Just four short months ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom enjoyed an impressive 64% approval rating among California voters — but as the pandemic has dragged on, that number has plummeted to 46%, according to a new poll from UC Berkeley.
The dramatic decline comes as opponents of Newsom inch closer to qualifying a recall campaign against the governor, and as California continues to grapple with its vaccine rollout, while most schools remain closed and businesses struggle to survive.
"This certainly changes the political landscape in California. Voters now have a much more critical view of the performance of Gov. Newsom, whereas last year, large majorities had a very positive impression of the job he was doing," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies Poll.
Now, 48% of voters disapprove of Newsom's job performance, up from 36% in September, a wild swing directly attributable to the pandemic, DiCamillo said.
"In September, most voters thought that [handling the pandemic] was one of his strongest areas," he said.