%), with 21 percent undecided. Whitman led Brown by a similar margin in March (44% Whitman, 39% Brown), while Brown was ahead in January (41% Brown, 36% Whitman). Strong majorities of Democrats support Brown (70%) and Republicans support Whitman (69%), with in dependents split (38% Brown, 34% Whitman , 28% undecided). Brown leads in a matchup with Poizner (45% to 32 %), with 23 percent undecided. Brown led by similar margins the last three times PPIC asked this question. Brown has strong support among Democrats ( 74%) and Poizner has strong support among Republicans (65%). Independents prefer Brown (40% to 27%), although a third (33%) are undecided. BOXER REGAINS LEAD IN MATCHUPS WITH FIORINA, CAMPBELL Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer leads each of the potential Republican senate nominees in hypothetical matchups. She is ahead of Campbell 46 percent to 40 percent. Both Boxer and Campbell maintain strong partisan support: 77 percent of Democratic likely voters prefer Boxer and 79 percent of Republicans support Campbell. But independents’ preferences have shifted (January: 42% Boxer, 37% Campbell; March: 32% Boxer, 48% Campbell) . Today they prefer Boxer by 13 points (48% to 35%). Boxer leads Fiorina 48 percent to 39 percent. Partisans continue to strongly pr efer their party’s candidate (82% of Democrats support Boxer, 78% of Republicans support Fiorina), while independents have shifted back into Boxer’s corner (44% Boxer, 33% Fiorina) ; they preferred Fiorina in March (January: 4 8% Boxer, 40 % Fiorina; March: 35% Boxer, 41% Fiorina). In results that have been similar since January, Boxer leads DeVore (50% to 39%) in a November matchup and has the support of just under half of independents (48 %). How do likely voters feel about the way Boxer is handling her job? Half (50%) approve, similar to January. Democrats (77%) and independents (53%) approve, while Republicans overwhelmingly disapprove (79%). Boxer’s approval rating is similar to that of Senator Dianne Feinstein (53%), who is not up for re -election. LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? CALIFORNIANS ARE DIVIDED Voters will also make the choice in November of whether to legalize marijuana and allow it to be regulated and taxed. They are divided about legalization, with 49 percent of likely voters in favor of this change in the law and 48 percent opposed. Results among all adults were similar: 48 percent favor legalization, and 49 percent are opposed. There are stark differences across political and demographic groups:  Majorities of Democrats (56%) and independents (5 5%) favor le galization. Thirty -four percent of Republicans are in favor.  Most San Francisco Bay Area residents (56%) are in favor. Residents in other regions are either divided or opposed.  Most Latinos (62%) oppose legalization. A majority of whites (56%) are in favor.  Men (54%) are more likely to be in favor . Less than half (42%) of women favor legalization .  Support for legalization decreases with age. 56 percent of adults aged 18–34 are in favor compared to 42 percent aged 55 and older. PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 5 When asked about use of marijuana for medical purposes —an issue in cities where there have been disputes about dispensaries —76 percent say it should be allowed , with strong majorities of Democrats (82%), independents (80%), and Republicans (68%) holding thi s view. THE BUDGET: RESIDENT S AGREE IT’S A PROBLEM , DISAGREE ABOUT SOL UTION With the state facing a $19 billion budget deficit, a record -high 81 percent of Californians say the state budget situation is a big problem. But they are divided -—as they were in M arch-—on how to fill the budget gap: 42 percent prefer doing so through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, while 39 percent would rely mainly on spending cuts. Far fewer would fill the gap mostly through tax increases (7%) or feel it is fine to borr ow money and run a deficit (6%). Residents are also divided over Schwarzenegger’s May budget revision for the next fiscal year, which proposes big cuts in health and human services, as well as cutting spending for prisons and state employee compensation. The governor says his plan will maintain spending levels for K –12 education and increase funding for higher education. The plan includes no new taxes. After reading a brief description of the plan to 829 survey respondents, PPIC finds that 46 percent of Californians are satisfied with the plan and 43 percent are dissatisfied. Most Californians are concerned (40% very concerned, 40% somewhat concerned) about the impact of spending cuts in the governor’s plan. Yet they are divided (46% yes, 49% no) about whet her tax increases should be included. Of the four main spending categories of the state budget, Californians are the most willing to consider a tax increase to spare K –12 education from budget cuts (69%), while just over half would pay higher taxes to maintain current funding levels for higher education (54%) or for health and human services (54%). A large majority (79%) opposes paying higher taxes to spare prisons and corrections from budget cuts. Californians would consider some other ways to raise revenues: 67 percent favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians and 58 percent would favor raising state taxes paid by California corporations. Residents are much less likely to support extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed (35%) or increasing the vehicle license fee (28%). HALF FAVOR LOWERING THRESHOLD FOR BUDGET PASSAGE TO SIMPLE MA JORITY A number of reforms are being proposed to improve state government. One of the most discussed is lowering the supermajority vote requirement to pass a state budget to a simple majority . Half (51%) of Californians say it would a good idea to lower the threshold for budget passage and keep the supermajority requirement for passing state taxes . Less than half (47%) favor lowering the two -thirds vote requirement to a simple majority for both th e state budget and state taxes. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Governor ’s job app roval rating sinks to new record , federal officials fare better Schwarzenegger’s rating drops (23%), the legislature’s ( 16%) is near its lowest point —and a record- high 73 percent say the two will be unable to work together and accomplish a lot this year. — pages 8, 9  Rains don’t diminish importance of water bond M onths of above- average rainfall have not changed overall perceptions of the state’s water situation: Forty -two percent s ay the water sup ply in their part of the state is a big problem . Most say passage of an $11.1 billion water bond is very (42%) or somewhat (28%) important. — page 14  Reform ideas get strong support Strong majorities support the idea of requiring the legislature to practice pay-as-you -go budgeting (78%), develop a two -year spending plan (77 %), and forfeit pay and per -day allowance when the state budget is late (75%). — page 22 May 2010 Californians and Their Government 6 2010 ELECTION CONTEXT KEY FINDINGS  Californians’ mood of gloom continues: Majorities say the state is headed in the wrong direction, is in a serious recession, and can expect bad economic times ahead. Half name jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing the state. (page 7 )  The governor’s approval rating has reached a new low and legislative ratings remain near record lows. President Obama and Congress fare better, but the president has much higher ratings than does Congress. Senators Boxer and Feinstein both garner approval of half of Californians. (pages 8, 9 )  In the gubernatorial primary, Meg Whitman’s 50-point lead over Steve Poizner in March has dropped to 9 points today among Republican primary likely voters. In the Republican senate primary, Tom Campbell and Carly Fiorina remain deadlocked while Chuck DeVore has gained support. (page 10)  Proposition 14, which would change the primary election process, enjoys the support of six in 10 likely voters. (page 11)  In potential fall matchups in the governor’s race, Democrat Jerry Brown has a 5-point lead over Meg Whitman and leads Steve Poizner by 13 points. In the senate contest, Barbara Boxer leads Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina, and Chuck DeVore. (pages 12, 13 )  Looking ahead to November election issues, four in 10 Californians say it is very important that voters pass an $11.1 billion water bond. Californians are divided on whether marijuana should be legalized but strong majorities think it should be allowed for medical purposes. (pages 14, 15 ) 36 53 4134 23 26 37 26 21 16 0 20 40 60 80 May06 May 07 May 08 May 09 May 10 Percent all adults Governor Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 41 61 38 11 11 29 44 2531 0 20 40 60 80 January March May Percent likely voters Meg Whitman Steve Poizner Don't know Republican Gubernatorial Primary 16 24 25 27 23 23 88 16 48 44 36 0 20 40 60 80 January March May Percent likely voters Carly Fiorina Tom Campbell Chuck DeV or e Don't know Republican Senatorial Primary PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 7 OVERALL MOOD With a 12.6 percent unemployment rate in the state, California residents continue to cite jobs and the economy (53%) as the most important issue Californians face today. Far fewer mention the state budget (15%), education and schools (1 0%), immigration (9%), or healthcare (3%). Mention of t he state budget has increased 4 points since March, and is similar to last May ( 14%). Adults today are somewhat more likely to say immigration is the most important issue (3% March, 9% today), and the share citing education is similar to March (12% March, 10% today). The percentage naming jobs and economy has decreased 4 points since March (57%), and is similar to last May (54%). Jobs and the economy continue s to top the list of concerns across parties, regions, and demographic groups. “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” Top five issues mentioned All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Jobs, economy 53% 55% 42% 57% 51% State budget, deficit, taxes 15 13 24 15 19 Education, schools 10 13 7 9 8 Immigration, illegal immigration 9 5 14 6 9 Health care, health costs 3 4 1 4 3 Nine in 10 Californians say the state is in an economic recession , with 55 pe rcent calling it a serious recession, 28 percent calling it a moderate recession, and 7 percent a mild one; 9 percent say the state is not in a recession. Across parties, a majority of Republicans (62%) and Democrats (55%) call the recession serious, with fewer than half of independents (47%) holding this view. Whites (59%) are more likely than Latinos (47%) to say the state is in a serious recession. More than half across regions call the recession serious. Pessimism about the state’s economic future conti nues: two in three adults say bad financial times lie ahead over the next year. Across parties, Republicans (76%) are most likely to say bad times are ahead, followed by independents (65%) and Democrats (64%). Regionally, residents of the Central Valley (6 6%), Other Southern California region (66%), and Los Angeles (64%) hold similar views about bad economic times ahead, with San Francisco Bay Area residents slightly less pessimistic (59%). Whites (71%) are far more likely than Latinos (49%) to predict bad times . Those with annual household incomes under $40,000 are much less likely (55%) to have a negative outlook than those with incomes of $80,000 or more (74%). The expectation of bad times ahead increases as age and education rise . Asked about the direct ion of the state, adults reiterate negative views: 77 percent say it is heading in the wrong direction. At least two -thirds across party, region, and demographic groups hold this view. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that duri ng the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Good times 28% 24% 29% 29% 28% 22% Bad times 65 66 59 64 66 71 Don't know 7 10 12 7 6 7 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 8 GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE Accompanying Californians’ negative view of the state’s economic situation are low approval ratings for state leaders. Governor Schwarzenegger’s 23 -percent approval rating is a new record low , and his d isapproval score reaches a new record high (65 %). Approval for the governor last May was 11 points higher (34%). Democrats (73%) are the most likely to disapprove of the governor, and six in 10 in his own party disapprove (63%) . Sixty-two percent of independents disapprove. More than s ix in 10 across regions disapprove of the governor: Residents of Los Angeles (6 8%) are most likely to disapprove, and San Francisco Bay Area (61%) residents least likely. Latinos (74%) give the governor the highest disapproval rating across demographic groups ; 61 percent of whites disapprove. Seven in 10 who think the state is headed in the wrong direction or that bad economic times are ahead also disapprove of the governor. The state legislature fares even worse, wit h seven in 10 residents disapproving its job performance and only 16 percent approving, near the record low of 14 percent reached in March. Likely voters (80%) are even more negative about the legislature . An overwhelming percentage of Republicans (85%) di sapprove as do three in four Democrats (73%) and independents (74%) . At least seven in 10 across regions disapprove. Latinos (61%) are far less likely than whites (78%) to disapprove. Adults aged 18 –34 (59%) are far less likely to disapprove than those age d 55 and older (79%). Majorities across demographic groups disapprove of the legislature ’s job performance. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 23% 19% 26% 24% 24% Disapprove 65 73 63 62 66 Don't know 12 8 11 14 10 …t he California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 16 16 5 16 11 Disapprove 72 73 85 74 80 Don't know 12 11 10 10 9 Low approval ratings for state leaders are reflected in a general perception that the governor and legislature will not be able to work together and accomplish much this year. As the 2010- 2011 budget negotiations loom, a record low 19 percent say the two sides will accomplish a lot , and a record high 73 percent say they won’t . The perception that the governor and legislature will not work together has increased 8 points since January and 20 points since January 2009. M ore than six in 10 across political and de mographic groups do not believe they will be able to work together to accomplish a lot this year. “Do you think that Governor Schwarzenegger and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year, or not ?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes, will be able to work together 19% 16% 14% 18% 14% No, will not be able to work together 73 77 77 78 80 Don't know 8 7 9 4 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 9 FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Californians rate federal leaders much higher than t heir state leaders. A majority of Californians (59%) approve of President Obama ’s job performance, similar to March, but a 13 -point drop since May 2009. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Californians continue to approve of Obama more than do ad ults nationwide ( 50%). There are sharp partisan differences: E ight in 10 Democrats and six in 10 independents approve of the president, while three in four Republicans do not. Other Southern California residents (47%) are the least likely and Los Angeles r esidents (70%) the most likely to approve. Whites are divided in their assessments of Obama , but majorities across all other demographic groups approve. With Congressional elections coming in November, 31 percent of Californians approve of Congress’ job p erformance —far lower than Obama’s approval , but higher than adults nationwide (21%), according to the NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll. Congress’ ratings have increased since March ( 24%), but are down 16 points since last May. Eight in 10 Republicans and two i n three independents disapprove of Congress’ job performance, compared to 53 percent of Democrats. Forty -four percent of Latinos disapprove of Congress compared to 73 percent of whites . Approval decreases as age, education, and income rise. “O verall, do y ou approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 59% 81% 21% 62% 53% Disapprove 37 16 75 34 43 Don't know 4 3 4 4 4 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 31 38 12 28 26 Disapprove 61 53 81 67 68 Don't know 8 9 7 5 6 Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer , up for re -election this fall , has a 50- percent approval rating among California adults and likely voters, similar to January. Democrats (77 %) and independents (53%) approve of her job performance, while Republicans overwhelmingly do not (13 %). Liberals (73%), Latinos (60%), and women (53%) are more likely than conservatives (29%), whites (42%), and men (46%) to approve. Half of adults and likely voters approve of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is not up for re- election this fall. Seven in 10 Democrats approve compared to half of independents and 23 percent of Republicans. Approval of Feinstein varies widely across regions, with approval lowest in the Other Southern California region (40%), and highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) . “Overall, do you approv e or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. s enator Approve ? 50% 77% 13% 53% 50% Disapprove 38 14 79 39 44 Don't know 12 9 8 8 6 …Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. senator Approve ? 50 72 23 49 53 Disapprove 35 16 66 38 39 Don't know 15 12 11 13 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 10 JUNE PRIMARY With the June primar ies less than a month away, the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination has significantly tightened. Although Meg Whitman (38%) still leads Steve Poizner (29%) among Republican primary likely voters , there has been a stunning drop in her support since March. In January, Whitman led Poizner by 30 point s (41% to 11%) and in March by 50 point s (61% to 11%) . Today, three in 10 voters are undecided, up 6 points since March, but far lower than in January (44%). Republican primary likely voters include the 12 percent of independent (decline- to-state) voters who say they will vote a Republican ballot. Decline-to -state voters may also choose a Democratic or nonpartisan ballot. Whitman has seen a large drop in support among those who are not college graduates (down 29 points) and those with annual household incomes of $80,000 and above (down 28 points) . Her support has also dropped sharply among both men (61% March, 41% today) and women (61% March, 36% today). Across demographic groups, s upport for Whitman has fallen at least 17 points, while Poizner’s support has increased sharply. Despite this drop in support, however, a plurality across demographic groups would still vote for Whitman. “If the Republican primar y for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only All Likely Voters Household Income Gender Under $80,000 $80,000 or more Men Women Meg Whitman 38% 38% 39% 41% 36 % Steve Poizner 29 25 35 29 29 Someone else 2 2 2 3 1 Don’t know 31 35 24 27 34 The June Republican senatorial primary race remains close: Carly Fiorina (25%) and Tom Campbell (23%) are still in a dead heat, while Chuck De Vore’s support has doubled (8% March, 16% today). Thirty -six percent of Republican primary likely voters remain undecided. Fiorina (29%) and Campbell (25%) hold similar levels of support among men, with 29 percent undecided. Support for Fiorina (21%) and Campbell (20%) is similar among women , with 44 percent of women still undecided. Fewer than three in 10 across income groups support any candidate , with pluralities undecided. All three candidates also hold similar levels of support among those aged 18– 54 (22% Fiorina, 21% Campbell, 20% DeVore) . Primary voters 55 and older support Fiorina (29%) or Campbell (25%) far more than De Vore (10%), with 35 percent undecided. “If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only All Likely Voters Household Income Gender Under $80,000 $80,000 or more Men Women Carly Fiorina 25% 23% 27% 29% 21% Tom Campbell 23 23 23 25 20 Chuck DeVore 16 16 16 17 14 Someone else – – 1 – 1 Don’t know 36 38 33 29 44 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 11 PROPOSITION 14—CHANGE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS Proposition 14—a state constitutional amendment on the June ballot —would change the California primary election process to a top -two -vote -getter system. It would allow voters to choo se any candidate regardless of a candidate’s or voter’s political party . It would ensure that the two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary appear on the general election ballot, regardless of party. A strong majority of likely voters (60%) support t his change, with 27 percent saying they would vote no and 13 percent undecided; support has risen 4 points since March. Majorities across parties support Proposition 14, with independents the most likely to say they would vote yes . Moderates (69 %) a re much more likely than liberals (59 %) and conservatives ( 53%) to say they will vote yes ; support among conservatives is si milar to March, while support today is higher among liberals and moderates . “Proposition 14 is called ‘ Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections…’ If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14?” * Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 60% 27% 13% Party Democrats 61 26 13 Republicans 54 33 13 Independents 67 19 14 Ideology Liberals 59 27 14 Moderates 69 18 13 Conservatives 53 34 13 Age 18 –34 68 27 5 35–54 61 26 13 55 and older 55 27 18 *For complete text of proposition question, see p. 29. Eighty -one percent of likely voters say the issue of allowing voters to choose any candidate, regardless of party, is very (5 1%) or somewhat (30 %) important. More than half of independents (54%) say th is issue is very important —as do half of Republicans (49%) and Democrats (52%), and six in 10 Proposition 14 supp orters (62%). A solid majority of likely voters think either major (36%) or minor changes (35%) should be made to the primary system in California; 23 percent say it needs no changes. Independents (46%) are most likely to say major changes are needed, fol lowed by Democrats (35%) and Republicans (33%). Forty- two percent of moderates, 36 percent of conservatives , and 29 percent of liberals say major changes. A strong majority of likely voters who support Proposition 14 say major (45%) or minor (40%) changes are needed. “Do you think the primary system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is ?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Proposition 14 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Major changes 36% 35% 33% 46% 45% 18% Minor changes 35 38 31 37 40 30 Fine the way it is 23 23 28 14 11 47 Don’t know 6 4 8 3 4 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 12 NOVEMBER GUBERNATORIAL MATCHUPS In a potential November gubernatorial matchup, Democrat Jerry Brown has a narrow lead over Republican Meg Whit man among likely voters (42% to 37%), with one in five undecided. Whitman led Brown by a similar margin in March (39% Brown, 44% Whitman), but Brown led Whitman in January (Brown 41%, Whitman 36%) and December (43% Brown, 37% Whitman). Today, Democrats strongly support Brown (70%) and Republicans strongly support Whitman (69%), while independents are divided (38% Brown, 34% Whitman). Independents are more likely than Democrats or Republicans to be undecided (14% Democrats, 21 % Republicans, 28% independents) . Across regions, likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) are the most likely to support Brown, followed by voters in Los Angeles (48%). L ikely voters in the Other Southern California (47%) region are the most likely to support Whitman, followed by Central Valley voters (42% Whitman, 35% Brown). Latinos support Brown over Whitman by more than 2 to 1 (58% to 26%), while whites are more likely to support Whitman over Brown (43% to 38%). Among women, Brown is favored by 12 points —he was up by 3 point s in March —and although men are divided, they preferred Whitman by 15 points in March. Likely voters aged 18 to 34 favor Brown by a slight 5 points (42% to 37%), while voters aged 55 and older favor Brown by 8 points (44% to 36%). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, w ould you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 42% 70% 10% 38% 40% 45% Meg Whitman, the Republican 37 16 69 34 42 33 Don't know 21 14 21 28 18 22 Brown continues to lead Steve Poizner in a hypothetica l November matchup (45% to 32%) and held similar leads each of the last three times we asked this question. About one in four continue to be undecided. Brown enjoys the support of about three in four Democrats (74%), while Poizner has the support of about two in three Republicans (65%). Independents prefer Brown to Poizner (40% to 27%) and are more likely to be undecided (16% Democrats, 23% Republicans, 33% independents) . Brown leads among likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (65% to 17%) and in Los Angeles (49% to 26%), while likely voters in the Other Southern California region prefer Poizner (45% to 33% for Brown). Central Valley voter s are divided (38% Poizner , 34% Brown). Latinos overwhelmingly support Brown over Poizner (64% to 13%), while whites are divided (40% Brown, 39% Poizner). Brown enjoys a 20- point lead among women (47% to 27%), and men slightly prefer Brown (42% Brown, 37% Poizner). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 45% 74% 12% 40% 42% 47% Steve Poizner, the Republican 32 10 65 27 37 27 Don't know 23 16 23 33 21 26 Two in three likely voters say they are very (21%) or fairly closely (46%) following news about the candidates. This is similar to March, but much higher than in January. Attention today is similar to the 68 perce nt who were closely following news in May 2006, just before the June gubernatorial primary. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 13 NOVEMBER SENATORIAL MATCHUPS Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer leads any of the three potential Republican nominees in hypothetical November matchups for her senate seat . Boxer leads Tom Campbell (46% to 40%) , with 77 percent of Democrats support ing Boxer and 79 percent of Republicans support ing Campbell. Independents prefer Boxer over Campbell by 13 points (48% to 35%). While partisan support has held stea dy, support among independents has shifted since January (January: 42% Boxer, 37% Campbell; March: 32% Boxer, 48% Campbell; today: 48% Boxer, 35% Campbell). Today, Boxer is preferred by two in three Latinos and half of women, while Campbell is preferred among whites (48% to 40% for Boxer) and men are divided (44% Campbell, 42% Boxer). Boxer leads by 32 points in the San Francisco Bay Area and by 24 points in Los Angeles, while Campbell has a 16- point lead in the Other Southern California region and a 12 -poi nt lead in the Central Valley. “If these were the candidates in the No vember 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 46% 77% 8% 48% 42% 51% Tom Campbell, the Republican 40 14 79 35 44 37 Don't know 14 9 13 17 14 12 In another possible November matchup, Boxer leads Carly Fiorina (48% to 39%) . Partisans strongly support their part y’s candidate (82% of Democrats support Boxer, 78% of Republicans support Fiorina) . I ndependents have shifted back into Boxer’s corner after moving toward Fiorina in March (January: 48 % Boxer, 40% Fiorina; March: 35% Boxer, 41% Fiorina; Today: 44% Boxer, 33% Fiorina). Boxer leads in the San Francisco B ay Area (68%) and Los Angeles (58%) and among Latinos (67%) and women (53%). Fiorina leads in the Other Southern California region (52%) and the Central Valley (49%) and has a slight lead among whites (46% Fiorina to 41% Boxer). M en are divided (44% each) . “If these were the candidates in the No vember 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 48% 82% 9% 44% 44% 53% Carly Fiorina, the Republican 39 11 78 33 44 34 Don't know 13 7 13 23 12 13 Boxer continues to lead Chuck DeVore in a potential November matchup (50% to 39%), and enjoys the support of more than eight in 10 Democrats (84%) and just under half of independents (48%) ; eight in 10 Republicans support DeVore. Boxer leads among Latinos (71%) and women (55%), while DeVore has a slight lead among whites (47% DeVore, 42% Boxer). Men are divided (45% Boxer, 43% DeVore). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, w ould you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 50% 84% 9% 48% 45% 55% Chuck DeVore, the Republican 39 9 80 35 43 34 Don't know 11 7 11 17 12 11 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 14 NOVEMBER BALLOT ISSUES—WATER POLICY After experiencing several years of drought but above -average rainfall recently, four in 10 Californians say the water supply in their part of the state is a big problem , with 27 percent calling it somewhat of a problem and 29 percent not much of a problem. Despite the above -average rainfall of late, perceptions today are largely unchanged from December (44% big, 29% somewhat, 25% not much of a problem). Since December the perception that water supply is a big problem has dropped 4 points in the Central Valley (50% to 46%) and 5 points in Los Angeles (45% to 40%) . It is similar in the San Francisco Bay Area (32% to 31%) and Other Southern California region (47% to 46%). Across parties, the view that the water supply is a big problem is largely unchanged from December — 50 percent among Republicans (50% December), 46 percent among Democrats (48% December), and 40 percent among independents (41% December). Whites are much more likely than Latinos (47% to 37%) to say their region ’s water supply is a big problem. “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Big problem 42% 46% 31% 40% 46% 48% Somewhat of a problem 27 23 31 27 29 28 Not much of a problem 29 29 37 30 23 23 Don’t know 2 2 1 3 2 1 Last October the governor called a special session to address the state’s water crisis; the result was a legislative package that included a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure dedicated to water projects. Asked about the importance of passing the bond measure, four in 10 residents (42%) say it is very important (down from 47% in December) and 28 percent say it is somewhat important. D emocrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to consider passage of the water bond very important, but the shares in both parties have declined since December (52% to 4 7% Democrats; 37% to 26% Republicans) . Views among independents rose 4 points (from 36% to 40% today). Passing the water bond is considered more important in the Central Valley (47%, similar to December) and Los Angeles (46%, down 8 points) than in the San Francisco Bay Area (39%, down 8 points) and Other Southern Californi a region (38%, down 5 points). Just over half of those who call their area’s water supply a big problem say passing the bond is very important (54%). “The governor and legislature recently passed a water package that includes water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean-up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This package includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure ?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very important 42% 47% 26% 40% 38% Somewhat important 28 29 27 29 28 Not too important 9 7 15 9 10 Not at all important 11 6 20 14 14 Don’t know 10 11 12 8 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 15 NOVEMBER BALLOT ISSUES—MARIJUANA POLICY Another measure on the November ballot is one legalizing marijuana and allow ing it to be regulated and taxed. Forty -eight percent of adults and 49 percent of likely voters think marijuana should be made legal. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, Americans nationwide (41% legal, 52% illegal) are somewhat less likely to agree with Californians on this issue. Democrats (56%) and ind ependents (55%) are far more likely than Republicans (34%) to say marijuana should be legal. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (56%) are the most likely to say it should be legal , with residents in other regions either divided or opposed (Other Southern California region: 42% legal, 55% illegal ; Central Valley: 47% legal, 49% illegal ; Los Angeles: 49% legal, 50% illegal). Strong majorities of Latinos (62%) are against legalization, while majorities of whites (56%) think it should be legal. Men (54%) are much more likely than women (42%) to say marijuana should be made legal . Support for legalization decreases as age increases . “A November ballot initiative is titled, ‘C hanges California law to legalize marijuana and allow it to be regulated and taxed. ’ In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” Should be made legal Should not be made legal Don’t know All adults 48% 49% 3% Party Democrats 56 42 2 Republicans 34 62 4 Independents 55 43 2 Age 18–34 56 41 3 35–54 47 50 3 55 and older 42 54 4 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 37 62 1 Whites 56 40 4 Gender Men 54 43 3 Women 42 54 4 Likely voters 49 48 3 When asked about the use of marijuana for medical purposes (currently legal in California), three in fou r Californians —including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents —think it should be allowed. More than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups think that adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. Results were somewhat similar when we asked this question in September 2005 , when 71 percent supported medical use of marijuana. In a similar question from Pew, 73 percent of adults nationwide favor allowing marijuana use for medical purposes. “Regardless of what you think about the personal non- medical uses of marijuana, do you think adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctors prescrib e it or do you think that marijuana should be illegal even for medical purposes? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Should be allowed for medical purposes 76% 82% 68% 80% 77% Should be illegal even for medical purposes 22 16 28 19 20 Don't know 2 2 4 1 3 May 2010 Californians and Their Government 16 CALIFORNIA STATE BUDGET KEY FINDINGS  A record high percentage of Californians view the state budget situation as a big problem. Californians are divided about using spending cuts alone to deal with the deficit (39%) or using a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (42%).  Californians prefer state budget decisions to be made by the Democrats in the legislature (35%), followed by the Republicans in the legislature (25 %). A record low 11 percent prefer Governor Schwarzenegger’s approach. Most Californians continue to say they most want to protect K –12 public education from spending cuts . ( page 17)  Most Californians would pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for K–12 public education. Just over half would do so for higher education and for health and human services. At least half of likely voters favor raising tax es on the wealthy and corporations, although support for these new revenue options has declined. M ost likely voters oppose extending the state sales tax or increasing the vehicle license fee. ( page 18)  Californians are divided (46% satisfied, 43% dissatisfied) about the g overnor ’s budget proposal, which was released May 14. Forty percent are very concerned about the ef fects of the spending reductions in his plan . Voters are divided along party lines about whether the proposal should include tax increases. ( page s 19, 20 )  Half of likely voters say it is a good idea to lower the supermajority vote threshold to a simple majority to pass a state budget and to keep the two-thirds vote to pass state taxes; several other fiscal reforms enjoy stronger support. ( page 21) ( page 23) 5140 9 Good idea Bad idea Don't know Fiscal Reforms Likely voters Simple Majority Vote for State Budget, 2/3 Vote for State Taxes Simple Majority Vote for Both State Budget and State Taxes 44 50 6 58 44 67 74 81 0 20 40 60 80 100 May06May07May08May09May10 Percent all adults Budget Situation in California Percent calling it a "big problem" 6059625851 0 20 40 60 80 100 May05May07May08Jan09May10 Percent likely voters Raising the State Taxes Paid by Corporations Percent saying "favor" PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 17 APPROACHING THE STATE BUDGET GAP In the midst of a continued economic downturn and with the state facing a $19 billion budget deficit, how do Californians perceive the state budget situation? A record high 81 percent of Californians say the state budget situation is a big pro blem, and another 15 percent say it is somewhat of a problem. The current percentage calling the budget a big problem is similar to that in March (77%) . At least seven in 10 Californians have called the state budget situation a big problem since August 2008. Today, likely voters are even more negative , with nearly nine in 10 calling the budget situation a big problem. Republicans (90%), Democrats (84%), and independents (8 3%) all agree that the state budget situation is a big problem. More than three in four across regions say that the budget situation is a big problem, as do two in three Latinos (6 7%), nearly nine in 10 whites (88 %), and eight in 10 men and women (81% each ). At least seven in 10 across age, education, and income groups say the situation is a big problem. “D o 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 81% 84% 90% 83% 88% Somewhat of a problem 15 13 8 16 11 Not a problem 1 2 – – 1 Don’t know 3 1 2 1 – Nearly all Californians call the budget situation a big problem —so how would they like to deal with it ? Four in 10 Californians prefer handling the state’s budget gap through a mix of spendi ng cuts and tax increases (42%) . Similarly, four in 10 prefer closing the budget gap mostly through spending cuts (39 %). Far fewer say mostly through tax increases (7%) or that it is ok ay to borrow money and run a deficit (6%). These findings are similar to those in March (38% mix, 39% cuts). About half of Democrats (52%) prefer a mix, about six in 10 Republicans (63%) prefer spending cuts , and independents are divided between spending cuts (42%) and a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (44%). Across regions, residents i n the San Francisco Bay Area (48 %) and Los Angeles (43% ) are more likely to prefer a mix, while residents in the Central Valley (4 5%) and the Other Southern California r egion (45% ) are more likely to prefer spending cuts. Latinos ( 39% mix, 36% cuts) and whites (43% mix, 43% cuts) are both divided between the two approaches, but Latinos are more likely than whites to say it is okay to borrow money and run a deficit (12% t o 2%). “How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget de ficit?