FEWER THAN HALF OF CALIFORNIA VOTERS ARE SATISFIED WITH HOW DEMOCRACY IN THE U.S. IS WORKING
The Public Policy Institute of California | October 27, 2022
In the final weeks before Election Day on November 8, support for Proposition 30, the state ballot measure on funding to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, has slid to less than a majority. On the congressional front, Democrats hold an overall edge across the 10 competitive districts that could determine which party controls the US House of Representatives. Meanwhile, fewer than half of the state’s voters are satisfied with how democracy is working in the US. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California.
(Note: As a companion to the new survey, PPIC is publishing a blog post by president and CEO Mark Baldassare, “Voters’ Views on November’s Propositions.”)
After being read the ballot measure title and label, 41 percent of likely voters say they would vote “yes” on Prop 30 if the election were held today, while 52 percent say they would vote “no” and 7 percent don’t know. Support for Prop 30 has fallen since September, when 55 percent of likely voters said they would vote “yes.” Today, Democrats (61%) are far more likely than independents (38%) and Republicans (15%) to say they would vote “yes.” Support for Prop 30 falls short of a majority across education levels (36% high school only, 43% some college education, 41% college graduate), across all income groups but the lowest (52% annual household income of less than $40,000, 42% $40,000 to $79,999, 36% $80,000 or above), and across every region except Los Angeles (51% Los Angeles, 44% San Francisco Bay Area, 37% Orange/San Diego, 32% Inland Empire, 29% Central Valley).
“Proposition 30 has lost favor in the past month and support is now below a majority,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “A majority of Democrats still support this initiative, but most other voter groups are now in the ‘no’ camp.”
Two closely watched ballot measures on gambling are failing to gain majority support. One in three likely voters (34%) say they would vote “yes” on Prop 26 (sports betting at tribal casinos), while one in four (26%) would vote “yes” on Prop 27 (online sports gambling).
California voters have a low level of interest in gambling on sports, with 9 percent of likely voters saying they are personally interested in sports gambling. Nearly half (48%) say that legalizing sports betting in California would be a bad thing.
“Propositions 26 and 27 both fall well short of majority support,” Baldassare said. “Few California voters have a personal interest in sports gambling and many say that legalizing it would be a bad thing for the state.”
The new statewide survey also finds:
- Democrats hold an overall edge across competitive House races. Most likely voters (56%) say that if the election were held today, they would vote for or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their US House district (39% Republican candidate, 5% don’t know). In the ten competitive California House districts according to the Cook Political Report (districts 3, 9, 13, 22, 27, 40, 41, 45, 47, and 49), 54 percent of likely voters favor the Democratic candidate, 32 percent favor the Republican, and 14 percent don’t know.“Most California likely voters support the Democrat running in their local House race, and a majority favor the Democratic candidate across the competitive districts that will help determine which party controls the House,” Baldassare said.
- Most voters say abortion rights are an important consideration in their choice for Congress. Asked how important the issue of abortion rights is in their vote for Congress, six in ten likely voters (61%) say it is very important. Across partisan groups, 78 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independents, and 43 percent of Republicans say the issue is very important. Fifty-one percent of likely voters are either extremely enthusiastic (18%) or very enthusiastic (33%) about voting for Congress this year. The level of enthusiasm is similar among Democrats (18% extremely, 36% very) and Republicans (22% extremely, 32% very).“Six in ten say the issue of abortion rights is very important in their vote for Congress, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to hold this view,” Baldassare said. “However, Democrats and Republicans are equally enthusiastic about voting.”
- Californians hold generally negative views of their own finances and the US economy. Four in ten Californians (39% adults, 43% likely voters) say their family is worse off financially than a year ago. Fewer Californians (17% adults, 13% likely voters) say they are better off than a year ago (the same as a year ago: 43% adults, 44% likely voters). Overwhelming majorities of Californians say the state of the US economy is either not so good (43% adults, 40% likely voters) or poor (33% adults, 36% likely voters).“Many Californians have negative perceptions of their personal finances and the US economy this election season,” Baldassare said. “This is the political wildcard in the midterm election for Congress.”
- Fewer than half of likely voters are satisfied with how US democracy is working. Four in ten California likely voters are either very satisfied (8%) or somewhat satisfied (32%) with the way democracy is working in the US. Similarly, 39 percent of likely voters are optimistic that Americans of different political views can come together and work out their differences. This is a 16-point decline from September 2017, when we first asked this question. Across party lines, majorities of adults (59% Republicans, 55% Democrats, 52% independents) are pessimistic about Americans with different political views working out their differences.“In the final stages of the midterm election, fewer than half of California likely voters are satisfied with the way US democracy is working, and majorities of Californians across party lines are pessimistic that Americans can work out their political differences,” Baldassare said.
