There isn’t much support, even among Republicans, to have Caitlyn Jenner replace Gavin Newsom as California’s governor.
In a new poll, only 6 percent of registered voters surveyed in the state said they’d vote for her, and just 13 percent of Republican respondents said she’d be their choice, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“There doesn’t seem to be a significant constituency for her candidacy,” poll director Mark DiCamillo told the Times.
The former Olympian and reality TV star, who is transgender, has taken conservative stances in her campaign. For instance, she has said “biological boys” — that is, trans girls — shouldn’t be allowed to compete in girls’ sports. Trans participation in school sports is being debated in state legislatures around the nation, although not in California, and several states have passed trans-exclusionary laws on the matter. Many trans activists and allies have objected to her comment.
Also, while claiming to have distanced herself from Donald Trump, Jenner has employed many of his former associates in her campaign. And she has said she didn’t vote for him, or vote at all, in the 2020 election, but records show she did cast a ballot.
“I didn’t even vote,” Jenner told CNN’s Dana Bash this week, saying there was no point in voting for a Republican presidential candidate in California and that she couldn’t get excited about the propositions on the ballot. After Politico confirmed that she indeed vote, a Jenner aide said her comment addressed only the presidential race and that she voted on “some local issues.”
Among Republicans seeking to replace Newsom, a Democrat, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and businessman John Cox each had the support of 22 percent of poll respondents, leading the pack, the Times reports. The poll was conducted by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and cosponsored by the Times.
A date for the recall election has not been set, as officials in California counties are still counting and verifying the signatures on petitions. The petitions list several objections to Newsom’s policies, although not his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the recall campaign started before the crisis. But opposition to the governor grew during the pandemic, with his shutdown measures criticized as alternately too strict or not strict enough, and he was slammed particularly for dining at the exclusive French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley when he was discouraging other Californians from eating out.
But support for his recall has stalled. The new poll found 36 percent of respondents supported removing him from office, the same percentage as in the institute’s January poll, while 49 percent were opposed to the move, up from 45 percent in the previous poll. There is still a significant percentage of undecided voters.