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November 24
2003 - Ruth Newhall, longtime co-owner/editor of The Signal, dies in Berkeley [story]
Ruth Newhall


By Nick Cahill
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – One day after President Donald Trump described the country’s southern border as “very dangerous” and announced a surge of additional troops to the border, a poll released Wednesday says Californians largely don’t believe in either Trump’s wall or his self-proclaimed border crisis.

In the latest snapshot from the Public Policy Institute of California, nearly 70 percent of adult respondents oppose a new border wall while just 27 percent said the immigration situation across the southern border classifies as a crisis. A strong majority also blamed the president and Republicans for the recent government shutdown with nearly half responding that race relations are suffering nationwide.

“Building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border continues to be an unpopular idea, while many Californians say that the state of race relations in America has gotten worse in the last year,” said PPIC President Mark Baldassare.

Most Democrats, nearly half of Independents and 66 percent of black respondents answered that race relations are worse in the U.S. than they were a year ago. Over half of Republicans polled, 60 percent, said race relations were about the same or better, and 54 percent of whites said the same.

The nonpartisan poll comes 24 hours after President Trump pitched Congress and the nation on spending billions for a border wall during his State of the Union address. Trump reiterated claims that his wall will snuff out drug dealers, human traffickers and “ruthless coyotes” and reminded Congress that it had little more than a week to come up with funding for the wall or potentially start another shutdown.

Due in large part to California voters, who voted out several incumbent Republicans last fall, Trump and the GOP are struggling to secure funding for the wall in the Democratic-controlled House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, has routinely rebuffed the president’s demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding.

According to Wednesday’s poll titled “Californians and Their Government,” more Californians are jumping behind Pelosi and not the president: 48 percent said they approve of the way Pelosi is handling her job compared to a 30 percent approval rate for Trump.

As for the possibility of increased cooperation between the new Congress and Trump, those surveyed have a decidedly bleak outlook with just 25 percent saying that Trump and Congress will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year. Respondents are also pessimistic about the nation’s future, with just 30 percent of adults saying that things are going in the right direction nationally.

“As further evidence of the political fallout from the federal government shutdown, expectations for the president and Congress working together have never been lower,” Baldassare said. “Californians are much more likely to approve of Speaker Pelosi than President Trump or Minority Leader McCarthy.”

The Democrats’ resounding midterm successes nationwide are giving some Californians hope, as 66 percent think that the Democrats gaining control of the House will lead to either some or a lot of change.

The PPIC survey is based on phone interviews with over 1,700 Californians and was conducted during and just after the end of the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. As for demographics, 68 percent of the respondents said they were registered to vote in California, 43 percent are registered Democrat, 24 percent registered Republican and 62 percent said they have a fair or great deal of interest in politics.

State of the Golden State
President Trump’s border wall and illegal immigration rhetoric may not be popular in the state that chose Hillary Clinton in 2016 by over a 30 percent margin, but immigration remains a hot button topic with California voters.

The highest total of respondents (15 percent) said the top immediate issue for state leaders to address this year was immigration or illegal immigration, followed by education (11 percent), the economy (10 percent), environment and global warming (8 percent) and homelessness (6 percent.)

While Californians are dissatisfied with Congress, they are optimistic that state lawmakers will connect with new Gov. Gavin Newsom. Over two-thirds, including 44 percent of Republicans, responded that the Legislature will be able to work with Newsom and accomplish a lot in the next year. A majority of adults (55 percent) added that things in California are generally going in the right direction.

“In wake of the election, there are sky-high expectations that Gov. Newsom and the Democratic-controlled Legislature will be able to work together,” Baldassare said.

Predicting a $21.5 billion surplus, the former San Francisco mayor is proposing major spending on things like education and homelessness and wants to slash the state’s debt in his first budget proposal.

“We are preparing for uncertain times and we are paying down debt in historic ways and we are paying down unfunded liabilities in a way we never have as well,” Newsom said last month.

The governor’s message resonated with those surveyed, as 70 percent said they were in favor of Newsom’s first spending plan after being read various details. Over 75 percent said they approve of both his proposal to increase spending for public colleges and universities by $832 million and spend $1.8 billion in taxpayer funds to expand pre-kindergarten programs.

As is typical for PPIC reports, the non-partisan poll surveyed residents from five different regions of California and contains a 3.3 percent plus or minus sampling error.

The survey also touched on California’s hallmark property tax law passed in 1978 that set base property tax rates at 1 percent of assessed value and limits annual tax increases.

A measure that is eligible for the 2020 statewide ballot would give voters the opportunity to roll back portions of Proposition 13 that deal with commercial property taxes. Critics claim the 40-year-old measure is a “tax loophole” that deprives the state of billions in taxes each year and are pushing the “split-roll” tax reform.

