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object(Timber\Post)#3710 (45) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(6) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_505MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "1399714" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["_edit_lock"]=> string(12) "1495272992:1" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(94011) "PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MAY 2005 Public Policy Institute of California Special Survey on the California State Budget in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation ○○○○○ Mark Baldassare Research Director & Survey Director The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is a private operating foundation established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. The Institute is dedicated to improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. PPIC’s research agenda focuses on three program areas: population, economy, and governance and public finance. Studies within these programs are examining the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including education, health care, immigration, income distribution, welfare, urban growth, and state and local finance. PPIC was created because three concerned citizens – William R. Hewlett, Roger W. Heyns, and Arjay Miller – recognized the need for linking objective research to the realities of California public policy. Their goal was to help the state’s leaders better understand the intricacies and implications of contemporary issues and make informed public policy decisions when confronted with challenges in the future. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. David W. Lyon is founding President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 800 • San Francisco, California 94111 Telephone: (415) 291-4400 • Fax: (415) 291-4401 info@ppic.org • www.ppic.org Preface The PPIC Statewide Survey series provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, the survey series has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 116,000 Californians. The current survey is the fifth in a series of special surveys on the California State Budget and Fiscal System, begun in June 2003 and conducted with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. At the same time that the state government faces the immediate challenge of addressing the current budget gap between state spending and state revenue, an array of structural reforms of the state and local finance system is being considered to cope with long-term issues involved in balancing the state budget. Public opinion surveys offer the state’s lawmakers an opportunity to consider the views of Californians on various fiscal proposals and residents’ specific perceptions on spending and taxes. Over the years, California voters have made fiscal decisions through the initiative process—for example, Proposition 13 property tax reform, Proposition 98 state funding guarantees for K-12 public schools, and Proposition 57 state bonds to reduce the state’s budget shortfall—and the state’s residents will continue to have an important impact on the state and local fiscal system. Voters may be asked to make fiscal policy at the ballot box in a special statewide election this fall. This survey series seeks to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers, and stimulate public discussion about the current state budget and the underlying state and local finance system. This report presents the responses of 2,003 adult residents throughout the state on a wide range of issues: • The state’s budget situation, including perceived severity of the state budget gap, preferred fiscal approach to the state’s budget gap, awareness of the major categories for state spending and state revenue, overall satisfaction with the governor’s budget plan, specific concerns about spending reductions and support for tax increases, and preferences for the use of additional state funding for education and transportation programs and to reduce the state debt. • The state’s fiscal and governance system, including support for a special election on fiscal and governance issues, voters’ reactions to a legislative redistricting initiative and a state spending initiative, perceptions of the need for changes in the redistricting process and the state budget process, support for state budget reforms and proposals to raise revenues, and general attitudes toward Proposition 13 property tax limits and its specific implications. • The political and economic climate, including the public’s perception of the state’s most important problem; general direction of the state and outlook for the state economy; overall approval ratings of Governor Schwarzenegger, the state legislature, and its representatives; approval ratings of the governor on specific issues; distrust of the state government; and overall approval ratings of President Bush and California’s elected federal officials. • The extent to which Californians may differ with regard to attitudes toward spending and taxes by party affiliation, demographics, race/ethnicity, and region of residence. This is the 56th PPIC Statewide Survey, which has included a number of special editions on the Central Valley (11/99, 3/01, 4/02, 4/03, 4/04), Los Angeles County (3/03, 3/04, 3/05), Orange County (9/01, 12/02, 12/03, 12/04), San Diego County (7/02), population growth (5/01), land use (11/01, 11/02), housing (11/04), the environment (6/00, 6/02, 7/03, 11/03, 7/04), the California state budget (6/03, 1/04, 5/04, 1/05), and California’s future (8/04). Copies of this report may be ordered by e-mail (order@ppic.org) or phone (415-291-4400). Copies of this and earlier reports are posted on the publications page of the PPIC web site (www.ppic.org). For questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. -i- - ii - Contents Preface Press Release State’s Budget Situation State’s Fiscal and Governance System Political and Economic Climate Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i v 1 7 13 19 21 26 - iii - Press Release Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp SPECIAL SURVEY ON THE STATE BUDGET MONEY CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS: STATE COFFERS GROW, BUT CALIFORNIANS REMAIN GLUM ABOUT BUDGET Support for Special Election Drops, Voters Divided over Ballot Measures; Immigration Back on Public’s Radar SAN FRANCISCO, California, May 26, 2005 — Despite a better-than-expected report on the state’s fiscal health, Californians find little to cheer about when it comes to the budget or the performance of their elected representatives, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and The James Irvine Foundation. The May 13th budget revision did little to change public perceptions of the state’s fiscal situation: 71 percent of state residents today view the gap between revenues and spending as a big problem, compared to 70 percent in January. Californians are evenly split in their opinion of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget, with 44 percent saying they are satisfied and 47 percent unsatisfied with his plan. There was virtually no difference in responses before and after the governor’s revised budget was announced. While responses to the proposal are somewhat more positive today than they were in January (38% satisfied, 55% unsatisfied), they are less favorable than the reaction to his proposal one year ago (50% satisfied, 41% unsatisfied). The governor’s revised budget reported several billion dollars more in state revenues than had previously been projected. How would state residents spend those additional dollars? Californians would rather support K-12 public education (76%) than reduce the state debt (70%) or increase funding for transportation (53%). Democrats (85%) and independents (80%) are more likely to choose education, while Republicans (78%) show greater support for debt reduction. How did the governor allocate the additional revenue? His revised budget focused on debt reduction and transportation projects. “Governor Schwarzenegger did not see a boost after the good news of the May revision and this might reflect the fact that some residents perceive that he does not share their priorities,” says PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. The governor’s overall ratings remain at a low point (49% disapprove, 40% approve) and are virtually unchanged since April. Fewer Californians than in January approve of his handling of the state budget (from 48% to 37%), transportation (from 35% to 28%), and K-12 public education (from 34% to 29%). In fact, Schwarzenegger has a lower approval rating on education issues than then-Governor Gray Davis in January 2000 (29% to 51%). Californians Have Little Budget Knowledge, But Big Expectations for Their Role in the Process Consistent with his January proposal, the governor’s revised budget included a variety of spending reductions but no new taxes. Where does the public stand? Most Californians (72%) express concern about the effects of budget cuts in the governor’s plan. Forty-three percent favor a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases, 29 percent favor mostly spending cuts, and only 11 percent prefer mostly tax increases. Although 47 percent of Californians oppose new taxes, 46 percent think tax increases should have been included in the budget plan. So who should pay to help get the state out of its current financial hole? Someone else. As in past PPIC surveys, a majority of Californians support raising the tax rate on the state’s top income bracket (68% favor, 29% oppose). They also favor raising state corporate taxes -v- Press Release (60% favor, 35% oppose). However, they steadfastly oppose increasing the state sales tax (71% oppose, 27% favor) and extending the sales tax to include services (63% oppose, 32% favor). While 46 percent credit the governor and legislature with making at least some progress in solving the state’s budget problems, only 7 percent think they have made a lot of progress. Who do Californians want to make the tough choices involved in the current state budget? Thirty-eight percent favor Democrats in the legislature, 24 percent prefer Governor Schwarzenegger, and 18 percent prefer Republicans in the legislature. Support for the legislature on this dimension is notable, given that their dismal approval ratings (26%) are at the lowest point since August 2003 (28%) and are down substantially since January (37%). Ultimately, state residents trust themselves to make the tough calls: 72 percent believe voters should make decisions about the budget and governmental reforms rather than abdicate that responsibility to the governor and legislature (25%). But when it comes to the budget, how much knowledge do residents bring to the table? Only 29 percent of Californians can identify the top category for state spending (K-12 education). Only one third (32%) correctly name personal income taxes as the main source of state revenue. And only 11 percent of Californians correctly identify both the biggest spending category and the largest revenue source. Special Election Loses Steam… The governor has said that he might call a special election in 2005 to allow voters to decide on a package of reforms; this idea has lost considerable support since the beginning of the year. Today, 62 percent of likely voters say it would be better to wait until the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006, compared to 52 percent who held this view in January. Support for a special election has dropped among Democrats (from 34% to 24%), Republicans (from 58% to 46%), and independents (from 47% to 37%). California voters are mixed in their responses to the specific set of reforms being proposed for the special election ballot. Forty-one percent of likely voters say they would vote in favor of legislative redistricting reform, while 40 percent would oppose such a measure. One reason for the lack of clarity? Voters do not appear to be strongly motivated to make redistricting reforms at this time: While about one in three likely voters (37%) believe that the current process needs major changes, about half believe that minor changes are all that is required (26%) or that the system is fine the way it is (23%). Support is also divided for an initiative that would limit state spending. This fiscal reform measure is backed by 43 percent of likely voters, while 37 percent are opposed and 20 percent are undecided. While they are ambivalent about redistricting, many registered voters do believe that the state budget process needs major changes (59%), a view held by Democrats (62%), Republicans (59%), and independents (55%). Likely voters like the notion of limiting increases in state spending each year (62%), but they oppose the idea of allowing the governor to reduce spending for budget items without legislative approval (63%). On a related note, likely voters also strongly oppose eliminating minimum spending requirements for state programs such as K-12 education (62%). Half (54%) oppose and 41 percent support lowering the majority required to pass a state budget from the current two-thirds to 55 percent. … And Distrust of Government Lingers Californians continue to express profound distrust of their state government. Today, only 29 percent say they can trust the government to do what is right just about always or most of the time, compared to the pre-recall low of 27 percent in October 2003. Most Californians say that state government is run by a few big interests, a view held by majorities of Democrats (72%), Republicans (67%), and independents (64%). And a majority (55%) believes that “a lot” of state tax dollars are wasted by people in state government. The public’s view of Governor Schwarzenegger as a reformer has certainly been tarnished by their general lack of faith in state leadership: Only 40 percent of Californians today approve of his handling of government reform, compared to 58 percent in January. - vi - Press Release Immigration a Front-Burner Issue for Republicans Although Californians express serious concern about the state budget, it ranks fifth on their list of top issues facing the state. The economy (20%), education and schools (19%), immigration (9%), and crime, gangs, and drugs (8%) are seen as the most pressing topics. Democrats and independents (24% each) are most likely to name education as the most important issue facing the state. But in a shift since January – when Republicans named the state budget as their top concern – Republicans today (21%) put immigration at the top of their list. Whites (13%) are twice as likely as Latinos (6%) to say immigration is the top state issue. Given his recent comments about immigration, how do Californians rate the governor’s performance in this area? Fifty percent disapprove and 31 percent approve of his handling of illegal immigration. Majorities of Democrats (58%) and independents (52%) disapprove, while a majority of Republicans (53%) approve. Latinos – who are more negative than whites about all areas of the governor’s performance – are especially scathing in their assessment of his handling of illegal immigration: 78 percent disapprove and 14 percent approve. More Key Findings • Proposition 13 Loses Some Luster (page 12) Since February 2003, the percentage of Californians saying Proposition 13 has turned out to be a bad thing has climbed 16 points (from 21% to 37%), while those saying it is mostly a good thing has declined by 10 points (from 57% to 47%). A majority of Californians (55%) say they dislike the disparities in property taxes paid by owners of similar homes. However, a majority (56%) still supports the two-thirds vote requirement for the passage of local special taxes. • Pessimism About State’s Direction, Economy (page 14) More residents today say the state is headed in the wrong direction than the right direction (57% to 35%) and say they expect bad economic times rather than good times in the next 12 months (49% to 39%). • President Bush Sees Ratings Decline… (page 18) President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have fallen since January and are now similar to his ratings one year ago. Forty percent approve and 56 percent disapprove of his performance in office. • … But Individual Members of Congress Remain Popular (page 18) U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein receives majority support from state residents (52%) and likely voters (56%) for the way she has handled her job. Nearly half of Californians (49%) and 52 percent of likely voters approve of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s performance in office. Majorities of adults (54%) and likely voters (58%) approve of the performance of their own representative in Congress. About the Survey The California State Budget Survey — a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and The James Irvine Foundation — is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. This is the fifth in a series intended to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers, and stimulate public discussions about the current budget and the underlying state and local finance systems. Findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,003 California adult residents interviewed between May 10 and May 17, 2005. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. For more information on methodology, see page 19. Mark Baldassare is research director at PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has directed since 1998. His recent book, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World, is available at www.ppic.org. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public policy through objective, nonpartisan research on the economic, social, and political issues that affect Californians. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. This report will appear on www.ppic.org on May 26. ### - vii - Percent Percent all adults Percent who say tax increases should have been in the governor's budget plan 100 90 80 70 60 50 46 59 51 40 30 30 20 10 0 All Adults Dem Rep Ind Redistricting Initiative 20 41 Is it better to have a special election or is it better to wait until the next scheduled election? 100 90 Jan 05 80 May 05 70 60 50 45 61 50 40 33 30 20 10 0 Better to have Better to w ait State Spending Initiative 19 43 SAJAMeOJupaapcrguttynl00000005444554 39 Percent registered voters Yes No Don't know Governor's Approval Ratings Percent all adults 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 04 04 04 Jan Feb May Approve Disapprove Percent all adults 38 Percent registered voters Yes No Don’t know Most Important Issue 30 25 20 20 19 15 10 9 8 7 5 0 Economy Education Immigration & Jobs Crime State Budget State’s Budget Situation Overall Attitudes Californians continue to be highly concerned about the state’s budget situation, and perceptions did not change after Governor Schwarzenegger released the budget revisions on May 13th, revealing that additional revenues were available. Seven in 10 Californians now say that the gap between the state’s spending and revenues is a big problem, a perception that is unchanged from our earlier budget surveys (January 2004: 70%; May 2004: 73%; January 2005: 70%). The perception that the state’s budget gap is a big problem was the same in this survey before and after the May 13th budget revisions were announced (70% before, 72% after). That view of the state’s fiscal problems is held by large percentages of adults across all regions and racial/ethnic and other demographic groups. At least seven in 10 likely voters (75%), Democrats (76%), Republicans (71%), and independents (73%) share this concern about the state’s fiscal situation, and that concern increases with age, education, and income. “The state government has an annual budget of around $110 billion and currently faces a multibillion dollar gap between state spending and state revenue. Do you think that this budget gap is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today?” Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know All Adults 71% 23 3 3 Central Valley 68% 26 4 2 Region SF Bay Area 76% 20 2 2 Los Angeles 73% 22 2 3 Other Southern California 68% 26 3 3 Likely Voters 75% 22 2 1 As for solutions to the state’s budget gap, opinion remains splintered along party lines. Four in 10 residents (43%) favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases; three in 10 favor mostly spending cuts; and one in 10 favors mostly tax increases. Support for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases has risen only slightly from January (40%) and did not change after the revised budget was released on May 13th (42% before, 43% after). Today, six in 10 Democrats and independents want to close the budget gap either through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases or mostly through tax increases, compared to 44 percent of Republicans. In contrast, Republicans (45%) are considerably more likely than Democrats (21%) and independents (26%) to favor dealing with the state’s budget gap mostly through spending cuts. “How would you prefer to deal with the state’s budget gap …” Mix of spending cuts and tax increases Mostly through spending cuts Mostly through tax increases Okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit Other Don't know All Adults 43% 29 11 7 3 7 Party Registration Dem Rep 47% 39% 21 45 15 5 Ind 46% 26 13 749 332 744 Likely Voters 47% 31 11 4 3 4 -1- State’s Budget Situation Spending and Revenues Many Californians don’t know basic facts about the state budget. In recent years, the single largest area of spending in the state budget has been K-12 public education, followed by health and human services, higher education, and corrections. Together, these four spending categories account for the vast majority of state spending. Only 29 percent of all adults and 32 percent of likely voters say that K-12 public schools get the biggest slice of the state budget pie. Nearly as many believe that corrections or health and human services get the biggest share. Few residents think higher education is the top state spending area. Despite the general lack of knowledge, only 9 percent said they had no opinion on this fiscal question. Beliefs differ somewhat across party lines: Democrats and independents are more likely than Republicans to name corrections as the state’s top spending category. Republicans are more likely than Democrats and independents to name health and human services as the biggest state expense. