As California policymakers prepare to tackle the state’s budget deficit and create jobs, a recent statewide poll shows that voters lack confidence in the state’s economic future, citing ongoing budget deficits and out-of-control government spending as significant inhibitors to expanding jobs and economic growth in the state.

The poll commissioned by the California Business Roundtable and conducted by M4 Strategies executed an alternative strategy, facilitated by state of the art technology, to survey more than 1,500 likely California voters (not just among businesses).  Those surveyed stated that the most challenging issues affecting the state at this time are the budget deficit/state spending, jobs and the economy, and education.

The poll found that voters are engaged and aware of the fiscal struggles in Sacramento, with seventy-eight percent (78%) of those polled saying they are aware of the state’s budget deficit and seventy-four percent (74%) seeing the deficit as a “crisis.”

With respect to job creation and the economy, sixty-four percent (64%) believe the state is losing more jobs than it is creating.  When asked whether they would prefer to increase taxes on corporations and the rich or keep taxes where they are and limit government spending, sixty-two percent (62%) of voters would prefer to limit government spending and keep taxes where they are in order to keep jobs and businesses in California.

When asked about solutions, seventy-six percent (76%) of voters prefer to restrict spending now and work to make government more efficient before raising taxes and sixty-five percent (65%) prefer to cut current spending to balance the state budget instead of increasing taxes (35%). Sixty-one percent (61%) feel California taxes are too high and are highly distrustful of the legislature’s ability to manage any new revenue sources.

These results provide key insights to the overall political climate for the November election and this survey is one of several to be commissioned by the Roundtable in the coming months.

This survey is one of several to be commissioned by the Roundtable in the coming months.

A summary of the survey can be downloaded from the newly redesigned California Business Roundtable website

Rob Lapsley is President of the California Business Roundtable, a nonpartisan organization comprised of the senior executive leadership of the major employers throughout the state – with a combined workforce of over half a million employees. The Roundtable identifies issues critical to a healthy business climate and provides the leadership needed to strengthen California’s economy and create jobs.