December 9th, 2013 · Blog, Issues, News, Poll release
Pollster Ben Tulchin appeared on Digital Politics Radio last week. He, FoxNews.com reporter Joe Weber and host Karen Jagoda discussed news consumption, the non-stop news cycle, and polling . You can listen to the two segments at Digital Politics Radio's website: News Consumers Non-Stop News Cycle
November 14th, 2013 · Company News
Tulchin Research, a leading Democratic polling and strategic consulting firm based in downtown San Francisco, seeks an Analyst for a full-time exempt position. Tulchin Research provides consulting services to candidates for elected office, ballot measure campaigns, labor unions, non-profits, corporations, and foundations. The Analyst is responsible for serving as the lead analyst and manager for major political, corporate, and non-profit clients. The Analyst will work directly with clients and the company President in all aspects of the survey research process including: drafting questionnaires and focus group guidelines, analyzing survey and focus group results, writing memos, presenting findings, and coordinating work for team members as well as assist in business development. This is a fast-paced environment that requires a self-starter with attention to detail, time management skills and strong communication skills. Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint is necessary. The ideal candidate will have previous experience in public opinion research and political campaigns. The position provides a competitive salary and benefits. Tulchin Research is an equal opportunity employer. All interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions may be directed to our office by email to email@example.com or by phone to (415) 874-7441.
October 21st, 2013 · Blog, Company News, Issues, News, Poll release
New Tulchin Research Poll Is Part of the ACLU's Effort to Form a Blue Ribbon Panel on Marijuana Legalization Lead by Lieutenant Governor Gavin NewsomA new Tulchin Research poll finds that a solid majority of voters in California support a proposal to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. The ACLU Thursday released results from this poll which shows ever-growing support for taxing and regulating marijuana among likely 2016 California voters across political, racial and geographic lines. The poll results make clear that voters offer strong support for legalizing marijuana when it is coupled with a comprehensive regulatory system and an ability to collect revenues to fund public services. Specifically, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of voters support a proposal to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in California for adults. In fact, nearly half (46 percent) of voters strongly support such a sample measure compared to less than a third of voters (27 percent) who strongly oppose it. The proposal put to the 1,200 respondents likely to vote in November 2016 makes it clear that marijuana would still be illegal for minors and that there would be penalties for DUI. The sample measure also references the revenue that would be raised with a tax and the types of services that might be funded. When all of this is put together in a ballot measure, the poll finds strong support for legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana across a wide range of demographic groups. The ACLU of California announced Thursday that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will chair a blue ribbon panel that will study the complex legal and policy issues that must be resolved as California considers legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults. Comprised of leading legal, academic and policy experts from across the state and nation, the blue ribbon panel will engage in a two-year research effort. The panel’s work will be designed to help voters and policy makers evaluate proposals for a strict tax and regulation system that will enable California to benefit from billions of dollars of new revenue while ensuring safe communities and protecting against underage use. Recent successful marijuana legalization ballot initiatives in Washington state and Colorado, and growing public support for such reform in California, indicate that a similar measure could succeed in California. “The prohibition of marijuana has had an enormous human and financial cost in communities across this state,” said Newsom, the highest ranking elected official in California to publicly endorse taxing and regulating marijuana for adults. “It is far past time for Californians take a serious look at smarter approaches to marijuana, and it is imperative that happen before any marijuana ballot initiative gets underway.” Joining Newsom on the panel is a broad spectrum