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This is the 137 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 288,000 Californians. This is the 58 th in the Californians and Their Government series. The sur vey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. The sur vey began on the day President Obama gave his address on Syria and as the legislative session in California entered its final week . Per a federal cour t order, Governor Brown has until the end of December to reduce prison overcrowding. The governor and legislature a re asking for an extension that would allow them to focus on rehabilitation effor ts. If this request is denied, space will be leased in private, county , and out -of -state prisons to prevent the early release of about 10,0 00 prisoners . A state water bond for the 2014 ballot is being debated and a bill to regulate fracking was just signed into law . As par t of “realignment” (a series of changes in the way state and local governments divide responsibilities ), the current budget gives local school districts more flexibility over s pending decisions , and over the past two years counties have taken on what were previously state corrections responsibilities by housing more low -level offenders in county jails . In October, California begins its open enrollment period for uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Congress is debating the U.S. response to the Syrian crisis ; it also fac es an October 1 deadline to pass a budget and a mid- October deadline to raise the debt ceiling . Looking ahead, comprehensive immigration reform will be back under discussion. In this context, this sur vey presents the responses of 1,703 adult residents throughout California, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including overall outlook, approval ratings of state elected officials, views on more local control of K –12 education funding and the shift of prisoners from state prisons to county jails; suppor t for the plan to ease overcrowding in state prisons ; attitudes toward fracking ; views on water management, including support for a possible water bond in 2014; and preferences for paying for water and other infrastructure projects .  Federal government, including approval ratings of federal elected officials; assessment of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; opinions on plans for a resolution to the situation in Syr ia; opinions on health care reform; views on immigration reform; and attitudes toward abor tion access and legaliz ing marijuana and same-sex marriage.  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 par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. September 2013 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday , September 25, 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 Amid Concerns About Crime, Half Favor Plan to Ease Prison Crowding MAJORITIES WANT FRAC KING REGULATED AND—FOR FIRST TIME—MARIJUANA LEGALIZED SAN FRANCISCO, September 25 , 2013 —Half of Californians support the plan approved by the governor and legislature to reduce prison overcrowding, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation . At the same time, overwhelming majorities are concerned about the possible early release of thousands of prisoners that the plan is designed to prevent. When read a description of the corrections plan , 52 percent of adults and likely voters are in favor, while 39 percent of adults and 40 percent of likely voters are opposed. Levels of support are similar across parties, with 53 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans, and 50 percent of independents in favor. The plan calls for Governor Jerry Brown to ask federal judges for a three -year extension of their order to reduce the prison population by nearly 10,000 inmates by the end of December . The goal is to give the state more time to expand rehabilitation programs aimed at reducing the number of repeat offenders. If the governor’s request is denied, California would expand prison capacity by leasing space in private, local, and out -of -state facilities —and avoid early release of the inmates. Most Californians are very concerned (47%) or somewhat concerned (31%) about the early release of the prisoners. Just 21 percent are not too (14%) or not at all (7%) concerned. Strong majorities across parties are at least somewhat concerned. Californians express these views of the corrections plan at a time when local governments have take n on a new public safety role. Under the corrections realignment implemented in October 2011, the state shifted lower -risk felons from state prisons to count y jails to reduce prison overcrowding and cut costs. Californians’ confidence in their local governments’ ability to handle these new tasks has declined since realignment began. Today, less than half are confident (7% very, 33% somewhat) about their local government’s ability to do so. Confidence was higher in September 2011 (48%), December 2011 (53%), January 2012 (50%) , and January 2013 (49%) than it is today (40%). “Crime and public safety issues are surfacing in California today,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Public confidence in local governments to handle the responsibilities of state- local corrections realignment is declining, while many also express concern about the possible early release of state prisoners.” Half of Californians are concerned about violence and street crime in their communities, with 22 percent saying it is a big problem and 30 percent saying it is somewhat of a problem (48% not much of a problem). Black and Latino Californians are much more likely to see violence and street crime as at least somewhat of a problem (64% each) than are Asians (46%) and whites (44%). Across regions, 64 percent PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 of residents in the Central Valley and 61 percent in the Inland Empire s ee violence and street crime as at least somewhat of a problem, while fewer in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%), Los Angeles (46%), and Orange/San Diego (44%) hold this view . How do Californians feel about their local government ’s efforts to reduce violence and street crime? Half (50%) say their local governm ent is doing the right amount, while 41 percent say it is not doing enough (5% too much). Race/ethnicity is a key factor in how residents view efforts to combat crime: while most whites (59%) and Asians (56%) say their local government is doing the right a mount, blacks (56%) and Latinos (49%) are more likely to say their government is not doing enough. MOST CONFIDENT THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS WIL L SPEND NEW FUNDS WI SELY In another area where responsibilities have shifted to the local level, school districts ar e getting more control over how state education dollars are spent. A majority of adults (60%) are very or somewhat confident that their districts will use the money wisely. Confidence was higher earlier this year, when larger majorities said they were at least somewhat confident (January 71%, April 73%). Despite increases in state funding for education, 86 percent of adults say the state budget situation is at least somewhat of a problem for the state’s public schools. Adults express overwhelming support (72%) for the part of the state budget that gives each K –12 school district more money than in 2011 –12 and directs additional funding to districts with more English Learners and lower -income students. OPPOSED TO MORE FRACKING, DIVIDED ON WATER POLICY The PPIC survey began as legislators entered the final week of their session and were debating a bill to regulate fracking. The bill, SB4, passed and was signed by the governor. More Californians (53%) continue to oppose than favor (32%) increased use of fracking . Support for stricter state regulation of fracking has increased slightly since July, from 50 percent of adults ( and 56% of likely voters) to 56 percent today (61% likely voters). When asked specifically about two components of SB4 — requiring oil companies to obtain permits and requiring them to disclose information on chemicals used in oil extraction techniques —most (80% adults, 87% likely voters) are in favor. There is less agreement among Californians on water policy. About half (53%) say the wa ter supply for their part of the state will be somewhat or very inadequate in 10 years. And residents are divided about how to plan for the future. About half (49%) say we should focus on conservation, user allocation , and other strategies to manage water more efficiently, while 45 percent say we need to build new water storage systems. How should the state increase funding for water and infrastructure projects? Half (48%) prefer that the state issue bonds, 25 percent say user fees and charges should be increased, and 13 percent say taxes for all Californians should be raised. Asked about a proposed $6.5 billion bond measure to fund water projects, 55 percent of adults and 50 percent of likely voters would vote yes. SLIM MAJORITY FAVOR HEALTH CARE REFORM As House Republicans press a campaign to defund the Affordable Care Act, a slim majority of Californians (53%) support the changes to the health care system enacted by President Barack Obama and Congress. Support has been around 50 percent since September 2009, about six mo nths before the law’s passage. Today, slightly more than half of those who have insurance (52%) and those who do not (56%) support the law. Those with government -based insurance, such as Medicare or Medi -Cal, are more likely than those with employer -based coverage to express support (63% to 49%). How do Californians feel their families will fare under the law? About a quarter (26%) say they will be better off, a quarter (24%) say they will be worse off, and 43 percent do not expect the law t o make much difference. With a potential government shutdown on October 1 and the deadline to raise the debt limit soon after, Californians are divided over the way Obama is handling this issue (46% approve, 46% disapprove). This PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 is a decline from January, when 56 percent approved of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling. A solid majority (63%) disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling the issue, the same as in January (63% disapprove). Although comprehensive immigration reform appear s to be stalled in Congress, 85 percent of Californians support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who fulfill certain requirements, including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English. Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups favor this idea . Asked whether border security or addressing the status of illegal immigrants should be a higher priority, 51 percent choose addressing immigrants’ status and 41 percent favor securing the nation’s border. Baldassare notes: “At a time when Californians are deeply divided along party lines on health care reform, there’s overwhelming support for a path to citizenship as part of a federal immigration reform package.” There is also consensus among Californians on a key aspect of U.S. policy in response to the Syrian crisis: 70 percent of Californians say they are opposed to military air strikes, a view held across parties, regions, and age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups. Asked about the Russian proposal to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons, half of Californians (52%) are at least somewhat optimistic that it will succeed. RECORD-HIGH SUPPORT FOR LEGALIZING MARIJUANA, S AME-SEX MARRIAGE Majorities of Californians support legalizing marijuana and same -sex marriage and preserving access to abortion —three social issues that have been contentious across the nation. A slim majority of adults (52%) say marijuana use should be legalized —a record high and the first time support has been above 50 percent . A larger majority of likely voters (60%) favor legalization. Democrats (64%), independents (60%), and men (57%) are more likely than Republicans (45%) and women (47%) to favor legalization. M ajori ties (61% adults, 68% likely voters) also say the U.S. government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in the states that allow marijuana use. Support for same -sex marriage is also at a record high, with 61 percent of adults and 64 percent of likely voters in favor. Strong majorities of Democrats (76%) and independents (67%) favor allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, while 53 percent of Republicans are opposed. Although support continues to be higher among young Californians, a majority of those age 55 and older (55%) are also in favor for the first time. Support has increased 15 points among mainline Protestants since May (55% to 70%). Large majorities (70% adults, 79% likely voters) say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Th is view is held by majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. And 69 percent say the Supreme Court should leave access to abortion the way it is now (49%) or make it more accessible (20%), compared to 27 percent who would like the court to make it less accessible. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Governor’s approval rating holds steady— page 7 Half of adults (48%) and likely voters (49%) approve of Brown’s job performance, similar to the previous six surveys. The legislature’s approval rating (adults 38%, likely voters 32%) is up from September 2012 (adults 30%, likely voters 22%). And 42 percent of adults (40% likely voters) approve of the job their own legislative representatives are doing.  Obama’s approval rating dips below 60 percent among all adults —pages 16 and 17 While a majority of Californians (55%) approve of the president’s job performance, his approval rating is below 60 percent for the first time since July 2012. Congress’ job approval rati ng remains low, at 28 percent. Californians are more approving of their own representative in Congress (47% approve). Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is 49 percent and Senator Barbara Boxer’s is 47 percent. September 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Governor Brown’s approval ratings are at 48 percent, while 42 percent approve of their own legislators and 38 percent approve of the state legislature overall. (page 7 )  Local school districts now have increased spending flexibility, and six in 10 Californians are very or somewhat confident that districts will spend state funding wisely. In contrast, four in 10 adults are confident about their local government’s ability to handle the shift of some lower-risk inmates from state prisons to county jails. (pages 9, 10 )  About half (52%) favor the governor and legislature’s plan to reduce prison overcrowding. Overwhelming majorities are concerned about the possible early release of prisoners. ( page 11)  Blacks and Latinos are much more likely than Asians and whites to say their local government is not doing enough to reduce violence and street crime. (page 12)  A majority of Californians favor stricter regulations on fracking in the state. There is overwhelming support for requiring oil companies to obtain permits and disclose information about chemicals in fracking and other oil extraction methods. (page 13)  To plan for the future, Californians are divided between building new water storage systems (45%) and using the current supply more efficiently (49%). A plurality prefer paying for water projects by issuing state bonds (48%) over introducing user fees and charges (25%) or increasing taxes for all (13%). When asked about a possible water bond, 50 percent of likely voters would vote yes. ( page 14) 86 82 83 Dem Rep Ind 0 20 40 60 80 100 Support for Requiring Permits and Disclosure of Chemicals Used in Fracking and Other Oil Extraction Techniques 41 46 3941 51 48 48 26 28 2530 41 35 38 0 20 40 60 80 Sep11 Jan 12 May 12 Sep 12 Jan 13 May 13 Sep 13 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 52 39 9 Favor Oppose Don't know Opinion on Plan to Reduce Prison Overcrowding All adults Percent registered voters PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Governor Brown has the approval of half of all adults (48%) and likely voters (49%) today. Among all adults, the governor’s approval rating was slightly lower last September (41%) and last October (42%). Since the November 2012 election, the governor’s approval rating has been similar over seven monthly pol ls (48% December, 51% January, 49% March, 46% April, 48% May, 48% July, 48% today). Today, the governor’s approval rating is at 65 percent for Democrats, 48 percent for independents, and just 23 percent for Republicans. Approval is higher in the San Franci sco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (50%) than in the Inland Empire and the Central Valley (41% each) and Orange/San Diego (40%). Asians (57%) are more likely than blacks and Latinos (49% each) and whites (45%) to express approval. Thirty -eight percent of California adults and 32 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the legislature is handling its job. Among all adults, the legislature’s approval was somewhat lower last September (30%) and last October (28%). Since the November 2012 election, approval of the legislature has been above 30 percent (34% December, 41% January, 34% March, 31% April, 35% May, 36% July, 38% today ). Today, 51 percent of Democrats express approval of the legislature, but only 29 percent of independents and 14 percent of Republicans do so . Residents in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Inland Empire express similar levels of approval (43% each), while lower levels of approval are found in the Central Valley (32%) and Orange/San Diego (31%). A sians and Latinos (50% each) and blacks (44%) are much more likely than whites (27%) to approve of the legislature. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California Approve 48% 65% 23% 48% 49% Disapprove 31 19 60 32 39 Don ʼt know 22 16 17 20 12 The California L egislature is handling its job Approve 38 51 14 29 32 Disapprove 45 36 75 55 57 Don ʼt know 17 14 10 16 10 Four in 10 adults (42%) and likely voters (40%) approve of the job performance of the state legislators representing their assembly and senate districts. Approval among all adults was slightly lower last September (36%) compared to today (42%) and earlier this year (45% January, 43% May). Fifty-five percent of Democrats approve of their state legislators today , but fewer independents (39%) and Republicans (23%) do so . Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (48%), the Inland Empire (46%), and Los Angeles (4 3%) express similar levels of approval, while lower levels are found in the Central Valley (37%) and Orange /San Diego (33%). Latinos (50%), Asians (49%), and blacks (44%) are more likely than whites (36%) to approve of the job performance of their state legislative representatives. “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 42% 55% 23% 39% 40% Disapprove 39 31 61 42 49 Don ʼt know 19 13 17 19 12 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 OVERALL MOOD Californians are most likely to name jobs and the economy (46 %) as the most important state issue. Pluralities across parties, regions, and demographic groups name jobs and the economy as the top issue facing the state. Education and schools (7%), immigration (7%), the state budget (6%), and crime (4%) are among the other top issues mentioned today. Last October, jobs and the economy were named by 56 percent, followed by the state budget (10%), education and schools (9%), immigration (3%), and crime (2%). When it comes to the state’s overall direction, 43 percent of Californians say that things are going in the right direction and 48 percent say that they are going in the wrong direction. Likely voters have slightly more negative perceptions (40% right direction, 54% wrong direction). Californians were much more negative in their assessments last September (33% right direction, 60% wrong direction), but since the November 2012 election more than four in 10 adults have said that things are going in the right direction (44% December, 51% January, 44% March, 46% May, 45% June, 43% today). Today, Democrats (58%) are much more likely than independents (40%) and far more likely than Republicans (18%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area (54%) residents are more likely than those in Los Angeles (45%), the Central Valley (42%), Orange/San Diego (40%), and the Inland Empire (30%) to have an optimistic outlook. Asians and Latinos (50% each) are much more likely than blacks (38%) and whites (37%) to say that things are going in the right direction. