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Fewer than a third of voters approve of Legislature, poll finds

September 28, 2012 | 12:00 pm

Fewer than a third of California voters approve of the job being done by the Legislature, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll
Fewer than a third of California voters approve of the job being done by the Legislature, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said they approved of how state lawmakers conducted the people's business, compared with 51% who said they disapproved. Nineteen percent were undecided.

Still, lawmakers appear to be winning back some public confidence.

The Legislature's approval rating has risen steadily over the last 18 months, increasing 8 percentage points since April 2011, when just 21% of respondents said they approved of lawmakers' performance. Back then, 64% gave the Legislature a failing grade.

This year, legislative leaders pursued an ambitious agenda aimed at convincing voters that they are responsible stewards of Californians' money. Among the big-ticket items were an overhaul of the state's overburdened public pension system and a revamp of its costly workers' compensation scheme.

The new poll found that while an overwhelming majority of Republican respondents (72%) said they disapprove of the job being done by state lawmakers, Democrats surveyed were split on the issue: 41% saying they approve and 38% voicing disapproval.

As for independents, a plurality (47%) in the survey said they disapprove of the Legislature's performance, 29% said they approve and a quarter were undecided.

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll surveyed 1,504 registered California voters Sept. 17-23. The sampling error is 2.9 percentage points. The survey was conducted by the Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner in conjunction with the Republican firm American Viewpoint.

Look for more findings in coming days.

-- Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento

Photo: Tourists and spectators on the grounds of the Capitol in Sacramento walk through the rain. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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