Nearly half of likely California voters now back the effort to recall Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to a survey released Tuesday.
A total 47% of likely California voters say back the recall effort, which will be voted on Sept. 14. The poll — conducted by the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and sponsored by the Los Angeles Times — found that 50% were opposed.
Still, that's a troubling sign for Newsom in the blue state, The Hill reported.
Just 36% of all registered voters said they supported removing Newsom from office, but growing enthusiasm among those backing a recall is threatening Newsom's political career.
"[Republicans] are confident that they can turn out the governor," polling director Mark DiCamillo told the Times. "I think the Newsom campaign really has to light a fire among the Democrats and say, 'Look, the outcome is in jeopardy unless you get out there and vote.'"
GOP voters comprise just a quarter of the Golden State's electorate, but they account for a third of the likely voters.
Democrats account for 46% of all California registered voters, but only 42% say they likely will vote in the recall.
Last week, an Emerson College poll also showed the recall effort gaining support. It found 43% of voters backing the effort — up from 38% in March — while 48% were opposed.
Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder held an 8-point lead among Republican candidates seeking to replace Newsom, according to the UC Berkeley survey. Businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, were tied in second with 10% each.
Newsom's approval rating has fallen throughout the pandemic after voters gave him strong marks in the early months of lockdowns and restrictions. The UC Berkeley poll shows his approval rating at 50%, down from 64% in September.
A Newsom spokesman expressed urgency for Democrats to go to the polls.
"This poll should be a wake-up call for Democratic voters and all those who don’t want to see a Trump Republican become governor of California," spokesman Nathan Click said in an email, The Hill reported.
"In a normal election, this Republican recall wouldn’t have a snowball's chance in Death Valley. Californians don't want a Republican takeover of our state, but if Democrats don’t vote, that’s what could happen."
Newsom's campaign has raised $9.3 million, according to campaign finance reports, and anti-recall committees have pulled in $23 million – money likely to be spent on ads and promotion during the weeks leading up to the election.
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