2010 California Midterm Election: The Year of the Stinkers?

What ever happened to the time when voters actually liked the people they were electing to public office?

That question comes to mind because of one of the more extraordinary findings of the latest LAT/USC poll showing that, when it comes down to it, neither Jerry Brown nor Meg Whitman nor Barbara Boxer nor Carly Fiorina are much liked figures. Come election day, I can imagine voters going to the polls casting their ballots with one hand, while holding their noses with the other.

What's rotten isn't in Denmark anymore; it's here in California!

According to the poll, and forgetting about which candidate is ahead or behind at the moment, 48% of those polled viewed Jerry Brown in a favorable light, while 44% had an unfavorable view of the one time California Governor, Oakland mayor, state Attorney General and Governor again wannabe. Let's face it, George Washington he is not.

But Whitman is no Martha, either: 52% view her through an unfavorable lens while 37% have an overall favorable impression of the former eBay chief.

Over on the Senate campaign side, same thing holds true: Barbara Boxer is looked at favorably by just 44%, while 50% have an unfavorable opinion of the long time resident of the Senate. Meantime, only 36% of those polled--deemed most likely to actually vote November 2--had a favorable take on Carly Fiorina, while 43% did not.

How sad this all is.

No wonder many people have lost faith in their government. Having to select from a group of people you generally disdain is not exactly a prescription for a happy democracy.

Of course, among various defined groups, each candidate fares a little bit better or a little bit worse. Still, overall, the 2010 midterm elections here in California may eventually go down in the books as the "year of the stinkers."

Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24 Hour-News Cycle." He has covered politics and police in Los Angeles since 1995 and is a regular contributor of investigative reports to KNX1070 Newsradio