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 43% 58% 18% 40% 40% Wrong direction 48 35 77 52 54 Don’t know 9 7 5 7 6 As for the economic outlook, 46 percent say the state will have good times in the next 12 months and 44 percent say it will have bad times. Likely voters hold similar views (44% good times, 46% bad times). Californians were much less likely to predict good times last September (33%) but more than four in 10 adults have predicted good ti mes since the November 2012 election (41% December, 49% January, 44% March, 48% May, 46% June, 46% today). Today, Democrats (60%) are much more likely than independents (41%) and far more likely than Republicans (27%) to expect good economic times ahead. S an Francisco Bay Area (54%) residents are more likely than those in Los Angeles (48%), the Central Valley (46 %), the Inland Empire ( 41%), and Orange/San Diego (40%) to have a positive outlook . Asians (55%), Latinos (50%), and blacks (50%) are somewhat more likely than whites ( 42%) to expect good economic times in the next 12 months . “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 46% 60% 27% 41% 44% Bad times 44 32 62 50 46 Don’t know 10 8 11 9 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 STATE–LOCAL RELATIONSHIP: K –12 EDUCATION FUNDING Even though residents’ overall outlook for the state has improved over the last year, n ine in 10 California adults today continue to say that the state budget situation is a big problem (58%) or somewhat of a problem (33%). In this context, 86 percent of Californians say the state budget situation is at least somewhat of a problem for the state’s K –12 public schools, with 60 percent of adults and 61 percent of public school parent s calling it a big problem. Majorities across regions and parties, as well as across age, income, and racial/ethnic groups , say that the state budget situation is a big problem for California’s K– 12 public schools. Perceptions of the impact of the overall state budget situation on K –12 schools have remained fairly constant, with similar findings in April 2012 (65% big problem) , April 2013 (57% big problem) , and today (60% big problem) . T here is overwhelming support for the recently passed state budget plan that gives each K –12 school district more money than it had in 2011 –12 and provides additional funding to districts with more English Learners and lower -income students : 72 percent of adults and 75 percent of public school parents are in favor . S upport is highe r among Democrats (8 5%) and independents (65%) than Republicans ( 44%). More than two in three across regions say they favor the plan. Blacks ( 86%), Latinos (8 4%), and Asians (72%) are more likely than whites (62%) to support it. We also found overwhe lming support earlier this year, with similar question s that asked about giving new funding mostly to school districts with more English Learners and lower -income students ( 75% January, 71% April, 77% May ). “The current state budget gives each K –12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011 –12 and provides additional funding to school districts that have more English language learners and lower- income students. Do you favor or oppose this plan?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Favor 72% 85% 44% 65% 75% Oppose 22 12 50 30 22 Don’t know 6 3 6 5 4 When asked about giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, 60 percent of California adults and 62 percent of public school parents say they are very or somewhat confident that local school districts will use this money wisely. Majorities across regions, parties, and demographic groups are at least somewhat confident that local school districts will use this money wisely. It is noteworthy that , in comparison to today (60%), larger majorities in January (71%) and April (73%) said that they were at least somewhat confident that local school districts would use this money wisely. “The state is giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent. How confident are you that local school districts will use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 13% 15% 14% 12% 11% 13% 14% Somewhat confident 47 51 46 44 48 46 48 Not too confident 23 18 28 25 22 23 23 Not at all confident 14 13 8 16 17 17 12 Don’t know 3 3 4 3 1 1 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 STATE–LOCAL RELATIONSHIP: CORRECTIONS REALIGNM ENT How do Californians perceive the corrections realignment that began in October 2011 when some of the state’s lower -risk inmates were shifted from state prisons to county jails ? Forty percent of Californians say they are following news about the shift either very (14%) or fairly (26%) closely; 57 percent say they are following this news not too (30%) or not at all (27%) closely. Central Valley ( 51%) residents are the most likely to be following the news very or fairly closely, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (44%), the Inland Empire (42%) , the San Francisco Bay Area (36%) , and Los Angeles (35%) . Blacks (58%) and whites (51%) are much more likely than Latinos (31%) and Asians (19%) to be very or fairly closely following this news , and attention to this news increases as age increases (23% age 18 to 34, 42% age 35 to 54, 58% age 55 and older ). In December 2011, a similar 45 percent of Californ ians said they were following news about this issue very (19%) or fairly (26%) closely; 53 percent said they were following this news not too (27%) or not at all (26%) closely. “How closely are you following news about the shift of some inmates from state prisons to county jails?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very closely 14% 17% 13% 11% 15% 21% 18% Fairly closely 26 34 23 24 29 21 37 Not too closely 30 31 33 32 29 26 26 Not at all closely 27 17 31 29 26 31 18 Don’t know 2 2 – 4 1 – 1 How much confidence do Californians have in their local governments’ ability to take on the responsibilities of corrections realignment? Four in 10 Californians are confident (7% very, 33% somewhat) in their local governments ’ ability to handle this responsibility, while 57 percent are not too ( 32%) or not at all (25%) confident. Democrats (47%) are more likely than independents (37%) or Republicans ( 28%) to express confidence in local governments taking on this responsibility. Public confidence is higher in Los Angeles (47%) and the Inland Empire (46%) than in the San Francisco Bay Area (37%), Orange/San Diego ( 37%), and the Central Valley (36%). Asia ns (49%), blacks (47%) , and Latinos (45%) are much more likely than whites (35%) to express confidence. P ublic confidence is much higher among those age 18 to 34 (52%) than among older residents (37% age 35 to 54, 35% age 55 and older). The public’s confidence in their local governments ’ ability to handle this responsibility was higher in September 2011 (48%), December 2011 (53%), January 2012 (50%), and January 2013 (49%) than it is today (40%). “As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower-risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 7% 6% 7% 10% 5% 10% 6% Somewhat confident 33 30 30 37 32 36 31 Not too confident 32 33 39 28 33 30 32 Not at all confident 25 28 22 23 27 23 29 Don’t know 3 4 2 2 3 1 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 STATE PRISON SYSTEM A three-judge federal court panel ordered Governor Brown to reduce prison overcrowding by the end of the year, possibly resulting in the early release of about 10,000 inmates. The governor and legislature passed a compromise plan to meet the federal court order while preventing the early release of inmates. They are requesting a three -year extension to ensure rehabilitation programs are in place that w ould potentially reduce the number of repeat offende rs. If this request is denied , they plan to expand prison capacity by leasing space in private, local, and out -of -state facilities, thus preventing the early release of inmates . They have allocated up to $315 million for the plan this year. H alf of adults and likely voters (52% each) say they support the plan, while four in 10 oppose it (39% adults, 40% likely voters). Levels of support are similar across parties: 53 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans, and 50 percent of independents favor this plan. Across regions, about half support this plan, except in the Inland Empire where support is higher (62%). Support for the plan increases slightly as income levels rise (48% less than $40,000, 54% $40,000 to $80,000, 58% $80,000 or more) . Across racial/ethnic groups, about half favor this proposal (54% whites, 51% blacks, 51% Latinos, 47% Asians). “As you may know, a federal court ordered the early release of about 10,000 inmates from the state’s prisons by the end of the year to prevent overcrowding. The governor and the legislature plan to spend up to $315 million to address this issue. They have proposed asking the court for a three year extension to reduce the prison population by providing rehabilitation programs in an effort to reduce the number of repeat offenders. If the court denies this request, they propose moving inmates to private, local, and out- of-state facilities to prevent the early release of inmates. Do you favor or oppose this plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 52% 53% 55% 50% 52% Oppose 39 40 38 38 40 Don’t know 9 7 7 12 8 When asked about the possible early release of state prisoners, nearly eight in 10 Californians are very (47%) or somewhat (31%) concerned, while one in five are not too (14%) or not at all (7%) concerned. Although strong majorities of voters across parties are at least somewhat concerned, Republicans (69%) are far more likely than independents (46%) and Democrats (37%) to be very concerned. Inland Empire (55%) and Central Valley residents ( 54%) are the most likely to be very concerned, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (47 %), the San Francisco Bay Area ( 42%), and Los Angeles ( 41%). Among racial/ethnic groups, overwhelming majorities express at least some concern. Blacks (52%) are the most likely to be very concerned, followed by Latinos ( 48%), w hites ( 45%), and Asians ( 43%). Among those who are at least somewhat concerned about the possible early release of state inmates, 57 percent favor the plan proposed by the governor and legislature to prevent prison overcrowding. “How concerned are you about the possible early release of these state prisoners — very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Very concerned 47% 37% 69% 46% 48% Somewhat concerned 31 36 22 26 29 Not too concerned 14 17 7 18 15 Not at all concerned 7 8 3 9 7 Don’t know 1 1 – 1 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY How much of a problem do Californians think violence and street crime are in their local community? Twenty -two percent see them as a big problem, 30 percent as somewhat of a problem, and 48 percent think they are not much of a problem for their local community today. Assessment s were similar when we last asked this question in February 2011 (23% big, 33% somewhat, 43% not much of a problem) . Sixty - four percent of blacks and Latinos see violence and street crime as a big or somewhat of a problem, compared to 46 percent of Asians and 44 percent of whites. Independents are somewhat more likely to see it as a big or somewhat of a problem (55%) than not much of a problem (44%). Slim majorities of Democrat s (47% big/somewhat , 52% not much) and Republicans (46% big/somewhat , 53% not much) say violence and street crime are not a problem. More than six in 10 residents in the Central Valley (64%) and Inl and Empire (61%) see violence and street crime as a big or somewhat of a problem, while fewer in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%), Los Angeles (46%), and Orange/San Diego (44%) hold this view . The perception that violence and street crime are a big or some what of a problem declines as education levels increase. Those with household incomes less than $80,000 (58% less than $40,000, 53% $40,000 to $80,000) are much more likely than those with higher incomes (39%) to say violence and street crime are a big or somewhat of a problem in their local community. “How much of a problem are violence and street crime in your local community today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Likely voters Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Big problem 22% 18% 28% 31% 17% 18% Somewhat of a problem 30 28 36 33 27 30 Not much of a problem 48 49 36 36 56 52 Don’t know 1 5 – – 1 1 When asked about their local government’s involvement in reducing violence and street crime, 5 percent say it is doing too much, 50 percent say the right amount, and 41 percent say not enough. In February 2011, the findings were nearly identical (6% too much, 50% right amount, 42% not enough) . Most whites (59%) and Asians (56%) say their local gover nment is doing the right amount, while most blacks (56%) and Latinos (49%) say their local government is not doing enough. Democrats (56%) and Republicans (54%) say their local government is doing the right amount , while independents are divided (45% right amount , 49% not enough) . More than half of Californians in Orange/San Diego (54%), Los Angeles (53%), and the Inland Empire (52%) say their local government is doing the right amount, while Central Valley residents (50%) say their government is not doing enough to reduce violence and street crime. Those living in the San Francisco Bay Area are divided (47% right amount, 45% not enough). The share saying their local government is not doing enough declines as education and income levels increase. “Do you think that your local government is doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to reduce violence and street crime in your local community?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Likely voters Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Too much 5% 2% 1% 11% 3% 3% Right amount 50 56 40 38 59 55 Not enough 41 36 56 49 34 39 Don’t know 4 6 3 3 5 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 FRACKING POLICY The use of fracking for oil extraction has become a contentious issue in the state. More Californians continue to oppose (53%) than favor (32%) increased use of fracking to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations (May : 47% oppose, 39% favor; July: 51% oppose, 35% favor ). Today, majorities of Democrats (67%) and independents (55%) oppose fracking, while a majority of Republicans are in favor (57%). San Francisco Bay Area residents (62%) are most likely to oppose increased use of fracking , followed by those in the Inland Empire (53%), Los Angeles (52%), the Central Valley (49%), and Orange/San Diego (44%). Residents living along the north -central coast (61%) are more likely to oppose it than those living along the south coast (49%) or inland (52%). Women (60%) are much more likely than men (45%) to oppose increased use of fracking. “Do you favor or oppose increased use of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a drilling method that uses high- pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 32% 20% 57% 32% 36% Oppose 53 67 29 55 53 Don’t know 15 13 14 14 11 There have been legislative efforts to regulate fracking in the state. Majorities support stricter state regulations on fracking, with 56 percent of all adults and 61 percent of likely voters holding this view. In July, s upport for stricter regulations was at 50 percent for adults and 56 percent for likely voters . Far more Democrats (67%) and independents (62%) than Republicans (37%) favor stricter regulations. San Francisco Bay Area residents (60%) are the most likely to favor stricter state regulations on fracking, followed by those in the Central Valley (57%) , Orange/San Diego (54%), Los Angeles (53%), and the Inland Empire (47%). Among those who favor increased use of fracking, 47 percent favor stricter regulations . Among those opposed to increased use of fracking, 69 percent are in favor of stricter regulations. “As you may know, fracking is currently taking place in California. Do you favor or oppose stricter state regulation of fracking in California?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 56% 67% 37% 62% 61% Oppose 30 21 48 22 29 Don’t know 13 12 15 16 10 Senate Bill 4, introduced by Senator Fran Pavley and passed by the legislature, was signed into law by the governor after the survey interviews were completed . Two key features of this law include requiring oil companies to obtain permits and requiring them to disclose information on chemicals used in fracking and other oil extraction techniques. When asked about these two components, most Californians (80%) and lik ely voters (87%) are in favor. There is overwhelming partisan support, with more than eight in 10 Democrats (86%), independents (83%), and Republicans (82%) in favor. Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups are in favor of requiring oil com panies to obtain permits and disclose information. Nearly everyone who favors stricter state regulation s on fracking supports these components (90%). Even among those who oppose stricter state regulations on fracking , 69 percent favor requiring permits and disclosure of chemicals used in the process. PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 WATER POLICY Thirty-nine percent of Californians say that the water supply available for their part of California will be adequate for what is needed ten years from now; 53 percent think it will be somewhat (27%) or very inadequate (26%). Views were similar in December 2009 and September 1998. When choosing between two approaches to manage water supply, 49 percent of Californians opt for focusing on conservation, user allocation, and other strategies to use the current water supply more efficiently , while 45 percent prefer building new water storage systems. The margin for preferring efficiency has narrowed in recent years (14 points August 2004, 13 points August 2006, 7 points July 2009, 3 points December 2012, 4 points today). Majorities of Democrats and independents prefer more - efficient use (56% each); Republicans have a slight preference for new storage (50% new storage, 42% efficiency). Among those who say the water supply in their region will be inadequ ate, opinion is divided. “Which of the following statements is closer to your views about planning for the future in your part of California? We should focus on building new water storage systems and increasing the water supply; or w e should focus on w ater conservation, user allocation, pricing, and other strategies to more efficiently use the current water supply .” