The Legislature's standing among the public has sunk to record depths -- with an approval rating now in single digits -- as billionaire Republican Meg Whitman has taken the lead in the race for governor, according to a new poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.
The statewide survey, conducted March 9-16, found that just 9% of likely voters approve of the job the Legislature is doing. Its findings on the governor's race, similar to those of a Field Poll released earlier in the week, are that Whitman, who has spent tens of millions of dollars saturating the airwaves with campaign ads, now has the support of 61% of likely GOP primary voters.
Her lead over her Republican opponent, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, has grown to 50 points.
The PPIC survey has a margin of error of 2.5%.
The poll also found that Whitman now has the edge in a potential matchup with Democratic candidate Jerry Brown. She has the support of 44% of all likely voters, with 39% supporting Brown and the rest undecided.
In addition, the poll found the race for U.S. Senate tightening up. On the Republican side, former Rep. Tom Campbell is in a virtual dead heat with former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina. Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine trails the two.