A new poll has shown that voters are warming up to the idea of dumping California Gov. Gavin Newsom when his recall election takes place on September 14.
The University of California survey, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, found that 47% of “likely voters” are ready to drop the governor in favor of one of his many opponents, which include former Olympian and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner. Half of likely voters say they don’t back the recall efforts, but the difference between sides fits within the margin of error for the study.
Among all registered voters, 36% support the recall effort, but support has grown as the recall vote grows nearer. Republicans have been especially critical of Newsom’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic – Los Angeles County just reinstated its mask mandate – and the GOP is counting on its base being more motivated to show up and vote than Democrats, who are less interested in a recall election.
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The last California governor to be recalled was Gray Davis, who was only just starting his second term when he was removed and replaced by Republican actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There is no equivalent of Schwarzenegger in this race, though, and while a large portion of voters seem to be sure about not supporting Newsom, there is still not a clear frontrunner among his opponents.
Conservative pundit Larry Elder led the pack in the latest poll, with just 18% support. Jenner, who has arguably had the splashiest campaign thus far, sits at only 3% support.
Republicans are minority voters in the blue state of California – only one quarter of registered voters there are Republican – but pollsters in the new survey noted they may have reason to be confident in the coming weeks. They accounted for a third of the voters who actually made it through the survey’s screening options.
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A poll last week from Emerson College signified that 43% of voters backed recall efforts, with 48% opposed. Before that, a March poll from Emerson College showed only 38% support for recalling Newsom.
A spokesperson for Newsom acknowledged to the Los Angeles Times that Democrats need to be more concerned and actually get to the polls in the fall.
“This poll should be a wake-up call for Democratic voters and all those who don’t want to see a Trump Republican become governor of California,” Nathan Click said in a statement to The Hill.
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