Coronavirus most important issue among California voters, exit polling shows

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The coronavirus pandemic was the most important issue among California voters in Tuesday’s failed recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), according to exit polling.

Roughly one-third of California voters, who overwhelmingly rejected the recall effort, said COVID-19 is the biggest issue for the state, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research cited by CNN.

A little more than one-fifth of voters polled said they were most concerned about homelessness, followed by 1 in 6 for both the economy and wildfires and just under a tenth pointing to crime.

The issues varied along party lines.

More than 4 in 10 Democrats said the coronavirus was the most important issue to them, while only about one-fifth of Republicans agreed.

Republicans were more than three times as likely as Democrats to cite the economy as their chief concern.

When reflecting on the current state of California, roughly 4 in 10 respondents said the situation is improving; 3 in 10 said it remains about the same and just under one-fourth said matters are getting worse.

The exit polls also looked at voters’ outlook on the policies Newsom implemented amid the pandemic, which a number of pro-recall individuals pointed to as reasons why they wanted to oust him.

Roughly 45 percent of voters polled said the governor’s COVID-19 policies have been about right, while one-third said the regulations were too strict. The rest of the electorate said the rules are not strict enough.

Overall, more than 6 in 10 voters said getting inoculated is more of a public health responsibility than a personal choice. The majority of Republicans in the state said they see vaccination as a personal choice, while most Democrats said it is a public health responsibility.

Newson easily defeated the recall effort Tuesday evening. After roughly two-thirds of the expected vote was counted, 64 percent of California voters said they wanted him to remain in his post.

The exit polls surveyed a random sample of 30 polling locations among 2,356 voters on Election Day. The results also include 1,252 interviews with early and absentee voters.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full survey. Subgroups, however, have larger margins of error.

Tags California California gubernatorial recall election California recall Exit poll Gavin Newsom Recall election

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