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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A new poll found that Governor Gavin Newsom appears to have made a dramatic turnaround in the Gubernatorial recall election.
The data, from the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and the Los Angeles Times, found that likely voters oppose removing Governor Newsom by 60% compared to 38% who want him out.
“He’s built up a big enough margin, so that he’s in good shape for Tuesday,” said Professor Eric Schickler with the UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies.
As recently as July, the same poll found an even split among likely voters.
The recall effort started over criticism of the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and then came the spread of the Delta variant, along with vaccine and mask mandates.
“What had been seen as a negative for the governor probably turned on balance as a positive,” Professor Schickler said.
Among replacement candidates, conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder is polling well ahead of the pack at 38%.
Analysts say there’s ground to be made up among Latinos. According to Political Data Intelligence, this important voting bloc has returned about 18% of the ballots.
“Overwhelmingly, they’ll vote by mail, but they’ll have a higher share of in-person voters,” said Dr. Mindy Romero, director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Inclusive Democracy. “So, likely that 18% will increase potentially above 20%.”
Asked if both parties tried and failed to focus on the issue of immigration as a way to court the Latino vote, Dr. Romero said the Latino voting block is often misunderstood by politicians and their parties.
“It’s nothing new. We’ve had a long history in the political process here in the United States of misunderstanding the Latino vote, taking it for granted in many ways and creating a single issue where there should be a much more nuanced conversation,” she said.
With just two questions on the ballot — should Governor Newsom be recalled and, if so, who should replace him — Professor Schickler said about half of residents voting no on question one are skipping question two entirely, not voting for a replacement candidate at all.
Finally, the poll also found that less than 2% of likely voters are undecided.
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