A new poll on California’s historic redistricting process finds that a good number of people think the process was fair and open.
The Field Poll asked more than 1,000 California registered voters about whether they felt the lines were fair to communities, political parties, and racial and ethnic groups.
For those who followed the process, nearly half said the Citizens Redistricting Commission did a good job drawing new district lines, compared to only a quarter who were not happy with the new lines.
“In each case, Democrats familiar with the commission’s work rate its performance positively by greater than two to one margins, while Republicans who are aware of the commission’s work are more divided in their assessments,” reported Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field from the Field Poll.
Only one in three respondents said they had been following the redistricting process. Republican voters were slightly more aware of the process than democrats at 42% versus 33%. Non-partisan voters had an awareness level of 28%.
“In addition, voters over age 50 and those who have completed post-graduate work are more likely than other voters to say they are familiar with the commission’s work,” said DiCamillo and Field.
“One-third is a good level of awareness for something absolutely no one knew about pre-reform,” said CA Fwd Action Fund Executive Director Zabrae Valentine.
Voters were also asked whether they would vote for one of the two propositions currently being proposed that would overturn Congressional and State Senate district lines. Most said they would vote no. Less than one-third indicated they would vote to overturn the district lines. The same percentage was undecided, and more than 40% would vote to keep the lines.
Valentine said California Forward recognizes the diversity of reactions from across the political spectrum to the finalized maps, but believes this process is a major step forward in the effort to increase transparency in the process and make our elected officials more accountable to the voters they serve.
“We understand and acknowledge the decisions by some to challenge the maps,” she said. “But we stand in firm support of the process and urge Californians not to allow this critical tool of reform to get pushed back behind closed doors and once again into the hands of political powerbrokers.”
The poll was conducted during the first two weeks of September and has a margin of error of +/-3.2%.
Gina Baleria is communications manager for CA Fwd.