Newsom could beat the recall: Majority of Californians believe the governor shouldn’t be ousted


The majority of Californians oppose the removal of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a new poll from the Berkley Institute of Government Studies has revealed, days before voting comes to a close.

The poll, cosponsored by the Los Angeles Times, was released Friday, and showed that 60.1 percent of people would not vote to recall Newsom, while 38.5 percent were in favor of his ousting. 

Only a meager 1.4 percent of those polled remained undecided or declined to answer when asked about the election – suggesting the matter is largely settled in the minds of voters. 

The Berkley Institute of Government Studies poll showed that 60.1 percent of voters oppose the removal of the 53-year-old Democrat, with 38.5 percent being in favor of his ousting

A previous poll by the institute conducted last July projected Newsom to barely pull through the reelection process, garnering just 50 percent of the vote

A previous poll by the institute conducted last July projected Newsom to barely pull through the reelection process, garnering just 50 percent of the vote

The shift in consensus comes as a marked change from the institute’s previous poll last July, where Newsom was projected to barely pull through the recall process, garnering just 50 percent of the vote – likely due to Democrats’ indifference toward the recall process. 

Since then, Newsom and his team have worked tirelessly to rebrand the recall as a referendum on ‘Trumpism,’ a campaign compounded by the fact conservative talk show host Larry Elder, an outspoken Trump supporter, has emerged as the favorite to become California’s governor if the recall goes through.

The surprising new results, which were gathered by surveyors between August 30 and September 6, also coincide with findings from a series of recent independent polls that depict a decisive advantage for Newsom, as the recall election fast approaches. 

Newsom and his team have worked tirelessly to rebrand the recall as a way to combat 'Trumpism,' in an attempt to get Democrats to vote no to the recall

Newsom and his team have worked tirelessly to rebrand the recall as a way to combat ‘Trumpism,’ in an attempt to get Democrats to vote no to the recall

Newsom's sudden surge also follows a slew of endorsements from leading Democrats - including Vice President Kamala Harris

Newsom’s sudden surge also follows a slew of endorsements from leading Democrats – including Vice President Kamala Harris

Newsom’s sudden surge also follows a slew of support and political spots from leading Democrats who have slammed the race as a shameless power grab by the Republican party – with big names like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, Amy Klobuchar, and President Joe Biden and his Vice President, Kamala Harris, stepping up to support the first-term governor.

However, not everyone is in Newsom’s corner.

In a ironic twist, one of the California governor’s most outspoken critics is the only man in the state’s history to win a recall election – movie star and former body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Former California Governor - and the only governor in state history to win a recall election - Arnold Schwarzenegger, pictured here with Newsom (middle) in 2006 when he was mayor of San Francisco, has been outspoken in his disapproval of the current governor's policies

Former California Governor – and the only governor in state history to win a recall election – Arnold Schwarzenegger, pictured here with Newsom (middle) in 2006 when he was mayor of San Francisco, has been outspoken in his disapproval of the current governor’s policies

Schwarzenegger has been highly critical of Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and California’s recent scourge of wildfires, saying ‘millions’ are dissatisfied with the politician.

‘There’s millions of people out there that are dissatisfied, dissatisfied with the way the corona was handled, dissatisfied with the fires,’ he told CNN’s Dana Bash on Wednesday. 

‘It’s very dangerous for him because you got to take this stuff seriously. For too long, they didn’t take it seriously. But now I think they do take it seriously,’ the celebrity-turned-politician said of Newsom, adding that he still considered him ‘friend.’

Conservative talk show host and avid Trump supporter Larry Elder is the frontrunner to replace Newsom if the recall is successful

Conservative talk show host and avid Trump supporter Larry Elder is the frontrunner to replace Newsom if the recall is successful

 But there are nearly two times as many registered Democrats as Republicans in the state, meaning a strong turnout should ensure Newsom’s chances of winning.

More than 7 million of California’s 22 million voters already have cast ballots and Democrats so far have made a strong showing. Meantime, recent polls show the recall failing by double digits.

If those polls are wrong and a majority choose to remove Newsom, it’s almost certain a Republican would take the governorship since no Democrat with significant political standing is among the 46 replacement candidates.

With that said, Newsom has a host of prominent – and not-so-prominent – Republicans to contend with, if the recall is successful.

The leader in that field is talk radio host Elder, a conservative Republican who opposes abortion and is seeking to become the state’s first Black governor. 

Elder, a nationally syndicated conservative radio host and the front-runner to replace Newsom if the recall is successful, is joined by former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, multimillionaire businessman John Cox, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley – as well as Keeping Up With the Kardashians and California fixture Caitlyn Jenner, and twenty-nine-year-old social media influencer and real estate executive Kevin Paffrath.

California residents have until the night of September 14 to make up their minds.



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