October 13th, 2009
12:23 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll: How low can Schwarzenegger go?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/13/art.arnold.gi.jpg caption="When it comes to his current approval rating as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is no blockbuster."]

(CNN) - He used to get big numbers at the box office, but when it comes to his current approval rating as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is no blockbuster.

A new poll suggests that just over one in four California voters approves of the job Schwarzenegger is doing as governor of the Golden State, his lowest rating ever.

Twenty-seven percent of people questioned in a Field Poll released Tuesday morning give Schwarzenegger a thumbs-up, the first time in his nearly six years as governor that his approval rating has dropped below 30 percent. The survey also indicates that nearly two out of three voters, 65 percent, disapprove of Schwarzenegger's performance as California governor.

The moderate Republican is term-limited, and cannot run for re-election next year.

"Most polls show that the drop in Schwarzenegger's approval ratings started just as the recession began in late 2007 and early 2008," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "When the economy was good, his approval ratings were over 50 percent. Once the recession began, those numbers dipped into the 40s ,and the general trend has been downhill ever since. Many voters blame an incumbent governor when the economy turns sour, and it looks like California is no exception."

According to the Field Poll, the only California governor to have a lower approval rating over the past 50 years was Grey Davis in 2003. Davis was re-called from office that year in a special election. Schwarzenegger was elected to replace him, and re-elected three years ago with 56 percent of the vote.

As low as Schwarzenegger's rating stands, state lawmakers draw even lower marks. The survey suggests that just 13 percent of Californians approve of how the state legislature is handling its duties, with 78 percent disapproving - the worst rating ever for the legislature in the Field Poll's history.

The Field Poll was conducted September 18-October 5, with 1,005 registered California voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Filed under: Arnold Schwarzenegger • California
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Doug, New Jersey

    Yeah, it is his fault that his hands are tied due to an all Democrat partisan party before the people state congress.

    I hope that Cali goes all lib so that it can sink into the Pacific ocean. These libs should get what the deserve.

    October 13, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. coolchange

    If California hadn't been so star-struck, they would never have let Arnold talk them out of getting rid of Gray Davis as their governor.

    Now, he's worse off than Davis ever was.

    Alas, I think they were looking for another Reagan in Arnold.

    October 13, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. sontay

    I live in Ca. and i hate this place if not for my husband , i would have been out of here a long time ago.This place can't even keep their SDI up.They give away so much in welfare and other goodies to illegals ,which is so much worse than they actually report.I was born in the USA and worked and got hurt on my job and the state can't even pay you on time.I'm a month behind in my sdi and the only reason they can give me is that they are so behind.Really!!!Funny how that happens when the state closes the offices every mon and fri.Cutting cost my eye ,making bad into worse ,on the money.This place is a illegals paradise.

    October 13, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. John

    There is still WAY too much time for him to be in office! It will be interesting to see who he appoints as Lt. Governor, when the current one (Garamendi) gets elected to Congress next month.

    October 13, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Genie

    Arnold suffers from the same disease all CA politicians do. Wildly popular when the money is flowing to all the liberal state funded programs and the entitled people are happy. When the programs are not doing well and the state is floundering he is the blame. Californians have always been shallow and all about themselves.

    October 13, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Eric in Denver

    Probably as low as the do nothing democratic controlled congress.

    October 13, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Jackie in Dallas

    Why should he quit? Now he can do the things he wanted to but couldn't while still in the running for the office. He could never have signed the Milk recognition if he were still in the running for an office.

    California has a short memory, and even shorter attention span.

    October 13, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. RKG

    He has Rush and the rest of the GOP to thank for those ratings. Thanks Guys!!!;)

    October 13, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. Bubble of Sanity

    Approving "Harvey Milk Day" probably lost him the last of his support. Angry ungrateful California gays won't like him anyway, and those who counted on him to not crumble against this hate group are disappointed in him.

    October 13, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. doug

    They wanted to change the laws so he could run for president? The repugs will soon be a party people will only read about in their history books.

    October 13, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. vic from los angeles

    lets see ... underfunded/staffed schools, college tuition hikes, state worker cuts, closed parks, the state is broke , and my personal favorite the hike in car registration tax! The same tax that got Gray Davis booted. He failed. We failed.

    October 13, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. Debbie

    well Ahhnald, I guess you won't be kicking any nurses' butts anytime soon.

    October 13, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Darko

    Do the people understand that he's at the mercy of the state's congress?

    Congress runs the show people...the governor just tries to reign them in.

    but don't think for a second that I approve of him...not even a little. But California better look at its state politicians if they want to change things around.

    It's a telling fact that California was one of the most prosperous states in the Union for many years. Not surprisingly, it went down hill when the dems gained control and hasn't looked back.

    October 13, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |

    Another Repub bites the dust. Now come take the one in CT with you. Her approval ratings are sinking too! Now maybe you can make another movie because I admire you as an actor.

    October 13, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Mark

    The liberals in CA just like the ones we have in congress. They are bankrupting their state and Arnold wants to cut back on their hand outs.

    Go figure!

    October 13, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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