Gavin Newsom

New Poll Shows California Voters Split on Gov. Gavin Newsom Recall

Undecided folks seem to be turning against the governor.


New polling numbers show California voters evenly divided about whether they want to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Earlier polling had shown Newsom easily outlasting the recall effort, which was being pushed by Republicans in the heavily Democratic state. But a new poll by the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Governmental Studies, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, shows a big problem for him: Previously undecided voters are increasingly deciding to dump Newsom.

About half of likely voters in this latest poll say they'll likely vote to retain Newsom. That's similar to numbers in previous polling of registered voters (a different pool from "likely voters"). What has changed is that undecided likely voters appear to be turning against the governor. The number of voters saying they're inclined to vote in favor of the recall has jumped from 36 percent to 47 percent.

Partisan interest in the upcoming vote may also be a problem for Newsom. While Republican voters are deeply invested in the recall, Democrats and independent voters are less so. Only 58 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents poll as interested in the recall election, compared to 90 percent of Republicans. In other words, even though Democrats dramatically outnumber Republicans in California, if many Democrats are uninterested in the recall and don't actually vote, Republicans might win the day.

The poll numbers are good news for Larry Elder, the conservative libertarian radio talk show host running in the recall race as a Republican. He has the most support among the 46 candidates that have been certified as alternatives to Newsom in the recall election, clocking in with 18 percent of likely voters in the latest poll. Elder was originally left out of the list of official candidates over issues related to the release of his tax records, but he sued to get back on the ballot and won.

Other big GOP names like businessman Kevin Cox (the guy with the bear) and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer each have the interest of 10 percent of the voters. Trans Olympian Caitlyn Jenner has just 3 percent. Riverside County Supervisor and Libertarian Party recall candidate Jeff Hewitt has just 1 percent of the interest of likely voters.

The pool of voters who haven't decided on a replacement, however, sits at a whopping 40 percent for this election, scheduled for September 14, which is in less than 50 days. The anti-recall ads I've been seeing here in California have been heavily focused on the partisan Republican roots of the recall to cast it all as a power grab and its supporters as "anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant Trump supporters." But as I and other Reason writers have noted, there's a lot of unhappiness, oppressive regulation, and financial insecurity in the Golden State, even as Newsom brags (inaccurately, it turns out) about a $75 billion budget surplus. This recall race is about more than the GOP versus the Democrats.

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65 responses to “New Poll Shows California Voters Split on Gov. Gavin Newsom Recall

  1. Polls don’t matter anymore.
    Voting doesn’t matter anymore.
    Only getting to be the one who counts the votes matters.

    1. California, America’s junta government.

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    2. That attitude is why the GOP lost a lot of elections in 2020.

  2. Throw everyone out of office as quickly as possible and as often as possible.

  3. Larry Elder as governor of California would be absolutely glorious.

    1. For the 37 mins it takes to impeach, investigate and try him.

      1. In that order I’m assuming.

    2. Not really, it just gives left wingers a path to deflect blame from their own governance. We need CA to remain a one party state as its decline becomes ever more obvious.

      1. Yes, he doesn’t stand a chance. He has no political infrastructure behind him. He can’t come in as an outsider and move the needle in a one-party state.

      2. They already deflect blame onto Trump.

  4. Things are wonderful in California. In fact, the state represents the Koch / Reason libertarian endgame:

    Fabulously wealthy individuals
    People who are so poor they’re reduced to defecating on the street
    Racially diverse population
    Single-party Democratic government (spoiler: Newsom won’t be recalled)

    To understand what the Koch / Reason immigration agenda will eventually do to the entire US, just look at what California is like right now.


    1. It gets even better! Parts of California are totally on board with the Koch / Reason #EmptyThePrisons agenda. Shoplifting is practically encouraged:

      San Francisco’s Shoplifting Surge

      “The mundane crime of shoplifting has spun out of control in San Francisco, forcing some chain stores to close.”

      1. They will have to be more proactive and make it illegal to continue the racist practice of store closures.

  5. Newsom may get replaced by an equivalent ass-hat, but this is as close as it gets to a warning shot at the Democrats who control California.

    It would be glorious if the asshole gets canned, as would be the inevitable Trump tweet (if he’s allowed to use Twitter):

    “You’re fired!”

    1. Uh, just looked at certified list of candidates, looks like the evil party’s ‘serious’ members are sitting this one out. Larry Elder actually looks like he has a serious shot. Him winning the gov race would be beyond glorious.

    2. The way the recall works is, if a majority of voters vote to recall the governor, he is out, even if he has more votes than any of the other candidates. He is out, and the guy with the most votes, even if polling only 20%, is the next governor for the remaining time of the term.

