New University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll
Approximately one year out from the 2014 election, Californians give Jerry Brown the highest approval rating of his first term and are generally supportive of his direction and economic approach, despite remaining relatively downbeat about the economy and the state overall.
When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, Californians tilt toward the positive, expressing support for some parts of the law and skepticism about others. Despite the concerns, repealing and replacing Obamacare is a minority position with these voters.
Additional 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:
- Despite historically poor perceptions of politicians generally, Governor Brown enjoys relative stability. Brown’s approval rating of 55 percent is the highest in his first term in our tracking, and he has a solid foundation – 51 percent of whites and 61 percent of Latinos (up 9 points since September) approve of the job he’s doing as Governor. Despite almost half believing the state is headed in the wrong direction and 50 percent who say the economy is not improving, a majority remain hopeful and optimistic about Brown’s direction for the state.
- A majority of California voters support the Affordable Care Act, and repealing the law is a minority position; however, Californians express concern about the potential negative broad economic and individual-level cost impacts of the law. The debate has now become more complicated than whether health care reform is a good idea or a bad idea. The conversation has shifted to whether we should implement and fix the law, or repeal and replace it, and the repeal and replace position is misaligned with most Californians (only 38 percent support repealing the law and replacing it with an alternative market-based plan). Voters recognize that the overall health care system needs to be rectified, and despite the problems so far, voters still support the health care law as a way to fix the system overall.
- Californians support measures to protect illegal immigrants from workplace retaliation and to allow permanent legal residents to work at polling places, but are split on the new Trust Act and allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. A majority (54 percent) supports prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees who report unsafe practices or abuse in the workplace, and 59 percent support allowing permanent legal residents who are not U.S. citizens to serve as poll workers. However, majorities of voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to practice law or permanent legal residents to serve on juries, the latter of which Governor Brown vetoed. Latinos are generally more favorable to the range of measures we tested.
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 1,503 (1,503 weighted) registered voters in the state of California, conducted from October 30 – November 5, 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 400 known-Latino registered voters, with the total number of Latino voters interviewed at 485 (346 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, 43 percent of interviews among the known Latino sample were conducted in Spanish and 57 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 1,503 registered voters is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Margin of error for subgroups is higher. The margin of error for the 485 Latino respondents is +/- 5.2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.