California

‘The Big One’ doesn’t scare Californians. Residents won’t move due to recent earthquakes

‘Threw me off the couch’: California residents react to earthquake

Firefighters responded to fires and gas leaks after southern California was hit with its strongest earthquake in almost 20 years. The 7.1 magnitude quake was felt in a vast area from Sacramento to Mexico on June 5, 2019.
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Firefighters responded to fires and gas leaks after southern California was hit with its strongest earthquake in almost 20 years. The 7.1 magnitude quake was felt in a vast area from Sacramento to Mexico on June 5, 2019.

The Big One might be coming, but most Californians aren’t going anywhere.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University found that 92 percent of Californians have no plans to relocate from the Golden State due to recent earthquake activity.

Staying despite the earthquakes and being prepared for the next big temblor are two different things.

Slightly more than half, 52 percent, of Californians overall believe they are prepared to deal with a major earthquake, the survey found. Republicans, at 61 percent, were much more likely to feel they were prepared than were Democrats, at 44 percent.

Residents of Southern California, at 57 percent, were most likely to feel ready for the Big One.

A majority of Californians, 72 percent, believes that a major earthquake will strike their community within their lifetime. Democrats, at 80 percent, are much more likely to believe the Big One is coming near them than are Republicans, at 64 percent.

Residents of Los Angeles County were most likely to believe a major earthquake is coming, while residents of the Inland Valley were least likely to.

The Quinnipiac poll also asked Californians how they feel about their governor and senior senator.

In general, Gov. Gavin Newsom drew roughly as much approval as disapproval, 39 percent to 38 percent. Quinnipiac noted that Newsom’s support has dropped since the issue was polled in April – 40 percent of voters approved of Newsom back then.

Democrats, at 67 percent, were much more likely to support Newsom’s performance than were Republicans, at 6 percent. Newsom also did poorly with independents, with just 36 percent approving of his work.

Newsom’s support was highest in the Bay Area, 59 percent, and lowest in Southern California, 31 percent.

Feinstein’s approval and disapproval both sat at 41 percent, according to the poll. Democrats, at 68 percent, favored her performance while Republicans, at 12 percent, did not.

Like Newsom, Feinstein’s approval was highest in the Bay Area and lowest in Southern California.

Pollsters surveyed 1,125 California voters between July 10-15. The poll has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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