Gov. Newsom’s approval rating drops to 31 percent: Poll

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A new poll conducted by the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s job approval rating plummeted by 18 percentage points in three months. In October, he had a 49% approval rating; in January it dropped to 31%.

Also, 36% of respondents said they support the recall effort against Newsom, which has gained popularity among Democrats.

Roughly 31% of those polled said Newsom has done an excellent or good job in handling the coronavirus, down from 49% in September. Only 22% of respondents gave a favorable response to the state’s vaccine rollout.

The poll was conducted online and included more than 10,000 registered voters. Conducted during the last week of January in both English and Spanish, it’s margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points.

The Los Angeles Times reported that “… even his political allies begin to question the actions he has taken,” which “… provides a sobering sign for the 53-year-old Democrat that his once bright political future, for years the subject of whispers about a potential White House run, has lost some of its shine.”

Last week, Tech billionaire and Democrat Chamath Palihapitiya announced his support for the recall and that he was running for governor.

On Monday, former Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced he was running for governor this year, if the recall ballot measure is successful. If it isn’t, he said he will run in 2022.

“People are reevaluating how well Newsom is doing handling the pandemic,” Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll, said. “Once your job performance rating starts to decline, it’s more difficult to put it back in the right direction. You kind of accumulate negatives over time.”

Largely at issue is the 11-month shutdown of the state by Newsom’s executive orders, among many other scandals that have occurred at state agencies, record high unemployment and job losses, still shuttered schools, and the first in California’s history of a recorded population decline.

Among those polled, respondents were nearly evenly split over whether Newsom’s stay-at-home orders and guidelines for businesses slowed the spread of the coronavirus. About 49 percent said they had little, if any, impact, while 47 percent said they had a major, or at least some, impact.

When asked about the recall, respondents were split along party lines. Democrats oppose recalling Newsom by 69 percent; 20 percent said they were undecided about the recall; 84 percent of Republicans polled supported the recall with 9 percent undecided.

Among Independents and “No Party Preference” voters polled, 40 percent said they opposed the recall, 32 percent said they supported it, 28 percent said they were undecided.

Overall, 36 percent of those polled support recalling Newsom, whereas 45 percent oppose it. The poll also found that 49 percent said a recall election would be bad for California, whereas 36 percent said it would be good for the state.

The recall website claims to have collected 1.3 million voter signatures of the 1.495 million needed. The Los Angeles Times reports that among them only roughly 410,000 signatures had been verified by elections officials as of last month.

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