With a Recall Election coming up on September 14, it appears Gavin Newsom is on the edge of defeat. What several months ago was a double digit lead in favor of Newsom has become a double digit shortfall, with the latest shock poll showing that 51% of Californians favor recalling the Governor, while only 40% want to keep him in place.
The poll, which was conducted by Survey USA and the San Diego Union Tribune on August 2-4 and surveyed 1,000 Californians, showed a marked shift in public opinion on Newsom from just a few months ago. In May, the same poll found that only 36% favored Newsom’s recall, while 47% opposed it.
The demographic breakdown of respondents paints an even more dire image for Newsom. 47% of Hispanics in the Survey USA poll said they support recalling Newsom, while only 41% say they would keep him. As California has the largest Hispanic population in the country, their lack of support for keeping him in office bodes ill for Newsom. 50% of self-described Independents also supported the recall, according to the poll. Even 23% of Democrats, including 13% of those who describe themselves as “Liberal” and a full 25% of those who describe themselves as “Very Liberal” said they would vote to recall the governor.
Other polls, like one conducted by UC Berkeley and the Los Angeles Times, found that most Californians oppose recalling Newsom. But those results may be misleading – when those same polls are weighed for the likelihood someone would vote, it was a dead heat—which makes the Survey USA/San Diego Union Tribune poll even more concerning for Newsom. The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows a 2-point gap in favor of recalling Newsom.
But who exactly would replace Newsom if in fact he was recalled? As of now, the Survey USA poll shows that Democrat YouTuber Kevin Paffrath would win the bid to replace Newsom, with 27% of respondents saying they would vote for him. Close behind him was conservative African American radio host Larry Elder, with support from 23% of respondents. Businessman John Cox, who has previously run for Governor, was the only other candidate with double-digit support at 10%.
Most polls, however, have shown that Larry Elder—a self-described Libertarian—is ahead. As AMAC Newsline previously detailed, Elder brings an impressive array of qualifications to the table, not the least of which is his demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively to mass audiences. Should Elder secure the governorship, he would be the first non-Democrat governor since Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2011.
Given this recent polling data, it stands to reason Newsom—a well-established Democrat in one of the most heavily Democrat states in the country—could realistically be replaced on September 14. If that happens—or even if it’s close—the reasons why are obvious and plentiful.
During Newsom’s tenure as governor, California has seen one of the most corrupt and wasteful periods in the state’s history. In January, for example, the California Employment Development Department, which Newsom oversees, admitted that it had paid out as much as $31 billion in unemployment funds to scammers. Newsom’s spending plans for the state haven’t been much better. In 2019, he proposed expanding state-funded healthcare to illegal immigrants until the age of 26, costing taxpayers millions. This year’s budget included an astronomical $12 billion to house the homeless and $600 payments to individuals, regardless of immigration status. A neutral analyst of the policy’s impact called it “shortsighted and inadvisable.” On top of all that, Newsom has awarded no-bid contracts to various supporters of his campaign.
Worst of all have been Newsom’s COVID policies, which include the most draconian lockdowns in the entire country, none of which led to measurably better outcomes on case numbers or deaths. To add insult to injury, Newsom has been caught in multiple “do as I say, not as I do” moments, most infamously when the governor was spotted with lobbyists dining in one of Napa’s most exclusive restaurants, The French Laundry, while he was shutting down the rest of the state and urging Californians to remain at home. While Californians couldn’t send their children to school, Newsom’s kids received in-person instruction.
All of Newsom’s disastrous policies have amounted to the slow death of the so-called “California Dream.” Homeless tents litter city streets and public parks. The state has seen historic rises in crime. Thieves in places like San Francisco now openly rob stores in broad daylight. Deadly drugs like fentanyl are taking a record number of lives in places like San Diego. Law-abiding Californians in many cases can’t even escape the rampant crime in cities because of the nation’s highest housing costs. The cost of living has skyrocketed , meaning a middle-class lifestyle is increasingly falling out of reach for many Californians. Newsom has tried his best to blame anyone but himself for the condition of his state, but voters don’t appear to be buying it.
In short, Gavin Newsom represents everything that has gone wrong with California. And that’s why the odds he’ll be recalled on September 14 are as high as they’ve ever been.