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Build new water storage systems 45% 42% 42% 43% 47% 52% 43% Focus on efficiency 49 51 51 52 48 42 52 Don’t know 6 7 7 5 5 6 5 When asked about ways that the state government can increase the level of current funding for water an d other infrastructure projects, 48 percent of Californians prefer that the state issue bonds , 25 percent say it should increase user fees and charges, and 13 percent say it should incr ease taxes for all Californians . Republicans (39%) are less likely than Democrats (50%) and independents (49%) to pr efer issuing state bonds. Across regions and demographic groups , pluralities prefer issuing state bonds. “How would you most prefer that the state government increase the level of current funding for water and other infrastructure projects: increase taxes for all Californians; i ncrease user fees and charges, or issue state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Increase taxes for all Californians 13% 16% 12% 13% 12% 9% 13% Increase user fees and charges 25 23 26 24 23 27 25 Issue state bonds 48 44 47 50 49 51 44 Other (volunteered) 6 7 5 6 9 7 11 Don’t know 8 9 10 7 7 6 8 Lawmakers introduced a new proposal , which is still under consideration, for an approximately $6.5 billion bond measure for water projects, to be placed on the November 2014 ballot. This reduces the bond amount from an earlier proposal . When asked how they would vote on this bond measure, 55 percent of all adults and 50 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes (33% no for all adults, 38% no for likely voters) . In March 2012 , when given a brief description of the project , with a bond amount of $11.1 billion , 51 percent of likely voters said yes (35% no). This March, support for the $11.1 billion bond declined to 42 percent (51% no) , and when those who said they would vote no were asked how they would vote if the bond amount was lower , overall support increased to 55 percent . September 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of the president is at 55 percent; 47 percent of Californians approve of their individual House representative and 28 percent approve of the U.S. Congress overall. (page 16)  Californians today are less approving than in January of President Obama’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling (56% January, 46% today). (pages 17, 18)  Half of Californians are optimistic about a plan proposed by Russia to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons. (page 18)  Fifty-three percent favor the health care reform enacted by Congress and the president. A plurality (43%) say the new health reform law will not make much of a difference for them. (page 19)  There is overwhelming support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants if certain conditions are met. Californians are more likely to say addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. (51%) is a higher priority right now than securing the border (41%). (page 20)  Seven in 10 Californians, including solid majorities across parties, say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. (page 21)  A record-high 52 percent of Californians say marijuana should be legalized. Six in 10 say that the U.S. government should not enforce federal law in states where its use is allowed. ( page 22)  A record-high 61 percent favor allowing same-sex marriage; a similar share approve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a lower court ruling allowing gay marriage in California. (page 23) 5154 566065 62 55 27 25 222734 3128 0 20 40 60 80 100 Sep11 Jan 12 May 12 Sep 12 Jan 13 May 13 Sep 13 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 45 52 44 41 0 20 40 60 80 100 Adults nationwide* Californians Percent all adults Optimistic Pessimistic Outlook for International Plan to Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons 56 46 26 27 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan 13 Sep 13 Percent all adults President Obama Republicans in Congress Approval Ratings on Handling Federal Deficit and Debt Ceiling *Gallup Poll, Sep 11-12 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 16 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS A majority of Californians (55%) and half of likely voters (51%) approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president. However, his approv al among all adults is below 60 percent for the first time since July 2012 (57% July 2012, 60% September 2012, 63% October 2012, 65% January 2013, 66% March, 62% May, 61% July, 55% today). A ccording to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll , a dults nationwide are more divided (47% approve, 47% disapprove). In California, there is a wide partisan divide: 80 percent of Democrats approve and 78 percent of Republicans disapprove. Independents are more divided (46% approve, 52% disapprove) , but disapproval is at a record high among this group. A t least half of Californians approve of President Obama in all regions except Orange/San Diego (43% approve, 52% disapprove). Majorities of blacks (88%), Latinos (63%), and Asians (59%) approve, while a majority of whites disapprove (54%). Approval of the U.S. Congress continues to be low , with 28 percent of adults and 18 p ercent of likely voters approving. Approval among adults was similar last September (27%) and has been below 40 percent since September 2009. Today, strong majorities of Democrats (68%), independents (75%), and Republicans (79%) disapprove. Majorities acro ss regions disapprove, as do at least half of Californians across age groups and education and income levels. Majorities of Asians (54%), blacks (66%), and whites (80%) disapprove, while Latinos are divided (44% approve, 48% disapprove). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States Approve 55% 80% 19% 46% 51% Disapprove 42 18 78 52 46 Don ʼt know 3 2 2 2 2 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve 28 25 18 18 18 Disapprove 65 68 79 75 79 Don ʼt know 8 7 3 8 3 Californians are more approving of their own representative s to the U.S. House of Representatives : 47 percent approve and 35 percent disapprove . Likely voters hold similar opinions (47% approve, 38% disapprove). Approval among all adults was similar in May (53%) and last September (48%). Democrats (63%) are far more likely than independents (33%) and Republicans (35%) to approve. Regionally, half of residents in Los Angeles (51%), the San Francisco Bay Area (51%), and the Inland Empire (50%) approve , compared to about four in 10 in the Central Valley (40%) and Orange/San Diego (37%). Half of Latinos (52%), Asians (51%), and blacks (50%) approve, while whites are divided (41% approve, 40% disapprove). Approval across age groups and incom e levels is less than 50 percent. “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 47% 63% 35% 33% 47% Disapprove 35 23 45 48 38 Don ʼt know 19 14 20 19 15 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS Nearly a year after her reelection, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is at 49 percent. Approval today is similar to January (54%) and last September (51%). Half of likely voters (51%) approve; 42 percent disapprove. Three in four Democrats (75%) approve, while seven in 10 Republicans (68%) disapprove. Independents are divided (42% approve, 42% disapprove). Approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) and Los Angeles (53%), while fewer in other regions approve (46% Orange/San Diego, 45% Inland Empire, 38% Central Valley). Majorities of Latinos (52%), Asians (55%), and blacks (77%) approve, while whites are divided (43% approve, 46% disapprove). Older Californians (56% age 55 and older) and college graduates (57%) are more approving than y ounger (46% age 18–54) and less educated Californians (47% high school degree or less, 44% some college). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 49% 75% 21% 42% 51% Disapprove 33 14 68 42 42 Don’t know 17 11 11 16 8 Senator Barbara Boxer has the approval of 47 percent of California adults and 48 percent of likely voters. A pproval was similar in January (52 %) and last September ( 48%). Most Democrats (72%) approve, while most Republicans (74%) disapprove; independents are divided (42% approve, 43% disapprove). San Francisco Bay Area (58%) and Los Angeles (50%) residents are more approving than adults elsewhere (46% Inland Empire, 43% Orange/San Diego, 35% the Central Valley). Latinos (50%), Asians (53%), and blacks (72%) approve, while whites are somewhat more likely to disapprove (48%) than approve (40%). Senator Boxer’s approval ranges from 42 percent to 48 percent across age and income groups. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 47% 72% 17% 42% 48% Disapprove 36 16 74 43 44 Don’t know 17 12 10 15 8 FEDERAL DEFICIT AND DEBT CEI LING With a potential government shutdown on October 1 and a mid -October deadline to raise the debt limit, how do Californians rate the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and the debt ceiling? Californians are divided when it comes to President Obama (46% approve, 46% disapprove), while a solid majority of Californians disapprove of Republicans in Congress in this area (27% approve, 63% disapprove). Ratings of President Obama on this issue are more negative than in January (56% approve, 38% disapprove), while attitudes toward the Republicans in Congress are similar to January (26% approve, 63% disapprove). Most Democrats (66%) approve of President Obama’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling , while most Republicans (82%) and independents (62%) disapprove. About half of residents in Los Angeles (53%), the San Francisco Bay Area (49%), and the Inland Empire (48%) approve of the president on this issue , compared to about four in 10 in the Central Valley (39%) and Orange/San Diego (41%). PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL DEFICIT AND DEBT CEI LING (CONTINUED) More than half of Asians (52%), Latinos (52%), and blacks (72%) approve of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling, while 60 percent of whites disapprove. Disapproval increases as household income rises. Republicans in Congress receive negative ratings from Democrats (79%) and independents (76%), and even half of Republicans (50%) disapprove. Majorities across regions and demographic groups disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…is /are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? ” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind President Obama Approve 46% 66% 17% 31% 43% Disapprove 46 28 82 62 53 Don ʼt know 8 6 2 7 5 Republicans in Congress Approve 27 15 42 16 22 Disapprove 63 79 50 76 73 Don ʼt know 10 6 7 8 5 CRISIS IN SYRIA In the wake of reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, the U.S. was considering military airstrikes against Syria. While that plan is currently on hold as diplomatic options are considered, what do Californians think of the idea of military airstrikes? Seven in 10 Californians (70%)—including solid majorities across parties (6 1% Democrats, 74% independents, 78% Republicans) —oppose military airstrikes against Syria. There is majority opposition across regions and across age, education, inco me, and racial/ethnic groups. Nationally, 63 percent of adults opposed airstrikes in a n early September Pew Research Center/USA Today poll. T he U.S. , along with the United Nations and other countries, is exploring diplomatic options. Russia has proposed the formation of an international team that would destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. H alf of Californians are very (15%) or somewhat (37%) optimistic that this plan will succeed, while four in 10 are somewhat (21%) or very (20%) pessimistic . (We began asking about this plan on September 13, midway through our interview period; findings are based on interviews with 1,154 adults.) Across parties, Democrats (60%) are more optimistic than Republicans (44%) and independents (48%). At least half of res idents in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%), Los Angeles (52%), the Central Valley (53%), and the Inland Empire (66%) are optimistic; slightly more than half of Orange/San Diego residents are pessimistic (54%). Most Latinos (56%) are optimistic, while half of whites (51%) are pessimistic about the plan. In a recent Gallup poll, adults nationwide were more divided (45% optimistic, 44% pessimistic). “As you may know, Russia has proposed a plan that an international team take over and destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. Are you optimistic or pessimistic that this plan will succeed?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Very optimistic 15% 17% 15% 11% 14% Somewhat optimistic 37 43 29 37 36 Somewhat pessimistic 21 23 27 23 25 Very pessimistic 20 11 28 25 21 Don’t know 7 7 2 5 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 HEALTH CARE REFORM A slim majority of Californians (53%) and half of likely voters (50%) support the changes to the health care system that were enacted by Congress and the Obama administration. Support among all adults has been around 50 percent since this question was first asked in September 2009, about six months before the passage of the legislation (51% September 2009, 52% December 2009, 50% March 2010, 51% February 2011, 47% March 2012 , 55% January 2013, 53% today ). The highly contentious political divide over the Affordable Care Act (for example, House Republicans have voted to defund it) is reflected in California : 79 percent of Republicans are opposed and 75 percent of Democrats are in favor . Independents are divided (46% support, 46% oppose). Slightly more than half of those who have insurance (52%) and those who do not (56%) support the law. T hose with government -based insurance, such as Medicare or Medi -Cal , are more likely than those with employer -based coverage to express support (63% to 49% ). “Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care sy stem that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration? ” All adults Party Have health insurance Dem Rep Ind Yes No Support 53 % 75% 18% 46% 52 % 56% Oppose 39 19 79 46 41 32 Don’t know 8 6 4 8 7 11 One in four Californians (26%) say they and their families will be better off under the health reform law ; a similar share (24%) say they will be worse off. A plurality (43%) expect it will not make much difference. Expectations have changed little since January (2 5% better off, 2 3% worse off, 48% no diff erence). In an August Kaiser Family Foundation poll, pessimis m among adults nationwide was higher (23% better off, 34 % worse off, 37% no difference). In our survey, Republicans (61%) are the only group in which a majority s ay they will be worse off. Across other voter groups, regions, and demographic groups , pluralities expect no difference. Those who give their current health insurance coverage good, not so good, or poor ratings are more likely than those who give excellent ratings to say they will be better off ( 27% to 16%). “Do you think that you and your family will be better off or worse off under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference?” Better off Worse off Not make much difference Don’t know All adults 26% 24% 43% 7% Likely voters 22 34 40 3 Party Democrat 35 9 51 5 Republican 6 61 30 3 Independent 20 32 42 6 Age 18–34 30 15 45 10 35–54 27 29 40 5 55 and older 20 29 44 7 Household income Under $40,000 32 15 42 11 $40,000 to $80,000 27 29 38 5 $80,000 or more 16 36 46 2 Have health insurance Yes 23 26 44 7 No 36 18 37 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 IMMIGRATION REFORM In the three months since the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill , there has been little talk of immigration reform in Washington. When asked about providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English, overwhelming majorities of Californians (85%) and likely voters (79%) are in favor. There is strong majority support for this proposal — which is similar to the Senate bill— across parties and overwhelming support across demographic groups and regions. Nationally, 78 percent of adults favor this proposal , according to a July CBS News Poll. “Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English ?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 85% 91% 69% 78% 79% Oppose 14 8 30 18 19 Don’t know 1 1 1 4 1 Do Californians think securing the nation’s border or addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. should be the higher priority? Half of adults (51%) say addressing the status of illegal immigrants should be the higher priority, while fo ur in 10 (41%) say border security. Six in 10 Democrats prioritize the status of illegal immigrants, while six in 10 Republicans prioritize border security; independents are divided. Among those who favor a path to citizenship, 56 percent prioritize the status of immigrants; of those who oppose a path to citizenship, 67 percent prioritize border security. In the CBS News poll, a majority of a dults (56%) nationwide prioritize securing the border ; 37 percent prioritize addressing the status of immigrants . “Which should be the higher priority now: securing the nation's border, or addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.?” Border security Addressing the status of illegal immigrants Both (vol) Neither (vol) Don’t know All adults 41% 51% 5% 1% 2% Likely voters 48 45 6 – 1 Party Democrat 36 58 4 – 1 Republican 61 32 6 – 1 Independent 44 41 10 3 2 Race/ ethnicity Asians 43 46 6 2 3 Blacks 62 30 4 1 3 Latinos 27 67 5 1 1 Whites 47 46 5 – 2 Region Central Valley 42 51 5 – 2 San Francisco Bay Area 41 47 7 2 4 Los Angeles 36 57 4 2 1 Orange/ San Diego 48 47 5 – 1 Inland Empire 46 49 3 1 1 View on path to citizenship for illegal immigrants Favor 36 56 5 1 1 Oppose 67 27 4 – 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 ABORTION Overwhelming majorities of Californians (70%) and likely voters (79%) say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion, while far fewer (26% all adults, 19% likely voters) say the government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion . The preference for the governmen t to not interfere with access i s nearly identical to the first time this question was asked in January 2000 (71% should not interfere, 27% should pass more restrictive laws). The percentage saying the government should not interfere dipped somewhat in 2008 and 2009, reaching a low of 61 percent in February 2009, but climbed back to 69 percent by September 2011. Similar to earlier surveys, bipartisan majorities say the government should not inhibit access. Majorities across regions and demographic groups share this view. The groups most likely to say the government should pass more laws restricting access are Central Valley residents (41%), conservatives (42%), Latinos (44%), those with a high school education or less (42%), and evangelical Protestants (43%). “Which of the following statements comes closest to your own view, ev en if neither is exactly right? The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; or the government should not interfere wit h a woman’s access to abortion.” All adults Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Should pass more laws 26% 12% 32% 15% 28% 24% Should not interfere with access 70 86 64 82 68 73 Don’t know 3 2 4 3 4 3 Echoing attitudes toward abortion policy, seven in 10 Californians say the Supreme Court should leave the ability to get an abortion the same as it is now (49%) or make it easier (20%). Twenty -seven percent would like the high court to make it harder. Since we first asked this question in August 2005, a plurality of Californians (ranging from 46% to 54% over six surveys) have preferred the status quo. Support for the court making it harder to get an abortion was highest in February 2009 (36%) . Support for the court making it easier is highest today (20 %). “Would you like to see the Supreme Court make it harder to get an abortion than it is now, make it easier to get an abortion than it is now, or leave the ability to get an abortion the same as it is now?” Harder Easier Same Don’t know All adults 27% 20% 49% 4% Likely voters 21 25 51 3 Party Democrat 14 33 51 2 Republican 38 12 45 5 Independent 16 18 64 2 Gender Men 30 20 45 6 Women 24 20 53 3 Religion Evangelical Protestants 46 5 46 2 Mainline Protestants 18 20 57 5 Catholics 37 14 46 4 No religion 10 35 51 4 View on government involvement on abortion Restrict access 70 5 22 2 Should not interfere 10 27 60 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 MARIJUANA Nearly a year after voters in Colorado and Washington approved initiatives to legalize marijuana, support for legalization is above 50 percent for the first time among Californians (52%) , while 45 percent are opposed. Support for legalization is even higher among likely voters (60% legal, 38% not legal). In a Pew Research Center survey this past March, support among adults nationwide (52% favor, 45% oppose) was also at a record high. California adults were closely divided leading up to the November 2010 election , in which a state ballot proposition to legalize marijuana was defeated. In September 2011 (46% legal, 51% not legal) and March 2012 (45% legal, 51% not legal), findings were the reverse of today. Democrats (64%), independents (60%), and men (57%) ar e more likely than Republicans (45%) and women (47%) to favor legalization. About six in 10 whites (63%) and blacks (61%) are in favor, Asians are divided (48% legal, 45% not legal) , and about six in 10 Latinos are opposed (62%). About half across age grou ps think marijuana use should be legal. “In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” Yes, legal No, not legal Don’t know All adults 52% 45% 3% Likely voters 60 38 2 Party Democrat 64 33 3 Republican 45 53 2 Independent 60 36 4 Race/Ethnicity Asians 48 45 8 Blacks 61 34 5 Latinos 36 62 2 Whites 63 35 2 Age 18–34 53 44 2 35–54 52 45 3 55 and older 50 47 3 More than six in 10 Californians (61%) and likely voters (68%) think the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow its use, while far fewer say it should enforce federal law s (35% adults, 31% likely voters) . Californians are again remarkably similar to the adults nationwide who were surveyed by P ew last March (60% should not enforce, 35% should enforce). In our survey, m ore than six in 10 across parties say the federal government should not enforce federal law s and majorities across nearly all demographic groups and regions agree. Among those who oppose legalizing marijuana, 55 percent say the federal government should enforce these laws and 44 percent say it should not. “As you may know, some states have decided to allow marijuana use, but it is still prohibited under federal law. Do you think the federal government should or should not enforce federal marijuana laws in these states?