Gov. Gavin Newsom’s job approval rating among California voters has plummeted, driven largely by dissatisfaction over the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and adding fuel to a Republican-led recall campaign, according to a new poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
More than a third of the state’s registered voters said they would vote to oust Newsom from office if the recall qualifies for the ballot, though 45% said they would oppose such a move, the survey found.
The decline in Newsom’s standing could endanger his policy agenda as he guides the state through the pandemic and as even his political allies begin to question the actions he has taken. It also 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.
California voters were almost evenly split when asked whether Newsom has done a good or bad job as governor, a precipitous drop from September when two-thirds of those polled gave him high marks.
The poll, released Tuesday morning, also found that just 31% of those surveyed thought that Newsom and other state government leaders had done an excellent or good job handling the pandemic, while 23% said they had done a fair job, and 43% called it a poor job.