Schwarzenegger Slips in Poll
The Governator faces some rather tough times:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s call for a special election and a new advertising campaign to promote his agenda have failed to arrest his slide in popularity, according to a new statewide poll.
According to the Field Poll released Tuesday, 37 percent of registered California voters approve of Schwarzenegger’s job performance, a drop of 18 percentage points since February.
Continuing a trend that began in January, 53 percent of registered California voters said they do not approve of Schwarzenegger’s performance. That’s a jump of 18 percentage points since February.
The biggest decline came among Democrats and nonpartisan voters, but the poll also found Schwarzenegger’s support among Republican voters has fallen.
These numbers are tempered by the Democratic legislature’s own stumbles: only 24% approve of its performance, a decline of 10 percentage points. Moreover, while pollsters Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field note that Arnold’s popularity is now essentially the same as that of Gray Davis in the year before his demise, this statistic has little meaning. It isn’t uncommon for politicians to struggle. There’d need to be many more serious problems for another recall to occur.
But Republicans should be worried about the following development:
In three separate Field Poll surveys conducted last year, a sizeable plurality of voters said they would be more inclined to support the Governor over leaders in the legislature if the two sides disagreed on an important policy matter. However, in two surveys completed this year, voters have been turning away from their earlier support of the Governor. Currently, 44% say they are now more inclined to support the positions of legislative leaders, compared to 33% who would tend to side with the Governor.
In February, the two sides were basically tied. Last May, Schwarzenegger led 47%-29%. He’s no longer getting the benefit of the doubt, and the Democrats’ natural blue-state advantage is kicking in high gear, so the GOP is quickly returning to the pre-recall wilderness.