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Gov. Newsom’s approval ratings plummet in California as recall effort nears goal

Gov. Newsom's sinking approval rating is directly tied to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in California

Updated: February 3, 2021 - 3:22pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

California Governor Gavin Newsom is facing the very real possibility of a recall vote this year, as more than 80% of the necessary signatures to trigger a recall have been collected amid a plummeting approval rating for the once popular governor with presidential aspirations. 

The cause of his fading approval numbers appears to be his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the Golden State. According to a Fox News report, "A new Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies survey of over 10,000 registered voters in California found that 46 percent approved of Newsom's job performance – a sharp decline from the 64 percent approval rating he held last September."

The number who feel that Newsom has done an excellent job dealing with the pandemic has fallen from 49% last September, to just 31% last week.

The Berkeley survey states that "only about half (47%) have a great deal or some trust in the way the Governor and state government are setting the rules when issuing stay-at-home orders or setting guidelines for business to follow to slow the spread of the virus, with majorities describing them as inconsistent (62%), confusing (60%) and ineffective (53%)."

With more than 1.3 million of the 1.5 million signatures needed to trigger the recall already obtained, the survey found that "if a recall election is held, 45 percent of respondents plan to support the governor, while 36 percent would vote against him. Another 19 percent said they are undecided."

Newsom could be helped by the fact that the number of daily new cases has dramatically improved in recent weeks, having gone from 53,700 new cases on Dec. 15 to just 12,000 new cases on Tuesday, based on data collected by the state of California.