Schwarzenegger's Approval Rating at 36 Percent
SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 2) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval rating is still in the doldrums, with the majority of Californians not content with how he's doing his job, according to a poll released Friday.
As of late August, 36 percent of registered voters approved of the former movie star's performance as governor, while 52 percent disapproved, with 12 percent having no opinion, the nonpartisan Field Poll reported.
The newest figures are similar to the approval rating in a Field poll two months ago. But they are down sharply since February, when 55 percent approved of the job he was doing.
Respondents cited Schwarzenegger's call for a November special election as a major factor influencing their opinion. He is promoting ballot initiatives to cap state spending, redraw legislative districts and lengthen the probationary term for teachers.
Fifty-seven percent opposed the Austrian-born governor's call for the election. Disapproval rose to 63 percent when respondents were told how much the special election would cost - more than $50 million (euro40 million).
The telephone poll surveyed 1,301 California adults, including 891 registered voters, on Aug. 19-29. It had a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.
Schwarzenegger campaign strategist Todd Harris disagreed with some of the poll's findings, saying he had seen several private surveys in the past week that showed rising support for the governor and his initiatives.
Harris also pointed to Field Poll results showing broad dissatisfaction with state government. Only 27 percent approved of the Legislature's performance, while twice as many - 54 percent - disapproved.
"Californians are not happy with the way things are in Sacramento, which bodes well for whichever side is campaigning for change," Harris said. "Given the political environment, I would not want my campaign message to be, 'Let's leave things exactly the way they are,' which is what our opponents' message will to be."
09/02/05 09:39 EDT