The Zogby California PollĀ®: A Tale of Two Newsoms; Governor Newsom has the best favorable rating in California; Governor Newsom applauded by voters for his response to the pandemic

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An overwhelming majority of voters agree the state's policies are hurting the economy and small businesses

 

 

Let's start out with the obvious-California Governor Gavin Newsom is the west coast "media darling" counterpart to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Cuomo's performance will be focus of our next release). Newsom is enjoying an unprecedented surge in popularity and coverage by the mainstream media.

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Newsom is two steps ahead of other California politicians and other national figures. In our latest Zogby Poll, Newsom's favorable/unfavorable rating is 64% favorable/30% unfavorable. This is remarkably better than other major politicians; for example, Senators Diane Feinstein (50% favorable/35% unfavorable) and Kamala Harris (50% favorable/35% unfavorable), L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti (52% favorable/23% unfavorable), President Donald Trump (32% favorable/62% unfavorable) and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden (52% favorable/39% unfavorable).

A particularly impressive aspect of Gavin Newsom's high favorable rating is that it transcends most demographics. He is extremely popular with all age groups (18-29 year olds-58% favorable/28% unfavorable; voters aged 65+-67% favorable/30% unfavorable), ethnicities (Hispanics-64% favorable/27% unfavorable; African Americans-74% favorable/27% unfavorable; and Asians-67% favorable/16% unfavorable), generations (Generation Z-59% favorable/27% unfavorable; Baby Boomers-64% favorable/32% unfavorable), men (64% favorable/31% unfavorable) and women (64% favorable/28% unfavorable), and annual income levels (<$25K-65% favorable/24% unfavorable; >$150K-69% favorable/28% unfavorable).

Governor Newsom also performs well with important swing voters. For instance, Governor Newsom's numbers are very good with consumer blocs such as weekly Walmart shoppers (62% favorable/33% unfavorable), NASCAR fans (65% favorable/31% unfavorable), weekly Amazon shoppers (65% favorable/29% unfavorable), suburban women (60% favorable/31% unfavorable) and Independent voters (50% favorable/40% unfavorable).

Why is Gavin Newsom rated so highly by California voters? It could be for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Two-thirds of California voters give Newsom's handling of the coronavirus pandemic a positive rating (excellent and good combined), while three in ten rated his handling of the coronavirus pandemic negatively (fair and poor combined).

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Even though Governor Newsom is riding high on a wave of popularity, we also wanted to see if likely voters thought the state's policies were hurting California's economy and small businesses, and if voters were ready for the economy to re-open. Two thirds agreed (67% at least somewhat agreed/26% at least somewhat disagreed) the state should re-open sections of California, where the infection and death rates from Covid-19 are very low. Majorities of all sub-groups agreed with this idea.

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We also asked likely voters if they agree that the current policies addressing the coronavirus pandemic, from the state of California, are hurting small businesses." Overall, a whopping 83% at least somewhat agreed, and only 14% at least somewhat disagreed. Again, an overwhelming majority of every sub-group at least somewhat agreed, regardless of region (Bay area-79% at least somewhat agreed/15% at least somewhat disagreed; LA/Orange County-83% at least somewhat agreed/14% at least somewhat disagreed), age (18-29 year olds-76% at least somewhat agreed/19% at least somewhat disagreed; voters aged 65+-87% at least somewhat agreed/11% at least somewhat disagreed), ethnicity (Hispanics-82% at least somewhat agreed/15% at least somewhat disagreed; African Americans-69% at least somewhat agreed/27% at least somewhat disagreed; Asians-83% at least somewhat agreed/12% at least somewhat disagreed), annual income level (<$25K-79% at least somewhat agreed/13% at least somewhat disagreed; >$150K-82% at least somewhat agreed/15% at least somewhat disagreed), party (Democrats-80% at least somewhat agreed/16% at least somewhat disagreed; Republicans-87% at least somewhat agreed/10% at least somewhat disagreed; Independents-84% at least somewhat agreed/12% at least somewhat disagreed), and generation (Millennials-82% at least somewhat agreed/15% at least somewhat disagreed; Baby Boomers-87% at least somewhat agreed/12% at least somewhat disagreed).

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Next, we asked likely voters if they agreed that the current policies from the state of California, aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic, are hurting the state's economy. Overall, 82% at least somewhat agreed, and 13% at least somewhat disagreed. Once again, an overwhelming majority of every sub-group at least somewhat agreed, regardless of region (Bay area-80% at least somewhat agreed/14% at least somewhat disagreed; LA/Orange County-83% at least somewhat agreed/14% at least somewhat disagreed), age (18-29 year olds-70% at least somewhat agreed/22% at least somewhat disagreed; voters aged 65+-87% at least somewhat agreed/9% at least somewhat disagreed), ethnicity (Hispanics-83% at least somewhat agreed/13% at least somewhat disagreed; African Americans-68% at least somewhat agreed/24% at least somewhat disagreed; Asians-84% at least somewhat agreed/10% at least somewhat disagreed), annual income level (<$25K-83% at least somewhat agreed/11% at least somewhat disagreed; >$150K-81% at least somewhat agreed/15% at least somewhat disagreed), party (Democrats-79% at least somewhat agreed/16% at least somewhat disagreed; Republicans-86% at least somewhat agreed/9% at least somewhat disagreed; Independents-85% at least somewhat agreed/11% at least somewhat disagreed) and generation (Millennials-79% at least somewhat agreed/15% at least somewhat disagreed; Baby Boomers-86% at least somewhat agreed/10% at least somewhat disagreed, etc.

The Takeaways

Californians support Gavin Newsom's response to the coronavirus pandemic and view his leadership positively. But voters also believe that his policies are hurting the economy and small businesses. Furthermore, voters are ready for the economy to re-open in areas where infection and death rates are very low. Is there disconnect between politicians and voters? That might be true, since California has taken a very measured and slow approach to the pandemic and lockdown. At the same time Californians are itching for a return to normalcy.

California voters realize the state's policies are hurting their economy and small businesses, but do not specifically blame Governor Newsom for it. Also, they might be willing to sacrifice their economic well being in the name of fighting the coronavirus.

One thing is for sure, California, and the rest of the country will be changed forever. Whether the "new normal is positive or negative, it has furthered the political divide across the nation. Blue states' response to the pandemic is seen as prudent, while red states rush to re-open are seen as reckless. What isn't seen as blue or red or Democrat or Republican are the economic and mental hardships that have resulted from the pandemic and lockdown policies. Some will cheer that we had to make sacrifices and others will scream the actions of politicians are tyrannical. One thing is for sure: not everyone making sacrifices will come out on top or return to normal. Years from now we might feel the new normal is not a good normal for everyone.

 

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Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
California Likely Voters
5/7/20 - 5/8/20

Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 809 likely voters in California.

Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 809 is +/- 3.4 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.

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About Zogby Analytics:

Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.

The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.