OAKLAND – California’s rebound from the Covid-19 crisis makes it harder to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, with a strong majority of state voters now approving his handling of the pandemic and barely 40% saying that they would remove him, a new public policy institute in California poll shows.
Californians are increasingly optimistic about the state’s recovery as infection rates decline and more of the state is fully vaccinated as more businesses open . A whopping 90% of likely voters said they overwhelmingly believed the worst of the crisis was behind the state, more than the 74% who said it in March.
The Democratic governor now enjoys majority approval for his professional performance – 54% of all likely voters – with 64% more robust supporting his handling of the pandemic, the poll found.
“Everything points in the direction of greater optimism about Covid, the economy and California,” said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of PPIC, in an interview. “And this is the backdrop against which the 2021 recall is now unfolding … Right now people are feeling good about the economic outlook for the next 12 months – and overwhelmingly they are feeling good that the worst is. behind us.”
The poll showed that if the recall election were held today, 57% of likely voters would vote no on Newsom’s recall, while 40% would vote yes and only 3% said they did not know.
PPIC did not ask respondents about the various candidates who said they would run on the replacement ballot that would come into play if voters decided to recall the governor.
With “remarkably stable” support for the recall unchanged from March, Baldassare said the issue remained widely divided along partisan lines. The desire to oust Newsom is supported by 78% of Republicans, against 47% of independents and 11% of Democrats.
The heavy blackout “reflects the hyper-partisanship of the state,” Baldassare said. With Democrats holding a 46-24% registration advantage over Republicans, he added that “supporters of a recall have their work cut out for them.”
That said, Republicans are far more interested in the recall than Democrats, according to a Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll released earlier this month. That poll showed 75% of Republicans were very interested in the recall, more than double the proportion of Democrats and Independents who said the same. Democrats may have to work harder to get their voters to participate in a special election, although they have the advantage of passing a law requiring counties to send all voters a mail-in ballot this year. .
The recall has its highest support in the more conservative interior regions, including the Inland Empire (56% in favor) and the Central Valley (49%), and least supported in coastal areas, including the county. of Orange and San Diego (42%), as well as Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, which are both at 32%.
Among other major discoveries:
– Californians overwhelmingly approve of Newsom’s two budget proposals to use the state’s massive surplus on financial aid for middle- and low-income residents. Seventy percent of adults – and two-thirds of likely voters – approve of providing Californians with another round of $ 600 stimulus checks for those earning less than $ 75,000 and an additional $ 500 for those with children . Overwhelming majorities across party lines – 81% overall and 77% of likely voters – back his plan to help Californians criticized by Covid with funds to pay overdue rent and utility bills.
– When it comes to vaccine distribution, 3 in 4 Californians now say the state is doing an excellent (26%) or good job (49%), with around 1 in 4 rating it as fair (17%) or poor (6%). The combined excellent / good ratings have increased by 39 points since January, when the state came under heavy criticism for its deployment.
– Concerns about getting Covid or being hospitalized have dropped, with just 19% expressing this concern, down from 56% a year ago. Optimism is reflected in the future prospects of state residents, with 56% of likely voters rating their financial situation as great or good today, while 51% expect good times for the U.S. economy over the next 12 months.
Baldassare said the results underscore just how much a different situation Newsom finds itself in than former Governor Gray Davis, who in 2003 became the only governor in California history to be recalled.
In the August 2003 PPIC survey, 47% of likely voters said things would get better if Davis was removed from office, while 17% said things would get worse. But today, just 29% said things would get better if Newsom was recalled, while 34% said things would get worse – and 28% said it wouldn’t make any difference.
At this point in 2003, Davis also had much worse approval ratings. The June 2003 PPIC poll showed that 75% of likely voters disapproved of Davis, including 56% of Democrats.
The results show that “at the moment the majority of California voters are not in the mood to change the status quo,” he said.
The poll of 1,705 Californians was conducted May 9-18, 2021 and has a 3.3 percent margin of error overall and 3.6 percent for the probable voter sample of 1,074 respondents.