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California Journal of Politics and Policy

Managing Editor: Lubenow, Gerald

Ed. by Citrin, Jack / Cain, Bruce / Noll, Roger

4 Issues per year

Constitutional Reform in California: The Surprising Divides

Mike Binder1 / Tammy Frisby2 / Thad B Kousser3

1Stanford University and University of California, San Diego

2Stanford University and University of California, San Diego

3Stanford University and University of California, San Diego

Citation Information: California Journal of Politics and Policy. Volume 2, Issue 2, ISSN (Online) 1944-4370, DOI: 10.2202/1944-4370.1070, February 2010

Publication History

Published Online:
2010-02-03

In a survey of over 1,000 Californians, we found substantial divides in public opinion on issues related to constitutional change. Beyond partisan differences, there are racial and ethnic divides as well as unexpected differences between counties. Latinos and Asian-Americans (the growing "new" California electorate) are less dissatisfied with the initiative process, less eager to change California’s constitution to restrict direct democracy, and more likely to be unsure about their views on constitutional reform than whites and African-Americans (the "old" California electorate). This article also explores surprising geographic patterns in support and opposition to proposed reforms, such as the elimination of the two-thirds requirement for passing the state budget.

Keywords: constitutional reform; public opinion; direct democracy

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