Earlier this month, results from a SurveyUSA poll showed that 51% of likely voters in California’s upcoming recall election would vote to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office. It was the first poll to show a majority favoring his removal and led to a dramatic shift in polling averages.
Before these results, polling averages calculated by the politics and data website FiveThirtyEight showed a seven-point margin favoring keeping Newsom in office. But with SurveyUSA’s data, the margin narrowed to less than one point. As of Aug. 17, the latest date for which FiveThirtyEight has data, the margin inched up to 1.2 points, with 48.8% for keeping Newsom in office and 47.6% for removing him.
FiveThirtyEight’s polling averages are perhaps the most sophisticated data-based method of assessing the state of the recall race. The numbers come from a statistical model that aggregates individual poll results into two averages — one for keeping Newsom in office and another for removing him. The website has been producing these averages since mid-July but incorporates polls that go as far back as January.
FiveThirtyEight also tracks averages for whom Californians would choose as a replacement if Newsom is recalled. In their latest numbers, Larry Elder leads with an average of 19%, followed by Kevin Paffrath at 9% and John Cox at 6%. The other 43 candidates on the ballot have averages below 5%.
In other words, there's a 50/50 shot that odious grifter Larry Elder ends up governor.
Nobody in California seems to think that there's much alacrity needed, either.
It's a disaster in the making.