With the status of COVID-19 in California improving a new poll suggests the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom has lost a little steam.

While support to recall Newsom has never approached 50 percent there has been a slight decline in the percentage of voters who would recall Newsom, a new Public Policy Institute of California poll says. The number of people who would remove the Governor is now down to 40 percent, according to the poll.

California's rebound from the Covid-19 crisis is complicating the drive to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, with a strong majority of state voters now approving of his pandemic management and just 40 percent saying they would remove him, a new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows.

A recall election will be held later this year, sometime likely in the late fall. The recall election will ask two questions, with the first question asking if Newsom should actually be recalled.

If more than 50 percent of the voters vote to recall Newsom, then the second question on the ballot would go into effect in which the voters would be asked to elect a new governor from a list of candidates on the ballot. The candidate with the most votes would become the new governor and a majority — more than 50 percent — wouldn't be needed.

So theoretically Newsom could receive more votes not to recall him than the top candidate on the ballot, but would still be ousted.

But according to the PPI poll that wouldn't happen if the election was held today. If a recall election was held today, 57 percent of likely voters would vote against the recall while 40 percent would vote for it.

Newsom's approval rating which had fallen below 50 percent in some polls has now moved back up above 50 percent in the PPI poll. The PPI poll states 54 percent of likely voters approve of Newsom's job performance.

The number of voters who approve of his handling of the pandemic is actually considerably higher at 64 percent, the poll stated. And the number is actually a little higher for those in the state who approve of President Joe Biden's handling of the pandemic at 66 percent.

The poll also reported virtually everyone in the state believes the worst of the pandemic is over at 90 percent.

“Californians overwhelmingly believe the worst of the COVID crisis is behind us, and the share who fear getting sick and hospitalized from COVID has plummeted,” PPIC President and CEO Mark Baldassare said.

Unsurprisingly the poll falls along party lines. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans support the recall but only 11 percent of Democrats support it. But less than a majority of independents also support the recall at 47 percent.

Interestingly, less than 50 percent support the recall here in the more conservative Central Valley at 49 percent.

“The remarkably stable opposition to the recall of Gavin Newsom is driven by a large and consistent partisan divide that favors the Democratic governor,” Baldassare said.

Baldassare noted Democrats have a 46-24 percent registration advantage over Republicans in the state.

Seventy-five percent of voters say the state is doing a good or excellent job in distributing vaccines. That's a 39 percent increase since January. Only six percent say the state is doing a poor job.

But African Americans and Hispanics remain less likely to be vaccinated, although a majority of those groups have said they will be vaccinated or will definitely be vaccinated. The number is 56 percent for African Americans and 60 percent for Hispanics. The overall number for the state is 73 percent.

The state is renewing its effort to provide vaccines for these groups in underserved areas and has identified Tulare County as a priority in this effort.

Tulare County has already been working to provide vaccines to its underserved, rural areas, but the state will join the effort in the coming weeks providing mobile vaccinations to areas such as Porterville, Terra Bella, Strathmore and Lindsay.

“Most Californians say the state government is doing an excellent or good job with COVID vaccines, but African Americans and Latinos lag behind in getting shots,” Baldassare said.

A majority of the voters in the state also approve of Newsom's proposals to provide additional stimulus checks and to help with overdue rent and utility bills. The poll also found seven in 10 voters supported civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

As far as the status of the economy in the state, Baldassare said, “The share of Californians who think we are in a recession is shrinking, but three in ten lower-income residents say they are financially worse off than a year ago.”

Among major Republicans who have announced their candidacy in the recall election are businessman John Cox, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Caitlyn Jenner.

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