Jerry Brown’s Approval Ratings Soar Six Months Ahead of Election


Jerry Brown 8-04-2010 (Photo courtesy Lou Delgado)

Jerry Brown 8-04-2010 (Photo courtesy Lou Delgado)

Bad news for California Republicans.  It looks like four more years for Governor Jerry Brown.

The latest field poll shows the Governor’s approval rating has soared to 59 percent.  That’s what happens when, in a single term and through a combination of spending cuts and selected tax/fee increases, you make a multi-billion dollar state deficit monster into a kitten.

From the story in the LA Times:

The Field Poll found that Brown has a 59% approval rating among registered voters — the highest marks the poll has found for the governor in this current term. Of those surveyed, 32% disapproved of the governor, while 9% of respondents had no opinion.

The poll provides good news for Brown’s reelection bid: 57% of voters said they would support the governor if the June primary election were held now. Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks came in second with 17%.

Among other Republican contenders, Laguna Hills Mayor Andrew Blount and former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari received the support of 3% and 2%, respectively, of the voters. 

Overall, 20% of voters are undecided in the June primary; that is even more pronounced among Republicans, 38% of whom have no opinion on the four main candidates.

Among likely voters, Brown has a 61% favorable rating and 35% unfavorable. Donnelly’s ratings are more split: 26% of likely voters view him positively and 24% negatively, while 50% have no opinion.”

Many believe that Donnelly will emerge as the Republican most likely to square off against Brown in November, and with this story in the LA Times, Republicans might be longing for the good old days of the recall.

In the aftermath of the party’s 2012 presidential loss, a scathing self-autopsy found that broadening the GOP’s appeal was critical to its future, and national leaders invested $10 million in outreach efforts, including in California.

Latino voters in this state increasingly joined the Democratic Party after voters passed Proposition 187. That 1994 ballot measure, championed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, denied taxpayer-funded services to illegal immigrants (it was later gutted in court).

And women voters here have been moved by the same social issues that have driven them away from the GOP elsewhere.

In California in 2012, although President Obama won the state by 23 points, he won women by 30 and Latinos by 45, according to exit polls. In 2010, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown beat Republican Meg Whitman by 13 points, but won women by 17 points and Latinos by 33 points, exit polls showed.

“Look, we’re already down to 29% registration statewide,” said Reed Galen, a GOP strategist in Orange County who also worked for Bush. “If we want that number to grow, we have to find ways to talk to Latinos about the issues we all care about.”

Donnelly, the GOP front-runner according to public opinion polls, has stood by his 2006 speech, delivered when he was leader in the volunteer Minuteman border-patrol organization. In it, he said illegal immigration would lead to a fight comparable to the Civil War.

In the address, delivered at a rally in Temecula, he used Alamo imagery and said criminal gang members in the U.S. illegally amounted to an insurgency. He exhorted his audience of about 200 people to rise and join his fight to stop illegal border crossings.

“I am not backing away from the fact that we are in a war,” Donnelly told reporters in Sacramento on Tuesday, after reports of the speech caused an outcry. He said he did not believe the remarks would hurt his prospects among Latino voters.