OAKLAND – With a strong majority of residents supporting his deal with Covid-19 amid the spread of the Delta variant, California Governor Gavin Newsom has the support of a strong majority of likely voters who, according to a new poll, say they will vote against his recall from the Public Policy Institute of California.
The poll, released on Wednesday evening, showed 58 percent of likely voters say they will oppose the recall, with just 39 percent voting yes. The margin is slightly larger than two previous PPIC polls this year, with less than two weeks to go until the September 14 election consolidated average of FiveThirtyEight.
A strong party split remains with nearly all Democratic voters (90 percent) and about half of independent voters (49 percent) saying they would keep Newsom in office, while the vast majority of Republican voters (82 percent) say that she would remove him.
A key factor in Newsom’s strength appears to be overwhelming concerns about Covid-19 as the Delta variant leads to rising infection rates and hospital admissions. Newsom’s approval and rejection numbers for his handling of Covid are identical to the breakdown of the recall – both with 58 to 39 percent, the survey found.
The poll found that Californians identify Covid-19 as the most important problem facing the state today and the most supportive of the governor’s recent policies. Nearly two-thirds of Californians are in favor of having proof of Covid-19 vaccination for large outdoor or specific indoor gatherings, and more than three-quarters of the state’s residents – including strong majorities in all regions – say they believe the state government is under his leadership did an excellent or excellent job distributing Covid-19 vaccines.
Newsom’s campaign has relied heavily on its pandemic policies over the past few weeks, telling voters that the recall is a life and death situation as its Republican challengers would take back security measures. The governor enjoys a significant fundraising advantage of more than $ 60 million, compared to about $ 7 million generated by the GOP’s top candidate Larry Elder.
The California recall ballot has two questions – first, whether voters want to recall Newsom; and second, whom they want to replace the governor if a majority of voters oust him. If Newsom survives the first question, the second will become moot.
Among the GOP replacement candidates, Republican talk show host Larry Elder has expanded his lead to 26 percent and lapped the rest of the field in the PPIC poll. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer ranks second at 5 percent, while businessman John Cox and Congregation member Kevin Kiley each come in at 3 percent.
Support for reality show star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner is just 1 percent, while 14 percent of voters named a host of other candidates. Half of the voters said they would not vote for a replacement or do not know who they would vote, the poll showed.
Newsom and the California Democrats have urged their supporters to skip the substitute question entirely. Republicans make up more than half of the candidates, but nine Democrats are also on the ballot.
Among other things, results of the latest PPIC survey:
– Although the recall was first started by Republicans, the poll shows there are now more crossover votes among Republicans than among Democrats – with 17 percent of likely GOP voters saying they will vote against the recall, up from just 7 percent of Democrats who say they’ll vote yes.
– But enthusiasm is still a factor in voting: 54 percent of Republicans say they have more energy than usual in the election, compared to just 40 percent of Democrats. But Democrats were more likely to say the outcome was “very important” than Republicans.
– Republicans are still more aware of the recall than Democrats, with 52 percent of likely GOP voters following it “very closely” compared to just 36 percent of Democrats.
– President Biden has the approval of about 6 out of 10 Californians.
– 47 percent say things are generally going in the right direction in California, but there is a deep partisan divide, the PPIC poll shows. Almost half of the state’s residents say California is in economic recession, the survey found.
The latest PPIC poll is based on a poll of 1,706 adult California residents August 20-29, 2021. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percent.