Results of a new poll out Thursday show California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom deep underwater with little more than a month to go until voters cast their ballots in a statewide referendum.
According to a survey of 1,100 Californians conducted Aug. 2-4, more than half were in favor of Newsom’s firing, while only 40 percent were opposed.
The poll, conducted by Survey USA with the San Diego Union Tribune, illustrated bipartisan support for the recall effort that was also showcased in the petitions drawing about a third of all signatures collected from Democrats and independents. Republicans said they supported Newsom’s removal by an 8:1 margin, while Democrats said the same 3:1.
The survey is raising the alarm for team Newsom with 40 days to go until recall day on Sept. 14, when voters will decide in a yes/no question whether the governor should remain in office or be removed. Residents will then vote on a replacement. Unless a majority vote for removal, the results of the second ballot will be meaningless except for a showing of who might be the front-runner in 2022.
A previous poll from Survey USA and the San Diego Union Tribune in May found only 36 percent in favor of removing Newsom and 47 opposed.
At least 46 candidates have filed paperwork to seek the rest of Newsom’s first term, according to the non-profit California newsroom Calmatters. Among them include businessman John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and former Congressman Doug Ose. The four Republicans participated in their first debate Wednesday. Other prominent Republicans in the race, Olympian Caitlyn Jenner and radio host Larry Elder, reportedly denied the invitation, according to a local Fox affiliate.
No prominent Democrats have thrown their hats into the ring as serious contenders this September.
Of the Republicans running, the state GOP is considering endorsing Elder, Faulconer, Kiley, or Ose.
— Tristan Justice (@JusticeTristan) August 2, 2021
Driven by unrelenting lockdowns and frustration over the state’s inconsistent power grid, Newsom is the second governor to face a recall effort on the ballot in state history after voters ousted Democrat Gray Davis in 2003, who was replaced by Hollywood Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
While the Survey USA/San Diego Union Tribune poll shows double-digit support for the recall effort, it may still be an outlier. Other recent surveys highlighted in RealClearPolitics’ aggregate of polls show the initiative in a dead heat, with a study from Emerson College and Nexstar conducted July 30 to Aug. 1 showing 46 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed with a 3 percent margin of error.
Another poll from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and the LA Times shows similar results with 47 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed on the question whether Newsom should remain governor.
Who stands in the lead remains even more unclear. While Survey USA/San Diego Union Tribune show YouTuber Kevin Paffrath, a Democrat, in the lead with 27 percent support, Emerson’s survey shows Paffrath with only 1 percent.
Elder leads in the Emerson poll with 23 percent, followed by Cox and Jenner tied at 7, Kiley at 5, and Faulconer at 4 percent.