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The San Diego Institute for Policy Research, the new think tank being backed by former mayoral candidate and Republican supporter Steve Francis, released a poll today showing that most citizens are happy with the local economy and believe the city of San Diego is moving in the right direction.

The poll, which was conducted by Competitive Edge Research, also showed the approval ratings for local politicians. The study’s 503 adult respondents overwhelmingly approved of Mayor Jerry Sanders (71 percent) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (67 percent). City Attorney Mike Aguirre garnered approval from 52 percent of the participants, and the City Council received approval from 50 percent.

Additionally, while 54 percent think the city is moving in the right direction, half of the people said the city’s financial condition has stayed the same. About 19 percent thought the situation was getting better and 26 percent thought it was getting worse.

You can view the full results here.

Sanders edged Francis in the 2005 mayoral primary before beating Councilwoman Donna Frye in the runoff. Francis is credited with forcing Sanders to promise not to raise taxes during the campaign and spent significantly on the campaign for the mayor’s ballot measures last fall.

Today’s release marks the first of what are to be a series of polls over the next several weeks. The think tank said polls about the city’s ban on big-box grocers, options for solving the city’s fiscal woes and city employee pensions will follow.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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