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Should enforce federal laws 35% 29% 39% 33% 31% Should not enforce federal laws 61 68 61 64 68 Don’t know 3 3 1 3 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE In the first PPIC survey since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling made same -sex marriage legal again in California, record- high majorities of adults (61%) and likely voters (64%) say they favor allowing gay marriage. In response to a similar question by CBS News in July, 55 percent of adults nationwide said it should be legal for same -sex couples to marry ( 39% should not be legal ). When PPIC first asked about same- sex marriage in January 2000, a majority were opposed (39% in favor, 55% opposed ). Over time the opinion gap narrowed , and in the last four and half years support has grown 17 points (from 44% in March 2009 to 61% today). Strong majorities of Democrats (76%) and independents (67%) favor allowing same -sex marriage, compared to 44 percent of Republicans (53% oppose). Although support continues to be higher among young Californians, a majority of those age 55 and older (55%) are also in favor for the first time. Support has increased 15 points among mainline Protestants since May (from 55% to 70%). Support falls short of a majority among Republicans (44%), conservatives (39%), Central Valley residents (49%), blacks (44%), those with lower educations (48%), and evangelical Protestants (23%). “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? ” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 61% 34% 5% Likely voters 64 32 4 Party Democrat 76 20 4 Republican 44 53 3 Independent 67 29 4 Age 18–34 68 29 3 35–54 58 36 6 55 and older 55 39 6 Religion Evangelical Protestants 23 67 10 Mainline Protestants 70 24 5 Catholics 59 36 5 No religion 82 16 1 About six in 10 Californians (59%) and likely voters (63%) say they approve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let stand a lower court ruling that all ows gay marriage in California. Californians are somewhat more likely to approve than adults nationwide, according to a June ABC News/Washington Post poll (51% approve, 45% disapprove). In our survey, Democrats (77%) are the most likely party group to approve of the decision, followed by independents (59%) and Republicans (40%). Majorities across regions and other groups approve, except Central Valley residents (48% approve), conservatives (35%), blacks (45%), less educat ed adults (48%), and evangelical Protestants (23%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision letting stand a lower court ruling that allows gay marriage in California?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 59% 77% 40% 59% 63% Disapprove 36 21 56 35 35 Don’t know 5 3 4 6 2 September 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP September 2013 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from 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 1,703 California adult residents, including 1,190 interviewed on landline telephones and 513 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from September 10– 17, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone nu mbers 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 eligi ble 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 growin g 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 Wes t 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 reg istration 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. PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,703 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.7 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1, 429 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.0 percent; for the 1,102 likely voters, it is ± 4.5 percent. For question 29a (1,154 adults), asked starting September 13, it is ±4.4 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, que stion 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. In one place, we refer to coastal and inland counties. Within coastal counties, the “north/central coast” region refers to the counties along the California coast northward from San Luis Obispo County to Del Norte County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. The “south coast” region includes Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, a nd San Diego Counties. All other counties are included in the “inland” region. 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 non- Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated 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 ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, Pew Research Center , and Pew Research Center/USA Today. 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 . September 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT September 10– 17, 2013 1,703 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 7% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 46% jobs, economy 7 education, schools 7 immigration, illegal immigration 6 state budget, deficit, taxes 4 crime, gangs, drugs 3 government in general 3 health care, health reform 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 water, water supply, drought 16 other 4 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 22 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Le gislature is handling its job? 38% approve 45 disapprove 17 don’t know 3a. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 42% approve 39 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 43% right direction 48 wrong direction 9 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 46% good times 44 bad times 10 don’t know 6. Next, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 58% b ig problem 33 somewhat of a problem 5 not a problem 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 28 7. Next, how much of a problem is the overall state budget situation for California’s K –12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 60% big problem 26 somewhat of a problem 9 not much of a problem 5 don’t know 8. The current state budget gives each K –12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011 –12 and provides additional funding to school districts that have more [rotate] English language learners [and] lower -income students. Do you favor or oppose this plan? 72% favor 22 oppose 6 don’t know 9. The state is giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent. How confident are you t hat local school districts will use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 13% very confident 47 somewhat confident 23 not too confident 14 not at all confident 3 don’t know 10 . Changing topics, how closely are you following news about the shift of some inmates from state prisons to county jails — very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 14% very closely 26 fairly closely 30 not too closely 27 not at all closely 2 don’t know 11. As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower -risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 7% very confident 33 somewhat confident 32 not too confident 25 not at all confident 3 don’t know 12 . As you may know, a federal court ordered the early release of about 10,000 inmates from the state’s prisons by the end of the year to prevent overcrowding. The governor and the legislature plan to spend up to $315 million to address this issue. They have proposed asking the court for a three year extension to reduce the prison population by providing rehabilitation programs in an effort to reduce the number of repeat offenders. If the court denies this request, they propose moving inmates to private, local, and out -of -state f acilities to prevent the early release of inmates. Do you favor or oppose this plan? 52% favor 39 oppose 9 don’t know 13. How concerned are you about the possible early release of these state prisoners —very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concern ed, or not at all concerned? 47% very concerned 31 somewhat concerned 14 not too concerned 7 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 14. On another topic, how much of a problem are violence and street crime in your local community today— a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 22% big problem 30 somewhat of a problem 48 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 15. Do you think that your local government is doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to reduce violence and street crime in your local community? 5% too much 50 the right amount 41 not enough 4 don’t know Changing topics, 16. Do you favor or oppose increased use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling method that uses high- pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations? 32% favor 53 oppose 15 don’t know 17. As you may know, fracking is currently taking place in California. Do you favor or oppose stricter state regulation of fracking in California? 56% favo r 30 oppose 13 don’t know 18. Do you favor or oppose requiring oil companies to obtain permits and disclose information about the chemicals used in fracking and other oil extraction techniques in California? 80% favor 17 oppose 4 don’t know On another topic, 19. Do you think that the water supply that is available for your part of California will be adequate or inadequate for what is needed ten years from now? ( if inadequate: I s that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate?) 39% adequate 27 somewhat inadequate 26 very inadequate 8 don’t know 20. The legislature is considering an approximately $6.5 billion bond measure for the November 2014 ballot to pay for state water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on this state water bond? 55% yes 33 no 13 don’t kn ow 21. Which of the following statements is closer to your views about planning for the future in your part of California? [rotate] (1) We should focus on building new water storage systems and increasing the water supply; [or] (2) We should focus on water conservation, user allocation, pricing, and other strategies to more efficiently use the current water supply. 45% building new water storage systems 49 more efficiently use the current water supply 6 don’t know 22. How would you most prefer that the state government increase the level of current funding for water and other infrastructure projects [rotate] (1) increase taxes for all Californians , (2) increas e user fees and charges, [or] (3) issue state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund? 13% increase taxes for all Californians 25 increase user fees and charges 48 issue state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund 4 other (specify) 2 use existing state funds (volunteered) 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 30 23. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 55% approve 42 disapprove 3 don’t know [rotate questions 24 and 25] 24. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 49% approve 33 disapprove 17 don’t know 25. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 47% approve 36 disapprove 17 don’t know 26. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 28% approve 65 disapprove 8 don’t know 26a.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 j ob? 47% approve 35 disapprove 19 don’t know [rotate questions 27 and 28] 27. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 46% approve 46 disapprove 8 don’t know 28. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 27% approve 63 disapprove 10 don’t know Changing topics, 29. Do you favor or oppose the U.S. conducting military airstrikes again st Syria in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons? 24% favor 70 oppose 6 don’t know 29a. [asked starting September 13] As you may know, Russia has proposed a plan that an international team take over and destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. Are you optimistic or pessimistic that this plan will succeed? Are you very (optimistic/ pessimistic), or only somewhat (optimistic/ pessimistic)? 15% very optimistic 37 somewhat optimistic 21 somewhat pessimistic 20 very pessimistic 7 don’t know 30. Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by [rotate] Congress [and] the Obama administration? 53% support 39 oppose 8 don’t know 31. Do you think that you and your family will be [rotate] [better off] [or] [worse off] under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference? 26% better off 24 worse off 43 not much difference 7 don’t kn ow PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 31 On another topic, 32. Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English? 85% favor 14 oppose 1 don’t know 33. Which should be the higher priority now: [rotate] (1) securing the nation's border, [or] (2) addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.? 41% securing the border 51 status of illega l immigrants 5 both (volunteered) 1 neither (volunteered) 2 don’t know Changing topics, 34. Which of the following statements comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right ? [rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; [or] (2) the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 26% government should pass more laws 70 government should not interfere with access 3 don’t know 35. Would you like to see the Supreme Court make it harder to get an abortion than it is now, make it easier to get an abortion than it is now, or leave the ability to get an abortion the same as it is now? 27% harder 20 easier 49 same 4 don’t know 36. Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not? 52% yes, legal 45 no, not legal 3 don’t know 37. As you may know, some states have decided to allow marijuana use, but it is still prohibited under federal law. Do you think the federal government should or should not enforce federal marijuana laws in these states? 35% should 61 should not 3 don’t know 38. Changing topics, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 61% favor 34 oppose 5 don’t know 39. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision letting stand a lower court ruling that allows gay marriage in California? 59% approve 36 disapprove 5 don’t know 40. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are reg istered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q40a] 31 no [skip to q41b] 40a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you r egistered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q41] 29 Republican [skip to q41a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q42] 22 independent [skip to q41b] 41. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 51% strong 47 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q42] PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 41a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 46% strong 51 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q42] 41b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 26% Republican Party 43 Democratic Party 23 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know 42. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 23 somewhat liberal 27 middle -of -the -road 23 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 3 don’t know 43. 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 35 fair amount 35 only a little 8 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d6a: demographic questions] D6b.[of those who have health insurance] How would you rate your overall health insurance coverage —excellent, good, not so good or poor? 37% excellent 50 good 10 not so good 3 poor 1 don’t know [d7 to d18: demographic questions] 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 Vice President-Research Pew Research Center 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 Presid ent 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 Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other 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. