SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's once-stratospheric popularity dropped in recent months as Democrats and many independents soured on his job performance, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The statewide Field Poll found that a majority of Californians -- 54 percent of residents and 55 percent of registered voters -- still approve of how Schwarzenegger is handling the governor's post. But in September, 65 percent of registered voters said they approved.
Poll Director Mark DiCamillo called the change significant. "It's not just a statistical aberration," he said.
Eighty-four percent of Republicans said the governor was doing a good job. But Schwarzenegger, a moderate Republican who has cultivated a bipartisan image in his Democrat-leaning state, dropped among Democrats from 54 percent approval to 34 percent since September.
Independents, who make up the fastest-growing part of the state's electorate, began viewing Schwarzenegger in a less favorable light, with 48 percent saying they approve, compared with 64 percent in September.
Schwarzenegger, at a campaign-style event promoting his new budget plan, said he wasn't worried about the poll.