People’s Voice: Affordability, Crime Among Top Voter Concerns

CalChamber PollThis week, we are reporting that California voters have grown more anxious and pessimistic about living in California. Yesterday we noted that voters believe their families would have a better future if they left California.

The problem is profound voter dissatisfaction, but what is to be done about it?

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For starters, voters agree (65%) that “California has fostered an unfriendly business climate that discourages new high-quality jobs and opportunities.” They overwhelmingly agree (89%) that “California needs to do more to attract and retain businesses in the state.”

As to whether state leaders are on the job, voters have a dim view. A majority (54%) say Sacramento policies have “worsened” the condition of the state,” while only 36% believe they have “improved the condition of the state.”

When asked about issues they wish elected officials were addressing, unsurprisingly voters cite making the state “more affordable for working Californians,” “addressing the high cost of electricity,” “reducing taxes,” and “expanding the fresh water supply” as high priority issues, but ones they have not heard about from elected officials. Voters agree that Sacramento is addressing other high priority issues, such as homelessness, high housing costs, and wildfires.

Crime is an issue that voters care deeply about, and believe state officials are addressing somewhat, but see far more that needs to be done.

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A majority of voters say crime has increased in their area, a quarter report by “a lot.” When it comes to the retail experience, 44% of voters say they have “felt the need to change when or where they shop” in the past year.

Voters’ top criminal justice priorities are (1) reducing the fentanyl threat and punishing smugglers and dealers, (2) keeping violent offenders in prison for their entire sentence, and (3) replacing prosecutors who refuse to enforce the law.

Tomorrow, we will report on voters’ opinions on additional selected policy issues.

The CalChamber poll was conducted by Bold Decision and Pierrepont Consulting & Analytics with online interviews from October 2-8, 2023 with 1,002 online interviews of California likely 2024 general election voters. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level. This is the ninth year CalChamber has published The People’s Voice survey.


Contact: Loren Kaye

Loren Kaye
Loren Kaye was appointed president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education in January 2006. He has devoted his career to developing, analyzing and implementing public policy issues in California, with a special emphasis on improving the state's business and economic climate. He also was a gubernatorial appointee to the state's Little Hoover Commission, charged with evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies and programs. Kaye served in senior policy positions for Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian, including Cabinet Secretary to the Governor and Undersecretary of the California Trade and Commerce Agency. See full bio.