Poll: Only 27 Percent of Californians Approve of Gov. Davis’ Job

AP Wire Service

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gov. Gray Davis’ popularity has dropped to its lowest level since he took office, with only 27 percent of Californians approving of his job performance, according to a Los Angeles Time Poll released Sunday.

Overall, 64 percent of the 1,300 adults interviewed disapproved of the Democratic governor’s handling of state affairs.

The poll found that even core supporters had soured on Davis. About 54 percent of Democrats rated him unfavorably, and even among union members, a key constituency for a governor with strong ties to organize labor, 69 percent disapproved of his stewardship.

Among Republicans, nine out of 10 disapproved of his job performance.

Many of the Californians surveyed cited the state’s budget shortfall, which Davis has estimated at nearly $35 billion over the next 16 months, as a primary reason for their disapproval. The governor also received poor marks for education, his signature issue.

Despite the low approval rating, most voters surveyed were skeptical of a recall effort launched last month by Davis opponents _ 51 percent oppose a special election to unseat the governor. Davis was re-elected in November and cannot run again because of state term limits.

The Times Poll interviewed 1,300 adults statewide, including 1,055 registered voters from Feb. 27 through March 3. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The state’s U.S. senators, both Democrats, fared better than Davis in the poll. Half the Californians surveyed approved of the performance of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and 43 percent approved of the work of Sen. Barbara Boxer.