By David Siders
Published: Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 – 6:24 am

Gov. Jerry Brown’s public approval rating is still relatively high after almost a year in office, but it has slipped slightly, and the specter of additional spending cuts could erode it further, according to a new Field Poll.

The Democratic governor’s job approval rating nudged down two points from September, to 47 percent, according to the poll, while the percentage of voters who disapprove of his performance ticked up four points, to 36 percent.

“The public is, I think, bracing itself for additional spending cuts, and that’s never a good situation, either for the governor or a state Legislature,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said.

With state revenue falling below projections, the Brown administration is expected this month to announce highly unpopular, automatic spending cuts in service areas including schools.

Nearly two-thirds of Californians consider the trigger cuts, part of last summer’s budget package, a bad idea, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents, the poll says.

DiCamillo said the expectation of those reductions and of an austere budget again next year may already be hurting Brown.

“It’s kind of clouds on the horizon,” DiCamillo said.

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