New polls show California voters are now evenly split on recalling Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom – despite the state being among the most liberal in the country.
An Emerson College/Nexstar Media Group poll released Tuesday found 46% of likely voters were in favor of recalling Newsom and 48% were opposed. The margin of error in the poll was 3 percentage points. Six percent of likely voters are still undecided, the poll also found.
The number of those in favor of the recall was 43% in an Emerson/Nexstar poll last month, with the recall election now just six weeks away.
Newsom is facing a recall as a result of a successful petition drive to remove him.
Resident are in large part upset over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the lockdowns he imposed, and to which residents, particularly those in conservative-leaning Orange and San Diego counties objected, Californians also were outraged by Newsom ignoring his own mandates by attended a dinner party at a fancy restaurant without obeying his own social-distance mandates.
A poll released last week by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll and co-sponsored by The Los Angeles Times found 47% of likely California voters supported recalling Newsom, compared with 50% who opposed removing him from office – a difference almost within that survey’s margin of error.
"The findings dispel the notion that California’s solid Democratic voter majority will provide an impenetrable shield for Newsom, and reveal a vulnerability created by a recall effort that has energized Republicans and been met with indifference by many Democrats and independent voters," the newspaper wrote about the survey findings.
The Times story also stated the survey results are evidence of "how pivotal voter turnout" will be in deciding the governor’s political future.
Voters will be asked two questions: whether Newsom should be removed from office and if removed who should take his place.
If more than 50% of voters answer yes to the first question, Newsom will be recalled and the candidate who wins the most votes will replace him. Both polls showed conservative radio show host Larry Elder as the closest candidate to replace Newsom, if recalled.