California Recall

51% of Calif. likely voters want to recall Newsom, poll says. The leading replacement might surprise you.

As Californians prepare for a Sept. 14 referendum on Gov. Gavin Newsom, a new poll throws statistical gasoline on California’s recall fire.

A statewide poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for The San Diego Union-Tribune and a pair of southern California ABC affiliates between Aug. 2 and 4, found that 51 percent of likely voters would vote to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom from office.

40 percent would vote against the recall on the first of the two-question ballot.

Pollsters with SurveyUSA found that Republicans, unsurprisingly, back the recall by an 8-to-1 margin. Half of likely with no party preference told pollsters that they would support ousting Newsom from office, with 33 percent of independents opposing the recall.

Democrats opposed the recall by a 3-to-1 margin.

The margin-of-error on the recall question was 5 percent.

The poll surveyed 613 likely voters in California on the question of whether to recall Newsom.

The surprising twist, however, comes on the second question of the Sept. 14 ballot.

11 percent of likely voters told pollsters they would not vote on the replacement ballot regardless of the recall question result.

Of the 545 likely voters who would weigh-in on the replacement ballot, 27 percent said they would vote for Democrat Kevin Paffrath, a YouTuber with more than 1.6 million subscribers and real estate broker.

According to survey results, Paffrath is clearly the choice of those voting against the recall question – a heavily Democratic coalition.

Trailing Paffrath in this poll? Talk radio host and lawyer Larry Elder, who takes 23 percent of likely voters.

John Cox, Newsom’s 2018 foe, was the only other candidate to break double-digits in the poll, garnering 10 percent of support from likely voters weighing-in on the replacement ballot.

The margin of error on the replacement ballot was 5.4 percent.

The top issue motivating likely voters to recall Newsom were tied to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 34 percent citing his restrictions as the top reason, 13 percent said business closures, and 4 percent said school closures.

Reid Stone is a contributing reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun.