Despite California Governor Gavin Newsom claiming he won’t run for president in 2024 — even if President Biden doesn’t seek reelection — at least 70% of Golden State voters surveyed across the political spectrum agreed he should keep his name out of the race.
When asked by Quinnipiac University Poll if California voters would like to see Newsom make a bid for the White House as the next president, 7 out of 10 said no. Among Newsom’s own party, approximately 54% of Democrats said they do not want to see their current governor as the nation’s commander-in-chief.
“A resounding thumbs down from the home team as California voters tell the Governor: if you have designs on the big job beyond Sacramento, we’re not on board,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.
Newsom, who secured his second term as California governor last year after fending off a grassroots citizen-led recall, said in an interview with POLITICO that he is “all in” on Biden seeking reelection. However, Fox News reported Newsom has not ruled out running if Biden drops out of the race.
“I’ve told everyone in the White House, from the chief of staff to the first lady,” Newsom said.
Only five candidates have filed to run for president with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) or announced exploratory committees, which include former President Donald Trump, former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, entrepreneur and political commentator Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton — all of whom are running as a Republican candidate.
Marianne Williamson, a 2020 presidential candidate and author, announced she would run as a Democrat last month.
In the event Newsom files with the FEC in the coming months, the governor still has more than half of the state disapproving his work as governor. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 44% of Californians approve of Newsom — about a 5% increase from July 2019.
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Aside from the question of a Newsom 2024 presidential ticket, pollsters asked voters to choose the most urgent issues facing California today, which showed homelessness at 22%, affordable housing at 17%, and inflation at 10%, ranking at the top of the list.
Overall, 84% of voters surveyed believe homelessness is a “very” serious problem.
“What worries the Golden State most? Dealing with the homeless crisis and finding a home Californians can afford to live in,” Malloy said.
With the cost of living diminishing the quality of life in some areas of California, more than 4 in 10 voters said they would move out of California.
“If they could afford to pack up their bags and put California in the rear-view mirror, they would,” Malloy said. “And who wants out the most? Overwhelmingly, Republicans.”
Newsom also faces a $22.5 billion state budget deficit; he previously said he would reduce billions of dollars in investments initially slated for climate change programs and delay other funding for major programs to fix the issue.
Another recent poll from U.C. Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies reported Newsom received a 54% approval rating, which ranked in the top six of the state’s politicians.
Director Mark DiCamillo told the Los Angeles Times a governor’s popularity typically drops when state faces a budget shortfall.
“It’s true of every governor: When you start having to cut back on the budget, that’s usually a time when voters get more critical of you,” DiCamillo said.
Pollsters surveyed California registered voters from February 23-27 with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.