Policy Documents

Golden State Poll

Hoover Institution at Stanford University –
January 22, 2014

[First published at Hoover.org]

New Golden State Poll: Californians remain unsure about economic recovery and state leaders

On January 22, the Hoover Institution released the results from its second Golden State Poll. Like the first sampling last fall, this survey polled 1,000 Californians on their financial wellbeing as well as their opinions on state leadership and, in their opinion, top policy priorities Sacramento should address.

Listen to Hoover research fellows Lanhee Chen and Bill Whalen discuss the survey’s political implications.

Among the findings, Gov. Jerry Brown has a net disapproval rating – 33% approve of the governor’s performance while 37% disapprove. California’s State Legislature fared worse: 21% approval versus 49% disapproval. Only one of four Californians endorsed Brown’s reelection, while 44% would prefer a replacement.

Only 25% of Californians think the Golden State should serve as a model for others to emulate, while four in ten Californians believe things in California have become worse compared to a year ago.

Economic issues are a foremost concern for Californians, with respondents listing strengthening the economy, improving the job situation, and balancing the state budget as the top-three priorities. The three topics that fared worst in the survey: dealing with global warming, strengthening gun laws, and continuing the state’s high-speed rail project.

Californians have not changed their views on the economic recovery since September’s first survey. 34% of Californians said their family was worse off, financially, than a year ago, compared to 33% in September. 50% of employed Californians are unconfident in being able to find a new job in California in the next six months that pays just as well as the one they currently have. This is down just 5 points from September.

For more detailed analyses of the poll results, please see the Defining Ideas article “California's Economic Dissonance” by Hoover research fellow Carson Bruno, as well as the post on Hoover’s blog Eureka. To explore the poll directly, click here. The press release of the first survey can be found here and more information about the September poll can be found here.