By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — With the state just days away from the June 7 primary election, one in three Californians say jobs, economy, inflation or gas prices is the top issue facing the state today, according to the results of a new survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California.
The survey, conducted from May 12 to 22, found that 27% of Californians say inflation, jobs and the economy are the state’s top issues, while 7% say gasoline and oil prices are top issues. Those stats are followed by 12% who say housing costs and availability is a top issue, while 11% of Californians named homelessness as the state’s top issue.
Additionally, the survey found that about 2 in 3 Californians say they are experiencing financial hardship due to rising prices, with 36% saying they are experiencing “serious hardship” and 31% saying they are facing “hardship, but not serious.”
In recent weeks, California’s gas prices have reached record-breaking levels once again, with prices averaging over $6 per gallon statewide. As of Wednesday, the average price for a gallon of gas in the Golden State was $6.19 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association.
In Santa Barbara County, the average was $6.12 on Wednesday.
Leading up to the June 7 primary and the general election in November, Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers have highlighted inflation, reproductive rights and gun legislation as top priorities, pushing proposals to bring relief at the gas pump, expand abortion access and prevent gun violence.
To address the high prices, Gov. Newsom has proposed an $18 billion inflation relief package, which includes $400 rebates for registered vehicle owners with a cap of two checks per person. The proposal is still being weighed against another proposal by Democratic leadership in the State Legislature that would send rebates to single filers making less than $125,000 and joint filers making less than $250,000.
PPIC’s survey found that 62% of adults and 54% of likely voters favor Gov. Newsom’s inflation relief package, though support is largely divided based on political affiliation. Around 71% of Democrats and 53% of Independents favor the proposal, while 63% of Republicans oppose it.
On the issue of abortion, PPIC found that 58% of likely voters say they are “more likely to support a candidate who wants Roe v. Wade kept in place.”
“There is a wide partisan divide, with eight in 10 Democratic likely voters, along with about half of independents, saying they are more likely to support a candidate who wants Roe kept in place, while about four in 10 Republicans are more likely to support a candidate who wants Roe overturned,” the report states.
The report was based on a survey of 1,702 California adults. It has a 3.9% margin of error with a 95% confidence level, according to PPIC.
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.
News-Press Managing Editor Dave Mason contributed to this report.