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(113) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-their-government-september-2013/s_913mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8887) ["ID"]=> int(8887) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:48" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4314) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 913MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_913mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_913MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "502946" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(95245) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 State Government 6 Federal Government 15 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 their government SEPTEMBER 2013 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha i T September 2013 Californians and Their Government 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey 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 137 th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 288,000 Californians. This is the 58 th in the Californians and Their Government series. The sur vey is conducted periodically to examine the social, economic, and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. Suppor ted with funding from The James Ir vine Foundation, the series seeks to inform decisionmakers, raise public awareness, and stimulate policy discussions and debate about impor tant state and national issues. The sur vey began on the day President Obama gave his address on Syria and as the legislative session in California entered its final week . Per a federal cour t order, Governor Brown has until the end of December to reduce prison overcrowding. The governor and legislature a re asking for an extension that would allow them to focus on rehabilitation effor ts. If this request is denied, space will be leased in private, county , and out -of -state prisons to prevent the early release of about 10,0 00 prisoners . A state water bond for the 2014 ballot is being debated and a bill to regulate fracking was just signed into law . As par t of “realignment” (a series of changes in the way state and local governments divide responsibilities ), the current budget gives local school districts more flexibility over s pending decisions , and over the past two years counties have taken on what were previously state corrections responsibilities by housing more low -level offenders in county jails . In October, California begins its open enrollment period for uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Congress is debating the U.S. response to the Syrian crisis ; it also fac es an October 1 deadline to pass a budget and a mid- October deadline to raise the debt ceiling . Looking ahead, comprehensive immigration reform will be back under discussion. In this context, this sur vey presents the responses of 1,703 adult residents throughout California, inter viewed in English or Spanish by landline or cell phone. It includes findings on these topics:  State government, including overall outlook, approval ratings of state elected officials, views on more local control of K –12 education funding and the shift of prisoners from state prisons to county jails; suppor t for the plan to ease overcrowding in state prisons ; attitudes toward fracking ; views on water management, including support for a possible water bond in 2014; and preferences for paying for water and other infrastructure projects .  Federal government, including approval ratings of federal elected officials; assessment of the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling; opinions on plans for a resolution to the situation in Syr ia; opinions on health care reform; views on immigration reform; and attitudes toward abor tion access and legaliz ing marijuana and same-sex marriage.  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 par ty affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. September 2013 Californians and Their Government 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday , September 25, 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 Amid Concerns About Crime, Half Favor Plan to Ease Prison Crowding MAJORITIES WANT FRAC KING REGULATED AND—FOR FIRST TIME—MARIJUANA LEGALIZED SAN FRANCISCO, September 25 , 2013 —Half of Californians support the plan approved by the governor and legislature to reduce prison overcrowding, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), with funding from The James Irvine Foundation . At the same time, overwhelming majorities are concerned about the possible early release of thousands of prisoners that the plan is designed to prevent. When read a description of the corrections plan , 52 percent of adults and likely voters are in favor, while 39 percent of adults and 40 percent of likely voters are opposed. Levels of support are similar across parties, with 53 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans, and 50 percent of independents in favor. The plan calls for Governor Jerry Brown to ask federal judges for a three -year extension of their order to reduce the prison population by nearly 10,000 inmates by the end of December . The goal is to give the state more time to expand rehabilitation programs aimed at reducing the number of repeat offenders. If the governor’s request is denied, California would expand prison capacity by leasing space in private, local, and out -of -state facilities —and avoid early release of the inmates. Most Californians are very concerned (47%) or somewhat concerned (31%) about the early release of the prisoners. Just 21 percent are not too (14%) or not at all (7%) concerned. Strong majorities across parties are at least somewhat concerned. Californians express these views of the corrections plan at a time when local governments have take n on a new public safety role. Under the corrections realignment implemented in October 2011, the state shifted lower -risk felons from state prisons to count y jails to reduce prison overcrowding and cut costs. Californians’ confidence in their local governments’ ability to handle these new tasks has declined since realignment began. Today, less than half are confident (7% very, 33% somewhat) about their local government’s ability to do so. Confidence was higher in September 2011 (48%), December 2011 (53%), January 2012 (50%) , and January 2013 (49%) than it is today (40%). “Crime and public safety issues are surfacing in California today,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Public confidence in local governments to handle the responsibilities of state- local corrections realignment is declining, while many also express concern about the possible early release of state prisoners.” Half of Californians are concerned about violence and street crime in their communities, with 22 percent saying it is a big problem and 30 percent saying it is somewhat of a problem (48% not much of a problem). Black and Latino Californians are much more likely to see violence and street crime as at least somewhat of a problem (64% each) than are Asians (46%) and whites (44%). Across regions, 64 percent PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 4 of residents in the Central Valley and 61 percent in the Inland Empire s ee violence and street crime as at least somewhat of a problem, while fewer in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%), Los Angeles (46%), and Orange/San Diego (44%) hold this view . How do Californians feel about their local government ’s efforts to reduce violence and street crime? Half (50%) say their local governm ent is doing the right amount, while 41 percent say it is not doing enough (5% too much). Race/ethnicity is a key factor in how residents view efforts to combat crime: while most whites (59%) and Asians (56%) say their local government is doing the right a mount, blacks (56%) and Latinos (49%) are more likely to say their government is not doing enough. MOST CONFIDENT THAT SCHOOL DISTRICTS WIL L SPEND NEW FUNDS WI SELY In another area where responsibilities have shifted to the local level, school districts ar e getting more control over how state education dollars are spent. A majority of adults (60%) are very or somewhat confident that their districts will use the money wisely. Confidence was higher earlier this year, when larger majorities said they were at least somewhat confident (January 71%, April 73%). Despite increases in state funding for education, 86 percent of adults say the state budget situation is at least somewhat of a problem for the state’s public schools. Adults express overwhelming support (72%) for the part of the state budget that gives each K –12 school district more money than in 2011 –12 and directs additional funding to districts with more English Learners and lower -income students. OPPOSED TO MORE FRACKING, DIVIDED ON WATER POLICY The PPIC survey began as legislators entered the final week of their session and were debating a bill to regulate fracking. The bill, SB4, passed and was signed by the governor. More Californians (53%) continue to oppose than favor (32%) increased use of fracking . Support for stricter state regulation of fracking has increased slightly since July, from 50 percent of adults ( and 56% of likely voters) to 56 percent today (61% likely voters). When asked specifically about two components of SB4 — requiring oil companies to obtain permits and requiring them to disclose information on chemicals used in oil extraction techniques —most (80% adults, 87% likely voters) are in favor. There is less agreement among Californians on water policy. About half (53%) say the wa ter supply for their part of the state will be somewhat or very inadequate in 10 years. And residents are divided about how to plan for the future. About half (49%) say we should focus on conservation, user allocation , and other strategies to manage water more efficiently, while 45 percent say we need to build new water storage systems. How should the state increase funding for water and infrastructure projects? Half (48%) prefer that the state issue bonds, 25 percent say user fees and charges should be increased, and 13 percent say taxes for all Californians should be raised. Asked about a proposed $6.5 billion bond measure to fund water projects, 55 percent of adults and 50 percent of likely voters would vote yes. SLIM MAJORITY FAVOR HEALTH CARE REFORM As House Republicans press a campaign to defund the Affordable Care Act, a slim majority of Californians (53%) support the changes to the health care system enacted by President Barack Obama and Congress. Support has been around 50 percent since September 2009, about six mo nths before the law’s passage. Today, slightly more than half of those who have insurance (52%) and those who do not (56%) support the law. Those with government -based insurance, such as Medicare or Medi -Cal, are more likely than those with employer -based coverage to express support (63% to 49%). How do Californians feel their families will fare under the law? About a quarter (26%) say they will be better off, a quarter (24%) say they will be worse off, and 43 percent do not expect the law t o make much difference. With a potential government shutdown on October 1 and the deadline to raise the debt limit soon after, Californians are divided over the way Obama is handling this issue (46% approve, 46% disapprove). This PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 5 is a decline from January, when 56 percent approved of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling. A solid majority (63%) disapprove of the way congressional Republicans are handling the issue, the same as in January (63% disapprove). Although comprehensive immigration reform appear s to be stalled in Congress, 85 percent of Californians support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who fulfill certain requirements, including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English. Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups favor this idea . Asked whether border security or addressing the status of illegal immigrants should be a higher priority, 51 percent choose addressing immigrants’ status and 41 percent favor securing the nation’s border. Baldassare notes: “At a time when Californians are deeply divided along party lines on health care reform, there’s overwhelming support for a path to citizenship as part of a federal immigration reform package.” There is also consensus among Californians on a key aspect of U.S. policy in response to the Syrian crisis: 70 percent of Californians say they are opposed to military air strikes, a view held across parties, regions, and age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups. Asked about the Russian proposal to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons, half of Californians (52%) are at least somewhat optimistic that it will succeed. RECORD-HIGH SUPPORT FOR LEGALIZING MARIJUANA, S AME-SEX MARRIAGE Majorities of Californians support legalizing marijuana and same -sex marriage and preserving access to abortion —three social issues that have been contentious across the nation. A slim majority of adults (52%) say marijuana use should be legalized —a record high and the first time support has been above 50 percent . A larger majority of likely voters (60%) favor legalization. Democrats (64%), independents (60%), and men (57%) are more likely than Republicans (45%) and women (47%) to favor legalization. M ajori ties (61% adults, 68% likely voters) also say the U.S. government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in the states that allow marijuana use. Support for same -sex marriage is also at a record high, with 61 percent of adults and 64 percent of likely voters in favor. Strong majorities of Democrats (76%) and independents (67%) favor allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, while 53 percent of Republicans are opposed. Although support continues to be higher among young Californians, a majority of those age 55 and older (55%) are also in favor for the first time. Support has increased 15 points among mainline Protestants since May (55% to 70%). Large majorities (70% adults, 79% likely voters) say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Th is view is held by majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. And 69 percent say the Supreme Court should leave access to abortion the way it is now (49%) or make it more accessible (20%), compared to 27 percent who would like the court to make it less accessible. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Governor’s approval rating holds steady— page 7 Half of adults (48%) and likely voters (49%) approve of Brown’s job performance, similar to the previous six surveys. The legislature’s approval rating (adults 38%, likely voters 32%) is up from September 2012 (adults 30%, likely voters 22%). And 42 percent of adults (40% likely voters) approve of the job their own legislative representatives are doing.  Obama’s approval rating dips below 60 percent among all adults —pages 16 and 17 While a majority of Californians (55%) approve of the president’s job performance, his approval rating is below 60 percent for the first time since July 2012. Congress’ job approval rati ng remains low, at 28 percent. Californians are more approving of their own representative in Congress (47% approve). Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is 49 percent and Senator Barbara Boxer’s is 47 percent. September 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 STATE GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Governor Brown’s approval ratings are at 48 percent, while 42 percent approve of their own legislators and 38 percent approve of the state legislature overall. (page 7 )  Local school districts now have increased spending flexibility, and six in 10 Californians are very or somewhat confident that districts will spend state funding wisely. In contrast, four in 10 adults are confident about their local government’s ability to handle the shift of some lower-risk inmates from state prisons to county jails. (pages 9, 10 )  About half (52%) favor the governor and legislature’s plan to reduce prison overcrowding. Overwhelming majorities are concerned about the possible early release of prisoners. ( page 11)  Blacks and Latinos are much more likely than Asians and whites to say their local government is not doing enough to reduce violence and street crime. (page 12)  A majority of Californians favor stricter regulations on fracking in the state. There is overwhelming support for requiring oil companies to obtain permits and disclose information about chemicals in fracking and other oil extraction methods. (page 13)  To plan for the future, Californians are divided between building new water storage systems (45%) and using the current supply more efficiently (49%). A plurality prefer paying for water projects by issuing state bonds (48%) over introducing user fees and charges (25%) or increasing taxes for all (13%). When asked about a possible water bond, 50 percent of likely voters would vote yes. ( page 14) 86 82 83 Dem Rep Ind 0 20 40 60 80 100 Support for Requiring Permits and Disclosure of Chemicals Used in Fracking and Other Oil Extraction Techniques 41 46 3941 51 48 48 26 28 2530 41 35 38 0 20 40 60 80 Sep11 Jan 12 May 12 Sep 12 Jan 13 May 13 Sep 13 Percent all adults Governor Brown California Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials 52 39 9 Favor Oppose Don't know Opinion on Plan to Reduce Prison Overcrowding All adults Percent registered voters PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Governor Brown has the approval of half of all adults (48%) and likely voters (49%) today. Among all adults, the governor’s approval rating was slightly lower last September (41%) and last October (42%). Since the November 2012 election, the governor’s approval rating has been similar over seven monthly pol ls (48% December, 51% January, 49% March, 46% April, 48% May, 48% July, 48% today). Today, the governor’s approval rating is at 65 percent for Democrats, 48 percent for independents, and just 23 percent for Republicans. Approval is higher in the San Franci sco Bay Area (61%) and Los Angeles (50%) than in the Inland Empire and the Central Valley (41% each) and Orange/San Diego (40%). Asians (57%) are more likely than blacks and Latinos (49% each) and whites (45%) to express approval. Thirty -eight percent of California adults and 32 percent of likely voters approve of the way that the legislature is handling its job. Among all adults, the legislature’s approval was somewhat lower last September (30%) and last October (28%). Since the November 2012 election, approval of the legislature has been above 30 percent (34% December, 41% January, 34% March, 31% April, 35% May, 36% July, 38% today ). Today, 51 percent of Democrats express approval of the legislature, but only 29 percent of independents and 14 percent of Republicans do so . Residents in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Inland Empire express similar levels of approval (43% each), while lower levels of approval are found in the Central Valley (32%) and Orange/San Diego (31%). A sians and Latinos (50% each) and blacks (44%) are much more likely than whites (27%) to approve of the legislature. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California Approve 48% 65% 23% 48% 49% Disapprove 31 19 60 32 39 Don ʼt know 22 16 17 20 12 The California L egislature is handling its job Approve 38 51 14 29 32 Disapprove 45 36 75 55 57 Don ʼt know 17 14 10 16 10 Four in 10 adults (42%) and likely voters (40%) approve of the job performance of the state legislators representing their assembly and senate districts. Approval among all adults was slightly lower last September (36%) compared to today (42%) and earlier this year (45% January, 43% May). Fifty-five percent of Democrats approve of their state legislators today , but fewer independents (39%) and Republicans (23%) do so . Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (48%), the Inland Empire (46%), and Los Angeles (4 3%) express similar levels of approval, while lower levels are found in the Central Valley (37%) and Orange /San Diego (33%). Latinos (50%), Asians (49%), and blacks (44%) are more likely than whites (36%) to approve of the job performance of their state legislative representatives. “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 42% 55% 23% 39% 40% Disapprove 39 31 61 42 49 Don ʼt know 19 13 17 19 12 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 OVERALL MOOD Californians are most likely to name jobs and the economy (46 %) as the most important state issue. Pluralities across parties, regions, and demographic groups name jobs and the economy as the top issue facing the state. Education and schools (7%), immigration (7%), the state budget (6%), and crime (4%) are among the other top issues mentioned today. Last October, jobs and the economy were named by 56 percent, followed by the state budget (10%), education and schools (9%), immigration (3%), and crime (2%). When it comes to the state’s overall direction, 43 percent of Californians say that things are going in the right direction and 48 percent say that they are going in the wrong direction. Likely voters have slightly more negative perceptions (40% right direction, 54% wrong direction). Californians were much more negative in their assessments last September (33% right direction, 60% wrong direction), but since the November 2012 election more than four in 10 adults have said that things are going in the right direction (44% December, 51% January, 44% March, 46% May, 45% June, 43% today). Today, Democrats (58%) are much more likely than independents (40%) and far more likely than Republicans (18%) to say that things are going in the right direction. San Francisco Bay Area (54%) residents are more likely than those in Los Angeles (45%), the Central Valley (42%), Orange/San Diego (40%), and the Inland Empire (30%) to have an optimistic outlook. Asians and Latinos (50% each) are much more likely than blacks (38%) and whites (37%) to say that things are going in the right direction. