Public confidence in Gov. Jerry Brown eroding, poll says
Californians' approval of Gov. Jerry Brown is declining as the deadline for passing a state budget looms.
According to a Field Poll released Friday, nearly as many voters now disapprove of the Democratic governor's job performance (40%) as approve of it (43%). Forty-three percent said they did not have much confidence in Brown to deal with the budget deficit, up from 32% last September.
The survey makes clear that voters' opinions have hardened since Brown was elected in 2010 on a pledge to break Capitol gridlock and fix the state's chronic fiscal mess. While his approval rating has fallen five points since March 2011, his disapproval rating has doubled in that time, from 21% to 40%.
He is still faring better than the Legislature. Just 19% of voters approve of the job lawmakers are doing.
Since September 2008, fewer than one in four voters have expressed approval of the Legislature's job performance.
While the poll found that voters would side with Brown over the Legislature in a budget dispute, that margin of support is also shrinking. That eroding confidence bodes badly for Brown as he plans to ask voters to approve temporary increases in the state sales and income taxes on the November ballot.
He has described his tax initiative as part of a plan to help California recover from the recession without deeper cuts to education and social services.
--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his proposed tax initiative during his appearance at the 87th annual Sacramento Host Breakfast on May 22. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press.