A majority of California voters approve of the job Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is doing for the first time since he resumed the governorship in 2011, a new poll released Thursday shows. Brown's approval rating in the latest Field Poll is 57 percent, markedly higher than the 46 percent of voters who approved of his job performance prior to Election Day 2012.
Brown's approval rating during his term had previously fluctuated between 43 percent and 49 percent in the Field Poll. But Brown has momentum: Proposition 30, the combination of sales-tax increases and higher income tax rates on wealthy taxpayers backed by Brown, passed in November by a 10-point margin. More recently, the state saw a surge in revenues that improved its budget situation, though the Brown administration warns it could soon be offset by budget shortfalls.
Still, the Field Poll shows an overall increase in the mood of California voters. For the first time since March 2007, more voters think the state is headed in the right direction (48 percent) than think the state is off on the wrong track (42 percent).
The poll was conducted Feb. 5-17, surveying 834 registered voters. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.