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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_513MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "619054" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(97415) "ppic statewide survey MAY 2013 &Californians their government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 16 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. This is the 134th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 282,000 Californians. This is the 57th survey in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about important state and national issues. The survey began on the day Governor Brown released a revised state budget proposal for 2013–14. The governor proposed a restrained budget that recognizes one-time revenues and makes debt reduction a priority. The emphasis is on increasing K–12 education spending, providing more funding to school districts that have more lower-income, English Learners, and foster children and providing $1 billion for implementing the Common Core State Standards. The budget also recommends expanding Medi-Cal and more spending on higher education and corrections. In relation to national issues, the survey started after news about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s procurement of AP journalists’ phone records. Meanwhile, President Obama’s efforts to pass gun laws have reached an impasse but a bill on comprehensive immigration reform is still under discussion. Automatic spending cuts are in effect, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in California is expected to occur in June. This survey presents the responses of 1,704 adult residents throughout the state, interviewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including overall mood; approval ratings of state elected officials; perceptions of the state’s budget situation; opinions on the governor’s revised budget proposal, including spending allocated to implement the K–12 Common Core State Standards and increased funds for schools and for the state’s neediest students; views on reducing debt and building the reserve instead of restoring social service cuts; opinions on Proposition 13; trust in state government; and attitudes toward the initiative process, including possible reforms.  Federal government, including approval ratings of federal elected officials; effects of recent automatic spending cuts; opinions on government involvement in regulating guns and on conducting background checks on potential gun owners; perceptions of global warming’s threat to their lifestyle; support for fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline; preferences for handling immigrants who are in the country illegally; and opinions on same-sex marriage and whether it should be defined by a federal standard or by individual states.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government, based on political party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. Try our PPIC Statewide Survey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. May 2013 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Majorities Favor Brown’s Revised Budget, School Funding Plan SUPPORT FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HITS NEW HIGH, GLOBAL WARMING CONCERNS INCREASE SAN FRANCISCO, May 29, 2013—Most Californians support Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal, and they overwhelmingly favor his spending plan for public schools. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. When read a brief description of the overall budget proposal, solid majorities of Californians (61%) and likely voters (60%) favor the plan, which includes increased spending for K–12 education and modest increases to higher education, health and human services, and corrections. The governor’s plan would also reduce state debt and maintain a $1.1 billion reserve—a potential focus of debate, as some Democratic legislators look to restore funding to social services. When asked about the tradeoff, a majority of Californians (55%) prefer paying down debt and building a reserve to restoring some funding for social service programs (39%). Likely voters are twice as likely to prefer reducing the debt (62%) to restoring funding to social services (32%). The governor’s education funding plan allocates $1 billion to help schools prepare for implementation of the math and English standards called the Common Core State Standards in 2014. Asked about this component of the plan, 73 percent of Californians express support. A key feature of Brown’s school funding plan would give each K–12 school district more money than in 2011–12 and allocate additional funding to districts with more English Learners and lower-income students. In the survey, 77 percent of Californians support this idea. “Strong majorities favor the governor’s cautious approach to the budget,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “And they overwhelmingly support his ideas for school financing.” BROWN’S APPROVAL RATING HOLDS STEADY The survey—begun the day the governor released his revised state budget proposal—finds his approval rating at 48 percent among all adults (31% disapprove, 21% don’t know). Approval among likely voters is identical, but they are more likely to disapprove (40%) and less likely to be unsure (11%) of his job performance. Brown’s approval has been close to 50 percent since December 2012. About a third of Californians (35%) approve of the job the state legislature is doing, while half (50%) disapprove. Likely voters are more negative (29% approve, 59% disapprove). Most Californians continue to see the state’s budget situation as a big problem (61% all adults, 67% likely voters). Most also say that recent state budget cuts have affected their local government services a lot (59% all adults, 57% likely voters). When asked a more general question about their approach to government, 48 percent of Californians say they would prefer to pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, while 44 percent would rather pay lower taxes and have May 2013 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey fewer services. This is a significant change from last May, when residents preferred higher taxes and more services by a 21 point margin. Since the passage in November of Proposition 30—which increased taxes—this margin has shrunk to 15 points in December and 4 points today. Despite the state’s improved fiscal condition, just 32 percent of adults and 21 percent of likely voters say they trust state government to do what is right just about always or most of the time. Strong majorities (61% adults, 70% likely voters) say state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. Given their distrust in state leaders, Californians’ faith in their ability to make policy through the initiative process is not surprising. Most (57% adults, 60% likely voters) say policy decisions made by initiative are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. MAJORITY FAVOR SPLIT-ROLL PROPERTY TAX This year, Democratic legislators have talked about making changes to Proposition 13, the landmark 1978 initiative that limits residential and commercial property taxes. Proposition 13 remains popular, with 58 percent of adults and 61 percent of likely voters saying it has been mostly a good thing for the state. But one proposed reform gets majority support: 58 percent of adults and 56 percent of likely voters favor a split-roll property tax, which would tax commercial properties according to their current market value. But less than half of Californians (46% adults, 42% likely voters) favor another proposed reform, which would lower the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent to pass local special taxes. “Californians remain steadfast supporters of Proposition 13 tax limits on the 35th anniversary of its passage, but they are open to some change,” Baldassare says. “Most support altering the provision that calls for the same treatment of residential and commercial property taxes. They are a lot less willing to lower the vote requirement to pass a local special tax.” Despite support for the initiative process, policymaking at the ballot box is a challenge for many. Majorities (70% adults, 67% likely voters) say there are too many propositions on the state ballot. Larger majorities (78% adults, 83% likely voters) say the wording of initiatives is often too complicated and confusing for voters to understand what would happen if an initiative passes. Californians also feel that special interests control the initiative process a lot (55% adults, 63% likely voters). How should the system be changed? One idea that gets strong support (68% adults, 69% likely voters) is an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings on initiatives and make recommendations in the official voter guide. Majorities also favored three other ideas:  Having voters review initiatives—by voting on them again—after a certain number of years (64% adults, 64% likely voters)  Giving initiative sponsors more time to qualify initiatives if they use only volunteers to gather signatures, rather than paid signature gatherers (72% adults, 75% likely voters)  Having the “yes” and “no” sides of campaigns participate in a series of televised debates (75% adults, 76% likely voters) But another idea, which would increase state leaders’ authority, fails to get majority support: allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years (47% adults, 36% likely voters are in favor). CALIFORNIANS DIVIDED ABOUT DIRECTION OF STATE The survey finds Californians generally more optimistic about the state than they were a year ago. While they are divided today about whether things are generally going in the right direction (46%) or wrong direction (48%), pessimism has declined 15 points since last May (63% wrong direction). There are demographic distinctions. Most younger adults (57% ages 18–34) are optimistic, while older adults (56% ages 35–54, 51% 55 and older) are pessimistic about the state’s direction. Most residents in the Central May 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Valley (56%), Orange/San Diego (56%), and Inland Empire (52%) are pessimistic, and most in the San Francisco Bay Area (54%) and Los Angeles (52%) are optimistic. Most blacks (59%) and whites (52%) are pessimistic; most Asians (55%) and Latinos (51%) are optimistic. MOST SAY SEQUESTRATION CUTS HURTING ECONOMY, FEWER FEEL IMPACT Californians were also asked about a number of national issues, including the effects of the across--theboard cuts in spending that took effect after President Obama and congressional Republicans failed to reach a budget agreement. Most Californians (69% adults, 63% likely voters) say the cuts are hurting the economy. Fewer (49% adults, 46% likely voters) say they have personally felt any negative impact. Californians with incomes of $40,000 or less (61%) are more likely than middle- (44%) or higher-income (34%) residents to say they have personally felt a negative impact. The president’s approval rating today is 62 percent among California adults and 53 percent among likely voters, similar to his approval ratings in March (66% adults, 57% likely voters) and January (65% adults, 56% likely voters). Just 31 percent of adults and 19 percent of likely voters approve of the job Congress is doing. Californians are more likely to approve of their own representatives in the U.S. House (53% adults, 50% likely voters). CONCERN ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING INCREASES Californians are more likely to see global warming as a threat than they were a decade ago, and they are more likely to see it as a threat than adults nationwide. A majority of Californians (57%) say global warming will pose a serious threat to them or their way of life, while 39 percent say it will not (45% yes, 50% no in July 2003). A Gallup poll in March found that most U.S. adults (64%) do not think global warming will pose a serious threat (34% yes). On two questions of energy policy, Californians express more caution than their counterparts nationwide. Less than half of Californians (39%) favor the increased use of fracking, the drilling method that uses highpressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations. A March Pew Research Center survey found 48 percent of U.S. adults in favor. Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian oil to Texas refineries, has the support of a slim majority (53%) of Californians. The Pew survey found a solid majority of U.S. adults (66%) in favor. SUPPORT FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HITS NEW HIGH On three other national issues, the views of Californians are similar to those nationwide:  Same-sex marriage. With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule on this issue in June, support for legalizing same-sex marriage has reached a record high in California (56% favor, 38% oppose). Support is similar today among adults nationwide in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (55% support, 40% oppose).  Gun laws. Most Californians (57%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. This is a decline of 8 points since January—after the Newtown school shootings and before the gun control debate. An overwhelming majority (89%) favor a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers. In an April CBS/New York Times poll, a similar 88 percent of U.S. adults favored background checks.  Immigration policy. Just 33 percent of Californians consider immigrants a burden to California because they use public services, while 61 percent say immigrants are a benefit because of their hard work and job skills. And 78 percent of Californians say immigrants living here illegally who meet certain requirements should be allowed to stay, with 50 percent saying these immigrants should be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship and 25 percent preferring permanent residency. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 73 percent of U.S. adults think these immigrants should be allowed to stay (44% apply for citizenship, 25% apply for residency). May 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Governor Brown’s approval rating is at 48 percent while the state legislature’s approval rating is at 35 percent. (page 7)  Six in 10 Californians continue to view the state budget situation as a big problem and say recent state budget cuts have impacted their local services a lot. (page 9)  Strong partisan differences persist on the tradeoff between paying higher taxes to have more services and paying lower taxes and having fewer services. (page 9)  Six in 10 favor Governor Brown’s revised budget proposal. As in January, 55 percent favor his proposal to pay down debt and maintain a reserve rather than restoring social service cuts. (page 10)  Californians support Governor Brown’s K– 12 spending plan in the revised budget: 77 percent favor increasing funding for school districts and giving extra to those with more disadvantaged students, and 73 percent favor allocating $1 billion for implementing Common Core Standards. (page 11)  Trust in state government remains low: 61 percent say it is run by a few big interests, and 54 percent say state government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. (page 12)  When it comes to Proposition 13 reforms, a majority favor a split-roll property tax but less than half support a lower vote threshold for local special taxes. (page 13)  About six in 10 say public policy decisions made by voters through the initiative process are better than those made by the governor and legislature, but many say the process is controlled by special interests. Californians favor several ideas to reform the initiative process. (pages 14, 15) May 2012 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 80 Governor Brown California Legislature 60 48 51 49 46 48 39 42 41 42 40 41 34 20 25 29 30 28 34 31 35 0 May Jul Sep Oct Dec Jan Mar Apr May 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 Preferences for the Size of State Government Pay higher taxes, have more services Pay lower taxes, have fewer services Dem 64 29 Ind 39 55 Rep 27 66 0 20 40 60 80 100 Percent registered voters Governor Brown’s Revised Budget Proposal 11 28 All adults 61 Favor Oppose Haven’t heard about it/Don’t know 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Following the release of his May revision to the state budget, Governor Brown continues to have the approval of half of Californians (48%), while about three in 10 disapprove (31%) and one in five (21%) are unsure how to rate him. Approval among likely voters is identical (48%), but they are more likely to disapprove (40%) and less likely to be unsure (11%). Approval has been close to 50 percent since December 2012, just after the passage of Proposition 30 (48% December 2012, 51% January, 49% March, 46% April, 48% today). The governor enjoys the approval today of 63 percent of Democrats, while 58 percent of Republicans disapprove; independents are more likely to approve than disapprove (45% to 33%). Approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) followed by the Central Valley (49%), Los Angeles (49%), Orange/San Diego (41%), and the Inland Empire (35%). Asians (61%) and blacks (54%) approve, while fewer whites (48%) and Latinos (42%) say this. Approval increases with rising education. About one in three (35%) Californians approve of the California Legislature, while half (50%) disapprove. Likely voters are more negative (29% approve, 59% disapprove). Approval of the legislature today is similar to recent months (41% January, 34% March, 31% April, 35% today). Democrats (39%) are more likely than independents (27%) and Republicans (18%) to approve of the Democratically controlled legislature. Residents in Los Angeles (43%) are the most likely to approve of the legislature, followed by those in the San Francisco Bay Area (36%), the Inland Empire (32%), Orange/San Diego (30%), and the Central Valley (29%). Slightly more than four in 10 blacks (43%), Latinos (43%), and Asians (42%) approve of the legislature, compared to one in four whites who approve (26%). Younger Californians age 18–34 (42%) are more likely than older adults (32% 35–54, 29% age 55 and older) to approve. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Dem Party Rep Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California Approve Disapprove Donʼt know 48% 63% 31% 31 23 58 21 14 11 The California Legislature is handling its job Approve Disapprove Donʼt know 35 39 18 50 46 71 16 15 11 Ind 45% 33 22 27 56 16 Likely voters 48% 40 11 29 59 12 Californians are divided regarding the job that the state legislators representing their assembly and senate districts are doing at this time: 43% approve, 40% disapprove. Likely voters are more disapproving (38% approve, 49% disapprove). Approval was similar in January (45% approve, 34% disapprove). Most Democrats (49%) approve of their state legislators, while most Republicans (58%) and independents (46%) disapprove. Approval is highest in Los Angeles (48%) and lowest in the Inland Empire (35%). Asians (54%), blacks (53%), and Latinos (47%) are more approving than whites (36%). Approve Disapprove Donʼt know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 43% 49% 29% 37% 40 35 58 46 17 16 13 17 Likely voters 38% 49 13 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Californians name jobs and the economy (47%) as the most important issue facing the state. Our current survey (47%) and our March survey (45%) mark the first times since September 2008 (44%) that less than half of Californians mentioned jobs and the economy. Still, pluralities across parties, regions, and demographic groups name jobs and the economy as the most important issue. Education and schools (9%), the state budget (9%), immigration (5%), and crime (4%) are some of the other issues mentioned. Californians offer mixed views on the overall outlook for the state with 46 percent saying things in California are going in the right direction and 48 percent saying they are going in the wrong direction. Pessimism has declined 15 points since last May but is somewhat higher than in January (63% May 2012, 60% Sep 2012, 53% Oct 2012, 50% Dec 2012, 40% Jan 2013, 48% Mar 2013, 48% today). Likely voters are slightly more pessimistic than all adults (54% wrong direction). Residents in the Central Valley (56%), Orange/San Diego (56%), and the Inland Empire (52%) are more likely to see a negative outlook for the state; San Francisco Bay Area (54%) and Los Angeles (52%) residents have a positive view. An overwhelming majority of Republicans (72%) and a majority of independents (55%) say wrong direction, while a majority of Democrats (57%) say right direction. Among racial/ethnic groups, a majority of blacks (59%) and whites (52%) say wrong direction; Asians (55%) and Latinos (51%) say right direction. Younger adults (age 18–34) are optimistic and older adults are pessimistic about the state’s direction. