New University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, in conjunction with American Viewpoint, conducted this survey on behalf of the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times. The latest poll shows:
Although our recent statewide surveys have indicated some improvement in Californians’ economic outlook, voters here remain mindful of their pocketbook. This is the context facing California’s political leaders as they confront a diverse set of challenges and look to position the state for the future on prison reform, high-speed rail, and the water system.
Key findings from the new University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Los Angeles Times statewide poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and American Viewpoint, include:
- Voters are broadly supportive of a long-term plan to reduce prison crowding by addressing the underlying causes of imprisonment and recidivism. The compromise plan proposed by Governor Brown and Senate Democrats expands rehabilitation services for inmates, such as drug and mental health treatment, but also includes a fallback option to move inmates to private prisons and county jails should an extension not be granted by the courts. Fifty-eight percent support this overall plan, including majorities of Republicans and conservatives.
- Voters continue to be more supportive of measures to reduce prison crowding that keep dangerous criminals off the street while still satisfying the court’s mandate to reduce the prison population. Strong majorities continue to support more lenient and reduced sentences for low-level, nonviolent offenders rather than pay to create new space for inmates.
- Voters voice concern about the state’s water system, but the issue is not yet a crisis. Water is an issue Californians have been dealing with for years, and voters are relatively pleased with the quality and quantity of the water in their homes. These dynamics combine to hold down the urgency of the problem, and the result is that while voters broadly support improving the state’s water infrastructure, support collapses when they learn the price tag.
- A majority of voters would like to see the Governor’s high-speed rail project stopped, but for some voters objections may be tied more to the troubled execution of the project rather than the project in principle. A majority of California voters would prefer to put a stop to the high-speed rail project today rather than keep it going. At the same time, over six in ten voters think the high-speed rail will help reduce traffic on highways and at airports and will help create jobs. Only a small majority (51 percent) think the project is a waste of taxpayer dollars, and a plurality would even elect to take the train over flying or driving.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, in conjunction with American Viewpoint, conducted this survey on behalf of the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times.
These findings are based on a random sample survey of 1,500 (1,500 weighted) registered voters in the state of California, conducted from September 18-24, 2013. Interviews were conducted by telephone using live interviewers from Interviewing Services of America. Voters were randomly selected from a list of registered voters statewide and reached on a landline or cell phone depending on the number they designated on their voter registration. Twenty percent of this sample was reached on a cell phone. Up to five attempts were made to reach and interview each randomly selected voter.
The study includes an oversample of Latino registered voters, with the total number of Latino voters interviewed at 471 (345 weighted). All interviews among known Latinos were carried out via telephone by bilingual Latino interviewers, and conducted in the preferred language of the survey respondent, English or Spanish. Overall, 44 percent of interviews among the known Latino sample were conducted in Spanish and 56 percent in English. The technique of using fully bilingual interviewers yields higher response and cooperation rates and is greatly preferred because it does not terminate calls with Spanish-language households and require a callback.
Upon completion of all interviewing, the results were weighted to bring the Latino oversample population into line with the racial and ethnic composition of registered voters in California. The data were weighted to reflect the total population of registered voters throughout the state, balancing on regional and demographic characteristics for gender, age, race, and party registration according to known census estimates and voter file projections.
The maximum sampling error for the overall sample of 1,500 registered voters is +/- 2.9 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Margin of error for subgroups is higher. The margin of error for the 471 Latino sample respondents is +/- 4.9 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.