of policy, legal and academic experts, including, among others, Keith Humphreys, a Stanford Health Policy Associate who was a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2009-2010, Erwin Chemerinsky, constitutional law expert and dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Dr. Timmen Cermack and Dr. Peter Banys, both past presidents of the California Society of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Seth Ammerman, a Stanford University professor and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, Sam Kamen, a Denver University law professor who has been appointed to the Colorado governor’s task force for implementing that state’s marijuana legalization initiative and Alison Holcomb, campaign manager of Washington state’s successful 2012 ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana. The panel will spend the next 18-24 months monitoring and analyzing the implementation of tax and regulate laws in Washington and Colorado, publishing a series of policy white papers, convening round-table discussions, panel presentations and town hall events for the public and for policymakers across the state. The panel will also seek to identify, research and propose answers to the legal and policy questions that these public forums will address. An ACLU report released in June showed extreme racial disparities in marijuana arrests throughout the country and in California, disparities that would be erased by sensible tax and regulate measure. “Marijuana prohibition has harmed communities and families by needlessly ensnaring hundreds of thousands of people in the overburdened criminal justice system, with people of color far more likely to be arrested and prosecuted,” said Allen Hopper, director of criminal justice and drug policy for the ACLU of California. “California voters recognize that it’s time for change and will overwhelmingly support reforming marijuana laws provided it can be done responsibly with adequate safeguards and assurances that tax revenues will go to fund public schools and other important social services.” --- Click here to read the public memo for the poll Click here to read the official ACLU press release for the blue ribbon panel
Press coverage of our new California poll:New York Times: "California: Legal Marijuana Studied" KTVU: "Newsom to lead panel considering recreational pot use law" Washington Post: "California’s second-highest state executive says it’s time to legalize pot" Huffington Post: "California Is Poised To Legalize Marijuana In 2016" San Francisco Chronicle: "Newsom, ACLU look to legalize marijuana" Los Angeles Times: "Like gay marriage, medical marijuana is here to stay"
September 24th, 2013 · Blog, Issues, News, Poll release, Press
Defenders of Wildlife Polling Finds Strong Support For Wolf Recovery in Pacific Northwest and SouthwestA series of recent polls conducted by Tulchin Research on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife finds strong support for restoring gray wolf populations in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and New Mexico. Our research finds that voters overwhelmingly believe wolves to be a vital part of America's natural heritage and want to ensure that wolf populations in their states are protected to ensure recovery and prevent extinction. The recent findings in California, Oregon, and Washington, come as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service takes public comment on its proposal to strip federal protections for gray wolves across most of the lower 48. This includes northern California and the western halves of Oregon and Washington. Our polling finds large majorities of voters in those states in agreement that wolves should continue to be protected under the Endangered Species Act until they are fully recovered, including 80 percent of California voters, 63 percent of Oregon voters, and 72 percent of Washington voters. In the Southwest, our findings reflect strong support for efforts to restore Mexican gray wolves at a time when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is considering new proposals that would hamper their recover. Eight in ten voters in New Mexico (80 percent) and Arizona (83 percent) agree that FWS should make every effort to help wolves recover and wide majorities in both states (66 percent of Arizona voters and 63 percent of New Mexico voters) specifically support the reintroduction of two new populations of wolves into suitable regions in those states. Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org/newsroom Click here to read the full release and memo for the poll conducted in the Southwest. Click here to read the full release and memo for the poll conducted in California and the Pacific Northwest.