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” Right direction All adults 46% Central Valley 39% San Francisco 54% Region Los Angeles 52% Orange/ San Diego 39% Inland Empire 41% Likely voters 41% Wrong direction 48 56 35 43 56 52 54 Donʼt know 7 5 10 5 5 7 4 On the state’s economic outlook, 48 percent say the state will have good times financially in the next year while 44 percent say it will have bad times. Pessimism regarding the state’s economic conditions has declined 17 points since last May (61% May 2012, 57% Sep 2012, 53% Oct 2012, 50% Dec 2012, 40% Jan 2013, 49% Mar 2013, 44% today). The San Francisco Bay Area (63%) is the only region where a majority expect good times. Residents in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire are divided, and at least half of Central Valley (50%) and Orange/San Diego (54%) residents expect bad times. Democrats expect good times (58%), Republicans bad times (61%), and independents offer mixed views (46% good times, 46% bad times). Asians (63%) and blacks (52%) say good times, while Latinos (49% good times, 43% bad times) and whites (43% good times, 48% bad times) have a mixed outlook on the state’s economy. Those age 18 to 34 are positive (58%), those age 35 to 54 are negative (52%), and those age 55 and older have mixed views (44% good times, 43% bad times). Those with college degrees (54%) and household incomes of $80,000 or more (53%) have a positive economic outlook compared to those with less education and lower incomes, who offer mixed views. Good times Bad times Donʼt know “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults 48% Central Valley 43% San Francisco 63% Region Los Angeles 47% Orange/ San Diego 40% Inland Empire 41% 44 50 26 45 54 47 8 7 12 8 5 12 May 2013 Californians and Their Government Likely voters 45% 46 9 8 PPIC Statewide Survey BUDGET SITUATION Californians continue to say that the state budget situation is a big problem (61%) or somewhat of a problem (30%). Only 6 percent say it is not a problem. The share of Californians saying that the state budget situation is a big problem has been above 60 percent since January 2008. Central Valley residents (69%) are the most likely to call the budget situation a big problem, followed by those in the Inland Empire (65%), Orange/San Diego (61%), Los Angeles (57%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (54%). Whites (68%) are more likely than Asians (58%), Latinos (53%), and blacks (49%) to hold this view. “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?” Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem All adults 61% 30 6 Central Valley 69% 23 4 San Francisco 54% 37 7 Region Los Angeles 57% 31 9 Orange/ San Diego 61% 33 5 Inland Empire 65% 27 7 Don’t know 242312 Likely voters 67% 27 4 1 When asked if they have noticed effects of recent state budget cuts on their local government services, 59 percent say services have been affected a lot, 26 percent say they have been affected somewhat, and 10 percent say they have not been affected. Majorities have held this view since we began asking this question in September 2011. More than six in 10 residents in the Central Valley (62%), Los Angeles (64%), and the Inland Empire (70%) say their services have been affected a lot, while about half of San Francisco Bay Area (48%) and Orange/San Diego (52%) residents say this. Majorities across parties also share this view. “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?”) Affected a lot All adults 59% Central Valley 62% San Francisco 48% Region Los Angeles 64% Orange/ San Diego 52% Inland Empire 70% Likely voters 57% Affected somewhat 26 24 33 25 29 19 29 Not affected 10 11 9 8 12 8 8 Donʼt know 5 3 10 3 7 2 5 Californians are divided in their preference for paying higher taxes and having a state government that provides more services (48%), and paying lower taxes and having fewer services (44%). Californians preferred higher taxes/more services by a 21 point margin last May. Since the passage of Proposition 30 in the November election, this margin has narrowed to 15 points in December and is 4 points today. There are strong partisan differences: 64 percent of Democrats prefer higher taxes/more services, while 66 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents prefer lower taxes/fewer services. Most Los Angeles (61%) and San Francisco Bay Area (50%) residents prefer higher taxes/more services, while most Central Valley and Inland Empire residents prefer lower taxes/fewer services (52% each). Orange/San Diego residents are divided (42% higher taxes/more services to 48% lower taxes/fewer services). Most residents earning less than $40,000 prefer higher taxes/more services (57%), those in the middle income group are divided, while most earning $80,000 or more prefer lower taxes/fewer services (53%). May 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR BROWN’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released a revised budget plan for 2013–14 on May 14. Despite higher than expected revenues from personal income taxes, in addition to income and sales taxes approved by voters last November, Governor Brown took a cautious approach. The revised budget focuses on increasing spending on K–12 education, reducing state debt, and building a $1.1 billion reserve. It includes modest increases to higher education, health and human services, and corrections. When read a brief description of the revised budget plan, a solid majority of Californians (61%) and likely voters (60%) are in favor, while 28 percent of Californians and 32 percent of likely voters are opposed. Support was slightly higher for the budget plan presented in January (69% adults, 66% likely voters). Today, Democrats (74%) are much more likely than independents (56%) and Republicans (49%) to favor the May budget revision. Independents were much more supportive of the proposal in January than they are today (72% January to 56% today), but support among Democrats and Republicans was similar in January. Majorities across regions are in favor, with support ranging from 54 percent in Orange/San Diego to 68 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area. At least six in 10 across income levels are in favor. Among racial/ethnic groups, blacks (80%) and Asians (77%) are much more likely than whites (60%) and Latinos (55%) to favor the plan. Slightly more than half of Californians who see the budget situation as a big problem are in favor (53%). “Governor Brown recently released a revised budget plan for the current and next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 schools, higher education, health and human services, and corrections and rehabilitation, create a $1.1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 61% 74% 49% 56% 60% Oppose 28 19 41 32 32 Haven’t heard about it/ Donʼt know (volunteered) 11 6 10 12 8 Similar to the January proposal, the revised plan looks to pay down debt and maintain about a $1 billion reserve. This could become an area of contention, as some Democrats in the legislature look to restore cuts to social services. When asked about the tradeoff between paying down debt/building a reserve and restoring some of the cuts made to social service programs, a majority of Californians (55%) prefer paying down debt to restoring cuts (39%). Results were nearly identical in January (55% pay down debt, 38% restore cuts). Likely voters are twice as likely to prefer debt reduction (62%) to restoring cuts (32%). This fiscal tradeoff divides Democrats: 48 percent prefer paying down debt and 46 percent prefer restoring cuts. Both independents (67%) and Republicans (75%) prefer paying down state debt. At least 50 percent across regions and age groups prefer debt reduction, as do those with at least some college education. Preference for reducing debt increases sharply with income. Asians and whites (64% each) prefer reducing debt, blacks (59%) prefer restoring cuts, and Latinos are divided (43% reduce debt, 50% restore cuts). “Governor Brown’s budget plan proposes to pay down state debt and build up the reserve. In general, do you prefer the governor’s plan to pay down state debt and build up the reserve or would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Pay debt, build reserve 55% 48% 75% 67% 62% Restore some funding for social service programs 39 46 20 27 32 Donʼt know 76566 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR BROWN’S BUDGET PROPOSAL (CONTINUED) Governor Brown proposes to increase spending on education. His revised budget allocates $1 billion in onetime revenues to implement the Common Core State Standards, a new set of English and math standards the state will roll out in 2014. This money would be used to provide funds for activities such as teacher training, textbooks, and computers. There is a high level of support for this component of Governor Brown’s budget plan: 73 percent of Californians, 83 percent of public school parents, and 65 percent of likely voters are in favor. There is majority support across parties, but Democrats (77%) are much more likely than independents (67%) and Republicans (56%) to favor this proposal. At least 65 percent across regions are in favor. Among racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (86%) and blacks (80%) are more likely than Asians (70%) and whites (64%) to favor directing money to implement the Common Core State Standards. Among those who favor the revised budget plan in general, 88 percent favor allocating money this way. Among those opposing the budget plan, 46 percent favor and 50 percent oppose the proposal. “As part of his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes providing K–12 schools with $1 billion in one-time revenues to fund teacher training, textbooks, and computers to support the implementation of the “Common Core State Standards,” a new set of English and math standards that the state will roll out in 2014. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Asians Race Blacks Latinos Whites Public school parents Favor 73% 70% 80% 86% 64% 83% Oppose 21 20 20 11 27 13 Donʼt know 7 11 1 3 9 5 The governor proposes giving each K–12 school district more money than in 2011–12 and giving districts with more English Learners and lower-income students additional funding. The idea of targeting extra money to districts with more disadvantaged students has been a controversial one. However, there is overwhelming support for this proposal among Californians in our survey: 77 percent of adults and 83 percent of public school parents are in favor. Among likely voters, 68 percent are in favor. Across parties, support is highest among Democrats (87%), followed by independents (65%) and Republicans (57%). Blacks (91%) and Latinos (88%) are somewhat more likely than Asians (78%) and whites (69%) to support this proposal. Although at least 65 percent express support across age and income groups, support declines with rising age and income. Seven in 10 or more across regions express support. Among those who favor the governor’s plan in general, 90 percent favor this proposal; even among those who oppose the revised budget plan, 54 percent support this proposal. In our April and January surveys we also found high levels of support in response to a similar question about giving new funding mostly to school districts with more English Learners and lower-income students (71% April, 75% January). “In his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes giving each K–12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011–12 and providing additional funding to school districts that have more English language learners and lower-income students. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Asians Race Blacks Latinos Whites Public school parents Favor 77% 78% 91% 88% 69% 83% Oppose 19 18 9 11 25 16 Donʼt know 43 – 1 61 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey TRUST IN STATE GOVERNMENT Even as the state’s fiscal condition has improved, most Californians continue to distrust their state government. Today, just 32 percent of all adults and 21 percent of likely voters say they trust the state government to do what is right just about always or most of the time. In October 2012, before the last statewide general election, a similar proportion of adults (27%) and likely voters (22%) expressed these levels of trust. Today, strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents say that they can trust the state government to do what is right only some of the time, or volunteer “none of the time.” “How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right—just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Just about always 7% 5% 3% 3% 4% Most of the time 25 24 15 20 17 Only some of the time 60 68 65 65 69 None of the time (volunteered) 6 2 17 10 10 Don’t know 22–21 Strong majorities of adults (61%) and likely voters (70%) also say that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. A similar 67 percent of adults and 71 percent of likely voters held this opinion in October 2012. Today, Republicans (74%) and independents (71%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (63%) to have this view. About eight in 10 of those disapproving of the governor or legislature think that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests. “Would you say the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind A few big interests 61% 63% 74% 71% 70% Benefit of all of the people 31 27 21 25 22 Don’t know 8 10 5 5 8 Majorities of adults (54%) and likely voters (57%) also say that the people in state government waste a lot of taxpayer money. In October 2012, six in 10 adults (60%) and likely voters (60%) held this opinion about state government waste. Today, Republicans (69%) and independents (59%) are much more likely than Democrats (47%) to have this perspective on state government. “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?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind A lot 54% 47% 69% 59% Some 32 42 20 35 Don’t waste very much 10 9 9 4 Don’t know 4121 Likely voters 57% 34 8 2 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey PROPOSITION 13 REFORMS There has been some talk among Democratic legislators this year about possible changes to the Proposition 13 property tax limits that voters approved in June 1978. Californians continue to have an overall positive view 35 years after Proposition 13 passed. About six in 10 adults (58%) and likely voters (61%) say Proposition 13 has been mostly a good thing for California, while about one in four adults (27%) and likely voters (26%) say Proposition 13 has been mostly a bad thing. Since we began asking this question in February 2003, majorities of adults have considered Proposition 13 mostly a good thing in all but one survey (May 2005)—and even then a plurality (47%) said good thing. Majorities across political groups today say that Proposition 13 is mostly a good thing, with Democrats (55%) and independents (57%) much less likely than Republicans (73%) to hold this view. Majorities across regions, racial/ethnic, age, and income groups have a positive view about the overall impact of Proposition 13. Proposition 13 limits both residential and commercial property taxes. Among the Proposition 13 reforms that have been proposed is the so-called split roll property tax, which would change the way commercial property taxes are assessed. This reform may be considered, given legislative Democrats’ expected twothirds majority. Majorities of adults (58%) and likely voters (56%) favor having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value. The results were similar in January 2012 (60% of adults and likely voters were in favor). Today, most Democrats (64%) and independents (58%) favor this change to Proposition 13, while Republicans are more divided (51% favor, 44% oppose). At least half across regions and demographic groups support this proposed change. Of those who say that Proposition 13 has been mostly a bad thing for California, 62 percent favor and 31 percent oppose taxing commercial properties according to their current market value. Even among those who say Proposition 13 has been a good thing, a majority (58%) favor this change (37% are opposed). “Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 58% 64% 51% 58% 56% Oppose 33 27 44 31 38 Don’t know 9 9 5 10 6 Another proposed change to Proposition 13—lowering the majority from two-thirds to 55 percent for voters to pass local special taxes—does not have majority support (46% adults, 42% likely voters). Support among all adults was much lower in response to a similar question in May 2008 (34%) and February 2003 (32%). Democrats (54%) are more likely than independents (46%) and Republicans (32%) to support this change. Whites (42%) are less likely than blacks (56%), Asians (51%), and Latinos (51%) to favor lowering the vote requirement to pass local special taxes from two-thirds to 55 percent. “Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Would you favor or oppose replacing the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 46% 54% 32% 46% 42% Oppose 44 37 64 46 53 Don’t know 99485 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey CITIZENS’ INITIATIVES Democratic legislators are also discussing reforms to the 102-year-old citizens’ initiative process. Californians’ strong support for the initiative process is reflected in their perceptions of its overall public policy consequences. About six in 10 adults (57%) and likely voters (60%) say that the public policy decisions made by California voters are probably better than those made by the governor and state legislature. Pluralities across political, regional, racial/ethnic, and other demographic groups hold this view. Similarly positive perceptions have been evident since we began asking this question in 2000. “Overall, do you think public policy decisions made through the initiative process by California voters are probably better or probably worse than public policy decisions made by the governor and state legislature?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Probably better 57% 48% 70% 65% 60% Probably worse 28 38 21 23 29 Same (volunteered) 35144 Don’t know 12 10 7 8 7 However, many Californians do find it challenging to make public policy at the ballot box. About seven in 10 adults (70%) and likely voters (67%) say they agree that there are too many propositions on the state ballot. By comparison, 59 percent of adults held this view in September 2008. An even more widely held complaint involves the wording of ballot initiatives. Today, 78 percent of adults and 83 percent of likely voters agree that initiative wording is often too complicated and confusing for voters to understand what would happen if an initiative passed. A similar 78 percent of adults held this view in September 2008. Today, solid majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups are in agreement that there are too many ballot propositions and that initiative wording is often too confusing. The influence of special interests, which has been a major area of voter discontent in recent candidate campaigns, is also an issue in initiative campaigns. Most Californians say that the initiative process is controlled a lot (55%) or some (35%) by special interests, and very few say that special interests are not at all in control of the initiative process. Likely voters (63%) are somewhat more likely than all adults to say that special interests have a lot of control of the initiative process today. Partisans hold similarly negative views, with majorities of Democrats (57%), Republicans (65%), and independents (54%) saying a lot. In previous surveys, similar majorities of Californians have said that the initiative process is controlled a lot by special interests (52% Jan 2001, 56% Sep 2005, 54% Sep 2011, 56% Sep 2012, 55% today). A lot Some Not at all Don’t know “Overall, how much would you say that the initiative process in California today is controlled by special interests—a lot, some, or not at all?