A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that 72 percent of California voters were in favor of changing the immigration system to include a path to citizenship, while 21 percent were opposed to such a policy.
The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, conducted March 11-17, offered insight into three pertinent issues regarding education, gun control and immigration. The full sample included 1,501 registered California voters, and the poll results had a 2.9 percent margin of error. The poll was conducted with Republican polling firm American Viewpoint and Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
In a video posted on the poll’s website, Dan Schnur, the poll’s director, said that despite disagreements between Congressional Republicans and Democrats, voters seek change to current immigration policies.
“Many Congressional Republicans are opposed to a path to citizenship,” said Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. “Many Congressional Democrats are leery of enhanced order security and a guest-worker program. But California voters understand that each of these elements is essential to a comprehensive immigration reform package.”
Voter response to the poll shows that Californians are committed to fixing the immigration system, American Viewpoint polling firm representative Dave Kanevsky said during a conference call on Monday.
“There is a consensus that the current immigration system is broken, which is why voters are willing to make major reforms and not just tinker around the edges,” Kanevsky said.
The poll also showed overwhelming support for stricter gun control laws.
Seema Mehta, a political reporter for the L.A. Times, suggested that increased support for California gun control laws stems from a smaller number of individuals owning guns. Four out of five voters support a hypothetical requirement that would enforce background checks on individuals purchasing firearms.
Schnur told CBS News that though a federal assault weapons ban might be difficult to pass, such a ban would easily pass in California.
“Right down the line, Californians have made it clear how strongly they support the idea of gun control,” Schnur said.
The poll also collected public opinion on tax increases in California.
According to the poll, when voters were asked if money should go from wealthier schools to more disadvantaged schools, results were divided. Though 67 percent of Latinos backed the proposal, only 42 percent of white voters did.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research’s Drew Lieberman told the L.A. Times that the results suggest that California Governor Jerry Brown will have to defend Proposition 30’s reallocation of extra funds to disadvantaged students. Prop. 30, an initiative that passed on November’s ballot, raised revenue by increasing income taxes on the wealthy and temporarily increasing California’s sales tax from 7.25 to 7.5 percent.
“The challenge for the governor here is to make a case that this is not a divisive issue but a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats proposal,” Lieberman said.
Kanevsky told the L.A. Times that he described such extra funding as “class warfare applied to schools,” as it promotes “taking from one and giving to another.”
The full report can be found online at the http://dornsife.usc.edu/usc-dornsife-los-angeles-times-poll/.