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Along with economy, Schwarzenegger's approval rating slides

July 29, 2009 | 10:00 pm

The state’s budget crisis has brought more bad news for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers: record low approval ratings.

In a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, only 28% of respondents were happy with Schwarzenegger’s performance, the worst rating of his tenure and the lowest since Gray Davis stood at 26% two months before voters recalled him from office in 2003.

Lawmakers had an even worse approval rating of 17%, the poll found. President Obama is doing a lot better, although his popularity has also fallen since May – from 72% to 65%.

The survey of 2,501 respondents was taken between July 17 and 21. Schwarzenegger and lawmakers announced a budget deal July 20.

Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger’s spokesman, said governors in other states have suffered big drops in the polls because of the economy. Only one -- David Paterson of New York, also at 28% -- had a rating as low as Schwarzenegger. Paterson has had numerous political problems since taking over after Eliot Spitzer quit in a prostitution scandal.

McLear said Schwarzenegger remains “focused on jobs and turning our economy around.”

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento

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