Californians are rather progressive in general terms. This poll demonstrates that. But this poll also suggests that on specific issues Californians are not as progressive as their leaders thought. The fact that 59% support increased deportations, might be a reason that some locales are resisting the statewide “Sanctuary” policies.
The survey found both areas of progress and areas in which perceptions of progressive advancement should be held with caution. Overall, Californians of all races tended to express pro-diversity and pro-inclusion views, as the poll documented broad-based support for economic justice, racial justice, and immigration reform across age cohorts, state regions, and even across liberal, conservative, and moderate political viewpoints. For instance, around two-thirds of Latino and Black residents rejected the idea that their communities are competing with each other. Some 68% of respondents support support race-conscious policies such as affirmative action.
The poll also revealed that Californians have views that may seem contradictory, including the fact that nearly half those surveyed support a so-called “Muslim ban”. Punishing immigrants is still popular: 59% said increasing deportations is important. About half the respondents agreed with an individualistic boot-straps narrative about African Americans, saying that Black people need to “try harder”. This broad support for progressive views, alongside some fairly widespread views rooted in more exclusionary and punitive values, point to the powerful role of social movements and public leadership in activating Californian’s more inclusive views.