Politics Exit polls in California Gov. Newsom recall election show support for Covid restrictions
California recall election: Will the state keep or remove Gov. Gavin Newsom? Results could take time.
Tuesday is decision day in California and voters in the Golden State will decide whether they will keep Gov. Gavin Newsom or remove him from office.It's been a winding path to get here, but polls show the Democrat is likely to keep his job leading a state that is known nationally as a liberal trendsetter.
Ahead of polls closing in California's recall election, where voters are deciding whether to remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, NBC News exit polls found support for the Covid mitigation measures he instituted in the state.
Theasked whether Newsom should be removed from office and gave voters who wanted to see him ousted the choice of 46 alternatives. Polling places close at 8 p.m. PT.
Frustration with Covid-19 restrictions helped recall organizers gather the roughly 1.5 million signatures they needed to force the vote. But Newsom ended up making his support for mask and vaccine mandates, warning that a Republican replacement would undo his health restrictions if elected.
Newsom's nightmare: How one November day fueled the recall
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — On a single day last November, two events helped set the course for just the second recall election against a governor in California history: Gov. Gavin Newsom dined with 11 friends and lobbyists at one of the country’s most expensive restaurants as he pleaded with Californians to stay home, while those looking to kick him out of office won four more months to qualify for the ballot. Photos of the maskless dinner showed the Democratic governor going against what he had been urging for months to combat the coronavirus: don’t gather in groups, keep your distance, wear a mask.
An NBC News exit poll found voters likely sided with Newsom on the public health measures, with a plurality, or 45 percent, saying Newsom’s Covid policies are right, compared to 32 percent who said the measures are too strict. Another 17 percent said they aren’t strict enough.
The NBC News exit poll results of early and Election Day voters found 69 percent support Newsom’s mandate requiring students to wear facemasks in schools and 63 percent said getting vaccinated against the coronavirus is more about a “public health responsibility” than a “personal choice."
Video: Sen. Alex Padilla on voting rights and filibuster reform (MSNBC)
Newsom has been weighed down by a slew of issues facing the state, but those voting for and against recalling the Democrat had different views of which issues were most important, according to NBC News exit poll.
How the recall election against California Gavin Newsom will work
The election will be just the second recall election for governor in state history. The other took place in 2003 when Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor. Here's what you need to know about the recall. How did we get here?In February 2020, a group called the California Patriot Coalition began circulating a petition to recall Newsom, citing his administration's policies on immigration, homelessness, the state's drought emergency and taxes. Newsom had faced five previous recall attempts, but such petitions require 1.
Among voters who want Newsom removed, the economy was the top issue for 26 percent of them, followed by homelessness, which was the top issue for 23 percent of those in favor of recall. Crime was the top issue for 18 percent, and the Covid pandemic for 15 percent, according to the exit poll.
The pandemic was the top issue for those who wanted to keep Newsom in office, with 42 percent citing that as their top issue. It was followed by homelessness, cited by 22 percent, wildfires by 18 percent, the economy by 9 percent and crime by 2 percent.
Democrats were worried weeks ago when it looked like Democratic voter enthusiasm was low, but grew hopeful when recent polls showed more voters paying attention.
Every registered vote in the state was sent a mail ballot and millions have already returned theirs, but it could still take several days for the outcome to be clear if the race is close as officials count votes from people who voted in-person on Election Day-votes as well as mail ballots that arrive late.
How Larry Elder has helped Gavin Newsom in California's recall election
Earlier this year, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom was searching for the right message to convince disengaged Democrats to vote against the effort to oust him in Tuesday's recall election, it would have been impossible to imagine a more perfect foil than conservative talk radio host Larry Elder. © Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP California Gov. Gavin Newsom is photographed during a TV interview before a rally against the California gubernatorial recall election on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Sun Valley, California.
Early returns are likely to look artificially blue, since Democratic voters often like to vote early by mail while many Republicans wanted to wait to vote on Election Day.
The two-question ballot asked voters first if Newsom should be removed from office and then, if so, who should replace him, with controversial conservativeleading the crowded field of potential replacements.
If the first question succeeds, then whoever wins the most votes on thewould become governor.
As polls showed Newsom likely to survive the recall, Republicansabout the integrity of the vote, with former President Donald Trump calling the vote "rigged" and Elder's campaign promoting a website that claimed it had found fraud in the results before any were even released.
California recall: Environmentalists fear a one-time climate change denier could oust Newsom .
The Sept. 14 election is shaping up as a tight race. Lukewarm enthusiasm for the Democratic governor and a confusing ballot opens the door to an upset.That could help trigger a political earthquake: a "yes" vote to oust the Democratic governor and an upset victory by a conservative who could upend California's landmark environmental policies.