Latest California Recall Poll Shows Most Residents Still Oppose Gavin Newsom's Ouster

Most Californians still oppose the effort to oust Governor Gavin Newsom from office, according to a new poll.

The survey from the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies found that 60 percent of likely voters oppose recalling the Democrat, compared with 38 percent who are in favor of removing him.

The poll, which was co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times and conducted between August 30 and September 6, comes just four days before Californians weigh in on the matter.

All registered voters are eligible to participate in the special election, which will take place September 14. Mail-in ballots have already been sent to all active voters, along with an official guide on the candidates.

Voters will be asked two questions on the ballot: whether Newsom should be removed and which candidate should succeed him. More than 50 percent will have to vote "yes" on the first question for Newsom to lose his position.

Newsom's lead in the polls has widened in recent weeks after the race appeared to tighten in early August. At one point, surveys showed the race was almost even.

But as of Friday afternoon, Newsom had a double-digit lead, according to polling averages compiled by FiveThirtyEight. The tracker had "keep" Newsom at 55.7 percent and "remove" at 41.3 percent.

Dozens of challengers are running to take Newsom's place if he is recalled, including 24 Republicans. High-profile candidates include reality-TV star Caitlyn Jenner, conservative talk show host Larry Elder and businessman John Cox.

Elder has emerged as the front-runner of the Republican field. In the UC Berkeley poll, 38 percent of likely voters preferred Elder when asked to pick their first choice among Newsom's challengers.

The next closest challenger was Democrat Kevin Paffrath, with 10 percent. Paffrath is a 29-year-old social media influencer and Realtor.

Recall Poll Shows Californians Still Oppose Effort
Most Californians oppose the effort to oust Governor Gavin Newsom from office, according to a new poll. Above, Newsom speaks during a No on the Recall campaign event with Vice President Kamala Harris in San Leandro on Wednesday. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Newsom has slammed the recall effort as a Republican "power grab." His campaign has been aided by influential Democrats such as Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden.

Harris, the former attorney general of California, called Newsom a "great American leader" during a campaign event this week. The vice president also said that everyone has to vote in the special election.

"He never hears no, never 'something is not possible,'" Harris said of Newsom. "That's the kind of leadership this daughter of California wants."

Biden is slated to visit Sacramento on Monday ahead of a recall campaign event for Newsom in Southern California.

The UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies polled 9,809 registered voters. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.