| January PPIC poll shows majorities support current financial path
by Brian Leubitz
For years, we were told that the people wanted divided government. That we couldn't mess with the 2/3 requirements because they were somehow sacrosanct. But that little chart on the right tells us otherwise.
To be honest, I've always felt that PPIC was a little soft on the Legislature. I mean, could you really find one in four people that really approved of the legislature a few years ago? But since we ditched the 2/3 budget requirement, and Democrats were forced to deal with the disaster themeselves, we've moved on. The finger pointing had to stop, and for the most part it has. The Republicans, having lost on Prop 30, and lost even their marginal relevance by failing to garner a third of the legislative seats, are simply trying to get attention any way they can.
With everything that happened last year, Prop 30, and the grassroots field campaign around Prop 32, Brown is now in a better position than most thought he would be after inheriting Arnold Schwarzenegger's mess. Yet on the most toxic of issues, the budget, somehow he has built the consensus that many doubted he could create:
When read a brief description of the governor's overall plan, 69 percent of adults say they favor it and 22 percent are opposed. Across parties, 79 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents, and a slim majority of Republicans-51 percent-are in favor. Brown's 2013-14 budget, which projects a small surplus for the first time in many years, proposes increasing spending on K-12 schools, higher education, and health and human services, as well as paying down the state's debt and creating a reserve. Support was far lower for Brown's budget plan in January 2012 (50%).
Of course, with the budget, the devil is always in the details. And summaries, by definition, skimp on those. Yet, the fact remains that Jerry Brown, and his allies, have somehow charted a middle path that eluded Gov. Schwarzenegger.
On other issues, California support for gun control grew substantially after the tragedy in Newtown, CT. From March 2012 to this poll, the number of Californians supporting additional restrictions grew from 53% to 65%. There is a lot more data on gun control at the PPIC site, especially if you care to dig down into the cross-tabs.
While you're there, you can also see that the President also maintained his popularity here, with a 65% approval rating overall, and a broad other swath of data. Go check it out.