California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., the odd man out in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, may be running for the wrong office. According to a recent poll by Mervil Field, Californians hold Mr. Brown in low regard both as the state's chief executive and as a potential presidential candidate.
But the same poll indicated a preference for Mr. Brown as a US senator over incumbent Republican sen. S. I. Hayakawa.
Pollster Field reports that 38 percent of those surveyed rated Governor Brown's performance in office as "poor" or "very poor" and only 22 percent gave him "excellent" or "good" marks. This represents a precipitous drop since his overwhelming re-election just 15 months ago. And it is worse than former Govs. Ronald Reagan or Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Sr. (the current governor's father) ever received.
At the same time, a majority of Californians (54 percent) disapproved of Mr. Brown's bid for the White House, according to the Field poll.
But Californians sampled by pollster Field said, by a margin of 51-to-34 percent, that they would vote for Governor Brown over Senator Hayakawa (who will be up for re-election in 1982, if he decides to run).