Gavin Newsom’s Approval Rating Slides 11 Points In Nine Months Amid Presidential Buzz

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approval rating in the state has declined by 11 percentage points since February amid speculation that he intends to run for president of the United States in the future, according to University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies poll.

Newsom’s approval rating as governor has declined to 44% from 55% in February, according to the poll, which was commissioned by The Los Angeles Times. Newsom, who is currently term-limited from seeking re-election as governor, has been praised by commentators such as MSNBC’s Mehdi Hassan and The Hill’s Derek Hunter for his policies in California and communication skills in national media, leading some to argue that he should seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024 or 2028.  (RELATED: Chinese Intel Service ‘Affiliate’ Takes Credit For Bringing Gavin Newsom To China)

“He’s kind of taking on a new persona,” Mark DiCamillo, the director of the poll, told the LA Times. “He’s no longer just the governor of California. He’s a spokesperson for the national party and, basically, voters are being asked to react to that.”

Apart from his approval rating, Newsom’s disapproval rating increased by 10 percentage points from February to 49%, nearly the same absolute value as his decrease in approval. It is only the second time in Newsom’s gubernatorial tenure that his disapproval rating have overtaken his approval rating, the other being during the Covid-19 pandemic, when a recall effort against him was successfully balloted, though it ultimately did not remove him from office.

Newsom has agreed to debate Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a presidential candidate that he has criticized, on Nov. 30 in Georgia, which will be moderated by Fox News host Sean Hannity. Newsom was deputized by President Joe Biden’s campaign as a rapid response spokesperson for the second Republican presidential primary debate on Sept. 27 in Simi Valley, California.

The decline in Newsom’s approval rating spans nearly every demographic group surveyed by the poll, including registered Democratic voters, with whom his popularity fell by 16 percentage points since February, according to the poll. Newsom fares worse among independent voters, of whom merely 37% approve of his performance as governor, a decline of 12 percentage points, according to the poll.

While the poll was conducted among registered voters, Newsom fared better when the sample size was limited to likely voters, with 48% approving of his performance. The poll also found that 60% of voters approved of Proposition 1, a Newsom-backed referendum initiative to create mental health bonds to fund 10,000 treatment spots across the state.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 24 and 30 and surveyed 6,342 registered voters in California. The margin of error is 2 percentage points.

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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