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Right direction 43% 58% 18% 40% 40% Wrong direction 48 35 77 52 54 Don’t know 9 7 5 7 6 As for the economic outlook, 46 percent say the state will have good times in the next 12 months and 44 percent say it will have bad times. Likely voters hold similar views (44% good times, 46% bad times). Californians were much less likely to predict good times last September (33%) but more than four in 10 adults have predicted good ti mes since the November 2012 election (41% December, 49% January, 44% March, 48% May, 46% June, 46% today). Today, Democrats (60%) are much more likely than independents (41%) and far more likely than Republicans (27%) to expect good economic times ahead. S an Francisco Bay Area (54%) residents are more likely than those in Los Angeles (48%), the Central Valley (46 %), the Inland Empire ( 41%), and Orange/San Diego (40%) to have a positive outlook . Asians (55%), Latinos (50%), and blacks (50%) are somewhat more likely than whites ( 42%) to expect good economic times in the next 12 months . “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good times 46% 60% 27% 41% 44% Bad times 44 32 62 50 46 Don’t know 10 8 11 9 10 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 STATE–LOCAL RELATIONSHIP: K –12 EDUCATION FUNDING Even though residents’ overall outlook for the state has improved over the last year, n ine in 10 California adults today continue to say that the state budget situation is a big problem (58%) or somewhat of a problem (33%). In this context, 86 percent of Californians say the state budget situation is at least somewhat of a problem for the state’s K –12 public schools, with 60 percent of adults and 61 percent of public school parent s calling it a big problem. Majorities across regions and parties, as well as across age, income, and racial/ethnic groups , say that the state budget situation is a big problem for California’s K– 12 public schools. Perceptions of the impact of the overall state budget situation on K –12 schools have remained fairly constant, with similar findings in April 2012 (65% big problem) , April 2013 (57% big problem) , and today (60% big problem) . T here is overwhelming support for the recently passed state budget plan that gives each K –12 school district more money than it had in 2011 –12 and provides additional funding to districts with more English Learners and lower -income students : 72 percent of adults and 75 percent of public school parents are in favor . S upport is highe r among Democrats (8 5%) and independents (65%) than Republicans ( 44%). More than two in three across regions say they favor the plan. Blacks ( 86%), Latinos (8 4%), and Asians (72%) are more likely than whites (62%) to support it. We also found overwhe lming support earlier this year, with similar question s that asked about giving new funding mostly to school districts with more English Learners and lower -income students ( 75% January, 71% April, 77% May ). “The current state budget gives each K –12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011 –12 and provides additional funding to school districts that have more English language learners and lower- income students. Do you favor or oppose this plan?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Favor 72% 85% 44% 65% 75% Oppose 22 12 50 30 22 Don’t know 6 3 6 5 4 When asked about giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, 60 percent of California adults and 62 percent of public school parents say they are very or somewhat confident that local school districts will use this money wisely. Majorities across regions, parties, and demographic groups are at least somewhat confident that local school districts will use this money wisely. It is noteworthy that , in comparison to today (60%), larger majorities in January (71%) and April (73%) said that they were at least somewhat confident that local school districts would use this money wisely. “The state is giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent. How confident are you that local school districts will use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 13% 15% 14% 12% 11% 13% 14% Somewhat confident 47 51 46 44 48 46 48 Not too confident 23 18 28 25 22 23 23 Not at all confident 14 13 8 16 17 17 12 Don’t know 3 3 4 3 1 1 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 STATE–LOCAL RELATIONSHIP: CORRECTIONS REALIGNM ENT How do Californians perceive the corrections realignment that began in October 2011 when some of the state’s lower -risk inmates were shifted from state prisons to county jails ? Forty percent of Californians say they are following news about the shift either very (14%) or fairly (26%) closely; 57 percent say they are following this news not too (30%) or not at all (27%) closely. Central Valley ( 51%) residents are the most likely to be following the news very or fairly closely, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (44%), the Inland Empire (42%) , the San Francisco Bay Area (36%) , and Los Angeles (35%) . Blacks (58%) and whites (51%) are much more likely than Latinos (31%) and Asians (19%) to be very or fairly closely following this news , and attention to this news increases as age increases (23% age 18 to 34, 42% age 35 to 54, 58% age 55 and older ). In December 2011, a similar 45 percent of Californ ians said they were following news about this issue very (19%) or fairly (26%) closely; 53 percent said they were following this news not too (27%) or not at all (26%) closely. “How closely are you following news about the shift of some inmates from state prisons to county jails?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very closely 14% 17% 13% 11% 15% 21% 18% Fairly closely 26 34 23 24 29 21 37 Not too closely 30 31 33 32 29 26 26 Not at all closely 27 17 31 29 26 31 18 Don’t know 2 2 – 4 1 – 1 How much confidence do Californians have in their local governments’ ability to take on the responsibilities of corrections realignment? Four in 10 Californians are confident (7% very, 33% somewhat) in their local governments ’ ability to handle this responsibility, while 57 percent are not too ( 32%) or not at all (25%) confident. Democrats (47%) are more likely than independents (37%) or Republicans ( 28%) to express confidence in local governments taking on this responsibility. Public confidence is higher in Los Angeles (47%) and the Inland Empire (46%) than in the San Francisco Bay Area (37%), Orange/San Diego ( 37%), and the Central Valley (36%). Asia ns (49%), blacks (47%) , and Latinos (45%) are much more likely than whites (35%) to express confidence. P ublic confidence is much higher among those age 18 to 34 (52%) than among older residents (37% age 35 to 54, 35% age 55 and older). The public’s confidence in their local governments ’ ability to handle this responsibility was higher in September 2011 (48%), December 2011 (53%), January 2012 (50%), and January 2013 (49%) than it is today (40%). “As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower-risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Very confident 7% 6% 7% 10% 5% 10% 6% Somewhat confident 33 30 30 37 32 36 31 Not too confident 32 33 39 28 33 30 32 Not at all confident 25 28 22 23 27 23 29 Don’t know 3 4 2 2 3 1 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 STATE PRISON SYSTEM A three-judge federal court panel ordered Governor Brown to reduce prison overcrowding by the end of the year, possibly resulting in the early release of about 10,000 inmates. The governor and legislature passed a compromise plan to meet the federal court order while preventing the early release of inmates. They are requesting a three -year extension to ensure rehabilitation programs are in place that w ould potentially reduce the number of repeat offende rs. If this request is denied , they plan to expand prison capacity by leasing space in private, local, and out -of -state facilities, thus preventing the early release of inmates . They have allocated up to $315 million for the plan this year. H alf of adults and likely voters (52% each) say they support the plan, while four in 10 oppose it (39% adults, 40% likely voters). Levels of support are similar across parties: 53 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Republicans, and 50 percent of independents favor this plan. Across regions, about half support this plan, except in the Inland Empire where support is higher (62%). Support for the plan increases slightly as income levels rise (48% less than $40,000, 54% $40,000 to $80,000, 58% $80,000 or more) . Across racial/ethnic groups, about half favor this proposal (54% whites, 51% blacks, 51% Latinos, 47% Asians). “As you may know, a federal court ordered the early release of about 10,000 inmates from the state’s prisons by the end of the year to prevent overcrowding. The governor and the legislature plan to spend up to $315 million to address this issue. They have proposed asking the court for a three year extension to reduce the prison population by providing rehabilitation programs in an effort to reduce the number of repeat offenders. If the court denies this request, they propose moving inmates to private, local, and out- of-state facilities to prevent the early release of inmates. Do you favor or oppose this plan?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 52% 53% 55% 50% 52% Oppose 39 40 38 38 40 Don’t know 9 7 7 12 8 When asked about the possible early release of state prisoners, nearly eight in 10 Californians are very (47%) or somewhat (31%) concerned, while one in five are not too (14%) or not at all (7%) concerned. Although strong majorities of voters across parties are at least somewhat concerned, Republicans (69%) are far more likely than independents (46%) and Democrats (37%) to be very concerned. Inland Empire (55%) and Central Valley residents ( 54%) are the most likely to be very concerned, followed by those in Orange/San Diego (47 %), the San Francisco Bay Area ( 42%), and Los Angeles ( 41%). Among racial/ethnic groups, overwhelming majorities express at least some concern. Blacks (52%) are the most likely to be very concerned, followed by Latinos ( 48%), w hites ( 45%), and Asians ( 43%). Among those who are at least somewhat concerned about the possible early release of state inmates, 57 percent favor the plan proposed by the governor and legislature to prevent prison overcrowding. “How concerned are you about the possible early release of these state prisoners — very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Very concerned 47% 37% 69% 46% 48% Somewhat concerned 31 36 22 26 29 Not too concerned 14 17 7 18 15 Not at all concerned 7 8 3 9 7 Don’t know 1 1 – 1 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY How much of a problem do Californians think violence and street crime are in their local community? Twenty -two percent see them as a big problem, 30 percent as somewhat of a problem, and 48 percent think they are not much of a problem for their local community today. Assessment s were similar when we last asked this question in February 2011 (23% big, 33% somewhat, 43% not much of a problem) . Sixty - four percent of blacks and Latinos see violence and street crime as a big or somewhat of a problem, compared to 46 percent of Asians and 44 percent of whites. Independents are somewhat more likely to see it as a big or somewhat of a problem (55%) than not much of a problem (44%). Slim majorities of Democrat s (47% big/somewhat , 52% not much) and Republicans (46% big/somewhat , 53% not much) say violence and street crime are not a problem. More than six in 10 residents in the Central Valley (64%) and Inl and Empire (61%) see violence and street crime as a big or somewhat of a problem, while fewer in the San Francisco Bay Area (53%), Los Angeles (46%), and Orange/San Diego (44%) hold this view . The perception that violence and street crime are a big or some what of a problem declines as education levels increase. Those with household incomes less than $80,000 (58% less than $40,000, 53% $40,000 to $80,000) are much more likely than those with higher incomes (39%) to say violence and street crime are a big or somewhat of a problem in their local community. “How much of a problem are violence and street crime in your local community today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Likely voters Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Big problem 22% 18% 28% 31% 17% 18% Somewhat of a problem 30 28 36 33 27 30 Not much of a problem 48 49 36 36 56 52 Don’t know 1 5 – – 1 1 When asked about their local government’s involvement in reducing violence and street crime, 5 percent say it is doing too much, 50 percent say the right amount, and 41 percent say not enough. In February 2011, the findings were nearly identical (6% too much, 50% right amount, 42% not enough) . Most whites (59%) and Asians (56%) say their local gover nment is doing the right amount, while most blacks (56%) and Latinos (49%) say their local government is not doing enough. Democrats (56%) and Republicans (54%) say their local government is doing the right amount , while independents are divided (45% right amount , 49% not enough) . More than half of Californians in Orange/San Diego (54%), Los Angeles (53%), and the Inland Empire (52%) say their local government is doing the right amount, while Central Valley residents (50%) say their government is not doing enough to reduce violence and street crime. Those living in the San Francisco Bay Area are divided (47% right amount, 45% not enough). The share saying their local government is not doing enough declines as education and income levels increase. “Do you think that your local government is doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to reduce violence and street crime in your local community?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Likely voters Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Too much 5% 2% 1% 11% 3% 3% Right amount 50 56 40 38 59 55 Not enough 41 36 56 49 34 39 Don’t know 4 6 3 3 5 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 13 FRACKING POLICY The use of fracking for oil extraction has become a contentious issue in the state. More Californians continue to oppose (53%) than favor (32%) increased use of fracking to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations (May : 47% oppose, 39% favor; July: 51% oppose, 35% favor ). Today, majorities of Democrats (67%) and independents (55%) oppose fracking, while a majority of Republicans are in favor (57%). San Francisco Bay Area residents (62%) are most likely to oppose increased use of fracking , followed by those in the Inland Empire (53%), Los Angeles (52%), the Central Valley (49%), and Orange/San Diego (44%). Residents living along the north -central coast (61%) are more likely to oppose it than those living along the south coast (49%) or inland (52%). Women (60%) are much more likely than men (45%) to oppose increased use of fracking. “Do you favor or oppose increased use of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a drilling method that uses high- pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 32% 20% 57% 32% 36% Oppose 53 67 29 55 53 Don’t know 15 13 14 14 11 There have been legislative efforts to regulate fracking in the state. Majorities support stricter state regulations on fracking, with 56 percent of all adults and 61 percent of likely voters holding this view. In July, s upport for stricter regulations was at 50 percent for adults and 56 percent for likely voters . Far more Democrats (67%) and independents (62%) than Republicans (37%) favor stricter regulations. San Francisco Bay Area residents (60%) are the most likely to favor stricter state regulations on fracking, followed by those in the Central Valley (57%) , Orange/San Diego (54%), Los Angeles (53%), and the Inland Empire (47%). Among those who favor increased use of fracking, 47 percent favor stricter regulations . Among those opposed to increased use of fracking, 69 percent are in favor of stricter regulations. “As you may know, fracking is currently taking place in California. Do you favor or oppose stricter state regulation of fracking in California?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 56% 67% 37% 62% 61% Oppose 30 21 48 22 29 Don’t know 13 12 15 16 10 Senate Bill 4, introduced by Senator Fran Pavley and passed by the legislature, was signed into law by the governor after the survey interviews were completed . Two key features of this law include requiring oil companies to obtain permits and requiring them to disclose information on chemicals used in fracking and other oil extraction techniques. When asked about these two components, most Californians (80%) and lik ely voters (87%) are in favor. There is overwhelming partisan support, with more than eight in 10 Democrats (86%), independents (83%), and Republicans (82%) in favor. Strong majorities across regions and demographic groups are in favor of requiring oil com panies to obtain permits and disclose information. Nearly everyone who favors stricter state regulation s on fracking supports these components (90%). Even among those who oppose stricter state regulations on fracking , 69 percent favor requiring permits and disclosure of chemicals used in the process. PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 14 WATER POLICY Thirty-nine percent of Californians say that the water supply available for their part of California will be adequate for what is needed ten years from now; 53 percent think it will be somewhat (27%) or very inadequate (26%). Views were similar in December 2009 and September 1998. When choosing between two approaches to manage water supply, 49 percent of Californians opt for focusing on conservation, user allocation, and other strategies to use the current water supply more efficiently , while 45 percent prefer building new water storage systems. The margin for preferring efficiency has narrowed in recent years (14 points August 2004, 13 points August 2006, 7 points July 2009, 3 points December 2012, 4 points today). Majorities of Democrats and independents prefer more - efficient use (56% each); Republicans have a slight preference for new storage (50% new storage, 42% efficiency). Among those who say the water supply in their region will be inadequ ate, opinion is divided. “Which of the following statements is closer to your views about planning for the future in your part of California? We should focus on building new water storage systems and increasing the water supply; or w e should focus on w ater conservation, user allocation, pricing, and other strategies to more efficiently use the current water supply .” