50% of California voters report personal economic situation declined

David Vargo bought three homes in the Sacramento region within the last 11 years.

He figures the value of his three-bedroom Natomas ranch house has plummeted more than 56 percent from its peak. Though the 64-year-old Vargo owns two of his houses outright, the paper losses were deep enough that he left retirement to work for the U.S. Census Bureau last year.

One in two California voters, including Vargo, say their financial well-being is worse off than a year ago, according to a new Field Poll released Tuesday. It marks the fourth straight year in which at least half of Californians reported a decline in their personal situation, the first time that has happened since Field began asking the question 50 years ago.

"Pretty gloomy stuff," said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. "The length of these negative reports is now becoming historic."

Field also found that 91 percent of voters say that California's economy is in bad shape. Forty-two percent believe that things will stay the same over the next year, while 30 percent say it will worsen and 26 percent think it will improve.

Read the complete story at