California News

Schwarzenegger poll numbers hit 50-year low

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It was evident during his visit to opening day at the California State Fair that fans are still eager to see Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie star, even take a picture with him.

"A celebrity," said Schwarzenegger fan Justin Jahn. "Even if he was a governor or not, I would still see him because of his movies."

But as governor, he doesn't have many fans these days.

The latest Field Poll shows his approval rating is at an all-time low, just 22 percent - a remarkable plunge from the height of his popularity in late summer of 2004 at 65 percent.

His predecessor, Gray Davis, also dropped into the dumper at 22 percent, which led to his recall and paved the way for Schwarzenegger to take over.

This time, though, there'll be no "Total Recall." Schwarzenegger is termed out in January.

With the time remaining, the governor said he isn't paying attention to his poll numbers. He said the late state budget is a priority.

"When I'm finished with this job, I can worry about myself, my popularity and approval ratings and making a lot of money, all of these kinds of things," Schwarzenegger said.

Political analysts point out no politician is getting high approval ratings these days.

"Getting people's favorability ratings up in California right now, nearly impossible," said Gary Dietrich, a political analyst. "Frankly, the bottom line is this: until the economy significantly turns around, I don't care who is elected, they're not going to be well liked."

Some families are upset he plans to eliminate their subsidized childcare. They're part of the group dissatisfied with state leadership.

"I think it's just the lack of faith and the hope that we have in this whole system," said protester Kimberly Burton of Stockton.

"Hopefully, we'll get a new governor in soon that will make changes for California that will be positive," added Patty Smith of Petaluma.

Californians don't like the job the state Legislature is doing either.

While slightly up, lawmakers' approval ratings are even lower than the governor's at 16 percent. They've been stuck in the low 10s for nearly two years.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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arnold schwarzenegger, economy, california news, nannette miranda
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