New Recall Poll Shows Gavin Newsom's Win Could Be Landslide Victory

With less than two weeks until California's recall election, new polling numbers suggest that Governor Gavin Newsom may not only beat back the effort to remove him from office but will see a landslide victory as well.

A poll released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) on Wednesday night shows the governor with a 19-point advantage.

Asked how they would vote if the special election were held today, 58 percent of likely voters said "no" to recalling or removing Newsom, while 39 percent said they would vote "yes."

Of the 1,706 Californians surveyed between August 20 and 29, seven in 10 said the recall election is very important to them, while 47 percent said they were more enthusiastic about voting on September 14 than usual.

The already favorable numbers for Newsom may play out even better in the upcoming voting.

PPIC polls have typically understated Democratic support in statewide elections. In its final poll of the 2020 presidential race, the PPIC showed Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by 26 percentage points. Biden went on to win by 29 points.

In PPIC's 2018 gubernatorial poll, Newsom had an 11-point lead over John Cox, but he went on to win by a much larger margin, 23 points.

Gavin Newsom Recall Election Governor Poll Landslide
A new poll released by the Public Policy Institute of California shows Governor Gavin Newsom with a 19-point advantage over the campaign to remove him from office. Above, Newsom speaks at a press conference at Cal State Los Angeles on February 16. Mario Tama/Getty

The recall election has seemed to increasingly tilt in Newsom's favor over the final month before voting, coinciding with the governor's ramp-up of voter outreach and engagement efforts. He currently has an 8-to-1 fundraising advantage over the recall effort.

A released by SurveyUSA and the San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday found Newsom leading by 8 percentage points—a figure significantly higher than the 2- to 3-point lead other polls have shown.

The PPIC's latest survey also indicates Newsom is doing better than he was in March, when its polling found that 56 percent of voters would vote "no" on a recall, compared with the current 58 percent.

The Wednesday poll found that conservative radio host Larry Elder to be the leading GOP candidate to replace Newsom, with 26 percent, should he be recalled. Following Elder is former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, with 5 percent.

The majority of Californians said they approve of both Newsom's handling of his job as governor and Biden's handling of his job as president.

Newsom's support ahead of the recall election may be driven by his response to the coronavirus pandemic, which was named by voters as the top issue facing California.

From a policy standpoint, there has been strong support for Newsom's vaccine mandate, which applies to the state's health care workers and educators.

More than 60 percent of Californians said they favor requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for large outdoor gatherings or certain indoor spaces. More than three in four Californians said they think Newsom's administration is doing an excellent or good job at distributing the shots.