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 55% 57% 65% 54% 35 33 28 40 6662 3313 Likely voters 63% 32 4 1 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE REFORMS While Californians are generally positive about the initiative system, they also favor changing it. One way to increase public engagement has strong support: Nearly seven in 10 adults (68%) and likely voters (69%) favor an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings and make recommendations in the official voter guide. Democrats (68%), Republicans (65%), and independents (73%) express support, as do solid majorities across regional, racial/ethnic, and demographic groups. “How about having an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings on initiatives and then make ballot recommendations in the official voter guide?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 68% 68% 65% 73% 69% Oppose 24 25 30 23 27 Don’t know 87444 Solid majorities of adults (64%) and likely voters (64%) favor requiring voters to renew initiatives after a certain number of years by voting on them again. This idea has solid majority support among Republicans (61%), Democrats (68%), and independents (72%). However, many Californians are reluctant to increase the legislature’s authority: fewer than half of adults (47%) and likely voters (36%) favor allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years. Consistent with the belief that the initiative process today is controlled a lot by special interests, 72 percent of adults and 75 percent of likely voters are in favor of giving initiative sponsors more time if they are using only volunteers to gather signatures rather than using paid signature gatherers. There is solid support for this idea across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Support for increased transparency regarding the initiative campaign funders is also evident in Californians’ support for the proposal to have the yes and no sides of initiative campaigns participate in a series of televised debates. This idea is supported by 75 percent of adults and 76 percent of likely voters and is overwhelmingly favored across parties. Questions asked of half-samples Having voters renew initiatives after a certain number of years, by voting on them again? Allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years? Giving initiative sponsors more time to qualify initiatives if they are using only volunteers to gather signatures rather than using paid signature gatherers? Having the yes and no sides of the initiative campaigns participate in a series of televised debates? Favor Oppose Don’t know Favor Oppose Don’t know Favor Oppose Don’t know Favor Oppose Don’t know “How about…?” All adults 64% 29 7 47 46 7 72 21 7 75 23 2 Dem 68% 29 4 50 40 10 74 20 6 73 25 2 Party Rep 61% 35 4 31 64 5 76 21 3 71 29 1 Likely Ind voters 72% 64% 25 32 44 44 36 50 58 66 79 75 18 21 34 84 76 12 22 42 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Sixty-two percent approve of President Obama, similar to his pre-election ratings last October. Approval of the U.S. Congress remains low at 31 percent. (page 17)  Seven in 10 Californians say that acrossthe-board cuts in federal spending are hurting the economy. Residents are less likely to say they have personally felt negative impacts from these budget cuts (49% have, 50% have not). (page 18)  A majority of Californians (57%) believe that government does not do enough to regulate guns, although the share saying so has fallen 8 points since January. Californians strongly support conducting background checks on all potential gun buyers, as do adults nationwide. (page 19)  Unlike adults nationwide, a majority of Californians (57%) think global warming will pose a serious threat to their way of life during their lifetime. Thirty-nine percent favor the increased use of fracking and 53 percent support building the Keystone XL pipeline. (page 20)  On immigration, 78 percent say there should be a way for immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements to stay in the country, and either apply for citizenship (50%) or permanent residency (25%). Eighteen percent say they should not be allowed to stay. (page 21)  Support for legalizing same-sex marriage is at a new high (56%) in California. The same share (56%) say same-sex marriage should be defined by a federal standard, while 35 percent prefer leaving the decision to individual states. (pages 22, 23) May 2013 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 100 President Obama Congress 80 60 54 59 56 57 60 63 65 66 62 Percent all adults 40 20 25 24 22 27 27 26 34 29 31 0 Jan Mar May Jul Sep Oct Jan Mar May 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 Whether Global Warming Will Pose a Serious Threat to Your Way of Life During Lifetime 100 Yes No 80 64 60 57 40 34 39 Percent all adults 20 0 Adults nationwide* *Gallup Poll, March 2013 Californians Attitudes Toward Same-sex Marriage 100 80 Favor Oppose 60 55 40 39 20 50 48 49 50 49 50 53 54 56 44 44 45 44 44 45 42 40 38 0 Jan 00 Feb Sep Jun Oct Mar Mar Sep May May 04 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 16 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Even as the Obama administration has come under scrutiny for the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s procurement of AP journalists’ phone records, President Obama has the approval of 62 percent of Californians and 53 percent of likely voters. Approval today is similar to March (66% all adults, 57% likely voters) and January (65% all adults, 56% likely voters). In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, 51 percent of adults nationwide approved of President Obama, similar to findings in their April and March surveys (50% each). There is a wide divide among partisans, and approval today is similar to findings in March among Democrats (today 84%, March 89%) and Republicans (today 24%, March 23%). However, approval among independents has shifted, with 51 percent approving today— down from 64 percent in March. Residents in Los Angeles (today 75%, March 70%) and San Francisco (today 68%, March 79%) are more approving than those in Orange/San Diego (today 57%, March 61%), the Central Valley (today 51%, March 56%), and the Inland Empire (today 47%, March 61%). Majorities of blacks (today 89%, March 94%), Latinos (today 76%, 84% March), and Asians (today 66%, March 82%) approve; whites are divided (today 48% approve, 48% disapprove, March 44% approve, 52% disapprove). Just three in 10 Californians (31%) approve of the way Congress is handling its job; 62 percent disapprove. Likely voters are even more negative (19% approve, 77% disapprove). Approval among all adults was similar in March (29%) and January (34%), but has improved somewhat since last May (22%). In a recent Gallup poll 16 percent of adults nationwide approved of Congress, while 79 percent disapproved. Fewer than three in 10 partisans approve of Congress. Latinos (48%) and Asians (47%) are much more likely than blacks (30%) and whites (15%) to approve of Congress. Approval declines as age and income increase. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Dem Party Rep Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States Approve Disapprove Don’t know 62% 84% 24% 34 14 73 423 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve Disapprove Don’t know 31 28 19 62 65 79 683 Ind 51% 46 2 19 76 5 Likely voters 53% 45 2 19 77 5 Californians give more favorable ratings to their own members in the House of Representatives, with 53 percent approving and 34 percent disapproving. Approval among likely voters is similar. Findings among all adults and likely voters were similar in January. Today, Democrats (62%) are far more likely than independents (42%) and Republicans (38%) to approve. Majorities approve in Los Angeles (64%), the San Francisco Bay Area (56%), and Orange/San Diego (51%), while residents are divided in the Central Valley (45% approve, 42% disapprove) and the Inland Empire (45% approve, 43% disapprove). Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind 53% 62% 38% 42% 50% 34 25 53 41 40 12 13 9 17 10 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS Beginning March 1, across-the-board federal budget cuts that were part of the sequestration agreement began taking place because President Obama and the Republicans in Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement. When asked if these spending cuts are hurting the economy or not, 69 percent of Californians and 63 percent of likely voters say that they are. In an April ABC News/Washington Post poll 63 percent of adults nationwide said the cuts are hurting the economy, while 28 percent said they are not. Majorities in both parties agree that the cuts are hurting the economy, but Democrats (77%) are more likely than independents (62%) and Republicans (56%) to hold this view. Although majorities say cuts are hurting the economy, views differ across demographic groups. Those in households with incomes of less than $40,000 a year (81%) are much more likely than middle-income adults (66%) or those in households making $80,000 or more (56%) to say the cuts are hurting the economy. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (80%) and blacks (79%) are much more likely than Asians (62%) and whites (62%) to say the cuts are hurting the economy. Those with only a high school degree (82%) are far more likely than those with some college (62%) or college graduates (58%) to hold this view. This view declines as age increases. Among those who have personally felt the impact of the budget cuts, 86 percent say the cuts are hurting the economy, while among those who have not felt the impact, 53 percent say they are doing so. “Automatic across-the-board cuts in federal spending have begun to take effect because President Obama and the Republicans in Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement earlier this year. Do you think these budget cuts are or are not hurting the economy?” Are hurting the economy All adults 69% Under $40,000 81% Household income $40,000 to $80,000 66% $80,000 or more 56% Likely voters 63% Are not hurting the economy 25 14 30 39 32 Don’t know 65455 While most say the cuts are hurting the economy, not all Californians have personally felt a negative impact: 49 percent have and 50 percent have not. Likely voters report similar experiences (46% have, 53% have not). In the ABC News/Washington Post poll only 33 percent of adults nationwide reported having felt any negative impact from these budget cuts, while 65 percent said they had not. As one might expect, those with lower incomes (61%) are more likely than middle- (44%) and upperincome (34%) Californians to report any negative impact. Blacks (64%) and Latinos (61%) are much more likely than Asians (42%) and whites (39%) to have felt the negative impact of these cuts. Across regions, residents in the Inland Empire (62%) are the most likely to have felt the negative impact of the cuts, followed by those in Los Angeles (51%), Orange/San Diego (48%), the Central Valley (46%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (42%). Reports of feeling a negative impact from these cuts decrease as education levels increase. Have Have not Don’t know “Have you personally felt any negative impact of these budget cuts, or not?” All adults 49% Under $40,000 61% Household income $40,000 to $80,000 44% $80,000 or more 34% Likely voters 46% 50 38 56 66 53 211–1 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey GUN REGULATIONS The gun control debate has recently taken a back seat to other federal issues, but ongoing dialogue continues in Washington. When asked about government’s role in gun control, most Californians continue to say that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns (57%); fewer say the government goes too far (39%). The perception that government does not do enough is down 8 points from a high of 65 percent in January—after the Newtown shootings and before the gun control debate began in Congress. Today’s findings are similar to those in March 2012 (53% not enough, 38% too far). Across parties, 68 percent of Democrats think government does not do enough while 63 percent of Republicans say it goes too far. Independents are more likely to say the government does not do enough (53%) than to say it goes too far (42%). Views also differ across regions. Fifty-five percent of residents in the Central Valley say government goes too far but majorities believe the reverse in other regions—San Francisco Bay Area (67% not enough; 26% too far), Los Angeles (66% not enough; 30% too far), and Orange/San Diego (55% not enough; 41% too far). Inland Empire residents are divided on the role of government (50% not enough, 49% too far). Asians (79%), blacks (73%), and Latinos (58%) say government doesn’t do enough; whites are divided (47% not enough, 48% too far). Among those with firearms in their home, 65 percent say the government goes too far; among those without firearms at home, 29 percent hold this view. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns; or the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns.” All adults Dem Party Rep Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Ind Yes No Government goes too far 39% 28% 63% 42% Government does not do enough 57 68 33 53 Don’t know 5446 65% 29 6 29% 67 4 A central part of the gun control debate in Congress has focused on background checks for all gun purchases. Most Californians (89%)—including overwhelming proportions of both those with (86%) and without (92%) firearms at home—favor a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers. Likely voters hold identical views to all adults. In an April CBS/New York Times poll, a similar 88 percent of adults nationwide favored background checks. California’s partisans are similarly in favor of background checks (95% Democrats, 88% Republicans, 86% independents). Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups favor this idea. There is also strong support among both those who approve and disapprove of President Obama and Congress, and from those who say the government goes too far in regulating guns (79%) and those who say it does not do enough (97%). “Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?” All adults Dem Party Rep Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Ind Yes No Favor 89% 95% 88% 86% 86% 92% Oppose 10 5 11 12 14 7 Don’t know 1112 1 1 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY A majority of Californians (57%) say global warming will pose a serious threat either to them or to their way of life in their lifetime; 39 percent say it will not. A decade ago, the perceived personal threat was much lower (45% yes, 50% no, July 2003). Adults nationwide are far less concerned: in a March Gallup poll, most said global warming will not pose a serious threat to their way of life (34% yes, 64% no). Reflecting the polarizing nature of this topic, most Democrats (68%) say global warming will pose a serious threat and most Republicans (71%) say it will not. Independents are divided (51% yes, 46% no). Residents in Los Angeles (66%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) are more likely than residents in other regions to perceive a serious threat (52% Inland Empire, 51% Orange/San Diego, 49% Central Valley). Strong majorities of blacks (66%), Asians (74%), and Latinos (75%) see global warming as a serious threat to their way of life; a majority of whites do not (37% yes, 57% no). Residents younger than age 55 are more likely than those age 55 and older to perceive a threat. Women (63%) are more likely than men (51%) to hold this view. As the use and regulation of fracking is discussed by state policymakers, 39 percent of Californians express support for the increased use of this drilling method; 47 percent are opposed and 14 percent are unsure. Findings are similar among likely voters (40% favor, 45% oppose). A March Pew Research Center survey found 48 percent of adults nationwide in favor (38% oppose, 14% don’t know). A majority of Democrats (56%) oppose fracking while 52 percent of Republicans favor it; independents are divided (42% favor, 43% oppose). Support is highest in Orange/San Diego (50%), followed by the Central Valley (46%), Inland Empire (40%), and the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles (33% each). Support for increased fracking is higher among those who say global warming does not pose a threat (54% favor) than among those who say it does (30% favor). Men (46%) are much more in favor than women (32%). “Do you favor or oppose increased use of fracking, a drilling method that uses high-pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Global warming a serious threat in lifetime Yes No Favor 39% 30% 52% 42% 30% 54% Oppose 47 56 32 43 60 29 Don’t know 14 15 16 15 10 16 The Keystone XL pipeline would transport oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. A slim majority of Californians (53%) favor this project while one in three (35%) oppose it; 12 percent are unsure. Findings are similar among likely voters (55% favor, 33% oppose). In the Pew survey, a strong majority of adults nationwide were in favor (66% favor, 23% oppose). In California, 75 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents favor the pipeline, while Democrats are divided (41% favor, 44% oppose). There is majority support across regions except in the San Francisco Bay Area (40% favor). Men (60%) are much more likely than women (46%) to express support. Those who do not perceive a personal threat from global warming are far more likely than those who do perceive one to favor the pipeline (71% to 41%). Favor Oppose Don’t know “Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Global warming a serious threat in lifetime Yes No 53% 41% 75% 57% 41% 71% 35 44 18 36 45 21 12 15 7 7 14 8 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM Six in 10 Californians (61%) consider immigrants to be a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, while one in three (33%) say immigrants are a burden because they use public services. The share saying immigrants are a benefit is near the record high from January (63%). Since February 2000, majorities (between 54% and 63%) have said immigrants are a benefit. A slim majority of likely voters say immigrants are a benefit (53% benefit, 41% burden). Most Democrats (70%) view immigrants as a benefit, while most Republicans (59%) view them as a burden. Independents are more likely to say they are a benefit (52%) than burden (41%). Solid majorities of blacks (63%), Asians (72%), and Latinos (81%) say immigrants are a benefit, while whites are divided (44% benefit, 50% burden). “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, or Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” All adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Likely voters Benefit 61% 72% 63% 81% 44% 53% Burden 33 23 29 14 50 41 Don’t know 65 9 5 76 Congressional lawmakers are currently debating key aspects of immigration reform in an attempt to overhaul the system. After our survey interviews were completed, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bipartisan agreement that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements. Among Californians, 78 percent say such immigrants should be allowed to stay, with 50 percent saying they should be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship and 25 percent saying they should be allowed to apply for permanent residency. Just 18 percent say they should not be allowed to stay. A recent Pew Research Center survey found 73 percent of adults nationwide support letting them stay (44% apply for citizenship, 25% apply for residency), with 25 percent opposed. Solid majorities of Californians across parties, regions, and demographic groups say that immigrants living here illegally who meet certain requirements should be allowed to stay. But preference for allowing immigrants living here illegally to apply for U.S. citizenship varies. It is much higher among Democrats (58%) than independents (45%) and Republicans (36%), and much higher among Latinos (62%) and blacks (60%) than whites (45%) and Asians (41%). San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to favor a citizenship path, followed by residents in the Central Valley (54%), Inland Empire (51%), and Los Angeles and Orange/San Diego (45% each). “Which comes closer to your view about how to handle