Kamala Harris Backs Gavin Newsom As He Faces Recall Election

Vice President Kamala Harris offered California Governor Gavin Newsom her backing on Sunday as polls indicated that the Democratic state leader was likely to survive a recall vote.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Harris said the White House would be as "supportive as much as we possibly can" amid the California recall election campaign.

The vice president added that the Biden administration was "unambiguous" in its support for Newsom as she appeared beside the governor at a water treatment facility in the state.

Speaking to reporters on the tour of the Oakland water treatment plant, Harris said: "I especially want to thank you, governor. He and I have worked together for a long time. We were elected to our first office, same time back in 2003.

Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks while touring the Upper San Leandro Water Treatment Plant on April 5, 2021 in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"One of the things I know is that Gavin has always been a champion about what we need to do around our environment, and he and I have had many conversations over the years in particular about preservation of water. And so I'm just so happy that you've been able to join us, governor."

The vice president offered her support to Gov. Newsom as polls found that most California voters didn't support the recall effort against him.

One survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in late March revealed that 56 percent of voters were against the recall bid, while 40 percent said they supported the effort to oust the Democratic governor.

Fifty-four percent of Californians also said they approved of the work Newsom had done in office so far, a rating that was mostly unchanged from polling conducted a few months ago.

When asked if they would vote yes to remove Newsom from office if a special election were held the same day, only 40 percent of California voters said they would. Many of those were Republican voters.

"The share who would now vote to remove the governor is similar to the 38 percent who did not vote for Newsom in the fall of 2018," PPIC President Mark Baldassare said in a statement with the results.

A similar poll from Probolsky Research released on March 23 found that only 34.6 percent of likely recall voters would back Newsom's removal from office, while 52.5 percent said they would oppose the effort.

The Recall Gavin Newsom campaign handed over a petition with more than 2 million signatures to California election officials early last month. Roughly 1.5 million signatures need to be valid for recall to move ahead.