California voters are citing housing prices, homelessness, crime, and gas prices as their top four issues ahead of the midterm elections.
According to a new poll from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, when looking at responses from across the political spectrum, 31 percent consider housing affordability a top issue when they head to cast their ballots, 29 percent said homelessness, 23 percent said crime and public safety and 21 percent said gas prices.
Among the state’s Democrats, the top issues are housing affordability, cited by 37 percent, homelessness(32 percent) and climate change/the environment(27 percent).
Republican voters most frequently cited crime and public safety (39 percent), gas prices (28 percent), immigration (27 percent) and taxes (26 percent).
California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Milan Patterson told CBS8 that the GOP is ready to run away with what voters told the pollsters are their utmost concerns.
“Whether it’s housing, crime, or education, California democrats have failed Californians,” Patterson said. “I think that going into the November 2022 Election, California Republicans are going to be able to offer real solutions to real problems that California democrats have fallen away from.”
Political Analyst Steve Swatt told the station that these views may have a significant effect on the election because crime is a powerful voting issue since it “drives fear, and fear drives people to the polls.”
“So if crime goes down, the party in power can claim credit for that,” Swatt said. “If crime goes up, the party in power is blamed. In the last two years, since the pandemic started, crime has been going up. So democrats definitely are on the defensive.”
Swatt said that while Governor Gavin Newsom is probably safe, it may hurt Democrats in races for seats like the Attorney General.
“Governor Newsom should cruise to an easy reelection victory,” he said. “Where it could make an impact is on the down-ticket races.”