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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 18:18 GMT
Schwarzenegger plans in poll test
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Mr Schwarzenegger's popularity has taken a bruising
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking voters to back a series of reforms in a referendum.

Voters are being asked about eight iniciatives on a range of issues - four of which are backed by the governor.

Some polls suggest that the governor's initiatives could be defeated.

Analysts say that would make the former Hollywood actor politically vulnerable as his 2006 re-election campaign gets under way.

Mr Schwarzenegger announced in September that he would seek office again next year.

However, a survey last week found only 36% of Californians rated the governor's performance as "positive".

Clashes

The Republican governor flew around the state on Monday in an effort to win over voters.

"We must make the government a better servant to the people. Give me the tools to reform the system," he said.

Other measures at the ballot box include one that would lengthen the time teachers need to work to win permanent tenure.

Another that would allow the governor to make mid-year budget cuts, while another would take away the Democrat-led state legislature's power to draw political boundaries.

Mr Schwarzenegger's popularity has declined sharply after clashes with trade unions over the controversial plans.

The unions have joined forces with Democrats to spend more than $100m (57.3m) on their campaign against the measures, almost double what Mr Schwarzenegger has spent.

The BBC's David Willis in Los Angeles says Mr Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign could be bruising.

Among those mentioned as possible Democratic nominees are fellow Hollywood luminaries, the actor Warren Beatty and the film director Rob Reiner.



SEE ALSO:
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16 Sep 05 |  Americas
Schwarzenegger drops media deal
16 Jul 05 |  Americas
Schwarzenegger allows execution
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UK judge allows Arnie libel case
23 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
A good year for Schwarzenegger
16 Dec 04 |  Americas
Profile: Arnold Schwarzenegger
31 Aug 04 |  Americas


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