A UC Berkeley poll released this week found that among the Californians most likely to vote in the recall election, 47% say they would vote “yes” to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office.
This latest poll comes just seven weeks ahead of the Sept. 14 recall election when registered voters will determine whether Gov. Newsom will be removed from office. Last week, the state certified a list of more than 40 gubernatorial candidates.
The poll, which was completed by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, emphasized the pivotal role voter turnout will play in Gov. Newsom’s political fate.
The study found that while only 36% of the state’s overall electorate would vote “yes” to the recall, 47% of those who are most likely to cast their ballot are in favor of recalling the governor.
In addition, the study found that 50% of voters would vote “no” to the recall effort and 3% are still undecided.
In order for Gov. Newsom to be removed from office, more than 50% of voters would need to vote “yes” to the recall. While the odds are still in the Democratic governor’s favor, the chasm is narrowing.
Bobbi McGinnis, the chairwoman of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party, told the News-Press Wednesday that the poll’s results show “Californians are paying attention” to the governor’s policies and procedures, which she said are “driving people out” of the state.
Ms. McGinnis cited increased tax rates, high gas prices and the overall cost of living in California as reasons Gov. Newsom should be removed from his position.
She also cited a recent study from the attorney governor’s office that showed homicides increased 31% between 2019 and 2020. Ms. McGinnis blamed Gov. Newsom’s criminal justice policies for the increase.
With the election just seven weeks away, Ms. McGinnis said she’s feeling confident that recall effort can prevail. Leading up to Sept. 14, she said the county’s Republican Party will be knocking on doors and phone banking to encourage people to vote “yes” on the ballot.
“This gives Californians a real opportunity to change the direction of the state,” Ms. McGinnis said. “If they want to keep business here, if they want to keep kids here, if they want to reduce housing costs, vote yes on the recall.”
With support for the recall gaining traction among those most enthusiastic to cast their ballot, Spencer Brandt, the organizing director for the county’s Democratic Party, said the key to stamping out the recall effort will be to engage residents who voted for Gov. Newsom in 2018 and Joe Biden in 2020 to come out and vote “no” to the recall.
He said he’s unsure of how many registered voters know about the upcoming recall election because it’s coming at an unusual time of year.
“I think that the Republican Party’s strategy with this recall all along has been to try to depress voter turnout in order for them to achieve the recall,” Mr. Brandt told the News-Press. “The results of the (UC Berkeley) poll are clear that there is a strong majority of people in California who reject this partisan power grab. However, there are a number of people in California who I believe do not know about this recall because of its unusual nature.”
To combat the recall effort, Mr. Brandt said he and his team with the county’s Democratic Party will continue to canvas on weekends and knock on doors to encourage voters to get out and vote in the upcoming election.
“I’m still feeling very confident that we will defeat the recall,” Mr. Brandt said. “Our whole strategy is to get out in the streets and knock on doors and inform them this election is happening and inform them about the good work (Gov. Newsom) has done since being in office.”
Leading up to the Sept. 14 election day, Santa Barbara County officials are still searching for 200 volunteers to serve as poll workers on the day of the election.
In order to be a poll worker, a volunteer must be a registered voter in California or lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States, be able to follow written and verbal directions, be available on election day between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. and must be available to attend a mandatory training class.
Poll workers who volunteer will receive a stipend of between $180 and $240 for their service. To learn more about becoming a poll worker, visit countyofsb.org/care/elections/officers/information.sbc.