Pollster Ben Tulchin appeared on Digital Politics Radio this afternoon. He and host Karen Jagoda discussed local power and testing in education and polling on complex hot-button issues. You can listen to the two segments at Digital Politics Radio's website: Local Control of Government Services Hot Issues for Voters
September 3rd, 2013 · Blog, Issues, News, Poll release, Press
New Poll Conducted for PACE/USC Rossier School of Education by Tulchin Research and M4 Strategies Shows Support For Keeping Power With Local Educators and Dchool Boards, But Not Without AccountabilityDespite calls from Sacramento to reduce standardized testing in California public schools, voters strongly support the use of state standardized tests, both as an essential way to measure student performance and as an important element in teachers' evaluations, a new PACE/USC Rossier School of Education Poll shows. Nearly two-thirds of California voters said students should be tested in every grade level to ensure they are progressing, as opposed to 22 percent of voters who said California should cut back on testing. Among parents with school children, 66 percent said California should test students in each grade level and 25 percent said the state should cut back. "Most of the political experts say that parents think their children are tested too frequently, but our poll shows just the opposite," said poll director Dan Schnur, who also serves as the director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. "Large majorities of California parents, and even larger majorities of state voters, want to see students tested regularly and in a wide range of subjects." When asked about testing high schoolers, 55 percent of voters said California should test students in all subjects, as opposed to 34 percent who said the state should test students in math and English but let teachers evaluate their students in other subjects. Among parents with school children, 51 percent agreed with testing high schoolers in all subjects and 42 percent said testing should be limited to English and math. Voters also said student performance on standardized tests should play a sizable role in evaluating a teacher’s effectiveness. Forty-three percent of voters said teachers should be judged equally on their students’ standardized test results, assessments of their classroom performance and evaluations by peers. Thirty percent said evaluations should include some student test results but should be weighted mostly toward classroom assessments and peer evaluations. Only 10 percent of Californians said student performance on standardized tests shouldn’t be used to evaluate teachers at all, and 8 percent said teachers should be evaluated mostly on test results, with some assessment of their classroom performance and peer evaluations. "A decade after 'No Child Left Behind,' Californians remain strongly supportive of standardized testing," said Morgan Polikoff, assistant professor at the USC Rossier School. "These results suggest that Californians believe standardized tests should remain an important part of California education policy moving forward; however, they also believe that outcomes other than reading and mathematics are essential for California's schools." ‘Tough love’ for teachers Californians are strongly supportive of teachers and want to give them additional tools to succeed, but also want teachers held to higher standards. Fifty-two percent of voters agreed that paying teachers more for exceeding performance standards would improve the quality of the state’s public schools, as opposed to 21 percent who said it would make things worse. A plurality of voters also said they would choose to provide additional support and training to struggling teachers (42 percent) over making it easier to fire teachers who “repeatedly fail to perform at acceptable levels” (29 percent). But most voters (48 percent) said teachers are largely to blame if a school fails, followed by parents (28 percent) and local school boards (25 percent). More than 80 percent believe at least some component of teacher evaluation should be based on student standardized test scores. And when asked what would have the most positive impact on public schools, the top answer was “removing bad teachers from the classroom” (43 percent), followed by “more involvement from parents” (33 percent), and “more money for school districts and schools” (25 percent). “In California, state law and local rules make it challenging for districts to reward their best teachers and remove their worst teachers,” said Dominic Brewer, Clifford H. and Betty C. Allen Professor in Urban Leadership at the USC Rossier School. “Voters, however, clearly think both strategies would help improve schools. “ “There’s a basic ‘pro-teacher’ sentiment, that teachers should largely be in the driver’s seat and should get the tools, money and extra training they need,” Brewer said. “But there is a tough love message from voters: they value and trust teachers and want them to have more resources, but they also want real accountability for student outcomes." Voters favor local control Voters overwhelmingly agreed that power and responsibility for school performance should rest in the hands of local school boards and teachers, not at the state level. Nearly half of voters, 49 percent, said the main responsibility for ensuring student success should rest with local educators; 28 percent said local school districts; and 23 percent said the state legislature. When asked who should be most responsible for deciding whether a school is succeeding or failing, 40 percent of voters said local school boards