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget.” K-12 public education Youth and adult corrections Health and human services Higher education Other Don't know All Adults 29% 28 25 8 1 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 26% 34% 33% 34 17 30 22 29 23 778 110 10 12 6 Likely Voters 32% 26 25 6 1 10 Among state revenue sources, the four major categories, in order of size, are the personal income tax, the sales tax, corporate taxes, and vehicle license fees. Although 32 percent of residents correctly name personal income taxes as the leading source of state revenues, 58 percent choose one of the other three sources, and 9 percent say they don’t know. Likely voters offer similar responses. There were no partisan differences in knowledge of personal income taxes as the top source of state revenues. As an indication of the level of overall knowledge of how the state budget operates, 11 percent of Californians correctly identify both the biggest spending category (i.e., K-12 public education) and the largest revenue source (i.e., personal income tax) in the budget. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue in the state budget.” Personal income tax Sales tax Corporate tax Motor vehicle fees Other Don't know All Adults 32% 27 16 15 1 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 34% 26 31% 28 35% 27 16 18 17 16 9 13 010 8 13 8 Likely Voters 35% 27 17 10 1 10 -2- State’s Budget Situation Preferred Solutions Californians are evenly split and sharply divided along partisan lines in their overall preferences regarding the size and role of state government. Nearly half say they prefer to pay lower taxes and have a smaller state government with fewer services (46%). An equal proportion are willing to pay higher taxes and have a larger state government with more services (46%). A slight preference for larger rather than smaller government was found in our June 2003 (49% to 45%) and January 2005 surveys (49% to 44%). There are large differences across political groups, with Democrats (58%) preferring to pay higher taxes for a larger state government with more services, and Republicans (67%) opting for lower taxes and a smaller state government with fewer services. Likely voters (51%) and independents (53%) lean toward lower taxes and a smaller government. Latinos (63%) are much more likely than whites (39%) to prefer higher taxes and more services. Support for lower taxes and fewer services rises with age, education, income, and homeownership. Public preference for lower taxes and fewer services was about the same before (48%) and after (45%) the release of the May revision. “Which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes to support a larger state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller state government that provides fewer services?” Higher taxes, more services Lower taxes, fewer services Don't know All Adults 46% 46 8 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 58% 26% 42% 33 67 53 975 Likely Voters 41% 51 8 There is broad consensus that state government wastes much of its tax revenues. More than half of adults, including likely voters and members of all political parties, believe that a lot of the money paid in state taxes is wasted. That perception is as high today as it was when the multibillion dollar budget gap first gained public attention two years ago (55% in February 2003, 52% in June 2003) and when Governor Schwarzenegger released his first budget plan in January 2004 (56%). The perception that the state government wastes a lot of its tax money is higher among conservatives than liberals, older than younger adults, and homeowners than renters. There is little difference in perceptions of waste in state government before and after the release of the May revision (57% to 53%). “Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” A lot Some Not very much Don't know All Adults 55% 35 7 3 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 51% 38 61% 32 53% 36 758 423 Likely Voters 56% 36 6 2 - 3 - May 2005 State’s Budget Situation Governor’s Budget Plan Californians are evenly divided over Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget plan for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Compared to the January budget plan, the May revision included additional revenues that provided funding increases for some areas of state spending and did not rely on new long-term state borrowing to balance the budget. Nevertheless, satisfaction with the proposed budget was about the same before and after the release of the revision.* Although responses to the budget are more positive today than in January (38% satisfied, 55% dissatisfied), they are less favorable than a year ago (50% satisfied, 41% dissatisfied). Strong majorities of Republicans are satisfied (71%), and Democrats dissatisfied (64%), and independents give a mixed response (44% satisfied, 49% dissatisfied) to the governor’s budget plan. As was true last year, the governor’s January budget plan and the May revision included no new taxes. Further indicating Californians’ divided response to the governor’s budget proposal, 46 percent say there should be tax increases, but 47 percent oppose including tax increases in the budget. Support for new taxes today is down slightly from a year ago (50%) and from January (49%), and the release of the May revision did not affect that support. Support for new taxes is relatively high among Democrats (59%), reaches a bare majority among independents (51%), and is strongly opposed by Republicans (65%). Today, seven in 10 residents are very (33%) or somewhat concerned (39%) about the effects of the spending cuts in the governor’s plan, a perception that was similar a year ago (76%) and unchanged after this year’s May revision. “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the governor’s budget plan?” Satisfied Dissatisfied Don't know All Adults 44% 47 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 26% 64 71% 22 44% 49 10 7 7 Likely Voters 47% 46 7 May Revision∗ Before After 44% 43% 47 47 9 10 “Do you think that tax increases should have been included in the governor's budget plan?” Yes No Don't know All Adults 46% 47 7 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 59% 30% 51% 36 65 44 555 Likely Voters 48% 47 5 May Revision Before After 44% 46% 48 47 87 “How concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor's budget plan?” Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned Don't know All Adults 33% 39 15 9 4 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 45% 17% 32% 42 34 40 8 26 17 3 19 9 242 Likely Voters 35% 36 15 11 3 May Revision Before After 34% 33% 36 41 15 15 12 8 33 ∗683 interviews were conducted before and 1,320 after the release of the May revision (May 13, 2005). -4- State’s Budget Situation Increasing Funding and Reducing Debt In his May revision, Governor Schwarzenegger revealed that there were several billion dollars in extra state revenues and proposed using the additional money primarily on transportation projects and reducing the state debt. When asked about three options for using the additional revenues, Californians opted for spending the money on K-12 public education (76%) over reducing the state debt (70%) or increasing funding for transportation (53%). Support for funding public schools and transportation improvements rose slightly after the May revision, while support for reducing the state debt was largely unchanged. Increasing spending for K-12 public education was highly supported across all parties, regions of the state, and racial/ethnic groups and demographic groups. However, Republicans (59%) were less in favor of that option than were Democrats (85%) and independents (80%). Seven in 10 Californians in most political and demographic groups, or almost as many as those who wanted to use the extra money for schools, said some of the additional money should go to reducing the state debt. Although at least seven in 10 in all parties supported that use of additional funds, it was preferred more by Republicans (78%) than by Democrats (70%) and independents (71%). Increased funding for transportation projects had the least support. That option was favored by just over half of all adults and about equal proportions of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. There was little difference across racial/ethnic groups or age, education, and income categories. However, residents in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California (58% each) were more likely than people in the San Francisco Bay area (50%) and the Central Valley (47%) to say they wanted the additional revenues to go to transportation projects. “The state will have somewhat more revenue than was expected in the governor’s original budget plan. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to …” increase K-12 public education funding Favor Oppose Don’t know reduce the amount of state debt Favor Oppose Don’t know increase spending on transportation projects Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 76% 20 4 70 24 6 53 41 6 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 85% 59% 80% 14 36 18 152 70 78 71 24 17 26 653 56 53 51 38 42 45 654 May Revision Before After 74% 78% 22 20 42 71 69 22 25 76 49 55 43 40 85 - 5 - May 2005 State’s Budget Situation Fiscal Policymaking Process When asked whose approach to budget choices they most prefer, Californians today choose the Democrats in the legislature over Governor Schwarzenegger (38% to 24%), while 18 percent say they prefer Republican legislators. The preference for the Democrats in the legislature over the governor is similar today as in January (35% to 29%). However, the governor has lost ground since a year ago, when he and legislative Democrats were equally favored (30% to 31%), and since January 2004, when he was favored over Democratic legislators (33% to 27%). Democrats continue to choose Democratic legislators by a wide margin (66%) as they did this past January (66%) and in May 2004 (59%). Republicans favor Governor Schwarzenegger by a smaller margin today (41%) than in this past January (46%) and in May 2004 (47%). Among independents, a similar percentage now choose the governor (29%) and Democratic legislators (31%). A year ago, they favored the governor over the Democratic legislators (35% to 22%). One in four adults chose the governor to make budget choices both before and after the release of the May revision. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer …” Democrats’ in the legislature Governor Schwarzenegger's Republicans’ in the legislature Other answer (specify) Don't know All Adults 38% 24 18 4 16 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 66% 8% 31% 12 41 29 6 37 15 327 13 12 18 May Revision Before After 36% 39% 24 24 21 16 44 15 17 The public is critical of the joint efforts of the governor and legislature in solving state budget issues. Although 46 percent credit the governor and legislature with making at least some progress, only 7 percent think they have made a lot of progress. Republicans (63%) are more likely than Democrats (36%) and independents (47%) to believe that at least some progress has been made. Still, across political groups, regions of the state, and racial/ethnic and demographic groups, few Californians believe a lot of progress has been made by the governor and legislature on budget issues since the 2003 recall election. “Since the 2003 recall election, how much progress have the governor and legislature made together in solving the state’s budget issues?” A lot Some Very little None Don't know All Adults 7% 39 36 13 5 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 4% 9% 9% 32 54 38 42 26 39 18 5 11 463 May Revision Before After 6% 7% 40 38 35 36 13 13 66 -6- State’s Fiscal and Governance System Special Election in 2005 The state’s residents are not very enthusiastic about Governor Schwarzenegger’s interest in holding a special election on reform measures this fall. By an almost two-to-one margin, California adults and likely voters would prefer to vote on reform initiatives in the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006, rather than holding a special election this year. Support for a special election has dropped by 12 points since January, when 45 percent favored it and 50 percent wanted to wait until next year. In almost all groups, a majority now oppose the special election. Democrats and independents clearly prefer to wait until June 2006, while Republicans are divided on the question. Similarly, liberals are more opposed than conservatives to the special election (69% to 53%). However, just 42 percent of conservatives support it. Fewer than half (47%) of those who approve of the governor’s performance in office support his special election proposal. Of those who disapprove of the governor’s performance, 71 percent prefer to wait until the next scheduled statewide election. “Governor Schwarzenegger is considering a special election in fall 2005 to vote on budget, educational, and governmental reform measures. Do you think it is better to have a special election later this year, or is it better to wait until the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006?” Better to have a special election Better to wait until scheduled election in 2006 Don’t know All Adults 33% 61 6 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 24% 46% 37% 72 49 58 455 Likely Voters 33% 62 5 Yet, the fact that only one in three Californians supports a special election on reform initiatives does not mean that they would rather leave long-term reforms up to the governor and the state legislature. To the contrary, seven in 10 residents prefer making long-term budget and governmental reforms at the ballot box, and there is majority support for that preference across all racial/ethnic and demographic groups. Support for policymaking through ballot initiatives declines with age, education, income, and homeownership. It is higher among women than men (74% to 69%) and among Latinos than whites (85% to 63%). On this issue, there are virtually no partisan differences: Democrats and Republicans (68% to 70%) and liberals and conservatives (68% to 77%) share a preference for making long-term state budget and governmental reforms at the ballot box. Those who approve of the governor (70%) are as likely as those who disapprove of his performance in office (73%) to favor the ballot box alternative. “In general, when it comes to making long-term budget and governmental reforms in California, which approach do you most prefer …” Having voters make decisions Having legislature and governor make decisions Don’t know All Adults 72% 25 3 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 68% 70% 71% 29 28 27 322 Likely Voters 64% 32 4 -7- State’s Fiscal and Governance System Redistricting Initiative Governor Schwarzenegger supports an initiative that would take redistricting out of the hands of the governor and the state legislature and give the responsibility to an independent panel of retired judges. Four in 10 registered voters currently support this proposal, a similar proportion are opposed, and one in five voters is undecided. Nearly half of Democrats say they would vote no; half of Republicans would vote yes, and independent voters are closely divided on this reform measure (43% yes, 38% no). The redistricting initiative has more support among registered voters in the Los Angeles and Other Southern California (45% each) areas than among those living in the Central Valley (37%) and San Francisco Bay area (35%). Men (48%) are more likely than women (35%) to say they would vote yes on this initiative. Support for the initiative is higher among those who disapprove (49%) than among those who approve (38%) of the job performance of their own state senate and assembly members. Among people who approve of the governor’s job performance 54 percent support the initiative. Among those who disapprove of his performance, 52 percent would vote no. “The ‘redistricting’ initiative amends state constitutional provisions governing the redistricting of California’s Senate, Assembly, Congressional, and Board of Equalization districts. It requires a panel of three retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt a new redistricting plan if the measure passes and again after each national census. Would you vote yes or no?” Registered Voters Only Yes No Don't know All Registered Voters 41% 39 20 Party Registration Dem 32% 48 20 Rep 51% 28 21 Central Ind Valley 43% 37% 38 43 19 20 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles Other Southern California 35% 45% 45% 40 38 35 25 17 20 Likely Voters 41% 40 19 Californians do not appear highly motivated to make redistricting reforms at this time. Although about one in three registered voters and likely voters believes that the current redistricting process needs major changes, about half believe either that only minor changes are needed or that the redistricting system is fine the way it is now. Even among Republicans, and those who approve of the governor’s performance in office, only about four in 10 voters say that major changes are needed in redistricting. Only half of the supporters of the redistricting initiative believe that major changes are needed, while two in three who say they would vote no say that minor changes are needed or it is fine the way it is. “As you may know, redistricting is the process in which the physical boundaries of a voting district are changed. Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about the redistricting process in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is?” Registered Voters Only All Registered Voters Major changes 36% Minor changes 28 Fine the way it is 24 Don’t know 12 Party Registration Dem 34% 28 25 13 Rep 40% 29 20 11 Ind 33% 29 25 13 Redistricting Initiative Yes 51% 28 13 8 No 26% 31 36 7 Likely Voters 37% 26 23 14 -8- State’s Fiscal and Governance System School Funding and Spending Limit Initiative Governor Schwarzenegger also supports an initiative that would limit state spending to the prior year’s spending plus revenue growth and that includes other provisions to balance the state budget. This proposal is supported by 43 percent of registered voters and opposed by 38 percent; 19 percent are currently undecided. Likely voters have similar preferences. Nearly half of Democrats say they would vote no, while about half of Republicans and independents would vote yes. Support for this state budget reform is higher in the Central Valley (47%) than in Los Angeles (42%), Other Southern California (41%), and the San Francisco Bay area (41%). Men (48%) are more likely than women (38%) to say they would vote yes, and support is higher among conservatives (50%) than among moderates (42%) and liberals (36%). A little over half (55%) of those who approve of the governor’s job performance support this initiative while 50 percent who disapprove of his job performance say they would vote no. Of those who want a smaller government with lower taxes and fewer services, 49 percent would vote yes; of those who want a larger government with higher taxes and more services, 46 percent would vote no. “The ‘School Funding and State Spending’ initiative would change state minimum school funding requirements under Proposition 98, limit state spending to the prior year total plus revenue growth, and continue prior year spending if the new state budget is delayed. It would also prohibit state special funds borrowing and require payment of local government mandates. Would you vote yes or no?” Registered Voters Only Yes No Don't know All Registered Voters 43% 38 19 Party Registration Dem 36% 47 17 Rep 50% 29 21 Central Ind Valley 46% 47% 34 35 20 18 Region SF Bay Area 41% 40 19 Los Angeles 42% 42 16 Other Southern California 41% 37 22 Likely Voters 43% 37 20 California voters evidently believe it is important to reform the state budget process. About six in 10 registered voters and likely voters believe that the way the governor and legislature go about state spending needs major changes. And this belief is held by majorities across political parties. About six in 10 supporters of the state spending initiative believe that major changes are needed. Even among those who say they would vote no, a similar six in 10 say that major changes are needed in the state budget process. Across political and demographic groups, very few say that the way the governor and legislature go about state spending in California today is fine the way it is. “Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about state spending in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is?” Registered Voters Only All Registered Voters Major changes Minor changes Fine the way it is Don’t know 59% 30 7 4 Party Registration School Funding and State Spending Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No 62% 27 59% 30 55% 35 61% 30 59% 31 687 7 8 533 2 2 Likely Voters 63% 27 6 4 - 9 - May 2005 State’s Fiscal and Governance System State Budget Reforms Although voters are divided on the proposed School Funding and State Spending Initiative, 60 percent of Californians support the idea of placing strict limits on annual increases in state spending. This concept is strongly favored by likely voters, Republicans and independents, and a majority of Democrats. Seven in 10 adults who approve of Schwarzenegger’s job performance support this proposal, as do 51 percent of those who disapprove. A majority of adults in all racial/ethnic and other demographic groups agree in concept with limiting increases in state spending. Allowing the governor to reduce spending without legislative approval when