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Poll: Obama Rises, Tea Party Dives In California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A new Field Poll finds that 62 percent of California voters approve of President Barack Obama's job performance, a level not seen since his first year in office.

The survey released Wednesday also finds that voters are relatively optimistic about the future, with 48 percent saying the country is headed in the right direction.

That's down from a Field survey in September but is higher than any other year since 2002.

Support for the tea party, meanwhile, is waning.

Just 5 percent now say they identify "a lot" with the conservative movement. That's down from 14 percent in September 2010, the movement's zenith.

Field interviewed 834 registered voters by telephone from Feb. 5-17. The poll has a sampling error margin of up to plus or minus 5 percentage points.

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