immigrants who are now living in the U.S. illegally? They should not be allowed to stay in the country legally, or there should be a way for those who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally.” (If allowed to stay: “Should they be able to apply for U.S. citizenship, or for permanent residency, but not U.S. citizenship?”) All adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites View on immigrants in California Benefit Burden Not allowed to stay 18% 28% 9% 5% 26% 10% 37% Allowed to stay, apply for citizenship 50 41 60 62 45 61 32 Allowed to stay, apply for permanent residency 25 28 25 30 21 26 25 Allowed to stay, not sure about citizenship/residency 3 – 4 1 4 14 Don’t know if they should be allowed to stay 3 3 2 2 3 13 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule on two significant same-sex marriage cases in June, including one challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married has reached a new high in our surveys (56% favor, 38% oppose). Findings reflect a near reversal from the first time we asked this question 13 years ago (39% favor, 55% oppose January 2000). Support for same-sex marriage first reached 50 percent in March 2010 and the margin of support has continued to grow. Support is similar among adults nationwide, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (55% support, 40% oppose). Likely voters favor allowing same-sex marriage by a 23 point margin (59% favor, 36% oppose) and their support is at a record high. Most Democrats (63%) and independents (61%) are in favor, while Republicans are divided (46% favor, 49% oppose). Remarkably, support among Republicans has doubled since October 2008 (from 23% to 46%)—right before passage of Proposition 8—and is up 16 points just since January of this year (30%). “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 56% 38% 6% Likely voters 59 36 5 Democrats 63 32 4 Party Republicans 46 49 4 Independents 61 32 6 Gender Men Women 53 42 59 34 5 6 Asians 56 40 4 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 43 52 52 42 5 6 Whites 63 32 5 18–34 72 25 2 Age 35–54 52 42 6 55 and older 45 46 9 High school or less 49 45 6 Education Some college 57 37 6 College graduate 66 29 5 Central Valley 42 48 11 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 69 25 58 37 7 5 Orange/San Diego 58 39 3 Inland Empire 44 49 7 Evangelical Protestants 28 66 6 Religion Mainline Protestants Catholics 55 39 54 40 6 6 No religion 84 12 4 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (CONTINUED) Support for allowing same-sex marriage is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (69%)—where same-sex marriage licenses were issued in 2004, sparking the subsequent citizens’ initiative and legal battle. Today, majorities in Los Angeles and Orange/San Diego (58% each) are also in favor, while opinions are more divided in the Inland Empire (44% favor, 49% oppose) and Central Valley (42% favor, 48% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, whites (63%) are the most likely to favor gay marriage, followed by Asians (56%), Latinos (52%), and blacks (43%). Blacks are among the few demographic groups in which a majority opposes same-sex marriage (52% blacks, 57% conservatives, 66% evangelical Protestants). Today, in contrast to October 2008, majorities of mainline Protestants (55%) and Catholics (54%) now favor allowing gay marriage; evangelical Protestants still oppose it, but support has increased 13 points (15% to 28%). The Supreme Court has a number of options when it comes to the Proposition 8 case. Among the many possibilities, it could rule to uphold Proposition 8 and keep same-sex marriage illegal in California; rule narrowly against Proposition 8 and reinstate gay marriage in California; or rule broadly that banning samesex marriage is unconstitutional, which would essentially set a federal standard defining marriage nationwide. Among Californians, 56 percent say they prefer a federal standard and 35 percent prefer the question of allowing same-sex marriage be left to the states. In an April NBC News/Wall Street survey, findings among adults nationwide (56% federal standard, 38% left to states) were nearly identical. Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage—through the courts, the voters, or the legislative process. Other states have constitutional or statutory bans against it while still others offer civil unions or other protections to same-sex couples. There is majority support for a federal definition of marriage among both those who favor (62%) and those who oppose (55%) same-sex marriage. Sixty-two percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents prefer a federal standard defining marriage, while Republicans are divided (49% left to states, 45% federal standard). Majorities of residents in Los Angeles (61%), the Inland Empire (60%), Orange/San Diego (56%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (55%) favor a federal standard, while Central Valley residents are more divided (41% left to states, 47% federal standard). About six in 10 Asians (62%), Latinos (61%), and blacks (58%) prefer a federal standard, as do 51 percent of whites (40% left to states). All adults “Should the question of allowing same-sex marriages be left to the states, or should there be a federal standard defining marriage across the country?” Left to the states Have a federal standard 35% 56% Don’t know 9% Likely voters 39 56 5 Democrats 31 62 7 Party Republicans 49 45 6 Independents 42 53 5 Gender Men Women 41 52 7 29 60 11 Asians 34 62 4 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 37 58 4 27 61 12 Whites 40 51 9 Allowing same-sex marriage Favor Oppose 34 62 4 36 55 10 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP May 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Jui Shrestha, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its own advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,704 California adult residents, including 1,193 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from May 14–20, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009–2011 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. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS—and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. May 2013 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,704 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.8 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1,450 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.0 percent; for the 1,129 likely voters, it is ±4.6 percent. For the random half-sample on question 21a (841 adults), it is ±5.4%; for the random half-samples on questions 21b (863 adults), 23a (844 adults), 23b (860 adults), 24a (867 adults), and 24b (837 adults), it is ±5.3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and nonHispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups—such as Native Americans—are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. 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 the ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News/New York Times, Gallup, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and Pew Research Center. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. May 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT May 14–20, 2013 1,704 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.8% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 47% jobs, economy 9 education, schools 9 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 immigration, illegal immigration 4 crime, gangs, drugs 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 government in general 2 health care, health reform 2 housing costs, availability 2 infrastructure, transportation 11 other 5 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 48% approve 31 disapprove 21 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 35% approve 50 disapprove 16 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 43% approve 40 disapprove 17 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 46% right direction 48 wrong direction 7 don’t know 6. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 48% good times 44 bad times 8 don’t know 7. 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? 61% big problem 30 somewhat of a problem 6 not a problem 2 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 8. 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 been affected a lot or somewhat?) 59% affected a lot 26 affected somewhat 10 not affected 5 don’t know 9. 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. 48% higher taxes and more services 44 lower taxes and fewer services 8 don’t know 10.On another topic, Governor Brown recently released a revised budget plan for the current and next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 schools, higher education, health and human services, and corrections and rehabilitation, create a $1.1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 61% favor 28 oppose 5 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 6 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 11.As part of his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes providing K–12 schools with $1 billion in one-time revenues to fund teacher training, textbooks, and computers to support the implementation of the “Common Core State Standards,” a new set of English and math standards that the state will roll out in 2014. Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 73% favor 21 oppose 7 don’t know 11a.In his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes giving each K–12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011–12 and providing additional funding to school districts that have more [rotate] (English language learners) [and] (lowerincome students). Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 77% favor 19 oppose 4 don’t know 12.Governor Brown’s budget plan proposes to pay down state debt and build up the reserve. In general, [rotate] (1) do you prefer the governor’s plan to pay down state debt and build up the reserve [or] (2) would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 55% governor’s plan to pay down debt and build up reserve 39 restore funding for social services 7 don’t know Changing topics, 13.How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right—just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 7% just about always 25 most of the time 60 only some of the time 6 none of the time (volunteered) 2 don’t know 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 14.Would you say the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people? 61% a few big interests 31 benefit of all of the people 8 don’t know 15.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? 54% a lot 32 some 10 don’t waste very much 4 don’t know 16.Next, Proposition 13 is the 1978 ballot measure that limits the property tax rate to 1 percent of assessed value at time of purchase and annual tax increases to no more than 2 percent until the property is sold. Overall, do you feel passing Proposition 13 turned out to be mostly a good thing for California or mostly a bad thing? 58% mostly a good thing 27 mostly a bad thing 3 mixed (volunteered) 12 don’t know 17.Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 58% favor 33 oppose 9 don’t know 18.Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Would you favor or oppose replacing the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes? 46% favor 44 oppose 9 don’t know On another topic, California uses the direct initiative process, which enables voters to bypass the legislature and have issues put on the ballot—as state propositions—for voter approval or rejection. 19.Overall, do you think public policy decisions made through the initiative process by California voters are probably better or probably worse than public policy decisions made by the governor and state legislature? 57% probably better 28 probably worse 3 same (volunteered) 12 don’t know 20.Overall, how much would you say that the initiative process in California today is controlled by special interests—a lot, some, or not at all? 55% a lot 35 some 6 not at all 3 don’t know [questions 21a and 21b: random half sample] 21a.[half sample] Please say if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statement—there are too many propositions on the state ballot. 41% strongly agree 29 somewhat agree 16 somewhat disagree 9 strongly disagree 4 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 21b.[half sample] Please say if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statement—the ballot wording for citizens’ initiatives is often too complicated and confusing for voters to understand what happens if the initiative passes. 44% strongly agree 34 somewhat agree 10 somewhat disagree 8 strongly disagree 4 don’t know Reforms have been suggested to address issues that arise in California’s initiative process. Please say whether you would favor or oppose each of the following reform proposals. [rotate questions 22 to 24b] 22.How about having an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings on initiatives and then make ballot recommendations in the official voter guide? 68% favor 24 oppose 8 don’t know [questions 23a and 23b: random half sample] 23a.[half sample] How about having voters renew initiatives after a certain number of years, by voting on them again? 64% favor 29 oppose 7 don’t know 23b.[half sample] How about allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years? 47% favor 46 oppose 7 don’t know [questions 24a and 24b: random half sample] May 2013 Californians and Their Government 24a.[half sample] How about giving initiative sponsors more time to qualify initiatives if they are using only volunteers to gather signatures rather than using paid signature gatherers? 72% favor 21 oppose 7 don’t know 24b.[half sample] How about having the yes and no sides of the initiative campaigns participate in a series of televised debates? 75% favor 23 oppose 2 don’t know 25.On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 62% approve 34 disapprove 4 don’t know [questions 26 and 27 not asked] 28.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 31% approve 62 disapprove 6 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 53% approve 34 disapprove 12 don’t know Next, automatic across-the-board cuts in federal spending have begun to take effect because [rotate] (1) President Obama [and] (2) the Republicans in Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement earlier this year. 30.Do you think these budget cuts are or are not hurting the economy? 69% are hurting the economy 25 are not hurting the economy 6 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 31.Have you personally felt any negative impact of these budget cuts, or not? 49% have 50 have not 2 don’t know Changing topics, 32.Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns; [or] (2) the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 39% government goes too far 57 government does not do enough 5 don’t know 33.Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers? 89% favor 10 oppose 1 don’t know 34.Next, do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime? 57% yes 39 no 4 don’t know [rotate questions 35 and 36] 35.Do you favor or oppose increased use of fracking, a drilling method that uses highpressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations? 39% favor 47 oppose 14 don’t know 36.Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas? 53% favor 35 oppose 12 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 37.On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills [or] (2) Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services. 61% immigrants are a benefit to California 33 immigrants are a burden to California 6 don’t know 38/39.Which comes closer to your view about how to handle immigrants who are now living in the U.S. illegally? [read and rotate] (1) should not be allowed to stay in the country legally [or] (2) there should be a way for those who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally. [if 2, ask:] And do you think immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally and meet the requirements to stay in the country legally should be able to apply for [read and rotate] (1) U.S. citizenship [or] (2) permanent residency, but not U.S. citizenship? 18% they should not be allowed to stay in the country legally 78 there should be a way for those who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally 50 U.S. citizenship 25 permanent residency, but not U.S. citizenship 3 don’t know/refuse 3 don’t know 40.On another topic, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 56% favor 38 oppose 6 don’t know [question 41 not asked] 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 42.Should the question of allowing same-sex marriages be left to the states, or should there be a federal standard defining marriage across the country? 35% left to the states 56 a federal standard defining marriage 9 don’t know [questions 43 and 44 not asked] 45. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q45a] 31 no [skip to q46b] 45a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline-to-state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q46] 29 Republican [skip to q46a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q47] 22 independent [skip to q46b] 46.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 50% strong 48 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q47] 46a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 59% strong 40 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q47] 46b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 22% Republican Party 47 Democratic Party 21 neither (volunteer) 10 don’t know 47.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 23 somewhat liberal 28 middle-of-the-road 22 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 3 don’t know 48.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 21% great deal 40 fair amount 30 only a little 8 none 1 don’t know [d1–d3a: demographic questions] D3b.Do you happen to have any guns, rifles, or pistols in your home? 18% yes 81 no 1 don’t know [d4–d17: demographic questions] May 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen General Manager and Polling Director Capital Insight Washington Post Media Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS 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 GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Robert M. Hertzberg Vice Chairman Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs 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 © 2013 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(107) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-may-2013/s_513mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8873) ["ID"]=> int(8873) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:40" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4287) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 513MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_513mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_513MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "619054" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(97415) "ppic statewide survey MAY 2013 &Californians their government Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 16 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. This is the 134th PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 282,000 Californians. This is the 57th survey in the Californians and Their Government series. The survey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about important state and national issues. The survey began on the day Governor Brown released a revised state budget proposal for 2013–14. The governor proposed a restrained budget that recognizes one-time revenues and makes debt reduction a priority. The emphasis is on increasing K–12 education spending, providing more funding to school districts that have more lower-income, English Learners, and foster children and providing $1 billion for implementing the Common Core State Standards. The budget also recommends expanding Medi-Cal and more spending on higher education and corrections. In relation to national issues, the survey started after news about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s procurement of AP journalists’ phone records. Meanwhile, President Obama’s efforts to pass gun laws have reached an impasse but a bill on comprehensive immigration reform is still under discussion. Automatic spending cuts are in effect, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in California is expected to occur in June. This survey presents the responses of 1,704 adult residents throughout the state, interviewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including overall mood; approval ratings of state elected officials; perceptions of the state’s budget situation; opinions on the governor’s revised budget proposal, including spending allocated to implement the K–12 Common Core State Standards and increased funds for schools and for the state’s neediest students; views on reducing debt and building the reserve instead of restoring social service cuts; opinions on Proposition 13; trust in state government; and attitudes toward the initiative process, including possible reforms.  