Poll: Californians favor legalizing immigrants

A new statewide poll released today by a San Jose State University research institute found that a solid majority of California residents support providing a path to legal residency for the country's illegal immigrants.

The poll by the Survey and Policy Research Institute found that 59 percent of state residents, including 53 percent of registered voters, support immigration reform that includes a method for legalizing the status of illegal immigrants.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to enjoy solid approval ratings from 53 percent of residents and 57 percent of voters, according to the poll.

“The governor has really turned things around in his second term. Schwarzenegger seems to be enjoying an extended honeymoon period since his reelection last fall,'' survey director and SJSU Assistant Professor of

Political Science Melinda Jackson said. </p>

While Schwarzenegger continues to be viewed positively by state voters, there appears to be more unease about the direction of the state as a whole, the survey found. Forty-two percent of residents think the state is on

the right track, down from 47 percent in the institute's June poll and down significantly from the 52 percent in the institute's January poll.

“With the problems in the housing market, and gas prices rising again, Californians are starting to feel more anxious about the state's economy,'' Jackson said. “But the governor doesn't seem to be getting the blame for these economic problems. By and large, Californians are still happy with the governor's performance.''

The poll found that the proposed term limits modification for state legislators remains off the radar for a majority of state voters with only 45 percent saying they are familiar with it. Poll respondents were then read the official ballot summary of the proposal and 51 percent of likely voters said they were in favor of it, a decrease from 56 percent favoring it in June.

“Californians like the idea of reducing the overall number of years politicians can spend in office so support for this term limits measure, which would actually increase the amount of time in Sacramento for many current office holders is still uncertain,'' Jackson said.

The poll was conducted by phone from Oct. 1-8. The margin of error for residents is plus or minus 3.8 percent and for voters is plus or minus 4.9 percent.

— Bay City News

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