USC Dornsife/LA Times Poll: Californians narrowly divided regarding NFL kneeling protests, big majority disagree with Trump’s handling of them

November 15, 2017

The statewide USC Dornsife/LA Times Poll measured Californians’ opinions on political candidates, President Trump, top voter issues, sentiments about immigration, the new gas tax and the recent NFL protests. The first sets of results were released on Nov. 9 and 10 and are available online. This is the final set.

Contact: James Key, (213) 821-2992 or or Zen Vuong, (213) 300-1381


Californians are narrowly divided on the issue of the kneeling protests by players in the National Football League (NFL) but overwhelmingly disagree with the way President Trump has handled them.

The small plurality who oppose the protests are separated by only five points from those who support them (within the margin of error).  There is an even smaller divide between those who believe that the protests have distracted, rather than furthered dialogue.

Californians were far less divided regarding President Trump’s handling of the protests. More than three times as many Californians disagree with his handling of the situation, compared to those who agree.

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/LAT 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 are available online.

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

The survey, conducted Oct. 27-Nov, 6, 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. More details about the methodology are online.


Reporters can access all the available the data tables via this website:

  • Thursday, Nov. 9: Senate and gubernatorial races. For a recording of the teleconference discussing the results, call 800-475-6701 code: 433474
  • Friday, Nov. 10: Results on questions about California’s important issues, immigration matters and the gas tax. For a recording of the teleconference discussing the results, call 800-475-6701 code: 433477
  • Sunday, Nov. 12: Results on questions about the NFL kneeling protests.


Robert Shrum, director of the Unruh Institute, and Jill Darling, survey director of the Center for Economic and Social Research are available to comment on the findings by contacting Jim Key at or (213) 821-2992 or Zen Vuong at (213) 300-1381


About the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll

The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll is a series of statewide public opinion polls in California, designed to survey 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 now a partnership among the LA Times and two institutions at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences – the Jesse M. Unruh Institute for Politics and the Center for Economic and Social Research. The poll helps inform the public and to encourage discourse on key political and policy issues.