Politics & Government

In poll, Californians give Schwarzenegger low marks

This was hardly what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger envisioned seven years ago.

The movie-star governor, who took office in 2003 on a promise to "clean house" in Sacramento, remains mired at a personal-low 27 percent approval rating, according to a Field Poll released today.

Even worse, only 7 percent of registered voters think Schwarzenegger will leave California government in better shape than he found it, while 59 percent believe he will leave it in worse condition, the poll found.

California has struggled the last two years with severe budget problems and now faces a $19.9 billion deficit through June 2011. Schwarzenegger proposed a budget in January that promises painful cuts, while the Legislature remains sharply divided.

"He was elected in a special election and ran as an outsider under this populist theme," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. "He was going to blow up the boxes and get rid of the bureaucracy. Voters were behind that mentality, but they don't view him as being successful in carrying out that message."

Schwarzenegger press secretary Aaron McLear didn't blame voters for their views.

"People have every right to be angry with their elected officials," McLear said. "Until we get the economy back on track and people back to work, they will stay angry and hold all of us accountable, as they should. That's exactly why we're fighting so hard to create jobs."

Read more at SacBee.com