Uh oh. New poll of Californians shows Gavin Newsom is in (more) trouble

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

I wonder if California Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent mask hypocrisy during the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl has anything to do with today’s headline? No matter the reasons, a new poll conducted by UC Berkeley and the Los Angeles Times has nothing but bad news for Newsom. Up until the beginning of winter, despite Newsom’s inept handling of the pandemic and other failures in leadership (not to mention barely surviving a recall election), he had managed to keep his head above water and enjoy a reasonable level of support with the voters. Now, however, those days appear to be over. Newsom is underwater in nearly every category you can name. And it doesn’t appear as if better times are just around the corner, particularly in the opinion of a majority of the state’s residents. (The Hill)

Most Californians in a new poll released Tuesday say the state is heading in the wrong direction.

A ​​UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, co-sponsored by The Los Angeles Times, found 54 percent of respondents believed the state is going in the wrong direction, as 36 percent believe it is going in the right direction, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The negative sentiment about the state’s direction comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) approval rating has also fallen.

The right direction versus wrong direction question sets the tone for the entire poll. When you’re on the wrong side of a 54/36 split, the natives are definitely getting restless. As noted, his personal approval rating is heading in the same direction. In November of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, before the vaccines arrived, Newsom enjoyed a 64 percent approval rating. He’s now down to 48, with 47 percent disapproving. While not entirely underwater, it’s still a fairly dramatic fall.

Anyone who has seen pictures of the streets of Los Angeles or San Francisco lately (or just looked out the window if they are a resident) would be able to tell you the two topics where Newsom gets the lowest grades. His handling of the homelessness epidemic and spiraling crime rates have soured public opinion of him significantly. On the subject of dealing with the homelessness crisis, 66% rate Newsom as “poor” or “very poor.” Only 18% were willing to rate him as “fair.”

He’s not doing much better when it comes to controlling crime. 51% went with “poor” or “very poor” at controlling crime, while 20% rated him “good” or “excellent.” Is that really any surprise? People are having a hard time finding places to shop because so many stores are going out of business because they are being looted and picked clean by thieves on an almost daily basis. Violent crime is up in the cities, particularly in areas where the homeless congregate.

The area where Newsom is still seen as doing the best (relatively speaking) is his handling of the pandemic. He gets “good” or “excellent” marks from 39% of the voters. When 39 is the best you can manage, your people are not happy.

Unfortunately, I don’t expect things to get noticeably better for Californians in the months or years to come. Even if they kick out some of the current pack of inept liberal Democrats currently running the state and its major cities, you know the voters will simply replace them with another crew of inept, liberal Democrats. It’s a reflexive instinct for too many of them. But as the old saying informs us, one of the key definitions of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over while somehow expecting different results. I’m afraid I’m running low on sympathy for the voters of the Golden State.