Field Poll

By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 – 9:10 am

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have fallen to a record low in California, with nearly as many voters now disapproving of the job Obama is doing as approving.

Only 45 percent of California voters hold a favorable view of Obama’s job performance, according to a new Field Poll released today, down 5 percentage points from June and dropping below 50 percent for the first time since late 2011. Disapproval climbed to 43 percent.

Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said the trend is ominous for Obama, because the latest declines come from his base.

Support among California Democrats dropped 8 percentage points to 68 percent over the last three months. Approval was down 11 points in Los Angeles County and 7 points in the Bay Area, usually liberal strongholds.

“These are constituencies that have been strong followers,” DiCamillo said. But there’s “frustration in the president not getting his way in affecting policy in Washington.”

Obama’s approval ratings have dropped steadily across the country since his second term began, though they have remained stronger in California than in most states. As high as 62 percent following his 2013 inauguration, support for Obama in California has hovered over 50 percent for the past year.

While it is typical for presidential approval ratings to suffer from “the accumulation of problems that a leader faces over time,” DiCamillo said, Obama has not experienced “any kind of rallying event that could rebound public support behind this president.”

And without major progress on issues important to liberals, such as immigration reform, even Obama’s Democratic base is starting to wilt. “There’s very little, besides the health reform law, that he can actually hang his hat on,” DiCamillo added.

That has been a source of frustration for James Gay, 53, a liberal Democrat from Folsom who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

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