How Californians View the State of the State

By the  Hoover Institute, Special for USDR

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown delivered a second-term inaugural address that doubled as a State of the State message to reveal his public policy intentions both for this year and for his final four years as the Golden State’s chiefexecutive.

The Hoover Institution’s first Golden State Poll for 2015 looked at the twin issues of Californians’ public policy priorities and their trust in state government. As has been the practice of the Golden State Poll in each of last year’s surveys, we also asked Californians questions about their personalfinances.

The survey of 1,699 Californians, administered by the survey research firm YouGov from December 9, 2014, to January 4, 2015, includes a subsample of nearly a thousand respondents identified as most likely voters.(The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent for the fullsample.)

Some highlightsinclude

  • Asked about their public policy priorities for California’s government in 2015, the most likely voters identified their top issues as strengthening the state’s economy, dealing with the state’s water problems, improving the job situation, and balancing the state’s budget.
  • A slim majority of the most likely voters (54%) believe Governor Brown has been truthful about the state budget.
  • Most likely voters trust local government (41%) more than they do state government (34%). Democrats heavily side with the state; Republicans are solidly with local governments.
  • Among respondents most likely to vote, most had more trust in the governor and California’s executive branch (35%) than the state legislature (25%). Interestingly, more Republicans (36%) than Democrats (19%) sided with the heavily Democratic state legislature.
  • Only 20 percent of adult Californians surveyed reported being better off financially than they were six months ago, compared to 75 percent who were the same or worse off. Nearly the same percentage (26%) expect to be better off in the next six months.

For full poll results, go to:

Hoover Institution research fellow Lanhee Chen provides a more detailed explanation of the survey’s findings in Defining Ideas (, the Hoover Institution’s onlinejournal.

Hoover Institution research fellows Carson Bruno, Lanhee Chen, and Bill Whalen will discuss this survey and its implications for Governor Brown’s agenda at a roundtable conversation Wednesday night (January 14, 2015) sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of California. A podcast and video broadcast of that conversation will be available after theevent.

The Hoover Institution Golden State Poll is conducted quarterly by researchers at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, in partnership with the survey research firm YouGov. The January 2015 Hoover investigators are Carson Bruno; Jeremy Carl; Lanhee Chen, PhD; Tammy Frisby, PhD; and BillWhalen.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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