Gov. Brown's Support Weakens as Calif. Deficit Grows

Thursday, 24 May 2012 10:39 AM

By Robert Engler

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California Gov. Jerry Brown’s job approval rating has slipped into negative territory for the first time, following reports last week the state budget deficit has increased 70 percent this year, according to the Sacramento Bee.
 
A survey by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 43 percent of likely voters polled now disapprove of Brown’s performance compared to 42 percent who approve. In April, a similar survey found that 45 percent approved of the job he was doing, the Bee reported.

The survey was conducted immediately after Brown’s announcement last week that the deficit has ballooned to $15.7 billion, up from $9.2 billion in January.

Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College, said he was not surprised that Brown’s approval ratings are slipping because California’s “economic news is middling, at best, and the state fiscal news is bad.”

“In his early months, Californians were willing to give Brown the benefit of the doubt. But his grace period has ended,” Pitney said.

The public policy survey is the first of California’s major public opinion polls to report a negative approval rating for Brown. In February, a Field Poll also reported his favorable rating at 45 percent, but still positive.

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