- Governor Newsom continues to hold a sizeable lead in his reelection bid. Most likely voters (55%) favor incumbent Gavin Newsom in the gubernatorial election, while 36 percent favor State Senator Brian Dahle. This is similar to findings in September (58% Newsom, 31% Dahle). Across partisan groups, 91 percent of Democrats favor Newsom and 86 percent of Republicans favor Dahle, while Newsom holds an edge over Dahle (47% to 37%) among independents.“Gavin Newsom has a strong lead in his third election since four years ago,” Baldassare said. “Partisans continue to be deeply divided while independents lean toward supporting their current governor.”
Through Ads and Advocates, Battle Over Calif. Gambling Propositions Heat Up
By McKenzie Jackson | California Black Media | Posted: September 19, 2022
Clint Thompson, a Santa Monica resident in his 30s, wouldn’t say he has been inundated with advertisements supporting or denigrating Propositions 26 and 27, but he sees an ad focused on one of the legislations each time he turns on his television.
“I usually watch the news during the day — NBC — and on NBC, Prop 26 or Prop 27 comes on every other commercial break per show,” said Thompson, an actor, who admitted he hasn’t researched the sports gambling propositions. “Both of the props seem to have good things with them. The commercials seem to have reasons why you should say ‘yes,’ or ‘no.’”
Prop 26 would legalize roulette, dice games, and sports betting on Native American tribal lands if approved by voters in the Nov. 8 election. It is backed by over 50 state Native American tribes.
Prop 27, supported by sportsbooks DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Fanatics, PENN Entertainment, and WynnBet, would give those sports betting companies the reins in sports gambling in the Golden State and allow online gambling.
If people like Thompson feel the advertisements from the campaigns for and against the propositions seem to be flooding the television and radio airwaves — and to be ever-present on social media (Watched a YouTube video lately?) — they might be right.
The dueling propositions have raised a combined $400 million for advertising leading up to Election Day this November. That has led to
ads backing and slamming the two propositions to be front and center in all forms of media Californians consume.
Dinah Bachrach of the Racial Justice Allies of Sonoma County, a group supporting Prop 26, said the proliferation of ads supporting Prop 27 is concerning.
“They are all over the place,” Bachrach said. “Gambling is already a pretty big business, but to be able to do sports gambling online is dangerous because it hurts what tribal casinos have been able to do for their communities in the state.”
According to Bachrach, Prop 26 protects the sovereignty of native tribes. “It’s a really important racial justice issue,” she said. “Indian casinos provide a tremendous amount of financial support for the casino tribes and the non-casino tribes, and they contribute a lot locally and to the state.”
Bachrach’s organization is one of several civil rights or African American organizations that have thrown its support behind Prop 26.
Santa Clarita NAACP spokesperson Nati Braunstein said in an email, “The NAACP supports Prop 26, which would legalize retail sports betting at California tribal casinos only and opposes Prop 27 which would allow online sports betting via mobile sportsbooks.”
Kathy Fairbanks, speaking for the Yes on 26/No on 27 coalition, composed of California Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and other partners, said winning the approval of every potential voter, including Black Californians, is their goal.
Yes on 27 – Californians for Solutions to Homelessness, the campaign arm of Prop 27 backers, had not returned California Black Media’s requests for comment for this story as of press time. Prop 27 proponents say in ads and the Yes on 27 website repeats that the initiative would help solve California’s homelessness crisis.
Prop 27 imposes a 10 % tax on adjusted gross gaming revenue. Eighty-five percent of the taxes go toward fighting California’s homeless and mental health challenges. Non-gaming tribes get the remaining 15% of tax revenue.
Organizations such as Bay Area Community Services, Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness, and individuals including Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Bay Area Community Services CEO Jamie Almanza, and Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians Chairman Jose “Moke” Simon are listed as Prop 27 supporters on the Yes on 27 website.
On the campaign’s Facebook page, commenter Brandon Gran wrote under an advertisement photo that voting for Prop 27 was a “no brainer.”
“People are already gambling using offshore accounts,” he typed. “Why not allow CA to get a piece of the pie … money that will (hopefully) go to good use.”
However, a statewide survey by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), conducted between Sept. 2 and 11 and released on Sept. 15, revealed that 54 % of California voters would vote “no” for Prop 27, while 34 % would vote “yes.” Twelve percent of the respondents were “unsure.”
The survey’s authors wrote that a strong majority of Republicans wouldn’t vote for the proposition, compared to half of Democrats and independents.
“Regionally, majorities in the Inland Empire, Orange/San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area would vote ‘no,’ while likely voters in the Central Valley and Los Angeles are divided,” they wrote. “At least half across most demographic groups would vote ‘no.’ Likely voters age 18 to 44 (52%) and renters (51%) are the only two demographic groups with a slim majority voting ‘yes.’”
The survey, titled “PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government,” did not ask participants about Prop 26. The Yes on 26/No on 27 coalition, said in a news release that the PPIC’s research confirmed what Prop 26 supporters have said for some time.
“Despite raising more than $160 million for a deceptive advertising campaign, California voters are clearly not buying what the out-of-state online gambling corporations behind Prop 27 are selling,” the statement read.