Just over 60 percent answered that Proposition 13 has turned out to be a mostly good thing for the state over the decades, and 47 percent said they would favor the 2020 ballot measure.

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29 Comments

  1. Robert B says:

    Just wondering where this poll was gathered. I never was asked my thoughts. I am all for a boarder wall.

  2. Robert Boh says:

    Just wondering where this poll was gathered. I never was asked my thoughts. I am all for a boarder wall…….

  3. DR says:

    No one ever asked me. I”m ALL for the wall and i’m an immigrant from 50 yrs ago.

    • SCVNews.com says:

      You know what? That’s an excellent idea. They should ask everyone in California. Put it to a vote.

  4. pitter says:

    I’m for the wall and everyone that I have spoken to has agreed. Build the wall! I was not asked nor was anyone that I know.

  5. George Palmer says:

    Try polling the SCV; you’d probably get a different result, more reflective of SCV views.

  6. Mike says:

    The state is always overstating numbers to support their agenda….just another pile of crap.
    California is a socialist state, end of story.
    Close the border, jail the leaders.

  7. WMSCV says:

    If we don’t need a border wall then remove all walls and barriers around all buildings in California especially in our great capital Sacramento. If we don’t need a border patrol Sacramento does not require CHP protection. Why do we need anything if our wonderful leaders insist we are safe. Okay Sacremento politicians set the example and disarm yourselves remove all your safety barriers and maybe will be lead by example not by force.

  8. Joe says:

    Why do you publish liberal press releases done in a liberal area such as Sacramento where California’s problems are created. Call horse manure on this story.

  9. Bryon says:

    100% of ancient men felt that a solar eclipse meant the impending destruction of the planet.

    100% of Nazis felt Jews were sub-human.

    The Captain of the Titanic felt it was unsinkable.

    I am completely unimpressed with how people “feel.”

    What I care about are facts, not polls. And LEADERS who will lead the sheep like a good shepherd, regardless of how close they come to walking off a cliff to their deaths.

  10. GW Smith says:

    You get a poll from a far left organization who asks their readers for their opinion and what to you get — 70%. Surprise, surprise! What a joke, and what a slimy way for this reporter to propagandize. Pathetic.

  11. Gordon Harvey says:

    This piece is a total hit piece with misleading information, not fact. The far left continues to spew out this crap and their constituents eat it up. Waiting for the cow fart initiative in the State Legislature. That body along with the Gov overwhelm this state with more flatulence than any dairy farm in the state.

  12. Teri Walker Caldwell says:

    Without a wall we have no protection.

  13. James Crowley says:

    Seems like 100% of the respondents here favor the wall. We must regain control of our borders or we don’t have a country. Several European countries are now maintaining border controls again…wonder why? Ask yourself…Do I need a front door lock? Why?

  14. Larry McClain says:

    I don’t believe that poll. I want a border wall

  15. Larry M says:

    I don’t believe this poll!! I want a secure border!!

  16. Doug Morton says:

    And this is one of the significant reasons my family, and many many others, have left California and are now happily residing in a low tax state where the services are far better!

  17. Mark Jenkins says:

    who’s talking to who…. come on scvnews make some true news.

  18. DD says:

    No one asked my opinion either. Typical liberal bias polls. I call BS on this one.

  19. Marilyn Boron says:

    My family and I want a wall! Are these people nuts? NOBODY asked US! Those who are able, are LEAVING this State and I don’t blame them one iota.

    • SCVNews.com says:

      You make an interesting point: People who support the wall are leaving the state where the wall is (California), while those who choose to stay behind oppose the wall. Sounds like nobody wants to live with a wall?

  20. H. Hughes says:

    If you read the SCV news.com response, you can see that the liberals have infiltrated this “news” media, and they are going to manipulate information to their advantage. I am also an immigrant who came here legally and favor the wall.

    • SCVNews.com says:

      No, but it’s confusing that people who say Californians are a bunch of liberals would question a poll that proves them right.

  21. Sona Gallatin says:

    I highly doubt this to be accurate. Who did you survey? Probably the reverse is true but you thought just go ahead with it anyway right? By the way you know there’s already a wall in San Diego right? Irresponsible reporting is not funny .

    • SCVNews.com says:

      Why is it a surprise that Californians oppose Trump’s wall by almost exactly the same margin that voted against Trump (2-1) in 2016? (Especially in a state that already has a wall, as you noted. The pollsters weren’t asking about the existing wall, just a bigger one.)

  22. Stephen says:

    Where is the source for the polls this makes me suspicious

    • SCVNews.com says:

      Why would it make one suspicious that a state (California) that voted 70-30 against Trump would oppose his wall by a margin of 70-30?

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