I already noted early in October that my own field research had indicated the governator was in trouble.
November 8 is Arnold’s special election, including several ballot measures he favors. The latest Times poll shows that all of them are in trouble, some are losing by big margins, and that the unpopular governor himself is dragging down the very measures for which he called the special election.
Schwarzenegger is now about as unpopular in California as President Bush, and the profile of voter attitudes towards the governor and president are very similar across the political spectrum. Only 40% of Californians approve of the governor’s job performance, whereas a year ago it was 69%.
Schwarzenegger’s approval is strongest among Republicans and conservatives (around 70% positive), but nearly half of self-identified moderate Republicans disapprove. Thirteen percent of Democrats approve, versus 54% a year ago.
This is striking, in that he was elected with cross-party appeal, in a race in which conservatives had their own candidate (Tom McClintock), which allowed Schwarzenegger to identify himself as a “different kind” of Republican. But, two years in office, he is now viewed as a Bush Republican, and his agenda of proposals favored by Republicans and business and opposed by Democrats and labor is going down to defeat, unless things reverse for him with less than a week to go.
I’ll have more on the specific measures and the special election itself in the coming days.