Voters see improvement in California economy, poll says

Gov. Jerry Brown is the beneficiary of voters' better view of the economy, reaching 50% job approval rating.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO -- Californians’ views on the economy continue to improve despite persistent misgivings about the state’s overall direction, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Forty-nine percent of registered voters said the economy is starting to improve, up 3 percentage points from the last poll in March. Just 26% said they expected the economy to worsen, down three points in the same time period.

However, 50% said the state remains on the wrong track.

“They might not be satisfied with where the state is right now, but they’re increasingly optimistic,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. “These voters are not discouraged or distraught like they were a few years ago.”


Gov. Jerry Brown is the beneficiary of voters’ better view of the economy, Schnur said. His job approval rating ticked up 1 percentage point to 50%, its highest level yet. Thirty-four percent said they disapproved of his performance.

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll canvassed 1,500 registered voters by telephone May 27-June 2. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

The bipartisan survey was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican company.

Charles McWells, 56, of Los Angeles was one of several respondants who said the economy was improving. More of his friends have found it easier to get jobs, he said.

“It’s not all a bed of roses,” said McWells, a Democrat. “But if the question is, is it getting better, the answer has to be yes.”

Others were more skeptical. Wayne Baxter, 31, of Lodi said state government continues to place onerous restrictions on businesses in California.


“They’re continuing to make everything hard for small-business owners to make money,” said Baxter, who is not registered with a political party.

Look for more findings in coming days.


Brown unveils cautious budget for deficit-free state

Analyst disputes Brown’s budget outlook as too glum

California Assembly, Senate outline divergent budget plans

Twitter: @chrismegerian