Federal government, including approval ratings of federal elected officials; effects of recent automatic spending cuts; opinions on government involvement in regulating guns and on conducting background checks on potential gun owners; perceptions of global warming’s threat to their lifestyle; support for fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline; preferences for handling immigrants who are in the country illegally; and opinions on same-sex marriage and whether it should be defined by a federal standard or by individual states.  Time trends, national comparisons, and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding state and federal government, based on political party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This report may be downloaded free of charge from our website (www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. Try our PPIC Statewide Survey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. May 2013 Californians and Their Government 2 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415-291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT Majorities Favor Brown’s Revised Budget, School Funding Plan SUPPORT FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HITS NEW HIGH, GLOBAL WARMING CONCERNS INCREASE SAN FRANCISCO, May 29, 2013—Most Californians support Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal, and they overwhelmingly favor his spending plan for public schools. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. When read a brief description of the overall budget proposal, solid majorities of Californians (61%) and likely voters (60%) favor the plan, which includes increased spending for K–12 education and modest increases to higher education, health and human services, and corrections. The governor’s plan would also reduce state debt and maintain a $1.1 billion reserve—a potential focus of debate, as some Democratic legislators look to restore funding to social services. When asked about the tradeoff, a majority of Californians (55%) prefer paying down debt and building a reserve to restoring some funding for social service programs (39%). Likely voters are twice as likely to prefer reducing the debt (62%) to restoring funding to social services (32%). The governor’s education funding plan allocates $1 billion to help schools prepare for implementation of the math and English standards called the Common Core State Standards in 2014. Asked about this component of the plan, 73 percent of Californians express support. A key feature of Brown’s school funding plan would give each K–12 school district more money than in 2011–12 and allocate additional funding to districts with more English Learners and lower-income students. In the survey, 77 percent of Californians support this idea. “Strong majorities favor the governor’s cautious approach to the budget,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “And they overwhelmingly support his ideas for school financing.” BROWN’S APPROVAL RATING HOLDS STEADY The survey—begun the day the governor released his revised state budget proposal—finds his approval rating at 48 percent among all adults (31% disapprove, 21% don’t know). Approval among likely voters is identical, but they are more likely to disapprove (40%) and less likely to be unsure (11%) of his job performance. Brown’s approval has been close to 50 percent since December 2012. About a third of Californians (35%) approve of the job the state legislature is doing, while half (50%) disapprove. Likely voters are more negative (29% approve, 59% disapprove). Most Californians continue to see the state’s budget situation as a big problem (61% all adults, 67% likely voters). Most also say that recent state budget cuts have affected their local government services a lot (59% all adults, 57% likely voters). When asked a more general question about their approach to government, 48 percent of Californians say they would prefer to pay higher taxes and have a state government that provides more services, while 44 percent would rather pay lower taxes and have May 2013 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey fewer services. This is a significant change from last May, when residents preferred higher taxes and more services by a 21 point margin. Since the passage in November of Proposition 30—which increased taxes—this margin has shrunk to 15 points in December and 4 points today. Despite the state’s improved fiscal condition, just 32 percent of adults and 21 percent of likely voters say they trust state government to do what is right just about always or most of the time. Strong majorities (61% adults, 70% likely voters) say state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. Given their distrust in state leaders, Californians’ faith in their ability to make policy through the initiative process is not surprising. Most (57% adults, 60% likely voters) say policy decisions made by initiative are probably better than those made by the governor and legislature. MAJORITY FAVOR SPLIT-ROLL PROPERTY TAX This year, Democratic legislators have talked about making changes to Proposition 13, the landmark 1978 initiative that limits residential and commercial property taxes. Proposition 13 remains popular, with 58 percent of adults and 61 percent of likely voters saying it has been mostly a good thing for the state. But one proposed reform gets majority support: 58 percent of adults and 56 percent of likely voters favor a split-roll property tax, which would tax commercial properties according to their current market value. But less than half of Californians (46% adults, 42% likely voters) favor another proposed reform, which would lower the vote threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent to pass local special taxes. “Californians remain steadfast supporters of Proposition 13 tax limits on the 35th anniversary of its passage, but they are open to some change,” Baldassare says. “Most support altering the provision that calls for the same treatment of residential and commercial property taxes. They are a lot less willing to lower the vote requirement to pass a local special tax.” Despite support for the initiative process, policymaking at the ballot box is a challenge for many. Majorities (70% adults, 67% likely voters) say there are too many propositions on the state ballot. Larger majorities (78% adults, 83% likely voters) say the wording of initiatives is often too complicated and confusing for voters to understand what would happen if an initiative passes. Californians also feel that special interests control the initiative process a lot (55% adults, 63% likely voters). How should the system be changed? One idea that gets strong support (68% adults, 69% likely voters) is an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings on initiatives and make recommendations in the official voter guide. Majorities also favored three other ideas:  Having voters review initiatives—by voting on them again—after a certain number of years (64% adults, 64% likely voters)  Giving initiative sponsors more time to qualify initiatives if they use only volunteers to gather signatures, rather than paid signature gatherers (72% adults, 75% likely voters)  Having the “yes” and “no” sides of campaigns participate in a series of televised debates (75% adults, 76% likely voters) But another idea, which would increase state leaders’ authority, fails to get majority support: allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years (47% adults, 36% likely voters are in favor). CALIFORNIANS DIVIDED ABOUT DIRECTION OF STATE The survey finds Californians generally more optimistic about the state than they were a year ago. While they are divided today about whether things are generally going in the right direction (46%) or wrong direction (48%), pessimism has declined 15 points since last May (63% wrong direction). There are demographic distinctions. Most younger adults (57% ages 18–34) are optimistic, while older adults (56% ages 35–54, 51% 55 and older) are pessimistic about the state’s direction. Most residents in the Central May 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Valley (56%), Orange/San Diego (56%), and Inland Empire (52%) are pessimistic, and most in the San Francisco Bay Area (54%) and Los Angeles (52%) are optimistic. Most blacks (59%) and whites (52%) are pessimistic; most Asians (55%) and Latinos (51%) are optimistic. MOST SAY SEQUESTRATION CUTS HURTING ECONOMY, FEWER FEEL IMPACT Californians were also asked about a number of national issues, including the effects of the across--theboard cuts in spending that took effect after President Obama and congressional Republicans failed to reach a budget agreement. Most Californians (69% adults, 63% likely voters) say the cuts are hurting the economy. Fewer (49% adults, 46% likely voters) say they have personally felt any negative impact. Californians with incomes of $40,000 or less (61%) are more likely than middle- (44%) or higher-income (34%) residents to say they have personally felt a negative impact. The president’s approval rating today is 62 percent among California adults and 53 percent among likely voters, similar to his approval ratings in March (66% adults, 57% likely voters) and January (65% adults, 56% likely voters). Just 31 percent of adults and 19 percent of likely voters approve of the job Congress is doing. Californians are more likely to approve of their own representatives in the U.S. House (53% adults, 50% likely voters). CONCERN ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING INCREASES Californians are more likely to see global warming as a threat than they were a decade ago, and they are more likely to see it as a threat than adults nationwide. A majority of Californians (57%) say global warming will pose a serious threat to them or their way of life, while 39 percent say it will not (45% yes, 50% no in July 2003). A Gallup poll in March found that most U.S. adults (64%) do not think global warming will pose a serious threat (34% yes). On two questions of energy policy, Californians express more caution than their counterparts nationwide. Less than half of Californians (39%) favor the increased use of fracking, the drilling method that uses highpressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations. A March Pew Research Center survey found 48 percent of U.S. adults in favor. Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian oil to Texas refineries, has the support of a slim majority (53%) of Californians. The Pew survey found a solid majority of U.S. adults (66%) in favor. SUPPORT FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE HITS NEW HIGH On three other national issues, the views of Californians are similar to those nationwide:  Same-sex marriage. With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule on this issue in June, support for legalizing same-sex marriage has reached a record high in California (56% favor, 38% oppose). Support is similar today among adults nationwide in a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (55% support, 40% oppose).  Gun laws. Most Californians (57%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. This is a decline of 8 points since January—after the Newtown school shootings and before the gun control debate. An overwhelming majority (89%) favor a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers. In an April CBS/New York Times poll, a similar 88 percent of U.S. adults favored background checks.  Immigration policy. Just 33 percent of Californians consider immigrants a burden to California because they use public services, while 61 percent say immigrants are a benefit because of their hard work and job skills. And 78 percent of Californians say immigrants living here illegally who meet certain requirements should be allowed to stay, with 50 percent saying these immigrants should be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship and 25 percent preferring permanent residency. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 73 percent of U.S. adults think these immigrants should be allowed to stay (44% apply for citizenship, 25% apply for residency). May 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Governor Brown’s approval rating is at 48 percent while the state legislature’s approval rating is at 35 percent. (page 7)  Six in 10 Californians continue to view the state budget situation as a big problem and say recent state budget cuts have impacted their local services a lot. (page 9)  Strong partisan differences persist on the tradeoff between paying higher taxes to have more services and paying lower taxes and having fewer services. (page 9)  Six in 10 favor Governor Brown’s revised budget proposal. As in January, 55 percent favor his proposal to pay down debt and maintain a reserve rather than restoring social service cuts. (page 10)  Californians support Governor Brown’s K– 12 spending plan in the revised budget: 77 percent favor increasing funding for school districts and giving extra to those with more disadvantaged students, and 73 percent favor allocating $1 billion for implementing Common Core Standards. (page 11)  Trust in state government remains low: 61 percent say it is run by a few big interests, and 54 percent say state government wastes a lot of taxpayer money. (page 12)  When it comes to Proposition 13 reforms, a majority favor a split-roll property tax but less than half support a lower vote threshold for local special taxes. (page 13)  About six in 10 say public policy decisions made by voters through the initiative process are better than those made by the governor and legislature, but many say the process is controlled by special interests. Californians favor several ideas to reform the initiative process. (pages 14, 15) May 2012 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 80 Governor Brown California Legislature 60 48 51 49 46 48 39 42 41 42 40 41 34 20 25 29 30 28 34 31 35 0 May Jul Sep Oct Dec Jan Mar Apr May 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 Preferences for the Size of State Government Pay higher taxes, have more services Pay lower taxes, have fewer services Dem 64 29 Ind 39 55 Rep 27 66 0 20 40 60 80 100 Percent registered voters Governor Brown’s Revised Budget Proposal 11 28 All adults 61 Favor Oppose Haven’t heard about it/Don’t know 6 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Following the release of his May revision to the state budget, Governor Brown continues to have the approval of half of Californians (48%), while about three in 10 disapprove (31%) and one in five (21%) are unsure how to rate him. Approval among likely voters is identical (48%), but they are more likely to disapprove (40%) and less likely to be unsure (11%). Approval has been close to 50 percent since December 2012, just after the passage of Proposition 30 (48% December 2012, 51% January, 49% March, 46% April, 48% today). The governor enjoys the approval today of 63 percent of Democrats, while 58 percent of Republicans disapprove; independents are more likely to approve than disapprove (45% to 33%). Approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) followed by the Central Valley (49%), Los Angeles (49%), Orange/San Diego (41%), and the Inland Empire (35%). Asians (61%) and blacks (54%) approve, while fewer whites (48%) and Latinos (42%) say this. Approval increases with rising education. About one in three (35%) Californians approve of the California Legislature, while half (50%) disapprove. Likely voters are more negative (29% approve, 59% disapprove). Approval of the legislature today is similar to recent months (41% January, 34% March, 31% April, 35% today). Democrats (39%) are more likely than independents (27%) and Republicans (18%) to approve of the Democratically controlled legislature. Residents in Los Angeles (43%) are the most likely to approve of the legislature, followed by those in the San Francisco Bay Area (36%), the Inland Empire (32%), Orange/San Diego (30%), and the Central Valley (29%). Slightly more than four in 10 blacks (43%), Latinos (43%), and Asians (42%) approve of the legislature, compared to one in four whites who approve (26%). Younger Californians age 18–34 (42%) are more likely than older adults (32% 35–54, 29% age 55 and older) to approve. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Dem Party Rep Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California Approve Disapprove Donʼt know 48% 63% 31% 31 23 58 21 14 11 The California Legislature is handling its job Approve Disapprove Donʼt know 35 39 18 50 46 71 16 15 11 Ind 45% 33 22 27 56 16 Likely voters 48% 40 11 29 59 12 Californians are divided regarding the job that the state legislators representing their assembly and senate districts are doing at this time: 43% approve, 40% disapprove. Likely voters are more disapproving (38% approve, 49% disapprove). Approval was similar in January (45% approve, 34% disapprove). Most Democrats (49%) approve of their state legislators, while most Republicans (58%) and independents (46%) disapprove. Approval is highest in Los Angeles (48%) and lowest in the Inland Empire (35%). Asians (54%), blacks (53%), and Latinos (47%) are more approving than whites (36%). Approve Disapprove Donʼt know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 43% 49% 29% 37% 40 35 58 46 17 16 13 17 Likely voters 38% 49 13 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 PPIC Statewide Survey OVERALL MOOD Californians name jobs and the economy (47%) as the most important issue facing the state. Our current survey (47%) and our March survey (45%) mark the first times since September 2008 (44%) that less than half of Californians mentioned jobs and the economy. Still, pluralities across parties, regions, and demographic groups name jobs and the economy as the most important issue. Education and schools (9%), the state budget (9%), immigration (5%), and crime (4%) are some of the other issues mentioned. Californians offer mixed views on the overall outlook for the state with 46 percent saying things in California are going in the right direction and 48 percent saying they are going in the wrong direction. Pessimism has declined 15 points since last May but is somewhat higher than in January (63% May 2012, 60% Sep 2012, 53% Oct 2012, 50% Dec 2012, 40% Jan 2013, 48% Mar 2013, 48% today). Likely voters are slightly more pessimistic than all adults (54% wrong direction). Residents in the Central Valley (56%), Orange/San Diego (56%), and the Inland Empire (52%) are more likely to see a negative outlook for the state; San Francisco Bay Area (54%) and Los Angeles (52%) residents have a positive view. An overwhelming majority of Republicans (72%) and a majority of independents (55%) say wrong direction, while a majority of Democrats (57%) say right direction. Among racial/ethnic groups, a majority of blacks (59%) and whites (52%) say wrong direction; Asians (55%) and Latinos (51%) say right direction. Younger adults (age 18–34) are optimistic and older adults are pessimistic about the state’s direction. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” Right direction All adults 46% Central Valley 39% San Francisco 54% Region Los Angeles 52% Orange/ San Diego 39% Inland Empire 41% Likely voters 41% Wrong direction 48 56 35 43 56 52 54 Donʼt know 7 5 10 5 5 7 4 On the state’s economic outlook, 48 percent say the state will have good times financially in the next year while 44 percent say it will have bad times. Pessimism regarding the state’s economic conditions has declined 17 points since last May (61% May 2012, 57% Sep 2012, 53% Oct 2012, 50% Dec 2012, 40% Jan 2013, 49% Mar 2013, 44% today). The San Francisco Bay Area (63%) is the only region where a majority expect good times. Residents in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire are divided, and at least half of Central Valley (50%) and Orange/San Diego (54%) residents expect bad times. Democrats expect good times (58%), Republicans bad times (61%), and independents offer mixed views (46% good times, 46% bad times). Asians (63%) and blacks (52%) say good times, while Latinos (49% good times, 43% bad times) and whites (43% good times, 48% bad times) have a mixed outlook on the state’s economy. Those age 18 to 34 are positive (58%), those age 35 to 54 are negative (52%), and those age 55 and older have mixed views (44% good times, 43% bad times). Those with college degrees (54%) and household incomes of $80,000 or more (53%) have a positive economic outlook compared to those with less education and lower incomes, who offer mixed views. Good times Bad times Donʼt know “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults 48% Central Valley 43% San Francisco 63% Region Los Angeles 47% Orange/ San Diego 40% Inland Empire 41% 44 50 26 45 54 47 8 7 12 8 5 12 May 2013 Californians and Their Government Likely voters 45% 46 9 8 PPIC Statewide Survey BUDGET SITUATION Californians continue to say that the state budget situation is a big problem (61%) or somewhat of a problem (30%). Only 6 percent say it is not a problem. The share of Californians saying that the state budget situation is a big problem has been above 60 percent since January 2008. Central Valley residents (69%) are the most likely to call the budget situation a big problem, followed by those in the Inland Empire (65%), Orange/San Diego (61%), Los Angeles (57%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (54%). Whites (68%) are more likely than Asians (58%), Latinos (53%), and blacks (49%) to hold this view. “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?” Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem All adults 61% 30 6 Central Valley 69% 23 4 San Francisco 54% 37 7 Region Los Angeles 57% 31 9 Orange/ San Diego 61% 33 5 Inland Empire 65% 27 7 Don’t know 242312 Likely voters 67% 27 4 1 When asked if they have noticed effects of recent state budget cuts on their local government services, 59 percent say services have been affected a lot, 26 percent say they have been affected somewhat, and 10 percent say they have not been affected. Majorities have held this view since we began asking this question in September 2011. More than six in 10 residents in the Central Valley (62%), Los Angeles (64%), and the Inland Empire (70%) say their services have been affected a lot, while about half of San Francisco Bay Area (48%) and Orange/San Diego (52%) residents say this. Majorities across parties also share this view. “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?”) Affected a lot All adults 59% Central Valley 62% San Francisco 48% Region Los Angeles 64% Orange/ San Diego 52% Inland Empire 70% Likely voters 57% Affected somewhat 26 24 33 25 29 19 29 Not affected 10 11 9 8 12 8 8 Donʼt know 5 3 10 3 7 2 5 Californians are divided in their preference for paying higher taxes and having a state government that provides more services (48%), and paying lower taxes and having fewer services (44%). Californians preferred higher taxes/more services by a 21 point margin last May. Since the passage of Proposition 30 in the November election, this margin has narrowed to 15 points in December and is 4 points today. There are strong partisan differences: 64 percent of Democrats prefer higher taxes/more services, while 66 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of independents prefer lower taxes/fewer services. Most Los Angeles (61%) and San Francisco Bay Area (50%) residents prefer higher taxes/more services, while most Central Valley and Inland Empire residents prefer lower taxes/fewer services (52% each). Orange/San Diego residents are divided (42% higher taxes/more services to 48% lower taxes/fewer services). Most residents earning less than $40,000 prefer higher taxes/more services (57%), those in the middle income group are divided, while most earning $80,000 or more prefer lower taxes/fewer services (53%). May 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR BROWN’S BUDGET PROPOSAL Governor Brown released a revised budget plan for 2013–14 on May 14. Despite higher than expected revenues from personal income taxes, in addition to income and sales taxes approved by voters last November, Governor Brown took a cautious approach. The revised budget focuses on increasing spending on K–12 education, reducing state debt, and building a $1.1 billion reserve. It includes modest increases to higher education, health and human services, and corrections. When read a brief description of the revised budget plan, a solid majority of Californians (61%) and likely voters (60%) are in favor, while 28 percent of Californians and 32 percent of likely voters are opposed. Support was slightly higher for the budget plan presented in January (69% adults, 66% likely voters). Today, Democrats (74%) are much more likely than independents (56%) and Republicans (49%) to favor the May budget revision. Independents were much more supportive of the proposal in January than they are today (72% January to 56% today), but support among Democrats and Republicans was similar in January. Majorities across regions are in favor, with support ranging from 54 percent in Orange/San Diego to 68 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area. At least six in 10 across income levels are in favor. Among racial/ethnic groups, blacks (80%) and Asians (77%) are much more likely than whites (60%) and Latinos (55%) to favor the plan. Slightly more than half of Californians who see the budget situation as a big problem are in favor (53%). “Governor Brown recently released a revised budget plan for the current and next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 schools, higher education, health and human services, and corrections and rehabilitation, create a $1.1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 61% 74% 49% 56% 60% Oppose 28 19 41 32 32 Haven’t heard about it/ Donʼt know (volunteered) 11 6 10 12 8 Similar to the January proposal, the revised plan looks to pay down debt and maintain about a $1 billion reserve. This could become an area of contention, as some Democrats in the legislature look to restore cuts to social services. When asked about the tradeoff between paying down debt/building a reserve and restoring some of the cuts made to social service programs, a majority of Californians (55%) prefer paying down debt to restoring cuts (39%). Results were nearly identical in January (55% pay down debt, 38% restore cuts). Likely voters are twice as likely to prefer debt reduction (62%) to restoring cuts (32%). This fiscal tradeoff divides Democrats: 48 percent prefer paying down debt and 46 percent prefer restoring cuts. Both independents (67%) and Republicans (75%) prefer paying down state debt. At least 50 percent across regions and age groups prefer debt reduction, as do those with at least some college education. Preference for reducing debt increases sharply with income. Asians and whites (64% each) prefer reducing debt, blacks (59%) prefer restoring cuts, and Latinos are divided (43% reduce debt, 50% restore cuts). “Governor Brown’s budget plan proposes to pay down state debt and build up the reserve. In general, do you prefer the governor’s plan to pay down state debt and build up the reserve or would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Pay debt, build reserve 55% 48% 75% 67% 62% Restore some funding for social service programs 39 46 20 27 32 Donʼt know 76566 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 PPIC Statewide Survey GOVERNOR BROWN’S BUDGET PROPOSAL (CONTINUED) Governor Brown proposes to increase spending on education. His revised budget allocates $1 billion in onetime revenues to implement the Common Core State Standards, a new set of English and math standards the state will roll out in 2014. This money would be used to provide funds for activities such as teacher training, textbooks, and computers. There is a high level of support for this component of Governor Brown’s budget plan: 73 percent of Californians, 83 percent of public school parents, and 65 percent of likely voters are in favor. There is majority support across parties, but Democrats (77%) are much more likely than independents (67%) and Republicans (56%) to favor this proposal. At least 65 percent across regions are in favor. Among racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (86%) and blacks (80%) are more likely than Asians (70%) and whites (64%) to favor directing money to implement the Common Core State Standards. Among those who favor the revised budget plan in general, 88 percent favor allocating money this way. Among those opposing the budget plan, 46 percent favor and 50 percent oppose the proposal. “As part of his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes providing K–12 schools with $1 billion in one-time revenues to fund teacher training, textbooks, and computers to support the implementation of the “Common Core State Standards,” a new set of English and math standards that the state will roll out in 2014. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Asians Race Blacks Latinos Whites Public school parents Favor 73% 70% 80% 86% 64% 83% Oppose 21 20 20 11 27 13 Donʼt know 7 11 1 3 9 5 The governor proposes giving each K–12 school district more money than in 2011–12 and giving districts with more English Learners and lower-income students additional funding. The idea of targeting extra money to districts with more disadvantaged students has been a controversial one. However, there is overwhelming support for this proposal among Californians in our survey: 77 percent of adults and 83 percent of public school parents are in favor. Among likely voters, 68 percent are in favor. Across parties, support is highest among Democrats (87%), followed by independents (65%) and Republicans (57%). Blacks (91%) and Latinos (88%) are somewhat more likely than Asians (78%) and whites (69%) to support this proposal. Although at least 65 percent express support across age and income groups, support declines with rising age and income. Seven in 10 or more across regions express support. Among those who favor the governor’s plan in general, 90 percent favor this proposal; even among those who oppose the revised budget plan, 54 percent support this proposal. In our April and January surveys we also found high levels of support in response to a similar question about giving new funding mostly to school districts with more English Learners and lower-income students (71% April, 75% January). “In his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes giving each K–12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011–12 and providing additional funding to school districts that have more English language learners and lower-income students. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Asians Race Blacks Latinos Whites Public school parents Favor 77% 78% 91% 88% 69% 83% Oppose 19 18 9 11 25 16 Donʼt know 43 – 1 61 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 PPIC Statewide Survey TRUST IN STATE GOVERNMENT Even as the state’s fiscal condition has improved, most Californians continue to distrust their state government. Today, just 32 percent of all adults and 21 percent of likely voters say they trust the state government to do what is right just about always or most of the time. In October 2012, before the last statewide general election, a similar proportion of adults (27%) and likely voters (22%) expressed these levels of trust. Today, strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents say that they can trust the state government to do what is right only some of the time, or volunteer “none of the time.” “How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right—just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Just about always 7% 5% 3% 3% 4% Most of the time 25 24 15 20 17 Only some of the time 60 68 65 65 69 None of the time (volunteered) 6 2 17 10 10 Don’t know 22–21 Strong majorities of adults (61%) and likely voters (70%) also say that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. A similar 67 percent of adults and 71 percent of likely voters held this opinion in October 2012. Today, Republicans (74%) and independents (71%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (63%) to have this view. About eight in 10 of those disapproving of the governor or legislature think that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests. “Would you say the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind A few big interests 61% 63% 74% 71% 70% Benefit of all of the people 31 27 21 25 22 Don’t know 8 10 5 5 8 Majorities of adults (54%) and likely voters (57%) also say that the people in state government waste a lot of taxpayer money. In October 2012, six in 10 adults (60%) and likely voters (60%) held this opinion about state government waste. Today, Republicans (69%) and independents (59%) are much more likely than Democrats (47%) to have this perspective on state government. “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?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind A lot 54% 47% 69% 59% Some 32 42 20 35 Don’t waste very much 10 9 9 4 Don’t know 4121 Likely voters 57% 34 8 2 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 PPIC Statewide Survey PROPOSITION 13 REFORMS There has been some talk among Democratic legislators this year about possible changes to the Proposition 13 property tax limits that voters approved in June 1978. Californians continue to have an overall positive view 35 years after Proposition 13 passed. About six in 10 adults (58%) and likely voters (61%) say Proposition 13 has been mostly a good thing for California, while about one in four adults (27%) and likely voters (26%) say Proposition 13 has been mostly a bad thing. Since we began asking this question in February 2003, majorities of adults have considered Proposition 13 mostly a good thing in all but one survey (May 2005)—and even then a plurality (47%) said good thing. Majorities across political groups today say that Proposition 13 is mostly a good thing, with Democrats (55%) and independents (57%) much less likely than Republicans (73%) to hold this view. Majorities across regions, racial/ethnic, age, and income groups have a positive view about the overall impact of Proposition 13. Proposition 13 limits both residential and commercial property taxes. Among the Proposition 13 reforms that have been proposed is the so-called split roll property tax, which would change the way commercial property taxes are assessed. This reform may be considered, given legislative Democrats’ expected twothirds majority. Majorities of adults (58%) and likely voters (56%) favor having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value. The results were similar in January 2012 (60% of adults and likely voters were in favor). Today, most Democrats (64%) and independents (58%) favor this change to Proposition 13, while Republicans are more divided (51% favor, 44% oppose). At least half across regions and demographic groups support this proposed change. Of those who say that Proposition 13 has been mostly a bad thing for California, 62 percent favor and 31 percent oppose taxing commercial properties according to their current market value. Even among those who say Proposition 13 has been a good thing, a majority (58%) favor this change (37% are opposed). “Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 58% 64% 51% 58% 56% Oppose 33 27 44 31 38 Don’t know 9 9 5 10 6 Another proposed change to Proposition 13—lowering the majority from two-thirds to 55 percent for voters to pass local special taxes—does not have majority support (46% adults, 42% likely voters). Support among all adults was much lower in response to a similar question in May 2008 (34%) and February 2003 (32%). Democrats (54%) are more likely than independents (46%) and Republicans (32%) to support this change. Whites (42%) are less likely than blacks (56%), Asians (51%), and Latinos (51%) to favor lowering the vote requirement to pass local special taxes from two-thirds to 55 percent. “Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Would you favor or oppose replacing the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 46% 54% 32% 46% 42% Oppose 44 37 64 46 53 Don’t know 99485 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 PPIC Statewide Survey CITIZENS’ INITIATIVES Democratic legislators are also discussing reforms to the 102-year-old citizens’ initiative process. Californians’ strong support for the initiative process is reflected in their perceptions of its overall public policy consequences. About six in 10 adults (57%) and likely voters (60%) say that the public policy decisions made by California voters are probably better than those made by the governor and state legislature. Pluralities across political, regional, racial/ethnic, and other demographic groups hold this view. Similarly positive perceptions have been evident since we began asking this question in 2000. “Overall, do you think public policy decisions made through the initiative process by California voters are probably better or probably worse than public policy decisions made by the governor and state legislature?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Probably better 57% 48% 70% 65% 60% Probably worse 28 38 21 23 29 Same (volunteered) 35144 Don’t know 12 10 7 8 7 However, many Californians do find it challenging to make public policy at the ballot box. About seven in 10 adults (70%) and likely voters (67%) say they agree that there are too many propositions on the state ballot. By comparison, 59 percent of adults held this view in September 2008. An even more widely held complaint involves the wording of ballot initiatives. Today, 78 percent of adults and 83 percent of likely voters agree that initiative wording is often too complicated and confusing for voters to understand what would happen if an initiative passed. A similar 78 percent of adults held this view in September 2008. Today, solid majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups are in agreement that there are too many ballot propositions and that initiative wording is often too confusing. The influence of special interests, which has been a major area of voter discontent in recent candidate campaigns, is also an issue in initiative campaigns. Most Californians say that the initiative process is controlled a lot (55%) or some (35%) by special interests, and very few say that special interests are not at all in control of the initiative process. Likely voters (63%) are somewhat more likely than all adults to say that special interests have a lot of control of the initiative process today. Partisans hold similarly negative views, with majorities of Democrats (57%), Republicans (65%), and independents (54%) saying a lot. In previous surveys, similar majorities of Californians have said that the initiative process is controlled a lot by special interests (52% Jan 2001, 56% Sep 2005, 54% Sep 2011, 56% Sep 2012, 55% today). A lot Some Not at all Don’t know “Overall, how much would you say that the initiative process in California today is controlled by special interests—a lot, some, or not at all?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind 55% 57% 65% 54% 35 33 28 40 6662 3313 Likely voters 63% 32 4 1 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 PPIC Statewide Survey CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE REFORMS While Californians are generally positive about the initiative system, they also favor changing it. One way to increase public engagement has strong support: Nearly seven in 10 adults (68%) and likely voters (69%) favor an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings and make recommendations in the official voter guide. Democrats (68%), Republicans (65%), and independents (73%) express support, as do solid majorities across regional, racial/ethnic, and demographic groups. “How about having an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings on initiatives and then make ballot recommendations in the official voter guide?