According to a new poll released by the San Francisco Standard and Embold Research on Thursday, support for Measure H, the recall against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, remains high less than a month before the vote on June 7th.
57% of respondents indicated that they would be voting for the recall, with only 22% voting against and 21% still undecided. While the result isn’t as high as the 68% in favor of the recall marked down by an EMC research poll released in March, the EMC poll did not include an option for undecided voters, leaving a firm 68% to 32% vote.
“If you split the undecideds in the new poll evenly, it is almost exactly the same as the Standard poll,” Bay Area political issue consultant Hannah Reed explained to the Globe on Thursday. “That shows that, in roughly two months, there has been little to no change in how people are feeling about Boudin. His efforts to pursue more criminals, or at least publicize them more, have obviously not been working.”
The poll also found that, when compared to where the city was in 2019, the majority of readers have strongly disapproved of the job that Boudin is doing. 52% said that they strongly disapprove, with 18% somewhat disapprove, 22% somewhat approve and only 8% strongly approve. Even worse for Boudin was the question asking how safe city residents felt, with 32% feeling much less safe, 33% feeling less safe, 30% feeling the same, and only 5% feeling more safe.
Boudin has, by far, the greatest percentage of voters disapproving of his job than any other entity in San Francisco government. The next closest entity in terms of strong disapproval is the Board of Supervisors, with 33% of residents strongly disapproving, followed closely by the School system with 32%, with Mayor London Breed at 25% and the SFPD only at 20%.
In addition, Boudin’s policies were polled, finding that the majority of residents disagreed with them as well as the results. Respondents were more for harsher penalties, with 73% supporting the arrest of those involved in minor property crimes and 66% backing forced treatment for potentially dangerous drug users. Meanwhile, diversion programs, the much touted alternative to arrest and imprisonments for most offenders, were shown to be very unpopular, with only 46% of city residents being in favor of them.
Support for Recall of Boudin remains high
“He couldn’t even pin down a few higher profile arrests and convictions to at least give the illusion he was at least going for the worst of the them,” said Frank Ma, a former law enforcement official who now works as a security advisor for businesses in San Francisco and cities in the Peninsula, to the Globe on Tuesday. “He indicated before that he would crack down harder on some of these bad guys, but even if he has, it is obviously too little too late for most people. We want real justice in San Francisco. We don’t want to be woken up anymore in the middle of the night by car alarms going off. We don’t want to pass by junkies on the sidewalk. We don’t want to feel unsafe outside anymore. And this poll is showing that we seemed to have reached a limit on the bungling of everything made by Boudin and others. We elected the son of terrorists as the DA. Most people are now looking back and saying ‘What were we thinking?!'”
Reed added: “The SFPD and Mayor Breed coming out still not in great shape but better than the others have come from many believing that they are at least trying. You really can’t blame the SFPD too much if they are being stymied by the new laws in the city. They are still making arrests and doing what they can, but how much can you really do with laws saying that most people you haul in are just going to be released soon after anyway? As for Breed, she has authorized going after crime in some hotspots like the Tenderloin, plus she has expressed not being for Boudin in the past, so she’s not exactly public enemy number one in the city right now. More than half still disapprove on some level against what she is doing, but voters there have bigger fish to fry at the moment.”
Finally, the problems in San Francisco have piled up so much, with crime only being the largest and most high-profile of city issues that also include homelessness and affordable housing concerns, that a major political shift is starting to be seen. Amongst all respondents regardless of party, 39% noted that their political views have become less progressive since 2019, with only 20% saying that they have become more progressive. 36% said their politics remained largely the same. 62% of Republicans responded that they have become less progressive, with 48% of independents indicating the same, compared to only 21% saying more progressive. Most critically, Democrats responded to the poll came in with 33% becoming less progressive with only 27% saying more progressive.
For the first time in decades, San Francisco appears to be turning around to being, if not more conservative, at least less progressive.
“They finally hit the wall,” continued Reed. “We all wondered when this day would come, but with Boudin and others screwing things up, it looks like we finally found where the edge of progressivism in San Francisco is. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that it was Boudin that broke the camels back. There were a lot of warning signs like city corruption, the school board being so dysfunctional that some board members there had to be recalled, and crime rates going up. Change won’t happen overnight and we are not going to see a Republican be, like, Mayor or something similar soon. But we found the edge. And the people are pushing back finally.”
The poll by Embold research was conducted earlier this month with 1,048 registered voters in the city and has a 3.8 plus/minus margin of error.