New poll suggests little change among Californians in recalling governor, but large partisan divide

Early voting is already underway with final balloting Sept. 14.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom

A new poll on the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom shows voters appear essentially locked into their position on whether to remove the embattled Democrat lawmaker. 

The poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan The Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters surveyed oppose removing the governor from office, compared to 39% who support recalling him.

The numbers are largely consistent with those the pollsters collected in March and May – 40% to 56% and 40% to 57%, respectively, in the largely Democrat-leaning state.

Early voting is already underway with final balloting Sept. 14.

While some have tried to characterize the recall effort as a pure Republican endeavor, residents throughout the state have been dissatisfied with Newsom’s job performance, particularly his handling of the coronavirus, especially early in the pandemic. 

They point to him attending a party at a fancy Napa Valley-area restaurant in violation of his own health-safety mandates and essentially locking down the state and its economy in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

Still, the new poll shows a sharp difference between likely Democratic and Republican voters.

Seven percent of Democrats said "yes" to recalling the governor, compared to 90% saying "no."

Among Republicans, 82% said "yes," while 17% said "no."

The divide among independent voters was, as expected, much closer – 44% to 49%.

The firm said the sampling error was 4.5% for the 1080 likely voters.