      1. And the Ds have no one in the field, since they didn’t want to chance draining votes from the greaseball, and it’s too late to enter a D.

        1. Newsom’s not even entered as a D, since he and his staff were too dumb to follow the rules they made.

  6. When is Gavin Newsom going to finally give up petroleum products?

    1. Say what you will about the asshole, he has fantastic hair.

      1. How can you see his hair with all that grease hiding it?

    2. You mean his hair?

    3. How you feeling?

  7. This recall race is about more than the GOP versus the Democrats.

    You mean on some issues cries of “Both sides!” is just a red herring? I’m going to have to rethink everything I’ve ever read at Reason!

  8. If CA does not summarily throw Newsome onto his ass in the street, then they truly deserve the representation they elect.

    1. Don’t worry-even if Californians throw out Newsome, the dems wills still have NY, NJ, IL, MA, etc. And probably Virginia now too…

      1. McCaliffes defense of CRT is not sitting well even amongst progressive parents in northern Virginia.

        1. I probably spelled his name wrong, sorry.

          1. McFuckhead-FTFY

            1. Depends-the dems are very good at turning out here, and not sure CRT will be enough to get the soccer moms to switch sides.

              1. We’ll see but even leftist media figures such as The Atlantic and Politico have been running warning stories about how the anti-CRT movement is not just a tight wing movement and spells disaster for the democrats pushing for CRT. When The Atlantic and Politico start sounding earning alarms it’s time for Democrats to listen.

      2. Sadly, I am a resident of the People’s Republic of NJ.

  9. Newsom is toast. Only 48% want to keep him, and the anti-Newsom crowd is a lot more motivated to vote him out. If he gets less than 50.0%, he’s gone, that’s the first question on the ballot. It will be kind of funny to get a new governor supported by less than 20% of the voters, but Newsom has only himself to blame.

    1. The real tragedy here is that CA cannot couple the recall of the Governor along with a recall of the Legislature.

    2. “…It will be kind of funny to get a new governor supported by less than 20% of the voters, but Newsom has only himself to blame.”

      Pretty sure it was Heinlein who suggested a 3rd chamber for the legislature which could repeal laws with a 1/3 vote, under the theory that if 1/3 of the population didn’t like a law, it was probably bad.
      Well, the greaseball Newsom may well give us a chance to find whether a 20% vote is enough to veto piles of lefty crap coming out of the CA legislature.
      And for the ‘both sides’ assholes (turd/Brandy, sarc, jeff, and other TDS addled assholes trying to excuse their idiocy), it’s a pretty good bet that those voting to unseat Newsom are not then voting for a close facsimile.

  10. Well this got interesting. I walk back my earlier comment that he’s the likely winner. We’ll see of course dems have the lock on voting machines and can sink the GOP’s chances.

      1. Guy’s got the gun aimed right at his toes, don’t he?

  11. Are we supposed to pretend that the next governor will be different? S/he will be elected by the same voters who demand the same ponies and ice cream.

    1. Wrong. When Libertarian spoiler votes wreck Kleptocracy planning, the Kleptocracy mutates to become less obnoxious to libertarians. It’s a lot like the ways diseases mutate in response to antibiotics. The grinning idiot is a poster child of American communism as rewritten by Bellamy, Howells and London. The same ideology, reexported back to Germany as a mutated form of secret police looter doctrine, has poisoned both continents since the 1890s. It takes a village of idiots to keep voting for alternating halves of the looter Kleptocracy.

    2. Ya know, the ‘both sides’ crowd is tiresome and full of shit besides.

  12. Nobody *hates* a mannequin with a winning smile, but most think mannequins are creepy

    1. Living in SF, we do occasionally run into Newsom (and Willie and Nancy and DiFi, and..; they didn’t go to Micky Ds and we don’t either, except as a guilty pleasure).
      There really is no foolin’. Growing up, Brylcream’s claim was ‘a little dab will do ya!’. Newsom seems to have grown up when the claim was ‘buy it and use it by the gallon!’; his hair *really* is that gooey.
      Further, his rep as a camera-(and microphone)-whore is totally justified. Look far and wide for any mention or images of his ‘staff’.
      No one, at least as second hand, has suggested they work for him other than for the income.
      Personal loyalty? Ask the staff member whose wife he porked after Guilfoyle told him to stuff it.

  13. “In other words, even though Democrats dramatically outnumber Republicans in California, if many Democrats are uninterested in the recall and don’t actually vote, Republicans might win the day.”

    It’s more than just Republicans who are pissed off about him not abiding by his own lockdown orders, and, yeah, very few people, even on the left, like him enough about him to go out of their way to vote for him. People who don’t like him, on the other hand, are willing to take a vacation day off so they can have the opportunity to stick it to him at the ballot box.

