PPIC poll finds Californians split on state’s direction

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Half of Californians believe the state is “headed in the right direction” and more than half think that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is in the past, according to a poll published Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

“Although encouraging signs of an economic recovery are present, rising prices are a worrisome trend for consumers,” the poll found.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Democratic-dominated state Legislature “will be able to work together and accomplish a lot this year,” the poll found.

The poll said Covid-19, homelessness and jobs, the economy and inflation top the list when Californians were asked to name the most important issues for the governor and Legislature to work on in 2022.

“Fewer than half of Californians rate their financial situation as excellent or good,” the PPIC found, with  “sharp differences across income and education groups; Californians with lower income levels and less formal education are less likely to rate their personal finances positively.”

Two in 3 say the worst is behind us in the coronavirus outbreak—a significant decline since last May, according to the findings. “About four in ten are concerned about getting the coronavirus and requiring hospitalization—a significant increase since last May. In the midst of the omicron surge, there continue to be demographic, political, and regional disparities in COVID vaccinations.”

The poll also found that about half of Californians think that the state is in an economic recession, with more saying it is a serious or moderate recession rather than a mild recession.

“About six in ten Californians in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and Orange/San Diego—compared to fewer than half elsewhere—think the state is in a recession. Republicans are far more likely than Democrats and independents to hold this view. In recent months, about half of Californians have said the state was in a recession, while earlier in the pandemic the share saying this was much higher.”

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