California’s Progressive Fall Guy – WSJ


California Gov. Gavin Newsom won election in 2018 by 24 points amid an anti-Trump wave. Democrats control every statewide office and a supermajority in the Legislature. But voter frustration with progressive misrule is mounting, and a new poll finds that Mr. Newsom is vulnerable in a Sept. 14 recall election.

The Berkeley IGS poll shows 47% of likely voters supporting his ouster. Under California recall rules, voters are first asked whether to remove an elected official. Then they vote separately on a replacement. If a majority votes to boot Mr. Newsom, the candidate with the most votes on the second question becomes Governor.

It’s hard to predict the recall turnout given its timing and because it will be conducted by mail-in ballots. The latter should help Mr. Newsom since support for his recall is less (36%) among all registered voters. But it’s not a good sign that his approval rating among all registered voters has fallen 14 points since last September to 50%.

Mr. Newsom is notably suffering from a lack of enthusiasm among key groups. Forty-seven percent of likely voters ages 18 and 39 support his removal, as do half of 40- to 64-year-olds and Asians. Likely voters in every region of the state but San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Central Coast want him out.

The recall is in part a referendum on the Governor’s excessive and destructive Covid lockdowns. California boasts the third highest unemployment rate in the country (7.7%). Last fall he was caught violating his own Covid rules with friends at the ritzy French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley. Weeks later he shut down businesses, including outdoor dining.



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