If you view politics as largely a pocketbook game, then it should be little surprise that California homeowners and renters dont often see eye-to-eye on the issues of the day.
A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California think tank — tracking opinions of 1,170 Californian adults — found a sometimes subtle but often noteworthy owner-renter gap thats likely tied to the economic chasm between these housing segments. In a nutshell, owners are wealthier and their political leanings show it.
Here are nine ways the poll got different results depending on whether its a homeowner or renter being surveyed …
1. Landlord limits: Lets start with an issue youd think is near and dear to renters wallets — more rent control. Thats what statewide Proposition 10 on the November ballot would facilitate.
Its not unexpected that property owners polled would be against it: Only 44 percent of owners liked the idea while 53 percent renters polled supported the notion of capping what landlords charge. (Read more about the rent control battle here!)
2. Paying at the pump: Ponder Proposition 6, which would repeal higher gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees imposed in 2017 to fix and improve state roads. As much as folks hate taxes, getting voters to turn their back on highway repairs looks like a hard sell. Only 47 percent of owners and 40 percent of renters said theyd vote for it.
3. Ranking priorities: Money issues scored big in the poll. On the question of the states most important issue, both owners and renters placed jobs and economy as No. 1. Both had immigration in their top four.
But there were not-so-modest differences: Owners other top worries were big-picture issues: the environment and government. Renters were focused on their wallets, citing cost-of-living issues like housing and homelessness.
4. Money talks: Monetary thinking helps explain a gap in future expectations. The poll found owners slightly more optimistic about the economy with 55 percent of those polled expecting “good times” in the next 12 months vs. 49 percent of optimistic renters.
5. Minding the gap: Should the government intervene to help cure the states wide gap between rich and poor? Well, 68 percent of renters thought itd be a good idea for the government to tackle this issue. Just 53 percent of owners were enthused about it.
6. The wall: Not on any ballot, but certainly a hot political issue is the Trump administrations tougher enforcement of immigration laws. Poll results show the crackdown on illegal immigration winning approval of only 44 percent of homeowners and just 34 percent of renters.
7. Right-sizing: Of course, the governments overall mission has been in question of late. And it was no surprise the poll found division over how to proceed. Lower taxes and smaller government? 51 percent of owners like that vs. 38 percent of renters. More taxes and more services? 58 percent of renters liked that idea; just 43 percent of owners.
8. Not ours: When it comes to lawmakers, Californians may complain loudly about Sacramento politics, but folks polled said they disliked D.C. more! Look at these disapproval rates: Congress, owners (64 percent dislike) and renters (60 percent) vs. Californias legislature, owners (45 percent) and renters (31 percent).
9. Divided state: If you think owner-renter opinions vary wildly, ponder these personality profiles.
Gov. Jerry Brown got 37 percent disapproval from owners but 26 percent from renters. But when judged by political stripes, the disparity grows: Brown scored 19 percent disapproval by his own Democrats vs. 75 percent from Republicans.
Or President Donald Trumps unfavorability in California? The poll shows 59 percent of homeowners disapprove of the commander in chief vs. 72 percent of renters polled. If you think thats a wide chasm, then look at the results by political affiliation: Just 16 percent of Trumps fellow Republicans dislike the job hes doing … but 91 percent of Democrats give the president a thumbs-down review.
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