state revenues fall short is opposed by 63 percent of adults. Only 31 percent call it a good idea. Republicans support this proposal by a narrow margin (50% favor, 46% oppose). Even among those who say they approve of the governor’s performance in office, only 49 percent like this idea. In almost all other groups, six in 10 or more disapprove of increasing the governor’s fiscal powers in this manner. “Spending reforms have been proposed to address issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea …” Strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? Good idea Bad idea Don't know Allowing the governor to reduce spending for budget items without approval of legislature? Good idea Bad idea Don't know All Adults 60% 33 7 31 63 6 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 53% 73% 63% 39 22 31 856 19 50 33 75 46 65 642 Likely Voters 62% 30 8 34 63 3 When it comes to dedicating funding for specific state programs, Californians clearly oppose (62%) doing away with minimum spending requirements. A majority of likely voters and all political groups oppose eliminating such requirements on state programs such as K-12 public education. Strong majorities in all demographic groups—and 50 percent of those who approve of the governor’s job performance—believe it is a bad idea to eliminate minimum spending requirements for state programs. How about making it easier to pass a state budget? Half (49%) oppose lowering the legislative majority required to pass a state budget from the current two-thirds to a 55 percent majority vote. Among likely voters, 54 percent are opposed. Across party groups, fewer than half support the idea, and opposition has grown six points since our June 2003 survey. Eliminating requirements for minimum state spending in state programs, such as K-12 public education? Good idea Bad idea Don't know Replacing the two-thirds requirement with a 55 percent majority vote to pass a state budget? Good idea Bad idea Don't know All Adults 29% 62 9 44 49 7 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 22% 38% 30% 71 51 63 7 11 7 41 45 45 52 50 48 757 Likely Voters 28% 62 10 41 54 5 - 10 - State’s Fiscal and Governance System Revenue Sources Most Californians approve of raising revenues to reduce the budget gap—if the revenues are raised by a tax on high-income earners or corporations. More than two in three favor raising the top state income tax rate for the “wealthiest” Californians, a percentage that has been fairly consistent over time (71% in January 2004; 69% in January 2005). Today, Republican support falls short of a majority (49%), but Democrats (80%) and independents (72%) strongly favor this tax proposal. Even 65 percent of those making $80,000 or more a year support it. Support is also strong for raising the corporate tax rate: 60 percent favor it; 35 percent are opposed. It is a heavy favorite among Democrats (72%) and solidly supported by independents (58%), but a slight majority of Republicans (52%) are against it. Raising corporate taxes has majority support across all regions and racial/ethnic and demographic groups. Latinos support it somewhat more strongly than whites (65% to 56%). When it comes to raising revenues through the state sales tax, however, opinion turns sharply negative. Nearly two in three (63%) oppose extending the tax to services, such as legal and accounting transactions, which are not currently covered. Majorities in all political and demographic groups oppose the idea, with opposition strongest among Republicans (70%), people age 55 and older (67%, compared to 62% of those ages 18 to 54), and people with just a high school education (67%). Even among people who would prefer to have higher taxes and more government services, only 38 percent favor the idea of extending the sales tax. Response is also highly negative to the idea of raising the state sales tax: 71 percent of all adults and 69 percent of likely voters are against it. Support is lower than it was last January (32%) and in January 2004 (37%). Opposition rises to 78 percent among Republicans and is high among Democrats (65%) and independents (68%) as well. Support is under 30 percent across demographic groups, and even among people who want higher taxes and more government services, it reaches only 37 percent. “Do you favor or oppose the following to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues…” … raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? …raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? …extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? …raising the state sales tax? Favor Oppose Don’t Know Favor Oppose Don’t Know Favor Oppose Don’t Know Favor Oppose Don’t Know All Adults 68% 29 3 60 35 5 32 63 5 27 71 2 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 80% 49% 72% 18 47 27 241 72 43 58 24 52 40 452 36 28 39 59 70 58 523 33 21 30 65 78 68 212 Likely Voters 68% 29 3 60 35 5 33 63 4 29 69 2 - 11 - May 2005 State’s Fiscal and Governance System Proposition 13 When asked about tax limits imposed by Proposition 13, more Californians continue to see them as mostly a good thing (47%) rather than a mostly a bad thing (37%) for the state. Nevertheless, since February 2003, the percentage who say it is mostly a bad thing has increased by 16 points (21% to 37%). Proposition 13 continues to be seen as mostly good by 56 percent of likely voters, 68 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents, and 43 percent of Democrats. The property tax limit is more popular among homeowners than renters (56% to 35%) and whites than Latinos (56% to 33%). Most Californians who say they want lower taxes and less services say it has been a good thing (58%), while those who want higher taxes and more services are more likely to call it a bad thing (46%). Despite the overall approval, a majority of Californians (55%) say they dislike one feature of Proposition 13—property tax disparities for similar homes in a neighborhood. This perception was held by a similar proportion of state residents in February 2003 (52%). Democrats and independents especially dislike this provision; Republicans and likely voters are less troubled by it. Opposition to this effect of Proposition 13 is stronger among renters than homeowners (68% to 47%), Latinos than whites (68% to 46%), and people who have lived in their current home for less than five years (66%) compared to longerterm residents (47%). Opposition to this feature of Proposition 13 declines with age and income. A majority of Californians remain quite positive about another feature of Proposition 13: The twothirds vote requirement for passage of most new taxes is supported by 56 percent of residents. In response to a similar question in February 2003, 60 percent supported the supermajority requirement to pass local taxes. Republicans and likely voters are especially positive, and even a majority of independents and Democrats favor this provision of Proposition 13. It is favored more often by homeowners than renters (61% to 48%), by whites than Latinos (64% to 41%), and by people age 35 and older than by people who are under age 35 (59% to 49%). People who favor lower taxes and fewer services are more likely than those who prefer higher taxes and more services to support the local supermajority requirement (61% to 51%). Support for this feature of Proposition 13 rises with income. “As a result of Proposition 13 and increases in home prices in California, a homeowner who recently purchased a home will pay much higher property taxes than a homeowner who purchased a similar home several years ago in the same neighborhood. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13?” Favor Oppose Don't know All Adults 38% 55 7 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 37% 53% 44% 58 41 51 565 Homeownership Own Rent 47% 24% 47 68 68 Likely Voters 49% 46 5 “Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special taxes, such as a local sales tax to fund transportation projects. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13?” Favor Oppose Don't know All Adults 56% 35 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 54% 67% 59% 38 28 35 856 Homeownership Own Rent 61% 48% 32 41 7 11 Likely Voters 62% 32 6 - 12 - Political and Economic Climate Most Important Problem The state’s economy and its public school system continue to top the list of Californians’ concerns. About one in five residents mentions each as the most important issue facing California today. Fewer than one in 10 residents names any other issue, including legal and illegal immigration, crime, the state budget, housing costs and availability, health care, gasoline prices, population growth and development, and transportation. It is interesting that although seven in 10 residents say the state budget gap is a big problem, only 7 percent rate it as the most important issue facing the state. The economy still tops the list of concerns for all adults, but the concern is less today than it was a year ago (20% to 34%), as is concern with the state budget (7% to 11%). However, more residents than a year ago are mentioning schools as the top issue today (19% to 12%). Two years ago, 31 percent named the economy as the most important issue, followed by schools and the state budget (13% each). The economy tops the list in all major regions except the San Francisco Bay area, where education (30%) is first. However, as in other regions, one in five San Francisco Bay area residents mentions the economy as the top issue. Los Angeles residents are more likely than those living in other regions to mention crime, gangs, and drugs as the top problems facing the state (14%). While Latinos (19%) and whites (17%) stress the economy about equally, the issues of crime, gangs and drugs are mentioned much more often by Latinos than whites (17% to 4%). Only 6 percent of Latinos name immigration as the top state issue, compared to 13 percent of whites. As for partisan differences, Democrats and independents are most likely to name education as the most important issue (24% each), while Republicans place immigration at the top of their list (21%). “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” Region Central All Adults Valley SF Bay Area Economy, jobs, unemployment 20% 20% 21% Education, schools 19 14 30 Immigration, illegal immigration 9 8 5 Crime, gangs, drugs 872 State budget, deficit, taxes 796 Housing costs, availability 536 Health care/costs, HMO reform 4 6 5 Gasoline prices 452 Population growth, development 2 1 2 Traffic, transportation 211 Other (specify)* 14 16 16 Don't know 6 10 4 *No single issue was mentioned by more than 2 percent of respondents. Los Angeles 20% 17 11 14 4 3 3 2 1 3 18 4 Other Southern California 18% 17 13 7 8 5 3 6 0 3 13 7 Latinos 19% 15 6 17 3 3 4 5 1 1 15 11 - 13 - Political and Economic Climate Overall Mood Californians’ overall mood about the state of their state has soured in the past few months. More than half (57%) now say that things in the state are generally going in the wrong direction—up from 44 percent in May 2004 and 41 percent in January 2005. Only about one in three residents now says things are going in the right direction, down from 43 percent in May 2004 and 46 percent in January 2005. Likely voters have a similar outlook: Only 37 percent say that the state is headed in the right direction. About half of Republicans are positive about the state’s direction, but 68 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents say that things are going in the wrong direction. Majorities in all four regions are pessimistic, but a higher percentage of residents of San Francisco and Los Angeles think the state is headed in the wrong direction (60% each). Whites (39%) are more positive than Latinos (27%) about the state of the state. Fifty-nine percent of adults who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s performance are optimistic about the state’s direction, while 78 percent of those who disapprove are pessimistic. The overall mood about the state just before and just after the release of the May revision was the same. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” Right direction Wrong direction Don't know All Adults 35% 57 8 Party Registration Dem 26% 68 6 Rep 50% 40 10 Central Ind Valley 37% 38% 57 53 69 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles Other Southern California 34% 33% 37% 60 60 67 53 10 Likely Voters 37% 56 7 Economic confidence has fallen in the past few months and in comparison to one year ago. Half of residents now say that the state will have bad times financially in the next year, compared to 39 percent in January 2005 and 44 percent in May 2004. Likely voters are slightly more optimistic, with 44 percent expecting good economic times. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to expect good financial times (58% to 32%). Similarly, 59 percent of those who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s job performance expect good economic times. Across the state’s major regions, Los Angeles residents are the most negative, followed closely by people in the Central Valley. Optimism about the economy is higher among whites (47%) than Latinos (29%) and among men (45%) than women (34%). Economic confidence increases with education and income and is higher among homeowners (43%) than renters (33%). Californians’ economic outlook did not change after the release of the May revision. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” Good times Bad times Don't know All Adults 39% 49 12 Party Registration Dem 32% 57 11 Rep 58% 31 11 Central Ind Valley 40% 37% 50 49 10 14 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles 40% 37% 46 52 14 11 Other Southern California 44% 46 10 Likely Voters 44% 45 11 - 14 - Political and Economic Climate Job Performance Ratings for State Officials Only 26 percent of residents approve of the state legislature’s performance, while 58 percent disapprove. The legislature’s ratings are at their lowest point since August 2003 (28%), the only other time in our survey that they have fallen below 30 percent. The ratings in the current survey represent a significant decline from the 37 percent approval rating in January of this year and the 40 percent approval rating given in May 2004. Majorities across all political groups, regions of the state, and demographic groups disapprove of the way that the California legislature is handling its responsibilities. Republicans (69%) and independents (61%) are more negative than Democrats (54%), and more than six in 10 likely voters disapprove of the legislature’s performance. However, when asked about the job performance of state legislators from their own state Assembly and Senate districts, residents are much more positive. Forty-seven percent approve and 35 percent disapprove of the job their own state legislators are doing. The approval ratings are similar to the 49 percent approval rating in October 2004. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California legislature is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove Don't know All Adults 26% 58 16 Party Registration Dem 29% 54 17 Rep 20% 69 11 Central Ind Valley 23% 28% 61 59 16 13 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles 30% 22% 54 60 16 18 Other Southern California 23% 59 18 Likely Voters 24% 63 13 Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings are considerably higher than the state legislature’s. However, they remain at the low point they reached in April. In the current survey, 40 percent of residents approve of the way he is handling his job, while 49 percent disapprove. His approval rating is slightly higher among likely voters (45%). His approval rating did not show any sign of improvement after the release of the May revision (43% to 38%). Since January, when his original budget plan was released, his overall approval ratings have dropped from 60 percent to 40 percent. They have dropped even lower than a year ago, when 64 percent approved and 26 percent disapproved of his performance as governor. Currently, Republicans (72%) are much more likely than Democrats (22%) or independents (42%), and whites (51%) are much more likely than Latinos (21%), to approve of the governor’s performance. The other political and demographic groups in which the governor’s approval ratings reach 50 percent are conservatives (54%) and those making more than $80,000 a year (50%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California?” Approve Disapprove Don't know All Adults 40% 49 11 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 22% 72% 42% 68 19 48 10 9 10 Likely Voters 45% 46 9 May Revision Before After 43% 38% 47 51 10 11 - 15 - May 2005 Political and Economic Climate Governor’s Report Card Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings on specific issues are, with one exception, even lower than his overall ratings. He gets the same, and highest, approval rating—40 percent—for his handling of government reform. However, approval drops to 37 percent on the state budget, 31 percent on illegal immigration, 29 percent on public schools, and 28 percent on transportation. Likely voters are more likely than all adults to approve of the governor’s handling of reforming government, the state budget, illegal immigration, and schools. “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Schwarzenegger is handling…” Reforming California government? The state budget and taxes? Illegal immigration? The state’s K-12 public education system? Transportation and traffic congestion? Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults 40% 45 15 37 51 12 31 50 19 29 53 18 28 40 32 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 24% 68% 47% 63 19 38 13 13 15 20 66 42 70 23 47 10 11 11 22 53 28 58 28 52 20 19 20 15 54 30 72 27 51 13 19 19 19 42 29 49 22 35 32 36 36 Likely Voters 47% 41 12 42 48 10 36 46 18 33 52 15 29 37 34 The governor’s approval ratings have declined from his January marks for reforming California government (from 58% to 40%), state budget and taxes (from 48% to 37%), and transportation (from 35% to 28%). A year ago, 55 percent approved of the way he was handling the budget and taxes, compared to 37 percent today. On four of the issues that we asked about in a previous survey, Schwarzenegger has lower approval ratings than Governor Davis in January 2000 (illegal immigration: 31% to 40%, schools: 29% to 51%, state budget and taxes: 37% to 57%; transportation and traffic congestion: 28% to 46%). Republicans remain loyal to their governor, with a much higher percentage approving than disapproving of his performance on all five issues. However, solid majorities of Democrats disapprove of his performance on reforming government, the state budget, illegal immigration, and schools. Independents are more likely to disapprove than approve of the governor’s performance on the state budget, illegal immigration, public schools and transportation, while nearly half like the job he is doing in reforming California government. Latinos are more negative than whites on all areas of the governor’s performance, especially his handling of illegal immigration (78% to 37%). - 16 - Political and Economic Climate Distrust in State Government Californians’ distrust of state government remains near the historically low levels it reached at the time of the governor’s recall. Today, only 29 percent say they can trust government to do what is right just about always (6%) or most of the time (23%), compared to 27 percent in October 2003. A year ago, 32 percent said they had that level of trust in state government. All of these levels of trust are much lower than they were in January 2001 (46%) and January 2002 (47%) before trust in state government began to decline during the 2002 election. Although trust in state government is low across all political groups, independents (33%) and Republicans (29%) are somewhat more trusting than Democrats (25%). Trust in state government also declines with age. Latinos (35%) are more likely than whites (27%) to say they trust state government at least most of the time. Of those who feel things in California are going in the right direction, 44 percent trust Sacramento to do what is right at least most of the time. Among adults who approve of the governor’s job performance, 38 percent trust the state government just about always or most of the time. “How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Sacramento to do what is right?” Just about always Most of the time Only some of the time None of the time (volunteered) Don't know All Adults 6% 23 63 6 2 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 4% 5% 7% 21 24 26 68 63 61 575 211 Likely Voters 4% 23 65 6 2 Californians’ distrust of their state government is mirrored in their impression of who runs it. Sixtyseven percent of residents believe Sacramento is run by a few big interests rather than for the benefit of all of the people. This perception was similar in January 2004 (65%) and has increased since January 2002 (58%) and January 2001 (60%). The belief that state government is today run by a few big interests is even stronger among likely voters (71%), and among Democrats (72%) than among other political groups. Those who disapprove of Schwarzenegger (72%) are more likely than those who approve of him (62%) to say big interests are running the show. Solid majorities across all demographic groups say the state government is run by big interests looking out for themselves. However, Latinos (30%) are more likely than whites (22%) to believe that the state government is run for the benefit of all people. “Would you say that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people?” A few big interests Benefit of all people Don't know All Adults 67% 25 8 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 72% 67% 64% 22 25 28 688 Likely Voters 71% 21 8 - 17 - May 2005 Political and Economic Climate Job Performance of Federal Officials Forty percent of Californians approve of the way that President George W. Bush is handling his job—similar to the proportion approving of Governor Schwarzenegger. Forty-six percent approved of the president’s job performance in office in January 2005, and 41 percent in May 2004. The president’s approval ratings in California today are somewhat lower than in a national survey this month by the Pew Research Center (43% approve). Forty percent of California’s likely voters say they approve of the president’s job performance. There are sharp differences in support between Republicans (73%), Democrats (19%), and independents (34%). In all regions, Bush fails to receive majority approval. