Most California voters think Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is doing a “poor” or “very poor” job in facing the rising crime rate across the state, as per a recent poll.
The University of California at Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies conducted a survey sponsored by the Los Angeles Times in February. According to the results, 51% of registered voters in the Golden State think Newsom was doing a “poor” or “very poor” job at handling the people’s crime and public safety concerns. This represents a 16-percentage-point increase since 2020, which was the last time a similar assessment was made.
The survey also reflected that homelessness would become a hotbed issue for voters in the state during this year’s gubernatorial race. Two out of three respondents, which is around 66%, said Newsom’s performance when handling this issue is also “poor” or “very poor.” This is a 12-percentage-point rise since 2020’s poll.
“You see a lot of changing going on in the public’s mind. I think they’re focusing less on COVID, more on the other long-standing issues that the state has been facing,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll. He added: “The state has some major issues, and he’s the governor. The buck stops there.”
“There’s a long history of state residents being concerned about crime. It hasn’t been that prominent in recent years, but now appears to be coming back,” DiCamillo went on to say. “That issue has become much more prominent, and Newsom is much more vulnerable.”
Meanwhile, the respondents in the poll were optimistic that the COVID-19 pandemic in their state and in local areas was improving. However, around two out of three voters, around 65%, also think that the crime in their neighborhoods has increased in the last year. A larger majority (78%) also believe that the number of crimes across the state overall has been going up in the past year.
Addressing the poll, a spokesperson for the governor’s reelection campaign told the Times that Newsom “decisively guided California through historic and unprecedented crises.”
“His actions saved lives and provided real help to families as they faced uncertainty,” Nathan Click, the spokesman, said. “He remains 100% focused on providing solutions to California’s most vexing challenges — from the pandemic and climate change to homelessness and public safety.”
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