Homelessness #1 Issue for California Voters in 2020

Homelessness is the number one issue for California voters heading into the 2020 presidential primary in March, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

More than 150,000 California residents are homeless, according to the latest counts.

The Bee reported Wednesday night:

The poll finds a plurality of Democrats, Republicans and Independents likely to vote in the state’s March 3, 2020 primary election in agreement that homelessness is the most important issue for Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to work on in 2020. Twenty-one percent of Democrats and Independents called it the top issue, compared to 29 percent of Republicans.

Housing affordability and the environment were the next highest priorities for likely Democratic primary voters, while Republicans were more concerned about immigration and taxes.

The Bee added: “Health care has become a lesser focus for Democrats, according to the poll.”

That is a stark contrast to the priorities of voters elsewhere in the country. According to a Gallup poll released earlier this week, Democrats nationwide consider health care the most important issue, followed closely by gun control and climate change. Overall, “healthcare, national security, gun policy, education and the economy” were cited as “extremely important” by over 30% of adults in the poll.

But California faces acute problems with homelessness. As Breitbart News reported last month, the state’s 16.4% increase in homelessness is “entirely” responsible for the nation’s overall 2.7% increase, according to federal statistics.

Governor Gavin Newsom is in the midst of a week-long focus on the issue, touring homeless facilities and discussing spending proposals in his recent budget.

The governor is currently fighting President Donald Trump on the issue — as on many others. Newsom has insisted on more federal funding for state housing projects.

As Breitbart News has reported, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently adopted a more pragmatic approach, and has approached the federal government to work together in dealing with the city’s roughly 60,000 homeless people, including by possibly relocating some of them to unused federal property.

The California primary will take place on Super Tuesday, March 3, instead of in early June, as in previous years.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.