The latest poll from the Public Policy Institute of California has some rather bad news for GOP Chairman Jim Brulte and his party:
Californians pretty much like the job Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is doing, they favor a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, don’t want restrictions on women’s access to abortion, would like to see more restrictions on guns, while gun-toting, anti-immigrant,
pro-life anti-choice Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is their leading candidate for governor.
Rancho Cucamonga, we have a problem.
A slim majority of adults – 53% — even favors Brown’s proposed $68 billion high-speed rail proposal and 60% back the $11.1 billion plan for state water projects.
Meanwhile Neel Kashkari, the Republican who has raised the most campaign cash in the governor’s race – and the one GOP candidate most in tune with popular statewide opinion – draws about 2% of the vote in the June First Cut Election© (it’s not really a primary), compared to 10% for the dangerous Mr. Donnelly.
Gov. Gandalf, meanwhile, is pulling 47% overall, including 78% of the Democrats, 37% of the independents and even 15% of the Republicans. In other words, he’d make the run-off if only Republicans were to vote.
Worse, for the Republicans, without lifting a campaign finger (or mentioning Cesar Chavez or Mother Teresa), Brown is pulling 58% among Latinos, with second place going to Donnelly at 8%. If Latinos find out he’s been out on Minuteman patrols on the California-Mexican border, that will probably drop to about 1%.
At this rate, the only chance Republicans have of doing well in November is if every Democrat in the Legislature gets carted away by the FBI. Oh wait, they’re already doing that…
Fun with numbers: Brown’s approval ratings were not bad: 49% among all adults and 52% among likely voters. That’s down somewhat from a high of 58% in January but about where it was last March. While 67% of Democrats and 49% of independents approve of Brown’s performance, nearly a third – 32% — of Republicans likewise approve of the way he’s handling his job as governor.
President Obama’s approval rating is 52% among all adults and 49% among likely voters – not great for such a blue state, but not terrible, either.
The lead item in PPIC’s analysis of their poll was water.
“A record-high share of Californians say the supply of water is a big problem in their part of the state, and nearly all residents say they have reduced their water use in response to the drought,” PPIC reported. “Asked about the supply of water in their area, 55 percent of residents say it is a big problem (20% somewhat of a problem, 23% not much of a problem). In contrast, 44 percent of Californians expressed this view in December 2009, during another drought. Today, majorities across regions characterize their area’s water supply as a big problem, with residents in the Central Valley (65%) most likely to do so (55% Orange/San Diego, 54% Inland Empire, 52% San Francisco Bay Area, 51% Los Angeles). Most (60%) also say the water supply in their area will be inadequate 10 years from now.”
PPIC also reported on:
High Speed Rail — Californians were asked about another big project: a high-speed rail system. In 2008, voters passed a $10 billion state bond for its planning and construction. Today, when read a description of the system and its $68 billion price tag, 53 percent favor it and 42 percent oppose it. Likely voters are less supportive (45% favor, 50% oppose). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (52%) are in favor. Inland Empire residents are divided (45% favor, 46% oppose). When opponents of high-speed rail are asked how they would feel if the cost were lower, support rises (69% adults, 60% likely voters). Asked about high-speed rail’s importance, 35 percent of adults and 29 percent of likely voters say it is very important to the future quality of life and state’s economic vitality.
Immigration – A record-high 65 percent of Californians say that immigrants are a benefit to the state because of their hard work and job skills rather than a burden because they use public services (27%). State residents are far less divided on this question than when PPIC first asked it in April 1998 (46% benefit, 42% burden). On immigration reform, an overwhelming majority of adults (86%) and likely voters (83%) favor providing a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally who meet certain requirements—including waiting a certain period of time, paying fines and back taxes, passing criminal background checks, and learning English. Even among Californians who say immigrants are a burden there is majority support (72%) for a path to citizenship
Abortion – A solid majority of adults (69%) say the government should not interfere with access to abortion, and about a quarter (26%) say government should pass more laws restricting its availability. Mainline Protestants (81%) and adults with no religion (88%) are more likely than Catholics (58%) and evangelical Protestants (50%) to say that government should not interfere with abortion access.
Environmental laws — A majority (55%) say that stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. Fewer (38%) say that this type of regulation costs too many jobs and hurts the economy.
Gun control — A majority (56%) say the government does not do enough to regulate access to guns. Fewer (37%) say the government goes too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns.
PPIC surveyed a random sample of 1,702 California adults March 11-18 on landline and cell phones, including 1,380 respondents who said they were registered voters and 936 identified as likely voters. The overall margin of error was +/- 3.6% and for likely voters it was +/- 4.7%.