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California pessimistic about the future, Times/USC poll finds

November 8, 2009 |  6:29 am

Latpoll

Frustrated at California's woes, voters are sharply pessimistic about whether the next governor will be able to move the state in the right direction, and most believe California is in the midst of a long-term decline, a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll shows.

Against that grim backdrop, next year's political contests loom as potentially volatile, but Democrats start out holding the upper hand, the poll found. President Obama retains his popularity in a state that gave him a landslide victory one year ago, with 60% approving of his tenure as president. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican struggling in the last year of his term, won the support of only a third of voters.

In the election to replace Schwarzenegger, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, the only major figure currently angling for the Democratic nomination, was seen favorably by more than 4 in 10 voters, and unfavorably by about one-quarter. His likely Republican opponents are much less known; none was seen favorably by more than 2 in 10 voters, the poll indicated.

There was little confidence that the next governor, whoever he or she may be, would be able to successfully battle California's problems. Voters were split over whether the winning candidate would be able to bring about "real change." More than half of voters said that California's problems are long-term in nature and will not ease substantially when the national economy recovers.

Read the rest here.

--Cathleen Decker

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