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …” George W. Bush is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve Disapprove Don’t know Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? Approve Disapprove Don’t know Barbara Boxer is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults 40% 56 4 52 27 21 49 31 20 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 19% 78 73% 23 34% 61 3 45 67 36 54 16 49 25 17 15 21 69 22 55 15 64 27 16 14 18 Likely Voters 40% 56 4 56 31 13 52 37 11 In asking about California’s U.S. Senators, a majority (52%) approve of the job Dianne Feinstein is doing in office. Among likely voters, her approval rises to 56 percent. Her ratings are similar to those in October 2004, when 51 percent gave her positive marks and 26 percent disapproved. However, they are slightly lower than the peak of 59 percent approval she received in February 2000. Today, 67 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents approve of Feinstein’s performance as a U.S. Senator, while 49 percent of Republicans disapprove. The senator’s highest approval ratings come from the San Francisco Bay area (63%) and are higher in Los Angeles (52%) than in the Central Valley (48%) and Other Southern California (45%) areas. Feinstein’s approval ratings are higher among women than men (55% to 48%) and among whites than Latinos (54% to 48%). After a successful reelection campaign last November, Barbara Boxer maintains a majority approval of 52 percent among likely voters, while 49 percent of all adults approve of the job she is doing as a U.S. Senator. Her approval ratings today are up slightly from May 2004 (45% approve), and similar to those in October 2004 (53%). Across political groups, 69 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents approve of her performance, while 64 percent of Republicans disapprove. Boxer’s approval ratings are higher among women than men (52% to 46%) and among liberals than conservatives (72% to 31%). Regionally, Boxer’s approval ratings are highest in the San Francisco Bay area (61%) and are higher in Los Angeles (52%) than in the Central Valley and Other Southern California areas (42% each). When asked to rate the representative to the U.S. House of Representatives from their congressional district, 54 percent of adults and 58 percent of likely voters approve of his or her performance in office. Approval is high across political groups and regions. - 18 - Survey Methodology The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, research director and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance in research and writing from Douglas Strand, Associate Survey Director; Jennifer Paluch, project manager for this survey; and Kristy Michaud and Kim Curry, survey research associates. The survey was conducted with funding from The James Irvine Foundation and benefited from discussions with program staff and grantees (as well as discussions at meetings facilitated by the foundation) and regional focus groups with voters, funded by the foundation. However, survey methods, questions, and content of the report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,003 California adult residents interviewed between May 10 and May 17, 2005. Interviewing took place mostly on weekday and weekend evenings, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in California were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Interviews took an average of 19.5 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Accent on Translations translated the survey into Spanish, and Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc. conducted the telephone interviewing. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,003 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. The sampling error for the 1,586 registered voters is +/- 2.5 percent. The sampling error for the 1,171 likely voters is +/- 3 percent, and the sampling error for each of the half samples is also +/- 3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to four geographic regions. “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. “SF Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes the mostly suburban regions of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. These four regions were chosen for analysis because they are major population centers that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. The sample sizes for the African American and Asian subgroups are not large enough for separate statistical analysis. We do compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents. The “independents” category includes only those who are registered to vote as “decline to state.” We also compare the opinions of respondents interviewed before to those interviewed after the governor’s revised budget was released on May 13th. We compare PPIC Statewide Survey responses to responses recorded in national surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center and earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys to analyze trends over time in California. - 19 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: SPECIAL SURVEY ON THE CALIFORNIA STATE BUDGET MAY 10 – MAY 17, 2005 2,003 CALIFORNIA ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/-2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. 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] 20% economy, jobs, unemployment 19 education, schools 9 immigration, illegal immigration 8 crime, gangs, drugs 7 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 housing costs, availability 4 health care, health costs, HMO reform 4 gasoline prices 2 population growth, too much development 2 traffic, transportation 14 other (specify) 6 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 49 disapprove 11 don't know [rotate questions 3 to 7] 3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of the state budget and taxes? 37% approve 51 disapprove 12 don't know 4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of illegal immigration? 31% approve 50 disapprove 19 don't know 5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of reforming California government? 40% approve 45 disapprove 15 don't know 6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of transportation and traffic congestion? 28% approve 40 disapprove 32 don't know 7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 29% approve 53 disapprove 18 don't know 8. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California legislature is handling its job? 26% approve 58 disapprove 16 don't know 9. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 35% right direction 57 wrong direction 8 don't know 10. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 39% good times 49 bad times 12 don't know [question 11 not asked] 12. I'm going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget. [read rotated list] 29% K through 12th grade public education 28 youth and adult corrections 25 health and human services 8 higher education 1 other (specify) 9 don't know - 21 - 13. I'm going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue in the state budget. [read rotated list] 32% personal income tax 27 sales tax 16 corporate tax 15 motor vehicle fees 1 other (specify) 9 don't know 14. As you may know, the state government has an annual budget of around 110 billion dollars and currently faces a multi-billion dollar gap between state spending and state revenue. Do you think that this budget gap is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 71% big problem 23 somewhat of a problem 3 not a problem 3 don't know 15. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 43% mix of spending cuts and tax increases 29 mostly through spending cuts 11 mostly through tax increases 7 okay for the state to run a budget deficit 3 other answer (specify) 7 don't know 16. In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—“I'd rather pay higher taxes to support a larger state government that provides more services” or “I'd rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller state government that provides fewer services”? 46% higher taxes and more services 46 lower taxes and fewer services 8 don't know [question 17 not asked] 18. Governor Schwarzenegger proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that includes the following: increasing K through 12 public education funding while withholding some funding in this area and reducing certain health and human services and general government spending. The plan includes no new taxes and leaves the sales tax on gasoline for transportation projects. In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the governor's budget plan? [Prior to the May revision, this question also noted the transfer of a portion of the gasoline sales tax away from transportation projects and using state bonds. On May 12th, the question changed to note the redirection of the use of gas tax money back to funding transportation projects] 44% satisfied 47 dissatisfied 9 don't know [rotate questions 19 and 20] 19. Do you think that tax increases should have been included in the governor's budget plan? 46% yes 47 no 7 don't know 20. Overall, how concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor's budget plan—very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned? 33% very concerned 39 somewhat concerned 15 not too concerned 9 not at all concerned 4 don't know The state will have somewhat more revenue than was expected in the governor’s original budget plan. Do you favor or oppose these proposals for how to use this additional money? [rotate questions 21 to 23] 21. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to increase K through 12 public education funding? 76% favor 20 oppose 4 don't know 22. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to increase spending on transportation projects? 53% favor 41 oppose 6 don't know 23. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to reduce the amount of state debt? 70% favor 24 oppose 6 don't know - 22 - 24. When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer: [rotate] (1) Governor Schwarzenegger's, (2) the Democrats' in the legislature, [or] (3) the Republicans' in the legislature? 38% Democrats’ in the legislature 24 Governor Schwarzenegger’s 18 Republicans’ in the legislature 4 other answer (specify) 16 don’t know 25. Since the 2003 recall election, how much progress have the governor and legislature made together in solving the state's budget issues—a lot, some, very little, or none? 7% a lot 39 some 36 very little 13 none 5 don't know 26. Governor Schwarzenegger is considering a special election in fall 2005 to vote on budget, educational, and governmental reform measures. Do you think it is better to have a special election later this year, or is it better to wait until the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006? 33% better to have a special election 61 better to wait until scheduled election in 2006 6 don't know [Responses recorded for questions 27 to 28a are for registered voters only. All other responses are from all adults, except where noted.] If there is a special election, the following measures may appear on the state ballot. For each one, please tell me whether you would vote yes or no. [rotate question pairs 27/27a and 28/28a] 27. The "redistricting" initiative amends state constitutional provisions governing the redistricting of California's Senate, Assembly, Congressional, and Board of Equalization districts. It requires a panel of three retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt a new redistricting plan if this measure passes and again after each national census. Would you vote yes or no? 41% yes 39 no 20 don't know 27a. As you may know, redistricting is the process in which the physical boundaries of a voting district are changed. Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about the redistricting process in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is? 36% major changes 28 minor changes 24 fine the way it is 12 don't know 28. The "School Funding and State Spending" initiative would change state minimum school funding requirements under Proposition 98, limit state spending to the prior year total plus revenue growth, and continue prior year spending if the new state budget is delayed. It would also prohibit state special funds borrowing and require payment of local government mandates. Would you vote yes or no? 43% yes 38 no 19 don't know 28a.Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about state spending in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is? 59% major changes 30 minor changes 7 fine the way it is 4 don't know [question 29 moved to 27a] [question 30 moved to 28a] 31. In general, when it comes to making long-term budget and governmental reforms in California, which approach do you most prefer: [rotate] (1) having voters make decisions by voting at the ballot box [or] (2) having the legislature and governor make decisions? 72% having voters make decisions 25 having legislature and governor make decisions 3 don't know 32. How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Sacramento to do what is right—just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 6% just about always 23 most of the time 63 only some of the time 6 none of the time/not at all (volunteered) 2 don't know - 23 - May 2005 33. Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don't waste very much of it? 55% a lot 35 some 7 don't waste very much 3 don't know 34. Would you say that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people? 67% a few big interests 25 benefit of all people 8 don't know Spending reforms have been proposed to address issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. [rotate questions 35 to 38] 35. The California state constitution requires that twothirds of the state legislature agree to a state budget for it to pass. How about replacing this two-thirds requirement with a 55 percent majority vote? 44% good idea 49 bad idea 7 don't know 36. If state revenues fall short of meeting what the state has planned to spend, how about allowing the governor to reduce spending for budget items without needing the approval of the state legislature? 31% good idea 63 bad idea 6 don't know 37. How about eliminating the requirements for minimum state spending in state programs such as K through 12 public education? 29% good idea 62 bad idea 9 don't know 38. How about strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 60% good idea 33 bad idea 7 don't know Revenue increases could be used to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 39 to 42] 39. How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed, such as legal and accounting services, auto repairs, and haircuts? 32% favor 63 oppose 5 don't know 40. How about raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 68% favor 29 oppose 3 don't know 41. How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 60% favor 35 oppose 5 don't know 42. How about raising the state sales tax? 27% favor 71 oppose 2 don't know We have a few questions about Proposition 13— the 1978 ballot measure that limits the property tax rate to 1 percent of the assessed value at the time the property is purchased and annual tax increases of no more than 2 percent until the property is sold. [rotate questions 43 and 45] 43. As a result of Proposition 13 and increases in home prices in California, a homeowner who recently purchased a home will pay much higher property taxes than a homeowner who purchased a similar home several years ago in the same neighborhood. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13? 38% favor 55 oppose 7 don't know [question 44 not asked] 45. Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special taxes, such as a local sales tax to fund transportation projects. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13? 56% favor 35 oppose 9 don't know - 24 - 46. Overall, do you feel that Proposition 13 turned out to be mostly a good thing or mostly a bad thing for California? 47% mostly a good thing 37 mostly a bad thing 2 other (volunteered) 14 don't know 47. Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that George W. Bush is handling his job as president of the United States? 40% approve 56 disapprove 4 don't know [rotate questions 48 and 49] 48. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? 52% approve 27 disapprove 21 don't know 49. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? 49% approve 31 disapprove 20 don't know [questions 50 and 51 asked of a random half sample of respondents] 50. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the representative to the U.S. House of Representatives from your congressional district is doing at this time? 54% approve 20 disapprove 26 don't know 51. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and state senate districts are doing at this time? 47% approve 35 disapprove 3 mixed (volunteered) 15 don't know 52. On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote? 80% yes [ask q. 52a] 20 no [skip to q. 53a] 52a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 44% Democrat [go to q. 53b] 34 Republican [go to q. 53c] 2 another party (specify)[ask q. 54] 19 independent [ask q. 53a] 53a.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican party 42 Democratic party 24 neither (volunteered) 9 don't know [go to q. 54] 53b.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 46 not very strong 2 don't know [go to q. 54] 53c.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 53% strong 43 not very strong 4 don't know 54. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 25% great deal 41 fair amount 27 only a little 7 none 55. How often would you say you vote—always, nearly always, part of the time, seldom, or never? 55% always 18 nearly always 8 part of the time 4 seldom 15 never 56. Would you consider yourself to be politically… [read rotated list] 10% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 32 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 11 very conservative 3 don't know [57-66: demographic questions] - 25 - May 2005 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Matthew K. Fong President Strategic Advisory Group William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Dennis A. Hunt Vice President Communications and Public Affairs The California Endowment Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Deputy Chief of Staff Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Max Neiman Professor Political Science Department University of California, Riverside Mark Paul Deputy Treasurer California Treasurer Phil Angelides Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Carol Stogsdill President Stogsdill Consulting Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President 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. - 26 - PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. Gary K. Hart Founder Institute for Education Reform California State University, Sacramento Arjay Miller Dean Emeritus Graduate School of Business Stanford University Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities David W. Lyon President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center Cheryl White Mason Vice-President Litigation Legal Department Hospital Corporation of America Advisory Council Clifford W. Graves General Manager Department of Community Development City of Los Angeles Daniel A. Mazmanian C. Erwin and Ione Piper Dean and Professor School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Elizabeth G. Hill Legislative Analyst State of California Dean Misczynski Director California Research Bureau Hilary W. Hoynes Associate Professor Department of Economics University of California, Davis Andrés E. Jiménez Director California Policy Research Center University of California Office of the President Norman R. King Executive Director San Bernardino Associated Governments Robin M. Kramer Senior Director The Broad Foundation Rudolf Nothenberg Chief Administrative Officer (Retired) City and County of San Francisco Manuel Pastor Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies University of California, Santa Cruz Peter Schrag Contributing Editor The Sacramento Bee James P. Smith Senior Economist RAND Corporation PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 800 O San Francisco, California 94111 Phone: (415) 291-4400 O Fax: (415) 291-4401 www.ppic.org O info@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(119) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-special-survey-on-the-california-state-budget-may-2005/s_505mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8474) ["ID"]=> int(8474) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:37:54" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3683) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 505MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_505mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_505MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "1399714" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["_edit_lock"]=> string(12) "1495272992:1" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(94011) "PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY MAY 2005 Public Policy Institute of California Special Survey on the California State Budget in collaboration with The James Irvine Foundation ○○○○○ Mark Baldassare Research Director & Survey Director The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is a private operating foundation established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. The Institute is dedicated to improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. PPIC’s research agenda focuses on three program areas: population, economy, and governance and public finance. Studies within these programs are examining the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including education, health care, immigration, income distribution, welfare, urban growth, and state and local finance. PPIC was created because three concerned citizens – William R. Hewlett, Roger W. Heyns, and Arjay Miller – recognized the need for linking objective research to the realities of California public policy. Their goal was to help the state’s leaders better understand the intricacies and implications of contemporary issues and make informed public policy decisions when confronted with challenges in the future. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. David W. Lyon is founding President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. Public Policy Institute of California 500 Washington Street, Suite 800 • San Francisco, California 94111 Telephone: (415) 291-4400 • Fax: (415) 291-4401 info@ppic.org • www.ppic.org Preface The PPIC Statewide Survey series provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, the survey series has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 116,000 Californians. The current survey is the fifth in a series of special surveys on the California State Budget and Fiscal System, begun in June 2003 and conducted with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. At the same time that the state government faces the immediate challenge of addressing the current budget gap between state spending and state revenue, an array of structural reforms of the state and local finance system is being considered to cope with long-term issues involved in balancing the state budget. Public opinion surveys offer the state’s lawmakers an opportunity to consider the views of Californians on various fiscal proposals and residents’ specific perceptions on spending and taxes. Over the years, California voters have made fiscal decisions through the initiative process—for example, Proposition 13 property tax reform, Proposition 98 state funding guarantees for K-12 public schools, and Proposition 57 state bonds to reduce the state’s budget shortfall—and the state’s residents will continue to have an important impact on the state and local fiscal system. Voters may be asked to make fiscal policy at the ballot box in a special statewide election this fall. This survey series seeks to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers, and stimulate public discussion about the current state budget and the underlying state and local finance system. This report presents the responses of 2,003 adult residents throughout the state on a wide range of issues: • The state’s budget situation, including perceived severity of the state budget gap, preferred fiscal approach to the state’s budget gap, awareness of the major categories for state spending and state revenue, overall satisfaction with the governor’s budget plan, specific concerns about spending reductions and support for tax increases, and preferences for the use of additional state funding for education and transportation programs and to reduce the state debt. • The state’s fiscal and governance system, including support for a special election on fiscal and governance issues, voters’ reactions to a legislative redistricting initiative and a state spending initiative, perceptions of the need for changes in the redistricting process and the state budget process, support for state budget reforms and proposals to raise revenues, and general attitudes toward Proposition 13 property tax limits and its specific implications. • The political and economic climate, including the public’s perception of the state’s most important problem; general direction of the state and outlook for the state economy; overall approval ratings of Governor Schwarzenegger, the state legislature, and its representatives; approval ratings of the governor on specific issues; distrust of the state government; and overall approval ratings of President Bush and California’s elected federal officials. • The extent to which Californians may differ with regard to attitudes toward spending and taxes by party affiliation, demographics, race/ethnicity, and region of residence. This is the 56th PPIC Statewide Survey, which has included a number of special editions on the Central Valley (11/99, 3/01, 4/02, 4/03, 4/04), Los Angeles County (3/03, 3/04, 3/05), Orange County (9/01, 12/02, 12/03, 12/04), San Diego County (7/02), population growth (5/01), land use (11/01, 11/02), housing (11/04), the environment (6/00, 6/02, 7/03, 11/03, 7/04), the California state budget (6/03, 1/04, 5/04, 1/05), and California’s future (8/04). Copies of this report may be ordered by e-mail (order@ppic.org) or phone (415-291-4400). Copies of this and earlier reports are posted on the publications page of the PPIC web site (www.ppic.org). For questions about the survey, please contact survey@ppic.org. -i- - ii - Contents Preface Press Release State’s Budget Situation State’s Fiscal and Governance System Political and Economic Climate Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i v 1 7 13 19 21 26 - iii - Press Release Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp SPECIAL SURVEY ON THE STATE BUDGET MONEY CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS: STATE COFFERS GROW, BUT CALIFORNIANS REMAIN GLUM ABOUT BUDGET Support for Special Election Drops, Voters Divided over Ballot Measures; Immigration Back on Public’s Radar SAN FRANCISCO, California, May 26, 2005 — Despite a better-than-expected report on the state’s fiscal health, Californians find little to cheer about when it comes to the budget or the performance of their elected representatives, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and The James Irvine Foundation. The May 13th budget revision did little to change public perceptions of the state’s fiscal situation: 71 percent of state residents today view the gap between revenues and spending as a big problem, compared to 70 percent in January. Californians are evenly split in their opinion of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget, with 44 percent saying they are satisfied and 47 percent unsatisfied with his plan. There was virtually no difference in responses before and after the governor’s revised budget was announced. While responses to the proposal are somewhat more positive today than they were in January (38% satisfied, 55% unsatisfied), they are less favorable than the reaction to his proposal one year ago (50% satisfied, 41% unsatisfied). The governor’s revised budget reported several billion dollars more in state revenues than had previously been projected. How would state residents spend those additional dollars? Californians would rather support K-12 public education (76%) than reduce the state debt (70%) or increase funding for transportation (53%). Democrats (85%) and independents (80%) are more likely to choose education, while Republicans (78%) show greater support for debt reduction. How did the governor allocate the additional revenue? His revised budget focused on debt reduction and transportation projects. “Governor Schwarzenegger did not see a boost after the good news of the May revision and this might reflect the fact that some residents perceive that he does not share their priorities,” says PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. The governor’s overall ratings remain at a low point (49% disapprove, 40% approve) and are virtually unchanged since April. Fewer Californians than in January approve of his handling of the state budget (from 48% to 37%), transportation (from 35% to 28%), and K-12 public education (from 34% to 29%). In fact, Schwarzenegger has a lower approval rating on education issues than then-Governor Gray Davis in January 2000 (29% to 51%). Californians Have Little Budget Knowledge, But Big Expectations for Their Role in the Process Consistent with his January proposal, the governor’s revised budget included a variety of spending reductions but no new taxes. Where does the public stand? Most Californians (72%) express concern about the effects of budget cuts in the governor’s plan. Forty-three percent favor a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases, 29 percent favor mostly spending cuts, and only 11 percent prefer mostly tax increases. Although 47 percent of Californians oppose new taxes, 46 percent think tax increases should have been included in the budget plan. So who should pay to help get the state out of its current financial hole? Someone else. As in past PPIC surveys, a majority of Californians support raising the tax rate on the state’s top income bracket (68% favor, 29% oppose). They also favor raising state corporate taxes -v- Press Release (60% favor, 35% oppose). However, they steadfastly oppose increasing the state sales tax (71% oppose, 27% favor) and extending the sales tax to include services (63% oppose, 32% favor). While 46 percent credit the governor and legislature with making at least some progress in solving the state’s budget problems, only 7 percent think they have made a lot of progress. Who do Californians want to make the tough choices involved in the current state budget? Thirty-eight percent favor Democrats in the legislature, 24 percent prefer Governor Schwarzenegger, and 18 percent prefer Republicans in the legislature. Support for the legislature on this dimension is notable, given that their dismal approval ratings (26%) are at the lowest point since August 2003 (28%) and are down substantially since January (37%). Ultimately, state residents trust themselves to make the tough calls: 72 percent believe voters should make decisions about the budget and governmental reforms rather than abdicate that responsibility to the governor and legislature (25%). But when it comes to the budget, how much knowledge do residents bring to the table? Only 29 percent of Californians can identify the top category for state spending (K-12 education). Only one third (32%) correctly name personal income taxes as the main source of state revenue. And only 11 percent of Californians correctly identify both the biggest spending category and the largest revenue source. Special Election Loses Steam… The governor has said that he might call a special election in 2005 to allow voters to decide on a package of reforms; this idea has lost considerable support since the beginning of the year. Today, 62 percent of likely voters say it would be better to wait until the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006, compared to 52 percent who held this view in January. Support for a special election has dropped among Democrats (from 34% to 24%), Republicans (from 58% to 46%), and independents (from 47% to 37%). California voters are mixed in their responses to the specific set of reforms being proposed for the special election ballot. Forty-one percent of likely voters say they would vote in favor of legislative redistricting reform, while 40 percent would oppose such a measure. One reason for the lack of clarity? Voters do not appear to be strongly motivated to make redistricting reforms at this time: While about one in three likely voters (37%) believe that the current process needs major changes, about half believe that minor changes are all that is required (26%) or that the system is fine the way it is (23%). Support is also divided for an initiative that would limit state spending. This fiscal reform measure is backed by 43 percent of likely voters, while 37 percent are opposed and 20 percent are undecided. While they are ambivalent about redistricting, many registered voters do believe that the state budget process needs major changes (59%), a view held by Democrats (62%), Republicans (59%), and independents (55%). Likely voters like the notion of limiting increases in state spending each year (62%), but they oppose the idea of allowing the governor to reduce spending for budget items without legislative approval (63%). On a related note, likely voters also strongly oppose eliminating minimum spending requirements for state programs such as K-12 education (62%). Half (54%) oppose and 41 percent support lowering the majority required to pass a state budget from the current two-thirds to 55 percent. … And Distrust of Government Lingers Californians continue to express profound distrust of their state government. Today, only 29 percent say they can trust the government to do what is right just about always or most of the time, compared to the pre-recall low of 27 percent in October 2003. Most Californians say that state government is run by a few big interests, a view held by majorities of Democrats (72%), Republicans (67%), and independents (64%). And a majority (55%) believes that “a lot” of state tax dollars are wasted by people in state government. The public’s view of Governor Schwarzenegger as a reformer has certainly been tarnished by their general lack of faith in state leadership: Only 40 percent of Californians today approve of his handling of government reform, compared to 58 percent in January. - vi - Press Release Immigration a Front-Burner Issue for Republicans Although Californians express serious concern about the state budget, it ranks fifth on their list of top issues facing the state. The economy (20%), education and schools (19%), immigration (9%), and crime, gangs, and drugs (8%) are seen as the most pressing topics. Democrats and independents (24% each) are most likely to name education as the most important issue facing the state. But in a shift since January – when Republicans named the state budget as their top concern – Republicans today (21%) put immigration at the top of their list. Whites (13%) are twice as likely as Latinos (6%) to say immigration is the top state issue. Given his recent comments about immigration, how do Californians rate the governor’s performance in this area? Fifty percent disapprove and 31 percent approve of his handling of illegal immigration. Majorities of Democrats (58%) and independents (52%) disapprove, while a majority of Republicans (53%) approve. Latinos – who are more negative than whites about all areas of the governor’s performance – are especially scathing in their assessment of his handling of illegal immigration: 78 percent disapprove and 14 percent approve. More Key Findings • Proposition 13 Loses Some Luster (page 12) Since February 2003, the percentage of Californians saying Proposition 13 has turned out to be a bad thing has climbed 16 points (from 21% to 37%), while those saying it is mostly a good thing has declined by 10 points (from 57% to 47%). A majority of Californians (55%) say they dislike the disparities in property taxes paid by owners of similar homes. However, a majority (56%) still supports the two-thirds vote requirement for the passage of local special taxes. • Pessimism About State’s Direction, Economy (page 14) More residents today say the state is headed in the wrong direction than the right direction (57% to 35%) and say they expect bad economic times rather than good times in the next 12 months (49% to 39%). • President Bush Sees Ratings Decline… (page 18) President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have fallen since January and are now similar to his ratings one year ago. Forty percent approve and 56 percent disapprove of his performance in office. • … But Individual Members of Congress Remain Popular (page 18) U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein receives majority support from state residents (52%) and likely voters (56%) for the way she has handled her job. Nearly half of Californians (49%) and 52 percent of likely voters approve of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s performance in office. Majorities of adults (54%) and likely voters (58%) approve of the performance of their own representative in Congress. About the Survey The California State Budget Survey — a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and The James Irvine Foundation — is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. This is the fifth in a series intended to raise public awareness, inform decisionmakers, and stimulate public discussions about the current budget and the underlying state and local finance systems. Findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,003 California adult residents interviewed between May 10 and May 17, 2005. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. For more information on methodology, see page 19. Mark Baldassare is research director at PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has directed since 1998. His recent book, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World, is available at www.ppic.org. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public policy through objective, nonpartisan research on the economic, social, and political issues that affect Californians. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. This report will appear on www.ppic.org on May 26. ### - vii - Percent Percent all adults Percent who say tax increases should have been in the governor's budget plan 100 90 80 70 60 50 46 59 51 40 30 30 20 10 0 All Adults Dem Rep Ind Redistricting Initiative 20 41 Is it better to have a special election or is it better to wait until the next scheduled election? 100 90 Jan 05 80 May 05 70 60 50 45 61 50 40 33 30 20 10 0 Better to have Better to w ait State Spending Initiative 19 43 SAJAMeOJupaapcrguttynl00000005444554 39 Percent registered voters Yes No Don't know Governor's Approval Ratings Percent all adults 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 04 04 04 Jan Feb May Approve Disapprove Percent all adults 38 Percent registered voters Yes No Don’t know Most Important Issue 30 25 20 20 19 15 10 9 8 7 5 0 Economy Education Immigration & Jobs Crime State Budget State’s Budget Situation Overall Attitudes Californians continue to be highly concerned about the state’s budget situation, and perceptions did not change after Governor Schwarzenegger released the budget revisions on May 13th, revealing that additional revenues were available. Seven in 10 Californians now say that the gap between the state’s spending and revenues is a big problem, a perception that is unchanged from our earlier budget surveys (January 2004: 70%; May 2004: 73%; January 2005: 70%). The perception that the state’s budget gap is a big problem was the same in this survey before and after the May 13th budget revisions were announced (70% before, 72% after). That view of the state’s fiscal problems is held by large percentages of adults across all regions and racial/ethnic and other demographic groups. At least seven in 10 likely voters (75%), Democrats (76%), Republicans (71%), and independents (73%) share this concern about the state’s fiscal situation, and that concern increases with age, education, and income. “The state government has an annual budget of around $110 billion and currently faces a multibillion dollar gap between state spending and state revenue. Do you think that this budget gap is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today?” Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know All Adults 71% 23 3 3 Central Valley 68% 26 4 2 Region SF Bay Area 76% 20 2 2 Los Angeles 73% 22 2 3 Other Southern California 68% 26 3 3 Likely Voters 75% 22 2 1 As for solutions to the state’s budget gap, opinion remains splintered along party lines. Four in 10 residents (43%) favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases; three in 10 favor mostly spending cuts; and one in 10 favors mostly tax increases. Support for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases has risen only slightly from January (40%) and did not change after the revised budget was released on May 13th (42% before, 43% after). Today, six in 10 Democrats and independents want to close the budget gap either through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases or mostly through tax increases, compared to 44 percent of Republicans. In contrast, Republicans (45%) are considerably more likely than Democrats (21%) and independents (26%) to favor dealing with the state’s budget gap mostly through spending cuts. “How would you prefer to deal with the state’s budget gap …” Mix of spending cuts and tax increases Mostly through spending cuts Mostly through tax increases Okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit Other Don't know All Adults 43% 29 11 7 3 7 Party Registration Dem Rep 47% 39% 21 45 15 5 Ind 46% 26 13 749 332 744 Likely Voters 47% 31 11 4 3 4 -1- State’s Budget Situation Spending and Revenues Many Californians don’t know basic facts about the state budget. In recent years, the single largest area of spending in the state budget has been K-12 public education, followed by health and human services, higher education, and corrections. Together, these four spending categories account for the vast majority of state spending. Only 29 percent of all adults and 32 percent of likely voters say that K-12 public schools get the biggest slice of the state budget pie. Nearly as many believe that corrections or health and human services get the biggest share. Few residents think higher education is the top state spending area. Despite the general lack of knowledge, only 9 percent said they had no opinion on this fiscal question. Beliefs differ somewhat across party lines: Democrats and independents are more likely than Republicans to name corrections as the state’s top spending category. Republicans are more likely than Democrats and independents to name health and human services as the biggest state expense. