On Eve of Recall Election, Poll Shows 60 Percent of Californians Want to Keep Gavin Newsom

A majority of Californians want to keep Governor Gavin Newsom in the state's recall race, according to a new poll.

The Emerson College/Nexstar Media survey, released on the eve of the special election, found 60 percent of likely voters would vote to keep the Democrat in office. Forty percent of likely voters polled said they would choose to recall Newsom.

The poll showed the lowest support for the recall in six months, according to Emerson College.

At one point, the recall race appeared to tighten as surveys conducted in early August showed it was nearly even. But Newsom's advantage in the polls has widened in recent weeks as the governor has ramped up campaigning.

Emerson College found Newsom's support went up by 12 percentage points since its August poll, which found voters were split 48 percent to 46 percent against the recall.

The governor has been aided by high-profile appearances and endorsements from Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Barack Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren and more. On Monday, President Joe Biden will join Newsom in Long Beach and deliver remarks at a campaign rally.

All registered voters are eligible to participate in the special election, which will take place Tuesday.

Mail-in ballots have already been sent out to all active voters. All ballots postmarked by September 14 will be accepted. Voters can turn in their ballot at a dropbox location until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

For residents who want to vote in person, polling places will be open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

Californians polled by Emerson who said they already voted were voting against the recall election nearly 2-to-1, 64 percent said they voted against the recall compared to 36 percent who were in favor of removing Newsom.

 Poll: Most Californians Want to Keep Newsom
An Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll released Monday found 60 percent of voters were against the California recall. In this photo, Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during a "Vote No" get out the vote tour campaign stop on September 7, 2021 in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are more than 40 people running to take Newsom's place if he is recalled. Some of the high-profile candidates include reality-TV star Caitlyn Jenner, conservative talk show host Larry Elder and social media influencer Kevin Paffrath.

Elder has emerged as the frontrunner of the Republican field, which includes two dozen candidates. The Emerson poll found that among those voting to recall Newsom, Elder was the only candidate to clear double digits with 30 percent support.

Paffrath was tied for second place with college student John Drake, each with 6 percent support. Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego, was in third place with 4 percent support among those who want to oust the governor.

The Emerson College/Nexstar Media survey polled 1,000 likely voters between September 10 and September 11. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.