The poll surveyed 10,289 people between April 29 and May 5 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Opposition to the recall has grown as Newsom recovers politically somewhat and as Democrats begin to take more seriously the first gubernatorial recall since 2003 when former Gov. Gray Davis was removed in favor of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The state’s budget has also been buoyed by its pandemic-resistant tech sector, highly progressive tax structure and an approximately $26 billion windfall from the recent federal relief package.
Newsom on Monday said the state was projecting an astonishing $76 billion budget surplus — and a plan to send hundreds of dollars back to millions of Californians. Those checks could potentially arrive shortly before residents are set to cast their ballots on the recall question.
That could be a boon for Newsom, who has faced blowback over his unmasked dinner with lobbyists at the tony French Laundry and for some of the longest Covid-19 school shutdowns in the nation, as well as strict closures on businesses and churches.
Slightly more than half — 52 percent — of respondents approved of Newsom’s job performance, a modest increase from January though appreciably below his high-water mark from last year.
The poll also shows little voter interest for Republican Caitlyn Jenner’s candidacy at this point. Just 6 percent of respondents said they supported the idea of the former Olympic gold medalist-turned-reality star replacing Newsom.
The survey was conducted after Jenner officially jumped into the crowded field on April 24, though the first-time candidate laid low in the days after that initial buzz and has recently emerged for two national TV interviews — on Fox News and CNN, respectively.
By contrast, two other major Republican candidates, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and businessman John Cox — Newsom’s 2018 general election opponent — each had support from roughly one-fifth to replace the sitting governor.
Democrats have a steep voter registration advantage over Republicans in California, although the GOP is banking on enthusiasm from recall supporters to offset part of that gap.