Voters disapprove of Gov. Davis’ performance

The Associated Press
Saturday July 13, 2002

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gray Davis could do a better job of improving California’s energy situation, balancing the budget and improving public schools, factors that contributed to an overall negative rating of his performance, according to a Field Poll released Friday. 

Although the voters surveyed held a 49 percent disapproval rating of Davis’ work, that margin has improved since May 2001 when 55 percent of voters reported negative opinions, the survey shows. 

Forty-one percent approved of the job Davis is doing, and 10 percent had no opinion. That compares to 36 percent who gave a positive appraisal in May 2001 and 9 percent who had no opinion. 

Within Davis’ Democratic Party, 31 percent were unpleased with the governor’s performance, while 75 percent of Republicans held that opinion. 

When it comes to specific policy issues, Davis was given a negative performance rating for improving the state’s energy situation, 49 percent; balancing the state budget, 39 percent; improving the economy, 35 percent; improving public schools, 34 percent; and improving the health care system, 33 percent. 

Davis’ performance was viewed positively regarding his efforts to prevent terrorism and improve the state’s security, 44 percent; protect the environment, 40 percent; and reduce crime, 38 percent. 

When it comes to the job the state Legislature is doing, 45 percent approved and 36 disapproved of its overall performance. 

In addition, 51 percent of voters said California was headed in the wrong direction, while 37 percent said it was on track, the survey found. 

The survey, conducted between June 25 and July 2, involved 543 registered voters in California. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.