Southern California residents — including local Republicans — are more likely than other Americans to support the U.S. House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, according to a new survey conducted by researchers at UC Riverside’s Center for Social Innovation in partnership with the Southern California News Group.
Residents in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties also are more likely to back Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden as a Democratic choice for president over Elizabeth Warren, per the survey, even though Warren has taken a lead in some national polls.
The survey showed that area residents are increasingly unhappy with state and local efforts to address homelessness, while majorities also are worried about violent crime and affordable insurance. About one in three people living in four Southern California counties worry that they or someone in their family will be deported, and one in three of the people surveyed also said they’d encourage young people to leave California in search of better opportunities.
The CSIUCR/SCNG Fall 2019 Survey, administered online to 1,597 residents from Oct. 6 to Oct. 14, offers a unique window into how residents in the greater Los Angeles area feel about a wide range of political, economic and quality of life issues.
In the most recent national poll from Quinnipiac University, 51% of Americans approve of the impeachment inquiry, including 9% of surveyed Republicans. On Wednesday, Gallup released a poll in which 52% of Americans said they now support President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal.
But in the Southern California poll, support for an impeachment inquiry is even higher — 56% — and it includes more than one in four (28%) of Republicans.
Just 26% of local residents said they were inclined to vote for Trump in 2020, with the biggest support coming from San Bernardino County. Three quarters of registered Republicans backed the president, plus a third of surveyed residents who said they aren’t registered to vote.
Respondents were in a dead heat when it came to backing Joe Biden and Sanders as the Democratic nominees for president, with Biden the most popular in LA County while Sanders had the most support in Riverside County.
Beyond presidential politics, the survey also found that Southern California residents are losing confidence in state and local leaders when it comes to tackling key issues, according to a comparison of CSIUCR/SCNG Fall Survey results from the last two years.
“Southern California residents feel like, despite the flurry of activity at the state level, affordable housing remains a top area of concern and they don’t think the state is doing enough,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor at UC Riverside who helped administer the survey.
Last year, 61% of respondents said the state needed to do more to improve the affordable housing situation, while 60% blasted local leaders on the issue. This year, 74% disapprove of the job state and local leaders are doing in that area.
In the 2018 survey, 69% of residents said the state was not doing enough to address homelessness, while 64% expressed frustration with local leaders on the issue. This year, both figures soared to 80%.
When it comes to violent crime, 34% of surveyed residents are “somewhat worried” and 24% are “very worried” that they or a member of their family will become a victim. Orange County residents were least likely to fall into one of those categories, while LA and San Bernardino county residents tied for the most concerned. And Asian American or Pacific Islanders were the most concerned, followed closely by Latinos.
Nearly two-thirds of area residents worry that they or a family member will be unable to afford insurance. And 20% are somewhat or very worried about deportation, with Asian Americans and Latinos tied for the most concerned.
The survey found that Republicans throughout Southern California — and Riverside County residents of all political stripes — were most likely to recommend that young people consider moving out of the area. That’s likely a reflection of the increasingly blue state government and Riverside County residents’ views on affordable housing, Ramakrishnan said, with more residents there worried about being able to make their rent or mortgage payments over the coming year.