Johnson Gets High Marks from Residents in Survey

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, March 27, 2009

Professor Amy Liu and her students called up more than 400 adults living within city limits, and here’s what they found: The mayor has a 46 percent approval rating, but just 22 percent disapprove.  And if you take out the rest of the respondents, who said they didn’t know, Johnson’s positive rating trumps his negative one by a 2-to-1 margin.  By comparison, just 31 percent approve of the city council – and an equal number disapprove.
Elmets: “He has done things that very few mayors have had the opportunity to do.” 
Political analyst Doug Elmets says Johnson has leveraged his star power to increase the city’s profile – and voters have noticed.  Johnson has appeared on CNN and Comedy Central, and had lunch with other mayors at the White House.  And Elmets says when he does make a mistake – like early on in his dealings with other council members – he doesn’t make it again.
Elmets: “He didn’t get to where he is – being a basketball star, being a community leader, being mayor – by not learning from previous mistakes.” 
But Johnson’s charter amendment to increase the mayor’s power does not fare as well.  Just three in 10 say they’d vote for it.
As with most polls, this one has some caveats: The survey only covered Sacramento residents – not registered voters – and the margin of error is around 5 percent.