Between October 15-30th, 2012, a team of survey researchers affiliated with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University polled 600 Californians about their views of state government, policy choices facing the state, and life in the Golden State. Administered by the survey research firm YouGov, the poll has a margin of error of +/-4% for the full sample, +/-5% for the registered voter subsample.
Among the survey’s findings:
Large majorities oppose increasing income or sales taxes on everyone.
Among registered voters, 75% oppose increasing income taxes across the board (12% support, 13% unsure) and 61% oppose increasing sales tax rates (21% support, 15% oppose).
Majority support for increasing income tax rates only for incomes above $200,000.
Among registered voters, 52% oppose increasing taxes on those earning $100,000-$200,000 (33% support, 15% not sure). Broader support seen for taxes on higher income levels: 58% support increasing income taxes on those earning $200,000-$999,999 (25% oppose, 7% not sure); 66% support a true millionaires’ tax, 19% oppose, 15% not sure.
But Californians also oppose freezing or reducing spending for higher education, K-12, and MediCal.
56% of registered voters oppose freezing or reducing spending on higher ed (34% support, 10% not sure). 63% oppose the same actions for K-12 education (20% support, 18% not sure). 56% oppose freezing or reducing spending to MediCal (30% support, 14% not sure).
Nearly 4 in 10 Californians have considered moving out of state in the last 12 months. Large pluralities cite cost of housing, taxes, economic prospects as most important reasons for considering leaving.
37% of all respondents said they had considered moving of the state in the last 12 months. When asked to identify the three most important reasons behind their possible move; 48% responded that they wanted a lower cost of housing, 42% said they sought lower tax rates; 41% sought a better economy and job opportunities. The next most popular answers were less traffic congestion and overcrowding (19%), want to live around people like me (15%), and to be closer to family (11%).
Californians do not think the state’s government serves as a good model for other states.
56% disagree with the statement that the way the state government runs in California is a good model for other states to follow; 17% agree, 27% neither agree nor disagree. Registered voters hold an even less favorable view: 66% disagree the idea that the state is a good model, 17% agree, 17% neither agree nor disagree.
Most of the blame for the state’s budget mess goes to the state legislature.
When asked to assign blame for the state’s budget woes, 10% of registered voters point to Republican legislators in Sacramento, 19% blame the Democrats in the legislature. 15% blame previous governors, while 5% say Gov. Jerry Brown shoulders most of the responsibility, and 11% says it’s the bad economy. 7% blame state employee unions, and 6% selected the state’s initiative process.
The Hoover Institution California Poll is conducted by fellows of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, in partnership with YouGov. The October 2012 Hoover investigators are Tammy Frisby, Brian Gaines, James Gimpel, Daron Shaw, and Bill Whalen. Survey respondents are matched on a set of individual characteristics and the sample is statistically weighted based on estimates from the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and the Pew Religious Landscape Survey.
Hoover corresponding investigator: Tammy Frisby, frisby [at] stanford.edu, (650) 387-8465