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Poll finds Californians have one mission: Defeat President Trump

New Berkeley IGS Poll surveyed voter sentiments on politics, wildfires and state ballot measures

trump, with his back to the camera, signs a section of border wall

President Donald Trump signs a section of border wall in California in September 2019. A new poll shows that more than two-thirds of California voters plan to support his opponent in November’s election. (White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

A new Berkeley IGS Poll revealed Californians’ opinions about a variety of political topics, including reforms to property taxes, climate change-fueled wildfires and the selection of California’s Sen. Kamala Harris as former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential running mate.

The poll, conducted earlier this month, paints a picture of a heavily Democratic electorate, united on a national level but still deciding many statewide issues. More than two-thirds of all likely voters plan to support Biden in November’s presidential election.

“There is no single policy issue that unites Biden supporters in this election — the overriding unifying theme is simply their determination to see President Trump defeated,” said Eric Schickler, a professor of political science and co-director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, which sponsors the poll.

Of the surveyed Democrats, 63% said they were “enthusiastic” that Biden chose Harris as his vice presidential pick. Another 31% said they were “satisfied, but not enthusiastic.” Only 6% of Democrats said they were dissatisfied.

Asked their views on a series of contentious state propositions, many poll respondents said they had largely not yet made up their minds.

Among the findings:

  • Forty-nine percent plan to support Proposition 15, which will require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed at market rates. Thirty-four percent plan to oppose the measure, and 17% have yet to make up their minds.
  • Asked about Proposition 16, a measure to repeal a 1996 ban on considering race in employment or school admissions, 41% of voters said they would oppose the idea. A third said they would support repeal, and 26% said they had not yet decided.
  • Twenty-six percent of voters also said they had not yet decided how to vote on Proposition 21, which allows cities to expand rent control. Thirty-seven percent said they would support the measure, and 37% said they would oppose.
  • An expensive, high-profile fight over whether Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors or employees of the tech companies, Proposition 22, has not yet swayed many minds: 25% of voters said they have not yet made a decision. Thirty-nine percent said they would support the measure, while 36% said they would oppose.

Meanwhile, the poll also asked voters their opinion of the mega-wildfires burning across the state. Nearly three-quarters said they believe the threat of wildfire is worse than it has been in past years.

“This view is shared by large majorities of voters in all major regions of the state,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley IGS Poll. Two-thirds of voters believe climate change is driving the increase in wildfires, and almost 40% of voters said they thought wildfires would cause “serious damage” to their communities in the next decade.

The poll was conducted online in English and Spanish from Sept. 9 to 15 and queried 7,198 registered voters. The poll had a margin of error of two percentage points.