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Build new water storage systems 45% 42% 42% 43% 47% 52% 43% Focus on efficiency 49 51 51 52 48 42 52 Don’t know 6 7 7 5 5 6 5 When asked about ways that the state government can increase the level of current funding for water an d other infrastructure projects, 48 percent of Californians prefer that the state issue bonds , 25 percent say it should increase user fees and charges, and 13 percent say it should incr ease taxes for all Californians . Republicans (39%) are less likely than Democrats (50%) and independents (49%) to pr efer issuing state bonds. Across regions and demographic groups , pluralities prefer issuing state bonds. “How would you most prefer that the state government increase the level of current funding for water and other infrastructure projects: increase taxes for all Californians; i ncrease user fees and charges, or issue state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund?” All adults Region Likely voters Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Increase taxes for all Californians 13% 16% 12% 13% 12% 9% 13% Increase user fees and charges 25 23 26 24 23 27 25 Issue state bonds 48 44 47 50 49 51 44 Other (volunteered) 6 7 5 6 9 7 11 Don’t know 8 9 10 7 7 6 8 Lawmakers introduced a new proposal , which is still under consideration, for an approximately $6.5 billion bond measure for water projects, to be placed on the November 2014 ballot. This reduces the bond amount from an earlier proposal . When asked how they would vote on this bond measure, 55 percent of all adults and 50 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes (33% no for all adults, 38% no for likely voters) . In March 2012 , when given a brief description of the project , with a bond amount of $11.1 billion , 51 percent of likely voters said yes (35% no). This March, support for the $11.1 billion bond declined to 42 percent (51% no) , and when those who said they would vote no were asked how they would vote if the bond amount was lower , overall support increased to 55 percent . September 2013 Californians and Their Government 15 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEY FINDINGS  Approval of the president is at 55 percent; 47 percent of Californians approve of their individual House representative and 28 percent approve of the U.S. Congress overall. (page 16)  Californians today are less approving than in January of President Obama’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling (56% January, 46% today). (pages 17, 18)  Half of Californians are optimistic about a plan proposed by Russia to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons. (page 18)  Fifty-three percent favor the health care reform enacted by Congress and the president. A plurality (43%) say the new health reform law will not make much of a difference for them. (page 19)  There is overwhelming support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants if certain conditions are met. Californians are more likely to say addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. (51%) is a higher priority right now than securing the border (41%). (page 20)  Seven in 10 Californians, including solid majorities across parties, say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. (page 21)  A record-high 52 percent of Californians say marijuana should be legalized. Six in 10 say that the U.S. government should not enforce federal law in states where its use is allowed. ( page 22)  A record-high 61 percent favor allowing same-sex marriage; a similar share approve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a lower court ruling allowing gay marriage in California. (page 23) 5154 566065 62 55 27 25 222734 3128 0 20 40 60 80 100 Sep11 Jan 12 May 12 Sep 12 Jan 13 May 13 Sep 13 Percent all adults President Obama Congress Approval Ratings of Federal Elected Officials 45 52 44 41 0 20 40 60 80 100 Adults nationwide* Californians Percent all adults Optimistic Pessimistic Outlook for International Plan to Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons 56 46 26 27 0 20 40 60 80 100 Jan 13 Sep 13 Percent all adults President Obama Republicans in Congress Approval Ratings on Handling Federal Deficit and Debt Ceiling *Gallup Poll, Sep 11-12 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 16 APPROVAL RATINGS OF FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS A majority of Californians (55%) and half of likely voters (51%) approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president. However, his approv al among all adults is below 60 percent for the first time since July 2012 (57% July 2012, 60% September 2012, 63% October 2012, 65% January 2013, 66% March, 62% May, 61% July, 55% today). A ccording to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll , a dults nationwide are more divided (47% approve, 47% disapprove). In California, there is a wide partisan divide: 80 percent of Democrats approve and 78 percent of Republicans disapprove. Independents are more divided (46% approve, 52% disapprove) , but disapproval is at a record high among this group. A t least half of Californians approve of President Obama in all regions except Orange/San Diego (43% approve, 52% disapprove). Majorities of blacks (88%), Latinos (63%), and Asians (59%) approve, while a majority of whites disapprove (54%). Approval of the U.S. Congress continues to be low , with 28 percent of adults and 18 p ercent of likely voters approving. Approval among adults was similar last September (27%) and has been below 40 percent since September 2009. Today, strong majorities of Democrats (68%), independents (75%), and Republicans (79%) disapprove. Majorities acro ss regions disapprove, as do at least half of Californians across age groups and education and income levels. Majorities of Asians (54%), blacks (66%), and whites (80%) disapprove, while Latinos are divided (44% approve, 48% disapprove). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States Approve 55% 80% 19% 46% 51% Disapprove 42 18 78 52 46 Don ʼt know 3 2 2 2 2 The U.S. Congress is handling its job Approve 28 25 18 18 18 Disapprove 65 68 79 75 79 Don ʼt know 8 7 3 8 3 Californians are more approving of their own representative s to the U.S. House of Representatives : 47 percent approve and 35 percent disapprove . Likely voters hold similar opinions (47% approve, 38% disapprove). Approval among all adults was similar in May (53%) and last September (48%). Democrats (63%) are far more likely than independents (33%) and Republicans (35%) to approve. Regionally, half of residents in Los Angeles (51%), the San Francisco Bay Area (51%), and the Inland Empire (50%) approve , compared to about four in 10 in the Central Valley (40%) and Orange/San Diego (37%). Half of Latinos (52%), Asians (51%), and blacks (50%) approve, while whites are divided (41% approve, 40% disapprove). Approval across age groups and incom e levels is less than 50 percent. “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 Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 47% 63% 35% 33% 47% Disapprove 35 23 45 48 38 Don ʼt know 19 14 20 19 15 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 17 CALIFORNIA’S U.S. SENATORS Nearly a year after her reelection, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s approval rating is at 49 percent. Approval today is similar to January (54%) and last September (51%). Half of likely voters (51%) approve; 42 percent disapprove. Three in four Democrats (75%) approve, while seven in 10 Republicans (68%) disapprove. Independents are divided (42% approve, 42% disapprove). Approval is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) and Los Angeles (53%), while fewer in other regions approve (46% Orange/San Diego, 45% Inland Empire, 38% Central Valley). Majorities of Latinos (52%), Asians (55%), and blacks (77%) approve, while whites are divided (43% approve, 46% disapprove). Older Californians (56% age 55 and older) and college graduates (57%) are more approving than y ounger (46% age 18–54) and less educated Californians (47% high school degree or less, 44% some college). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 49% 75% 21% 42% 51% Disapprove 33 14 68 42 42 Don’t know 17 11 11 16 8 Senator Barbara Boxer has the approval of 47 percent of California adults and 48 percent of likely voters. A pproval was similar in January (52 %) and last September ( 48%). Most Democrats (72%) approve, while most Republicans (74%) disapprove; independents are divided (42% approve, 43% disapprove). San Francisco Bay Area (58%) and Los Angeles (50%) residents are more approving than adults elsewhere (46% Inland Empire, 43% Orange/San Diego, 35% the Central Valley). Latinos (50%), Asians (53%), and blacks (72%) approve, while whites are somewhat more likely to disapprove (48%) than approve (40%). Senator Boxer’s approval ranges from 42 percent to 48 percent across age and income groups. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 47% 72% 17% 42% 48% Disapprove 36 16 74 43 44 Don’t know 17 12 10 15 8 FEDERAL DEFICIT AND DEBT CEI LING With a potential government shutdown on October 1 and a mid -October deadline to raise the debt limit, how do Californians rate the way President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and the debt ceiling? Californians are divided when it comes to President Obama (46% approve, 46% disapprove), while a solid majority of Californians disapprove of Republicans in Congress in this area (27% approve, 63% disapprove). Ratings of President Obama on this issue are more negative than in January (56% approve, 38% disapprove), while attitudes toward the Republicans in Congress are similar to January (26% approve, 63% disapprove). Most Democrats (66%) approve of President Obama’s handling of the federal deficit and debt ceiling , while most Republicans (82%) and independents (62%) disapprove. About half of residents in Los Angeles (53%), the San Francisco Bay Area (49%), and the Inland Empire (48%) approve of the president on this issue , compared to about four in 10 in the Central Valley (39%) and Orange/San Diego (41%). PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 18 FEDERAL DEFICIT AND DEBT CEI LING (CONTINUED) More than half of Asians (52%), Latinos (52%), and blacks (72%) approve of the president’s handling of the deficit and debt ceiling, while 60 percent of whites disapprove. Disapproval increases as household income rises. Republicans in Congress receive negative ratings from Democrats (79%) and independents (76%), and even half of Republicans (50%) disapprove. Majorities across regions and demographic groups disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…is /are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? ” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind President Obama Approve 46% 66% 17% 31% 43% Disapprove 46 28 82 62 53 Don ʼt know 8 6 2 7 5 Republicans in Congress Approve 27 15 42 16 22 Disapprove 63 79 50 76 73 Don ʼt know 10 6 7 8 5 CRISIS IN SYRIA In the wake of reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, the U.S. was considering military airstrikes against Syria. While that plan is currently on hold as diplomatic options are considered, what do Californians think of the idea of military airstrikes? Seven in 10 Californians (70%)—including solid majorities across parties (6 1% Democrats, 74% independents, 78% Republicans) —oppose military airstrikes against Syria. There is majority opposition across regions and across age, education, inco me, and racial/ethnic groups. Nationally, 63 percent of adults opposed airstrikes in a n early September Pew Research Center/USA Today poll. T he U.S. , along with the United Nations and other countries, is exploring diplomatic options. Russia has proposed the formation of an international team that would destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. H alf of Californians are very (15%) or somewhat (37%) optimistic that this plan will succeed, while four in 10 are somewhat (21%) or very (20%) pessimistic . (We began asking about this plan on September 13, midway through our interview period; findings are based on interviews with 1,154 adults.) Across parties, Democrats (60%) are more optimistic than Republicans (44%) and independents (48%). At least half of res idents in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%), Los Angeles (52%), the Central Valley (53%), and the Inland Empire (66%) are optimistic; slightly more than half of Orange/San Diego residents are pessimistic (54%). Most Latinos (56%) are optimistic, while half of whites (51%) are pessimistic about the plan. In a recent Gallup poll, adults nationwide were more divided (45% optimistic, 44% pessimistic). “As you may know, Russia has proposed a plan that an international team take over and destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. Are you optimistic or pessimistic that this plan will succeed?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Very optimistic 15% 17% 15% 11% 14% Somewhat optimistic 37 43 29 37 36 Somewhat pessimistic 21 23 27 23 25 Very pessimistic 20 11 28 25 21 Don’t know 7 7 2 5 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 19 HEALTH CARE REFORM A slim majority of Californians (53%) and half of likely voters (50%) support the changes to the health care system that were enacted by Congress and the Obama administration. Support among all adults has been around 50 percent since this question was first asked in September 2009, about six months before the passage of the legislation (51% September 2009, 52% December 2009, 50% March 2010, 51% February 2011, 47% March 2012 , 55% January 2013, 53% today ). The highly contentious political divide over the Affordable Care Act (for example, House Republicans have voted to defund it) is reflected in California : 79 percent of Republicans are opposed and 75 percent of Democrats are in favor . Independents are divided (46% support, 46% oppose). Slightly more than half of those who have insurance (52%) and those who do not (56%) support the law. T hose with government -based insurance, such as Medicare or Medi -Cal , are more likely than those with employer -based coverage to express support (63% to 49% ). “Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care sy stem that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration? ” All adults Party Have health insurance Dem Rep Ind Yes No Support 53 % 75% 18% 46% 52 % 56% Oppose 39 19 79 46 41 32 Don’t know 8 6 4 8 7 11 One in four Californians (26%) say they and their families will be better off under the health reform law ; a similar share (24%) say they will be worse off. A plurality (43%) expect it will not make much difference. Expectations have changed little since January (2 5% better off, 2 3% worse off, 48% no diff erence). In an August Kaiser Family Foundation poll, pessimis m among adults nationwide was higher (23% better off, 34 % worse off, 37% no difference). In our survey, Republicans (61%) are the only group in which a majority s ay they will be worse off. Across other voter groups, regions, and demographic groups , pluralities expect no difference. Those who give their current health insurance coverage good, not so good, or poor ratings are more likely than those who give excellent ratings to say they will be better off ( 27% to 16%). “Do you think that you and your family will be better off or worse off under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference?” Better off Worse off Not make much difference Don’t know All adults 26% 24% 43% 7% Likely voters 22 34 40 3 Party Democrat 35 9 51 5 Republican 6 61 30 3 Independent 20 32 42 6 Age 18–34 30 15 45 10 35–54 27 29 40 5 55 and older 20 29 44 7 Household income Under $40,000 32 15 42 11 $40,000 to $80,000 27 29 38 5 $80,000 or more 16 36 46 2 Have health insurance Yes 23 26 44 7 No 36 18 37 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 20 IMMIGRATION REFORM In the three months since the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill , there has been little talk of immigration reform in Washington. When asked about providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English, overwhelming majorities of Californians (85%) and likely voters (79%) are in favor. There is strong majority support for this proposal — which is similar to the Senate bill— across parties and overwhelming support across demographic groups and regions. Nationally, 78 percent of adults favor this proposal , according to a July CBS News Poll. “Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English ?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 85% 91% 69% 78% 79% Oppose 14 8 30 18 19 Don’t know 1 1 1 4 1 Do Californians think securing the nation’s border or addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. should be the higher priority? Half of adults (51%) say addressing the status of illegal immigrants should be the higher priority, while fo ur in 10 (41%) say border security. Six in 10 Democrats prioritize the status of illegal immigrants, while six in 10 Republicans prioritize border security; independents are divided. Among those who favor a path to citizenship, 56 percent prioritize the status of immigrants; of those who oppose a path to citizenship, 67 percent prioritize border security. In the CBS News poll, a majority of a dults (56%) nationwide prioritize securing the border ; 37 percent prioritize addressing the status of immigrants . “Which should be the higher priority now: securing the nation's border, or addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.?” Border security Addressing the status of illegal immigrants Both (vol) Neither (vol) Don’t know All adults 41% 51% 5% 1% 2% Likely voters 48 45 6 – 1 Party Democrat 36 58 4 – 1 Republican 61 32 6 – 1 Independent 44 41 10 3 2 Race/ ethnicity Asians 43 46 6 2 3 Blacks 62 30 4 1 3 Latinos 27 67 5 1 1 Whites 47 46 5 – 2 Region Central Valley 42 51 5 – 2 San Francisco Bay Area 41 47 7 2 4 Los Angeles 36 57 4 2 1 Orange/ San Diego 48 47 5 – 1 Inland Empire 46 49 3 1 1 View on path to citizenship for illegal immigrants Favor 36 56 5 1 1 Oppose 67 27 4 – 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 21 ABORTION Overwhelming majorities of Californians (70%) and likely voters (79%) say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion, while far fewer (26% all adults, 19% likely voters) say the government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion . The preference for the governmen t to not interfere with access i s nearly identical to the first time this question was asked in January 2000 (71% should not interfere, 27% should pass more restrictive laws). The percentage saying the government should not interfere dipped somewhat in 2008 and 2009, reaching a low of 61 percent in February 2009, but climbed back to 69 percent by September 2011. Similar to earlier surveys, bipartisan majorities say the government should not inhibit access. Majorities across regions and demographic groups share this view. The groups most likely to say the government should pass more laws restricting access are Central Valley residents (41%), conservatives (42%), Latinos (44%), those with a high school education or less (42%), and evangelical Protestants (43%). “Which of the following statements comes closest to your own view, ev en if neither is exactly right? The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; or the government should not interfere wit h a woman’s access to abortion.” All adults Party Gender Dem Rep Ind Men Women Should pass more laws 26% 12% 32% 15% 28% 24% Should not interfere with access 70 86 64 82 68 73 Don’t know 3 2 4 3 4 3 Echoing attitudes toward abortion policy, seven in 10 Californians say the Supreme Court should leave the ability to get an abortion the same as it is now (49%) or make it easier (20%). Twenty -seven percent would like the high court to make it harder. Since we first asked this question in August 2005, a plurality of Californians (ranging from 46% to 54% over six surveys) have preferred the status quo. Support for the court making it harder to get an abortion was highest in February 2009 (36%) . Support for the court making it easier is highest today (20 %). “Would you like to see the Supreme Court make it harder to get an abortion than it is now, make it easier to get an abortion than it is now, or leave the ability to get an abortion the same as it is now?” Harder Easier Same Don’t know All adults 27% 20% 49% 4% Likely voters 21 25 51 3 Party Democrat 14 33 51 2 Republican 38 12 45 5 Independent 16 18 64 2 Gender Men 30 20 45 6 Women 24 20 53 3 Religion Evangelical Protestants 46 5 46 2 Mainline Protestants 18 20 57 5 Catholics 37 14 46 4 No religion 10 35 51 4 View on government involvement on abortion Restrict access 70 5 22 2 Should not interfere 10 27 60 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 22 MARIJUANA Nearly a year after voters in Colorado and Washington approved initiatives to legalize marijuana, support for legalization is above 50 percent for the first time among Californians (52%) , while 45 percent are opposed. Support for legalization is even higher among likely voters (60% legal, 38% not legal). In a Pew Research Center survey this past March, support among adults nationwide (52% favor, 45% oppose) was also at a record high. California adults were closely divided leading up to the November 2010 election , in which a state ballot proposition to legalize marijuana was defeated. In September 2011 (46% legal, 51% not legal) and March 2012 (45% legal, 51% not legal), findings were the reverse of today. Democrats (64%), independents (60%), and men (57%) ar e more likely than Republicans (45%) and women (47%) to favor legalization. About six in 10 whites (63%) and blacks (61%) are in favor, Asians are divided (48% legal, 45% not legal) , and about six in 10 Latinos are opposed (62%). About half across age grou ps think marijuana use should be legal. “In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” Yes, legal No, not legal Don’t know All adults 52% 45% 3% Likely voters 60 38 2 Party Democrat 64 33 3 Republican 45 53 2 Independent 60 36 4 Race/Ethnicity Asians 48 45 8 Blacks 61 34 5 Latinos 36 62 2 Whites 63 35 2 Age 18–34 53 44 2 35–54 52 45 3 55 and older 50 47 3 More than six in 10 Californians (61%) and likely voters (68%) think the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow its use, while far fewer say it should enforce federal law s (35% adults, 31% likely voters) . Californians are again remarkably similar to the adults nationwide who were surveyed by P ew last March (60% should not enforce, 35% should enforce). In our survey, m ore than six in 10 across parties say the federal government should not enforce federal law s and majorities across nearly all demographic groups and regions agree. Among those who oppose legalizing marijuana, 55 percent say the federal government should enforce these laws and 44 percent say it should not. “As you may know, some states have decided to allow marijuana use, but it is still prohibited under federal law. Do you think the federal government should or should not enforce federal marijuana laws in these states?