Poll: Slim majority supports school facilities bond

A middle school in Marin County. (Photo: Osaze Cuomo, via Shutterstock)

A March ballot measure to authorize state bonds for public education facilities is supported by slightly more than half of voters. Seven in ten Californians approve of Governor Newsom’s proposal to spend $1 billion to address homelessness. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California.

California’s March 3 ballot includes a $15 billion bond for the construction and modernization of public education facilities. Slightly more than half (51%) of likely voters approve, 42 percent oppose, and 8 percent are undecided. In January, 53 percent said yes, 36 percent no, and 10 percent were undecided. Democrats (69%) are far more likely to say they will vote yes than independents (47%) or Republicans (24%). Among likely voters, 43 percent say the outcome of the vote is very important to them.

“The Proposition 13 state school bond has a slim majority going into the March primary vote and gets a big boost from its strong support among Democratic likely voters,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Fewer than half who would vote yes or no on Proposition 13 say the outcome of the vote on the state school bond is very important to them.”

Most Are Concerned About Housing Affordability, While a Majority Supports Governor’s Spending Plan to Address Homelessness
Most Californians (63%) say housing affordability is a big problem in their part of the state, and another 25 percent say it is somewhat of a problem. About four in ten Californians (44% adults, 38% likely voters) say the cost of living is making them seriously consider moving elsewhere in California or out of state. Younger Californians are more likely to consider moving (55% of those age 18 to 34, 45% 35 to 54, 33% 55 and older), and renters (54%) are far more likely than homeowners (32%) to consider moving. Most considering moving say they would leave California rather than relocate within the state.

“Many Californians say that housing affordability is a big problem in their part of California, and younger adults and renters are especially likely to say that housing costs are making them seriously consider moving out of state,” Baldassare said.

Most Californians (61%) say homelessness is a big problem in their part of the state. Majorities (70% adults, 64% likely voters) support Governor Newsom’s plan to spend $1 billion to address homelessness. Most also favor a constitutional amendment—which could be on the November ballot—to mandate that the state and localities provide sufficient housing or shelter beds to put every homeless person under a roof (63% adults, 55% likely voters).

“Solid majorities of Californians say that homelessness is a big problem in their part of the state and support the governor’s $1 billion spending plan to address homelessness as well as a government mandate to put every homeless person under a roof,” Baldassare said.

Views Are Mixed on Governor’s High-Speed Rail Plan, While Most Approve of Delta Tunnel Plan and Climate Change Bond
Governor Newsom’s plans to scale back the high-speed rail project started under Governor Brown meet with mixed reviews: 49 percent say Newsom’s plan is a good idea, and 41 percent say it is a bad idea. Meanwhile, Newsom continues to call for a single Delta water tunnel, scaled back from the twin tunnels favored by Governor Brown. Most (58%) say Newsom’s tunnel plan is a good idea, while only about three in ten (28%) say it is a bad idea.

“The governor’s plans for high-speed rail get mixed reviews, while most support his plan to build one instead of two tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta,” Baldassare said.

Newsom’s budget plan would place a $4.75 billion bond on the November ballot, with the funds going to address climate change risks. A majority of Californians (65% adults, 59% likely voters) approve.

“Looking to the November election, the majority of Californians support the governor’s proposal for a $4.75 billion state bond to address climate risks,” Baldassare said.

Most Californians (53%) approve of how Governor Newsom is handling his job, while one-third (33%) disapprove. This is Governor Newsom’s highest approval rating to date. Democrats (75%) are far more likely to approve than independents (45%) or Republicans (15%).

Pessimism Grows About Americans of Different Views Working Together
Californians are divided on the prospects for Americans of different political views coming together to work out their differences, with 49 percent optimistic and 48 percent pessimistic. The level of pessimism has grown since January 2019 (58% optimistic, 40% pessimistic).

“In the wake of the House impeachment and Senate trial votes that were largely along party lines, growing proportions of Californians express pessimism that Americans of different political views can work together,” Baldassare said.

Editor’s Note: Findings are based on a survey of 1,702 California adult residents, including 1,259 interviewed on cell phones and 443 interviewed on landline telephones. The sample included 510 respondents reached by calling back respondents who had previously completed an interview in PPIC Statewide Surveys. PPIC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and information entity.  Click here for the full survey and its methodology.


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