More California voters disapprove of Gov. Newsom than approve, poll says



California Gov. Newsom is losing support among state voters. For the first time since taking office in 2019, more California voters disapprove of the job he is doing (49%) than approve (44%), according to a new poll from the University of California-Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies released Tuesday.

The poll marks an 11-point decline in his approval rating compared with the last time the IGS asked voters about his job performance in February. Most of the change in sentiment is attributable to the extremes, IGS (Institute of Governmental Studies) Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said in a statement, “with the proportion strongly approving of Newsom’s performance declining from 25% to 18%, while those strongly disapproving climbed from 29% to 36%.”

The decline in his approval rating is “broad-based and is particularly noteworthy among political moderates and No Party Preference voters,” he said.

While 66% of Democrats approve of the job Newsom is doing, just 37% of No Party Preference and 7% of Republicans approve. Support was strongest in San Francisco (53%), where Newsom served as mayor before being elected governor, and among females, with 46% of women approving of his job performance compared with 41% of men.

While 53% of voters age 65 or older continue to support the governor, younger voters are less approving. Just 35% of voters age 18 to 29 and 38% of voters age 30 to 39 approve of the job he’s doing.

Newsom’s embrace of the national stage in Democratic politics is contributing to his declining approval at a time when the state is facing budget shortfalls and other problems, DiCamillo said. The only exception is Democrats, 70% of whom approve of him taking a more prominent role in national politics by appearing on national news shows and attending events outside the state.

About 50% of California voters approved of Newsom’s recent trip to China to meet with President Xi Jinping to discuss collaborative climate change solutions; 39% disapproved. More voters approved (37%) of his appointment of Laphonza Butler to temporarily serve in the U.S. Senate after the death of Dianne Feinstein than disapproved (30%).

The IGS conducted its poll in English and Spanish with 6,342 registered voters across the state from Oct. 24-30.

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