New University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times Poll


In our latest research for the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, results reveal that voters in California are deeply pessimistic about where things currently stand in their state and are very unhappy with their state leaders. The State Legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger both receive very low approval ratings and it seems that these low marks are more driven by voters’ disappointment with their leaders than anger. Despite their unhappiness voters resist all of the changes presented to them that would help shore up the large budget deficit and eliminate some of the gridlock in Sacramento.

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Executive Summary

In their latest research for the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, in conjunction with Public Opinion Strategies, conducted a survey of 1,500 registered voters in the State of California.

Key Findings

Results reveal that voters in California are deeply pessimistic about where things currently stand in their state and are very unhappy with their state leaders. The State Legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger both receive very low approval ratings and it seems that these low marks are more driven by voters’ disappointment with their leaders than anger. Despite their unhappiness voters resist all of the changes presented to them that would help shore up the large budget deficit and eliminate some of the gridlock in Sacramento.

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Methodology

These findings are based on a random sample survey of 1,500 registered voters in the state of California conducted between October 27 and November 3, 2009. All interviews were done by telephone using live interviewers from the California-based EMH Research facility. Voters were randomly selected from a list of registered voters statewide and reached on landline or cell phone depending on the number they designated on their voter registration. The percentage of cell phone respondents in this study matches the percentage of those who list their cell phone on the voter file. Bilingual dialers gave respondents the option of taking the survey in English or Spanish. Up to five attempts were made to reach and interview each randomly selected voter. In order to include a wider-range of questions in this study, some batteries of related questions were split into random half-samples of 750 voters each for purposes of time.

Upon completion of the interviewing, the results were weighted slightly to more accurately reflect the total population of registered voters throughout the state. Weighting was done to regional and demographic characteristics according to known census estimates and voter file projections; party registration was weighted to match the most recent 2009 report from the California Secretary of State’s office.

The maximum sampling error for results based on the overall sample of 1,500 registered voters is +/- 2.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error for the findings from each random half-sample of 750 registered voters is +/- 3.6 percentage points.

This survey was conducted for the Los Angeles Times and the University of South California College of Letters, Arts and Sciences by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in conjunction with Public Opinion Strategies, both based out of Washington, DC.