Governor Schwarzenegger’s poll number continue to fall — with a strong majority wanting someone else to lead California.
From the L.A. Times:
The nonpartisan Field Poll of registered voters found that just 39 percent said they were inclined to give Schwarzenegger a second term, while 57 percent were not. As recently as February, the numbers were almost reversed, with 56 percent saying they were inclined to re-elect Schwarzenegger and just 42 percent were not.
This is a sharp turnaround in a short amount of time.
Neither of the two announced Democratic candidates have much name recognition, but either would beat Schwarzenegger if the election were held today.
From the Sacramento Bee:
State Treasurer Phil Angelides is locked in a tight race with Schwarzenegger, leading him by a margin of 46 percent to 42 percent. That is a significant shift from February, when the Republican governor led Angelides, 52 percent to 35 percent.
State Controller Steve Westly also holds a four-point lead over Schwarzenegger in the survey, 44 percent to 40 percent. Westly trailed Schwarzenegger in February, 52 percent to 33 percent.
DiCamillo said the Democrats’ standings represent logical upswings among party voters who first and foremost don’t like Schwarzenegger, even if they are unfamiliar with their own standard-bearers – 37 percent have no opinion of Angelides and 43 percent are similarly bereft of a personal conclusion when it comes to Westly.
“Most of what you’re seeing is just kind of a name recognition,” DiCamillo said. “I don’t think voters know a lot about Angelides or Westly, but they still have them ahead of Schwarzenegger.”
Schwarzenegger’s political career will be mortally wounded if he fails at the ballot box on a series of initiatives vital to his credibility as a reformer.
Let’s see how that’s going:
From the L.A. Daily News:
The findings are the latest in a series released by Field researchers indicating Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has lost considerable ground among voters in recent months. The drop in the governor’s popularity has coincided with his push for a fall special election for voters to consider several ballot measures aimed at curbing the power of Democrats and public employee unions in state government.
Earlier installments of the poll have shown that Schwarzenegger’s job approval ratings have tumbled amid voters expressing skepticism about the special election and tepid support for his ballot measures.
” … the poll found that 83 percent of Democrats, who form the majority of the state’s registered voters, would oppose a second term, as would 61 percent of independent voters. Solid majorities of Hispanic voters and women also say they do not want to see the governor re-elected.
“This is a definite turn away from the governor,” Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said. “It’s fallen so far, so fast and in a very broad-based way.”
From the San Diego Union Tribune:
After months of wrangling with public employees unions and Democrats in the Legislature, much of Schwarzenegger’s luster as a superstar celebrity politician appears to have faded.
“You close your eyes, he looks like any other politician, whereas a year ago, he had a lot of unique characteristics,” Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said. “People from across the aisle viewed him positively and he was well-received by nonpartisans and – a little more than normal for a Republican – among Latinos, among younger voters. But that’s no longer there.”
Alas, now is not the time to let up. We need to defeat these measures designed to turn California into a Red State — Rove is pulling the strings on this.
For historical perspective, again from the San Diego Union Tribune:
The last two governors, Democrat Gray Davis and Republican Pete Wilson, bounced back from negative poll numbers at a comparable time to win second terms.
Wilson was widely counted out when a May 1993 Field Poll showed him trailing the eventual Democratic nominee, Kathleen Brown, by 23 percentage points and showed that 61 percent of the voters were not inclined to re-elect him. In November 1994, Wilson was re-elected in a 15-percentage-point rout.
Ms. Brown ran a horrible campaign, and had been carrying baggage from her brother and father (Jerry and Pat), both former Governors who Right Wing Republicans hold strong views against, particularly when referring to Jerry as “Gov. Moonbeam”. Many of Wilson’s advisors are now advising Schwarzenegger, but I think the inexperience of Schwarzenegger is showing, the celebrity aura is fading fast, and what is left is a egotistical Puff of Hot Air whose catch phrases from lousy movies are wearing thin on the majority of Californians desperate for true leadership.