Exit Polls: California Voters’ Views on Newsom Closely Linked to Wider Political Views

Just over 4 in 10 voters at the recall described themselves as Democrats, with around a quarter calling themselves Republicans and around 3 in 10 describing themselves as independents. Democrats and Republicans break away from party lines overwhelmingly in the recall, while independents who voted are roughly evenly divided.

The Covid-19 pandemic remains at the forefront of voters’ concerns, with around a third of them saying it is the biggest problem for the state, according to the CNN exit poll.

Next come just over a fifth of the homeless, 1 in 6 for the economy and wildfires, respectively, and just under a tenth for crime. Concerns vary across partisan lines: more than 4 in 10 Democrats call the coronavirus their main problem, while only about a fifth of Republicans say the same. On the flip side, Republicans are more than three times more likely than Democrats to point to the economy as their number one concern.

Voters have mixed opinions on how the pandemic is going in California, with around 4 in 10 saying the situation is improving, 3 in 10 staying about the same, and just under a quarter saying the situation is improving. ‘it is getting worse.

Less than half of the electorate, around 45%, say Newsom’s policies on the pandemic are about right, with around a third calling its policies too strict and the rest saying they are not tough enough. .

Covid-19 mitigation measures are widely supported, with more than 6 in 10 people saying getting vaccinated is more of a public health responsibility than a personal choice. Most California Republicans view vaccination as a personal choice, while most Democrats view it as a public health responsibility.

Californians are almost evenly spread across the current state of the California economy, with about half calling it good or excellent, and the rest calling it not so good or bad. Voters have a more negative view of the cost of living in their own part of California, with around 6 in 10 saying the costs are at least somewhat unmanageable.

Women make up just over half of the electorate in the California recall, just as they did in the 2020 presidential election and the 2018 gubernatorial race. White majorities narrowly make up the majority of the electorate, according to poll output, the rest being made up of people of color. In 2020, when the polls came out, about half of the electorate was white; in 2018 it was 63%.

The CNN California exit poll is a combination of in-person interviews with polling day voters and telephone and online polls measuring the opinions of absentees by mail and advance voters. It was conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool. In-person polling day interviews were conducted with a random sample of 30 California polling stations from 2,356 voters on polling day. The results also include 1,352 interviews with early and absent voters conducted by phone, online or SMS. The results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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