SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California voters love their governor but do not want to see Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) as president and do not like the idea of amending the U.S. Constitution to let him run.
The nonpartisan Field Poll released Friday found 65 percent of voters approve of Schwarzenegger's job performance — a level unchanged since May.
But by a 2-to-1 margin, voters said they do not support the Austrian-born Schwarzenegger for president. Fifty percent said they were not inclined to vote for him, while 26 percent said they were.
Further, 58 percent of California voters did not support changing the U.S. Constitution to allow foreign-born Americans to run for president. Just 36 percent of voters in Schwarzenegger's home state supported the idea.
"He's only been in office a year," said Mark DiCamillo, poll director. "It might be interesting to re-examine this after time has passed and people see a little more of him."
Taking office after one of the most divisive elections in California history — the state's first recall of a governor — Schwarzenegger had the approval of barely half of voters in January. Since then, his numbers have soared, even after a bruising budget battle and some unpopular decisions over bill signings.
The poll also found that voters are optimistic about the direction of the state — indeed, for the first time since 2000, more think the state is headed in the right direction, 46 percent, than feel it is on the wrong track, 38 percent.
Schwarzenegger has support among all types of voters: 46 percent of Democrats approved of the job he is doing, as did 88 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of nonpartisan voters.
The poll of 600 registered voters was taken during the six-day period ending Sept. 29. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.