California Voters Split on Recall as Gov. Gavin Newsom Faces Enthusiasm Gap

California voters are pretty evenly split on whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, CBS San Francisco reports.

A CBS News poll found that 48% of voters in deep-blue California think Cuomo should be recalled while 52% plan to vote “no” on the recall in September.

Voters next month will be asked two questions, whether Newsom should be recalled and who should replace him.

Newsom is the lone Democrat on the ballot but there has been little traction on the Republican side.

Republican Larry Elder leads the GOP field with 23% of the vote, the only candidate who received double-digits in the poll. Another 20% said no one and 25% said they’re undecided.

Meanwhile, prominent Republican candidates have struggled to win over actual support, including John Cox (3%), Caitlyn Jenner (3%), and Kevin Faulconer, (3%).

Enthusiasm gap:

The poll found that despite the split Newsom has a 57% approval rating and 60% approve of his handling of the pandemic, which triggered the recall effort.

“For someone in Newsom’s position, you want to be there,” Dr. Garrick Percival, who chairs the political science department at San Jose State, told CBS. “If he was below 50 percent, that would be really troubling for him. The bad news is that his base of support, Democratic voters in the state, don’t seem to be particularly motivated to participate whereas Republicans, particularly people who supported President Trump in 2020, are extraordinarily motivated to vote.”

The poll found that 78% of Republicans say they will “definitely” vote compared to 73% of Democrats.

The survey also found that 72% of Republicans are “very motivated” to vote, compared to 61% of Democrats.

Newsom goes on offensive:

As a result of the sluggish enthusiasm, Newsom has focused more on winning over his own base rather than independents, who outnumber Republicans in the state.

Newsom has warned that replacing him would put a Republican at the helm in the event that Sen. Dianne Feinstein can no longer serve in the Senate, meaning that she would be replaced by a Republican.

He has also gone on the offensive against apparent frontrunner Larry Elder, warning that he is more right-wing than former President Donald Trump.

“He’s to the right of Donald Trump,” he said. “To the right of Donald Trump. That’s what’s at stake in this election and don’t think for a second you can’t do damage in that role. Think about the judges he could appoint. Who would he have appointed to replace Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate? How would that impact the trajectory of this country. What would this mean for the future of the Democratic party in our efforts to keep the House of Representatives?”


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