Poll: Californians rank high cost-of-living/housing as top issue; large majority supports immigrants

November 10, 2017

The statewide USC Dornsife/LA Times Poll measured Californians’ opinions on political candidates, President Trump, top voter issues, and sentiments about immigration, the new gas tax and the recent NFL protests. The first set of results was released on Nov. 9 and is online. The final set, responses to the NFL protests, will be releasedSunday, Nov. 12.

A press call is set for 1 p.m. today. Please contact the representatives below to participate.

Contact: James Key, (213) 821-2992 or jameskey@usc.edu or Zen Vuong, (213) 300-1381 or zvuong@usc.edu


A year out from the 2018 mid-term elections, Californians think less of Congress than they do of President Donald Trump, are concerned about the high costs of living and housing availability in the state, and dislike the gas tax, according to the new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll.

The second round of results released this week shows that Trump’s approval rating in California is at 22 percent, considerably lower than his approval in national polls but still higher than Californians’ 11 percent approval of Congress. The poll also shows that 53 percent of Californians think their member of Congress should never work with Trump.

Californians indicated that the high cost of living, including housing costs and housing availability, as the most important issue facing the state, followed by the issue of jobs/economy.

In response to questions about immigrants, large majorities said undocumented immigrants strengthen the economy, are here because they want work, not for handouts, and are helping to revitalize American cities.

When asked about California’s new gas tax, which has triggered proposed ballot initiatives for a repeal in 2018, 54 percent say they would vote to cancel it.

This latest USC Dornsife/LA Times statewide poll is an expansion of a partnership between the LA Times, as well as the Unruh Institute of Politics and the Center for Economic and Social Research, both at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

The partnership began last year with the USC Dornsife/LA Times Daybreak presidential election poll. Its results stood out among national polls as it pointed toward the possibility of a Trump victory. All of the data from the poll were available online.

The latest statewide poll is also internet-based, with methodology information available online.

The survey asked Californians what they regard as the most important issues facing their state, as well as their opinions on President Trump, Gov. Jerry Brown, immigration issues, the state’s new gas tax, and the recent kneeling protests by NFL players.


The poll was conducted online among 1,504 Californians Oct. 27-Nov 6. The poll’s margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for all eligible voters, and plus or minus 4 percentage points among registered voters. Results are among registered voters, unless otherwise indicated. More details about the methodology are online.


Reporters can access the data as it is released via the Unruh Institute poll webpage

Data tables will be added to the webpage in the following order:

  • 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 10: Results on questions about California’s important issues, immigration matters and the gas tax
  • Sunday, Nov. 12: Results on questions about the NFL protests and Kaepernick

Results on the Senate and gubernatorial races are already available online


Robert Shrum, director of the Unruh Institute, and Jill Darling, survey director of the Center for Economic and Social Research, will be available for questions during a teleconference at 1 p.m. PT, today on issues facing the state; approval ratings for President Trump, Gov. Brown and members of Congress; immigration and the gas tax.

RSVP for the teleconference calls by contacting Jim Key at jameskey@usc.edu or (213) 821-2992, or Zen Vuong at zvuong@usc.edu or (213) 300-1381

Listen to a recording ot Thursday’s call about the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races by dialing (800) 475-6701. Confirmation code is 433474.

About the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll

The poll is designed to survey California voter attitudes on a wide range of political, policy, social and cultural issues. Conducted at regular intervals throughout the year, the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll is a partnership between the LA Times and two institutions at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences: the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and the Center for Economic and Social Research. The poll helps inform the public and encourages discourse on key political and policy issues.

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