George Gascón recall effort had good chance to win had it made the ballot, poll finds
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón got a lucky break when his opponents failed to gather enough valid signatures to put a recall on the ballot. If it had gone before voters, the recall had a good chance of winning, a new poll shows.
Registered voters surveyed this month were favoring a recall 41% to 20% with the rest undecided, according to the UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies poll, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.
Ballot measures often lose support as a campaign goes along, and with 39% of voters undecided on the recall, the outcome would have been far from certain. But the poll indicates Gascón would have started off with a large disadvantage.
There were not enough valid signatures to put the recall question on the ballot.
Officials announced earlier this month that the effort to force Gascón into a recall election had failed to gain enough valid signatures. It was the second such attempt; a previous bid to recall Gascón failed miserably last year, largely because of a lack of fundraising and organization.
To put Gascón’s job on the ballot, the campaign seeking his ouster needed to gather 566,857 valid signatures by mid-July; the figure reflects 10% of the people who were eligible to vote in the election cycle when he won office in November 2020. The L.A. County registrar-recorder/county clerk’s office said about 520,000 of the signatures submitted were valid.
According to the poll, support for recalling Gascón was slightly stronger among older voters, homeowners and those with higher incomes — all groups that tend to turn out more heavily in local elections.
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Countywide, voters disapprove of Gascón’s performance in office by a large margin, 46% to 21%, with about a third of voters saying they strongly disapprove of him. An additional third of voters said they don’t have an opinion. Disapproval was strongest among the county’s Republican minority, but even among Democrats, about a third of voters said they disapproved of Gascón’s work.
As district attorney, Gascón has pursued progressive policies that have aimed to reduce the number of people imprisoned, especially for nonviolent offenses.
The UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll was conducted Aug. 9-15, among 4,538 registered voters in Los Angeles County. The estimated margin of error for the registered voter sample is +/- 2.5 percentage points for the countywide sample.
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