    It should be clear, too, that even if does survive the recall, he’ll need to be reelected in 2022, and Newsom is unlikely to survive the primary challenge in 2022. Incidentally, I’ve got two reasons why, as bad as California is, we’re better off than New York:

    1) California could do things like legalize recreational marijuana–over the objections of the Democrats in Sacramento–by ballot initiative. There is no referendum process like that in New York. You need to wait for it to become important to Albany, have a riot, or it ain’t happenin’.

    2) California can and does recall governors, but you can’t recall a governor in New York. We kicked Gray Davis (a Democrat) to the curb, and he thought he might be POTUS one day, too. We can do the same with Newsom. They might be able to force Cuomo to resign, but you can’t recall anyone from office in New York.

    3), 4), 5), and 6) are the beaches, the mountains, off-roading, and the weather.

    1. It won’t be the people who take a vacation day who will vote him out.

      The people whose jobs he destroyed will not only have the time to stand in line, but also to walk neighborhoods handing out literature, and talking with other people who used to have jobs.

      The Dems wrecked the economy to get rid of Trump, but it is still wrecked, getting worse, and now Dems are being recognized for their efforts.

      1. My brother is a retired surgeon living in San Diego.
        His electric bills are sky high and illegals live in the ravines near his house.
        He says “ Republicans are thugs” and plans to vote for Newsome.
        All his doctor friends and his wife agree.
        So there is still plenty of support for Newsome

      2. The Dems wrecked the economy to get rid of Trump, but it is still wrecked, getting worse, and now Dems are being recognized for their efforts.

        The Dem’s are quite happy with burning the whole fucker down as long as it keeps them in power.

  14. This Elder character Scott describes as a libertarian conservative. Is he kind of like a Liberal National Socialist? Samuel Harding Church of Carnegie Inst. founded the Liberal Party in 1930. Its 1931 repeal plank was donated to the Dems in 1932, when Hoover Republicans were assisting German rearmament. Church offered a $1 million reward for the capture of Adolf Hitler dead or alive, but died in 1943, while the Dems were swamped with anti-Hoover communists and HUAC investigated Nazi infiltration of conservatives. Has Scott ever read a history book?

  15. Last I heard there were 43 other candidates against Newsom in the recall election. If there are 43 other candidates Newsom wins. The people that want Newsom gone have to decide on a candidate, preferably one with name recognition, because the average low information voter only knows a name, not policy. This is why the Democrats tried to keep Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder off the ballot, but they failed. Still even 10 other candidate means Newsom remains governor. All lesser candidate need to drop out if they really want Newsom out.

    1. Oh look. A fascist republican Lily Liver wants to suppress all non-looter votes as ungoodthinkful and likely to weaken the looter Kleptocracy. How original!

      1. Do you ever wonder why no one responds to your incoherent ramblings?

    2. No, Newsom needs a majority to win. Anybody else, just a plurality. More candidates makes it harder for Newsom.

      1. Correct.
        ANYTHING which drains votes from greaseball is positive.

    3. The ballot has two questions: recall the Governor, yes or no, and replace him with whom, select one.

  16. The recall is already a success. Notice how Newsom is putting in vaccine verification mandates on state employees, but largely leaving private enterprise alone? He isn’t even going down the forcing vaccinated folks to mask route. I just wish the election wasn’t coming up so quickly, because if he survives, he is going to go nuts handling the likely winter surge given his “mandate from voters”.

  17. The pop-up vid now has Newsom “…to fight back against shoplifting and violence”!
    All it took was a recall election!

  18. I wonder why the Legislature wanted to move the election earlier to September.

    A lopsided majority of these undecided voters have an attention span barely more than that of a toddler’s. Many more of them would forget the harm caused by the lockdowns by November instead of September.

  19. How anyone can vote for this turd is beyond me

    1. Like I replied earlier in this thread, my retired physician brother, his wife, and his doctor buddies all plan to vote to keep Newsom.
      He has been affected by mass illegal immigration and high electric bills and he still thinks Republicans are thugs and won’t for one.

  20. Not to mention, a recent study shows that polls during the 2020 election cycle were biased in favor of Democrats by 4-7%. If that’s the case here, Newsome is (justifiably) toast.

  21. At this point, California either needs to make it much more difficult to trigger a recall, or just go ahead and scrap them entirely and hold gubernatorial elections every two years since that’s going to be their future anyway.

  22. How did such a lib state like Cali become the poster child for the party that fought for slavery?

  23. It won’t matter. The state senate is overwhelmingly socialist and they will in the next regular election choose another freedom hating socialist.

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