Crime and homelessness are taking a bite out of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approval ratings.
According to a Berkeley IGS Poll released Tuesday, 48% of California’s registered voters approve of Newsom’s overall performance and 47% disapprove.
That compares to the governor’s 50% approval rating last summer and 64% approval in September 2020.
On homelessness, 66% of voters say Newsom is doing a “poor” or “very poor” job. That’s up 12 percentage points from 2020, which was the last time the poll asked that question.
In addition, a majority of voters (51%) aren’t happy with how Newsom is tackling crime.
Proposition 47 and Crime
“These results suggest that some of the same dissatisfaction that’s hurting Democrats nationally is affecting Governor Newsom’s popularity in the state,” said IGS co-director Eric Schickler in a news release.
As to what voters what done about crime, nearly two in three poll respondents want changes to Proposition 47, which raised the threshold for felony theft to $950. Many police chiefs and district attorneys blame the proposition for California’s spike in shoplifting and other property crimes. Nearly 60% of voters approved Prop. 47 in 2014.
The crimes reduced from potential felonies to misdemeanors by raising the bar from $400 to $950 were shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud, and writing a bad check. Personal use of small amounts of most illegal drugs also was downgraded to a misdemeanor.
Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, introduced a bill, AB 1599, in January that would return the threshold for felony theft back to $400. It would also return some drug crimes to felonies.
74% of Dems Approve of Newsom’s Performance
The poll delivered some good news: 66% of voters say the coronavirus pandemic situation is improving.
Attitudes about Newsom’s performance reflected party registration. Seventy-four percent of Democrats gave the governor a thumbs-up while 90% of Republicans said he wasn’t doing a good job. No party preference and voters from other parties disapproved of his performance, 51% to 41%.
Read more from the poll at this link.