A new poll released by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce on Thursday found that 67% of city voters approve of recalling San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin – almost exactly on par with previous polls dating back to March.
According to the 2022 Dignity Health CityBeat Poll. 76% of all recipients said that the city is currently on the wrong track, with only 20% saying that San Francisco is going in the right direction. DA Boudin’s favorability rating was low as well, with only 22% of all voters viewing him as favorable, with 66% viewing him as unfavorable. This paralleled with the recall support figures, with 67% of voters planning to vote in favor of the recall and 31% planning to vote against it.
Concerns over crime and public safety played a large role in those views by voters. 83% of voters said that crime has gotten worse in recent years in the city, with crime and public safety being seen as a major issue by residents jumping from 26% in 2020 to 55% in 2022.
In addition, at least 75% of city voters said that they wanted the following policies placed as a high priority for the city:
- Enforce existing laws that prohibit open air drug dealing
- Increase the number of police officers on the street in high crime areas
- Increase the number of police officers on the street in busy areas
- Expand community-based police work in neighborhoods
- Expanding conservatorship to provide court-ordered treatment for those unable to care for themselves due to severe mental illness
- Putting more caseworkers on the street to help people with behavior health and substance abuse problems get needed help
- Opening new mental and behavioral health centers with services centered around substance abuse and mental health issues
The figures in the May Dignity Health CityBeat Poll largely mirrored previous polls on the recall and crime, such as the March EMC Research Poll and the May San Francisco Standard Poll. The EMC poll showed that 68% of voters were in favor of the recall, with the Standard poll showing 57% in favor, or, after the undecided voters in the poll being split, another 68%. The CityBeat poll on Thursday at 67% brought in almost the exact same percentage of voters. While Boudin’s unfavorable ratings have slightly mellowed, going from a 74% unfavorable rating in March to 66% this month, the growing concern over high crime has kept the percentage of voters planning to vote against him relatively the same.
Over two-thirds of voters still in favor of recalling Boudin
“This poll builds on what we’ve been knowing more and more,” said Bay Area political issue consultant Hannah Reed in a Globe interview on Thursday. “San Franciscans have been fed up with crime and want Boudin out. The numbers don’t lie, and every single poll so far shows that they want him out by a huge margin. Boudin won’t say so, but he failed as a DA. Badly.
“The voters also seem to know that they want the SFPD to have a large presence in the city once again, but also want to couple that with some of the newer, alternate ways of fighting crime that have had no teeth behind them, like community driven police works and a focus on mental and drug abuse help to simultaneously help curb the homelessness crisis and reduce crime. It’s a compassionate care system backed up by the long arm of the law. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, what they want is to speak softly but also carry a big stick.
“And the new poll perfectly sums up why so many want to recall Boudin. It’s not just crime, but it’s the severe rise in crime caused by his policy failures. And by the poll figures, it seems that the voters know what to do about crime more than he, and to be fair, other city lawmakers do. We’ve finally seen where the Blue Wave of the late 2010’s and the post-George Floyd pushback against law enforcement have brought us in San Francisco.”
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Dignity Health CityBeat Poll was conducted among San Francisco voters from April 27th to May 3rd earlier this year.
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