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget.” K-12 public education Youth and adult corrections Health and human services Higher education Other Don't know All Adults 29% 28 25 8 1 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 26% 34% 33% 34 17 30 22 29 23 778 110 10 12 6 Likely Voters 32% 26 25 6 1 10 Among state revenue sources, the four major categories, in order of size, are the personal income tax, the sales tax, corporate taxes, and vehicle license fees. Although 32 percent of residents correctly name personal income taxes as the leading source of state revenues, 58 percent choose one of the other three sources, and 9 percent say they don’t know. Likely voters offer similar responses. There were no partisan differences in knowledge of personal income taxes as the top source of state revenues. As an indication of the level of overall knowledge of how the state budget operates, 11 percent of Californians correctly identify both the biggest spending category (i.e., K-12 public education) and the largest revenue source (i.e., personal income tax) in the budget. “I’m going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue in the state budget.” Personal income tax Sales tax Corporate tax Motor vehicle fees Other Don't know All Adults 32% 27 16 15 1 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 34% 26 31% 28 35% 27 16 18 17 16 9 13 010 8 13 8 Likely Voters 35% 27 17 10 1 10 -2- State’s Budget Situation Preferred Solutions Californians are evenly split and sharply divided along partisan lines in their overall preferences regarding the size and role of state government. Nearly half say they prefer to pay lower taxes and have a smaller state government with fewer services (46%). An equal proportion are willing to pay higher taxes and have a larger state government with more services (46%). A slight preference for larger rather than smaller government was found in our June 2003 (49% to 45%) and January 2005 surveys (49% to 44%). There are large differences across political groups, with Democrats (58%) preferring to pay higher taxes for a larger state government with more services, and Republicans (67%) opting for lower taxes and a smaller state government with fewer services. Likely voters (51%) and independents (53%) lean toward lower taxes and a smaller government. Latinos (63%) are much more likely than whites (39%) to prefer higher taxes and more services. Support for lower taxes and fewer services rises with age, education, income, and homeownership. Public preference for lower taxes and fewer services was about the same before (48%) and after (45%) the release of the May revision. “Which of the following statements do you agree with more—I’d rather pay higher taxes to support a larger state government that provides more services, or I’d rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller state government that provides fewer services?” Higher taxes, more services Lower taxes, fewer services Don't know All Adults 46% 46 8 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 58% 26% 42% 33 67 53 975 Likely Voters 41% 51 8 There is broad consensus that state government wastes much of its tax revenues. More than half of adults, including likely voters and members of all political parties, believe that a lot of the money paid in state taxes is wasted. That perception is as high today as it was when the multibillion dollar budget gap first gained public attention two years ago (55% in February 2003, 52% in June 2003) and when Governor Schwarzenegger released his first budget plan in January 2004 (56%). The perception that the state government wastes a lot of its tax money is higher among conservatives than liberals, older than younger adults, and homeowners than renters. There is little difference in perceptions of waste in state government before and after the release of the May revision (57% to 53%). “Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” A lot Some Not very much Don't know All Adults 55% 35 7 3 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 51% 38 61% 32 53% 36 758 423 Likely Voters 56% 36 6 2 - 3 - May 2005 State’s Budget Situation Governor’s Budget Plan Californians are evenly divided over Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget plan for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Compared to the January budget plan, the May revision included additional revenues that provided funding increases for some areas of state spending and did not rely on new long-term state borrowing to balance the budget. Nevertheless, satisfaction with the proposed budget was about the same before and after the release of the revision.* Although responses to the budget are more positive today than in January (38% satisfied, 55% dissatisfied), they are less favorable than a year ago (50% satisfied, 41% dissatisfied). Strong majorities of Republicans are satisfied (71%), and Democrats dissatisfied (64%), and independents give a mixed response (44% satisfied, 49% dissatisfied) to the governor’s budget plan. As was true last year, the governor’s January budget plan and the May revision included no new taxes. Further indicating Californians’ divided response to the governor’s budget proposal, 46 percent say there should be tax increases, but 47 percent oppose including tax increases in the budget. Support for new taxes today is down slightly from a year ago (50%) and from January (49%), and the release of the May revision did not affect that support. Support for new taxes is relatively high among Democrats (59%), reaches a bare majority among independents (51%), and is strongly opposed by Republicans (65%). Today, seven in 10 residents are very (33%) or somewhat concerned (39%) about the effects of the spending cuts in the governor’s plan, a perception that was similar a year ago (76%) and unchanged after this year’s May revision. “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the governor’s budget plan?” Satisfied Dissatisfied Don't know All Adults 44% 47 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 26% 64 71% 22 44% 49 10 7 7 Likely Voters 47% 46 7 May Revision∗ Before After 44% 43% 47 47 9 10 “Do you think that tax increases should have been included in the governor's budget plan?” Yes No Don't know All Adults 46% 47 7 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 59% 30% 51% 36 65 44 555 Likely Voters 48% 47 5 May Revision Before After 44% 46% 48 47 87 “How concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor's budget plan?” Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned Don't know All Adults 33% 39 15 9 4 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 45% 17% 32% 42 34 40 8 26 17 3 19 9 242 Likely Voters 35% 36 15 11 3 May Revision Before After 34% 33% 36 41 15 15 12 8 33 ∗683 interviews were conducted before and 1,320 after the release of the May revision (May 13, 2005). -4- State’s Budget Situation Increasing Funding and Reducing Debt In his May revision, Governor Schwarzenegger revealed that there were several billion dollars in extra state revenues and proposed using the additional money primarily on transportation projects and reducing the state debt. When asked about three options for using the additional revenues, Californians opted for spending the money on K-12 public education (76%) over reducing the state debt (70%) or increasing funding for transportation (53%). Support for funding public schools and transportation improvements rose slightly after the May revision, while support for reducing the state debt was largely unchanged. Increasing spending for K-12 public education was highly supported across all parties, regions of the state, and racial/ethnic groups and demographic groups. However, Republicans (59%) were less in favor of that option than were Democrats (85%) and independents (80%). Seven in 10 Californians in most political and demographic groups, or almost as many as those who wanted to use the extra money for schools, said some of the additional money should go to reducing the state debt. Although at least seven in 10 in all parties supported that use of additional funds, it was preferred more by Republicans (78%) than by Democrats (70%) and independents (71%). Increased funding for transportation projects had the least support. That option was favored by just over half of all adults and about equal proportions of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. There was little difference across racial/ethnic groups or age, education, and income categories. However, residents in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California (58% each) were more likely than people in the San Francisco Bay area (50%) and the Central Valley (47%) to say they wanted the additional revenues to go to transportation projects. “The state will have somewhat more revenue than was expected in the governor’s original budget plan. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to …” increase K-12 public education funding Favor Oppose Don’t know reduce the amount of state debt Favor Oppose Don’t know increase spending on transportation projects Favor Oppose Don’t know All Adults 76% 20 4 70 24 6 53 41 6 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 85% 59% 80% 14 36 18 152 70 78 71 24 17 26 653 56 53 51 38 42 45 654 May Revision Before After 74% 78% 22 20 42 71 69 22 25 76 49 55 43 40 85 - 5 - May 2005 State’s Budget Situation Fiscal Policymaking Process When asked whose approach to budget choices they most prefer, Californians today choose the Democrats in the legislature over Governor Schwarzenegger (38% to 24%), while 18 percent say they prefer Republican legislators. The preference for the Democrats in the legislature over the governor is similar today as in January (35% to 29%). However, the governor has lost ground since a year ago, when he and legislative Democrats were equally favored (30% to 31%), and since January 2004, when he was favored over Democratic legislators (33% to 27%). Democrats continue to choose Democratic legislators by a wide margin (66%) as they did this past January (66%) and in May 2004 (59%). Republicans favor Governor Schwarzenegger by a smaller margin today (41%) than in this past January (46%) and in May 2004 (47%). Among independents, a similar percentage now choose the governor (29%) and Democratic legislators (31%). A year ago, they favored the governor over the Democratic legislators (35% to 22%). One in four adults chose the governor to make budget choices both before and after the release of the May revision. “When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer …” Democrats’ in the legislature Governor Schwarzenegger's Republicans’ in the legislature Other answer (specify) Don't know All Adults 38% 24 18 4 16 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 66% 8% 31% 12 41 29 6 37 15 327 13 12 18 May Revision Before After 36% 39% 24 24 21 16 44 15 17 The public is critical of the joint efforts of the governor and legislature in solving state budget issues. Although 46 percent credit the governor and legislature with making at least some progress, only 7 percent think they have made a lot of progress. Republicans (63%) are more likely than Democrats (36%) and independents (47%) to believe that at least some progress has been made. Still, across political groups, regions of the state, and racial/ethnic and demographic groups, few Californians believe a lot of progress has been made by the governor and legislature on budget issues since the 2003 recall election. “Since the 2003 recall election, how much progress have the governor and legislature made together in solving the state’s budget issues?” A lot Some Very little None Don't know All Adults 7% 39 36 13 5 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 4% 9% 9% 32 54 38 42 26 39 18 5 11 463 May Revision Before After 6% 7% 40 38 35 36 13 13 66 -6- State’s Fiscal and Governance System Special Election in 2005 The state’s residents are not very enthusiastic about Governor Schwarzenegger’s interest in holding a special election on reform measures this fall. By an almost two-to-one margin, California adults and likely voters would prefer to vote on reform initiatives in the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006, rather than holding a special election this year. Support for a special election has dropped by 12 points since January, when 45 percent favored it and 50 percent wanted to wait until next year. In almost all groups, a majority now oppose the special election. Democrats and independents clearly prefer to wait until June 2006, while Republicans are divided on the question. Similarly, liberals are more opposed than conservatives to the special election (69% to 53%). However, just 42 percent of conservatives support it. Fewer than half (47%) of those who approve of the governor’s performance in office support his special election proposal. Of those who disapprove of the governor’s performance, 71 percent prefer to wait until the next scheduled statewide election. “Governor Schwarzenegger is considering a special election in fall 2005 to vote on budget, educational, and governmental reform measures. Do you think it is better to have a special election later this year, or is it better to wait until the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006?” Better to have a special election Better to wait until scheduled election in 2006 Don’t know All Adults 33% 61 6 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 24% 46% 37% 72 49 58 455 Likely Voters 33% 62 5 Yet, the fact that only one in three Californians supports a special election on reform initiatives does not mean that they would rather leave long-term reforms up to the governor and the state legislature. To the contrary, seven in 10 residents prefer making long-term budget and governmental reforms at the ballot box, and there is majority support for that preference across all racial/ethnic and demographic groups. Support for policymaking through ballot initiatives declines with age, education, income, and homeownership. It is higher among women than men (74% to 69%) and among Latinos than whites (85% to 63%). On this issue, there are virtually no partisan differences: Democrats and Republicans (68% to 70%) and liberals and conservatives (68% to 77%) share a preference for making long-term state budget and governmental reforms at the ballot box. Those who approve of the governor (70%) are as likely as those who disapprove of his performance in office (73%) to favor the ballot box alternative. “In general, when it comes to making long-term budget and governmental reforms in California, which approach do you most prefer …” Having voters make decisions Having legislature and governor make decisions Don’t know All Adults 72% 25 3 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 68% 70% 71% 29 28 27 322 Likely Voters 64% 32 4 -7- State’s Fiscal and Governance System Redistricting Initiative Governor Schwarzenegger supports an initiative that would take redistricting out of the hands of the governor and the state legislature and give the responsibility to an independent panel of retired judges. Four in 10 registered voters currently support this proposal, a similar proportion are opposed, and one in five voters is undecided. Nearly half of Democrats say they would vote no; half of Republicans would vote yes, and independent voters are closely divided on this reform measure (43% yes, 38% no). The redistricting initiative has more support among registered voters in the Los Angeles and Other Southern California (45% each) areas than among those living in the Central Valley (37%) and San Francisco Bay area (35%). Men (48%) are more likely than women (35%) to say they would vote yes on this initiative. Support for the initiative is higher among those who disapprove (49%) than among those who approve (38%) of the job performance of their own state senate and assembly members. Among people who approve of the governor’s job performance 54 percent support the initiative. Among those who disapprove of his performance, 52 percent would vote no. “The ‘redistricting’ initiative amends state constitutional provisions governing the redistricting of California’s Senate, Assembly, Congressional, and Board of Equalization districts. It requires a panel of three retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt a new redistricting plan if the measure passes and again after each national census. Would you vote yes or no?” Registered Voters Only Yes No Don't know All Registered Voters 41% 39 20 Party Registration Dem 32% 48 20 Rep 51% 28 21 Central Ind Valley 43% 37% 38 43 19 20 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles Other Southern California 35% 45% 45% 40 38 35 25 17 20 Likely Voters 41% 40 19 Californians do not appear highly motivated to make redistricting reforms at this time. Although about one in three registered voters and likely voters believes that the current redistricting process needs major changes, about half believe either that only minor changes are needed or that the redistricting system is fine the way it is now. Even among Republicans, and those who approve of the governor’s performance in office, only about four in 10 voters say that major changes are needed in redistricting. Only half of the supporters of the redistricting initiative believe that major changes are needed, while two in three who say they would vote no say that minor changes are needed or it is fine the way it is. “As you may know, redistricting is the process in which the physical boundaries of a voting district are changed. Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about the redistricting process in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is?” Registered Voters Only All Registered Voters Major changes 36% Minor changes 28 Fine the way it is 24 Don’t know 12 Party Registration Dem 34% 28 25 13 Rep 40% 29 20 11 Ind 33% 29 25 13 Redistricting Initiative Yes 51% 28 13 8 No 26% 31 36 7 Likely Voters 37% 26 23 14 -8- State’s Fiscal and Governance System School Funding and Spending Limit Initiative Governor Schwarzenegger also supports an initiative that would limit state spending to the prior year’s spending plus revenue growth and that includes other provisions to balance the state budget. This proposal is supported by 43 percent of registered voters and opposed by 38 percent; 19 percent are currently undecided. Likely voters have similar preferences. Nearly half of Democrats say they would vote no, while about half of Republicans and independents would vote yes. Support for this state budget reform is higher in the Central Valley (47%) than in Los Angeles (42%), Other Southern California (41%), and the San Francisco Bay area (41%). Men (48%) are more likely than women (38%) to say they would vote yes, and support is higher among conservatives (50%) than among moderates (42%) and liberals (36%). A little over half (55%) of those who approve of the governor’s job performance support this initiative while 50 percent who disapprove of his job performance say they would vote no. Of those who want a smaller government with lower taxes and fewer services, 49 percent would vote yes; of those who want a larger government with higher taxes and more services, 46 percent would vote no. “The ‘School Funding and State Spending’ initiative would change state minimum school funding requirements under Proposition 98, limit state spending to the prior year total plus revenue growth, and continue prior year spending if the new state budget is delayed. It would also prohibit state special funds borrowing and require payment of local government mandates. Would you vote yes or no?” Registered Voters Only Yes No Don't know All Registered Voters 43% 38 19 Party Registration Dem 36% 47 17 Rep 50% 29 21 Central Ind Valley 46% 47% 34 35 20 18 Region SF Bay Area 41% 40 19 Los Angeles 42% 42 16 Other Southern California 41% 37 22 Likely Voters 43% 37 20 California voters evidently believe it is important to reform the state budget process. About six in 10 registered voters and likely voters believe that the way the governor and legislature go about state spending needs major changes. And this belief is held by majorities across political parties. About six in 10 supporters of the state spending initiative believe that major changes are needed. Even among those who say they would vote no, a similar six in 10 say that major changes are needed in the state budget process. Across political and demographic groups, very few say that the way the governor and legislature go about state spending in California today is fine the way it is. “Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about state spending in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is?” Registered Voters Only All Registered Voters Major changes Minor changes Fine the way it is Don’t know 59% 30 7 4 Party Registration School Funding and State Spending Initiative Dem Rep Ind Yes No 62% 27 59% 30 55% 35 61% 30 59% 31 687 7 8 533 2 2 Likely Voters 63% 27 6 4 - 9 - May 2005 State’s Fiscal and Governance System State Budget Reforms Although voters are divided on the proposed School Funding and State Spending Initiative, 60 percent of Californians support the idea of placing strict limits on annual increases in state spending. This concept is strongly favored by likely voters, Republicans and independents, and a majority of Democrats. Seven in 10 adults who approve of Schwarzenegger’s job performance support this proposal, as do 51 percent of those who disapprove. A majority of adults in all racial/ethnic and other demographic groups agree in concept with limiting increases in state spending. Allowing the governor to reduce spending without legislative approval when state revenues fall short is opposed by 63 percent of adults. Only 31 percent call it a good idea. Republicans support this proposal by a narrow margin (50% favor, 46% oppose). Even among those who say they approve of the governor’s performance in office, only 49 percent like this idea. In almost all other groups, six in 10 or more disapprove of increasing the governor’s fiscal powers in this manner. “Spending reforms have been proposed to address issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea …” Strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? Good idea Bad idea Don't know Allowing the governor to reduce spending for budget items without approval of legislature? Good idea Bad idea Don't know All Adults 60% 