Blue State Blues: Democrat Governors Demolish America

It’s not just Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) who is having problems with approval and polling. Polling data for Newsom has decreased from an all-time high of 64% three years prior. While 40% of Californians generally approve of the state legislature, 44% of the state’s citizens say they approve of Newsom’s performance. When asked specifically about their own legislators, general approval climbs to 41%. Taking into account the demographics of potential voters, the figures remain relatively unchanged.

As they get ready to leave office, California’s governors have a history of having low approval ratings. This is similar to other big states’ trends, in which governors leverage their national exposure to propel themselves into the national political arena. Jerry Brown, a Democrat from California who also served as governor, enjoyed overwhelming support in his early years of government. However, his popularity declined due to two unsuccessful presidential campaigns and other misdemeanors; in 1982, voters even rejected his bid for the Senate. When Brown’s father unsuccessfully sought a third term in 1966, he too met a similar end at the hands of Reagan.

Newsom’s low approval ratings align with the state’s general lack of confidence. According to research by the Public Policy Institute of California, nearly seven out of ten people (68%) anticipate difficult economic circumstances in the upcoming year, which is comparable to the previous two years (69% in June 2023 and 68% in July 2022). Families are suffering from increased crime rates and prices, and Newsom has mainly fallen short of the promises he made to win the governorship in 2018.

Housing prices are the second most frequently reported issue, with a third or more party groups citing inflation, the economy, and the cost of living as their main concerns. However, compared to Republicans (11%), Democrats (22%), and independents (20%), they are more likely to cite housing as their primary concern. According to the data, California has a 38% higher cost of living than the US as a whole. Utilities are 22% higher, and housing is 97% higher than the national average.

These figures may further erode Newsom’s chances of winning the presidency in the future. Rumor has it that Newsom is a Democratic nominee seeking to unseat Vice President Kamala Harris once the Biden administration ends. His poor performance will have to compete with other up-and-coming young talent in the party, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI). Simply put, the way his government manages things is not popular. If Newsom can’t win his state’s support, how can we trust him to lead the nation?

Author: Blake Ambrose

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