Three weeks before the recall vote, another poll shows bad news for Chesa Boudin

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The first poll of the attempt to recall DA Chesa Boudin was released in March and showed voters were 2:1 in favor of removing him from office. At the time, a spokesperson for the anti-recall campaign argued that a poll taken in February didn’t really tell you anything about what voters might do in June.


Last week a second poll was released and this one also found respondents were more than 2:1 in favor of the recall, but the anti-recall campaign once again cast doubt on the results.

With less than a month until the final day to vote in the June primary, the SF Standard Voter Poll found that over half of registered voters (57%) support recalling District Attorney Boudin, while less than a quarter of respondents (22%) plan to reject the recall…

Boudin’s anti-recall campaign expressed skepticism about the poll’s methodology, which involves recruiting people via social media and texting, and they said they’re seeing “enthusiastic” on-the-ground support against the recall.

With just three weeks to go before the vote, a new poll was released Monday which has more bad news for Boudin. Like the previous polls, this one shows strong support for recalling him, albeit not the same 2:1 ratio shown in the previous polls. But unlike the previous polls, the anti-recall campaign can’t complain about this one because they commissioned this one.

A third poll of the Chesa Boudin recall election in San Francisco shows a closer race than two previously released polls showed but is still hardly good news for the district attorney.

Commissioned by the anti-recall campaign and shared with SFGATE, the new poll from Public Policy Polling (rated as an “A-” pollster by FiveThirtyEight) found that 48% of San Franciscans plan to vote “yes” on recalling Boudin, 38% plan to vote “no” and 14% are undecided. The poll was conducted over the weekend among 697 likely voters and has a margin of error of 4.3%…

If the poll’s findings are accurate, Boudin would have to overwhelmingly win remaining undecided voters 93% to 7%. Ross said he believes that’s possible, stating that he finds it easier to persuade late undecided voters to vote “no” in recall elections (thus preserving the status quo) than it is to persuade them to vote “yes.”


Is there really a chance that undecided voters will break 90% for Boudin. Put another way, are there really that many people in San Francisco who look around and think the status quo is worth preserving? I sincerely hope not.

It seems far more likely that a lot of those undecided voters will remain undecided and will simply not vote either way. And that probably won’t leave enough voters to stop the recall unless something dramatic happens in the next couple weeks. Of course there’s no reason to think any breaking news about Boudin will help him. Case in point, the SF Standard published a story today about Boudin’s record of convicting almost no one for dealing drugs despite an obvious drug problem which has killed a lot of residents.

Despite a surging fentanyl crisis that killed nearly 500 people last year in San Francisco, the office of District Attorney Chesa Boudin did not secure a single conviction for dealing the deadly opioid for cases filed during 2021, according to a review of court data.

Case information The Standard obtained from San Francisco Superior Court shows Boudin’s office secured just three total convictions for “possession with intent to sell” drugs in 2021: two for methamphetamine and one for a case including heroin and cocaine. By comparison, Boudin’s predecessor, George Gascón, oversaw over 90 drug-dealing convictions by the DA’s Office in 2018.

Boudin’s office is still obtaining convictions in fentanyl drug sales cases, but the actual convictions are not for the crime of drug dealing. About 80% of the cases in a type of charge category that included fentanyl dealing—44 in total—involved a defendant ultimately pleading guilty to a crime called “accessory after the fact,” meaning the accused was convicted of helping another person commit a crime. In a handful of cases, people arrested on multiple charges including fentanyl dealing end up being convicted of other serious felonies…


The story goes on to explain why so few people are being charged with drug dealing. One reason is because Boudin is emphasizing diversion programs. But another is really remarkable. The DA is required by law to consider a drug dealer’s immigration status and whether charges would result in deportation:

Prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys point out that drug dealing convictions are grounds for deportation, and a substantial number of drug dealers in the city are Honduran nationals who could face deadly consequences if deported. The accessory charge still gives them and their families a path toward eventual citizenship.

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to see any of those Honduran drug dealers forced to leave the country. Let’s make sure they can all stay.

Honestly, its things like this that make me want to throw up my hands when it comes to San Francisco. Voters have a chance to get rid of a DA who is eager to protect the criminals from consequences even as crime is literally driving people out of the city. San Francisco lost nearly 7% of its population last year. Voters who remain need to follow through on the recall and bring the city back to some sort of sanity.

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