Legislature's approval ratings dip after Sen. Leland Yee scandal

SACRAMENTO -- A new poll released Thursday shows the Legislature's approval rating has taken a hit in the wake of the corruption scandal involving Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco).

According to the Field Poll, 46% of voters approved of the Legislature's job performance and 40% disapproved in mid-March.

But after news broke of the federal corruption and arms trafficking charges against Yee, the Legislature's approval rating dropped to 43% and disapproval ticked up to 46%.

In all, voter opinion of the Legislature moved negatively a net nine percentage points after the arrest of Yee, one of three state senators in recent months to be convicted or charged with a crime.

The survey offered one silver lining for lawmakers: Voters appear to be distinguishing their views of the Legislature overall from their feelings of their own representatives.

Respondents gave their own state senators a 43% approval rating in the days after Yee's arrest, and a 30% disapproval rating. That's slightly more sour than the weeks preceding the Yee scandal, when 44%  approved and 25% disapproved.

In the Assembly, individual lawmakers' job performance did not significantly change post-Yee revelations: 40% of voters approve of their representative's job performance and around a quarter of respondents disapprove.

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melanie.mason@latimes.com

@melmason

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