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object(Timber\Post)#3711 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_512MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "478452" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(77412) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Pre ss Release 3 20 12 Elections 6 St ate and National Issues 14 R egional Map 22 M ethodology 2 3 Questionnaire and Results 25 their government m ay 2 0 1 2 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians mark Baldassare D ean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation May 2012 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy- free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 126th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 266,000 Californians. This sur vey is the 52nd in the Californians and Their Government series, which is conducted p eriodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation. This sur vey seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impo r tant state and national issues. This sur vey was conducted in the days after Governor Brown released his revised budget proposal and just weeks prior to the June primar y . As a result of a larger deficit than was anticipated in the Januar y budget proposal, the governor ’s revised budget proposal to close a $15.7 billion deficit has deeper cuts to social ser vice programs as well as cuts to cour ts and state employee compensation. The budget also relies on voters passing a tax initiative proposed on the November ballot . If voters reject this tax initiative, the governor’s budget proposes automatic spending cuts to K–12 schools. In the June primar y California voters will be voting on two state propositions and, for the first time, will vote under a top -two pr imar y system approved by voters in 2010. At the national level, President Obama announced his suppor t for same -sex marriage, and with Mitt Romney the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, the 2012 presidential election season is getting into full swing. This survey presents the responses of 2,00 2 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  2012 elections , including the preference of likely voters in a matchup between President Obama and Mitt Romney, candidate f avorability ratings,views of President Obama since his statement supporting same -sex marriage, satisfaction with and attention to news about presidential candidates; preferred outcome in congressional elections; views of the top-two primar y system; v oting intentions for Proposition 28 (legislative term limit reform ) and Proposition 29 (tax increases on cigarettes to fund cancer research) in the June primar y; and opinions on the governor’s proposed tax initiative and the automatic cuts in K–12 education if th is initiative fails .  State and national issues, including approval ratings of Governor Brown, the legislature, President Obama, and Congress; perceptions of the economy; satisfaction with the governor’s revised budget plan and views on spending cuts included in the budget ; preferences for dealing with the state budget situation, r aisin g taxes for major budget areas, and raising the state sales tax and the top rate of the state income tax of the wealthy; and perceptions of waste at the federal, state, and local levels of government.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2012 elections and state and national issues, based on their political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 7 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES With the presidential race effectively down to two candidates—Democrati c incumbent President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney —nearly six in 10 likely voters (57%) express satisfaction with their choice of candidates. Satisfaction among likely voters has grown somewhat since December (49%), January (5 3%), and March (53%), but Democrats are still far more likely than Republicans to say they are satisfied with their choice (75 % to 46%). Independents are divided . While Democrats (up 18 points) and independents (up 15 points) have seen double -digit increases in satisfaction since December, satisfaction among Republicans is unchanged. Likely voters supporting Oba ma are far more likely than those supporting Romney to say they are satisfied (76% to 47%). While satisfaction with presidential candidates has grown, attention to news about them is relatively unchanged since last December (aside from a slight dip in January ). Today, 4 2 percent of likely voters say they are following news about presidential candidates very closely and 44 percent say fairly closely. Just 14 percent are following news not too or not at all closely. A t a comparable point in time before the 2008 presidential election, attention to the news was sim ilar to today (May 2008: 47% very, 43% fairly closely). California l ikely voters are only slightly more likely to say they have a favorable (52 %) than unfavorable (4 5%) opinion of Barack Obama. But they are more likely to have unfavorable (40%) than favor able (52%) views of Mitt Romney . Among all adults nationwide, (not a subset of likely voters), an Associated Press/Gfk poll from early May found favorability of Obama at 58 percent (38% unfavorable) and of Romney at 43 percent (43 % unfavorable). Opinions among California’s likely voters are predictably divided along party lines. Independents are more likely to have a favorable than unfavorable opinion of Obama (52 % to 42%), and they are slightly more negative (47%) than positive (40%) about Romney. Among those who are satisfied with their choice of candidates, 68 percent have favorable views of Obama and 36 percent have favorable views of Romney. Among those who are not satisfied with their choice, fewer than half are favorable toward either Obama (29%) or Romney (4 4%). In May 2008, the margin of favorable (59%) to unfavorable (36%) views of Obama was larger than today (23 points compared to 7 points today). Likely voters expressed favorability ratings of the 2008 Republican challenger John McCain (42% favorable, 53% unfavorable) similar to those of Mitt Romney today. “Please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following presidential candidates. How about…” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women …Barack Obama? Favorable 52% 84% 14% 52% 53% 50% Unfavorable 45 13 82 42 44 45 Don't know/Never heard of him (vol) 4 3 4 6 3 5 …Mitt Romney? Favorable 40 13 72 40 40 39 Unfavorable 52 80 20 47 52 51 Don't know/Never heard of him (vol) 9 7 8 13 7 10 Half of likely voters (49%) in California say President Obama’s announcement earlier in the month that he supports same- sex marriage did not affect their opinion of him. Another 25 percent say the announcement makes them think more favorably of him, while 2 5 percent say it makes them think less favorably of him. Am ong Democratic likely voters, 46 percent say their opinion is unchanged, while 40 percent view Obama more favorably. Amo ng Republicans, 45 percent say their opinion is unchanged, while 4 6 percent view him less favorably. Among independents, 62 percent say their opinion is unchanged, while 21 percen t view him more favorably and 15 percent less favorably. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 8 PRESIDENTIAL AND CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS Among likely voters, President Obama currently leads Mitt Romney 50 percent to 39 percent in the presidential race; one in 10 are either undecided (8%) or would vote for someone else (3%) . Eighty-six percent of Democrats support Obama while 78 percent of Republicans support Romney. Independents prefer Obama (45% to 33% for Romney) but 20 percent are undecided . An overwhelming majority of liberals (84%) support Obama as do 55 percent of moderates. Among conservatives, 72 percent support Romney. Obama receives solid majority support in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, while in the Central Valley and the Other Southern California region about half support Romney, about four in 10 support Obama, and about one in 10 are undecided. Two in three Latinos support Obama while whites are divided. Two in three likely voters under age 35 and 53 percent of those age 35 to 54 support Obama, while those age 55 and older are divided. Both women (51% Obama, 38% Romney) and men (49% Obama, 39% Romney) prefer Obama . Among those who are satisfied with their choice of candidates, two in three support Obama; among those who are not satisfied, 5 0 percent support Romney, 28 percent support Obama, and 1 6 percent are undecided. Fifty-eight percent of evangelical Protestants say they would vote for Romney while mainline Protestants are somewhat divided ( 47% Romney, 41% Obama). Obama is the preferred candidate among Catholic likely voters (59 % Obama, 34% Romney) and among those practicing no religion (66 % Obama, 22% Romney). “If the November 6th presidential election were being held today, would you vote for Barack Obama, the Democrat , or Mitt Romney, the Republican?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Barack Obama, the Democrat 50% 86% 12% 45% 84% 55% 18% Mitt Romney, the Republican 39 8 78 33 7 31 72 Someone else 3 – 4 2 4 1 3 Don’t know 8 6 6 20 5 13 7 California likely voters are slightly more likely to prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats than a Congress controlled by Republicans as the outcome of the 2012 congressional elections (4 7% to 40%). Eight percent volunteer they prefer neither party to control Congress. Eight in 10 Democrat ic likely voters prefer Congress to be controlled by Democrats , while eight in 10 Republican likely voters prefer their party to be in control . Among independents, 43 percent prefer Democratic control, while 36 percent prefer Republican control. Regionally , majorities of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles prefer that Democrats control Congress, while 52 percent of likely voters in both the Central Valley and Other Southern California region prefer Republican control. A strong majority of likely voters age 18 to 34 (65 %) prefer that Democrats control Congress; those age 35 and older are more divided. “What is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congr ess controlled by Democrats?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Controlled by Republicans 40% 9% 82% 36% 13% 27% 75% Controlled by Democrats 47 82 9 43 81 53 16 Neither (volunteered) 8 3 7 14 4 14 6 Don’t know 4 5 2 6 3 7 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 9 TOP-TWO PRIMARY SYSTEM When Californians go to the polls on June 5 they will experience a change in the primary system. Proposition 14, which was passed by voters in June 2010 (54% yes, 46% no), changed California state primaries from a partially closed system to a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes —regardless of party —will adv ance to the general election. How important is this new system to Californians ? Two in three likely voters view the top- two primary system as very (32%) or somewhat important (35 %) while about three in 10 say it is not too (15%) or not at all important (14 %). More than six in 10 likely voters across parties view the top- two primary system as at least somewhat important, but independents ( 41%) are more likely than Republicans ( 31%) or Democrats (32 %) to say it is very important . Across the ideological spect rum, 71 percent of moderates view the system as at least somewhat important; 64 percent of both liberals and conservatives agree. Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) are somewhat less likely than those elsewhere to view the top- two system as important (65% Los Angeles, 67% Other Southern California region, 69% Central Valley) . About seven in 10 Latinos (71%) and whites (67%) see it as important . Among those who say the top- two primary system is a good thing for California elections, 95 percent say it is important (55% very, 40% somewhat). “How important to you is having the top- two primary system? Is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Very important 32% 32% 31% 41% 29% 36% 30% Somewhat important 35 34 33 35 35 35 34 Not too important 15 20 13 10 22 10 15 Not at all important 14 10 18 11 11 14 16 Don’t know 4 4 6 3 4 5 5 Forty-three percent of likely voters say that having the top -two primary system is a good thing for California elections, while 22 percent say it is a bad thing and 27 percent say it makes no difference. Across parties , independents (49%) are the most likely to say it is a good thing, followed by Democrats (43%) and Republicans (39 %). Similarly, about half of moderate likely voters (48 %) think the top -two primary system is a good thing, followed by 44 percent of liberals and 38 percent of conservatives. About four in 10 across regions say the new system is a good thing. Similar shares of Latinos (45%) and whites (4 4%) view the top -two system as a good thing. Among those who view this new system as very important, 74 percent say it is a good thing. “Do you think that having the top- two primary system is a good thing or a bad thing for California elections, or does it make no difference for California elections?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Good thing 43% 43% 39% 49% 44% 48% 38% Bad thing 22 13 31 13 18 19 27 Make s no difference 27 32 22 32 31 25 26 Don’t know 9 11 8 6 8 7 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 10 PROPOSITION 28: LEGISLATIVE TERM LIMITS Proposition 28 on the June ballot would reduce the total amount of time that a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 to 12 years and allow s 12 years’ service in one house . This proposed change to the legislative term limits that have been in effect since 1990 would apply only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. When read the Proposition 28 ballot title and label, 62 percent of likely voters would vote yes , 29 percent would vote no, and 9 percent are undecided. In our March survey, 68 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes , 24 percent said they would no, and 8 percent we re undecided. Today, Proposition 28 has majority support across party and ideological groups, and also across age, education, gender, income, racial/ethnic, and regional groups. Support for Proposition 28 is higher among those who disapprove of the California Legislature’s job performance (63% support ) than among those who approve (53% supp ort ). Twenty -one percent of likely voters say the outcome of the Proposition 28 vote is very important to them. In our March survey , 22 percent held this view . About one in five of those who plan to vote yes (23% very important) and of those who plan to vote no (18% very important) view the outcome as very important . “Proposition 28 is called the ‘ Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initi ative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 62% 29% 9% Party Democrats 60 31 9 Republicans 63 28 9 Independents 66 22 11 Ideology Liberals 55 36 9 Moderates 66 26 8 Conservatives 64 26 10 Education High school or less 65 24 10 Some college 66 25 9 College graduate 56 35 9 *For complete text of proposition question , see p . 