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind Favor 68% 68% 65% 73% 69% Oppose 24 25 30 23 27 Don’t know 87444 Solid majorities of adults (64%) and likely voters (64%) favor requiring voters to renew initiatives after a certain number of years by voting on them again. This idea has solid majority support among Republicans (61%), Democrats (68%), and independents (72%). However, many Californians are reluctant to increase the legislature’s authority: fewer than half of adults (47%) and likely voters (36%) favor allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years. Consistent with the belief that the initiative process today is controlled a lot by special interests, 72 percent of adults and 75 percent of likely voters are in favor of giving initiative sponsors more time if they are using only volunteers to gather signatures rather than using paid signature gatherers. There is solid support for this idea across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Support for increased transparency regarding the initiative campaign funders is also evident in Californians’ support for the proposal to have the yes and no sides of initiative campaigns participate in a series of televised debates. This idea is supported by 75 percent of adults and 76 percent of likely voters and is overwhelmingly favored across parties. Questions asked of half-samples Having voters renew initiatives after a certain number of years, by voting on them again? Allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years? Giving initiative sponsors more time to qualify initiatives if they are using only volunteers to gather signatures rather than using paid signature gatherers? Having the yes and no sides of the initiative campaigns participate in a series of televised debates? Favor Oppose Don’t know Favor Oppose Don’t know Favor Oppose Don’t know Favor Oppose Don’t know “How about…?” All adults 64% 29 7 47 46 7 72 21 7 75 23 2 Dem 68% 29 4 50 40 10 74 20 6 73 25 2 Party Rep 61% 35 4 31 64 5 76 21 3 71 29 1 Likely Ind voters 72% 64% 25 32 44 44 36 50 58 66 79 75 18 21 34 84 76 12 22 42 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Sixty-two percent approve of President Obama, similar to his pre-election ratings last October. Approval of the U.S. Congress remains low at 31 percent. (page 17)  Seven in 10 Californians say that acrossthe-board cuts in federal spending are hurting the economy. Residents are less likely to say they have personally felt negative impacts from these budget cuts (49% have, 50% have not). (page 18)  A majority of Californians (57%) believe that government does not do enough to regulate guns, although the share saying so has fallen 8 points since January. Californians strongly support conducting background checks on all potential gun buyers, as do adults nationwide. (page 19)  Unlike adults nationwide, a majority of Californians (57%) think global warming will pose a serious threat to their way of life during their lifetime. Thirty-nine percent favor the increased use of fracking and 53 percent support building the Keystone XL pipeline. (page 20)  On immigration, 78 percent say there should be a way for immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements to stay in the country, and either apply for citizenship (50%) or permanent residency (25%). Eighteen percent say they should not be allowed to stay. (page 21)  Support for legalizing same-sex marriage is at a new high (56%) in California. The same share (56%) say same-sex marriage should be defined by a federal standard, while 35 percent prefer leaving the decision to individual states. (pages 22, 23) May 2013 Californians and Their Government Percent all adults Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 100 President Obama Congress 80 60 54 59 56 57 60 63 65 66 62 Percent all adults 40 20 25 24 22 27 27 26 34 29 31 0 Jan Mar May Jul Sep Oct Jan Mar May 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 Whether Global Warming Will Pose a Serious Threat to Your Way of Life During Lifetime 100 Yes No 80 64 60 57 40 34 39 Percent all adults 20 0 Adults nationwide* *Gallup Poll, March 2013 Californians Attitudes Toward Same-sex Marriage 100 80 Favor Oppose 60 55 40 39 20 50 48 49 50 49 50 53 54 56 44 44 45 44 44 45 42 40 38 0 Jan 00 Feb Sep Jun Oct Mar Mar Sep May May 04 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 16 PPIC Statewide Survey APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS Even as the Obama administration has come under scrutiny for the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s procurement of AP journalists’ phone records, President Obama has the approval of 62 percent of Californians and 53 percent of likely voters. Approval today is similar to March (66% all adults, 57% likely voters) and January (65% all adults, 56% likely voters). In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, 51 percent of adults nationwide approved of President Obama, similar to findings in their April and March surveys (50% each). There is a wide divide among partisans, and approval today is similar to findings in March among Democrats (today 84%, March 89%) and Republicans (today 24%, March 23%). However, approval among independents has shifted, with 51 percent approving today— down from 64 percent in March. Residents in Los Angeles (today 75%, March 70%) and San Francisco (today 68%, March 79%) are more approving than those in Orange/San Diego (today 57%, March 61%), the Central Valley (today 51%, March 56%), and the Inland Empire (today 47%, March 61%). Majorities of blacks (today 89%, March 94%), Latinos (today 76%, 84% March), and Asians (today 66%, March 82%) approve; whites are divided (today 48% approve, 48% disapprove, March 44% approve, 52% disapprove). Just three in 10 Californians (31%) approve of the way Congress is handling its job; 62 percent disapprove. Likely voters are even more negative (19% approve, 77% disapprove). Approval among all adults was similar in March (29%) and January (34%), but has improved somewhat since last May (22%). In a recent Gallup poll 16 percent of adults nationwide approved of Congress, while 79 percent disapproved. Fewer than three in 10 partisans approve of Congress. Latinos (48%) and Asians (47%) are much more likely than blacks (30%) and whites (15%) to approve of Congress. Approval declines as age and income increase. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Dem Party Rep Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States Approve Disapprove Don’t know 62% 84% 24% 34 14 73 423 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve Disapprove Don’t know 31 28 19 62 65 79 683 Ind 51% 46 2 19 76 5 Likely voters 53% 45 2 19 77 5 Californians give more favorable ratings to their own members in the House of Representatives, with 53 percent approving and 34 percent disapproving. Approval among likely voters is similar. Findings among all adults and likely voters were similar in January. Today, Democrats (62%) are far more likely than independents (42%) and Republicans (38%) to approve. Majorities approve in Los Angeles (64%), the San Francisco Bay Area (56%), and Orange/San Diego (51%), while residents are divided in the Central Valley (45% approve, 42% disapprove) and the Inland Empire (45% approve, 43% disapprove). Approve Disapprove Don’t know “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” All adults Dem Party Rep Likely voters Ind 53% 62% 38% 42% 50% 34 25 53 41 40 12 13 9 17 10 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 PPIC Statewide Survey FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS Beginning March 1, across-the-board federal budget cuts that were part of the sequestration agreement began taking place because President Obama and the Republicans in Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement. When asked if these spending cuts are hurting the economy or not, 69 percent of Californians and 63 percent of likely voters say that they are. In an April ABC News/Washington Post poll 63 percent of adults nationwide said the cuts are hurting the economy, while 28 percent said they are not. Majorities in both parties agree that the cuts are hurting the economy, but Democrats (77%) are more likely than independents (62%) and Republicans (56%) to hold this view. Although majorities say cuts are hurting the economy, views differ across demographic groups. Those in households with incomes of less than $40,000 a year (81%) are much more likely than middle-income adults (66%) or those in households making $80,000 or more (56%) to say the cuts are hurting the economy. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (80%) and blacks (79%) are much more likely than Asians (62%) and whites (62%) to say the cuts are hurting the economy. Those with only a high school degree (82%) are far more likely than those with some college (62%) or college graduates (58%) to hold this view. This view declines as age increases. Among those who have personally felt the impact of the budget cuts, 86 percent say the cuts are hurting the economy, while among those who have not felt the impact, 53 percent say they are doing so. “Automatic across-the-board cuts in federal spending have begun to take effect because President Obama and the Republicans in Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement earlier this year. Do you think these budget cuts are or are not hurting the economy?” Are hurting the economy All adults 69% Under $40,000 81% Household income $40,000 to $80,000 66% $80,000 or more 56% Likely voters 63% Are not hurting the economy 25 14 30 39 32 Don’t know 65455 While most say the cuts are hurting the economy, not all Californians have personally felt a negative impact: 49 percent have and 50 percent have not. Likely voters report similar experiences (46% have, 53% have not). In the ABC News/Washington Post poll only 33 percent of adults nationwide reported having felt any negative impact from these budget cuts, while 65 percent said they had not. As one might expect, those with lower incomes (61%) are more likely than middle- (44%) and upperincome (34%) Californians to report any negative impact. Blacks (64%) and Latinos (61%) are much more likely than Asians (42%) and whites (39%) to have felt the negative impact of these cuts. Across regions, residents in the Inland Empire (62%) are the most likely to have felt the negative impact of the cuts, followed by those in Los Angeles (51%), Orange/San Diego (48%), the Central Valley (46%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (42%). Reports of feeling a negative impact from these cuts decrease as education levels increase. Have Have not Don’t know “Have you personally felt any negative impact of these budget cuts, or not?” All adults 49% Under $40,000 61% Household income $40,000 to $80,000 44% $80,000 or more 34% Likely voters 46% 50 38 56 66 53 211–1 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 PPIC Statewide Survey GUN REGULATIONS The gun control debate has recently taken a back seat to other federal issues, but ongoing dialogue continues in Washington. When asked about government’s role in gun control, most Californians continue to say that the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns (57%); fewer say the government goes too far (39%). The perception that government does not do enough is down 8 points from a high of 65 percent in January—after the Newtown shootings and before the gun control debate began in Congress. Today’s findings are similar to those in March 2012 (53% not enough, 38% too far). Across parties, 68 percent of Democrats think government does not do enough while 63 percent of Republicans say it goes too far. Independents are more likely to say the government does not do enough (53%) than to say it goes too far (42%). Views also differ across regions. Fifty-five percent of residents in the Central Valley say government goes too far but majorities believe the reverse in other regions—San Francisco Bay Area (67% not enough; 26% too far), Los Angeles (66% not enough; 30% too far), and Orange/San Diego (55% not enough; 41% too far). Inland Empire residents are divided on the role of government (50% not enough, 49% too far). Asians (79%), blacks (73%), and Latinos (58%) say government doesn’t do enough; whites are divided (47% not enough, 48% too far). Among those with firearms in their home, 65 percent say the government goes too far; among those without firearms at home, 29 percent hold this view. “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns; or the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns.” All adults Dem Party Rep Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Ind Yes No Government goes too far 39% 28% 63% 42% Government does not do enough 57 68 33 53 Don’t know 5446 65% 29 6 29% 67 4 A central part of the gun control debate in Congress has focused on background checks for all gun purchases. Most Californians (89%)—including overwhelming proportions of both those with (86%) and without (92%) firearms at home—favor a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers. Likely voters hold identical views to all adults. In an April CBS/New York Times poll, a similar 88 percent of adults nationwide favored background checks. California’s partisans are similarly in favor of background checks (95% Democrats, 88% Republicans, 86% independents). Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups favor this idea. There is also strong support among both those who approve and disapprove of President Obama and Congress, and from those who say the government goes too far in regulating guns (79%) and those who say it does not do enough (97%). “Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?” All adults Dem Party Rep Have gun, rifle, or pistol in home Ind Yes No Favor 89% 95% 88% 86% 86% 92% Oppose 10 5 11 12 14 7 Don’t know 1112 1 1 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 PPIC Statewide Survey CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY A majority of Californians (57%) say global warming will pose a serious threat either to them or to their way of life in their lifetime; 39 percent say it will not. A decade ago, the perceived personal threat was much lower (45% yes, 50% no, July 2003). Adults nationwide are far less concerned: in a March Gallup poll, most said global warming will not pose a serious threat to their way of life (34% yes, 64% no). Reflecting the polarizing nature of this topic, most Democrats (68%) say global warming will pose a serious threat and most Republicans (71%) say it will not. Independents are divided (51% yes, 46% no). Residents in Los Angeles (66%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (61%) are more likely than residents in other regions to perceive a serious threat (52% Inland Empire, 51% Orange/San Diego, 49% Central Valley). Strong majorities of blacks (66%), Asians (74%), and Latinos (75%) see global warming as a serious threat to their way of life; a majority of whites do not (37% yes, 57% no). Residents younger than age 55 are more likely than those age 55 and older to perceive a threat. Women (63%) are more likely than men (51%) to hold this view. As the use and regulation of fracking is discussed by state policymakers, 39 percent of Californians express support for the increased use of this drilling method; 47 percent are opposed and 14 percent are unsure. Findings are similar among likely voters (40% favor, 45% oppose). A March Pew Research Center survey found 48 percent of adults nationwide in favor (38% oppose, 14% don’t know). A majority of Democrats (56%) oppose fracking while 52 percent of Republicans favor it; independents are divided (42% favor, 43% oppose). Support is highest in Orange/San Diego (50%), followed by the Central Valley (46%), Inland Empire (40%), and the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles (33% each). Support for increased fracking is higher among those who say global warming does not pose a threat (54% favor) than among those who say it does (30% favor). Men (46%) are much more in favor than women (32%). “Do you favor or oppose increased use of fracking, a drilling method that uses high-pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Global warming a serious threat in lifetime Yes No Favor 39% 30% 52% 42% 30% 54% Oppose 47 56 32 43 60 29 Don’t know 14 15 16 15 10 16 The Keystone XL pipeline would transport oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. A slim majority of Californians (53%) favor this project while one in three (35%) oppose it; 12 percent are unsure. Findings are similar among likely voters (55% favor, 33% oppose). In the Pew survey, a strong majority of adults nationwide were in favor (66% favor, 23% oppose). In California, 75 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents favor the pipeline, while Democrats are divided (41% favor, 44% oppose). There is majority support across regions except in the San Francisco Bay Area (40% favor). Men (60%) are much more likely than women (46%) to express support. Those who do not perceive a personal threat from global warming are far more likely than those who do perceive one to favor the pipeline (71% to 41%). Favor Oppose Don’t know “Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas?” All adults Dem Party Rep Ind Global warming a serious threat in lifetime Yes No 53% 41% 75% 57% 41% 71% 35 44 18 36 45 21 12 15 7 7 14 8 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 PPIC Statewide Survey IMMIGRATION POLICY REFORM Six in 10 Californians (61%) consider immigrants to be a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, while one in three (33%) say immigrants are a burden because they use public services. The share saying immigrants are a benefit is near the record high from January (63%). Since February 2000, majorities (between 54% and 63%) have said immigrants are a benefit. A slim majority of likely voters say immigrants are a benefit (53% benefit, 41% burden). Most Democrats (70%) view immigrants as a benefit, while most Republicans (59%) view them as a burden. Independents are more likely to say they are a benefit (52%) than burden (41%). Solid majorities of blacks (63%), Asians (72%), and Latinos (81%) say immigrants are a benefit, while whites are divided (44% benefit, 50% burden). “Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, or Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services.” All adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Likely voters Benefit 61% 72% 63% 81% 44% 53% Burden 33 23 29 14 50 41 Don’t know 65 9 5 76 Congressional lawmakers are currently debating key aspects of immigration reform in an attempt to overhaul the system. After our survey interviews were completed, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bipartisan agreement that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements. Among Californians, 78 percent say such immigrants should be allowed to stay, with 50 percent saying they should be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship and 25 percent saying they should be allowed to apply for permanent residency. Just 18 percent say they should not be allowed to stay. A recent Pew Research Center survey found 73 percent of adults nationwide support letting them stay (44% apply for citizenship, 25% apply for residency), with 25 percent opposed. Solid majorities of Californians across parties, regions, and demographic groups say that immigrants living here illegally who meet certain requirements should be allowed to stay. But preference for allowing immigrants living here illegally to apply for U.S. citizenship varies. It is much higher among Democrats (58%) than independents (45%) and Republicans (36%), and much higher among Latinos (62%) and blacks (60%) than whites (45%) and Asians (41%). San Francisco Bay Area residents (58%) are the most likely to favor a citizenship path, followed by residents in the Central Valley (54%), Inland Empire (51%), and Los Angeles and Orange/San Diego (45% each). “Which comes closer to your view about how to handle immigrants who are now living in the U.S. illegally? They should not be allowed to stay in the country legally, or there should be a way for those who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally.” (If allowed to stay: “Should they be able to apply for U.S. citizenship, or for permanent residency, but not U.S. citizenship?”) All adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites View on immigrants in California Benefit Burden Not