33 7 31 63 6 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 53% 73% 63% 39 22 31 856 19 50 33 75 46 65 642 Likely Voters 62% 30 8 34 63 3 When it comes to dedicating funding for specific state programs, Californians clearly oppose (62%) doing away with minimum spending requirements. A majority of likely voters and all political groups oppose eliminating such requirements on state programs such as K-12 public education. Strong majorities in all demographic groups—and 50 percent of those who approve of the governor’s job performance—believe it is a bad idea to eliminate minimum spending requirements for state programs. How about making it easier to pass a state budget? Half (49%) oppose lowering the legislative majority required to pass a state budget from the current two-thirds to a 55 percent majority vote. Among likely voters, 54 percent are opposed. Across party groups, fewer than half support the idea, and opposition has grown six points since our June 2003 survey. Eliminating requirements for minimum state spending in state programs, such as K-12 public education? Good idea Bad idea Don't know Replacing the two-thirds requirement with a 55 percent majority vote to pass a state budget? Good idea Bad idea Don't know All Adults 29% 62 9 44 49 7 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 22% 38% 30% 71 51 63 7 11 7 41 45 45 52 50 48 757 Likely Voters 28% 62 10 41 54 5 - 10 - State’s Fiscal and Governance System Revenue Sources Most Californians approve of raising revenues to reduce the budget gap—if the revenues are raised by a tax on high-income earners or corporations. More than two in three favor raising the top state income tax rate for the “wealthiest” Californians, a percentage that has been fairly consistent over time (71% in January 2004; 69% in January 2005). Today, Republican support falls short of a majority (49%), but Democrats (80%) and independents (72%) strongly favor this tax proposal. Even 65 percent of those making $80,000 or more a year support it. Support is also strong for raising the corporate tax rate: 60 percent favor it; 35 percent are opposed. It is a heavy favorite among Democrats (72%) and solidly supported by independents (58%), but a slight majority of Republicans (52%) are against it. Raising corporate taxes has majority support across all regions and racial/ethnic and demographic groups. Latinos support it somewhat more strongly than whites (65% to 56%). When it comes to raising revenues through the state sales tax, however, opinion turns sharply negative. Nearly two in three (63%) oppose extending the tax to services, such as legal and accounting transactions, which are not currently covered. Majorities in all political and demographic groups oppose the idea, with opposition strongest among Republicans (70%), people age 55 and older (67%, compared to 62% of those ages 18 to 54), and people with just a high school education (67%). Even among people who would prefer to have higher taxes and more government services, only 38 percent favor the idea of extending the sales tax. Response is also highly negative to the idea of raising the state sales tax: 71 percent of all adults and 69 percent of likely voters are against it. Support is lower than it was last January (32%) and in January 2004 (37%). Opposition rises to 78 percent among Republicans and is high among Democrats (65%) and independents (68%) as well. Support is under 30 percent across demographic groups, and even among people who want higher taxes and more government services, it reaches only 37 percent. “Do you favor or oppose the following to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues…” … raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? …raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? …extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed? …raising the state sales tax? Favor Oppose Don’t Know Favor Oppose Don’t Know Favor Oppose Don’t Know Favor Oppose Don’t Know All Adults 68% 29 3 60 35 5 32 63 5 27 71 2 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 80% 49% 72% 18 47 27 241 72 43 58 24 52 40 452 36 28 39 59 70 58 523 33 21 30 65 78 68 212 Likely Voters 68% 29 3 60 35 5 33 63 4 29 69 2 - 11 - May 2005 State’s Fiscal and Governance System Proposition 13 When asked about tax limits imposed by Proposition 13, more Californians continue to see them as mostly a good thing (47%) rather than a mostly a bad thing (37%) for the state. Nevertheless, since February 2003, the percentage who say it is mostly a bad thing has increased by 16 points (21% to 37%). Proposition 13 continues to be seen as mostly good by 56 percent of likely voters, 68 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents, and 43 percent of Democrats. The property tax limit is more popular among homeowners than renters (56% to 35%) and whites than Latinos (56% to 33%). Most Californians who say they want lower taxes and less services say it has been a good thing (58%), while those who want higher taxes and more services are more likely to call it a bad thing (46%). Despite the overall approval, a majority of Californians (55%) say they dislike one feature of Proposition 13—property tax disparities for similar homes in a neighborhood. This perception was held by a similar proportion of state residents in February 2003 (52%). Democrats and independents especially dislike this provision; Republicans and likely voters are less troubled by it. Opposition to this effect of Proposition 13 is stronger among renters than homeowners (68% to 47%), Latinos than whites (68% to 46%), and people who have lived in their current home for less than five years (66%) compared to longerterm residents (47%). Opposition to this feature of Proposition 13 declines with age and income. A majority of Californians remain quite positive about another feature of Proposition 13: The twothirds vote requirement for passage of most new taxes is supported by 56 percent of residents. In response to a similar question in February 2003, 60 percent supported the supermajority requirement to pass local taxes. Republicans and likely voters are especially positive, and even a majority of independents and Democrats favor this provision of Proposition 13. It is favored more often by homeowners than renters (61% to 48%), by whites than Latinos (64% to 41%), and by people age 35 and older than by people who are under age 35 (59% to 49%). People who favor lower taxes and fewer services are more likely than those who prefer higher taxes and more services to support the local supermajority requirement (61% to 51%). Support for this feature of Proposition 13 rises with income. “As a result of Proposition 13 and increases in home prices in California, a homeowner who recently purchased a home will pay much higher property taxes than a homeowner who purchased a similar home several years ago in the same neighborhood. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13?” Favor Oppose Don't know All Adults 38% 55 7 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 37% 53% 44% 58 41 51 565 Homeownership Own Rent 47% 24% 47 68 68 Likely Voters 49% 46 5 “Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special taxes, such as a local sales tax to fund transportation projects. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13?” Favor Oppose Don't know All Adults 56% 35 9 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 54% 67% 59% 38 28 35 856 Homeownership Own Rent 61% 48% 32 41 7 11 Likely Voters 62% 32 6 - 12 - Political and Economic Climate Most Important Problem The state’s economy and its public school system continue to top the list of Californians’ concerns. About one in five residents mentions each as the most important issue facing California today. Fewer than one in 10 residents names any other issue, including legal and illegal immigration, crime, the state budget, housing costs and availability, health care, gasoline prices, population growth and development, and transportation. It is interesting that although seven in 10 residents say the state budget gap is a big problem, only 7 percent rate it as the most important issue facing the state. The economy still tops the list of concerns for all adults, but the concern is less today than it was a year ago (20% to 34%), as is concern with the state budget (7% to 11%). However, more residents than a year ago are mentioning schools as the top issue today (19% to 12%). Two years ago, 31 percent named the economy as the most important issue, followed by schools and the state budget (13% each). The economy tops the list in all major regions except the San Francisco Bay area, where education (30%) is first. However, as in other regions, one in five San Francisco Bay area residents mentions the economy as the top issue. Los Angeles residents are more likely than those living in other regions to mention crime, gangs, and drugs as the top problems facing the state (14%). While Latinos (19%) and whites (17%) stress the economy about equally, the issues of crime, gangs and drugs are mentioned much more often by Latinos than whites (17% to 4%). Only 6 percent of Latinos name immigration as the top state issue, compared to 13 percent of whites. As for partisan differences, Democrats and independents are most likely to name education as the most important issue (24% each), while Republicans place immigration at the top of their list (21%). “Thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today?” Region Central All Adults Valley SF Bay Area Economy, jobs, unemployment 20% 20% 21% Education, schools 19 14 30 Immigration, illegal immigration 9 8 5 Crime, gangs, drugs 872 State budget, deficit, taxes 796 Housing costs, availability 536 Health care/costs, HMO reform 4 6 5 Gasoline prices 452 Population growth, development 2 1 2 Traffic, transportation 211 Other (specify)* 14 16 16 Don't know 6 10 4 *No single issue was mentioned by more than 2 percent of respondents. Los Angeles 20% 17 11 14 4 3 3 2 1 3 18 4 Other Southern California 18% 17 13 7 8 5 3 6 0 3 13 7 Latinos 19% 15 6 17 3 3 4 5 1 1 15 11 - 13 - Political and Economic Climate Overall Mood Californians’ overall mood about the state of their state has soured in the past few months. More than half (57%) now say that things in the state are generally going in the wrong direction—up from 44 percent in May 2004 and 41 percent in January 2005. Only about one in three residents now says things are going in the right direction, down from 43 percent in May 2004 and 46 percent in January 2005. Likely voters have a similar outlook: Only 37 percent say that the state is headed in the right direction. About half of Republicans are positive about the state’s direction, but 68 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents say that things are going in the wrong direction. Majorities in all four regions are pessimistic, but a higher percentage of residents of San Francisco and Los Angeles think the state is headed in the wrong direction (60% each). Whites (39%) are more positive than Latinos (27%) about the state of the state. Fifty-nine percent of adults who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s performance are optimistic about the state’s direction, while 78 percent of those who disapprove are pessimistic. The overall mood about the state just before and just after the release of the May revision was the same. “Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction?” Right direction Wrong direction Don't know All Adults 35% 57 8 Party Registration Dem 26% 68 6 Rep 50% 40 10 Central Ind Valley 37% 38% 57 53 69 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles Other Southern California 34% 33% 37% 60 60 67 53 10 Likely Voters 37% 56 7 Economic confidence has fallen in the past few months and in comparison to one year ago. Half of residents now say that the state will have bad times financially in the next year, compared to 39 percent in January 2005 and 44 percent in May 2004. Likely voters are slightly more optimistic, with 44 percent expecting good economic times. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to expect good financial times (58% to 32%). Similarly, 59 percent of those who approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s job performance expect good economic times. Across the state’s major regions, Los Angeles residents are the most negative, followed closely by people in the Central Valley. Optimism about the economy is higher among whites (47%) than Latinos (29%) and among men (45%) than women (34%). Economic confidence increases with education and income and is higher among homeowners (43%) than renters (33%). Californians’ economic outlook did not change after the release of the May revision. “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times?” Good times Bad times Don't know All Adults 39% 49 12 Party Registration Dem 32% 57 11 Rep 58% 31 11 Central Ind Valley 40% 37% 50 49 10 14 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles 40% 37% 46 52 14 11 Other Southern California 44% 46 10 Likely Voters 44% 45 11 - 14 - Political and Economic Climate Job Performance Ratings for State Officials Only 26 percent of residents approve of the state legislature’s performance, while 58 percent disapprove. The legislature’s ratings are at their lowest point since August 2003 (28%), the only other time in our survey that they have fallen below 30 percent. The ratings in the current survey represent a significant decline from the 37 percent approval rating in January of this year and the 40 percent approval rating given in May 2004. Majorities across all political groups, regions of the state, and demographic groups disapprove of the way that the California legislature is handling its responsibilities. Republicans (69%) and independents (61%) are more negative than Democrats (54%), and more than six in 10 likely voters disapprove of the legislature’s performance. However, when asked about the job performance of state legislators from their own state Assembly and Senate districts, residents are much more positive. Forty-seven percent approve and 35 percent disapprove of the job their own state legislators are doing. The approval ratings are similar to the 49 percent approval rating in October 2004. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California legislature is handling its job?” Approve Disapprove Don't know All Adults 26% 58 16 Party Registration Dem 29% 54 17 Rep 20% 69 11 Central Ind Valley 23% 28% 61 59 16 13 Region SF Bay Los Area Angeles 30% 22% 54 60 16 18 Other Southern California 23% 59 18 Likely Voters 24% 63 13 Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings are considerably higher than the state legislature’s. However, they remain at the low point they reached in April. In the current survey, 40 percent of residents approve of the way he is handling his job, while 49 percent disapprove. His approval rating is slightly higher among likely voters (45%). His approval rating did not show any sign of improvement after the release of the May revision (43% to 38%). Since January, when his original budget plan was released, his overall approval ratings have dropped from 60 percent to 40 percent. They have dropped even lower than a year ago, when 64 percent approved and 26 percent disapproved of his performance as governor. Currently, Republicans (72%) are much more likely than Democrats (22%) or independents (42%), and whites (51%) are much more likely than Latinos (21%), to approve of the governor’s performance. The other political and demographic groups in which the governor’s approval ratings reach 50 percent are conservatives (54%) and those making more than $80,000 a year (50%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California?” Approve Disapprove Don't know All Adults 40% 49 11 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 22% 72% 42% 68 19 48 10 9 10 Likely Voters 45% 46 9 May Revision Before After 43% 38% 47 51 10 11 - 15 - May 2005 Political and Economic Climate Governor’s Report Card Governor Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings on specific issues are, with one exception, even lower than his overall ratings. He gets the same, and highest, approval rating—40 percent—for his handling of government reform. However, approval drops to 37 percent on the state budget, 31 percent on illegal immigration, 29 percent on public schools, and 28 percent on transportation. Likely voters are more likely than all adults to approve of the governor’s handling of reforming government, the state budget, illegal immigration, and schools. “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Schwarzenegger is handling…” Reforming California government? The state budget and taxes? Illegal immigration? The state’s K-12 public education system? Transportation and traffic congestion? Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults 40% 45 15 37 51 12 31 50 19 29 53 18 28 40 32 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 24% 68% 47% 63 19 38 13 13 15 20 66 42 70 23 47 10 11 11 22 53 28 58 28 52 20 19 20 15 54 30 72 27 51 13 19 19 19 42 29 49 22 35 32 36 36 Likely Voters 47% 41 12 42 48 10 36 46 18 33 52 15 29 37 34 The governor’s approval ratings have declined from his January marks for reforming California government (from 58% to 40%), state budget and taxes (from 48% to 37%), and transportation (from 35% to 28%). A year ago, 55 percent approved of the way he was handling the budget and taxes, compared to 37 percent today. On four of the issues that we asked about in a previous survey, Schwarzenegger has lower approval ratings than Governor Davis in January 2000 (illegal immigration: 31% to 40%, schools: 29% to 51%, state budget and taxes: 37% to 57%; transportation and traffic congestion: 28% to 46%). Republicans remain loyal to their governor, with a much higher percentage approving than disapproving of his performance on all five issues. However, solid majorities of Democrats disapprove of his performance on reforming government, the state budget, illegal immigration, and schools. Independents are more likely to disapprove than approve of the governor’s performance on the state budget, illegal immigration, public schools and transportation, while nearly half like the job he is doing in reforming California government. Latinos are more negative than whites on all areas of the governor’s performance, especially his handling of illegal immigration (78% to 37%). - 16 - Political and Economic Climate Distrust in State Government Californians’ distrust of state government remains near the historically low levels it reached at the time of the governor’s recall. Today, only 29 percent say they can trust government to do what is right just about always (6%) or most of the time (23%), compared to 27 percent in October 2003. A year ago, 32 percent said they had that level of trust in state government. All of these levels of trust are much lower than they were in January 2001 (46%) and January 2002 (47%) before trust in state government began to decline during the 2002 election. Although trust in state government is low across all political groups, independents (33%) and Republicans (29%) are somewhat more trusting than Democrats (25%). Trust in state government also declines with age. Latinos (35%) are more likely than whites (27%) to say they trust state government at least most of the time. Of those who feel things in California are going in the right direction, 44 percent trust Sacramento to do what is right at least most of the time. Among adults who approve of the governor’s job performance, 38 percent trust the state government just about always or most of the time. “How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Sacramento to do what is right?” Just about always Most of the time Only some of the time None of the time (volunteered) Don't know All Adults 6% 23 63 6 2 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 4% 5% 7% 21 24 26 68 63 61 575 211 Likely Voters 4% 23 65 6 2 Californians’ distrust of their state government is mirrored in their impression of who runs it. Sixtyseven percent of residents believe Sacramento is run by a few big interests rather than for the benefit of all of the people. This perception was similar in January 2004 (65%) and has increased since January 2002 (58%) and January 2001 (60%). The belief that state government is today run by a few big interests is even stronger among likely voters (71%), and among Democrats (72%) than among other political groups. Those who disapprove of Schwarzenegger (72%) are more likely than those who approve of him (62%) to say big interests are running the show. Solid majorities across all demographic groups say the state government is run by big interests looking out for themselves. However, Latinos (30%) are more likely than whites (22%) to believe that the state government is run for the benefit of all people. “Would you say that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people?” A few big interests Benefit of all people Don't know All Adults 67% 25 8 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 72% 67% 64% 22 25 28 688 Likely Voters 71% 21 8 - 17 - May 2005 Political and Economic Climate Job Performance of Federal Officials Forty percent of Californians approve of the way that President George W. Bush is handling his job—similar to the proportion approving of Governor Schwarzenegger. Forty-six percent approved of the president’s job performance in office in January 2005, and 41 percent in May 2004. The president’s approval ratings in California today are somewhat lower than in a national survey this month by the Pew Research Center (43% approve). Forty percent of California’s likely voters say they approve of the president’s job performance. There are sharp differences in support between Republicans (73%), Democrats (19%), and independents (34%). In all regions, Bush fails to receive majority approval. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that …” George W. Bush is handling his job as president of the United States? Approve Disapprove Don’t know Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? Approve Disapprove Don’t know Barbara Boxer is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? Approve Disapprove Don’t know All Adults 40% 56 4 52 27 21 49 31 20 Party Registration Dem Rep Ind 19% 78 73% 23 34% 61 3 45 67 36 54 16 49 25 17 15 21 69 22 55 15 64 27 16 14 18 Likely Voters 40% 56 4 56 31 13 52 37 11 In asking about California’s U.S. Senators, a majority (52%) approve of the job Dianne Feinstein is doing in office. Among likely voters, her approval rises to 56 percent. Her ratings are similar to those in October 2004, when 51 percent gave her positive marks and 26 percent disapproved. However, they are slightly lower than the peak of 59 percent approval she received in February 2000. Today, 67 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents approve of Feinstein’s performance as a U.S. Senator, while 49 percent of Republicans disapprove. The senator’s highest approval ratings come from the San Francisco Bay area (63%) and are higher in Los Angeles (52%) than in the Central Valley (48%) and Other Southern California (45%) areas. Feinstein’s approval ratings are higher among women than men (55% to 48%) and among whites than Latinos (54% to 48%). After a successful reelection campaign last November, Barbara Boxer maintains a majority approval of 52 percent among likely voters, while 49 percent of all adults approve of the job she is doing as a U.S. Senator. Her approval ratings today are up slightly from May 2004 (45% approve), and similar to those in October 2004 (53%). Across political groups, 69 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents approve of her performance, while 64 percent of Republicans disapprove. Boxer’s approval ratings are higher among women than men (52% to 46%) and among liberals than conservatives (72% to 31%). Regionally, Boxer’s approval ratings are highest in the San Francisco Bay area (61%) and are higher in Los Angeles (52%) than in the Central Valley and Other Southern California areas (42% each). When asked to rate the representative to the U.S. House of Representatives from their congressional district, 54 percent of adults and 58 percent of likely voters approve of his or her performance in office. Approval is high across political groups and regions. - 18 - Survey Methodology The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, research director and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance in research and writing from Douglas Strand, Associate Survey Director; Jennifer Paluch, project manager for this survey; and Kristy Michaud and Kim Curry, survey research associates. The survey was conducted with funding from The James Irvine Foundation and benefited from discussions with program staff and grantees (as well as discussions at meetings facilitated by the foundation) and regional focus groups with voters, funded by the foundation. However, survey methods, questions, and content of the report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,003 California adult residents interviewed between May 10 and May 17, 2005. Interviewing took place mostly on weekday and weekend evenings, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in California were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Interviews took an average of 19.5 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. Accent on Translations translated the survey into Spanish, and Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc. conducted the telephone interviewing. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,003 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. The sampling error for the 1,586 registered voters is +/- 2.5 percent. The sampling error for the 1,171 likely voters is +/- 3 percent, and the sampling error for each of the half samples is also +/- 3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to four geographic regions. “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. “SF Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, and “Other Southern California” includes the mostly suburban regions of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. These four regions were chosen for analysis because they are major population centers that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. We present specific results for Latinos because they account for about 30 percent of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest growing voter groups. The sample sizes for the African American and Asian subgroups are not large enough for separate statistical analysis. We do compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents. The “independents” category includes only those who are registered to vote as “decline to state.” We also compare the opinions of respondents interviewed before to those interviewed after the governor’s revised budget was released on May 13th. We compare PPIC Statewide Survey responses to responses recorded in national surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center and earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys to analyze trends over time in California. - 19 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: SPECIAL SURVEY ON THE CALIFORNIA STATE BUDGET MAY 10 – MAY 17, 2005 2,003 CALIFORNIA ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/-2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. 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] 20% economy, jobs, unemployment 19 education, schools 9 immigration, illegal immigration 8 crime, gangs, drugs 7 state budget, deficit, taxes 5 housing costs, availability 4 health care, health costs, HMO reform 4 gasoline prices 2 population growth, too much development 2 traffic, transportation 14 other (specify) 6 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 49 disapprove 11 don't know [rotate questions 3 to 7] 3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of the state budget and taxes? 37% approve 51 disapprove 12 don't know 4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of illegal immigration? 31% approve 50 disapprove 19 don't know 5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of reforming California government? 40% approve 45 disapprove 15 don't know 6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the issue of transportation and traffic congestion? 28% approve 40 disapprove 32 don't know 7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 29% approve 53 disapprove 18 don't know 8. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California legislature is handling its job? 26% approve 58 disapprove 16 don't know 9. Do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 35% right direction 57 wrong direction 8 don't know 10. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 39% good times 49 bad times 12 don't know [question 11 not asked] 12. I'm going to name some of the largest areas for state spending. Please tell me the one that represents the most spending in the state budget. [read rotated list] 29% K through 12th grade public education 28 youth and adult corrections 25 health and human services 8 higher education 1 other (specify) 9 don't know - 21 - 13. I'm going to name some of the largest areas for state revenues. Please tell me the one that represents the most revenue in the state budget. [read rotated list] 32% personal income tax 27 sales tax 16 corporate tax 15 motor vehicle fees 1 other (specify) 9 don't know 14. As you may know, the state government has an annual budget of around 110 billion dollars and currently faces a multi-billion dollar gap between state spending and state revenue. Do you think that this budget gap is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem for the people of California today? 71% big problem 23 somewhat of a problem 3 not a problem 3 don't know 15. How would you prefer to deal with the state's budget gap—mostly through spending cuts, mostly through tax increases, through a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or do you think that it is okay for the state to borrow money and run a budget deficit? 43% mix of spending cuts and tax increases 29 mostly through spending cuts 11 mostly through tax increases 7 okay for the state to run a budget deficit 3 other answer (specify) 7 don't know 16. In general, which of the following statements do you agree with more—“I'd rather pay higher taxes to support a larger state government that provides more services” or “I'd rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller state government that provides fewer services”? 46% higher taxes and more services 46 lower taxes and fewer services 8 don't know [question 17 not asked] 18. Governor Schwarzenegger proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that includes the following: increasing K through 12 public education funding while withholding some funding in this area and reducing certain health and human services and general government spending. The plan includes no new taxes and leaves the sales tax on gasoline for transportation projects. In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the governor's budget plan? [Prior to the May revision, this question also noted the transfer of a portion of the gasoline sales tax away from transportation projects and using state bonds. On May 12th, the question changed to note the redirection of the use of gas tax money back to funding transportation projects] 44% satisfied 47 dissatisfied 9 don't know [rotate questions 19 and 20] 19. Do you think that tax increases should have been included in the governor's budget plan? 46% yes 47 no 7 don't know 20. Overall, how concerned are you about the effects of the spending reductions in the governor's budget plan—very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned? 33% very concerned 39 somewhat concerned 15 not too concerned 9 not at all concerned 4 don't know The state will have somewhat more revenue than was expected in the governor’s original budget plan. Do you favor or oppose these proposals for how to use this additional money? [rotate questions 21 to 23] 21. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to increase K through 12 public education funding? 76% favor 20 oppose 4 don't know 22. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to increase spending on transportation projects? 53% favor 41 oppose 6 don't know 23. Do you favor or oppose using some of this additional money to reduce the amount of state debt? 70% favor 24 oppose 6 don't know - 22 - 24. When it comes to the tough choices involved in the state budget, both in deciding how much Californians should pay in taxes and how to fund state programs, whose approach do you most prefer: [rotate] (1) Governor Schwarzenegger's, (2) the Democrats' in the legislature, [or] (3) the Republicans' in the legislature? 38% Democrats’ in the legislature 24 Governor Schwarzenegger’s 18 Republicans’ in the legislature 4 other answer (specify) 16 don’t know 25. Since the 2003 recall election, how much progress have the governor and legislature made together in solving the state's budget issues—a lot, some, very little, or none? 7% a lot 39 some 36 very little 13 none 5 don't know 26. Governor Schwarzenegger is considering a special election in fall 2005 to vote on budget, educational, and governmental reform measures. Do you think it is better to have a special election later this year, or is it better to wait until the next scheduled statewide election in June 2006? 33% better to have a special election 61 better to wait until scheduled election in 2006 6 don't know [Responses recorded for questions 27 to 28a are for registered voters only. All other responses are from all adults, except where noted.] If there is a special election, the following measures may appear on the state ballot. For each one, please tell me whether you would vote yes or no. [rotate question pairs 27/27a and 28/28a] 27. The "redistricting" initiative amends state constitutional provisions governing the redistricting of California's Senate, Assembly, Congressional, and Board of Equalization districts. It requires a panel of three retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt a new redistricting plan if this measure passes and again after each national census. Would you vote yes or no? 41% yes 39 no 20 don't know 27a. As you may know, redistricting is the process in which the physical boundaries of a voting district are changed. Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about the redistricting process in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is? 36% major changes 28 minor changes 24 fine the way it is 12 don't know 28. The "School Funding and State Spending" initiative would change state minimum school funding requirements under Proposition 98, limit state spending to the prior year total plus revenue growth, and continue prior year spending if the new state budget is delayed. It would also prohibit state special funds borrowing and require payment of local government mandates. Would you vote yes or no? 43% yes 38 no 19 don't know 28a.Do you think the way the governor and legislature go about state spending in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or is it fine the way it is? 59% major changes 30 minor changes 7 fine the way it is 4 don't know [question 29 moved to 27a] [question 30 moved to 28a] 31. In general, when it comes to making long-term budget and governmental reforms in California, which approach do you most prefer: [rotate] (1) having voters make decisions by voting at the ballot box [or] (2) having the legislature and governor make decisions? 72% having voters make decisions 25 having legislature and governor make decisions 3 don't know 32. How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Sacramento to do what is right—just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time? 6% just about always 23 most of the time 63 only some of the time 6 none of the time/not at all (volunteered) 2 don't know - 23 - May 2005 33. Do you think the people in state government waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don't waste very much of it? 55% a lot 35 some 7 don't waste very much 3 don't know 34. Would you say that the state government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves, or that it is run for the benefit of all of the people? 67% a few big interests 25 benefit of all people 8 don't know Spending reforms have been proposed to address issues in the state budget. For each of the following, please say whether you think the proposal is a good idea or a bad idea. [rotate questions 35 to 38] 35. The California state constitution requires that twothirds of the state legislature agree to a state budget for it to pass. How about replacing this two-thirds requirement with a 55 percent majority vote? 44% good idea 49 bad idea 7 don't know 36. If state revenues fall short of meeting what the state has planned to spend, how about allowing the governor to reduce spending for budget items without needing the approval of the state legislature? 31% good idea 63 bad idea 6 don't know 37. How about eliminating the requirements for minimum state spending in state programs such as K through 12 public education? 29% good idea 62 bad idea 9 don't know 38. How about strictly limiting the amount of money that state spending could increase each year? 60% good idea 33 bad idea 7 don't know Revenue increases could be used to help reduce the state’s large gap between spending and revenues. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 39 to 42] 39. How about extending the state sales tax to services that are not currently taxed, such as legal and accounting services, auto repairs, and haircuts? 32% favor 63 oppose 5 don't know 40. How about raising the top rate of the state income tax paid by the wealthiest Californians? 68% favor 29 oppose 3 don't know 41. How about raising the state taxes paid by California corporations? 60% favor 35 oppose 5 don't know 42. How about raising the state sales tax? 27% favor 71 oppose 2 don't know We have a few questions about Proposition 13— the 1978 ballot measure that limits the property tax rate to 1 percent of the assessed value at the time the property is purchased and annual tax increases of no more than 2 percent until the property is sold. [rotate questions 43 and 45] 43. As a result of Proposition 13 and increases in home prices in California, a homeowner who recently purchased a home will pay much higher property taxes than a homeowner who purchased a similar home several years ago in the same neighborhood. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13? 38% favor 55 oppose 7 don't know [question 44 not asked] 45. Under Proposition 13, a two-thirds vote at the ballot box is required to pass any new local special taxes, such as a local sales tax to fund transportation projects. Do you favor or oppose this feature of Proposition 13? 56% favor 35 oppose 9 don't know - 24 - 46. Overall, do you feel that Proposition 13 turned out to be mostly a good thing or mostly a bad thing for California? 47% mostly a good thing 37 mostly a bad thing 2 other (volunteered) 14 don't know 47. Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that George W. Bush is handling his job as president of the United States? 40% approve 56 disapprove 4 don't know [rotate questions 48 and 49] 48. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Dianne Feinstein is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? 52% approve 27 disapprove 21 don't know 49. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barbara Boxer is handling her job as a U.S. Senator? 49% approve 31 disapprove 20 don't know [questions 50 and 51 asked of a random half sample of respondents] 50. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the representative to the U.S. House of Representatives from your congressional district is doing at this time? 54% approve 20 disapprove 26 don't know 51. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job that the state legislators representing your assembly and state senate districts are doing at this time? 47% approve 35 disapprove 3 mixed (volunteered) 15 don't know 52. On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote? 80% yes [ask q. 52a] 20 no [skip to q. 53a] 52a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 44% Democrat [go to q. 53b] 34 Republican [go to q. 53c] 2 another party (specify)[ask q. 54] 19 independent [ask q. 53a] 53a.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 25% Republican party 42 Democratic party 24 neither (volunteered) 9 don't know [go to q. 54] 53b.Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 46 not very strong 2 don't know [go to q. 54] 53c.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 53% strong 43 not very strong 4 don't know 54. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics—a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 25% great deal 41 fair amount 27 only a little 7 none 55. How often would you say you vote—always, nearly always, part of the time, seldom, or never? 55% always 18 nearly always 8 part of the time 4 seldom 15 never 56. Would you consider yourself to be politically… [read rotated list] 10% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 32 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 11 very conservative 3 don't know [57-66: demographic questions] - 25 - May 2005 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Matthew K. Fong President Strategic Advisory Group William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Dennis A. Hunt Vice President Communications and Public Affairs The California Endowment Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Deputy Chief of Staff Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Max Neiman Professor Political Science Department University of California, Riverside Mark Paul Deputy Treasurer California Treasurer Phil Angelides Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Carol Stogsdill President Stogsdill Consulting Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President 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. - 26 - PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA Board of Directors Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company Edward K. Hamilton Chairman Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. Gary K. Hart Founder Institute for Education Reform California State University, Sacramento Arjay Miller Dean Emeritus Graduate School of Business Stanford University Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities David W. Lyon President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center Cheryl White Mason Vice-President Litigation Legal Department Hospital Corporation of America Advisory Council Clifford W. Graves General Manager Department of Community Development City of Los Angeles Daniel A. Mazmanian C. Erwin and Ione Piper Dean and Professor School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Elizabeth G. Hill Legislative Analyst State of California Dean Misczynski Director California Research Bureau Hilary W. Hoynes Associate Professor Department of Economics University of California, Davis Andrés E. Jiménez Director California Policy Research Center University of California Office of the President Norman R. King Executive Director San Bernardino Associated Governments Robin M. Kramer Senior Director The Broad Foundation Rudolf Nothenberg Chief Administrative Officer (Retired) City and County of San Francisco Manuel Pastor Professor, Latin American & Latino Studies University of California, Santa Cruz Peter Schrag Contributing Editor The Sacramento Bee James P. Smith Senior Economist RAND Corporation PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 800 O San Francisco, California 94111 Phone: (415) 291-4400 O Fax: (415) 291-4401 www.ppic.org O info@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:37:54" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_505mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:37:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:37:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_505MBS.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) }