28. When asked about existing legislative term limits, 62 percent of likely voters say that they are a good thing for California and 1 2 percent say they are a bad thing. In our March survey, 68 percent of likely voters said that term limits are a good thing for California while 11 percent disagreed. Today, Republicans (71%) and independents (69 %) are more likely than Democrats (53 %) to say that term limits are a good thing. Those who plan to vote yes are far more likely than those who plan to vote no on Proposition 28 to say that term l imits are a good thing (74% to 40%). “The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop. 28 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Good thing 62% 53% 71% 69% 74% 40% Bad thing 12 18 8 7 6 27 Do not make a difference 21 24 17 19 17 31 Don’t know 4 5 4 4 3 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 11 PROPOSITION 29: ADDITIONAL CIGARETTE TAX Proposition 29 on the June ballot would impose an additional $1 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products with revenues funding research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. When read the Propositi on 29 ballot title and label, 53 percent of likely voters would vote yes, 42 percent would vote no, and 5 percent are undecided. In our March survey before the y es - and no -campaigns were in full swing , 67 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes, 30 percent said they would vote no, and 3 percent were undecided. Today, Proposition 29 has majority support among Democrats, independents, liberals, moderates, voters under 55, Latinos, and voters across income groups. There is majority opposition among Republicans and conservatives. Likely voters in Los Angeles (61%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (59%) are more likely to vote yes than voters elsewhere. Forty -tw o percent of likely voters say the outcome of the Proposition 29 vote is very important to them and 38 percent say is it somewhat important. In our March survey, 41 percent said the outcome is very important and 37 percent said it is somewhat important. Those who plan to vote yes are no more likely than those who would vote no to say the Proposition 29 out come is very important to them (45% to 4 1%). “Proposition 29 is called the ‘ Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cance r Research, Initiative Statute.’ … If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 53% 42% 5% Party Democrats 66 29 6 Republicans 37 59 4 Independents 61 37 2 ideology Liberals 64 30 6 Moderates 60 36 4 Conservatives 40 56 4 Age 18 to 34 76 24 – 35 to 54 53 42 4 55 and older 45 48 7 *For complete text of proposition question, see p . 28. When asked in general about increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes, 63 percent of likely voters are in favor and 33 percent are opposed. In our March survey, majorities of likely voters supported a tax increase on the purchase of cigarettes (63% favor) as in our January 2006 survey (70% in favor). Today, Democrats (7 3%) and independents (66 %) are more likely than Republicans (52%) to favor increasing taxes on cigarette purch ases. Majorities across age, education, gender, income, racial/ethnic, and regional groups are in favor of this tax increase . Those who plan to vote yes on Proposition 29 are far more likely than those who plan to vote no to favor tax increases on cigarette purchases (9 5% to 2 1%). “In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop. 29 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 63 % 73% 52% 66% 95% 21% Oppose 33 24 44 29 4 74 Don’t know 4 3 4 4 1 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 12 GOVERNOR BROWN’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE As did the January budget plan, t he governor’s recently revised budget plan proposes a tax initiative for the November ballot that would temporarily increase both the state personal income tax on wealthy Californians and the state sales tax. With signature gathering just completed, it had not at the time of this survey yet qualified for the ballot. When read the ballot title and a brief summary, 56 percent of likely vot ers say they would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, 38 percent say they would vote no, and 7 percent say they are undecided. In our April survey, 54 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes, 39 percent said they would vote no, and 6 percent were undecided. While direct comparisons are not possible, likely voters’ support for an earlier version of the tax initiative was about the same in our March survey (52% yes and 40% no) when read the identical ballot title and a similar ballot summary . Support was somewhat higher in our January (68%) and December (60 %) surveys that predated the ballot title and summary . Today, 75 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, while 62 percent of Republicans would vote no. Majorities across income groups support the tax initiative, but support is far lower among conservat ives (31%) than others (65% moderates, 80% liberals) . W hites ( 52%) are less supportive of the tax initiative than Latinos (68%). “Governor Brown and others have proposed a tax initiative for the November ballot titled the ‘Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 56% 38% 7% Party Democrats 75 16 8 Republicans 32 62 6 Independents 57 36 6 Gender Men 55 39 6 Women 56 36 8 Household Income Under $40,000 60 33 7 $40,000 to under $80,000 55 40 5 $80,000 or more 57 37 6 *For complete text of question, see p. 27 . Governor Brown’s budget proposes automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools if the proposed tax initiative is rejected. Seventy -two percent of likely voters and solid majorities across parties are opposed to automatic spending cuts. Among those who would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, 80 percent oppose the automatic spending cuts, but a majority who would vote no are also opposed to the cuts (58%) . Likely voters were also overwhelmingly opposed to this provision of the governor’s proposed budget in earlier surveys (78% April, 72% March, 75% January). “If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governo r Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K –12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on governor’s proposed tax initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 23 % 14% 31% 29% 17% 34% Oppose 72 82 64 64 80 58 Don’t know 5 4 5 7 3 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 13 GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE AND THE STATE BUDGET SITUATION Eighty-three percent of likely voters perceive the state budget situation in California as a big problem, similar to findings among likely voters in April (80%), March (78%), January (78%) , and last December (83%). Today, strong majorities of likely voters across political and demographic groups say the state budget situation is a big problem. Those who plan to vote no on the governor’s proposed tax initiative are more likely than those who would vote yes to hold this view (93% to 77%). Sixty -six percent of likely voters s ay that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts, similar to our April (64%), March (66%), January (60 %), and December (65%) surveys. Today, majorities of likely voters across party and ideological groups, and also across age, education, gender, income, racial/ethnic, and regional groups, agree . Those who plan to vote yes are more likely than those who plan to vote no on the governor’s proposed tax initiative to say their local governm ent services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts (7 1% to 5 6%). “Would you say that your local government services—such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts?” ( If they have : “Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?”) Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on governor’s proposed tax initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Affected a lot 66% 74% 56% 65% 71% 56% Affected somewhat 22 18 25 24 20 26 Not affected 7 6 9 5 6 9 Don’t know 6 2 9 5 4 9 As in the January budget plan, t he governor’s recently revised budget plan includes a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Forty- four percent of likely voters prefer this approach to handling the state budget gap, 13 percent prefer relying mostly on tax increases, and 35 percent prefe r mostly spending cuts. Seventy- five percent of Democrats favor either a mix of spe nding cuts and tax increases (53%) or mostly tax increases (22 %), and 59 percent of independents prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (50%) or mostly tax increases (9%) . Fifty -eight percent of Republicans prefer mostly spending cuts and 34 percent prefer a mix . Eight in 10 of those who plan to vote yes on the governor’s proposed tax initiative prefer either a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (58%) or mostly tax increases (20 %), while 6 9 percent of those who would vote no say they prefer mostly spending cuts. “As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap— mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a m ix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on governor’s proposed tax initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No A mix of spending cuts and tax increases 44 % 53% 34% 50% 58% 22% Mostly through spending cuts 35 17 58 29 14 69 Mostly through tax increases 13 22 2 9 20 2 Okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 2 2 1 5 2 2 Other 1 1 1 3 1 2 Don’t know 4 5 4 3 5 4 May 2012 Californians and Their Government 14 STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  Approval of Governor Brown is at 39 percent among all adults , while the state legislature has a 25 percent approval rating. Fifty -six percent approve of President Obama, while approval of the U.S. Co ngress is at 22 percent . (page 15)  Half of Californians name jobs and the economy as the most important issue today . Four in 10 think the s tate is in a serious recession and six in 10 say the state will face bad economic times. (page 16)  Fifty -eight percent prefer paying higher taxes and having the state government provide more services; 37 percent prefer paying lower taxes and getting fewer services . When it comes to difficult budget choices this year, a vast majority of Californians (82%) think vote rs should make some of these decisions at the ballot box. (page 17)  When read a summary of the governor’s revised budget proposal, Californians are somewhat more likely to oppose (50%) than favor (41%) the plan . Majorities would pay higher taxes for K –12 education, health and human services, and higher education; only 17 percent would do so for prisons and corrections. (page 19 )  Most Californians (69%) and likely voters (65%) favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest residents. Most oppose ( 64% Californians, 58% likely voters ) raising the state sales tax. ( page 20 )  Sixty -seven percent of Californians believe that the federal government wastes a lot of taxpayer money, and 57 percent say the same thing about the state government , while 38 percent say their local government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. (page 21) 72 6359 52565156 47 39 3126302722 0 20 40 60 80 100 May09Sep09May10Sep10Mar11Sep11May12 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 4242414446 4039 23232625282525 0 20 40 60 80 May11July11Sep11Nov11Jan12Mar12May12 Percent all adults Governor Brown Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 67 57 38 0 20 40 60 80 100 FederalStateLocal Percent all adults Belief that ... Government Wastes a lot of Taxpayer Money PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 15 STATE AND FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS’ APPROVAL RATINGS Just after the release of his revised 2012–13 budget proposal and as he seeks support of his proposed tax initiative, Governor Brown’s approval ratings remain similar to earlier months . Thirty-nine per cent of Californians say they approve of the governor’s job performance, while 36 percent disapprove, and 24 percent are unsure. In April, 43 percent expressed approval. Aside from two dips in February and March 2011, approval has remained steady, ranging between 39 and 46 percent since the governor took office in January 2011. L ikely voters are divided today, 42 percent approve and 4 3 percent disapprove. About six in 10 Democrats express approval, while a similar proportion of Republicans express disapprov al. M ajorities of Californians ( 57%) and likely voters (71 %) disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job; one in four or fewer in either group approve. Approval is similar to April among all adults (25% April an d 25% today ) and likely v oters (15% April, 1 7% today). Disapproval is high across party groups, especi ally among Republicans. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 39% 58% 22% 34% 42% Disapprove 36 26 63 37 43 Don't know 24 16 15 29 14 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 25 30 10 16 17 Disapprove 57 56 79 69 71 Don't know 18 14 11 15 11 Majorities of Californians (56%) and likely voters (54%) approve of the way President Obama is handling his job. For the last two years approval has ranged between 51 and 59 percent among all adults. Voters are divided along party lines: eight in 10 Democr ats express approval and three in four Republicans express disapproval of President Obama. Half of independents (51%) approve and 38 percent disapprove. Among the likely voters supporting Obama in the presidential race, 94 percent approve of his job performance; 89 percent of Romney supporters disapprove. In an ABC News/ Washington Post poll, 47 percent of adults nationwide approve, and 49 percent disapprove, of Obama’s job performance. Strong majorities of Californians (69%) and likely voters (78%) disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job; fewer than one in four in either group say they approve. Approval among all adults and likely voters is similar to March. Vast majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents disapprove. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 56% 82% 20% 51% 54% Disapprove 39 15 77 38 42 Don't know 5 3 3 10 4 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 22 22 13 14 16 Disapprove 69 74 82 79 78 Don't know 8 4 5 7 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 16 CALIFORNIA’S ECONOMIC SITUATION Half of Californians mention jobs and the economy (52 %) as the most important issue facing the state. Far fewer mention the state budget (14%) or education and schools (9%). Similar shares mentioned jobs and the economy in May 2011 (57%) and March (52%). Californians continue to believe that the state is in a recession; 41 percent say it is serious , 32 percent moderate, and 8 percent mild. Only 16 percent say that the state is not in a recession. Majorities said the state was in a serious recession from January 2009 to October 2010. Perceptions of the severity of the recession declined in January 2011 (48% serious recession) and half or less have said that the state is in a serious recession in 2011 and this year (43% January, 41% March, 41 % today). Forty -eight percent of likely voters say the recession is serious. Republicans (56%) are much more likely tha n independents (42 %) and Democrats (36%) to say it is a serious recession. Residents in the Central Valley (46%) and the Other Southern California region ( 44%) are the most likely to believe the recession is serious, followed by those in Los Angeles ( 39%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (34%). The perception that the state is in a serious recession increases with age and education. “Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not?” ( if yes: “ Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession? ”) All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Serious recession 41% 36% 56% 42% 48% Moderate recession 32 32 25 31 28 Mild recession 8 11 6 6 7 Not in a recession 16 19 11 19 15 Don’t know 2 2 2 2 2 Californians continue to have a neg ative economic outlook , with a solid majority (6 1%) saying the state will have bad times financially during the next 12 months. Pessimism today is similar to last May (58%). Republicans (79 %) are more likely than independents (6 1%) and Democrats (54%) to have negative views. Across regions, pessimism is higher in the Central Valley (70 %) than in the Other Southern California region (60 %), Los Angeles (58 %), an d the San Francisco Bay Area (58 %). More than half across all demographic gro ups have a negative outlook. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 31% 36% 16% 30% 27% Bad times 61 54 79 61 65 Don’t know 8 9 5 9 9 Pessimism extends to perceptions of the general direction of the state, with 63 percent saying that thing s in California are generally going in the wrong direction and only 30 percent say ing right direction. The share saying wrong direction is similar to last May (61%). Majorities across parties, regions , and demographic groups share this view. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 17 DEALING WITH THE STATE BUDGET SITUATION When it comes to the size of government, nearly six in 10 Californians (58%) would prefer to pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services instead of paying lower taxes and having a state government that provides fewer services ( 37%). The proportion preferring higher taxes and more serv ices is near the record high reached in January 2006 (61%) . Partisans are divided, with a strong majority of Democrats (73 %) preferring higher taxes and more services and a similar majority of Republicans (68 %) preferring lower taxes and fewer services. Independents are divided (51 % higher taxes/more services, 45% lower taxes/fewer services). Likely voters are divided on this issue (49% higher taxes/more services, 46% lower taxes/fewer services). Across California’s regions, majorities of residents in the S an Francisco Bay Area (66%), Los Angeles (6 3%) , and Central Valley (54%) prefer higher taxes and more services, while residents in the Other Southern California region are divided (49% higher taxes/more services, 43% lower taxes/fewer services). Latinos ( 71%) prefer higher taxes and more services, while whites are divided (48% higher taxes/more services, 46 % lower taxes/fewer services). Preference for higher taxes and more services declines with increases in age , and is much higher among those with a high school education or less , and those with income s under $40,000, than among others . “In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government tha t provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Higher taxes and more services 58% 73% 25% 51% 49% Lower taxes and fewer services 37 22 68 45 46 Don’t know 5 4 7 4 5 Considering that Californians will likely be asked in November to increase taxes, who do they think should make the tough choices involved in the state budget this year ? Eight in 10 Californians ( 82%) and likely voters ( 81%) prefer that voters make some of the decision about spending and taxes at the ballot box. F ewer than one in five adults (14%) and likely voters (15%) prefer the governor and legislature make all of the decisions. Findings were similar am ong adults and likely voters last May. At least eight in 10 across parties and more than seven in 10 across regions ( 75% San Francisco Bay Area, 80 % Los Angeles, 83% Central Valley, 88% Other Southern California region) and demographic groups prefer that voters make some of these decisions. Likely voters who would vote for (77 %) and against (88%) the governor’s tax initiative prefer that voters make some of the tough choices involved in the state budget. “And when it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget this year, would you prefer: that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes; or that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind The governor and legislature make all of the decisions 14% 16% 11% 11% 15% California voters make some of the decisions 82 80 86 86 81 Other/Both (volunteered) 2 1 – 1 – Don’t know 3 3 2 1 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 18 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released a revised budget proposal to address a projected state budget deficit that has grown from $9.2 billion in January to $15.7 billion due to lower than expected tax receipts , higher costs to fund schools, and decisions by the federal government and courts to block certain social service cuts. The revised budget plan includes further cuts to Medi -Cal, welfare, child care and other social service programs, and cuts to courts and state employee compensation. The budget also relies on tax increases that voters would have to approve through an initiative in the November ballot. When read a brief summary of the revised budget proposal, 50 percent oppose and 41 percent favor the governor’s budget plan. In January, when the governor first presented his budget plan, 50 percent were in favor and 43 percent were opposed. Half of Democrats (50%), 42 percent of independents , and 32 percent of Republicans fav or the revised plan. Those with incomes under $80,000 (54% under $40,000, 52% $40,000 to under $80,000) are more likely to oppose the plan than those with incomes of $80,000 or more (41%). Opposition to the budget plan declines with education. About half across regions oppose the plan, except in the San Francisco Bay Area where residents are divided (44 % favor, 44% oppose). Among l ikely voters , 44 percent favor and 50 percent oppose the plan . Among likely voters who would vote yes on the tax initiative , 64 percent favor and 29 percent oppose the revised budget plan. “Governor Brown recently revised his budget plan for the next fiscal year to close the state’s projected $15.7 billion budget deficit. It includes spending cuts to Medi-Cal, welfare, child care and other social service programs and to courts and state employee compensation. It increases funding for K –12 public education. The proposal includes tax increases that would have to be approved by voters through an initiative on the November ballot. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 41% 50% 34% 42% 44% Oppose 50 45 61 48 50 Haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 3 1 2 2 2 Don’t know 6 4 4 8 5 Spending cuts to social service programs have been increased in the revised budget plan. Opposition to cut s to social service programs (65%) is higher than opposition to the plan in general (50%). In January, 58 percent opposed these cuts. Likely voters (60%) oppose cutting spending in social service programs. S olid majorities of Democrats (76%) oppose these cuts, as do a majority of independents (58%). Republicans are divided ( 48% favor, 49% oppose). Majorities across regions and demographic groups oppose these cuts, although opposition declines with rising income and education levels. Among those who favor the governor’s revised budget plan in general, 4 2 percent favor and 54 percent oppose the cuts to social service programs included in the budget plan. Those who oppose the governor’s budget plan are strongly opposed to these cuts (22% favor, 75% oppose). “Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s proposed spending cuts to Medi-Cal, welfare, child care, and other social service programs?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 30% 21% 48% 35% 36% Oppose 65 76 49 58 60 Don’t know 5 3 3 6 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 19 RAISING STATE REVENUES FOR SPECIFI C BUDGET AREAS We asked if Californians would be willing to pay higher taxes for each of four m ajor spending areas to help reduce the state budget deficit . Majorities of Californians are willing to pay higher taxes for K –12 education ( 64%), higher education (57 %), and health and human services (54%). Only 17 percent would pay higher taxes for prisons and corrections. Findings are similar among likely voters. W hen we asked a similar question in January about paying higher taxes to maintain current funding for the major budget areas, 72 percent said they would pay higher taxes for K –12 education . Findings for other spending areas were similar to today. “Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. For each of the following areas of state spending , please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes, or not.” K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Yes 64% 57% 54% 17% No 34 42 44 81 Don’t know 2 2 2 2 Strong majorities of Democrats (79%) and independents ( 63%) would pay higher taxes for K–12 education, while Republicans would not (42 % yes, 56% no). There is majority support across regions and demographic groups for paying higher taxes for K–12 education. Governor Brown and others are proposing to raise taxes for this budget area through the initiative process . A strong majority of Democrats (72%) and 57 percent of independents would pay higher taxes for higher education , while most Republicans would not (3 2% yes, 67% no). Majorities across regions are willing to pay higher taxes for higher education. Half or more across income and education levels would pay higher taxes for this area. Support declines with rising age (71% 18 to 34, 53% 35 to 54, 46% 55 and older). Majorities of Democrats (70%) and independents (50%) are willing to pay higher taxes for health and human services, while seven in 10 Republic ans (70%) would not . At least half across income groups would pay higher taxes for this purpose, and support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (65%). When asked about paying higher taxes for prisons and corrections, no more than 20 percent of adults , likely voters, and Californians across regions and demographic groups say they would do so. Percent willing to pay higher taxes K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections All Adults 64% 57% 54% 17% All Likely Voters 61 55 50 18 Party Democrats 79 72 70 20 Republicans 42 32 28 17 Independents 63 57 50 19 Region Central Valley 64 53 50 19 San Francisco Bay Area 72 62 65 14 Los Angeles 63 61 56 16 Other Southern California 59 53 50 16 Household Income Under $40,000 67 60 59 18 $40,000 to under $80,000 62 51 51 13 $80,000 or more 68 61 52 18 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 20 STATE REVENUE SOURCES Given that Californians will probably go to the polls in November to vote on the governor’s tax initiative, how do they feel about the two types of taxes included in the initiative? Solid majorities of adults (69%) and likely voters (65%) favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians , and solid majorities (64% adults, 58% likely voters) are opposed to raising the state sales tax. Since we first asked this question in January 2004, at least 65 percent have favored raising the tax rate of the wealthiest Californians (71% January 2004, 69% January 2005, 68% M ay 2005, 65% January 2006, 73% January 2008, 69% May 2008, 72% January 2009, 67% May 2010, 74% January 2012, 69 % today). Today, there i s a wide partisan divide , with 86 percent of Democrats in favor and nearly six in 10 Republicans (58 %) opposed. Seven in 10 independents (71%) favor raising income taxes on wealthy Californians. Residents in Los Angeles (77%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (75%) are more likely to be in favor than those in the Central Valley ( 65%) or the Other Southern California region ( 61%). Support for increasing taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents is similar across income groups (73% under $40,000, 68% $40,000 –$79,999, 67% $80,000 or more) . Adults under 35 (74%), and 35 to 54 (72%) are more likely to express support than those age 5 5 and older (60%). Seven in 10 across education levels support this idea. Among likely voters who plan to vote yes on the governor’s tax initiative, 8 9 percent favor this tax increase, while 71 percent of those who plan to vote no are opposed to it . “Do you favor or oppose raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 69% 86% 39% 71% 65% Oppose 28 12 58 27 33 Don’t know 3 1 2 3 2 Only 33 percent of Californians favor raising the state sales tax, while 64 percent are opposed. Since January 2004, at least six in 10 Californians have opposed the idea of raising the state sales tax to reduce the state’s deficit (60% January 2004, 64% January 2005, 71% May 2005, 64% January 2008, 61% May 2008, 69% January 2011, 73% May 2011, 69% January 2012, 6 4% today). Republicans (71 %) and independents (65%) oppose raising the state sales tax ; Democrats are slightly more likely to oppose (52%) than favor (45%) this idea. Majorit ies across regions are opposed (59% San Francisco Bay Area, 60 % Central Valley, 63% Los Angeles, 72 % Other Southern California region). Opposition to raising the state sales tax is similar across income levels (65% $40,000 or less, 62% $40,000– $79,999, 6 4% $80,000 and higher). More than six in 10 across education, age, gender, and racial/ethnic groups oppose raising the state sales tax . Among likely voters who plan to vote yes on the governor’s tax initiative, 58 percent favor raising the state sales tax, while 84 percent of those voting against the initiative oppose such an increase. “Do you favor or oppose raising the state sales tax?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 33% 45% 28% 33% 40% Oppose 64 52 71 65 58 Don’t know 3 3 1 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 21 TRUST IN GOVERNMENT SPENDING Most Californians think that the people in government, regardless of the level, waste at least some of the money paid in taxes . The belief that government wastes a lot is more pervasive about the federal (67%) and state (57 %) level than the local level (38 %). Fewer than one in four think that government doesn’t was te very much tax payer money. “Do you think the people in … government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” Federal government State government Local government A lot 67% 57% 38% Some 24 31 36 Don’t waste very much 6 8 21 Don't know 3 4 5 Two in three Californians (67%) and likely voters (68 %) think the federal government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. At least 57 percent of Californians have held this view since we first asked this question in February 2004 . Though majorities across parties think that the federal government is wasteful today, Republican s (8 1%) and independents (68 %) are much more likely than Democrats (57 %) to hold this view. Residents of the Central Valley (74 %) and the Other Southern California region (72 %) are the most likely to say the federal government wastes a lot , and at least 58 percent across demographic groups agree. Six in 10 Californians ( 57%) and likely voters ( 62%) think the state government wastes a lot of the money paid in taxes. Since February 2003, more than half of Californians have held this view. The belief that the state go vernment wastes a lot is more common among Republicans (7 4%) and independents (62 %) than among Democrats (51 %). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area ( 47%) are the least likely to say the state wastes a lot of tax payer money. About h alf or more across demographic groups think the state government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. Fewer Californians (3 8%) and likely voters (37%) think that their local government wastes a lot of the money paid in taxes. About four in 10 across parties hold this view. There ar e some regional differences : 25 percent of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area say there is a lot of waste, compared to about four in 10 elsewhere . Fewer than half across demographic groups say their local government wastes a lot. Percent saying government wastes a lot Federal government State government Local government All Adults 67% 57% 38% All Likely Voters 68 62 37 Party Democrats 57 51 38 Republicans 81 74 40 Independents 68 62 36 Region Central Valley 74 63 41 San Francisco Bay Area 65 47 25 Los Angeles 60 55 39 Other Southern California 72 62 41 Household Income Under $40,000 61 50 37 $40,000 to under $80,000 75 63 43 $80,000 or more 68 61 30 May 2012 Californians and Their Government 22 REGIONAL MAP May 2012 Californians and Their Government 23 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Jui Shrestha, project manager for this survey, and survey research associate s Dean Bonner and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts , but the methods, questions, and content of this report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 2,002 California adult residents, including 1,602 interviewed on landline telephones and 400 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from May 14 to 20 , 2012. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone r espondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landli ne and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc. , in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. , translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRB I we used recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007– 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample— region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education —with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 200 7–2009 ACS for California both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare the data against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for any differences across region al, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total sample of 2,002 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 24 results will be within 3.4 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1, 322 registered voters, i t is ±3.8 percent; for the 894 likely voters, it is ±4.2 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanis laus, 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 of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters; but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results f or non -Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as non -Hispanic blacks and Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters , but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline -to -state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are regi stered to vote in another party are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, intentions to vote in the June primary, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/ Washington Post, the Associated Press/GfK , and the Pew Research Center . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surve ys@ppic.org . May 2012 Californians and Their Government 25 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT May 14–20, 2012 2,002 California Adult Residents: English , Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 4% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 D UE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 52% jobs, economy 14 state budget, deficit, taxes 9 education, schools 3 crime, gangs, drugs 3 government in general 2 gas prices 2 health care, health costs 2 housing costs 2 immigration, illegal immigration 8 other 3 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 39% approve 36 disapprove 24 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 25% approve 57 disapprove 18 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 30% right direction 63 wrong direction 7 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or b ad times? 31% good times 61 bad times 8 don’t know 6. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? ( if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 41% yes, serious recession 32 yes, moderate recession 8 yes, mild recession 16 no 2 don’t know 7. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 67% yes [ask q7a] 33 no [skip to q8 d] PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 26 7a. Are you registered as a De mocrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q8] 31 Republican [skip to q8a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q9 ] 21 independent [skip to q8b] 8. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 55% strong 44 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q9] 8a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 52% strong 41 not very strong 7 don’t know [skip to q9] 8b. [indep endents only] Would you join a political party if it was a good reflection of your political views or do you prefer to be unaffiliated with any specific party? 25% join a political party 72 remain unaffiliated 2 don’t know 8 c. [independents only] And, were you previously registered with a major party or have you always been a decline -to -state or independent voter? 38% previously registered 60 always an independent 2 don’t know 8d. [independents and those not registered to vote ] Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 24% Republican Party 40 Democratic Party 27 n either (volunteered) 9 don’t know [questions 9–27 reported for likely voters only] 9. [likely voters only] Next, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 83% big problem 14 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 2 don’t know 10 . [likely voters only] Would you say that your local government services —such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( if they have, ask: Have they b een affected a lot or somewhat?) 66% affected a lot 22 affected somewhat 7 not affected 6 don’t know 11 . [likely voters only] As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion dollar gap betwe en 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? 35% mostly through spending cuts 13 mostly through tax increases 44 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 2 oka y to borrow money and run a budget deficit 1 other (specify) 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 27 12. [likely voters only] Governor Brown and others have proposed a tax initiative for the November ballot titled the “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It increases the personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years and increases the sales and use tax by a quarter cent for four years. It allocates temporary tax revenues, 89 percent to K–12 schools, and 11 percent to community colleges. It guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments. Increased state revenues of about $5.4 to $9 billion annually would be available to pay for the state’s school and community college funding requirements, as increased by this measure, and to address the state’s budgetary problem by paying for other spending commitments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative? 56% yes 38 no 7 don’t know 13. [likely voters only] If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governor Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K–12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K–12 public schools? 23% favor 72 oppose 5 don’t know 14. [likely voters only] Next, if the November 6th presidential election were being held today, would you vote for: [rotate names] (1) Barack Obama, the Democrat, [or] (2) Mitt Romney, the Republican? 50% Barack Obama, the Democrat 39 Mitt Romney, the Republican 3 someone else (specify) 8 don’t know Please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following presidential candidates. [rotate questions 15 and 16] 15. [likely voters only] How about Barack Obama? 52% favorable 45 unfavorable 4 don’t know/never heard of him 16. [likely voters only] How about Mitt Romney? 40% favorable 52 unfavorable 9 don’t know/never heard of him 17. [likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. President in 2012? 57% satisfied 40 not satisfied 3 don’t know 18. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 42% very closely 44 fairly closely 12 not too closely 2 not at all closely – don’t know 19. [likely voters only] Next, what is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: [rotate] (1) a Congress controlled by Republicans, [or] (2) a Congress controlled by Democrats? 40% controlled by Republicans 47 controlled by Democrats 8 neither (volunteered) 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 28 Next, the June 5th statewide primary election includes two statewide ballot initiatives. 20 . [likely voters only] Proposition 28 is called the “Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It reduces the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years and allows 12 years’ service in one house. It applies only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. There would be no direct fiscal effect on state or local governments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28? 62% yes 29 no 9 don’t know 21. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 28— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 21% very important 47 somewhat important 23 not too important 7 not at all important 3 don’t know 22 . [likely voters only] The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference? 62% good thing 12 bad thing 21 no difference 4 don’t know 23. [likely voters only] Proposition 29 is called the “Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research, Initiative Statute.” It imposes an additional one dollar per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products . Revenues fund research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. Fiscal impacts include a net increase in cigarette excise tax revenues of about $735 million annually by 2013– 14 for certain research and tobacco prevention and cessation programs and other state and local revenue increases amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29? 53% yes 42 no 5 don’t know 24. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 29— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 42% very important 38 somewhat important 15 not too important 4 not at all important 1 don’t know 25. [likely voters only] In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigaret tes? 63% favor 33 oppose 4 don’t know Next, this June, California state primaries will change from a partially closed system to a top - two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes —regardless of party —will advance to the general election. PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 29 26. [likely voters only] How important to you is having the top -two primary system? I s it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 32% very important 35 somewhat important 15 not too important 14 not at all important 4 don’t know 27. [likely voters only] Do you think that having the top -two prim ary system is a good thing or a bad thing for California elections, or does it make no difference for California elections? 43% good thing 22 bad thing 27 no difference 9 don’t know Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. F or each of the following areas of state spending , please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes, or not. [rotate questions 28 to 31] 28. Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for K– 12 public education, or not? 64% yes 34 no 2 don’t know 29 . Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for higher education, or not? 57% yes 42 no 2 don’t know 30 . Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for health and human services, or not? 54% yes 44 no 2 don’t know 31 . Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for prisons and corrections, or not? 17% yes 81 no 2 don’t know F or each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 32 and 33] 32. Do you favor or oppose raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 69% favor 28 oppose 3 don’t know 33. Do you favor or oppose raising the state sales tax? 33% favor 64 oppose 3 don’t know 34 . On another topic, Governor Brown recent ly released a revised budget plan for the next fiscal year to close the state’s projected $15.7 billion budget deficit. It includes spending cuts to Medi -Cal, welfare, child care and other social service programs and to courts and state employee compensation . It increases funding for K –12 public education. The proposal includes tax increases that would have to be approved by voters through an initiative on the November ballot. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 41% favor 50 oppose 3 haven ’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 6 don’t know 35. Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s proposed spending cuts to Medi-Cal, welfare, child care, and other social service programs? 30% favor 65 oppose 5 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 30 36. In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more — [rotate] (1) I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, [or] (2) I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services ? 58% higher taxes and more services 37 lower taxes and fewer services 5 don’t know 37. And when it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budg et this year, would you prefer — [rotate] (1) that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes , [or] (2) that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box? 14% governor and legislature make all of the decisions 82 Californi a voters make some of the decisions 1 other (specify) 1 both (volunteered) 3 don’t know 38 . Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 56% approve 39 disapprove 5 don’t know 39 . Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 22% approve 69 disapprove 8 don’t know 40 . Next , do you think the people in federal government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 67% a lot 24 some 6 don’t waste very much 3 don’t know 41 . Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 57% a lot 31 some 8 don’t waste very much 4 don’t know 42 . Do you think the people in your local government waste a lot of the money paid in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 38% a lot 36 some 21 don’t waste very much 5 don’t know [questions 42a and 42b asked starting May 15, report ed for likely voters only] On another topic, 42a. [likely voters only] Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 56% favor 37 oppose 7 don’t know 42b. [likely voters only] Did President Obama expressing his support for gay marriage make you think [rotate] (1) more favorably of him, (2) less favorably of him, or did it not affect your opinion of Barack Obama? 25% more favorably of him 25 les s favorably of him 49 did not affect opinion 1 don’t know 43. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 33 middle -of -the -road 21 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 31 44. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 23% great deal 38 fair amount 33 only a little 5 none 1 don’t know [d1–d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern Califor nia Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Marí a Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Chief Executive Officer International Strategic Planning, Inc. Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 2 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone : 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(107) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-may-2012/s_512mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8833) ["ID"]=> int(8833) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:17" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4212) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 512MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_512mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_512MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "478452" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(77412) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Pre ss Release 3 20 12 Elections 6 St ate and National Issues 14 R egional Map 22 M ethodology 2 3 Questionnaire and Results 25 their government m ay 2 0 1 2 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians mark Baldassare D ean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation May 2012 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy- free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 126th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses from more than 266,000 Californians. This sur vey is the 52nd in the Californians and Their Government series, which is conducted p eriodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The series is suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation. This sur vey seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impo r tant state and national issues. This sur vey was conducted in the days after Governor Brown released his revised budget proposal and just weeks prior to the June primar y . As a result of a larger deficit than was anticipated in the Januar y budget proposal, the governor ’s revised budget proposal to close a $15.7 billion deficit has deeper cuts to social ser vice programs as well as cuts to cour ts and state employee compensation. The budget also relies on voters passing a tax initiative proposed on the November ballot . If voters reject this tax initiative, the governor’s budget proposes automatic spending cuts to K–12 schools. In the June primar y California voters will be voting on two state propositions and, for the first time, will vote under a top -two pr imar y system approved by voters in 2010. At the national level, President Obama announced his suppor t for same -sex marriage, and with Mitt Romney the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, the 2012 presidential election season is getting into full swing. This survey presents the responses of 2,00 2 adult residents throughout the state, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  2012 elections , including the preference of likely voters in a matchup between President Obama and Mitt Romney, candidate f avorability ratings,views of President Obama since his statement supporting same -sex marriage, satisfaction with and attention to news about presidential candidates; preferred outcome in congressional elections; views of the top-two primar y system; v oting intentions for Proposition 28 (legislative term limit reform ) and Proposition 29 (tax increases on cigarettes to fund cancer research) in the June primar y; and opinions on the governor’s proposed tax initiative and the automatic cuts in K–12 education if th is initiative fails .  State and national issues, including approval ratings of Governor Brown, the legislature, President Obama, and Congress; perceptions of the economy; satisfaction with the governor’s revised budget plan and views on spending cuts included in the budget ; preferences for dealing with the state budget situation, r aisin g taxes for major budget areas, and raising the state sales tax and the top rate of the state income tax of the wealthy; and perceptions of waste at the federal, state, and local levels of government.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding the 2012 elections and state and national issues, based on their political par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 7 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES With the presidential race effectively down to two candidates—Democrati c incumbent President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney —nearly six in 10 likely voters (57%) express satisfaction with their choice of candidates. Satisfaction among likely voters has grown somewhat since December (49%), January (5 3%), and March (53%), but Democrats are still far more likely than Republicans to say they are satisfied with their choice (75 % to 46%). Independents are divided . While Democrats (up 18 points) and independents (up 15 points) have seen double -digit increases in satisfaction since December, satisfaction among Republicans is unchanged. Likely voters supporting Oba ma are far more likely than those supporting Romney to say they are satisfied (76% to 47%). While satisfaction with presidential candidates has grown, attention to news about them is relatively unchanged since last December (aside from a slight dip in January ). Today, 4 2 percent of likely voters say they are following news about presidential candidates very closely and 44 percent say fairly closely. Just 14 percent are following news not too or not at all closely. A t a comparable point in time before the 2008 presidential election, attention to the news was sim ilar to today (May 2008: 47% very, 43% fairly closely). California l ikely voters are only slightly more likely to say they have a favorable (52 %) than unfavorable (4 5%) opinion of Barack Obama. But they are more likely to have unfavorable (40%) than favor able (52%) views of Mitt Romney . Among all adults nationwide, (not a subset of likely voters), an Associated Press/Gfk poll from early May found favorability of Obama at 58 percent (38% unfavorable) and of Romney at 43 percent (43 % unfavorable). Opinions among California’s likely voters are predictably divided along party lines. Independents are more likely to have a favorable than unfavorable opinion of Obama (52 % to 42%), and they are slightly more negative (47%) than positive (40%) about Romney. Among those who are satisfied with their choice of candidates, 68 percent have favorable views of Obama and 36 percent have favorable views of Romney. Among those who are not satisfied with their choice, fewer than half are favorable toward either Obama (29%) or Romney (4 4%). In May 2008, the margin of favorable (59%) to unfavorable (36%) views of Obama was larger than today (23 points compared to 7 points today). Likely voters expressed favorability ratings of the 2008 Republican challenger John McCain (42% favorable, 53% unfavorable) similar to those of Mitt Romney today. “Please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following presidential candidates. How about…” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women …Barack Obama? Favorable 52% 84% 14% 52% 53% 50% Unfavorable 45 13 82 42 44 45 Don't know/Never heard of him (vol) 4 3 4 6 3 5 …Mitt Romney? Favorable 40 13 72 40 40 39 Unfavorable 52 80 20 47 52 51 Don't know/Never heard of him (vol) 9 7 8 13 7 10 Half of likely voters (49%) in California say President Obama’s announcement earlier in the month that he supports same- sex marriage did not affect their opinion of him. Another 25 percent say the announcement makes them think more favorably of him, while 2 5 percent say it makes them think less favorably of him. Am ong Democratic likely voters, 46 percent say their opinion is unchanged, while 40 percent view Obama more favorably. Amo ng Republicans, 45 percent say their opinion is unchanged, while 4 6 percent view him less favorably. Among independents, 62 percent say their opinion is unchanged, while 21 percen t view him more favorably and 15 percent less favorably. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 8 PRESIDENTIAL AND CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS Among likely voters, President Obama currently leads Mitt Romney 50 percent to 39 percent in the presidential race; one in 10 are either undecided (8%) or would vote for someone else (3%) . Eighty-six percent of Democrats support Obama while 78 percent of Republicans support Romney. Independents prefer Obama (45% to 33% for Romney) but 20 percent are undecided . An overwhelming majority of liberals (84%) support Obama as do 55 percent of moderates. Among conservatives, 72 percent support Romney. Obama receives solid majority support in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, while in the Central Valley and the Other Southern California region about half support Romney, about four in 10 support Obama, and about one in 10 are undecided. Two in three Latinos support Obama while whites are divided. Two in three likely voters under age 35 and 53 percent of those age 35 to 54 support Obama, while those age 55 and older are divided. Both women (51% Obama, 38% Romney) and men (49% Obama, 39% Romney) prefer Obama . Among those who are satisfied with their choice of candidates, two in three support Obama; among those who are not satisfied, 5 0 percent support Romney, 28 percent support Obama, and 1 6 percent are undecided. Fifty-eight percent of evangelical Protestants say they would vote for Romney while mainline Protestants are somewhat divided ( 47% Romney, 41% Obama). Obama is the preferred candidate among Catholic likely voters (59 % Obama, 34% Romney) and among those practicing no religion (66 % Obama, 22% Romney). “If the November 6th presidential election were being held today, would you vote for Barack Obama, the Democrat , or Mitt Romney, the Republican?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Barack Obama, the Democrat 50% 86% 12% 45% 84% 55% 18% Mitt Romney, the Republican 39 8 78 33 7 31 72 Someone else 3 – 4 2 4 1 3 Don’t know 8 6 6 20 5 13 7 California likely voters are slightly more likely to prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats than a Congress controlled by Republicans as the outcome of the 2012 congressional elections (4 7% to 40%). Eight percent volunteer they prefer neither party to control Congress. Eight in 10 Democrat ic likely voters prefer Congress to be controlled by Democrats , while eight in 10 Republican likely voters prefer their party to be in control . Among independents, 43 percent prefer Democratic control, while 36 percent prefer Republican control. Regionally , majorities of likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles prefer that Democrats control Congress, while 52 percent of likely voters in both the Central Valley and Other Southern California region prefer Republican control. A strong majority of likely voters age 18 to 34 (65 %) prefer that Democrats control Congress; those age 35 and older are more divided. “What is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congr ess controlled by Democrats?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Controlled by Republicans 40% 9% 82% 36% 13% 27% 75% Controlled by Democrats 47 82 9 43 81 53 16 Neither (volunteered) 8 3 7 14 4 14 6 Don’t know 4 5 2 6 3 7 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 9 TOP-TWO PRIMARY SYSTEM When Californians go to the polls on June 5 they will experience a change in the primary system. Proposition 14, which was passed by voters in June 2010 (54% yes, 46% no), changed California state primaries from a partially closed system to a top- two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes —regardless of party —will adv ance to the general election. How important is this new system to Californians ? Two in three likely voters view the top- two primary system as very (32%) or somewhat important (35 %) while about three in 10 say it is not too (15%) or not at all important (14 %). More than six in 10 likely voters across parties view the top- two primary system as at least somewhat important, but independents ( 41%) are more likely than Republicans ( 31%) or Democrats (32 %) to say it is very important . Across the ideological spect rum, 71 percent of moderates view the system as at least somewhat important; 64 percent of both liberals and conservatives agree. Likely voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) are somewhat less likely than those elsewhere to view the top- two system as important (65% Los Angeles, 67% Other Southern California region, 69% Central Valley) . About seven in 10 Latinos (71%) and whites (67%) see it as important . Among those who say the top- two primary system is a good thing for California elections, 95 percent say it is important (55% very, 40% somewhat). “How important to you is having the top- two primary system? Is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Very important 32% 32% 31% 41% 29% 36% 30% Somewhat important 35 34 33 35 35 35 34 Not too important 15 20 13 10 22 10 15 Not at all important 14 10 18 11 11 14 16 Don’t know 4 4 6 3 4 5 5 Forty-three percent of likely voters say that having the top -two primary system is a good thing for California elections, while 22 percent say it is a bad thing and 27 percent say it makes no difference. Across parties , independents (49%) are the most likely to say it is a good thing, followed by Democrats (43%) and Republicans (39 %). Similarly, about half of moderate likely voters (48 %) think the top -two primary system is a good thing, followed by 44 percent of liberals and 38 percent of conservatives. About four in 10 across regions say the new system is a good thing. Similar shares of Latinos (45%) and whites (4 4%) view the top -two system as a good thing. Among those who view this new system as very important, 74 percent say it is a good thing. “Do you think that having the top- two primary system is a good thing or a bad thing for California elections, or does it make no difference for California elections?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Ideology Dem Rep Ind Liberals Moderates Conservatives Good thing 43% 43% 39% 49% 44% 48% 38% Bad thing 22 13 31 13 18 19 27 Make s no difference 27 32 22 32 31 25 26 Don’t know 9 11 8 6 8 7 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 10 PROPOSITION 28: LEGISLATIVE TERM LIMITS Proposition 28 on the June ballot would reduce the total amount of time that a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 to 12 years and allow s 12 years’ service in one house . This proposed change to the legislative term limits that have been in effect since 1990 would apply only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. When read the Proposition 28 ballot title and label, 62 percent of likely voters would vote yes , 29 percent would vote no, and 9 percent are undecided. In our March survey, 68 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes , 24 percent said they would no, and 8 percent we re undecided. Today, Proposition 28 has majority support across party and ideological groups, and also across age, education, gender, income, racial/ethnic, and regional groups. Support for Proposition 28 is higher among those who disapprove of the California Legislature’s job performance (63% support ) than among those who approve (53% supp ort ). Twenty -one percent of likely voters say the outcome of the Proposition 28 vote is very important to them. In our March survey , 22 percent held this view . About one in five of those who plan to vote yes (23% very important) and of those who plan to vote no (18% very important) view the outcome as very important . “Proposition 28 is called the ‘ Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initi ative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 62% 29% 9% Party Democrats 60 31 9 Republicans 63 28 9 Independents 66 22 11 Ideology Liberals 55 36 9 Moderates 66 26 8 Conservatives 64 26 10 Education High school or less 65 24 10 Some college 66 25 9 College graduate 56 35 9 *For complete text of proposition question , see p . 28. When asked about existing legislative term limits, 62 percent of likely voters say that they are a good thing for California and 1 2 percent say they are a bad thing. In our March survey, 68 percent of likely voters said that term limits are a good thing for California while 11 percent disagreed. Today, Republicans (71%) and independents (69 %) are more likely than Democrats (53 %) to say that term limits are a good thing. Those who plan to vote yes are far more likely than those who plan to vote no on Proposition 28 to say that term l imits are a good thing (74% to 40%). “The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop. 28 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Good thing 62% 53% 71% 69% 74% 40% Bad thing 12 18 8 7 6 27 Do not make a difference 21 24 17 19 17 31 Don’t know 4 5 4 4 3 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 11 PROPOSITION 29: ADDITIONAL CIGARETTE TAX Proposition 29 on the June ballot would impose an additional $1 per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products with revenues funding research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. When read the Propositi on 29 ballot title and label, 53 percent of likely voters would vote yes, 42 percent would vote no, and 5 percent are undecided. In our March survey before the y es - and no -campaigns were in full swing , 67 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes, 30 percent said they would vote no, and 3 percent were undecided. Today, Proposition 29 has majority support among Democrats, independents, liberals, moderates, voters under 55, Latinos, and voters across income groups. There is majority opposition among Republicans and conservatives. Likely voters in Los Angeles (61%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (59%) are more likely to vote yes than voters elsewhere. Forty -tw o percent of likely voters say the outcome of the Proposition 29 vote is very important to them and 38 percent say is it somewhat important. In our March survey, 41 percent said the outcome is very important and 37 percent said it is somewhat important. Those who plan to vote yes are no more likely than those who would vote no to say the Proposition 29 out come is very important to them (45% to 4 1%). “Proposition 29 is called the ‘ Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cance r Research, Initiative Statute.’ … If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 53% 42% 5% Party Democrats 66 29 6 Republicans 37 59 4 Independents 61 37 2 ideology Liberals 64 30 6 Moderates 60 36 4 Conservatives 40 56 4 Age 18 to 34 76 24 – 35 to 54 53 42 4 55 and older 45 48 7 *For complete text of proposition question, see p . 28. When asked in general about increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes, 63 percent of likely voters are in favor and 33 percent are opposed. In our March survey, majorities of likely voters supported a tax increase on the purchase of cigarettes (63% favor) as in our January 2006 survey (70% in favor). Today, Democrats (7 3%) and independents (66 %) are more likely than Republicans (52%) to favor increasing taxes on cigarette purch ases. Majorities across age, education, gender, income, racial/ethnic, and regional groups are in favor of this tax increase . Those who plan to vote yes on Proposition 29 are far more likely than those who plan to vote no to favor tax increases on cigarette purchases (9 5% to 2 1%). “In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigarettes?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on Prop. 29 Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 63 % 73% 52% 66% 95% 21% Oppose 33 24 44 29 4 74 Don’t know 4 3 4 4 1 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 12 GOVERNOR BROWN’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE As did the January budget plan, t he governor’s recently revised budget plan proposes a tax initiative for the November ballot that would temporarily increase both the state personal income tax on wealthy Californians and the state sales tax. With signature gathering just completed, it had not at the time of this survey yet qualified for the ballot. When read the ballot title and a brief summary, 56 percent of likely vot ers say they would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, 38 percent say they would vote no, and 7 percent say they are undecided. In our April survey, 54 percent of likely voters said they would vote yes, 39 percent said they would vote no, and 6 percent were undecided. While direct comparisons are not possible, likely voters’ support for an earlier version of the tax initiative was about the same in our March survey (52% yes and 40% no) when read the identical ballot title and a similar ballot summary . Support was somewhat higher in our January (68%) and December (60 %) surveys that predated the ballot title and summary . Today, 75 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, while 62 percent of Republicans would vote no. Majorities across income groups support the tax initiative, but support is far lower among conservat ives (31%) than others (65% moderates, 80% liberals) . W hites ( 52%) are less supportive of the tax initiative than Latinos (68%). “Governor Brown and others have proposed a tax initiative for the November ballot titled the ‘Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.’ …If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative?”* Likely voters only Yes No Don’t know All Likely Voters 56% 38% 7% Party Democrats 75 16 8 Republicans 32 62 6 Independents 57 36 6 Gender Men 55 39 6 Women 56 36 8 Household Income Under $40,000 60 33 7 $40,000 to under $80,000 55 40 5 $80,000 or more 57 37 6 *For complete text of question, see p. 27 . Governor Brown’s budget proposes automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools if the proposed tax initiative is rejected. Seventy -two percent of likely voters and solid majorities across parties are opposed to automatic spending cuts. Among those who would vote yes on the proposed tax initiative, 80 percent oppose the automatic spending cuts, but a majority who would vote no are also opposed to the cuts (58%) . Likely voters were also overwhelmingly opposed to this provision of the governor’s proposed budget in earlier surveys (78% April, 72% March, 75% January). “If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governo r Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K –12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K –12 public schools?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on governor’s proposed tax initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Favor 23 % 14% 31% 29% 17% 34% Oppose 72 82 64 64 80 58 Don’t know 5 4 5 7 3 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 13 GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED TAX INITIATIVE AND THE STATE BUDGET SITUATION Eighty-three percent of likely voters perceive the state budget situation in California as a big problem, similar to findings among likely voters in April (80%), March (78%), January (78%) , and last December (83%). Today, strong majorities of likely voters across political and demographic groups say the state budget situation is a big problem. Those who plan to vote no on the governor’s proposed tax initiative are more likely than those who would vote yes to hold this view (93% to 77%). Sixty -six percent of likely voters s ay that their local government services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts, similar to our April (64%), March (66%), January (60 %), and December (65%) surveys. Today, majorities of likely voters across party and ideological groups, and also across age, education, gender, income, racial/ethnic, and regional groups, agree . Those who plan to vote yes are more likely than those who plan to vote no on the governor’s proposed tax initiative to say their local governm ent services have been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts (7 1% to 5 6%). “Would you say that your local government services—such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts?” ( If they have : “Have they been affected a lot or somewhat?”) Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on governor’s proposed tax initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No Affected a lot 66% 74% 56% 65% 71% 56% Affected somewhat 22 18 25 24 20 26 Not affected 7 6 9 5 6 9 Don’t know 6 2 9 5 4 9 As in the January budget plan, t he governor’s recently revised budget plan includes a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Forty- four percent of likely voters prefer this approach to handling the state budget gap, 13 percent prefer relying mostly on tax increases, and 35 percent prefe r mostly spending cuts. Seventy- five percent of Democrats favor either a mix of spe nding cuts and tax increases (53%) or mostly tax increases (22 %), and 59 percent of independents prefer a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (50%) or mostly tax increases (9%) . Fifty -eight percent of Republicans prefer mostly spending cuts and 34 percent prefer a mix . Eight in 10 of those who plan to vote yes on the governor’s proposed tax initiative prefer either a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (58%) or mostly tax increases (20 %), while 6 9 percent of those who would vote no say they prefer mostly spending cuts. “As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap— mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a m ix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit?” Likely voters only All Likely Voters Party Vote on governor’s proposed tax initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No A mix of spending cuts and tax increases 44 % 53% 34% 50% 58% 22% Mostly through spending cuts 35 17 58 29 14 69 Mostly through tax increases 13 22 2 9 20 2 Okay to borrow money and run a budget deficit 2 2 1 5 2 2 Other 1 1 1 3 1 2 Don’t know 4 5 4 3 5 4 May 2012 Californians and Their Government 14 STATE AND NATIONAL ISSUES KEY FINDINGS  Approval of Governor Brown is at 39 percent among all adults , while the state legislature has a 25 percent approval rating. Fifty -six percent approve of President Obama, while approval of the U.S. Co ngress is at 22 percent . (page 15)  Half of Californians name jobs and the economy as the most important issue today . Four in 10 think the s tate is in a serious recession and six in 10 say the state will face bad economic times. (page 16)  Fifty -eight percent prefer paying higher taxes and having the state government provide more services; 37 percent prefer paying lower taxes and getting fewer services . When it comes to difficult budget choices this year, a vast majority of Californians (82%) think vote rs should make some of these decisions at the ballot box. (page 17)  When read a summary of the governor’s revised budget proposal, Californians are somewhat more likely to oppose (50%) than favor (41%) the plan . Majorities would pay higher taxes for K –12 education, health and human services, and higher education; only 17 percent would do so for prisons and corrections. (page 19 )  Most Californians (69%) and likely voters (65%) favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest residents. Most oppose ( 64% Californians, 58% likely voters ) raising the state sales tax. ( page 20 )  Sixty -seven percent of Californians believe that the federal government wastes a lot of taxpayer money, and 57 percent say the same thing about the state government , while 38 percent say their local government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. (page 21) 72 6359 52565156 47 39 3126302722 0 20 40 60 80 100 May09Sep09May10Sep10Mar11Sep11May12 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 4242414446 4039 23232625282525 0 20 40 60 80 May11July11Sep11Nov11Jan12Mar12May12 Percent all adults Governor Brown Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 67 57 38 0 20 40 60 80 100 FederalStateLocal Percent all adults Belief that ... Government Wastes a lot of Taxpayer Money PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 15 STATE AND FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS’ APPROVAL RATINGS Just after the release of his revised 2012–13 budget proposal and as he seeks support of his proposed tax initiative, Governor Brown’s approval ratings remain similar to earlier months . Thirty-nine per cent of Californians say they approve of the governor’s job performance, while 36 percent disapprove, and 24 percent are unsure. In April, 43 percent expressed approval. Aside from two dips in February and March 2011, approval has remained steady, ranging between 39 and 46 percent since the governor took office in January 2011. L ikely voters are divided today, 42 percent approve and 4 3 percent disapprove. About six in 10 Democrats express approval, while a similar proportion of Republicans express disapprov al. M ajorities of Californians ( 57%) and likely voters (71 %) disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job; one in four or fewer in either group approve. Approval is similar to April among all adults (25% April an d 25% today ) and likely v oters (15% April, 1 7% today). Disapproval is high across party groups, especi ally among Republicans. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? Approve 39% 58% 22% 34% 42% Disapprove 36 26 63 37 43 Don't know 24 16 15 29 14 …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve 25 30 10 16 17 Disapprove 57 56 79 69 71 Don't know 18 14 11 15 11 Majorities of Californians (56%) and likely voters (54%) approve of the way President Obama is handling his job. For the last two years approval has ranged between 51 and 59 percent among all adults. Voters are divided along party lines: eight in 10 Democr ats express approval and three in four Republicans express disapproval of President Obama. Half of independents (51%) approve and 38 percent disapprove. Among the likely voters supporting Obama in the presidential race, 94 percent approve of his job performance; 89 percent of Romney supporters disapprove. In an ABC News/ Washington Post poll, 47 percent of adults nationwide approve, and 49 percent disapprove, of Obama’s job performance. Strong majorities of Californians (69%) and likely voters (78%) disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job; fewer than one in four in either group say they approve. Approval among all adults and likely voters is similar to March. Vast majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents disapprove. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind …Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve 56% 82% 20% 51% 54% Disapprove 39 15 77 38 42 Don't know 5 3 3 10 4 …the U.S. Congress is handling its job? Approve 22 22 13 14 16 Disapprove 69 74 82 79 78 Don't know 8 4 5 7 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 16 CALIFORNIA’S ECONOMIC SITUATION Half of Californians mention jobs and the economy (52 %) as the most important issue facing the state. Far fewer mention the state budget (14%) or education and schools (9%). Similar shares mentioned jobs and the economy in May 2011 (57%) and March (52%). Californians continue to believe that the state is in a recession; 41 percent say it is serious , 32 percent moderate, and 8 percent mild. Only 16 percent say that the state is not in a recession. Majorities said the state was in a serious recession from January 2009 to October 2010. Perceptions of the severity of the recession declined in January 2011 (48% serious recession) and half or less have said that the state is in a serious recession in 2011 and this year (43% January, 41% March, 41 % today). Forty -eight percent of likely voters say the recession is serious. Republicans (56%) are much more likely tha n independents (42 %) and Democrats (36%) to say it is a serious recession. Residents in the Central Valley (46%) and the Other Southern California region ( 44%) are the most likely to believe the recession is serious, followed by those in Los Angeles ( 39%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (34%). The perception that the state is in a serious recession increases with age and education. “Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not?” ( if yes: “ Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession? ”) All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Serious recession 41% 36% 56% 42% 48% Moderate recession 32 32 25 31 28 Mild recession 8 11 6 6 7 Not in a recession 16 19 11 19 15 Don’t know 2 2 2 2 2 Californians continue to have a neg ative economic outlook , with a solid majority (6 1%) saying the state will have bad times financially during the next 12 months. Pessimism today is similar to last May (58%). Republicans (79 %) are more likely than independents (6 1%) and Democrats (54%) to have negative views. Across regions, pessimism is higher in the Central Valley (70 %) than in the Other Southern California region (60 %), Los Angeles (58 %), an d the San Francisco Bay Area (58 %). More than half across all demographic gro ups have a negative outlook. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 31% 36% 16% 30% 27% Bad times 61 54 79 61 65 Don’t know 8 9 5 9 9 Pessimism extends to perceptions of the general direction of the state, with 63 percent saying that thing s in California are generally going in the wrong direction and only 30 percent say ing right direction. The share saying wrong direction is similar to last May (61%). Majorities across parties, regions , and demographic groups share this view. PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 17 DEALING WITH THE STATE BUDGET SITUATION When it comes to the size of government, nearly six in 10 Californians (58%) would prefer to pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services instead of paying lower taxes and having a state government that provides fewer services ( 37%). The proportion preferring higher taxes and more serv ices is near the record high reached in January 2006 (61%) . Partisans are divided, with a strong majority of Democrats (73 %) preferring higher taxes and more services and a similar majority of Republicans (68 %) preferring lower taxes and fewer services. Independents are divided (51 % higher taxes/more services, 45% lower taxes/fewer services). Likely voters are divided on this issue (49% higher taxes/more services, 46% lower taxes/fewer services). Across California’s regions, majorities of residents in the S an Francisco Bay Area (66%), Los Angeles (6 3%) , and Central Valley (54%) prefer higher taxes and more services, while residents in the Other Southern California region are divided (49% higher taxes/more services, 43% lower taxes/fewer services). Latinos ( 71%) prefer higher taxes and more services, while whites are divided (48% higher taxes/more services, 46 % lower taxes/fewer services). Preference for higher taxes and more services declines with increases in age , and is much higher among those with a high school education or less , and those with income s under $40,000, than among others . “In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government tha t provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Higher taxes and more services 58% 73% 25% 51% 49% Lower taxes and fewer services 37 22 68 45 46 Don’t know 5 4 7 4 5 Considering that Californians will likely be asked in November to increase taxes, who do they think should make the tough choices involved in the state budget this year ? Eight in 10 Californians ( 82%) and likely voters ( 81%) prefer that voters make some of the decision about spending and taxes at the ballot box. F ewer than one in five adults (14%) and likely voters (15%) prefer the governor and legislature make all of the decisions. Findings were similar am ong adults and likely voters last May. At least eight in 10 across parties and more than seven in 10 across regions ( 75% San Francisco Bay Area, 80 % Los Angeles, 83% Central Valley, 88% Other Southern California region) and demographic groups prefer that voters make some of these decisions. Likely voters who would vote for (77 %) and against (88%) the governor’s tax initiative prefer that voters make some of the tough choices involved in the state budget. “And when it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget this year, would you prefer: that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes; or that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind The governor and legislature make all of the decisions 14% 16% 11% 11% 15% California voters make some of the decisions 82 80 86 86 81 Other/Both (volunteered) 2 1 – 1 – Don’t know 3 3 2 1 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 18 GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released a revised budget proposal to address a projected state budget deficit that has grown from $9.2 billion in January to $15.7 billion due to lower than expected tax receipts , higher costs to fund schools, and decisions by the federal government and courts to block certain social service cuts. The revised budget plan includes further cuts to Medi -Cal, welfare, child care and other social service programs, and cuts to courts and state employee compensation. The budget also relies on tax increases that voters would have to approve through an initiative in the November ballot. When read a brief summary of the revised budget proposal, 50 percent oppose and 41 percent favor the governor’s budget plan. In January, when the governor first presented his budget plan, 50 percent were in favor and 43 percent were opposed. Half of Democrats (50%), 42 percent of independents , and 32 percent of Republicans fav or the revised plan. Those with incomes under $80,000 (54% under $40,000, 52% $40,000 to under $80,000) are more likely to oppose the plan than those with incomes of $80,000 or more (41%). Opposition to the budget plan declines with education. About half across regions oppose the plan, except in the San Francisco Bay Area where residents are divided (44 % favor, 44% oppose). Among l ikely voters , 44 percent favor and 50 percent oppose the plan . Among likely voters who would vote yes on the tax initiative , 64 percent favor and 29 percent oppose the revised budget plan. “Governor Brown recently revised his budget plan for the next fiscal year to close the state’s projected $15.7 billion budget deficit. It includes spending cuts to Medi-Cal, welfare, child care and other social service programs and to courts and state employee compensation. It increases funding for K –12 public education. The proposal includes tax increases that would have to be approved by voters through an initiative on the November ballot. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 41% 50% 34% 42% 44% Oppose 50 45 61 48 50 Haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 3 1 2 2 2 Don’t know 6 4 4 8 5 Spending cuts to social service programs have been increased in the revised budget plan. Opposition to cut s to social service programs (65%) is higher than opposition to the plan in general (50%). In January, 58 percent opposed these cuts. Likely voters (60%) oppose cutting spending in social service programs. S olid majorities of Democrats (76%) oppose these cuts, as do a majority of independents (58%). Republicans are divided ( 48% favor, 49% oppose). Majorities across regions and demographic groups oppose these cuts, although opposition declines with rising income and education levels. Among those who favor the governor’s revised budget plan in general, 4 2 percent favor and 54 percent oppose the cuts to social service programs included in the budget plan. Those who oppose the governor’s budget plan are strongly opposed to these cuts (22% favor, 75% oppose). “Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s proposed spending cuts to Medi-Cal, welfare, child care, and other social service programs?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 30% 21% 48% 35% 36% Oppose 65 76 49 58 60 Don’t know 5 3 3 6 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 19 RAISING STATE REVENUES FOR SPECIFI C BUDGET AREAS We asked if Californians would be willing to pay higher taxes for each of four m ajor spending areas to help reduce the state budget deficit . Majorities of Californians are willing to pay higher taxes for K –12 education ( 64%), higher education (57 %), and health and human services (54%). Only 17 percent would pay higher taxes for prisons and corrections. Findings are similar among likely voters. W hen we asked a similar question in January about paying higher taxes to maintain current funding for the major budget areas, 72 percent said they would pay higher taxes for K –12 education . Findings for other spending areas were similar to today. “Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. For each of the following areas of state spending , please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes, or not.” K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections Yes 64% 57% 54% 17% No 34 42 44 81 Don’t know 2 2 2 2 Strong majorities of Democrats (79%) and independents ( 63%) would pay higher taxes for K–12 education, while Republicans would not (42 % yes, 56% no). There is majority support across regions and demographic groups for paying higher taxes for K–12 education. Governor Brown and others are proposing to raise taxes for this budget area through the initiative process . A strong majority of Democrats (72%) and 57 percent of independents would pay higher taxes for higher education , while most Republicans would not (3 2% yes, 67% no). Majorities across regions are willing to pay higher taxes for higher education. Half or more across income and education levels would pay higher taxes for this area. Support declines with rising age (71% 18 to 34, 53% 35 to 54, 46% 55 and older). Majorities of Democrats (70%) and independents (50%) are willing to pay higher taxes for health and human services, while seven in 10 Republic ans (70%) would not . At least half across income groups would pay higher taxes for this purpose, and support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (65%). When asked about paying higher taxes for prisons and corrections, no more than 20 percent of adults , likely voters, and Californians across regions and demographic groups say they would do so. Percent willing to pay higher taxes K–12 public education Higher education Health and human services Prisons and corrections All Adults 64% 57% 54% 17% All Likely Voters 61 55 50 18 Party Democrats 79 72 70 20 Republicans 42 32 28 17 Independents 63 57 50 19 Region Central Valley 64 53 50 19 San Francisco Bay Area 72 62 65 14 Los Angeles 63 61 56 16 Other Southern California 59 53 50 16 Household Income Under $40,000 67 60 59 18 $40,000 to under $80,000 62 51 51 13 $80,000 or more 68 61 52 18 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 20 STATE REVENUE SOURCES Given that Californians will probably go to the polls in November to vote on the governor’s tax initiative, how do they feel about the two types of taxes included in the initiative? Solid majorities of adults (69%) and likely voters (65%) favor raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians , and solid majorities (64% adults, 58% likely voters) are opposed to raising the state sales tax. Since we first asked this question in January 2004, at least 65 percent have favored raising the tax rate of the wealthiest Californians (71% January 2004, 69% January 2005, 68% M ay 2005, 65% January 2006, 73% January 2008, 69% May 2008, 72% January 2009, 67% May 2010, 74% January 2012, 69 % today). Today, there i s a wide partisan divide , with 86 percent of Democrats in favor and nearly six in 10 Republicans (58 %) opposed. Seven in 10 independents (71%) favor raising income taxes on wealthy Californians. Residents in Los Angeles (77%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (75%) are more likely to be in favor than those in the Central Valley ( 65%) or the Other Southern California region ( 61%). Support for increasing taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents is similar across income groups (73% under $40,000, 68% $40,000 –$79,999, 67% $80,000 or more) . Adults under 35 (74%), and 35 to 54 (72%) are more likely to express support than those age 5 5 and older (60%). Seven in 10 across education levels support this idea. Among likely voters who plan to vote yes on the governor’s tax initiative, 8 9 percent favor this tax increase, while 71 percent of those who plan to vote no are opposed to it . “Do you favor or oppose raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 69% 86% 39% 71% 65% Oppose 28 12 58 27 33 Don’t know 3 1 2 3 2 Only 33 percent of Californians favor raising the state sales tax, while 64 percent are opposed. Since January 2004, at least six in 10 Californians have opposed the idea of raising the state sales tax to reduce the state’s deficit (60% January 2004, 64% January 2005, 71% May 2005, 64% January 2008, 61% May 2008, 69% January 2011, 73% May 2011, 69% January 2012, 6 4% today). Republicans (71 %) and independents (65%) oppose raising the state sales tax ; Democrats are slightly more likely to oppose (52%) than favor (45%) this idea. Majorit ies across regions are opposed (59% San Francisco Bay Area, 60 % Central Valley, 63% Los Angeles, 72 % Other Southern California region). Opposition to raising the state sales tax is similar across income levels (65% $40,000 or less, 62% $40,000– $79,999, 6 4% $80,000 and higher). More than six in 10 across education, age, gender, and racial/ethnic groups oppose raising the state sales tax . Among likely voters who plan to vote yes on the governor’s tax initiative, 58 percent favor raising the state sales tax, while 84 percent of those voting against the initiative oppose such an increase. “Do you favor or oppose raising the state sales tax?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 33% 45% 28% 33% 40% Oppose 64 52 71 65 58 Don’t know 3 3 1 2 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 21 TRUST IN GOVERNMENT SPENDING Most Californians think that the people in government, regardless of the level, waste at least some of the money paid in taxes . The belief that government wastes a lot is more pervasive about the federal (67%) and state (57 %) level than the local level (38 %). Fewer than one in four think that government doesn’t was te very much tax payer money. “Do you think the people in … government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” Federal government State government Local government A lot 67% 57% 38% Some 24 31 36 Don’t waste very much 6 8 21 Don't know 3 4 5 Two in three Californians (67%) and likely voters (68 %) think the federal government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. At least 57 percent of Californians have held this view since we first asked this question in February 2004 . Though majorities across parties think that the federal government is wasteful today, Republican s (8 1%) and independents (68 %) are much more likely than Democrats (57 %) to hold this view. Residents of the Central Valley (74 %) and the Other Southern California region (72 %) are the most likely to say the federal government wastes a lot , and at least 58 percent across demographic groups agree. Six in 10 Californians ( 57%) and likely voters ( 62%) think the state government wastes a lot of the money paid in taxes. Since February 2003, more than half of Californians have held this view. The belief that the state go vernment wastes a lot is more common among Republicans (7 4%) and independents (62 %) than among Democrats (51 %). Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area ( 47%) are the least likely to say the state wastes a lot of tax payer money. About h alf or more across demographic groups think the state government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. Fewer Californians (3 8%) and likely voters (37%) think that their local government wastes a lot of the money paid in taxes. About four in 10 across parties hold this view. There ar e some regional differences : 25 percent of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area say there is a lot of waste, compared to about four in 10 elsewhere . Fewer than half across demographic groups say their local government wastes a lot. Percent saying government wastes a lot Federal government State government Local government All Adults 67% 57% 38% All Likely Voters 68 62 37 Party Democrats 57 51 38 Republicans 81 74 40 Independents 68 62 36 Region Central Valley 74 63 41 San Francisco Bay Area 65 47 25 Los Angeles 60 55 39 Other Southern California 72 62 41 Household Income Under $40,000 61 50 37 $40,000 to under $80,000 75 63 43 $80,000 or more 68 61 30 May 2012 Californians and Their Government 22 REGIONAL MAP May 2012 Californians and Their Government 23 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Jui Shrestha, project manager for this survey, and survey research associate s Dean Bonner and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. We benefit from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts , but the methods, questions, and content of this report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 2,002 California adult residents, including 1,602 interviewed on landline telephones and 400 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from May 14 to 20 , 2012. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone r espondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landli ne and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc. , in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc. , translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRB I we used recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007– 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample— region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education —with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey and data from the 200 7–2009 ACS for California both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare the data against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for any differences across region al, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total sample of 2,002 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 24 results will be within 3.4 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 1, 322 registered voters, i t is ±3.8 percent; for the 894 likely voters, it is ±4.2 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for four geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanis laus, 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 of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters; but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results f or non -Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as non -Hispanic blacks and Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters , but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline -to -state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are regi stered to vote in another party are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, intentions to vote in the June primary, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in national surveys by ABC News/ Washington Post, the Associated Press/GfK , and the Pew Research Center . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surve ys@ppic.org . May 2012 Californians and Their Government 25 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT May 14–20, 2012 2,002 California Adult Residents: English , Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 4% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 D UE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 52% jobs, economy 14 state budget, deficit, taxes 9 education, schools 3 crime, gangs, drugs 3 government in general 2 gas prices 2 health care, health costs 2 housing costs 2 immigration, illegal immigration 8 other 3 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 39% approve 36 disapprove 24 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 25% approve 57 disapprove 18 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 30% right direction 63 wrong direction 7 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or b ad times? 31% good times 61 bad times 8 don’t know 6. Would you say that California is in an economic recession, or not? ( if yes: Do you think it is in a serious, a moderate, or a mild recession?) 41% yes, serious recession 32 yes, moderate recession 8 yes, mild recession 16 no 2 don’t know 7. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 67% yes [ask q7a] 33 no [skip to q8 d] PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 26 7a. Are you registered as a De mocrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q8] 31 Republican [skip to q8a] 4 another party (specify) [skip to q9 ] 21 independent [skip to q8b] 8. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 55% strong 44 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q9] 8a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 52% strong 41 not very strong 7 don’t know [skip to q9] 8b. [indep endents only] Would you join a political party if it was a good reflection of your political views or do you prefer to be unaffiliated with any specific party? 25% join a political party 72 remain unaffiliated 2 don’t know 8 c. [independents only] And, were you previously registered with a major party or have you always been a decline -to -state or independent voter? 38% previously registered 60 always an independent 2 don’t know 8d. [independents and those not registered to vote ] Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 24% Republican Party 40 Democratic Party 27 n either (volunteered) 9 don’t know [questions 9–27 reported for likely voters only] 9. [likely voters only] Next, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 83% big problem 14 somewhat of a problem 2 not a problem 2 don’t know 10 . [likely voters only] Would you say that your local government services —such as those provided by city and county governments and public schools —have or have not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( if they have, ask: Have they b een affected a lot or somewhat?) 66% affected a lot 22 affected somewhat 7 not affected 6 don’t know 11 . [likely voters only] As you may know, the state government currently has an annual general fund budget of around $85 billion and faces a multibillion dollar gap betwe en 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? 35% mostly through spending cuts 13 mostly through tax increases 44 through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases 2 oka y to borrow money and run a budget deficit 1 other (specify) 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 27 12. [likely voters only] Governor Brown and others have proposed a tax initiative for the November ballot titled the “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It increases the personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years and increases the sales and use tax by a quarter cent for four years. It allocates temporary tax revenues, 89 percent to K–12 schools, and 11 percent to community colleges. It guarantees funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments. Increased state revenues of about $5.4 to $9 billion annually would be available to pay for the state’s school and community college funding requirements, as increased by this measure, and to address the state’s budgetary problem by paying for other spending commitments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on the proposed tax initiative? 56% yes 38 no 7 don’t know 13. [likely voters only] If voters reject the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot, Governor Brown’s budget proposes that automatic spending cuts be made to K–12 public schools. Do you favor or oppose these automatic spending cuts to K–12 public schools? 23% favor 72 oppose 5 don’t know 14. [likely voters only] Next, if the November 6th presidential election were being held today, would you vote for: [rotate names] (1) Barack Obama, the Democrat, [or] (2) Mitt Romney, the Republican? 50% Barack Obama, the Democrat 39 Mitt Romney, the Republican 3 someone else (specify) 8 don’t know Please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following presidential candidates. [rotate questions 15 and 16] 15. [likely voters only] How about Barack Obama? 52% favorable 45 unfavorable 4 don’t know/never heard of him 16. [likely voters only] How about Mitt Romney? 40% favorable 52 unfavorable 9 don’t know/never heard of him 17. [likely voters only] In general, would you say you are satisfied or not satisfied with your choices of candidates in the election for U.S. President in 2012? 57% satisfied 40 not satisfied 3 don’t know 18. [likely voters only] How closely are you following news about candidates for the 2012 presidential election—very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 42% very closely 44 fairly closely 12 not too closely 2 not at all closely – don’t know 19. [likely voters only] Next, what is your preference for the outcome of this year's congressional elections: [rotate] (1) a Congress controlled by Republicans, [or] (2) a Congress controlled by Democrats? 40% controlled by Republicans 47 controlled by Democrats 8 neither (volunteered) 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 28 Next, the June 5th statewide primary election includes two statewide ballot initiatives. 20 . [likely voters only] Proposition 28 is called the “Limits on Legislators’ Terms in Office, Initiative Constitutional Amendment.” It reduces the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years and allows 12 years’ service in one house. It applies only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. There would be no direct fiscal effect on state or local governments. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 28? 62% yes 29 no 9 don’t know 21. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 28— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 21% very important 47 somewhat important 23 not too important 7 not at all important 3 don’t know 22 . [likely voters only] The California Legislature has operated under term limits since 1990, meaning that members of the state senate and state assembly are limited in the number of terms they can hold their elected office. Do you think that term limits are a good thing or a bad thing for California, or do they make no difference? 62% good thing 12 bad thing 21 no difference 4 don’t know 23. [likely voters only] Proposition 29 is called the “Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research, Initiative Statute.” It imposes an additional one dollar per pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products . Revenues fund research for cancer and tobacco -related diseases. Fiscal impacts include a net increase in cigarette excise tax revenues of about $735 million annually by 2013– 14 for certain research and tobacco prevention and cessation programs and other state and local revenue increases amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on Proposition 29? 53% yes 42 no 5 don’t know 24. [likely voters only] How important to you is the outcome of the vote on Proposition 29— is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 42% very important 38 somewhat important 15 not too important 4 not at all important 1 don’t know 25. [likely voters only] In general, would you favor or oppose increasing taxes on the purchase of cigaret tes? 63% favor 33 oppose 4 don’t know Next, this June, California state primaries will change from a partially closed system to a top - two primary system in which voters can cast ballots for any candidate regardless of party, and the two candidates receiving the most votes —regardless of party —will advance to the general election. PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 29 26. [likely voters only] How important to you is having the top -two primary system? I s it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? 32% very important 35 somewhat important 15 not too important 14 not at all important 4 don’t know 27. [likely voters only] Do you think that having the top -two prim ary system is a good thing or a bad thing for California elections, or does it make no difference for California elections? 43% good thing 22 bad thing 27 no difference 9 don’t know Tax increases could be used to help reduce the state budget deficit. F or each of the following areas of state spending , please indicate whether you would be willing to pay higher taxes, or not. [rotate questions 28 to 31] 28. Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for K– 12 public education, or not? 64% yes 34 no 2 don’t know 29 . Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for higher education, or not? 57% yes 42 no 2 don’t know 30 . Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for health and human services, or not? 54% yes 44 no 2 don’t know 31 . Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for prisons and corrections, or not? 17% yes 81 no 2 don’t know F or each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 32 and 33] 32. Do you favor or oppose raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 69% favor 28 oppose 3 don’t know 33. Do you favor or oppose raising the state sales tax? 33% favor 64 oppose 3 don’t know 34 . On another topic, Governor Brown recent ly released a revised budget plan for the next fiscal year to close the state’s projected $15.7 billion budget deficit. It includes spending cuts to Medi -Cal, welfare, child care and other social service programs and to courts and state employee compensation . It increases funding for K –12 public education. The proposal includes tax increases that would have to be approved by voters through an initiative on the November ballot. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 41% favor 50 oppose 3 haven ’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 6 don’t know 35. Do you favor or oppose Governor Brown’s proposed spending cuts to Medi-Cal, welfare, child care, and other social service programs? 30% favor 65 oppose 5 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 30 36. In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more — [rotate] (1) I’d rather pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, [or] (2) I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a state government that provides fewer services ? 58% higher taxes and more services 37 lower taxes and fewer services 5 don’t know 37. And when it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budg et this year, would you prefer — [rotate] (1) that the governor and legislature make all of the decisions about spending and taxes , [or] (2) that California voters make some of the decisions about spending and taxes at the ballot box? 14% governor and legislature make all of the decisions 82 Californi a voters make some of the decisions 1 other (specify) 1 both (volunteered) 3 don’t know 38 . Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 56% approve 39 disapprove 5 don’t know 39 . Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 22% approve 69 disapprove 8 don’t know 40 . Next , do you think the people in federal government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 67% a lot 24 some 6 don’t waste very much 3 don’t know 41 . Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 57% a lot 31 some 8 don’t waste very much 4 don’t know 42 . Do you think the people in your local government waste a lot of the money paid in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? 38% a lot 36 some 21 don’t waste very much 5 don’t know [questions 42a and 42b asked starting May 15, report ed for likely voters only] On another topic, 42a. [likely voters only] Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 56% favor 37 oppose 7 don’t know 42b. [likely voters only] Did President Obama expressing his support for gay marriage make you think [rotate] (1) more favorably of him, (2) less favorably of him, or did it not affect your opinion of Barack Obama? 25% more favorably of him 25 les s favorably of him 49 did not affect opinion 1 don’t know 43. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 33 middle -of -the -road 21 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey May 2012 Californians and Their Government 31 44. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 23% great deal 38 fair amount 33 only a little 5 none 1 don’t know [d1–d18: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern Califor nia Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Marí a Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Chief Executive Officer International Strategic Planning, Inc. Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 2 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone : 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:17" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_512mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:17" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:17" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_512MBS.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) }