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Mix of spending cuts and tax increases 42% 52% 27% 44% 42% Mostly spending cuts 39 26 63 42 41 Mostly tax increases 7 9 2 6 8 Okay to borrow money and run a deficit 6 7 2 3 3 Other 2 1 3 2 3 Don’t know 4 5 3 3 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 18 APPROACHING THE STATE BUDGET GAP When it comes to making tough budget decisions, about one in three Californians prefer the approach of the Democrats in the state legislature, while about one in four prefer the approach of the legislative Republicans. A record low— 11 percent—prefer Governor Schwarzenegger’s approach. In January 2004, just after Governor Schwarzenegger took office, a plurality of Californians (33%) preferred his approach. Since then, pluralities (although never more than 39 percent) have chosen legislative Democrats as the group they prefer to make tough budget choices. Today, likely voters slightly prefer legislative Democrats. (CONTINUED) Most Democrats prefer legislators from their own party to make budget decisions , and most R epublicans prefer legislators from their party. Th ere is less consensus among independents, but a plurality prefer legislative Democrats (31%) on this issue. San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles residents prefer the approach of legislat ive Democrats, Other Southern California residents prefer that of legislative Republicans, and Central Valley residents are divided between the two. Among those who disapprove of the legislature, six in 10 would still choose legislators (Democratic or Republican) over the governor to make tough budget decisions. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer— Governor Schwarzenegger’s , the Democrats’ in the legislature, or the Republicans’ in the legislature?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Democrats’ in the legislature 35% 60% 6% 31% 34% Republicans’ in the legislature 25 8 56 24 29 Governor Schwarzenegger’s 11 9 11 13 9 Other 1 1 1 3 2 None (volunteered) 10 8 9 12 11 Don't know 18 14 17 17 15 Majorities of Californians, likely voters, Democrats, Republicans, and independents say that of the four major areas of state spending, they would most like to protect K –12 public education from spending cuts . Fewer than 20 percent of Californians name higher education or health and human services, and just 7 percent choose prisons and corrections. Since we first ask ed this question in June 2003, majorities of Californians have chosen K –12 education as the area they would most like to protect. At least half across regions and demographic groups select K –12 education, and the percentage naming this spending area rises as education and income levels increase . “Some of the largest areas for sta te spending are….Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I'd like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind K–12 public education 56% 57% 55% 64% 57% Higher education 17 20 15 18 18 Health and human services 17 19 11 8 13 Prisons and corrections 7 3 13 8 8 Don't know 3 1 6 2 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 19 WILLINGNESS TO INCREASE TAXES Californians not only prefer to spare K –12 public education from spending cuts but , of the four top spending area s, they are also the most willing (69 %) to consider paying higher taxes to maintain current funding for K–12 education. By comparison, j ust over half would do so to maintain current funding levels for higher education (54%) or health and human services (54 %). A strong majority (79%) would not pay higher taxes to maintain funding for prisons and corrections. At least two in three Californians expressed willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain K–12 education in June 2003 (67%) , January 2004 (67%), January 2008 (67%), and January 2010 (66%). Willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain higher education or health and human services is about the same today as it was in January 2008 and January 2010. Opposition to increased taxes to maintain prisons was even higher this past January (87%), and has declined 8 points since then. “Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. For each of the following, please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not . What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for… ? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not?” K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Yes 69% 54% 54% 18% No 29 43 43 79 Don’t know 2 3 3 3 At least half of likely voters, voters across parties, and Californians across age, racial/ethnic, gender, and regional groups would be willing to pay higher taxes to maintain K –12 funding, with Democrats, younger Californians, women, and Latinos among the most likely to say this. Of those who say they most want to protect K –12 from cuts, 79 percent would pay more taxes to maintain current funding levels. There is less agreement on other budget areas . H alf of likely voters would pay higher taxes to maintain higher education funding . Most Democrats and independents would consider paying higher taxes for this purpose, but most Republicans would not. Latinos are far more likely than whites to express support for higher education . For health and human services, half of likely voters would pay more taxes. Across parties, a strong majority of Democrats would pay higher taxes for this budget area, a strong majority of Republicans would not , and independents are evenly divided. Fewer than one in four in any political, regional, or demographic group would pay more taxes to maintain prison funding. Percent saying yes K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections All adults 69% 54% 54% 18% Party Democrats 79 64 69 20 Republicans 51 32 25 15 Independents 67 54 48 14 Age 18–34 85 68 64 22 35–54 67 52 54 16 55 and older 56 43 43 16 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 81 71 72 17 Whites 63 44 44 17 Gender Men 65 52 51 16 Women 74 56 56 20 Likely voters 64 50 49 17 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 20 NEW REVENUE SOURCES The governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year does not include new tax es. Still, Californians would consider some other ways to raise revenues: 67 percent favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians and 58 percent would favor raising state taxes paid by California corporations. Since we first asked this question in January 2004, strong majorities have expressed support for the idea of raising taxes on California’s wealthiest residents. Tod ay, six in 10 likely voters express support , which has declined somewhat over time (69% January 2004 to 62% today) . Strong majorities of Democrats and independents favor this idea, while a majority of Republicans oppose it. Majorities in all regions and demographic groups favor this idea, but support declines as income rises . About six in 10 adults and likely voters supported raising corporate taxes in May 2005, 200 7, and 2008. Today, 58 percent of all adults and 51 percent of likely voters favor this idea. Most Democrats (73%) are in favor and most Republicans (66%) are opposed . Independents are more likely to favor (55 %) than oppose (41%) raising cor porate taxes. Support declines as age, education , and income rise. It is hig hest i n the San Francisco Bay Area (68%) and lowest in the Other Southern California region (4 8%). “Tax and fee increases could be used to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. How about… ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? Favor 67% 80% 39% 69% 62% Oppose 30 17 58 28 36 Don't know 3 3 3 3 2 …raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? Favor 58 73 30 55 51 Oppose 39 23 66 41 45 Don't know 3 4 4 4 4 Californians are much less likely to support extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed (35%) or increasing the vehicle license fee (28 %). Among likely voters, 35 percent favor extending the state sales tax, similar to previous findings that included specific areas for extending the sales tax , while 32 percent favor increasing the vehicle license fee, down 10 points since May 2008. Republicans (68%) are more likely than independents (56 %) and Democrats (48 %) to oppose extending the state sales tax, while more than six in 10 across parties oppose increasing the vehicle license fee . Majorities of Californians across regional and demographic groups oppose both ideas, but upper -income residents and college graduates are less opposed than others to increasing the vehicle license fee. All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? Favor 35% 44% 26% 37% 35% Oppose 58 48 68 56 58 Don't know 7 8 6 7 7 …increasing the vehicle license fee? Favor 28 36 20 30 32 Oppose 69 62 76 67 66 Don't know 3 2 4 3 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 21 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL On Friday May 14, Governor Schwarzenegger released his May budget revision for the next fiscal year. Starting on May 14, we ask ed 829 survey respondents three questions about his proposal , including a brief description of the proposal and attitudes towards spending cuts and tax increases . To deal with the state’s sizable budget deficit, the governor has proposed spending cuts in his budget plan. The plan does not include any tax increases. Californians are divided (46% yes, 49% no) about whether tax increases should be included in the plan ; 56 percent opposed tax increases in the plan in January. Today, half of likely voters (51%) say taxes should not be included in the plan; 55 percent opposed tax increases in January. M ost Democrats (56%) and independents (57%) say taxes should be included and most Republicans (71%) say they should not. Men (47% yes, 50% no) and women (45% yes, 48% no) are similarly divided on including tax increases. Support declines as age increases. “Do you think that tax increases should be included in the governor’s budget plan?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 46% 56% 26% 57% 46% No 49 40 71 36 51 Don’t know 5 4 3 7 3 Eight in 10 Californians are concerned about the effects of spending reductions in the governor’s budget plan, with 40 percent saying they are very concerned. Concern has increased slightly since January (34% very, 39% somewhat concerned). Across parties, more than two in three are at least somewhat concerned, but Democrats are more likely than independents and Republicans to be very concerned. About four in 10 Latinos, whites, men, and women are very concerned. The percentage who are very concerned decline s somewhat as income increases . “Overall, how concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor’s budget plan?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very concerned 40% 48% 31% 42% 41% Somewhat concerned 40 40 37 44 38 Not too concerned 9 7 14 9 10 Not at all concerned 8 3 14 4 9 Don't know 3 2 4 1 2 After being read a brief description of the governor’s budget proposal ( see question 37 on p. 31), 46 percent of Californians and 47 percent of likely voters say they are satisfied with the plan, while about four in 10 in each group are dissatisfied (43% adults, 40% likely voters). After the release of the original budget proposal in January, 55 percent of Californians and 56 percent of likely voters were satisfied. Today , a majority of Republicans (55%) are satisfied, 53 percent of Democrats are dissatisfied, and independents are more satisfied (47%) than dissatisfied (45%). Forty- six percent of Latinos and 47 percent of whites express satisfaction , and younger residents are much more likely to be satisfied (53%) than those age 35 and older (42%). PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 22 FISCAL AND GOVERNANCE REFORMS In March, Assembly Speaker John Pérez and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced that the legislature was considering a package of reform principles developed by California Forward, a nonpartisan group working to improve government. Legislative leaders recently held public forums around the state to gather input. In our survey, Californians were asked about eight fiscal and governance ref orm ideas, some of which are part of the package, and with others having been considered in the past. More than three in four Californians say it is a good idea to adopt pay-as-you-go budgeting, requiring that any new programs, expanded programs, or tax reductions identify a specific funding source. A similarly high percentage believe it is a good idea for the governor and state legislature to develop a two-year spending plan along with a five-year fiscal forecast before appr oving the annual state budget. Three in four believe it is a good idea to require legislators to forfeit their pay and per-day allowance when the state budget is late. Three in four Californians also say it is a good idea to increase the size of the state’s rainy day fund and to require that above-average revenues be deposited into this fund for use during economic downturns. “Fiscal and governance reforms have been proposed to address the stru ctural issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whethe r you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. How about…?”* Pay-as-you-go budgeting Two-year spending plan Legislators forfeit pay when budget is late Increase size of state’s rainy day fund Good idea 78% 77% 75% 74% Bad idea 14 16 19 18 Don’t know 8 7 6 8 *For complete text of questions, see p. 32. Among likely voters, more than eight in 10 say it is a good idea to require pay-as-you-go budgeting and a two-year spending plan; similar numbers also say that legislators should forfeit pay when the budget is late. Seventy-six percent of likely voters favor increasing the size of the rainy day fund. More than s even in 10 voters across parties and solid majorities across demographic groups favor each of these ideas. The percentage saying it is a good idea to require legislators to forfeit their pay when the budget is late rises as age increases. Latinos are much less likely than whites to say it is a good idea to require a two-year spending plan or to require legislators to forfeit pay when the budget is late. Percent saying good idea Pay-as-you-go budgeting Two-year spending plan Legislators forfeit pay when budget is late Increase size of state’s rainy day fund All adults 78% 77% 75% 74% Party Democrats 77 76 76 74 Republicans 84 83 84 71 Independents 84 79 80 79 Age 18–34 76 72 67 74 35–54 80 78 78 77 55 and older 79 80 82 71 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 75 68 59 76 Whites 81 81 84 74 Gender Men 78 77 77 77 Women 79 77 74 71 Likely voters 83 82 83 76 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 23 FISCAL AND GOVERNANCE REFORMS (CONTINUED) Another proposal , not currently under discussion, would strictly limit the amount of money that state spending could increase each year ; seven in 10 Californians believe this is a good idea. A proposal that is currently under consideration would rais e the vote requirement to pass any new fees that replace tax revenue from a simple majority to a two -thirds vote; 56 percent say this is a good idea. Legislators are also considering a proposal to lower the vote requirement to pass a state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority vote, while keeping the two- thirds vote for passing state taxes; 51 percent of Californians say this is a good idea. By comparison, when asked about lowering the vote threshold required to pass both the state budget and state taxes from two- thirds to a simple majority , Californians are slightly less supportive (4 7% good idea, 45 % bad idea) ; this proposal is not currently under discussion by legislators. “Fiscal and governance reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. How about…?”* Strictly limit annual spending increase 2/3 vote for fees that replace tax revenue Simple majority for budget, 2/3 for taxes Simple majority for budget and taxes Good idea 71% 56% 51% 47% Bad idea 23 34 38 45 Don’t know 6 10 11 8 *For complete text of questions, see p. 32 . Seventy-two percent of likely voters and majorities across parties and demographic groups think it is a good idea to strictly limit the amount that state spending could increase each year; Republicans and independents are much more likely than Democrats, and whites more likely than Latinos, to hold this view. Raising the vote requirement to pass new fees that replace tax revenue is considered a good idea by majorities of likely voters (57 %), Republicans (64 %), and independents (62 %), but not Democrats (47%) . What about relaxing the vote requirement to pass a state budget ? Half of likely voters (51%) think it is a good idea to lower the vote for the budget and keep the two- thirds vote for taxes. Fewer (44%) support the idea of lowering the vote required to pass both the budget and taxes . Nearly six in 10 Democrats and half of independents favor both ideas. Republicans are more likely to favor relaxing the rule for the budget (41 %) t han for budget and taxes (28 %). Percent saying good idea Strictly limit annual spending increase 2/3 vote for fees that replace tax revenue Simple majority for budget, 2/3 for taxes Simple majority for budget and taxes All adults 71% 56% 51% 47% Party Democrats 65 47 59 57 Republicans 77 64 41 28 Independents 79 62 51 50 Age 18–34 73 52 50 49 35–54 73 59 52 49 55 and older 65 56 49 42 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 66 57 54 56 Whites 71 54 49 42 Gender Men 69 60 52 47 Women 72 53 49 47 Likely voters 72 57 51 44 May 2010 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP May 2010 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Sonja Petek and Nicole Willcoxon. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts; however , the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a surv ey of 2,003 California adult residents, reached on landline telephones and cell phones . Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days between May 9 and 16 , 2010. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. A total of 201 cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the su rvey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta De Fever. Abt SRBI Inc. conducted the telephone interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demo- graphic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005 –2007 American Community Survey for Californ ia, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,00 3 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1, 598 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 1, 168 likely voters, it is ±3 percent; for the 411 Republican primary likely voters, who were asked questions about Republican primar y candidates , it is ±5 percent ; for the 829 adults interviewed after the governor released his budget proposal May 14, it is ±3.5 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. PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 26 We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered vo ters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. Sample sizes for African Americans and Asian Americans are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (those who are registered as “decline to state ”). We also include the responses of “likely voters” —those who are most likely to vote in the state’s elections based on their responses to survey questions on past voting, current interest in politics, and voting intentions. We compa re current PPIC Statew ide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by NBC News/ Wall Street Journal and by the Pew Research Center. May 2010 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT May 9–16, 2010 2,003 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole , what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today ? [code, don’t read] 53% jobs, economy 15 state budget, deficit, taxes 10 education, schools 9 immigration, illegal immigration 3 health care, health costs 8 other 2 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as g overnor of California? 23% approve 65 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is h andling its job? 16% approve 72 disapprove 12 don’t know 4. Do you think that Governor Schwarzenegger and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year, or not ? 19% yes, will be able to work together 73 no, will not be able to work together 8 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 18% right direction 77 wrong direction 5 don’t know 6. Turning to economic conditions i n California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 28% good times 65 bad times 7 don’t know 7. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? ( if yes : Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 55% yes, serious recession 28 yes, moderate recession 7 yes, mild recession 9 no 1 don’t know 8. Next, some people are registered to vote and other s are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are regi stered to vote in California? 80% yes [ask q 8a] 19 no [skip to q 9b] 1 don’t know [skip to q9b] PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 28 8a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q9] 31 Republican [skip to q9 a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q1 1] 22 independent [skip to q9b] 9 . Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 45 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q 11] 9a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 50% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q 10] 9b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 23% Republican Party 43 Democratic Party 26 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know [res ponses recorded for questions 9 c to 20 are for likely voters ] [if q8a=independent, ask q9 c, if q8a=Republican, skip to q10 , otherwise skip to q21] 9 c. California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 8th. All three ballots include state proposition measures. Do you plan to vote in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary , or on the nonpartisan ballot? 12% Repub lican primary [ask q1 0] 20 Democratic primary [skip to q1 1] 51 nonpartisan ballot [skip to q11] 17 don’t know [skip to q11] 10. If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 38% Meg Whitman, businesswoman 29 Steve Poizner, businessman 2 someone else (specify) 31 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor’s election…. [rotate questions 1 1 and 12] 11. Would you vote for…[rotate names] 45% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, attorney g eneral of California 32 Steve Poizn er, the Republican, businessman 23 don’t know 12 . Would you vote for… [rotate names] 42% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, attorney g eneral of Calif ornia 37 Meg Whitman, the Republican, businesswoman 21 don’t know 13. H ow closely are you following news about candidates for the 2010 governor’s election? 21% very closely 46 fairly closely 27 not too closely 6 not at all closely [if q 8a=Republican or q9c=Republican primary, ask q 14, other wise skip to q 15] 14. If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else ”] 25% Carly Fiorina, business executive 23 Tom Campbell, economist/ business educator 16 Chuck DeVore, assemblyman/ military reservist 36 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election… PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 29 [ rotate questions 15 to 17] 15 . Would you vote for…[rotate names] 46% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U nited States senator 40 Tom Campbell, the Republican, economist/business educator 14 don’t know 16 . Would you vote for… [rotate names] 50% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, United States s enator 39 Chuck DeVo re, the Republican, a ssemblyman/military reservist 11 don’t know 17 . Would you vote for… [rotate names] 48% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, United States s enator 39 Carly Fiorina, the Republican, business executive 13 don’t know 18. Changing topics, Proposition 14 is called “Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections.” It changes the primary election process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races, allows all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference, and ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot r egardless of party preference. Fiscal Impact includes no significant net change in sta te and local government costs to administer elections. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14? 60% yes 27 no 13 don’t know 19 . How important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of par ty, in California’s primaries? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 51% very important 30 somewhat important 10 not too important 7 not at all important 2 don’t know 20. Do you think the primary system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes , or is it fine the way it is? 36% major changes 35 minor changes 23 fine the way it is 6 don’t know 21. Next, 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 Cal ifornia? 42% big problem 27 somewhat of a problem 29 not much of a problem 2 don’t know 22. The governor and legislature passed a water package that includes water conservation requirem ents and plans for new water storage systems, water clean- up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta. This package includes an $ 11.1 billion bond measure on the November ballot to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure? 42% very important 28 somewhat important 9 not too important 11 not at all important 10 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 30 [ rotate questions 23 and 24 ] 23. A November ballot initiative is titled, “C hanges California L aw to Legalize M arijuana and A llow It to Be Regulated and T axed.” In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not? 48% yes, legal 49 no, illegal 3 don’t know 24. Regardless of what you think about the personal non -medical uses of marijuana, do you think adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctors prescribe it or do you think that marijuana should be illegal even for medical purposes? 76% should be allowed for medical purposes 22 should be illegal even for medical purposes 2 don’t know 25. On another topic, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 81% big problem 15 somewhat of a problem 1 not a problem 3 don’t know 26. As you may know, the state government currently has an annual budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion -dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap —mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 39% mostly through spending cuts 7 mostly through tax increases 42 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 6 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 2 other answer (specify ) 4 don’t know 27. When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer : [rotate ] (1) Governor Schwarzenegger’s, (2) the Democrats’ in the legislature, [or] (3) the Republicans’ in the legislature? 35% Democrats’ approach 25 Republicans’ approach 11 Governor Schwarzenegger’s 1 other answer ( specify) 10 none (volunteered) 18 don’t know 28. Some of the largest areas for state spending are: [ rotate] (1 ) K –12 public education, ( 2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [ and] (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. 56% K– 12 public education 17 higher education 17 health and human services 7 prisons and corrections 3 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 31 Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. For each of the following, please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not. [rotate questions 29 to 32] 29. What if the state said it needed more money just to ma intain current funding for K –12 public education? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 69% yes 29 no 2 don’t know 30. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current fu nding for higher education? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 54% yes 43 no 3 don’t know 31. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for health and human services? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 54% yes 43 no 3 don’t know 32. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for prisons and corrections? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 18% yes 79 no 3 don’t know T ax and fee increases could be used to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 33 to 36] 33. How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 58% favor 39 oppose 3 don’t know 34. How about raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 67% favor 30 oppose 3 don’t know 35. How about increasing the ve hicle license fee? 28% favor 69 oppose 3 don’t know 36. How about extending the state sales tax to service s that are not currently taxed? 35% favor 58 oppose 7 don’t know [questions 37 to 37b asked starting May 14] 37. Recently, Governor Schwarzenegg er proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year to close the state’s $19 billion budget deficit. It includes spending cuts in health and human services, including the elimination of CalWORKS, the state’s welfare -to -work program. It includes spending reductions in prisons and corrections and state employee compensation. It claims to have no spending cuts in K –12 education and increases spending on higher education. The plan includes no new taxes. In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the g overnor’s budget plan? 46% satisfied 43 dissatisfied 3 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 32 [ rotate questions 37a and 37b] 37a.Do you think that tax increases should be included in the governor’s budget plan? 46% yes 49 no 5 don’t know 37b. Overall, how concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor’s budget plan? 40% very concerned 40 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 8 not at all concerned 3 don’t know Fiscal and governance reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. [rotate questions 38 to 43, keeping 40 and 40a as a rotated block ] 38. How about requiring the governor and legislature to have a two -year spending plan along with a five- year fiscal forecast before approving the annual state budget? 77% good idea 16 bad idea 7 don’t know 39. How about requiring that any major new programs, expanded programs, or tax reductions identify a specific funding source? 78% good idea 14 bad idea 8 don’t know 4 0. How about lowering the vote requirement to pass a state budget from a two -thirds vote to a simple majority or 50 -percent -plus -one vote while keeping the two -thirds vote requirement for passing state taxes? 51% good idea 38 bad idea 11 don’t know 40a. How about lowering the vote requirement to pass a state budget and state taxes from a two -thirds vote to a simple majority or 50- percent -plus -one vote? 47% good idea 45 bad idea 8 don’t know 40b. How about raising the vote requirement to pass any new fees that replace tax revenue from a simple majority or 50- percent-plus - one vote to a two -thirds vote? 56% good idea 34 bad idea 10 don’t know 41. How about requiring that the members of the state legislature forfeit their pay and per - day allowance when the state budget is late? 75% good idea 19 bad idea 6 don’t know 42. How about increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund and requiring above -average revenues to be deposited into it for use during economic downturns? 74% good idea 18 bad idea 8 don’t know 43. How about strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 71% good idea 23 bad idea 6 do n’t know 44. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 59% approve 37 disapprove 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 33 [ rotate questions 45 and 46] 45. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein 50% approve is handling her job as U.S. s enator? 35 disapprove 15 don’t know 46. 50% approve Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. s enator? 38 disapprove 12 don’t know 47. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 31% approve 61 disapprove 8 don’t know 48. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 8% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 32 middle -of -the -road 24 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 49 . Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 24% great deal 41 fair amount 29 only a little 6 none [d1 to d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Donna Lucas La Opinión Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Raymond L. Watson Orange County Register Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 107 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 22 8,000 Californians . This sur vey is the 41st in the Californians and Their Govern ment series, which is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation. This sur vey seeks to rais e public awareness, inform decisionmakers about public opinions, and stimulate public discussion and debate about impor tant state and national issues. This sur vey was conducted in the weeks prior to the June primar y and as the 2010 election season gets in to full swing ; as the weak economy and high unemployment continue to weigh on the minds of Californians; and as more grim news a bout the state’s budget deficit —that revenues will not meet projections in the May budget revision— is released. The national backdrop includes P resident Obama and Congress debating Wall Street reform and consider ing whether to address comprehensive immigration reform and new climate change policies this year. This sur vey presents the responses of 2,003 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish and reached by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  The 2010 elections, including Republican primar y likely voter preferences for gubernatorial and senate candidates; likely voters’ preferences regarding Proposition 14 on the June ballot and potential match- ups in the gubernatorial and senate general elections; and attention to news about gubernatorial candidates. We also examine perceptions and preferences regarding t wo issues —mariju ana and water policy —that will be on the November ballot. The sur vey looks at residents’ overall mood and outlook for California, and approval rati ngs of state and federal elected officials.  The 2010– 11 California budget, including perceptions of the seriousness of the multibillion- dollar budget deficit and preferred methods for dealing with it ; satisfaction with the governor’s budget proposal ; and concerns about spending cuts and whether tax increases should have been included in that proposal. The sur vey also examines Californians’ willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain funding for major state programs; perceptions about potential new revenue sources; and suppor t for fiscal reforms being discussed in the legislature.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians —based on their political par ty affiliation, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics —may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2010 elections and state budget issues. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp . May 2010 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday , May 19, 2010. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Stunning Drop in Whitman’s Support Transforms GOP Race for Governor FIORINA, CAMPBELL IN DEAD HEAT WHILE DEVO RE’S SUPPORT DOUBLES SAN FRANCISCO, May 19 , 2010 —Support for Meg Whitman has plummeted 2 3 points since March, and she is now in a far close r race wit h Steve Poizner to become the Republican nominee for governor. These are among the results of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with support from The James Irvine Foundation. Less than a month before the June primary, Whitman leads Poizner 38 percent to 29 percent among Californians likely to vote in the Republican primary. A third of likely voters (31%) are undecided. In January, Whitman led Poizner by 30 points (41% Whitman, 11% Poizner, 44% undecided) and in March, by 50 points (61% Whitman , 11% Poizner, 25% undecided). Whitman ’s support has dropped at least 17 points across all demographic groups, with the sharpest declines among those who are not college graduates (29 points) and those whose annual household incomes are at least $80,000 ( 28 points). Support for Poizner has increased sharply across demographic groups, but a plurality in each group would still vote for Whitman. The Republican s enate primary race is also close, with Carly Fiorina (25%) and Tom Campbell (23%) deadlocked , as they were in March (24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell) , and support doubling for Chuck DeVore (16% today, 8% March) among GOP likely voters. Thirty -six percent are undecided. Fiorina and Campbell have similar levels of support among men (29% Fiorina, 25% Campbell, 17% Devore), with 2 9 percent undecided. Support for the two candidates is also similar among women (21% Fiorina, 20% Campbell, 14% DeVore), but 44 percent of women are still undecided. “This election is very much in flux,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO . “Voters are alienated . Republicans are struggling to figure out what to do about it and what their party stands for. The Democrats —with their candidates unchallenged —aren’t going through this soul search ing.” 60 PERCENT FAVOR PROPOSITION 14 In contrast to the closely contested candidate races, there is strong majority support for one ballot issue: primary reform. Proposition 14 would change the primary process so that the top two vote- getters— regardless of party —would advance to the general e lection. Among likely voters, 60 percent support Proposition 14, 27 percent oppose it, and 13 percent are undecided. Support is up 4 points from March. Likely voters were asked whether it is important to them that voters be able to choose any candidate, r egardless of party . A large majority (81%) say it is very important (51%) or somewhat important (30%). PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 4 A solid majority of likely voters also think either major changes (36%) or minor ones (35%) should be made to the primary system, with 23 percent saying the system is fine as it is. NOVEMBER MATCHUPS: BROWN EDGES AHEAD OF WHITMAN, STILL LEADS POIZNER Looking ahead to a potential matchup in the general election, Democrat Jerry Brown has a slim lead over Republican Whitman among likely voters (42% to 37%), with 21 percent undecided. Whitman led Brown by a similar margin in March (44% Whitman, 39% Brown), while Brown was ahead in January (41% Brown, 36% Whitman). Strong majorities of Democrats support Brown (70%) and Republicans support Whitman (69%), with in dependents split (38% Brown, 34% Whitman , 28% undecided). Brown leads in a matchup with Poizner (45% to 32 %), with 23 percent undecided. Brown led by similar margins the last three times PPIC asked this question. Brown has strong support among Democrats ( 74%) and Poizner has strong support among Republicans (65%). Independents prefer Brown (40% to 27%), although a third (33%) are undecided. BOXER REGAINS LEAD IN MATCHUPS WITH FIORINA, CAMPBELL Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer leads each of the potential Republican senate nominees in hypothetical matchups. She is ahead of Campbell 46 percent to 40 percent. Both Boxer and Campbell maintain strong partisan support: 77 percent of Democratic likely voters prefer Boxer and 79 percent of Republicans support Campbell. But independents’ preferences have shifted (January: 42% Boxer, 37% Campbell; March: 32% Boxer, 48% Campbell) . Today they prefer Boxer by 13 points (48% to 35%). Boxer leads Fiorina 48 percent to 39 percent. Partisans continue to strongly pr efer their party’s candidate (82% of Democrats support Boxer, 78% of Republicans support Fiorina), while independents have shifted back into Boxer’s corner (44% Boxer, 33% Fiorina) ; they preferred Fiorina in March (January: 4 8% Boxer, 40 % Fiorina; March: 35% Boxer, 41% Fiorina). In results that have been similar since January, Boxer leads DeVore (50% to 39%) in a November matchup and has the support of just under half of independents (48 %). How do likely voters feel about the way Boxer is handling her job? Half (50%) approve, similar to January. Democrats (77%) and independents (53%) approve, while Republicans overwhelmingly disapprove (79%). Boxer’s approval rating is similar to that of Senator Dianne Feinstein (53%), who is not up for re -election. LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? CALIFORNIANS ARE DIVIDED Voters will also make the choice in November of whether to legalize marijuana and allow it to be regulated and taxed. They are divided about legalization, with 49 percent of likely voters in favor of this change in the law and 48 percent opposed. Results among all adults were similar: 48 percent favor legalization, and 49 percent are opposed. There are stark differences across political and demographic groups:  Majorities of Democrats (56%) and independents (5 5%) favor le galization. Thirty -four percent of Republicans are in favor.  Most San Francisco Bay Area residents (56%) are in favor. Residents in other regions are either divided or opposed.  Most Latinos (62%) oppose legalization. A majority of whites (56%) are in favor.  Men (54%) are more likely to be in favor . Less than half (42%) of women favor legalization .  Support for legalization decreases with age. 56 percent of adults aged 18–34 are in favor compared to 42 percent aged 55 and older. PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 5 When asked about use of marijuana for medical purposes —an issue in cities where there have been disputes about dispensaries —76 percent say it should be allowed , with strong majorities of Democrats (82%), independents (80%), and Republicans (68%) holding thi s view. THE BUDGET: RESIDENT S AGREE IT’S A PROBLEM , DISAGREE ABOUT SOL UTION With the state facing a $19 billion budget deficit, a record -high 81 percent of Californians say the state budget situation is a big problem. But they are divided -—as they were in M arch-—on how to fill the budget gap: 42 percent prefer doing so through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, while 39 percent would rely mainly on spending cuts. Far fewer would fill the gap mostly through tax increases (7%) or feel it is fine to borr ow money and run a deficit (6%). Residents are also divided over Schwarzenegger’s May budget revision for the next fiscal year, which proposes big cuts in health and human services, as well as cutting spending for prisons and state employee compensation. The governor says his plan will maintain spending levels for K –12 education and increase funding for higher education. The plan includes no new taxes. After reading a brief description of the plan to 829 survey respondents, PPIC finds that 46 percent of Californians are satisfied with the plan and 43 percent are dissatisfied. Most Californians are concerned (40% very concerned, 40% somewhat concerned) about the impact of spending cuts in the governor’s plan. Yet they are divided (46% yes, 49% no) about whet her tax increases should be included. Of the four main spending categories of the state budget, Californians are the most willing to consider a tax increase to spare K –12 education from budget cuts (69%), while just over half would pay higher taxes to maintain current funding levels for higher education (54%) or for health and human services (54%). A large majority (79%) opposes paying higher taxes to spare prisons and corrections from budget cuts. Californians would consider some other ways to raise revenues: 67 percent favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians and 58 percent would favor raising state taxes paid by California corporations. Residents are much less likely to support extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed (35%) or increasing the vehicle license fee (28%). HALF FAVOR LOWERING THRESHOLD FOR BUDGET PASSAGE TO SIMPLE MA JORITY A number of reforms are being proposed to improve state government. One of the most discussed is lowering the supermajority vote requirement to pass a state budget to a simple majority . Half (51%) of Californians say it would a good idea to lower the threshold for budget passage and keep the supermajority requirement for passing state taxes . Less than half (47%) favor lowering the two -thirds vote requirement to a simple majority for both th e state budget and state taxes. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Governor ’s job app roval rating sinks to new record , federal officials fare better Schwarzenegger’s rating drops (23%), the legislature’s ( 16%) is near its lowest point —and a record- high 73 percent say the two will be unable to work together and accomplish a lot this year. — pages 8, 9  Rains don’t diminish importance of water bond M onths of above- average rainfall have not changed overall perceptions of the state’s water situation: Forty -two percent s ay the water sup ply in their part of the state is a big problem . Most say passage of an $11.1 billion water bond is very (42%) or somewhat (28%) important. — page 14  Reform ideas get strong support Strong majorities support the idea of requiring the legislature to practice pay-as-you -go budgeting (78%), develop a two -year spending plan (77 %), and forfeit pay and per -day allowance when the state budget is late (75%). — page 22 May 2010 Californians and Their Government 6 2010 ELECTION CONTEXT KEY FINDINGS  Californians’ mood of gloom continues: Majorities say the state is headed in the wrong direction, is in a serious recession, and can expect bad economic times ahead. Half name jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing the state. (page 7 )  The governor’s approval rating has reached a new low and legislative ratings remain near record lows. President Obama and Congress fare better, but the president has much higher ratings than does Congress. Senators Boxer and Feinstein both garner approval of half of Californians. (pages 8, 9 )  In the gubernatorial primary, Meg Whitman’s 50-point lead over Steve Poizner in March has dropped to 9 points today among Republican primary likely voters. In the Republican senate primary, Tom Campbell and Carly Fiorina remain deadlocked while Chuck DeVore has gained support. (page 10)  Proposition 14, which would change the primary election process, enjoys the support of six in 10 likely voters. (page 11)  In potential fall matchups in the governor’s race, Democrat Jerry Brown has a 5-point lead over Meg Whitman and leads Steve Poizner by 13 points. In the senate contest, Barbara Boxer leads Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina, and Chuck DeVore. (pages 12, 13 )  Looking ahead to November election issues, four in 10 Californians say it is very important that voters pass an $11.1 billion water bond. Californians are divided on whether marijuana should be legalized but strong majorities think it should be allowed for medical purposes. (pages 14, 15 ) 36 53 4134 23 26 37 26 21 16 0 20 40 60 80 May06 May 07 May 08 May 09 May 10 Percent all adults Governor Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 41 61 38 11 11 29 44 2531 0 20 40 60 80 January March May Percent likely voters Meg Whitman Steve Poizner Don't know Republican Gubernatorial Primary 16 24 25 27 23 23 88 16 48 44 36 0 20 40 60 80 January March May Percent likely voters Carly Fiorina Tom Campbell Chuck DeV or e Don't know Republican Senatorial Primary PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 7 OVERALL MOOD With a 12.6 percent unemployment rate in the state, California residents continue to cite jobs and the economy (53%) as the most important issue Californians face today. Far fewer mention the state budget (15%), education and schools (1 0%), immigration (9%), or healthcare (3%). Mention of t he state budget has increased 4 points since March, and is similar to last May ( 14%). Adults today are somewhat more likely to say immigration is the most important issue (3% March, 9% today), and the share citing education is similar to March (12% March, 10% today). The percentage naming jobs and economy has decreased 4 points since March (57%), and is similar to last May (54%). Jobs and the economy continue s to top the list of concerns across parties, regions, and demographic groups. “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” Top five issues mentioned All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Jobs, economy 53% 55% 42% 57% 51% State budget, deficit, taxes 15 13 24 15 19 Education, schools 10 13 7 9 8 Immigration, illegal immigration 9 5 14 6 9 Health care, health costs 3 4 1 4 3 Nine in 10 Californians say the state is in an economic recession , with 55 pe rcent calling it a serious recession, 28 percent calling it a moderate recession, and 7 percent a mild one; 9 percent say the state is not in a recession. Across parties, a majority of Republicans (62%) and Democrats (55%) call the recession serious, with fewer than half of independents (47%) holding this view. Whites (59%) are more likely than Latinos (47%) to say the state is in a serious recession. More than half across regions call the recession serious. Pessimism about the state’s economic future conti nues: two in three adults say bad financial times lie ahead over the next year. Across parties, Republicans (76%) are most likely to say bad times are ahead, followed by independents (65%) and Democrats (64%). Regionally, residents of the Central Valley (6 6%), Other Southern California region (66%), and Los Angeles (64%) hold similar views about bad economic times ahead, with San Francisco Bay Area residents slightly less pessimistic (59%). Whites (71%) are far more likely than Latinos (49%) to predict bad times . Those with annual household incomes under $40,000 are much less likely (55%) to have a negative outlook than those with incomes of $80,000 or more (74%). The expectation of bad times ahead increases as age and education rise . Asked about the direct ion of the state, adults reiterate negative views: 77 percent say it is heading in the wrong direction. At least two -thirds across party, region, and demographic groups hold this view. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that duri ng the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Good times 28% 24% 29% 29% 28% 22% Bad times 65 66 59 64 66 71 Don't know 7 10 12 7 6 7 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 8 GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE Accompanying Californians’ negative view of the state’s economic situation are low approval ratings for state leaders. Governor Schwarzenegger’s 23 -percent approval rating is a new record low , and his d isapproval score reaches a new record high (65 %). Approval for the governor last May was 11 points higher (34%). Democrats (73%) are the most likely to disapprove of the governor, and six in 10 in his own party disapprove (63%) . Sixty-two percent of independents disapprove. More than s ix in 10 across regions disapprove of the governor: Residents of Los Angeles (6 8%) are most likely to disapprove, and San Francisco Bay Area (61%) residents least likely. Latinos (74%) give the governor the highest disapproval rating across demographic groups ; 61 percent of whites disapprove. Seven in 10 who think the state is headed in the wrong direction or that bad economic times are ahead also disapprove of the governor. The state legislature fares even worse, wit h seven in 10 residents disapproving its job performance and only 16 percent approving, near the record low of 14 percent reached in March. Likely voters (80%) are even more negative about the legislature . An overwhelming percentage of Republicans (85%) di sapprove as do three in four Democrats (73%) and independents (74%) . At least seven in 10 across regions disapprove. Latinos (61%) are far less likely than whites (78%) to disapprove. Adults aged 18 –34 (59%) are far less likely to disapprove than those age d 55 and older (79%). Majorities across demographic groups disapprove of the legislature ’s job performance. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 23% 19% 26% 24% 24% Disapprove 65 73 63 62 66 Don't know 12 8 11 14 10 …t he California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 16 16 5 16 11 Disapprove 72 73 85 74 80 Don't know 12 11 10 10 9 Low approval ratings for state leaders are reflected in a general perception that the governor and legislature will not be able to work together and accomplish much this year. As the 2010- 2011 budget negotiations loom, a record low 19 percent say the two sides will accomplish a lot , and a record high 73 percent say they won’t . The perception that the governor and legislature will not work together has increased 8 points since January and 20 points since January 2009. M ore than six in 10 across political and de mographic groups do not believe they will be able to work together to accomplish a lot this year. “Do you think that Governor Schwarzenegger and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year, or not ?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes, will be able to work together 19% 16% 14% 18% 14% No, will not be able to work together 73 77 77 78 80 Don't know 8 7 9 4 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 9 FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Californians rate federal leaders much higher than t heir state leaders. A majority of Californians (59%) approve of President Obama ’s job performance, similar to March, but a 13 -point drop since May 2009. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Californians continue to approve of Obama more than do ad ults nationwide ( 50%). There are sharp partisan differences: E ight in 10 Democrats and six in 10 independents approve of the president, while three in four Republicans do not. Other Southern California residents (47%) are the least likely and Los Angeles r esidents (70%) the most likely to approve. Whites are divided in their assessments of Obama , but majorities across all other demographic groups approve. With Congressional elections coming in November, 31 percent of Californians approve of Congress’ job p erformance —far lower than Obama’s approval , but higher than adults nationwide (21%), according to the NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll. Congress’ ratings have increased since March ( 24%), but are down 16 points since last May. Eight in 10 Republicans and two i n three independents disapprove of Congress’ job performance, compared to 53 percent of Democrats. Forty -four percent of Latinos disapprove of Congress compared to 73 percent of whites . Approval decreases as age, education, and income rise. “O verall, do y ou approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 59% 81% 21% 62% 53% Disapprove 37 16 75 34 43 Don't know 4 3 4 4 4 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 31 38 12 28 26 Disapprove 61 53 81 67 68 Don't know 8 9 7 5 6 Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer , up for re -election this fall , has a 50- percent approval rating among California adults and likely voters, similar to January. Democrats (77 %) and independents (53%) approve of her job performance, while Republicans overwhelmingly do not (13 %). Liberals (73%), Latinos (60%), and women (53%) are more likely than conservatives (29%), whites (42%), and men (46%) to approve. Half of adults and likely voters approve of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is not up for re- election this fall. Seven in 10 Democrats approve compared to half of independents and 23 percent of Republicans. Approval of Feinstein varies widely across regions, with approval lowest in the Other Southern California region (40%), and highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) . “Overall, do you approv e or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. s enator Approve ? 