Statistical Updates on the Electorate

Posted on August 27th, 2005 — in Politics :: Polls and Surveys

A series of brief statistical updates on the electorate from the Public Policy Institute of California contains lots of good nuggets about voters. The following are among the highlights. 1. Compared to older folks, younger voters are less interested in politics, but they are also more trusting of government. Does this mean that if you pay more attention, you grow less trusting of public officials? 2. Independents may not really be so independent after all. Far more lean toward Democrats than Republicans (45 percent to 31 percent). 3. On the other hand, when asked about “government preference,” a slight majority of Independents say they favor “smaller, lower taxes, fewer services” as opposed to “larger, higher taxes, more services,” a feeling far more reflected among Republicans than Democrats. So why are the Independents leaning toward Democrats? Is it the Republican conservatism on social issues? 4. Latino voting power is the horse that has yet to show up for the race. Almost one in three Californians is Latino, but only about one in seven likely voters. Below are the four reports, keyed to reflect the source of the numbers cited above.
1. The Age Gap in California Politics
2. California’s Likely Voters
3. California Voter and Party Profiles
4. Latino Voters in California


Medi-Cal Beneficiaries with Disabilities: Comparing Managed Care with Fee-for-Service Systems

Posted on August 25th, 2005 — in Health Care

The governor wants to expand mandatory enrollment in Medi-Cal’s managed care program, as opposed to fee-for-service. The California Health Care Foundation summarizes the relevant research. Among the interesting findings: people in managed care actually have fewer preventable hospitalizations.
Medi-Cal Beneficiaries with Disabilities: Comparing Managed Care with Fee-for-Service Systems


Special Survey on Californians and the Initiative Process

Posted on August 23rd, 2005 — in Politics :: Polls and Surveys

 If you’re a California politician, you know things are bad when you’re less popular than President Bush. But that’s how far Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has fallen, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California. The president’s approval rating in the state: 38 percent. The governor’s: 34 percent. The pain is almost as bad when it comes to the governor’s initiatives. Only one of the three is ahead, and none has at least 50 percent support.
Special Survey on Californians and the Initiative Process


Helping Those Who Need It Most: Meeting the Mental Health Care Needs of Youth in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems

Posted on August 18th, 2005 — in Children and Families

Young people coming out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems often need mental health care, but ironically their experiences may lead them to reject conventional treatments. That’s one of the conclusions reached by researchers at the California Family Impact Seminar.
Helping Those Who Need It Most: Meeting the Mental Health Care Needs of Youth in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems


The State of Health Insurance in California

Posted on August 17th, 2005 — in Health Care

Fewer Californians are getting health insurance through their jobs, but not all of them are losing coverage. The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds that while job-based coverage is declining, public programs are picking up some of the slack. And more people are buying insurance themselves. The report predicts a continued erosion of employment-based insurance.
The State of Health Insurance in California


Ethics Law Compliance Best Practices

Posted on August 15th, 2005 — in Politics

Eat-Your-Vegetables Department: The Institute for Local Government produces a guide to ethics laws. It’s not gripping, but could be useful for those who must walk gingerly through the minefield of financial disclosure forms and campaign laws.
Ethics Law Compliance Best Practices


The Most Conservative and Liberal Cities in the United States

Posted on August 12th, 2005 — in Politics

Red State/Blue State may make sense as a way to analyze presidential elections, which after all are decided on a state-by-state basis. But as a measure of anything else, the bipolar color scheme is wildly overrated. Now here’s the Bay Area Center for Voting Research with a more specific way to look at the political cultures in which we all live: city-by-city. Based on voting patterns in the 2004 presidential election, Gary, Indiana is more liberal than Berkeley, California. And one of the most liberal cities in America is in Alabama, smack in the middle of the Bible Belt. Meanwhile, seven of the 25 most conservative cities in the country are in supposedly solid-blue California. Like all lists, it has its weaknesses, but it’s fascinating, chock-a-block with interesting tidbits and, for journalists, local angles galore.
The Most Conservative and Liberal Cities in the United States


The Next Big Election Challenge: Developing Electronic Data Transaction Standards for Election Administration

Posted on August 10th, 2005 — in Politics

 Since the Chad War of 2000, there has been plenty of talk about improving the American systems of running elections. Now researchers at CalTech and the University of Utah say there needs to be a common high-tech language – Electronic Transfer Standards is the formal phrase – so that various components of the elections system can talk to each other. It would help local and state officials run elections, and would help in post-election audits.
The Next Big Election Challenge: Developing Electronic Data Transaction Standards for Election Administration


Forecasting Medi-Cal Spending

Posted on August 6th, 2005 — in Health Care

Dueling think tanks on Medi-Cal, the program that provides health care to more than six million Californians who are young, old or poor. The Public Policy Institute of California projects that Medi-Cal will consume an increasing share of the state’s budget, chewing up more than a fifth of the General Fund by 2015. Not so fast, says the California Budget Project. They say PPIC researchers may have overstated the growth rate of Medi-Cal spending, and the numbers should be “used with caution.”
PPIC: Medi-Cal Expenditures: Historical Growth and Long-Term Forecasts
CBP: PPIC Report Projecting Long-Term Medi-Cal Spending Should Be Used with Caution


Water for Growth: California’s New Frontier

Posted on August 4th, 2005 — in Resources and Environment

It’s a common assumption that California will soon run out of water. More people means more sprinklers, showers and toilets, not to mention the big ag-industry farms of the Central Valley. But a new study from the Public Policy Institute of California concludes that although there is much work to be done, “there are plenty of opportunities for balancing the supply and demand of water in the coming decades.”
Water for Growth: California’s New Frontier