Governor Jerry Brown is now the most popular state politician in California. That’s according to the results of a new exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey USA. The pollsters asked 600 adults this question: Do you approve or disapprove of the job Jerry Brown is doing as Governor? Here are the results… 52% Approve 39% Disapprove 9% Not Sure. The numbers represent a 9 point increase in Brown’s approval rating in a similar poll taken back in January (see my previous blog: New Poll on Gov Brown & Friends). Only President Obama has a slightly higher approval rating of 53%... according to the Action News poll.
Brown’s largest “approval” number comes from those who identify themselves as Democrats. 65% like the job he’s doing, while more than one-third (36%) of Republicans also approve of his job performance. Also in the survey, the majority of those polled here in the Central Valley give Governor Brown “thumbs down”… Approve 42% Disapprove 47% Not Sure 11%. The numbers from the Inland Empire are similar to the Valley’s, while those questioned in Greater L.A. and especially the Bay Area gave the Governor high marks.
Action News Political Analyst Tony Capozzi thinks the jump in Brown’s approval rating reflects how he’s handling the state budget crisis. Capozzi says “Brown has nothing to lose in challenging the Democrats and Republicans in coming together to pass the budget.” Capozzi also believes popular opinion will be on Brown’s side if he can’t sway GOP lawmakers to sign on to his budget plan. In fact, Capozzi thinks it could make Brown’s approval numbers increase considering the Democratic majority in California.
While our exclusive poll suggests the majority of Californians like how Governor Brown is tackling the state’s problems, their disdain for the State Legislature continues. When asked… Do you approve or disapprove of the job the State Legislature is doing… 73% responded they Disapprove… only 15% Approve… and 13% Not Sure. Those numbers are little changed from our previous poll in January.
What may be most surprising in the new poll is the low approval numbers for California’s Senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein. 47% say they “Disapprove” of her job performance… only 43% Approve. These numbers are basically the same as the January poll and are identical to the poll numbers for Senator Barbara Boxer. Even here in the Central Valley… where Feinstein has been mostly a friend to agriculture… her approval numbers are lower than Boxer’s. 58% of those questioned in the survey from the Central Valley say they “Disapprove” of Feinstein’s job performance… 31% Approve 11% Not Sure.
Political Analyst Capozzi thinks the low numbers for Feinstein may reflect how much time the Senator is spending in Washington and those responding believe she’s too tied in to the Capitol Hill establishment. Capozzi believes Senator Feinstein’s approval numbers will rise once she starts facing a re-election opponent.