50% 77% 13% 53% 50% Disapprove 38 14 79 39 44 Don't know 12 9 8 8 6 …Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. senator Approve ? 50 72 23 49 53 Disapprove 35 16 66 38 39 Don't know 15 12 11 13 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 10 JUNE PRIMARY With the June primar ies less than a month away, the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination has significantly tightened. Although Meg Whitman (38%) still leads Steve Poizner (29%) among Republican primary likely voters , there has been a stunning drop in her support since March. In January, Whitman led Poizner by 30 point s (41% to 11%) and in March by 50 point s (61% to 11%) . Today, three in 10 voters are undecided, up 6 points since March, but far lower than in January (44%). Republican primary likely voters include the 12 percent of independent (decline- to-state) voters who say they will vote a Republican ballot. Decline-to -state voters may also choose a Democratic or nonpartisan ballot. Whitman has seen a large drop in support among those who are not college graduates (down 29 points) and those with annual household incomes of $80,000 and above (down 28 points) . Her support has also dropped sharply among both men (61% March, 41% today) and women (61% March, 36% today). Across demographic groups, s upport for Whitman has fallen at least 17 points, while Poizner’s support has increased sharply. Despite this drop in support, however, a plurality across demographic groups would still vote for Whitman. “If the Republican primar y for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only All Likely Voters Household Income Gender Under $80,000 $80,000 or more Men Women Meg Whitman 38% 38% 39% 41% 36 % Steve Poizner 29 25 35 29 29 Someone else 2 2 2 3 1 Don’t know 31 35 24 27 34 The June Republican senatorial primary race remains close: Carly Fiorina (25%) and Tom Campbell (23%) are still in a dead heat, while Chuck De Vore’s support has doubled (8% March, 16% today). Thirty -six percent of Republican primary likely voters remain undecided. Fiorina (29%) and Campbell (25%) hold similar levels of support among men, with 29 percent undecided. Support for Fiorina (21%) and Campbell (20%) is similar among women , with 44 percent of women still undecided. Fewer than three in 10 across income groups support any candidate , with pluralities undecided. All three candidates also hold similar levels of support among those aged 18– 54 (22% Fiorina, 21% Campbell, 20% DeVore) . Primary voters 55 and older support Fiorina (29%) or Campbell (25%) far more than De Vore (10%), with 35 percent undecided. “If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for?” Republican primary likely voters only All Likely Voters Household Income Gender Under $80,000 $80,000 or more Men Women Carly Fiorina 25% 23% 27% 29% 21% Tom Campbell 23 23 23 25 20 Chuck DeVore 16 16 16 17 14 Someone else – – 1 – 1 Don’t know 36 38 33 29 44 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 11 PROPOSITION 14—CHANGE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS Proposition 14—a state constitutional amendment on the June ballot —would change the California primary election process to a top -two -vote -getter system. It would allow voters to choo se any candidate regardless of a candidate’s or voter’s political party . It would ensure that the two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary appear on the general election ballot, regardless of party. A strong majority of likely voters (60%) support t his change, with 27 percent saying they would vote no and 13 percent undecided; support has risen 4 points since March. Majorities across parties support Proposition 14, with independents the most likely to say they would vote yes . Moderates (69 %) a re much more likely than liberals (59 %) and conservatives ( 53%) to say they will vote yes ; support among conservatives is si milar to March, while support today is higher among liberals and moderates . “Proposition 14 is called ‘ Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections…’ If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14?” * Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 60% 27% 13% Party Democrats 61 26 13 Republicans 54 33 13 Independents 67 19 14 Ideology Liberals 59 27 14 Moderates 69 18 13 Conservatives 53 34 13 Age 18 –34 68 27 5 35–54 61 26 13 55 and older 55 27 18 *For complete text of proposition question, see p. 29. Eighty -one percent of likely voters say the issue of allowing voters to choose any candidate, regardless of party, is very (5 1%) or somewhat (30 %) important. More than half of independents (54%) say th is issue is very important —as do half of Republicans (49%) and Democrats (52%), and six in 10 Proposition 14 supp orters (62%). A solid majority of likely voters think either major (36%) or minor changes (35%) should be made to the primary system in California; 23 percent say it needs no changes. Independents (46%) are most likely to say major changes are needed, fol lowed by Democrats (35%) and Republicans (33%). Forty- two percent of moderates, 36 percent of conservatives , and 29 percent of liberals say major changes. A strong majority of likely voters who support Proposition 14 say major (45%) or minor (40%) changes are needed. “Do you think the primary system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is ?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Proposition 14 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Major changes 36% 35% 33% 46% 45% 18% Minor changes 35 38 31 37 40 30 Fine the way it is 23 23 28 14 11 47 Don’t know 6 4 8 3 4 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 12 NOVEMBER GUBERNATORIAL MATCHUPS In a potential November gubernatorial matchup, Democrat Jerry Brown has a narrow lead over Republican Meg Whit man among likely voters (42% to 37%), with one in five undecided. Whitman led Brown by a similar margin in March (39% Brown, 44% Whitman), but Brown led Whitman in January (Brown 41%, Whitman 36%) and December (43% Brown, 37% Whitman). Today, Democrats strongly support Brown (70%) and Republicans strongly support Whitman (69%), while independents are divided (38% Brown, 34% Whitman). Independents are more likely than Democrats or Republicans to be undecided (14% Democrats, 21 % Republicans, 28% independents) . Across regions, likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%) are the most likely to support Brown, followed by voters in Los Angeles (48%). L ikely voters in the Other Southern California (47%) region are the most likely to support Whitman, followed by Central Valley voters (42% Whitman, 35% Brown). Latinos support Brown over Whitman by more than 2 to 1 (58% to 26%), while whites are more likely to support Whitman over Brown (43% to 38%). Among women, Brown is favored by 12 points —he was up by 3 point s in March —and although men are divided, they preferred Whitman by 15 points in March. Likely voters aged 18 to 34 favor Brown by a slight 5 points (42% to 37%), while voters aged 55 and older favor Brown by 8 points (44% to 36%). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, w ould you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 42% 70% 10% 38% 40% 45% Meg Whitman, the Republican 37 16 69 34 42 33 Don't know 21 14 21 28 18 22 Brown continues to lead Steve Poizner in a hypothetica l November matchup (45% to 32%) and held similar leads each of the last three times we asked this question. About one in four continue to be undecided. Brown enjoys the support of about three in four Democrats (74%), while Poizner has the support of about two in three Republicans (65%). Independents prefer Brown to Poizner (40% to 27%) and are more likely to be undecided (16% Democrats, 23% Republicans, 33% independents) . Brown leads among likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (65% to 17%) and in Los Angeles (49% to 26%), while likely voters in the Other Southern California region prefer Poizner (45% to 33% for Brown). Central Valley voter s are divided (38% Poizner , 34% Brown). Latinos overwhelmingly support Brown over Poizner (64% to 13%), while whites are divided (40% Brown, 39% Poizner). Brown enjoys a 20- point lead among women (47% to 27%), and men slightly prefer Brown (42% Brown, 37% Poizner). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor's election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Jerry Brown, the Democrat 45% 74% 12% 40% 42% 47% Steve Poizner, the Republican 32 10 65 27 37 27 Don't know 23 16 23 33 21 26 Two in three likely voters say they are very (21%) or fairly closely (46%) following news about the candidates. This is similar to March, but much higher than in January. Attention today is similar to the 68 perce nt who were closely following news in May 2006, just before the June gubernatorial primary. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 13 NOVEMBER SENATORIAL MATCHUPS Incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer leads any of the three potential Republican nominees in hypothetical November matchups for her senate seat . Boxer leads Tom Campbell (46% to 40%) , with 77 percent of Democrats support ing Boxer and 79 percent of Republicans support ing Campbell. Independents prefer Boxer over Campbell by 13 points (48% to 35%). While partisan support has held stea dy, support among independents has shifted since January (January: 42% Boxer, 37% Campbell; March: 32% Boxer, 48% Campbell; today: 48% Boxer, 35% Campbell). Today, Boxer is preferred by two in three Latinos and half of women, while Campbell is preferred among whites (48% to 40% for Boxer) and men are divided (44% Campbell, 42% Boxer). Boxer leads by 32 points in the San Francisco Bay Area and by 24 points in Los Angeles, while Campbell has a 16- point lead in the Other Southern California region and a 12 -poi nt lead in the Central Valley. “If these were the candidates in the No vember 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 46% 77% 8% 48% 42% 51% Tom Campbell, the Republican 40 14 79 35 44 37 Don't know 14 9 13 17 14 12 In another possible November matchup, Boxer leads Carly Fiorina (48% to 39%) . Partisans strongly support their part y’s candidate (82% of Democrats support Boxer, 78% of Republicans support Fiorina) . I ndependents have shifted back into Boxer’s corner after moving toward Fiorina in March (January: 48 % Boxer, 40% Fiorina; March: 35% Boxer, 41% Fiorina; Today: 44% Boxer, 33% Fiorina). Boxer leads in the San Francisco B ay Area (68%) and Los Angeles (58%) and among Latinos (67%) and women (53%). Fiorina leads in the Other Southern California region (52%) and the Central Valley (49%) and has a slight lead among whites (46% Fiorina to 41% Boxer). M en are divided (44% each) . “If these were the candidates in the No vember 2010 U.S. senator’s election, would you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 48% 82% 9% 44% 44% 53% Carly Fiorina, the Republican 39 11 78 33 44 34 Don't know 13 7 13 23 12 13 Boxer continues to lead Chuck DeVore in a potential November matchup (50% to 39%), and enjoys the support of more than eight in 10 Democrats (84%) and just under half of independents (48%) ; eight in 10 Republicans support DeVore. Boxer leads among Latinos (71%) and women (55%), while DeVore has a slight lead among whites (47% DeVore, 42% Boxer). Men are divided (45% Boxer, 43% DeVore). “If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election, w ould you vote for...” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Barbara Boxer, the Democrat 50% 84% 9% 48% 45% 55% Chuck DeVore, the Republican 39 9 80 35 43 34 Don't know 11 7 11 17 12 11 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 14 NOVEMBER BALLOT ISSUES—WATER POLICY After experiencing several years of drought but above -average rainfall recently, four in 10 Californians say the water supply in their part of the state is a big problem , with 27 percent calling it somewhat of a problem and 29 percent not much of a problem. Despite the above -average rainfall of late, perceptions today are largely unchanged from December (44% big, 29% somewhat, 25% not much of a problem). Since December the perception that water supply is a big problem has dropped 4 points in the Central Valley (50% to 46%) and 5 points in Los Angeles (45% to 40%) . It is similar in the San Francisco Bay Area (32% to 31%) and Other Southern California region (47% to 46%). Across parties, the view that the water supply is a big problem is largely unchanged from December — 50 percent among Republicans (50% December), 46 percent among Democrats (48% December), and 40 percent among independents (41% December). Whites are much more likely than Latinos (47% to 37%) to say their region ’s water supply is a big problem. “Would you say that the supply of water is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem in your part of California?” All Adults Region Likely Voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Other Southern California Big problem 42% 46% 31% 40% 46% 48% Somewhat of a problem 27 23 31 27 29 28 Not much of a problem 29 29 37 30 23 23 Don’t know 2 2 1 3 2 1 Last October the governor called a special session to address the state’s water crisis; the result was a legislative package that included a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure dedicated to water projects. Asked about the importance of passing the bond measure, four in 10 residents (42%) say it is very important (down from 47% in December) and 28 percent say it is somewhat important. D emocrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to consider passage of the water bond very important, but the shares in both parties have declined since December (52% to 4 7% Democrats; 37% to 26% Republicans) . Views among independents rose 4 points (from 36% to 40% today). Passing the water bond is considered more important in the Central Valley (47%, similar to December) and Los Angeles (46%, down 8 points) than in the San Francisco Bay Area (39%, down 8 points) and Other Southern Californi a region (38%, down 5 points). Just over half of those who call their area’s water supply a big problem say passing the bond is very important (54%). “The governor and legislature recently passed a water package that includes water conservation requirements and plans for new water storage systems, water clean-up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This package includes a proposal for an $11.1 billion bond measure to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure ?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very important 42% 47% 26% 40% 38% Somewhat important 28 29 27 29 28 Not too important 9 7 15 9 10 Not at all important 11 6 20 14 14 Don’t know 10 11 12 8 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 15 NOVEMBER BALLOT ISSUES—MARIJUANA POLICY Another measure on the November ballot is one legalizing marijuana and allow ing it to be regulated and taxed. Forty -eight percent of adults and 49 percent of likely voters think marijuana should be made legal. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, Americans nationwide (41% legal, 52% illegal) are somewhat less likely to agree with Californians on this issue. Democrats (56%) and ind ependents (55%) are far more likely than Republicans (34%) to say marijuana should be legal. Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (56%) are the most likely to say it should be legal , with residents in other regions either divided or opposed (Other Southern California region: 42% legal, 55% illegal ; Central Valley: 47% legal, 49% illegal ; Los Angeles: 49% legal, 50% illegal). Strong majorities of Latinos (62%) are against legalization, while majorities of whites (56%) think it should be legal. Men (54%) are much more likely than women (42%) to say marijuana should be made legal . Support for legalization decreases as age increases . “A November ballot initiative is titled, ‘C hanges California law to legalize marijuana and allow it to be regulated and taxed. ’ In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” Should be made legal Should not be made legal Don’t know All adults 48% 49% 3% Party Democrats 56 42 2 Republicans 34 62 4 Independents 55 43 2 Age 18–34 56 41 3 35–54 47 50 3 55 and older 42 54 4 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 37 62 1 Whites 56 40 4 Gender Men 54 43 3 Women 42 54 4 Likely voters 49 48 3 When asked about the use of marijuana for medical purposes (currently legal in California), three in fou r Californians —including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents —think it should be allowed. More than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups think that adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. Results were somewhat similar when we asked this question in September 2005 , when 71 percent supported medical use of marijuana. In a similar question from Pew, 73 percent of adults nationwide favor allowing marijuana use for medical purposes. “Regardless of what you think about the personal non- medical uses of marijuana, do you think adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctors prescrib e it or do you think that marijuana should be illegal even for medical purposes? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Should be allowed for medical purposes 76% 82% 68% 80% 77% Should be illegal even for medical purposes 22 16 28 19 20 Don't know 2 2 4 1 3 May 2010 Californians and Their Government 16 CALIFORNIA STATE BUDGET KEY FINDINGS  A record high percentage of Californians view the state budget situation as a big problem. Californians are divided about using spending cuts alone to deal with the deficit (39%) or using a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (42%).  