California recall election much closer among likely voters, poll finds

Josh Haskell Image
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
CA recall election much closer among likely voters, poll finds
The California recall election is just over a month away and new polling suggests there are challenges ahead for everyone involved, including Gov. Gavin Newsom.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A series of new polls tracking the Sept. 14 recall election show the effort to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office has gained momentum.

If you look at the 22 million registered voters in the state, the Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies poll released last week showed only 36% would recall Newsom compared to 51% who would keep him in office.

But, when narrowing in on the registered voters likely to participate in the special election, the outcome becomes much closer with 47% favoring Newsom's recall compared to 50% opposed. The director of the poll tells Eyewitness News Democrats should be concerned.

"Direct interest in voting in the election question, which they scored 35 points lower than the Republicans, and then the complacency which had to do with their expectations that Newsom will easily defeat the recall, and I think those two things combined is what's making it likely that unless Newsom's campaign can arouse their interest and attention, and he's got time to do that, then they're in some jeopardy," said Mark DiCamillo, the director of the Berkeley IGS poll.

Newsom recall ballot could confuse voters. Here's what you need to know

The recall is essentially two elections on the same ballot where voters will be asked two questions: should Newsom be recalled and which of the 46 candidates should replace the incumbent.

Ballots will be mailed out to every registered voter in two weeks. The first question on the ballot is: should Newsom be recalled? If you want to keep him in office, you would vote no. If you want him out, vote yes.

Then you'll be asked who you'd like to replace Newsom, and the Berkeley IGS poll found conservative radio host Larry Elder leads the field. Elder is at 18% followed by Kevin Faulconer at 10%, John Cox at 10% and State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley at 5%.

"It really is time for change, and we're seeing that reflected in the polls. We're seeing that in enthusiasm coming forward about this recall election," said Ellie Hockenbury, the communications director for the California GOP.

California Recall: List of candidates challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom draws confusion

The official list of who's running in California's recall election of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom remained unsettled Sunday.

Newsom's anti-recall campaign has raised $32.5 million, double what's been raised by the pro-recall campaign. On Tuesday, Newsom released a Spanish language ad featuring California Sen. Alex Padilla, who Newsom sent to Washington, D.C.

The California Republican party will hold a virtual meeting with their delegates Saturday. They will vote to endorse one of the candidates participating in their vote, or vote to not endorse at all. Those who have qualified to receive the endorsement are Larry Elder, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley and Doug Ose.