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Poll respondents gloomy about California’s economy

Californians say jobs, the economy, and inflation are the most important issues facing the state today, according to a new poll.

Two out of three Californians said they expect bad economic times in the next 12 months; and that California is going in the wrong direction, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll published Wednesday.

Respondents from both political parties and independents all agreed that jobs, the economy and inflation are the most important issues facing the state and the nation, PPIC associate survey director Dale Bonner said.

Mark Baldassare, statewide survey director for the Public Policy Institute of California, was lead author on the institute’s poll.

PPIC

The majority of respondents from both political parties said both the U.S. and California are generally going in the wrong direction, and two in three surveyed expect bad economic times in California and the U.S. during the next 12 months.

A majority approve of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s performance in office and half approve of President Joe Biden’s performance. The approval rating of president and governor are much higher among Democrats than among other voters.

About half of respondents think the local economy in their area will be the same in six months with resident of the Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles being the most pessimistic and San Franciscans were the most optimistic.

Compared to six months ago, overwhelming majorities of Californians are less comfortable making a major purchase like a home or a car.

Based on the poll findings, researchers believe that the mixed signals being demonstrated in the national economy with both employment growth and rising prices were factors. Researchers also pointed to a similar situation on the state level, given that though state lawmakers approved a $311 billion budget with a record $37.8 billion in budget reserves, revenues have slowed.

There was some disagreement among members of political parties about whether crime or homelessness comes second as the most pressing issue, Bonner said. In total,14% of respondents did say homelessness was No. 2.

Majorities across partisan, regional and demographic groups know about, and disapprove of, other state governments sending migrants to California cities. The poll found 73% disapprove, 25% approve and 2% don’t know.

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The majority of those surveyed, 69%, said immigration is a good thing and 40% think it should be kept at its present level. The situation at the U.S. border was considered to be a crisis by 27% of respondents, a major problem by 37%, a minor problem by 27%, 8% don’t think it’s a problem and 1% don’t know.

The poll was released ahead of Wednesday’s GOP presidential candidate debate in Simi Valley, California.

Donald Trump, who didn’t participate in the debate, led the PPIC poll with 48% support from likely Republican voters, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis second with 14%.

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