A California judge has ruled that embattled Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom can blame his recall election on “Republicans and Trump supporters” as he pleads with voters to keep him in office.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurie Earl refused to block Newsom from using the claim in a voter guide that will be sent to all registered voters this month ahead of his Sept. 14 recall election.
“The Court finds there is nothing false or misleading about describing the recall effort’s leaders as Trump supporters,” Earl wrote.
What’s more, the judge chastised supporters of the recall movement, saying they were engaging in “an abuse of a perfectly legal process.”
“The recall is being held less than three years after a sizable majority of California voters elected Newsom governor,” she said.
The decision comes as Newsom continues to drop in the polls. A new Survey USA and the San Diego Union-Tribune poll put Newsom down by double digits.
The poll of 1,100 Californians from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4 found that 51% of respondents were in favor of recalling Newsom, while only 40% wanted to keep him in power. The previous Survey USA/San Diego Union-Tribune poll from May found 36% in favor of the recall with 47% opposed.
Another poll shows Newsom faces a very real chance of being recalled in an election next month. An Inside California Politics/Emerson College poll found that support for the recall effort against the Democratic governor is gaining traction among registered voters. The poll found 48% of the 1,000 Californians surveyed would vote to keep Newsom in the Sept. 14 recall election. But 46 said they would vote to recall the governor, which is up three percentage points from the 43% recorded in a July 22 poll by the same group.
“Newsom has lost support from Hispanic voters, with 54% of Hispanic respondents saying they would vote to recall,” KTLA-TV reported. “The majority of Black and Asian respondents wish to keep Newsom, the poll showed. White respondents are split at 48% in favor of recalling Newsom and 49% in favor of keeping him.”
The TV station found that 40% are as yet undecided on who should replace Newsom, although conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is in the lead with 23%, up seven points from last month’s poll.
“How close the recall turns out to be depends on exactly one thing and only one thing,” longtime California political strategist Darry Sragow told KPIX-TV. “And that is whether Democrats take the time to vote.”
“Californians who say they expect to vote in the September recall election are almost evenly divided over whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, evidence of how pivotal voter turnout will be in deciding the governor’s political fate, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times,” the paper wrote on Tuesday.
“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,” said the Times.
The poll found that 47% of likely voters in the state support removing Newsom from office, while 50% oppose the move — “a difference just shy of the survey’s margin of error,” the Times noted.
Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is the top Republican in the race to replace Newsom in the Sept. 14 special election.