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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Schwarzenegger's double-digit crash in polls

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the LA Times:

He's too interested in PR gimmicks, many voters think, and should be putting more effort into dealing with legislators.

Fewer than half of Californians now approve of the way the governor is handling his job, a sharp decline since January.

Moreover, people think California has gotten off on the wrong track.

These are the findings of a statewide poll to be released today by the Survey and Policy Research Institute at San Jose State.

California's 2006 gubernatorial race is moving and reading through these numbers I'm sensing more of an ongoing trend than a brief shift.

Voters were read these statements, with the order rotated from call to call, and asked to agree or disagree:

• "He's doing a good job of working with legislators and getting things done." Agree 43%, disagree 43%.

• "He's right to bypass lawmakers and focus on his ballot initiatives." Agree 38%, disagree 47%.

• "He's too interested in gimmicks, public relations and image." Agree 49%, disagree 41%.

• "He should be putting more effort into working with legislators so he'd get more done." Agree 62%, disagree 25%. Even Republicans agree, 49% to 34%.

And it isn't just the usual suspects who have turned, but independents are moving as well:

The voter groups most sour on Schwarzenegger are Democrats and women, L.A. and Bay Area residents, blacks, Latinos and Asians. No surprises there. But it's significant that independents tilt slightly against him. Republicans remain his biggest boosters.

The governor's job performance is approved by 49% of voters, disapproved by 38%. His rating is worse among all adults: 43% approval, 43% disapproval — a steep slide since it was 59%-26% in January. Polls last year had shown Schwarzenegger with stratospheric job ratings in the high 60s.

People also were asked a standard question about whether they think "things in California are going in the right direction or are they seriously off on the wrong track." Only 39% answered right direction; 49% said wrong track. In January, it was almost reversed: 52% right track, 35% wrong direction.

Taken together, it is hard to imagine how the Governor could have done worse in the early months of 2005.

While his celebrity got him into office and his gimmicky events and ballot initiatives raised his approval, it is now clear that voters see through his tricks. With no foundation to fall back upon, it appears the Governator is heading for termination.

Posted at 01:13 PM in 2006 Elections - State, California | Technorati