A poll released Tuesday by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies shows California Governor Gavin Newsom’s approval rating is sinking across most voter groups. Most Californians won’t be surprised why: continuing COVID restrictions two years in, never-ending mask mandates on kids while Hollywood celebrities and the state’s elected Democrats violate their own COVID orders and mandates, as well as rampant homelessness and crime throughout the state.
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“Contributing to voters’ more mixed assessment of the Governor are growing concerns of how Newsom is handling several festering problems, such as homelessness and crime, that are now plaguing the state,” the poll said.
“For example, two in three voters (66%) now rate Newsom as doing a ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ job in his handling of the issue of homelessness. This is up 12 percentage points from 2020, the last time the poll made an assessment. In addition, a 51% majority of voters also downrates the Governor’s performance on crime and public safety issues, up 16 percentage points from 2020.”
Pollsters note that homelessness and crime stand out as areas of the greatest criticism.
This is happening all while Californians are more than ready to reopen the state fully, and are pushing tone-deaf officials to end the COVID restrictions.
Of particular note is the awareness of the effects of Proposition 47 California voters have acquired since voting for its passage in 2014.
Proposition 47, passed by misinformed voters in 2014, flagrantly titled “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” decriminalized drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor, removing law enforcement’s ability to make an arrest in most circumstances, as well as removing judges’ ability to order drug rehabilitation programs rather than incarceration. And perhaps the most obvious aspect of Prop. 47 on display today raised the theft threshold to $950 per location, and bumped theft down to a misdemeanor from a felony.
These are quality of life issues, which don’t differentiate between Republicans and Democrats.
Gov. Newsom also let another 76,000 prisoners out of state prisons – on his own authority through Executive Order – as violent crime is spiking in California’s cities. In July 2020, the Globe reported on 18,000 prisoners released “due to COVID.”
“And, by a nearly two-to-one margin voters support changing the 2014 voter-approved ballot measure that reduced penalties for certain types of property crimes, like shoplifting of items valued at no more than $950, from potential felonies to misdemeanors,” the poll said.
“These results suggest that some of the same dissatisfaction that’s hurting Democrats nationally is affecting Governor Newsom’s popularity in the state,” observed IGS co-director Eric Schickler.
Voters are keenly aware of the significant drop in quality-of-life throughout the state, and this awareness is now reflecting poorly on the governor.
Voters were also asked to assess the job Newsom was doing in ten specific areas. “The results show that voters offer more negative than positive assessment of the Governor in eight of the ten areas rated. The areas where Newsom receives his poorest marks are his handling of homelessness (66% poor or very poor vs. 11% excellent or good) and his handling of the issue of crime and public safety (51% poor or very poor vs. 20% excellent or good).
Both issues have also seen a double digit increase in the proportion of voters offering a negative assessment since 2020.
The poll finds more negative than positive opinions of Gov. Newsom’s job performance across most major voter groups on important statewide issues like water policies, wildfire policies, education and schools, health care, and the budget surplus.
You can read the entire poll here.
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