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59% of Californians Think Schwarzenegger's Made Things Worse

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In a field poll published yesterday in the Sacramento Bee, 59% of people statewide believe that California's government is worse than before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office, with only 7% of registered voters indicating they believe the actor-turned-politician has left "California government in better shape than he found it."

The numbers show displeasure runs steadily across party lines, with 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats reporting a negative outlook. Schwarzenegger, though a Republican, was elected in 2003 "as an outsider under this populist theme," remarks Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. Schwarzenegger had made promises to "clean house" in government and cut through the bureaucracy, and voters were hopeful the one-time movie muscle-man could put the same gusto into making California better.

The main source of discontent is the California budget, which in turn means voter dissatisfaction in the state's cutting of valued programs and resources. The last two years in particular have been dreadful in terms of the budget, and the state "now faces a $19.9 billion deficit through June 2011." Many hold the Governor directly responsible, while a few believe he is just the face of a larger problem and is doing the best he can.