-Jerry Brown is getting decent approval numbers for his work as Governor of California, but they aren't nearly as good as they were earlier in the year. 46% of voters think he's doing a good job to 38% who disapprove. That's down from a 50/25 spread when PPP polled the state earlier in the year but those numbers sure are good compared to what his predecessors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis tended to post.
-California's other two new major statewide office holders are generating more ambivalence than anything else. 33% of voters approve of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom's job performance, 33% disapprove, and 34% have no opinion. For Attorney General Kamala Harris it's 33% approval, 26% disapproval, and 41% with no opinion. It's hard to grab voters' attention in a down ballot office anywhere, but especially in the Golden State.
-46% of voters approve of the job Barbara Boxer's doing to 43% who disapprove. Generally those numbers would be pretty unremarkable, but this represents the first time PPP has ever found more Californians giving Boxer good marks than unhappy with her. Even as she won reelection by a healthy margin last year she faced under water approval numbers.
-There's more evidence in our polling that the tide is turning on gay marriage. 48% of voters in the state think it should be legal to only 43% who believe it should be illegal. Those numbers should be encouraging for pro-equality voters given that California banned gay marriage by a 4 point margin only three years ago. When you broaden the discussion to include civil unions 78% of voters, including even 65% of Republicans, support some form of legal recognition for gay couples.
-Another issue where opinion seems to be moving is marijuana usage- 48% of voters think it should be legal to 42% who believe it should be illegal. Californians last year voted not to legalize marijuana usage but these numbers suggest the outcome could be different with a Presidential year electorate as opposed to the older, more conservative voters who turn out for a midterm.
-California voters like the Occupy Wall Street movement overall, by a 44/35 margin. But they're a lot less charitable toward the Occupy Oakland version of that movement, which they give only a 30/48 favorability. Although they may not think much of Occupy Oakland, still only 23% of voters think the use of force by the Police Department there against Scott Olsen was justified to 36% who think it was not and 41% who don't have an opinion. By a 48/36 margin Californians see OWS more favorably than they do the Tea Party.
-Two other political notes: 30% of voters in the state support the State Senate lines drawn by the Redistricting Commission while 21% are opposed. 49% of voters unsurprisingly have no opinion either way on this decidedly insider baseball issue. Republicans have shown interest in putting the lines to a referendum but there doesn't appear to be much outrage from the electorate. Also there's been discussion this year about splitting the state in two, but only 27% of voters support having separate states of Northern California and Southern California while 61% want the state to remain intact.
-Shifting gears to sports, UCLA at 27% and Stanford at 26% lead the way for the most popular out of the state's Pac 12 schools with Cal-Berkeley at 20% and USC at 14% further back. There's a partisan divide on that question with Democrats preferring UCLA and Republicans going for Stanford.
When it comes to California's favorite major league baseball team the San Francisco Giants win out with 25% to 16% for the Los Angeles Dodgers, 15% for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 9% for the Oakland A's, 8% for the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres, 6% for the New York Yankees, 5% for the Boston Red Sox, and 2% for the Atlanta Braves.
Full results here