Despite national media attention and name recognition, Caitlyn Jenner drew low support in the most recent UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, their first since she got into California’s gubernatorial race.
The poll showed that Jenner got just 6% support, behind Republicans Kevin Faulconer and John Cox, who each received 22%, according to the Los Angeles Times, a sponsor of the survey.
The poll was conducted online to 10,289 registered voters, with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. Participants were polled from April 29 to May 5. The latter date is when Jenner gave her first major TV interview, on Fox News’ Hannity. She sat down with CNN for another interview on Monday.
The results generally were good news for California Governor Gavin Newsom. While the recall has passed the signature threshold to get on the ballot, likely this fall, just 36% of California voters said they were in support of ousting Newsom from office, compared to 49% who are opposed and 15% are undecided. The yes on recall number is unchanged from earlier in the year.
Newsom may get a boost from an improved outlook for the Covid-19 pandemic and an unexpectedly rosy budget situation, as he announced a surplus of $75.7 billion, with plans to distribute $600 stimulus checks. Overall, according to the poll, his approval rating stands at 52%, an increase from earlier this year. As the Times notes, though, Newsom is vulnerable on issues like homelessness and housing.
Jenner’s numbers are a further reminded of how different 2021 is from 2003, when the state’s voters ousted Gray Davis and replaced him with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state since then has gone more Democratic blue, and Newsom’s numbers are better than they were for the incumbent at this point back then. When it comes to celebrity candidates, Schwarzenegger already had experience in statewide elections, having championed an after-school education initiative the year before. Jenner gave her first interview to Hannity, reaching an audience on the right, but on CNN she told Dana Bash that she didn’t cast her ballot for Donald Trump last year because she didn’t vote.
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