View Full Version : Voters take a dim view of governor, Legislature

05-05-2009, 04:26 AM
No suprise here. Term limits are sounding real good right now.

Published Friday, May. 01, 2009

With the economy and state budget in turmoil, California voters are more frustrated than ever with state lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to a Field Poll released today.

Only 14 percent of registered voters approve of the Legislature's performance, compared with 74 percent who disapprove of the Democratic-led institution. That is the lowest mark for the California Legislature in the Field Poll's 27-year history of tracking its job performance rating.

Schwarzenegger also hit a new personal low, with 33 percent saying they approve of the Republican governor, compared with 55 percent who disapprove. And a slightly higher percentage of Democrats approve of him than do members of his own Republican Party, according to the poll.

"You have to budget in your own home, and if you can't do the job in balancing the state budget on time, you should step down," said Claire Northcutt, a 49-year-old independent voter from Sacramento who runs an in-home nursing business. "If I didn't pass the budget of my business on time, where would I be?"

The paltry approval numbers couldn't come at a worse time for state leaders. They are asking voters to approve six measures they placed on the May 19 special election ballot to help close the state's budget deficit.

With the election fast approaching, Schwarzenegger and lawmakers have done little publicly this week to promote the measures. Instead, they have relied on teachers, firefighters and AARP to promote their cause in ads and events, perhaps a recognition that state leaders are politically toxic right now.

For instance, backers of Propositions 1A through 1F are running an ad that actually uses politicians as a foil. In the 30-second spot, a father says that politicians have "got us in quite a mess."

"We're not going to be on the TV ads," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. "We're involved, however. You know, the Legislature is generally unpopular, but people tend to like their own legislator. So in my caucus, people are out there speaking in their communities."

Schwarzenegger is a rare politician in that Democrats, Republicans and independent voters all have roughly the same view of his performance.

Republicans give him the lowest support, with 30 percent approval and 57 percent disapproval. By comparison, 32 percent of Democrats said they approve and 56 percent said they disapprove.