Shock Poll Shows California Could Get GOP Governor As Support For Gavin Newsom Recall Grows

California Gov. Gavin Newsom looks down during a press conference.
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US Politics

Scheduled to be held in September, the special election on whether to recall Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom ​is shaping up to be very closely contested.

According to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by The Los Angeles Times that was released Tuesday, Newsom is in a very vulnerable position.

The governor, whose actions amid the coronavirus pandemic drew widespread criticism, appears to be losing support from key voting blocs, while enthusiasm for his removal continues to grow.

Key Findings

The poll found that 47 percent of likely California voters support removing Newsom from office, while 50 percent oppose the effort.

The vast majority of Republican respondents in the poll, 90 percent of them, expressed interest in the recall election.

Just 58 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independent voters were interested in the election, which could seriously jeopardize Newsom's chances of staying in office.

California is one of the bluest states in the nation, but Republicans account for 33 percent of those most likely to cast ballots in the recall election.

GOP Enthusiasm

According to director of the poll Mark DiCamillo, growing Reublican enthusiasm shows Newsom is in danger.

"Democrats, at least in the middle of July, almost unanimously believed that Newsom will defeat the recall. I think that may be contributing to some complacency among those voters. Republicans, on the other hand, are confident that they can turn out the governor."

"I think the Newsom campaign really has to light a fire among the Democrats and say, ‘Look, the outcome is in jeopardy unless you get out there and vote,'" DiCamillo added.

Newsom 'In Serious Trouble'

Dave Gilliard, one of the strategists leading the effort to remove Newsom from office, said that the governor "is in serious trouble at this time because his base of voters is not motivated to come out and support him."

According to Gilliard, Newsom does not have much time and he won't be able to activate his base before September, which could result in his removal.

Gilliard added that the governor has lost support because Californians realize he is unable to solve the homeless crisis and tackle crime.

Trump

Former President Donald Trump delivers a speech.
Gettyimages | Melissa Sue Gerrits

As The Los Angeles Times noted, Newsom and his allies have tried to tie the recall effort to former President Donald Trump.

In a statement, spokesman for Newsom’s anti-recall campaign Nathan Click described the recall as a "blatant attempt by Trump supporters to grab power and impose their agenda on California."

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder leads the race to replace Newsom. If elected, he would become California’s first Black governor, per Breitbart.

Former Olympian athlete Caitlyn Jenner is also running, but she seems rather unpopular.