Californians prefer state budget decisions to be made by the Democrats in the legislature (35%), followed by the Republicans in the legislature (25 %). A record low 11 percent prefer Governor Schwarzenegger’s approach. Most Californians continue to say they most want to protect K –12 public education from spending cuts . ( page 17)  Most Californians would pay higher taxes to maintain current funding for K–12 public education. Just over half would do so for higher education and for health and human services. At least half of likely voters favor raising tax es on the wealthy and corporations, although support for these new revenue options has declined. M ost likely voters oppose extending the state sales tax or increasing the vehicle license fee. ( page 18)  Californians are divided (46% satisfied, 43% dissatisfied) about the g overnor ’s budget proposal, which was released May 14. Forty percent are very concerned about the ef fects of the spending reductions in his plan . Voters are divided along party lines about whether the proposal should include tax increases. ( page s 19, 20 )  Half of likely voters say it is a good idea to lower the supermajority vote threshold to a simple majority to pass a state budget and to keep the two-thirds vote to pass state taxes; several other fiscal reforms enjoy stronger support. ( page 21) ( page 23) 5140 9 Good idea Bad idea Don't know Fiscal Reforms Likely voters Simple Majority Vote for State Budget, 2/3 Vote for State Taxes Simple Majority Vote for Both State Budget and State Taxes 44 50 6 58 44 67 74 81 0 20 40 60 80 100 May06May07May08May09May10 Percent all adults Budget Situation in California Percent calling it a "big problem" 6059625851 0 20 40 60 80 100 May05May07May08Jan09May10 Percent likely voters Raising the State Taxes Paid by Corporations Percent saying "favor" PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 17 APPROACHING THE STATE BUDGET GAP In the midst of a continued economic downturn and with the state facing a $19 billion budget deficit, how do Californians perceive the state budget situation? A record high 81 percent of Californians say the state budget situation is a big pro blem, and another 15 percent say it is somewhat of a problem. The current percentage calling the budget a big problem is similar to that in March (77%) . At least seven in 10 Californians have called the state budget situation a big problem since August 2008. Today, likely voters are even more negative , with nearly nine in 10 calling the budget situation a big problem. Republicans (90%), Democrats (84%), and independents (8 3%) all agree that the state budget situation is a big problem. More than three in four across regions say that the budget situation is a big problem, as do two in three Latinos (6 7%), nearly nine in 10 whites (88 %), and eight in 10 men and women (81% each ). At least seven in 10 across age, education, and income groups say the situation is a big problem. “D o 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 81% 84% 90% 83% 88% Somewhat of a problem 15 13 8 16 11 Not a problem 1 2 – – 1 Don’t know 3 1 2 1 – Nearly all Californians call the budget situation a big problem —so how would they like to deal with it ? Four in 10 Californians prefer handling the state’s budget gap through a mix of spendi ng cuts and tax increases (42%) . Similarly, four in 10 prefer closing the budget gap mostly through spending cuts (39 %). Far fewer say mostly through tax increases (7%) or that it is ok ay to borrow money and run a deficit (6%). These findings are similar to those in March (38% mix, 39% cuts). About half of Democrats (52%) prefer a mix, about six in 10 Republicans (63%) prefer spending cuts , and independents are divided between spending cuts (42%) and a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (44%). Across regions, residents i n the San Francisco Bay Area (48 %) and Los Angeles (43% ) are more likely to prefer a mix, while residents in the Central Valley (4 5%) and the Other Southern California r egion (45% ) are more likely to prefer spending cuts. Latinos ( 39% mix, 36% cuts) and whites (43% mix, 43% cuts) are both divided between the two approaches, but Latinos are more likely than whites to say it is okay to borrow money and run a deficit (12% t o 2%). “How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget de ficit?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Mix of spending cuts and tax increases 42% 52% 27% 44% 42% Mostly spending cuts 39 26 63 42 41 Mostly tax increases 7 9 2 6 8 Okay to borrow money and run a deficit 6 7 2 3 3 Other 2 1 3 2 3 Don’t know 4 5 3 3 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 18 APPROACHING THE STATE BUDGET GAP When it comes to making tough budget decisions, about one in three Californians prefer the approach of the Democrats in the state legislature, while about one in four prefer the approach of the legislative Republicans. A record low— 11 percent—prefer Governor Schwarzenegger’s approach. In January 2004, just after Governor Schwarzenegger took office, a plurality of Californians (33%) preferred his approach. Since then, pluralities (although never more than 39 percent) have chosen legislative Democrats as the group they prefer to make tough budget choices. Today, likely voters slightly prefer legislative Democrats. (CONTINUED) Most Democrats prefer legislators from their own party to make budget decisions , and most R epublicans prefer legislators from their party. Th ere is less consensus among independents, but a plurality prefer legislative Democrats (31%) on this issue. San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles residents prefer the approach of legislat ive Democrats, Other Southern California residents prefer that of legislative Republicans, and Central Valley residents are divided between the two. Among those who disapprove of the legislature, six in 10 would still choose legislators (Democratic or Republican) over the governor to make tough budget decisions. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer— Governor Schwarzenegger’s , the Democrats’ in the legislature, or the Republicans’ in the legislature?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Democrats’ in the legislature 35% 60% 6% 31% 34% Republicans’ in the legislature 25 8 56 24 29 Governor Schwarzenegger’s 11 9 11 13 9 Other 1 1 1 3 2 None (volunteered) 10 8 9 12 11 Don't know 18 14 17 17 15 Majorities of Californians, likely voters, Democrats, Republicans, and independents say that of the four major areas of state spending, they would most like to protect K –12 public education from spending cuts . Fewer than 20 percent of Californians name higher education or health and human services, and just 7 percent choose prisons and corrections. Since we first ask ed this question in June 2003, majorities of Californians have chosen K –12 education as the area they would most like to protect. At least half across regions and demographic groups select K –12 education, and the percentage naming this spending area rises as education and income levels increase . “Some of the largest areas for sta te spending are….Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I'd like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind K–12 public education 56% 57% 55% 64% 57% Higher education 17 20 15 18 18 Health and human services 17 19 11 8 13 Prisons and corrections 7 3 13 8 8 Don't know 3 1 6 2 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 19 WILLINGNESS TO INCREASE TAXES Californians not only prefer to spare K –12 public education from spending cuts but , of the four top spending area s, they are also the most willing (69 %) to consider paying higher taxes to maintain current funding for K–12 education. By comparison, j ust over half would do so to maintain current funding levels for higher education (54%) or health and human services (54 %). A strong majority (79%) would not pay higher taxes to maintain funding for prisons and corrections. At least two in three Californians expressed willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain K–12 education in June 2003 (67%) , January 2004 (67%), January 2008 (67%), and January 2010 (66%). Willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain higher education or health and human services is about the same today as it was in January 2008 and January 2010. Opposition to increased taxes to maintain prisons was even higher this past January (87%), and has declined 8 points since then. “Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. For each of the following, please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not . What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for… ? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not?” K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Yes 69% 54% 54% 18% No 29 43 43 79 Don’t know 2 3 3 3 At least half of likely voters, voters across parties, and Californians across age, racial/ethnic, gender, and regional groups would be willing to pay higher taxes to maintain K –12 funding, with Democrats, younger Californians, women, and Latinos among the most likely to say this. Of those who say they most want to protect K –12 from cuts, 79 percent would pay more taxes to maintain current funding levels. There is less agreement on other budget areas . H alf of likely voters would pay higher taxes to maintain higher education funding . Most Democrats and independents would consider paying higher taxes for this purpose, but most Republicans would not. Latinos are far more likely than whites to express support for higher education . For health and human services, half of likely voters would pay more taxes. Across parties, a strong majority of Democrats would pay higher taxes for this budget area, a strong majority of Republicans would not , and independents are evenly divided. Fewer than one in four in any political, regional, or demographic group would pay more taxes to maintain prison funding. Percent saying yes K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections All adults 69% 54% 54% 18% Party Democrats 79 64 69 20 Republicans 51 32 25 15 Independents 67 54 48 14 Age 18–34 85 68 64 22 35–54 67 52 54 16 55 and older 56 43 43 16 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 81 71 72 17 Whites 63 44 44 17 Gender Men 65 52 51 16 Women 74 56 56 20 Likely voters 64 50 49 17 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 20 NEW REVENUE SOURCES The governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year does not include new tax es. Still, Californians would consider some other ways to raise revenues: 67 percent favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians and 58 percent would favor raising state taxes paid by California corporations. Since we first asked this question in January 2004, strong majorities have expressed support for the idea of raising taxes on California’s wealthiest residents. Tod ay, six in 10 likely voters express support , which has declined somewhat over time (69% January 2004 to 62% today) . Strong majorities of Democrats and independents favor this idea, while a majority of Republicans oppose it. Majorities in all regions and demographic groups favor this idea, but support declines as income rises . About six in 10 adults and likely voters supported raising corporate taxes in May 2005, 200 7, and 2008. Today, 58 percent of all adults and 51 percent of likely voters favor this idea. Most Democrats (73%) are in favor and most Republicans (66%) are opposed . Independents are more likely to favor (55 %) than oppose (41%) raising cor porate taxes. Support declines as age, education , and income rise. It is hig hest i n the San Francisco Bay Area (68%) and lowest in the Other Southern California region (4 8%). “Tax and fee increases could be used to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. How about… ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? Favor 67% 80% 39% 69% 62% Oppose 30 17 58 28 36 Don't know 3 3 3 3 2 …raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? Favor 58 73 30 55 51 Oppose 39 23 66 41 45 Don't know 3 4 4 4 4 Californians are much less likely to support extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed (35%) or increasing the vehicle license fee (28 %). Among likely voters, 35 percent favor extending the state sales tax, similar to previous findings that included specific areas for extending the sales tax , while 32 percent favor increasing the vehicle license fee, down 10 points since May 2008. Republicans (68%) are more likely than independents (56 %) and Democrats (48 %) to oppose extending the state sales tax, while more than six in 10 across parties oppose increasing the vehicle license fee . Majorities of Californians across regional and demographic groups oppose both ideas, but upper -income residents and college graduates are less opposed than others to increasing the vehicle license fee. All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? Favor 35% 44% 26% 37% 35% Oppose 58 48 68 56 58 Don't know 7 8 6 7 7 …increasing the vehicle license fee? Favor 28 36 20 30 32 Oppose 69 62 76 67 66 Don't know 3 2 4 3 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 21 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL On Friday May 14, Governor Schwarzenegger released his May budget revision for the next fiscal year. Starting on May 14, we ask ed 829 survey respondents three questions about his proposal , including a brief description of the proposal and attitudes towards spending cuts and tax increases . To deal with the state’s sizable budget deficit, the governor has proposed spending cuts in his budget plan. The plan does not include any tax increases. Californians are divided (46% yes, 49% no) about whether tax increases should be included in the plan ; 56 percent opposed tax increases in the plan in January. Today, half of likely voters (51%) say taxes should not be included in the plan; 55 percent opposed tax increases in January. M ost Democrats (56%) and independents (57%) say taxes should be included and most Republicans (71%) say they should not. Men (47% yes, 50% no) and women (45% yes, 48% no) are similarly divided on including tax increases. Support declines as age increases. “Do you think that tax increases should be included in the governor’s budget plan?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 46% 56% 26% 57% 46% No 49 40 71 36 51 Don’t know 5 4 3 7 3 Eight in 10 Californians are concerned about the effects of spending reductions in the governor’s budget plan, with 40 percent saying they are very concerned. Concern has increased slightly since January (34% very, 39% somewhat concerned). Across parties, more than two in three are at least somewhat concerned, but Democrats are more likely than independents and Republicans to be very concerned. About four in 10 Latinos, whites, men, and women are very concerned. The percentage who are very concerned decline s somewhat as income increases . “Overall, how concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor’s budget plan?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very concerned 40% 48% 31% 42% 41% Somewhat concerned 40 40 37 44 38 Not too concerned 9 7 14 9 10 Not at all concerned 8 3 14 4 9 Don't know 3 2 4 1 2 After being read a brief description of the governor’s budget proposal ( see question 37 on p. 31), 46 percent of Californians and 47 percent of likely voters say they are satisfied with the plan, while about four in 10 in each group are dissatisfied (43% adults, 40% likely voters). After the release of the original budget proposal in January, 55 percent of Californians and 56 percent of likely voters were satisfied. Today , a majority of Republicans (55%) are satisfied, 53 percent of Democrats are dissatisfied, and independents are more satisfied (47%) than dissatisfied (45%). Forty- six percent of Latinos and 47 percent of whites express satisfaction , and younger residents are much more likely to be satisfied (53%) than those age 35 and older (42%). PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 22 FISCAL AND GOVERNANCE REFORMS In March, Assembly Speaker John Pérez and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced that the legislature was considering a package of reform principles developed by California Forward, a nonpartisan group working to improve government. Legislative leaders recently held public forums around the state to gather input. In our survey, Californians were asked about eight fiscal and governance ref orm ideas, some of which are part of the package, and with others having been considered in the past. More than three in four Californians say it is a good idea to adopt pay-as-you-go budgeting, requiring that any new programs, expanded programs, or tax reductions identify a specific funding source. A similarly high percentage believe it is a good idea for the governor and state legislature to develop a two-year spending plan along with a five-year fiscal forecast before appr oving the annual state budget. Three in four believe it is a good idea to require legislators to forfeit their pay and per-day allowance when the state budget is late. Three in four Californians also say it is a good idea to increase the size of the state’s rainy day fund and to require that above-average revenues be deposited into this fund for use during economic downturns. “Fiscal and governance reforms have been proposed to address the stru ctural issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whethe r you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. How about…?”* Pay-as-you-go budgeting Two-year spending plan Legislators forfeit pay when budget is late Increase size of state’s rainy day fund Good idea 78% 77% 75% 74% Bad idea 14 16 19 18 Don’t know 8 7 6 8 *For complete text of questions, see p. 32. Among likely voters, more than eight in 10 say it is a good idea to require pay-as-you-go budgeting and a two-year spending plan; similar numbers also say that legislators should forfeit pay when the budget is late. Seventy-six percent of likely voters favor increasing the size of the rainy day fund. More than s even in 10 voters across parties and solid majorities across demographic groups favor each of these ideas. The percentage saying it is a good idea to require legislators to forfeit their pay when the budget is late rises as age increases. Latinos are much less likely than whites to say it is a good idea to require a two-year spending plan or to require legislators to forfeit pay when the budget is late. Percent saying good idea Pay-as-you-go budgeting Two-year spending plan Legislators forfeit pay when budget is late Increase size of state’s rainy day fund All adults 78% 77% 75% 74% Party Democrats 77 76 76 74 Republicans 84 83 84 71 Independents 84 79 80 79 Age 18–34 76 72 67 74 35–54 80 78 78 77 55 and older 79 80 82 71 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 75 68 59 76 Whites 81 81 84 74 Gender Men 78 77 77 77 Women 79 77 74 71 Likely voters 83 82 83 76 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 23 FISCAL AND GOVERNANCE REFORMS (CONTINUED) Another proposal , not currently under discussion, would strictly limit the amount of money that state spending could increase each year ; seven in 10 Californians believe this is a good idea. A proposal that is currently under consideration would rais e the vote requirement to pass any new fees that replace tax revenue from a simple majority to a two -thirds vote; 56 percent say this is a good idea. Legislators are also considering a proposal to lower the vote requirement to pass a state budget from two-thirds to a simple majority vote, while keeping the two- thirds vote for passing state taxes; 51 percent of Californians say this is a good idea. By comparison, when asked about lowering the vote threshold required to pass both the state budget and state taxes from two- thirds to a simple majority , Californians are slightly less supportive (4 7% good idea, 45 % bad idea) ; this proposal is not currently under discussion by legislators. “Fiscal and governance reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. How about…?”