Schwarzenegger Gets a Bad Report Card

The popularity of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his fellow Golden State lawmakers sank to dismal ratings amid the state’s bleak budget crisis while freshly-elected President Obama is overwhelmingly approved of by Californians, according to a published report.

Supporters for the governor are few and far between. The Los Angeles Times reported that conservatives disapprove two to one and Republican lawmakers have also been left with a bad taste in their mouths, having felt pressured to pass $12.5 billion in tax hikes.

The governor is still just above his lowest approval rating ever. Although only 33 percent of Californians give Schwarzenegger a positive approval rating, he is still skimming above his lowest approval rating of 32 percent, which he received in 2005.

But state lawmakers are even more in the doghouse than the governor. Only 21 percent of Californians approve of the job lawmakers are doing, matching the record low set in previous polls.

Pollster Mark Baldassare, president of nonpartisan Public Policy institute of California, told the Times that making populist moves is not easy in the current economic climate and cited the massive budget shortfall as the probable reason for such a high disapproval rating.

"It's been particularly hard for the governor and Legislature because of their prolonged and difficult struggle to get the budget resolved," said Baldassare.

The president is feeling no pain among Californians, though. With a 70 percent approval rating, Obama is well above the 61 percent of people who voted for him. Republicans are about evenly split about the Democratic president, with 41 percent approving and 40 percent disapproving. Unlike California lawmakers, he is still sitting on a 53 percent approval rating from conservatives.

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The poll also focused on abortion rights, which are still popular in California, the survey found. Most Californians oppose overturning Roe v. Wade two to one. Oddly, the survey also found that 68 percent favored parental notification before a minor can receive an abortion, a proposition that did not pass last November.

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