So, about that new Field Poll. There are, of course, 3 possible headlines (i.e. spin) you're likely to see (which are probably already out there, but I'm just going to work from the primary source).
1.) The Special Interest spending successfully blocking Governor's reform efforts.
Schwarzenegger's job rating continues to plummet among registered Democrats, highlighting their move, if not back to their party, away from the Republican Governor. In May 2004, the Governor counted 48% of Demos in his corner, now that number has fallen to a paltry 16%. Even support among Reeps has fallen from 89% to 66% over the same period. In the all-important "others" category, he hovers at 35%.
Schwarzenegger will almost assuredly point fingers at union hit pieces, the constant bombardment of "Guv, keep your promise" ads from the Ed community, as an example of unruly special interests interfering in the people's reform efforts, etc. With unions widely reported to be hiking dues to build their war chests, Schwarzenegger can continue to paint them as greedy, self-interested, evil-doers.
2.) Governor's reform effort losing steam, voters oppose the special election
Fifty-two percent of voters oppose the Governor's call for a special election - even if they weren't reminded of its costs. The number of voters in favor of the special election falls further when pollsters cited the $45-$80 price tag.
3.) Governor succeeds in convincing voters that legislature is bunch of no good rats, but drowns self in sinking ship along with them
The good news for legislators: 44% of respondents said they would be more inclined to support legislative leaders than the governor (33%) if (if!) the two sides disagreed on an issue. That's up from only 29% in May 2004.
The bad news for legislators: even among just registered voters, disapproval ratings are up - with 57% disapproving and only 24% approving of the legislature's job performance.
The bad news for California: voters believe neither the Guv nor the legislature is negotiating in good faith. The poll reports that pluralities see both sides' actions as characterized by confrontation and posturing. Oh happy day.
Both the leg and the guv tied at 52% believing they are confrontational with little room for compromise. Schwarzenegger did get slightly higher marks for negotiating in good faith (32%), while the legislature came in at 25% - with 23% having no opinion.
Still more bad news for California: No one - Dems, Reeps, or others - has much confidence in either Schwarzenegger's or the legislature's ability to "do what is right to resolve the state's budget deficit."
Congrats, Governor Schwarzenegger - you've successfully destroyed everyone's faith in everything. Looks like you blew up the wrong boxes first - you should've left the foundation.