The latest Emerson College and Nexstar Media’s “Inside California Politics” poll shows support for the effort to oust Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom has grown in recent weeks as the state has experienced an increase in COVID-19 transmission.
Opponents of the governor drew attention to his handling of the pandemic and collected enough signatures to secure a special election to recall Newsom on September 14.
The new poll results released on Tuesday found support for the recall at 46%, up from 43% in the previous poll from July 20, two weeks ago. However, 48% said they opposed the recall, and 6% of likely voters are undecided, pollsters found, adding that the number of undecided voters had fallen 3%.
Would you vote to recall, or to keep Governor Newsom?
— Emerson College Polling (@EmersonPolling) August 3, 2021
The poll surveyed 1,000 Californians and was conducted from July 30 to August 1. It has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.
Newsom’s approval rating fell from 49% last month to 48% in the current poll. In addition, 42% said they disapproved of Newsom’s job performance, while 10% were unsure or had no opinion.
Respondents were also asked about the top issue facing California, and homelessness led at 19%, remaining the number one answer from July. Other top-ranking issues included housing (16%), COVID-19 (15%), and crime (13%, up from 7% last month).
Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, said, “This poll suggests that the tightening of the race could be attributed to people’s increased concern on crime.”
More findings from the latest “Inside California Politics” poll:
Education appears to impact voter attitudes toward the recall as respondents without a college degree were more in favor of the recall (54% recall/39% keep) than those with a college degree (36% recall/59% keep).
Hispanics are the only racial group in favor of the recall (54% recall/41% keep), while White respondents were split (48% recall/49% keep). Majorities of Black respondents (41% recall/57% keep) and Asian respondents (30% recall/49% keep) were in favor of keeping Newsom as Governor.
Majorities of Republicans (80% recall/16% keep) and Independents (54% recall/ 34% keep) are in favor of the recall. Democrats are largely in favor of keeping Newsom, but almost a quarter plan to vote to recall the Governor (23% recall/73% keep).
Men are split (47% recall/47% keep), while women are more in favor of keeping Newsom (44% recall/51% keep).
Pollsters also found that Republican talk show host Larry Elder leads the list of more than 40 candidates on the ballot to replace Newsom with 23% support, up seven percentage points since the last survey.
The other leading contenders, all Republicans, were in the single digits. Businessman John Cox and Caitlyn Jenner are both polling at 7%. According to the poll, California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley is at 5%, while former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer has 4% support.
Thirteen percent of those surveyed said they planned to vote for other candidates.