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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

March 26, 2004

Survey: Government town embraces governor, feeling better about economy

Full Report (pdf)

Five months after taking office, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is enjoying strong popularity in the state’s capital city and surrounding area, according to a survey by researchers at California State University, Sacramento.

Fully 65 percent of Capital Region residents say they approve of the way Schwarzenegger is handling his job, the survey found. That’s 10 percent higher than in the state as a whole, according to a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, and a reversal of the 24 percent approval Gov. Gray Davis had in the region last year.

The Legislature didn’t fare so well. The survey found that just 28 percent of Capital Region residents approve of the way Democrats in the Legislature are handling their job and 33 percent of the way Republicans in the Legislature are handling their job. That’s lower than the state overall, which shows 36 percent approval for the Legislature as a whole, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

The survey also found Capital Region residents are optimistic about the region’s economic future, despite its vulnerability to state budget troubles and layoffs. Sixty percent say they’re optimistic about the region’s economy, almost the same number who were pessimistic about it last year.

The findings are from the third “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region,” conducted by CSUS sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 30 students. It covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

The governor is enjoying his strongest support among Republicans (88 percent) and Caucasians (70 percent), according to the survey. Among other racial groups, his support was 54 percent and it was 48 percent among Democrats. Only in Yolo County (49 percent) was his approval less than half.

On specific issues, the governor enjoyed his highest marks for his handling of the economy (56 percent) and his lowest for public transportation (32 percent).

On the question of the economy, 60 percent believe the region will have good times in the next year, while 32 percent believe there will be bad times. That’s much higher than in the state overall, where 43 percent expect good economic times in the next year according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

The survey included 1,003 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region who were interviewed from Feb. 7 to March 2. The margin of error is 3 percent.

Amy Liu is at (916) 278-7572. Media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu