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Poll: Newsom beating recall effort

More Californians would vote to keep Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom Caitlyn Jenner in new campaign video slams California for being No. 1 in regulations, taxes and 'people exiting' California gubernatorial candidate under investigation for 1,000 lb. bear campaign mascot Newsom proposes transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds in California MORE (D) in office than oust him if a recall election likely later this year were held right away, a new poll shows.

The survey, conducted by the independent California-based firm Probolsky Research, found 46 percent of voters and 53 percent of those who say they are likely to vote in a recall election would vote to keep Newsom in office. Forty percent of all voters and 35 percent of likely recall voters would vote to remove him.

About two-thirds of Democratic voters would vote to keep Newsom in office, a relatively low number, but one that hints he has room to grow if he can keep his party in line. Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in California by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

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While Republicans overwhelmingly plan to vote to oust Newsom, critical centrist voters — those who do not align with either party — narrowly break in favor of allowing him to finish a term that would run through the end of 2022. Voters with no party preference say they plan to vote "no" on the recall by a slim 43 percent to 41 percent margin.

Black voters favor keeping Newsom in office by a wide 72 percent to 19 percent gap. White voters oppose the recall by an 11 percent margin, but Hispanic or Latino voters favor ousting him by a 45 percent to 41 percent margin. Among Asian voters, 49 percent support keeping the governor in office, compared with 29 percent who support his removal.

Supporters of the effort to recall Newsom turned in more than 2.1 million signatures last week, all but certainly qualifying to force the governor to defend his job sometime later this year. After legal hurdles and statutory review periods, the election is likely to be held in the fall.

Newsom would be only the second California governor recalled, after Gov. Gray Davis (D) lost his job in 2003. But recall experts say the state is both more conducive to a recall election qualifying for the ballot, and more likely to keep Newsom on the job because of an atmosphere of hyper-partisanship that spurred the recall effort and the party registration gap that Newsom now enjoys.

The Probolsky Research poll surveyed 900 California voters by phone and online between March 16-19. The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Updated at 8:14 p.m.