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Do Dems Care Enough About Newsom to Save His Job?



Gov. Gavin Newsom says Democrats aren't taking the recall election seriously, and a new poll confirms his views. (AP File)
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If Gov. Gavin Newsom loses the upcoming recall, Democrats who fail to cast ballots will bear the blame.

That’s the top takeaway from a CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday indicating that Newsom’s fate will rest with Democratic Party turnout.

“Democrats up and down the state haven’t taken this (recall) seriously, whereas Republicans have.” — Gov. Gavin Newsom

Among registered voters, Newsom would fend off the recall by a 54-46% margin, according to the poll conducted Aug. 6-12.

However, only 52% of likely voters say they oppose the recall. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Dems Less Motivated to Vote

The poll documents the so-called enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans said they would definitely vote compared to 73% of Dems. In addition, 72% of Republicans reported they were “very motivated to vote” compared to 61% of Democrats.

Newsom himself cited the enthusiasm gap in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

“Democrats up and down the state haven’t taken this seriously, whereas Republicans have,” Newsom told The Post. “Republicans see this as a historic opportunity.”

The top reasons cited by recall backers for ousting Newsom in the CBS News/YouGov poll:

  • Oppose Newsom and the job he’s doing (96%)
  • Oppose the Democratic Party (64%)
  • Elect a Republican governor (60%)
  • Shake things up (48%)

Those opposing the recall offered these explanations:

  • Shouldn’t be a recall (91%)
  • Support Newsom and the job he’s doing (80%)
  • Stop a Republican from becoming governor (78%)
  • Support Democratic Party (65%)

Newsom had a 57% approval rating among poll respondents. His best marks were for his handling of the economy and wildfires. But a majority of voters oppose his handling of crime and homelessness.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email