A bit more than four months before the Nov. 5 election Californians are in a sour mood. A new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, conducted May 23-June 2, found people are dissatisfied with just about everything in the state. 

A hefty majority of those responding, 62%, said California was headed in the wrong direction, up from 54% a year ago. The number has increased sharply from the 38% of 2021. The new tally showed Republicans most pessimistic, at 81%, followed by independents at 76% and Democrats at 51%.

An even larger overall percentage, 68%, expected tough economic times over the next year. That’s despite California’s 5.3% unemployment rate holding steady for March and April. However, the May number coming out on June 21 will provide a clearer picture of the effects of the April 1 increase in the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $20 from $16 in 2023.

Top issues mentioned by those surveyed: 26% said “cost of living, economy, inflation,” 19% government in general, 10% immigration and 6% crime and drugs. The housing affordability crisis is reflected in 53% saying it puts a strain on them and their families. For homeowners, it’s 37%. But for renters, the strain is nearly double that, 72%. That reflects Zillow’s June 16 rental market summary showing the median rent for all property types in the state is a staggering $2,800. 

Predictably, in the presidential race President Joe Biden led former President Donald Trump by a large margin, 55% to 31%. Except for recent forays to collect campaign cash from wealthy donors, neither candidate has spent much time in the Golden State, instead concentrating on such battleground states as Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

It’s a similar story in the U.S. Senate race. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff easily struck out former baseball player Steve Garvey, a Republican, 62% to 37%. It’s the only non-presidential statewide race this year. It highlights the continued failure of the GOP to get its act together and put forward serious candidates. They need to come up with new solutions to Californians’ obvious dissatisfaction with the status quo and put up stronger candidates to challenge the dominant Democrats.