should decide, 20 percent said parents, and 14 percent said the state government. Only 4 percent thought that the federal government should have this responsibility. Jury still out on Brown's education accomplishments When asked how Gov. Jerry Brown has handled education in California, 42 percent of voters said they approved of Brown’s work and 46 percent said they disapproved. That represents a net 23 percentage point drop from Brown’s overall approval rating, where 55 percent of voters approve of the job he’s done overall and 36 percent disapprove. “Given his much higher profile action on issues related to the economy and public safety and elsewhere, Brown’s early decisions on education have simply been overshadowed,” Schnur said. “Looking closely at the drop between Gov. Brown’s overall job approval and his education job approval ratings, much of the decrease comes from his traditional support centers: Democratic female voters,” said Jeff Harrelson of Republican polling firm MFour Research, who conducted this poll with Democratic polling firm Tulchin Research. “However, the drop is less pronounced among voters who actually have kids in school, compared with those who do not have kids in school, suggesting that much of the negative attitude we see is driven by voters operating on pre-existing education system perceptions, rather than by parents whose kids are going to school every day.” Most voters also said they were not familiar with new education policies Brown and the state Legislature have enacted in the last year. Sixty-three percent of voters said they were “not aware” of the new funding formula that gives school districts more control over how they spend money and allocates more money to needy districts. While four times as many more voters believe Proposition 30 – a temporary sales tax and income tax hike to fund education – has helped public schools (20 percent) than hurt public schools (5 percent), just over half of voters (54 percent), said the measure has had no effect on public schools and 22 percent said they didn’t know if it has had an impact. “Some voters give the Governor credit for Proposition 30 benefiting California’s public schools. However, he still has a lot of work to do to convince the majority of voters who believe it has not had an impact,” said Ben Tulchin, president of Democratic polling firm Tulchin Research. The survey asked voters how much they knew about Brown's recent local control funding formula policy and their views on the subject. Three in 10 voters (30 percent) indicated they were aware of this new policy. When presented two statements from supporters and opponents of the policy, voters were evenly divided as 30 percent agree with supporters and 31 percent sided with opponents, a statistically insignificant difference. When asked about California’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards, 71 percent of voters said they knew little or nothing about it. But there are signs that voters are becoming slightly more optimistic about public education. When asked about the state’s public schools, 13 percent of voters said they were “getting better,” as compared to 7 percent who agreed in last year’s PACE/USC Rossier Poll. Forty-nine percent said state schools had “gotten worse,” as compared to 57 percent in 2012. “Gov. Jerry Brown has made some big bets this year on the way the education system runs, and it's really too early to say how these will play out,” said David N. Plank, executive director of PACE. “Most voters are not yet aware of these changes, but there are signs in our poll that their perceptions of California's schools are beginning to improve. There’s reason to think Gov. Brown will see some political benefits down the road.” Voters were also asked whom they would vote for in matchups between Brown and potential Republican challengers, including former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) and businessman Neel Kashkari. When Brown was pitted against Maldonado, 42 percent of voters chose Brown and 21 percent chose Maldonado. In a matchup between Brown and Donnelly, 43 percent chose Brown and 21 percent chose Donnelly. Between Brown and Kashkari, 44 percent chose Brown and 15 percent chose Kashkari. The PACE/USC Rossier Poll was conducted Aug. 27 to 30, 2013 by polling firms MFour Research and Tulchin Research and surveyed 1,001 registered California voters. The poll was conducted online and allowed respondents to complete the survey on a desktop or laptop computer, tablet or smartphone. The poll was conducted in English and Spanish. The margin of error for the overall sample was +/- 3.5 percentage points. The poll is the third in a series from Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and the USC Rossier School of Education. --- Download the PACE/USC Rossier Online Poll Memo here. Download the PACE/USC Online Poll Toplines and Crosstabs here. ---
Press coverage of our new California poll:LA School Report: "New USC Poll: Public Approval for Testing and Evaluations"
We are delighted that our successful and sophisticated campaign with Hawaii's Pacific Resource Partnership to support a pro-rail candidate in the Honolulu mayor's race has just received recognition from one of Hawaii's leading independent blogs. In a recent post on iLind, guest contributor Neal Milner writes that "PRP was using modern, Obama-campaign-like methods" that allowed us to precisely target voters and run an effective campaign. We are proud to say that this type of research is emblematic of our work here at Tulchin Research, and we look forward to continuing to work with PRP on their ongoing campaigns in Hawaii.