New University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll on the California Budget Debate


On behalf of the  University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, in conjunction with American Viewpoint, conducted a new survey among 1,503 registered California voters.  The latest USC Dornsife/LA Times survey shows:

  • Voters still sour on state's economy
  • Californians support tax hikes to help close budget gap
  • California voters want public employees to help ease state's financial troubles
  • Majority of Californians Want Special Election on Tax Increases
  • Strong Voter Support for Overhauling Public Pensions

Key Findings

USC Dornsife College-LA Times Results (4.25.11)

USC Dornsife College-LA Times Crosstabs (4.25.11)

  • The California electorate is embracing Jerry Brown’s call for a balance between cutting spending and increasing revenue to close the rest of the budget deficit. A 53 percent majority say that a combination of cutting spending and increasing taxes is the preferred approach, and in a follow up asking these “combination” voters whether they’d rather the rest of the deficit reduction came more from spending cuts or more from tax increases, they break evenly.
  • California voters favor Brown’s proposal to hold a special election on revenue in order to close the rest of the budget deficit, 60 to 35 percent. They oppose the idea of passing tax extensions in the legislature (42 to 53 percent favor - oppose) and they firmly reject an “all cuts” budget (25 to 71 percent favor - oppose).
  • With a plurality of voters saying the salaries and benefits of public employees are too high, there is broad receptivity to many proposals to reform the pension system as part of the deficit reduction plan.

Articles

Read Los Angeles Times articles:

April 22, 2011 - Voters still sour on state's economy, new Times/USC Dornsife College poll finds

April 23, 2011 - Times/USC Dornsife College poll: Californians support tax hikes to help close budget gap

April 24, 2011 - Times/USC Dornsife College poll: California voters want public employees to help ease state's financial troubles

Read University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences releases:

April 22, 2011 - Media Advisory: Phone Conference Results of Public Opinion Poll on Solving the Budget Crisis and Governor Brown's Job Performance

April 23, 2011 - USC Dornsife College poll

April 23, 2011 - Majority of Californians Want Special Election on Tax Increases

April 24, 2011 - Poll: Strong Voter Support for Overhauling Public Pensions

Methodology

These findings are based on a random sample survey of 1,503 registered voters in the state of California, conducted from April 7-17, 2011. 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. Sixteen percent of this sample was reached on a cell phone. Up to five attempts were made to reach and interview each randomly selected voter. In order to examine distinctions and include a wider range of questions in this study, some questions were split into random half-samples, with one-half of 751 voters and the other half of 752 voters.

The study includes an oversample of Latino registered voters, with the total number of Latino voters interviewed at 483. 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, 37 percent of interviews among the known Latino sample were conducted in Spanish and 63 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, party registration and education according to known census estimates and voter file projections.

The maximum sampling error for the overall sample of 1,503 registered voters is +/- 2.53 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for the 483 Latino sample respondents is +/- 4.46 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.