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Poll Tells Gavin Newsom: Make Universal Health Care Highest Priority

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Of the many promises Gavin Newsom made during his successful campaign for California governor, a new poll finds his push for universal health care has more support than calls for tuition-free community college and universal preschool.

In a poll released Wednesday night, the Public Policy Institute of California asked respondents how high of a priority each of those issues should be next year.

The survey found that 57 percent of likely voters believe universal health care — which does not necessarily mean a single-payer system, just that all Californians are covered — should be either a very high or high priority.

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That’s followed by 47 percent for tuition-free community college and just 41 percent for universal preschool.

The poll also asked about California’s high-speed rail project, which Newsom supports but hasn’t prioritized. Only 19 percent said that should be a very high or high priority.

More broadly, 41 percent of likely voters approve of Newsom’s plans for California; 32 percent disapprove.

Termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown will leave office early next month with a 52 percent approval rating. But just 39 percent of likely voters say they’d like to see Newsom continue Brown’s policies, while half of Californians say they’d prefer to see the governor-elect chart a different course.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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