Positive results on COVID handling, strong Democratic turnout helped Newsom, exit poll shows

Some ABC News exit poll results, however, were less incumbent-friendly.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Positive results on COVID handling helped Newsom, exit poll shows
Positive results on the handling of the pandemic and a turnout advantage by Democrats were among the reasons Gov. Gavin Newsom won the recall election, according to ABC News exit poll results.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC News exit poll results are revealing the top concerns for voters in the California recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Governor Newsom received positive results on his handling of the pandemic and a huge turnout advantage among Democrats.

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The polling data shows 31% of voters called the pandemic the state's top issue and 80% of those voters supported keeping Newsom in office.

Democrats outnumbered Republicans in exit poll data by 17 percentage points, 43-26% (with the rest independents and others).

Underscoring the GOP's challenges in California, 62% rated the Republican Party unfavorably, compared with a tepid but still positive 51% favorable rating for the Democratic Party.

Just 3 in 10 said Newsom's pandemic control measures are too strict, countering a key argument in the recall drive against him. 70% support the state's student mask mandate and 63% sided with the governor in seeing vaccination as more of a public health responsibility than a personal choice.

TOTAL RECALLED: The story of America's largest, wildest governor recall election

With a recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom looming, ABC7 Originals presents, "Total Recalled: The story of America's largest, wildest recall election," a look at the Gray Davis recall and election of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But some results were less incumbent-friendly; 6 in 10 voters called the cost of living in their area, "unmanageable." Those polled were divided evenly in rating the state's economy positively or negatively 50-47%.

Overall, 55% approved of the way Newsom is handling his job.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the California governor recall.

ABC News has contributed to this report.