* Strictly limit annual spending increase 2/3 vote for fees that replace tax revenue Simple majority for budget, 2/3 for taxes Simple majority for budget and taxes Good idea 71% 56% 51% 47% Bad idea 23 34 38 45 Don’t know 6 10 11 8 *For complete text of questions, see p. 32 . Seventy-two percent of likely voters and majorities across parties and demographic groups think it is a good idea to strictly limit the amount that state spending could increase each year; Republicans and independents are much more likely than Democrats, and whites more likely than Latinos, to hold this view. Raising the vote requirement to pass new fees that replace tax revenue is considered a good idea by majorities of likely voters (57 %), Republicans (64 %), and independents (62 %), but not Democrats (47%) . What about relaxing the vote requirement to pass a state budget ? Half of likely voters (51%) think it is a good idea to lower the vote for the budget and keep the two- thirds vote for taxes. Fewer (44%) support the idea of lowering the vote required to pass both the budget and taxes . Nearly six in 10 Democrats and half of independents favor both ideas. Republicans are more likely to favor relaxing the rule for the budget (41 %) t han for budget and taxes (28 %). Percent saying good idea Strictly limit annual spending increase 2/3 vote for fees that replace tax revenue Simple majority for budget, 2/3 for taxes Simple majority for budget and taxes All adults 71% 56% 51% 47% Party Democrats 65 47 59 57 Republicans 77 64 41 28 Independents 79 62 51 50 Age 18–34 73 52 50 49 35–54 73 59 52 49 55 and older 65 56 49 42 Race/ Ethnicity Latinos 66 57 54 56 Whites 71 54 49 42 Gender Men 69 60 52 47 Women 72 53 49 47 Likely voters 72 57 51 44 May 2010 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP May 2010 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Dean Bonner, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Sonja Petek and Nicole Willcoxon. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts; however , the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a surv ey of 2,003 California adult residents, reached on landline telephones and cell phones . Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days between May 9 and 16 , 2010. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. A total of 201 cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English and Spanish according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the su rvey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta De Fever. Abt SRBI Inc. conducted the telephone interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demo- graphic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 2005 –2007 American Community Survey for Californ ia, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,00 3 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1, 598 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 1, 168 likely voters, it is ±3 percent; for the 411 Republican primary likely voters, who were asked questions about Republican primar y candidates , it is ±5 percent ; for the 829 adults interviewed after the governor released his budget proposal May 14, it is ±3.5 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. PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 26 We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered vo ters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. Sample sizes for African Americans and Asian Americans are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (those who are registered as “decline to state ”). We also include the responses of “likely voters” —those who are most likely to vote in the state’s elections based on their responses to survey questions on past voting, current interest in politics, and voting intentions. We compa re current PPIC Statew ide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by NBC News/ Wall Street Journal and by the Pew Research Center. May 2010 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT May 9–16, 2010 2,003 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole , what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today ? [code, don’t read] 53% jobs, economy 15 state budget, deficit, taxes 10 education, schools 9 immigration, illegal immigration 3 health care, health costs 8 other 2 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as g overnor of California? 23% approve 65 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is h andling its job? 16% approve 72 disapprove 12 don’t know 4. Do you think that Governor Schwarzenegger and the state legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year, or not ? 19% yes, will be able to work together 73 no, will not be able to work together 8 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 18% right direction 77 wrong direction 5 don’t know 6. Turning to economic conditions i n California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 28% good times 65 bad times 7 don’t know 7. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? ( if yes : Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 55% yes, serious recession 28 yes, moderate recession 7 yes, mild recession 9 no 1 don’t know 8. Next, some people are registered to vote and other s are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are regi stered to vote in California? 80% yes [ask q 8a] 19 no [skip to q 9b] 1 don’t know [skip to q9b] PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 28 8a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q9] 31 Republican [skip to q9 a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q1 1] 22 independent [skip to q9b] 9 . Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 45 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q 11] 9a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 50% strong 46 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q 10] 9b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 23% Republican Party 43 Democratic Party 26 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know [res ponses recorded for questions 9 c to 20 are for likely voters ] [if q8a=independent, ask q9 c, if q8a=Republican, skip to q10 , otherwise skip to q21] 9 c. California voters like you will be able to choose between voting in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary, or selecting a nonpartisan ballot on June 8th. All three ballots include state proposition measures. Do you plan to vote in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary , or on the nonpartisan ballot? 12% Repub lican primary [ask q1 0] 20 Democratic primary [skip to q1 1] 51 nonpartisan ballot [skip to q11] 17 don’t know [skip to q11] 10. If the Republican primary for governor were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else”] 38% Meg Whitman, businesswoman 29 Steve Poizner, businessman 2 someone else (specify) 31 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 governor’s election…. [rotate questions 1 1 and 12] 11. Would you vote for…[rotate names] 45% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, attorney g eneral of California 32 Steve Poizn er, the Republican, businessman 23 don’t know 12 . Would you vote for… [rotate names] 42% Jerry Brown, the Democrat, attorney g eneral of Calif ornia 37 Meg Whitman, the Republican, businesswoman 21 don’t know 13. H ow closely are you following news about candidates for the 2010 governor’s election? 21% very closely 46 fairly closely 27 not too closely 6 not at all closely [if q 8a=Republican or q9c=Republican primary, ask q 14, other wise skip to q 15] 14. If the Republican primary for U.S. senator were being held today, and these were the candidates, who would you vote for? [rotate names and then ask “or someone else ”] 25% Carly Fiorina, business executive 23 Tom Campbell, economist/ business educator 16 Chuck DeVore, assemblyman/ military reservist 36 don’t know If these were the candidates in the November 2010 U.S. senator’s election… PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 29 [ rotate questions 15 to 17] 15 . Would you vote for…[rotate names] 46% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, U nited States senator 40 Tom Campbell, the Republican, economist/business educator 14 don’t know 16 . Would you vote for… [rotate names] 50% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, United States s enator 39 Chuck DeVo re, the Republican, a ssemblyman/military reservist 11 don’t know 17 . Would you vote for… [rotate names] 48% Barbara Boxer, the Democrat, United States s enator 39 Carly Fiorina, the Republican, business executive 13 don’t know 18. Changing topics, Proposition 14 is called “Elections. Increases Right to Participate in Primary Elections.” It changes the primary election process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races, allows all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference, and ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot r egardless of party preference. Fiscal Impact includes no significant net change in sta te and local government costs to administer elections. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 14? 60% yes 27 no 13 don’t know 19 . How important is the issue of allowing voters to select any candidate, regardless of par ty, in California’s primaries? Is this issue very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important to you? 51% very important 30 somewhat important 10 not too important 7 not at all important 2 don’t know 20. Do you think the primary system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes , or is it fine the way it is? 36% major changes 35 minor changes 23 fine the way it is 6 don’t know 21. Next, 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 Cal ifornia? 42% big problem 27 somewhat of a problem 29 not much of a problem 2 don’t know 22. The governor and legislature passed a water package that includes water conservation requirem ents and plans for new water storage systems, water clean- up and recycling, and a council to oversee restoration of the Sacramento -San Joaquin Delta. This package includes an $ 11.1 billion bond measure on the November ballot to pay for water projects. How important is it that voters pass the bond measure? 42% very important 28 somewhat important 9 not too important 11 not at all important 10 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 30 [ rotate questions 23 and 24 ] 23. A November ballot initiative is titled, “C hanges California L aw to Legalize M arijuana and A llow It to Be Regulated and T axed.” In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not? 48% yes, legal 49 no, illegal 3 don’t know 24. Regardless of what you think about the personal non -medical uses of marijuana, do you think adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctors prescribe it or do you think that marijuana should be illegal even for medical purposes? 76% should be allowed for medical purposes 22 should be illegal even for medical purposes 2 don’t know 25. On another topic, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 81% big problem 15 somewhat of a problem 1 not a problem 3 don’t know 26. As you may know, the state government currently has an annual budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion -dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap —mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 39% mostly through spending cuts 7 mostly through tax increases 42 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 6 okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 2 other answer (specify ) 4 don’t know 27. When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer : [rotate ] (1) Governor Schwarzenegger’s, (2) the Democrats’ in the legislature, [or] (3) the Republicans’ in the legislature? 35% Democrats’ approach 25 Republicans’ approach 11 Governor Schwarzenegger’s 1 other answer ( specify) 10 none (volunteered) 18 don’t know 28. Some of the largest areas for state spending are: [ rotate] (1 ) K –12 public education, ( 2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [ and] (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. 56% K– 12 public education 17 higher education 17 health and human services 7 prisons and corrections 3 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 31 Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. For each of the following, please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not. [rotate questions 29 to 32] 29. What if the state said it needed more money just to ma intain current funding for K –12 public education? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 69% yes 29 no 2 don’t know 30. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current fu nding for higher education? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 54% yes 43 no 3 don’t know 31. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for health and human services? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 54% yes 43 no 3 don’t know 32. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for prisons and corrections? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 18% yes 79 no 3 don’t know T ax and fee increases could be used to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 33 to 36] 33. How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 58% favor 39 oppose 3 don’t know 34. How about raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 67% favor 30 oppose 3 don’t know 35. How about increasing the ve hicle license fee? 28% favor 69 oppose 3 don’t know 36. How about extending the state sales tax to service s that are not currently taxed? 35% favor 58 oppose 7 don’t know [questions 37 to 37b asked starting May 14] 37. Recently, Governor Schwarzenegg er proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year to close the state’s $19 billion budget deficit. It includes spending cuts in health and human services, including the elimination of CalWORKS, the state’s welfare -to -work program. It includes spending reductions in prisons and corrections and state employee compensation. It claims to have no spending cuts in K –12 education and increases spending on higher education. The plan includes no new taxes. In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the g overnor’s budget plan? 46% satisfied 43 dissatisfied 3 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 32 [ rotate questions 37a and 37b] 37a.Do you think that tax increases should be included in the governor’s budget plan? 46% yes 49 no 5 don’t know 37b. Overall, how concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor’s budget plan? 40% very concerned 40 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 8 not at all concerned 3 don’t know Fiscal and governance reforms have been proposed to address the structural issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. [rotate questions 38 to 43, keeping 40 and 40a as a rotated block ] 38. How about requiring the governor and legislature to have a two -year spending plan along with a five- year fiscal forecast before approving the annual state budget? 77% good idea 16 bad idea 7 don’t know 39. How about requiring that any major new programs, expanded programs, or tax reductions identify a specific funding source? 78% good idea 14 bad idea 8 don’t know 4 0. How about lowering the vote requirement to pass a state budget from a two -thirds vote to a simple majority or 50 -percent -plus -one vote while keeping the two -thirds vote requirement for passing state taxes? 51% good idea 38 bad idea 11 don’t know 40a. How about lowering the vote requirement to pass a state budget and state taxes from a two -thirds vote to a simple majority or 50- percent -plus -one vote? 47% good idea 45 bad idea 8 don’t know 40b. How about raising the vote requirement to pass any new fees that replace tax revenue from a simple majority or 50- percent-plus - one vote to a two -thirds vote? 56% good idea 34 bad idea 10 don’t know 41. How about requiring that the members of the state legislature forfeit their pay and per - day allowance when the state budget is late? 75% good idea 19 bad idea 6 don’t know 42. How about increasing the size of the state’s rainy day fund and requiring above -average revenues to be deposited into it for use during economic downturns? 74% good idea 18 bad idea 8 don’t know 43. How about strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 71% good idea 23 bad idea 6 do n’t know 44. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 59% approve 37 disapprove 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2010 Californians and Their Government 33 [ rotate questions 45 and 46] 45. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein 50% approve is handling her job as U.S. s enator? 35 disapprove 15 don’t know 46. 50% approve Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. s enator? 38 disapprove 12 don’t know 47. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 31% approve 61 disapprove 8 don’t know 48. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 8% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 32 middle -of -the -road 24 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know 49 . Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 24% great deal 41 fair amount 29 only a little 6 none [d1 to d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Donna Lucas La Opinión Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Raymond L. Watson Orange County Register Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:32" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_510mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:32" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:32" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_510MBS.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) }