Gov. Gavin Newsom’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic helped put him in such good graces with California voters that his approval rating is among the highest of any governor in the past 50 years at the same point in their first term, according to a new poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
But the poll released Tuesday also shows that Newsom’s popularity is being tempered by intense voter dissatisfaction over the Democratic governor’s handing of homelessness in the state and California’s high housing costs.
In spite of that frustration among voters, the survey demonstrates that Newsom is currently enjoying an extremely strong political standing — even after he was forced to manage a litany of crises during his first two years in office including historic wildfires, rolling blackouts, a pandemic and a whipsawed state economy.
“He’s got political capital to spend and, you know, he may need to spend it,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll.
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