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Should enforce federal laws 35% 29% 39% 33% 31% Should not enforce federal laws 61 68 61 64 68 Don’t know 3 3 1 3 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 23 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE In the first PPIC survey since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling made same -sex marriage legal again in California, record- high majorities of adults (61%) and likely voters (64%) say they favor allowing gay marriage. In response to a similar question by CBS News in July, 55 percent of adults nationwide said it should be legal for same -sex couples to marry ( 39% should not be legal ). When PPIC first asked about same- sex marriage in January 2000, a majority were opposed (39% in favor, 55% opposed ). Over time the opinion gap narrowed , and in the last four and half years support has grown 17 points (from 44% in March 2009 to 61% today). Strong majorities of Democrats (76%) and independents (67%) favor allowing same -sex marriage, compared to 44 percent of Republicans (53% oppose). Although support continues to be higher among young Californians, a majority of those age 55 and older (55%) are also in favor for the first time. Support has increased 15 points among mainline Protestants since May (from 55% to 70%). Support falls short of a majority among Republicans (44%), conservatives (39%), Central Valley residents (49%), blacks (44%), those with lower educations (48%), and evangelical Protestants (23%). “Do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? ” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 61% 34% 5% Likely voters 64 32 4 Party Democrat 76 20 4 Republican 44 53 3 Independent 67 29 4 Age 18–34 68 29 3 35–54 58 36 6 55 and older 55 39 6 Religion Evangelical Protestants 23 67 10 Mainline Protestants 70 24 5 Catholics 59 36 5 No religion 82 16 1 About six in 10 Californians (59%) and likely voters (63%) say they approve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let stand a lower court ruling that all ows gay marriage in California. Californians are somewhat more likely to approve than adults nationwide, according to a June ABC News/Washington Post poll (51% approve, 45% disapprove). In our survey, Democrats (77%) are the most likely party group to approve of the decision, followed by independents (59%) and Republicans (40%). Majorities across regions and other groups approve, except Central Valley residents (48% approve), conservatives (35%), blacks (45%), less educat ed adults (48%), and evangelical Protestants (23%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision letting stand a lower court ruling that allows gay marriage in California?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Approve 59% 77% 40% 59% 63% Disapprove 36 21 56 35 35 Don’t know 5 3 4 6 2 September 2013 Californians and Their Government 24 REGIONAL MAP September 2013 Californians and Their Government 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from 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 1,703 California adult residents, including 1,190 interviewed on landline telephones and 513 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from September 10– 17, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of telephone nu mbers 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 eligi ble 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 growin g 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 Wes t 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 reg istration 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. PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3. 7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,703 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3.7 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1, 429 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4.0 percent; for the 1,102 likely voters, it is ± 4.5 percent. For question 29a (1,154 adults), asked starting September 13, it is ±4.4 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, que stion 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. In one place, we refer to coastal and inland counties. Within coastal counties, the “north/central coast” region refers to the counties along the California coast northward from San Luis Obispo County to Del Norte County and includes all the San Francisco Bay Area counties. The “south coast” region includes Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, a nd San Diego Counties. All other counties are included in the “inland” region. 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 non- Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters —so designated 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 ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News, Gallup, Kaiser Family Foundation, Pew Research Center , and Pew Research Center/USA Today. 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 . September 2013 Californians and Their Government 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT September 10– 17, 2013 1,703 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 7% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? [code, don’t read] 46% jobs, economy 7 education, schools 7 immigration, illegal immigration 6 state budget, deficit, taxes 4 crime, gangs, drugs 3 government in general 3 health care, health reform 2 environment, pollution, global warming 2 water, water supply, drought 16 other 4 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 22 don’t know 3. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Le gislature is handling its job? 38% approve 45 disapprove 17 don’t know 3a. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and senate districts are doing at this time? 42% approve 39 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 43% right direction 48 wrong direction 9 don’t know 5. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 46% good times 44 bad times 10 don’t know 6. Next, do you think the state budget situation in California —that is, the balance between government spending and revenues —is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 58% b ig problem 33 somewhat of a problem 5 not a problem 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 28 7. Next, how much of a problem is the overall state budget situation for California’s K –12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 60% big problem 26 somewhat of a problem 9 not much of a problem 5 don’t know 8. The current state budget gives each K –12 public school district more funding than they received in 2011 –12 and provides additional funding to school districts that have more [rotate] English language learners [and] lower -income students. Do you favor or oppose this plan? 72% favor 22 oppose 6 don’t know 9. The state is giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent. How confident are you t hat local school districts will use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 13% very confident 47 somewhat confident 23 not too confident 14 not at all confident 3 don’t know 10 . Changing topics, how closely are you following news about the shift of some inmates from state prisons to county jails — very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 14% very closely 26 fairly closely 30 not too closely 27 not at all closely 2 don’t know 11. As you may know, state funding is being provided to shift some of the lower -risk inmates from state prisons to county jails to reduce prison overcrowding and lower state costs. How confident are you that your local government is able to take on this responsibility? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 7% very confident 33 somewhat confident 32 not too confident 25 not at all confident 3 don’t know 12 . As you may know, a federal court ordered the early release of about 10,000 inmates from the state’s prisons by the end of the year to prevent overcrowding. The governor and the legislature plan to spend up to $315 million to address this issue. They have proposed asking the court for a three year extension to reduce the prison population by providing rehabilitation programs in an effort to reduce the number of repeat offenders. If the court denies this request, they propose moving inmates to private, local, and out -of -state f acilities to prevent the early release of inmates. Do you favor or oppose this plan? 52% favor 39 oppose 9 don’t know 13. How concerned are you about the possible early release of these state prisoners —very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concern ed, or not at all concerned? 47% very concerned 31 somewhat concerned 14 not too concerned 7 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 29 14. On another topic, how much of a problem are violence and street crime in your local community today— a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 22% big problem 30 somewhat of a problem 48 not much of a problem 1 don’t know 15. Do you think that your local government is doing too much, the right amount, or not enough to reduce violence and street crime in your local community? 5% too much 50 the right amount 41 not enough 4 don’t know Changing topics, 16. Do you favor or oppose increased use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling method that uses high- pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations? 32% favor 53 oppose 15 don’t know 17. As you may know, fracking is currently taking place in California. Do you favor or oppose stricter state regulation of fracking in California? 56% favo r 30 oppose 13 don’t know 18. Do you favor or oppose requiring oil companies to obtain permits and disclose information about the chemicals used in fracking and other oil extraction techniques in California? 80% favor 17 oppose 4 don’t know On another topic, 19. Do you think that the water supply that is available for your part of California will be adequate or inadequate for what is needed ten years from now? ( if inadequate: I s that somewhat inadequate or very inadequate?) 39% adequate 27 somewhat inadequate 26 very inadequate 8 don’t know 20. The legislature is considering an approximately $6.5 billion bond measure for the November 2014 ballot to pay for state water projects. If the election were being held today, would you vote yes or no on this state water bond? 55% yes 33 no 13 don’t kn ow 21. Which of the following statements is closer to your views about planning for the future in your part of California? [rotate] (1) We should focus on building new water storage systems and increasing the water supply; [or] (2) We should focus on water conservation, user allocation, pricing, and other strategies to more efficiently use the current water supply. 45% building new water storage systems 49 more efficiently use the current water supply 6 don’t know 22. How would you most prefer that the state government increase the level of current funding for water and other infrastructure projects [rotate] (1) increase taxes for all Californians , (2) increas e user fees and charges, [or] (3) issue state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund? 13% increase taxes for all Californians 25 increase user fees and charges 48 issue state bonds paid for through the state’s general fund 4 other (specify) 2 use existing state funds (volunteered) 8 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 30 23. On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 55% approve 42 disapprove 3 don’t know [rotate questions 24 and 25] 24. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 49% approve 33 disapprove 17 don’t know 25. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as U.S. Senator? 47% approve 36 disapprove 17 don’t know 26. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job? 28% approve 65 disapprove 8 don’t know 26a.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 j ob? 47% approve 35 disapprove 19 don’t know [rotate questions 27 and 28] 27. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 46% approve 46 disapprove 8 don’t know 28. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the Republicans in Congress are handling the federal deficit and debt ceiling? 27% approve 63 disapprove 10 don’t know Changing topics, 29. Do you favor or oppose the U.S. conducting military airstrikes again st Syria in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons? 24% favor 70 oppose 6 don’t know 29a. [asked starting September 13] As you may know, Russia has proposed a plan that an international team take over and destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. Are you optimistic or pessimistic that this plan will succeed? Are you very (optimistic/ pessimistic), or only somewhat (optimistic/ pessimistic)? 15% very optimistic 37 somewhat optimistic 21 somewhat pessimistic 20 very pessimistic 7 don’t know 30. Changing topics, overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by [rotate] Congress [and] the Obama administration? 53% support 39 oppose 8 don’t know 31. Do you think that you and your family will be [rotate] [better off] [or] [worse off] under the health reform law, or don’t you think it will make much difference? 26% better off 24 worse off 43 not much difference 7 don’t kn ow PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 31 On another topic, 32. Would you favor or oppose providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S. if they met certain requirements including a waiting period, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English? 85% favor 14 oppose 1 don’t know 33. Which should be the higher priority now: [rotate] (1) securing the nation's border, [or] (2) addressing the status of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.? 41% securing the border 51 status of illega l immigrants 5 both (volunteered) 1 neither (volunteered) 2 don’t know Changing topics, 34. Which of the following statements comes closest to your own view, even if neither is exactly right ? [rotate] (1) The government should pass more laws that restrict the availability of abortion; [or] (2) the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. 26% government should pass more laws 70 government should not interfere with access 3 don’t know 35. Would you like to see the Supreme Court make it harder to get an abortion than it is now, make it easier to get an abortion than it is now, or leave the ability to get an abortion the same as it is now? 27% harder 20 easier 49 same 4 don’t know 36. Next, in general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not? 52% yes, legal 45 no, not legal 3 don’t know 37. As you may know, some states have decided to allow marijuana use, but it is still prohibited under federal law. Do you think the federal government should or should not enforce federal marijuana laws in these states? 35% should 61 should not 3 don’t know 38. Changing topics, do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married? 61% favor 34 oppose 5 don’t know 39. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision letting stand a lower court ruling that allows gay marriage in California? 59% approve 36 disapprove 5 don’t know 40. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are reg istered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q40a] 31 no [skip to q41b] 40a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you r egistered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q41] 29 Republican [skip to q41a] 5 another party (specify) [skip to q42] 22 independent [skip to q41b] 41. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 51% strong 47 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q42] PPIC Statewide Survey September 2013 Californians and Their Government 32 41a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 46% strong 51 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q42] 41b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 26% Republican Party 43 Democratic Party 23 neither (volunteered) 8 don’t know 42. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 23 somewhat liberal 27 middle -of -the -road 23 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 3 don’t know 43. 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 35 fair amount 35 only a little 8 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d6a: demographic questions] D6b.[of those who have health insurance] How would you rate your overall health insurance coverage —excellent, good, not so good or poor? 37% excellent 50 good 10 not so good 3 poor 1 don’t know [d7 to d18: demographic questions] 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 Vice President-Research Pew Research Center 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 Presid ent 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 Donna Lucas, Chair Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Phil Isenberg Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other 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. Donna Lucas is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:48" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_913mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:48" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:48" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_913MBS.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) }