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Fifty Years of California Field Polls Henry E. Brady and Iris Hui Survey Research Center University of California, Berkeley.

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Presentation on theme: "Fifty Years of California Field Polls Henry E. Brady and Iris Hui Survey Research Center University of California, Berkeley."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fifty Years of California Field Polls Henry E. Brady and Iris Hui Survey Research Center University of California, Berkeley

2 The Field Poll and Mervin Field Introduced to George Gallup as a high school student in Princeton New Jersey in 1937 Started the Field Poll in 1947 Field Polls archived at the University of California since 1956

3 We Examine Over Time… Characteristics of Field Polls Demographic and Political Trends Partisan Coalitions Regional Polarization Evaluations of Economic Conditions Presidential and Gubernatorial Approval

4 Characteristics of Polls Dates: 1956 to Polls—Close to 300,000 Respondents Sample Size of each poll Number of polls per Year Mode of Interviewing Universe of People Sampled

5 Sample Size for Each Poll

6 Number of Polls Per Year

7 Mode of Interviewing

8 Universe of People Sampled

9 Interesting Trends Captured— Also Available in Census Income Earners Married Couples Ethnicity Education

10 Increasing Number of Income Earners in California Households

11 Decline in Percent Married

12 Changes in Ethnic Composition of California Spanish Interviewing Begins

13 Californians are Becoming More Educated

14 Also Captures Facts Not Captured Elsewhere Unionization Religiosity Partisanship

15 Union Membership Declined and Then Increased

16 Religious Preference: Increasing Catholic, Decreasing Protestant, Increasing No Preference

17 Two Measures of Partisanship Party Registration Party Identification

18 Compare Percent Registered as Republican Versus Percent Identified as Republican

19 Compare Percent Registered as Democrat Versus Percent Identified as Democrat

20 Trend in Partisanship: Republicans Caught Up During Reagan/Bush administration; Then Declined

21 Studying Changing Partisan Coalitions We combine registration and identification: When Party Registration not available, we use Party Identification Question: The hybrid result is “Party Association” For various demographic groups, we plot the percentage that associates with the Republican party: For example, the percentage of males over-time who are Republicans

22 Males More Republican than Females Since Reagan Red is most Republican Group; Blue is most Democratic

23 College Educated Split Evenly Between Parties

24 Top Quartile More Republican; Bottom Quartile More Democratic

25 Non-Hispanic Whites Equally Split; Latinos more Democratic; Blacks very Democratic

26 Those Unmarried but Living Together are Democrats

27 Protestants Republican, All Others Democratic

28 Four Regions of California

29 Divergence among Regions: LA and Bay Area Democratic; Rest of State Republican

30 Sources of Partisan Division Over Time

31 TYPE OF ECONOMIC CONCERN TIME PERIOD CurrentFuture Personal Finances FINAN1: Personal Finances Now vs. Year Ago FINAN2: Personal Finances One Year From Now California Economic Conditions CALFIN1: California Economy Now CALFIN2: California Economy One Year From Now Evaluations of Economic Conditions

32 Two Measures of the Current Economy California Economy Now Personal Finances Now vs. Year Ago Current Evaluations Trend Together with California Measure Having Higher Variance

33 What Explains Variations in These Evaluations? Political party affiliation Real economic conditions

34 Political Party & Current Personal Financial Conditions Republican Party Democratic Party Those of Same Party as President Typically Have Similar but Higher Evaluations of Current Personal Financial Conditions

35 Political Party & Current Personal Financial Conditions Respondent Same Party as President Respondent Not Same Party as President Those of Same Party as President Typically Have Similar but Higher Evaluations of Current Personal Financial Conditions

36 Political Party & Current California Economic Conditions Respondent Same Party as Governor Respondent Not Same Party as Governor Respondents of Same Party Almost Always Have Higher Evaluation

37 What Do We Conclude? Result: –Those of same party as President have higher evaluations of current personal financial conditions –Those of same party as Governor have higher evaluations of current California economic conditions (but effect is smaller) Explanations: –Projection from party affiliation to evaluation of performance? –Incumbent party’s partisans doing better?

38 Current Personal Financial Conditions and Yearly Change in Per Capita Calif. Personal Income Yearly Change in California Personal Income Personal Finances Now vs. Year Ago (Rescaled) Correlation =.553

39 Current California Economic Conditions and Yearly Change in Per Capita Calif. Personal Income Yearly Change in California Personal Income California Economic Conditions Now Correlation =.534

40 Conclusions about Economic Measures Current Personal and especially Current California evaluations are greatly affected by real economic conditions Party affiliation is related to evaluations but much less than real conditions

41 Presidential and Gubernatorial Approval Measurement: Combining different question wordings using split samples Considering over-time: –Impact of Party –Impact of Real Economic Conditions

42 Presidential Approval and Political Party Respondent Same Party as President Respondent Not Same Party as President

43 Gubernatorial Approval and Political Party Respondent Same Party as Governor Respondent Not Same Party as Governor

44 Conclusions about Partisanship and Approvals Being of the same party as the Executive leads to about a 20% to 25% higher rating of the Executive than for those without party affiliation and Being of the same party as the Executive leads to about a 28% to 40% higher rating for the Executive than for those in the other party Projection or Doing Better?

45 Gubernatorial Approval and Current California Economic Conditions—Excellent Tracking Current California Economic Conditions (rescaled) Gubernatorial Approval

46 Gubernatorial Approval and Current Per Capita Change in California Personal Income—Good Fit Current Per Capita Change in Calif. Personal Income (rescaled) Gubernatorial Approval

47 Yearly Per Capita Change in California Personal Income Evaluation of Current California Economic Conditions Gubernatorial Approval Gubernatorial Approval and Economic Conditions Other Factors

48 Yearly Change in Per-Capita California Personal Income Average Yearly Change of 2.33%

49 Economic Conditions and Gubernatorial Approval Average yearly change in per capita California personal income is 2.33%. An increase of this amount is associated with a 4.2% increase in Gubernatorial approval in the first year And a 3.7% increase in Gubernatorial approval in the next year Hence the total effect can be almost 8%

50 Much More to Be Learned! Best available data on California for the over- time study of: –Religiosity, Unionization, Partisanship –Mass Public’s Evaluation of Economic Conditions –Gubernatorial and Presidential Approval in California –Electoral Coalitions, Voting

51 Regional Polarization in Presidential Vote Choice from 1964 to 2004

52

53 From South to North.


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