allowed to stay 18% 28% 9% 5% 26% 10% 37% Allowed to stay, apply for citizenship 50 41 60 62 45 61 32 Allowed to stay, apply for permanent residency 25 28 25 30 21 26 25 Allowed to stay, not sure about citizenship/residency 3 – 4 1 4 14 Don’t know if they should be allowed to stay 3 3 2 2 3 13 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 PPIC Statewide Survey LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule on two significant same-sex marriage cases in June, including one challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married has reached a new high in our surveys (56% favor, 38% oppose). Findings reflect a near reversal from the first time we asked this question 13 years ago (39% favor, 55% oppose January 2000). Support for same-sex marriage first reached 50 percent in March 2010 and the margin of support has continued to grow. Support is similar among adults nationwide, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (55% support, 40% oppose). Likely voters favor allowing same-sex marriage by a 23 point margin (59% favor, 36% oppose) and their support is at a record high. Most Democrats (63%) and independents (61%) are in favor, while Republicans are divided (46% favor, 49% oppose). Remarkably, support among Republicans has doubled since October 2008 (from 23% to 46%)—right before passage of Proposition 8—and is up 16 points just since January of this year (30%). “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 56% 38% 6% Likely voters 59 36 5 Democrats 63 32 4 Party Republicans 46 49 4 Independents 61 32 6 Gender Men Women 53 42 59 34 5 6 Asians 56 40 4 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 43 52 52 42 5 6 Whites 63 32 5 18–34 72 25 2 Age 35–54 52 42 6 55 and older 45 46 9 High school or less 49 45 6 Education Some college 57 37 6 College graduate 66 29 5 Central Valley 42 48 11 Region San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles 69 25 58 37 7 5 Orange/San Diego 58 39 3 Inland Empire 44 49 7 Evangelical Protestants 28 66 6 Religion Mainline Protestants Catholics 55 39 54 40 6 6 No religion 84 12 4 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 PPIC Statewide Survey LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (CONTINUED) Support for allowing same-sex marriage is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (69%)—where same-sex marriage licenses were issued in 2004, sparking the subsequent citizens’ initiative and legal battle. Today, majorities in Los Angeles and Orange/San Diego (58% each) are also in favor, while opinions are more divided in the Inland Empire (44% favor, 49% oppose) and Central Valley (42% favor, 48% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, whites (63%) are the most likely to favor gay marriage, followed by Asians (56%), Latinos (52%), and blacks (43%). Blacks are among the few demographic groups in which a majority opposes same-sex marriage (52% blacks, 57% conservatives, 66% evangelical Protestants). Today, in contrast to October 2008, majorities of mainline Protestants (55%) and Catholics (54%) now favor allowing gay marriage; evangelical Protestants still oppose it, but support has increased 13 points (15% to 28%). The Supreme Court has a number of options when it comes to the Proposition 8 case. Among the many possibilities, it could rule to uphold Proposition 8 and keep same-sex marriage illegal in California; rule narrowly against Proposition 8 and reinstate gay marriage in California; or rule broadly that banning samesex marriage is unconstitutional, which would essentially set a federal standard defining marriage nationwide. Among Californians, 56 percent say they prefer a federal standard and 35 percent prefer the question of allowing same-sex marriage be left to the states. In an April NBC News/Wall Street survey, findings among adults nationwide (56% federal standard, 38% left to states) were nearly identical. Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage—through the courts, the voters, or the legislative process. Other states have constitutional or statutory bans against it while still others offer civil unions or other protections to same-sex couples. There is majority support for a federal definition of marriage among both those who favor (62%) and those who oppose (55%) same-sex marriage. Sixty-two percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents prefer a federal standard defining marriage, while Republicans are divided (49% left to states, 45% federal standard). Majorities of residents in Los Angeles (61%), the Inland Empire (60%), Orange/San Diego (56%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (55%) favor a federal standard, while Central Valley residents are more divided (41% left to states, 47% federal standard). About six in 10 Asians (62%), Latinos (61%), and blacks (58%) prefer a federal standard, as do 51 percent of whites (40% left to states). All adults “Should the question of allowing same-sex marriages be left to the states, or should there be a federal standard defining marriage across the country?” Left to the states Have a federal standard 35% 56% Don’t know 9% Likely voters 39 56 5 Democrats 31 62 7 Party Republicans 49 45 6 Independents 42 53 5 Gender Men Women 41 52 7 29 60 11 Asians 34 62 4 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 37 58 4 27 61 12 Whites 40 51 9 Allowing same-sex marriage Favor Oppose 34 62 4 36 55 10 May 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 REGIONAL MAP May 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Jui Shrestha, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Sonja Petek. The Californians and Their Government series is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, and suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its own advisory committee, but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,704 California adult residents, including 1,193 interviewed on landline telephones and 511 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from May 14–20, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phones were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection, and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement to help defray the cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009–2011 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. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state-level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics—which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS—and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. May 2013 Californians and Their Government 25 PPIC Statewide Survey The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,704 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.8 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1,450 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.0 percent; for the 1,129 likely voters, it is ±4.6 percent. For the random half-sample on question 21a (841 adults), it is ±5.4%; for the random half-samples on questions 21b (863 adults), 23a (844 adults), 23b (860 adults), 24a (867 adults), and 24b (837 adults), it is ±5.3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non-Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a third of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest-growing voter groups. We also present results for non-Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and nonHispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups—such as Native Americans—are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline-to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participation, and current interest in politics. 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 the ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News/New York Times, Gallup, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, and Pew Research Center. Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org. May 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT May 14–20, 2013 1,704 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.8% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 47% jobs, economy 9 education, schools 9 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 immigration, illegal immigration 4 crime, gangs, drugs 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 government in general 2 health care, health reform 2 housing costs, availability 2 infrastructure, transportation 11 other 5 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 48% approve 31 disapprove 21 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 35% approve 50 disapprove 16 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 43% approve 40 disapprove 17 don’t know 5. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 46% right direction 48 wrong direction 7 don’t know 6. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 48% good times 44 bad times 8 don’t know 7. 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? 61% big problem 30 somewhat of a problem 6 not a problem 2 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 PPIC Statewide Survey 8. 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 been affected a lot or somewhat?) 59% affected a lot 26 affected somewhat 10 not affected 5 don’t know 9. 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. 48% higher taxes and more services 44 lower taxes and fewer services 8 don’t know 10.On another topic, Governor Brown recently released a revised budget plan for the current and next fiscal year that will increase spending on K–12 schools, higher education, health and human services, and corrections and rehabilitation, create a $1.1 billion reserve, and pay down the state’s debt. In general, do you favor or oppose the governor’s budget plan? 61% favor 28 oppose 5 haven’t heard anything about the budget (volunteered) 6 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 11.As part of his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes providing K–12 schools with $1 billion in one-time revenues to fund teacher training, textbooks, and computers to support the implementation of the “Common Core State Standards,” a new set of English and math standards that the state will roll out in 2014. Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 73% favor 21 oppose 7 don’t know 11a.In his revised budget plan, Governor Brown proposes giving each K–12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011–12 and providing additional funding to school districts that have more [rotate] (English language learners) [and] (lowerincome students). Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 77% favor 19 oppose 4 don’t know 12.Governor Brown’s budget plan proposes to pay down state debt and build up the reserve. In general, [rotate] (1) do you prefer the governor’s plan to pay down state debt and build up the reserve [or] (2) would you prefer to use some of this money to restore some funding for social service programs that were cut in recent years? 55% governor’s plan to pay down debt and build up reserve 39 restore funding for social services 7 don’t know Changing topics, 13.How much of the time do you think you can trust the state government in Sacramento to do what is right—just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 7% just about always 25 most of the time 60 only some of the time 6 none of the time (volunteered) 2 don’t know 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 14.Would you say the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people? 61% a few big interests 31 benefit of all of the people 8 don’t know 15.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? 54% a lot 32 some 10 don’t waste very much 4 don’t know 16.Next, Proposition 13 is the 1978 ballot measure that limits the property tax rate to 1 percent of assessed value at time of purchase and annual tax increases to no more than 2 percent until the property is sold. Overall, do you feel passing Proposition 13 turned out to be mostly a good thing for California or mostly a bad thing? 58% mostly a good thing 27 mostly a bad thing 3 mixed (volunteered) 12 don’t know 17.Under Proposition 13, residential and commercial property taxes are both strictly limited. What do you think about having commercial properties taxed according to their current market value? Do you favor or oppose this proposal? 58% favor 33 oppose 9 don’t know 18.Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special tax. Would you favor or oppose replacing the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local special taxes? 46% favor 44 oppose 9 don’t know On another topic, California uses the direct initiative process, which enables voters to bypass the legislature and have issues put on the ballot—as state propositions—for voter approval or rejection. 19.Overall, do you think public policy decisions made through the initiative process by California voters are probably better or probably worse than public policy decisions made by the governor and state legislature? 57% probably better 28 probably worse 3 same (volunteered) 12 don’t know 20.Overall, how much would you say that the initiative process in California today is controlled by special interests—a lot, some, or not at all? 55% a lot 35 some 6 not at all 3 don’t know [questions 21a and 21b: random half sample] 21a.[half sample] Please say if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statement—there are too many propositions on the state ballot. 41% strongly agree 29 somewhat agree 16 somewhat disagree 9 strongly disagree 4 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 PPIC Statewide Survey 21b.[half sample] Please say if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statement—the ballot wording for citizens’ initiatives is often too complicated and confusing for voters to understand what happens if the initiative passes. 44% strongly agree 34 somewhat agree 10 somewhat disagree 8 strongly disagree 4 don’t know Reforms have been suggested to address issues that arise in California’s initiative process. Please say whether you would favor or oppose each of the following reform proposals. [rotate questions 22 to 24b] 22.How about having an independent citizens’ initiative commission that would hold public hearings on initiatives and then make ballot recommendations in the official voter guide? 68% favor 24 oppose 8 don’t know [questions 23a and 23b: random half sample] 23a.[half sample] How about having voters renew initiatives after a certain number of years, by voting on them again? 64% favor 29 oppose 7 don’t know 23b.[half sample] How about allowing the legislature, with the governor’s approval, to amend initiatives after a certain number of years? 47% favor 46 oppose 7 don’t know [questions 24a and 24b: random half sample] May 2013 Californians and Their Government 24a.[half sample] How about giving initiative sponsors more time to qualify initiatives if they are using only volunteers to gather signatures rather than using paid signature gatherers? 72% favor 21 oppose 7 don’t know 24b.[half sample] How about having the yes and no sides of the initiative campaigns participate in a series of televised debates? 75% favor 23 oppose 2 don’t know 25.On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 62% approve 34 disapprove 4 don’t know [questions 26 and 27 not asked] 28.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 31% approve 62 disapprove 6 don’t know 29.Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job? 53% approve 34 disapprove 12 don’t know Next, automatic across-the-board cuts in federal spending have begun to take effect because [rotate] (1) President Obama [and] (2) the Republicans in Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement earlier this year. 30.Do you think these budget cuts are or are not hurting the economy? 69% are hurting the economy 25 are not hurting the economy 6 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey 31.Have you personally felt any negative impact of these budget cuts, or not? 49% have 50 have not 2 don’t know Changing topics, 32.Please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) The government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns; [or] (2) the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. 39% government goes too far 57 government does not do enough 5 don’t know 33.Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers? 89% favor 10 oppose 1 don’t know 34.Next, do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime? 57% yes 39 no 4 don’t know [rotate questions 35 and 36] 35.Do you favor or oppose increased use of fracking, a drilling method that uses highpressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations? 39% favor 47 oppose 14 don’t know 36.Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas? 53% favor 35 oppose 12 don’t know May 2013 Californians and Their Government 37.On another topic, please indicate which statement comes closest to your own view—even if neither is exactly right. [rotate] (1) Immigrants today are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills [or] (2) Immigrants today are a burden to California because they use public services. 61% immigrants are a benefit to California 33 immigrants are a burden to California 6 don’t know 38/39.Which comes closer to your view about how to handle immigrants who are now living in the U.S. illegally? [read and rotate] (1) should not be allowed to stay in the country legally [or] (2) there should be a way for those who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally. [if 2, ask:] And do you think immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally and meet the requirements to stay in the country legally should be able to apply for [read and rotate] (1) U.S. citizenship [or] (2) permanent residency, but not U.S. citizenship? 18% they should not be allowed to stay in the country legally 78 there should be a way for those who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally 50 U.S. citizenship 25 permanent residency, but not U.S. citizenship 3 don’t know/refuse 3 don’t know 40.On another topic, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 56% favor 38 oppose 6 don’t know [question 41 not asked] 31 PPIC Statewide Survey 42.Should the question of allowing same-sex marriages be left to the states, or should there be a federal standard defining marriage across the country? 35% left to the states 56 a federal standard defining marriage 9 don’t know [questions 43 and 44 not asked] 45. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q45a] 31 no [skip to q46b] 45a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline-to-state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q46] 29 Republican [skip to q46a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q47] 22 independent [skip to q46b] 46.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 50% strong 48 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q47] 46a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 59% strong 40 not very strong 1 don’t know [skip to q47] 46b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 22% Republican Party 47 Democratic Party 21 neither (volunteer) 10 don’t know 47.Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 23 somewhat liberal 28 middle-of-the-road 22 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 3 don’t know 48.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 21% great deal 40 fair amount 30 only a little 8 none 1 don’t know [d1–d3a: demographic questions] D3b.Do you happen to have any guns, rifles, or pistols in your home? 18% yes 81 no 1 don’t know [d4–d17: demographic questions] May 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen General Manager and Polling Director Capital Insight Washington Post Media Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS 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 GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Robert M. Hertzberg Vice Chairman Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs 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 © 2013 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org PPIC SACRAMENTO CENTER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:40" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_513mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:40" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:40" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_513MBS.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) }