LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Californians are already weighing in by the millions on the recall, sending in their mail-in ballots and there could be some good news for the governor.
A new poll found that Governor Gavin Newsom appears to have made a dramatic turnaround in the gubernatorial recall election.READ MORE: 'Time Machine,' 'Toys In The Attic' Actress Yvette Mimieux Dies At 80
The data, from the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and the Los Angeles Times, found that likely voters oppose removing Governor Newsom by 60% compared to 38% who want him out.
“He’s built up a big enough margin, so that he’s in good shape for Tuesday,” said Professor Eric Schickler with the UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies.
As recently as July, the same poll found an even split among likely voters.
Larry Elder is the top GOP candidate in the race, polling far ahead the other hopefuls. He’s followed successful YouTube personality Kevin Paffrath, the only Democrat that is registering in the poll. Former two-term Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer is next.
Loyola Law Professor Jessica Levinson says Elder’s standing may have actually helped Newsom.
“I think having Larry Elder as the frontrunner has been so useful for Governor Newsom. He doesn’t just say, ‘Oh, it’s this abstract clown car over there.’ Instead, what he says is, ‘There’s somebody running who’s gaining traction, who’s really “scary.”‘”READ MORE: Bodycam Footage Released In Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar Massacre
Newsom has tried to nationalize the election and has done his best to remind voters that his opponents are Trump supporters who share many of the former president’s views.
“We defeated Donald Trump. We didn’t defeat Trumpism,” Newsom has said.
Vote by mail may also be helping Democrats.
“So, we have people who see the ballot that are like, ‘I didn’t know that this was going on. I guess I might as well fill it out because I don’t like this,’ and so turnout is double what it was in 2003,” said Dr. Jennifer Cryer, University of California Assistant Professor of Political Science.
Experts are also watching another issue, whether Newsom’s strategy of telling voters not to vote for a replacement candidate will work. The only Democrat registering in the polls says it’s wrong.
“I think it’s selfish of Governor Newsom to say, ‘Leave the second part of the ballot blank.’ I think it’s un-American,” Paffrath said.
The Latino vote is the largest voting bloc in California, and so far, turnout among Latinos has been relatively low, which could be a warning sign for the governor.MORE NEWS: Hearing For Long Beach School Officer Charged In Woman’s Shooting Death