JONATHAN CHAIT JULY 29, 2010
Arnold Schwarzenegger now reviled in California even more than the hated Gray Davis:
The new survey by Public Policy Polling (D) gives Arnold an approval rating of only 19%, with a whopping 71% disapproval. By contrast, Gray Davis's personal favorable rating is a much healthier (but still awful) 32%, with an unfavorable rating of 44%. Respondents were asked: "Who would you rather have as Governor now, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Gray Davis?" The answer turned out to be Davis 44%, Schwarzenegger 38%.
I suppose you could try to explain this by constructing some elaborate theory about how Schwarzenegger has bungled the politics or veered too far from the center. Or you could conclude that economic crises make incumbents unpopular.