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March 4, 2013

Recent Field Poll bares stark divide in voters’ views of State economy

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California State Treasurer's Office graphic shoing Field Poll results for voters' view on economy and personal finances.

The following information was released by the office of California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, as part of a weekly briefing.

The Field Poll released [on March 1, 2013, showed] results of its February 2013 poll on how registered voters view the state’s economy and their own financial condition. How are they feeling? Somewhat better since the depths of the recession, but all in all still pretty glum. Some details and historical context (all numbers for registered voters).

State of economy – 72 percent said California’s economy is in “bad times,” compared to just 16 percent who said the state’s enjoying “good times.” The last time a majority said the economy was in good times was 2001. Still, 72 percent is significantly better than the height of pessimism in 2009, when the bad-times number was 96 percent.

Personal financial condition – 44 percent said they were worse off now than they were a year ago, while only 30 percent said they were better off. Since 2008, the better-off number has increased by 16 percentage points, while the worse-off number has fallen by 19 percentage points. Nevertheless, the latest results marked the 6th straight year more respondents said they were worse off. The previous longest negative stretch was 3 years (1991-93).

Prospects for personal financial condition
– 30 percent said they expect to be better off next year, compared to 15 percent who said they expect to be worse off. The optimistic view has increased by 8 percentage points since 2008, while the pessimistic view has declined by 7 percentage points.

Featured photo

The chart from STO staff shows the striking partisan divide in the Field Poll results, with Democrats much more positive about things than Republicans.

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