Californians Have Had It with Gavin Newsom’s Smug Governing

February 27, 2024 Californians Have Had It with Gavin Newsom’s Smug Governing image

Key Takeaways

  • Californians are unhappy with Gavin Newsom’s governance, which is evidenced by his potential recall.
  • Among complaints, Californians cite high taxes and cost of living, crime, and illegal immigration as influencing factors in the recall vote.
  • Californians also accuse Newsom of prioritizing his national image for a potential presidential run instead of focusing on governing.

Our Methodology


All Voters, Democrats

Sample Size


Geographical Breakdown


Time Period

30 Days

MIG Reports leverages EyesOver technology, employing Advanced AI for precise analysis. This ensures unparalleled precision, setting a new standard. Find out more about the unique data pull for this article. 

What Californians Are Saying About Newsom’s Governance

In light of recent efforts to initiate yet another recall vote, California governor Gavin Newsom is facing significant criticism. Backlash against Newsom’s policies is growing as California continues to hemorrhage residents.

Most of the negativity is centered around his handling of the economy, crime, and immigration. People also blame Newsom for various issues ranging from wildlife protection to the decline in the quality of life in California.

  • In the last five days, Newsom’s support has decreased from 48%, reaching a low of 43%.
  • This drop coincided with a large increase in discussion volume, suggesting as more people discuss him, he loses support.

How Californian’s Perceive Newsom’s Public Image

Critics of Newsom are often more right leaning, expressing frustration and dissatisfaction with his liberal policies. They frequently describe California as a "communist" state under his leadership. Republicans also say he aligns himself too closely with President Biden and Vice President Harris.

However, regardless of political affiliation, common perceptions of Newsom include:

  • His attitude is smug and elitist.
  • A tone-deaf leadership style leaves people feeling unheard.
  • He is focused more on illegal immigrants than Californians.
  • He prioritizes national political ambitions over Californians’ needs.
  • Accusations that he treats constituents, particularly Latinos, as servants.

Criticism From Residents

Voters accuse him of having a failed agenda that is negatively impacting public safety and quality of life in the state. Many critics also express concern that Newsom might aspire to run for President, causing him to neglect California’s current needs.

Many Californians believe his policies have led to an increase in crime, homelessness, and drug addiction. These issues, people say, have significantly decreased quality of life. Critics believe his policies are causing the state to deteriorate as more people move away.

People mention specific projects like a train that doesn't go anywhere as examples of his failed agenda and wasteful spending. Some also highlight the fact that businesses are leaving California, which is increasing economic issues for the state.

Reasons People Leave California

Many reports highlight the fact that more than 700,000 people have moved away from California since 2020. This is bolstered by MIG analysis which reveals the most common reasons people say they moved.

  1. Cost of Living
  2. Taxes
  3. Housing Crisis
  4. Political Climate – oppressive leftism
  5. Natural Disasters – wildfires, earthquakes, drought
  6. COVID policies – mask and vaccine mandates
  7. Business Regulations
  8. Crime Rates
  9. Changing Demographics
  10. Few Job Opportunities – outside of major cities and industries

Losing Issues for Newsom


  • Gavin Newsom’s current approval on the economy is 42%, with a 30-day average of 43%.
  • His 30-day high was 50% and his low was 36%.

There is also significant criticism of Newsom's handling of the California economy. Many who signed the petition to recall Newsom cite his inability to address the state's economic situation effectively.

Many Californians also express dissatisfaction with the high taxes, pointing out that despite them, there is no perceivable improvement in public services or infrastructure. A very common complaint is Newsom’s wasting of tax dollars.

People say the high and rising cost of living, along with businesses being driven out of the state by regulations is crippling the economy.

Border Security

  • Gavin Newsom’s current approval on the border is 46%, with a 30-day average of 45%.
  • His 30-day high was 51% and his low was 37%.

Sentiment toward Newsom regarding the border and immigration is overwhelmingly negative. The main concerns revolve around a perception that California has an open border. Many people are discussing the real-world impact of illegal immigration on their daily lives.

Voters accuse Newsom of prioritizing the rights, money, and benefits of illegal immigrants over Californians. They also express frustration at Newsom's lack of action and seeming callousness about the immigration situation at the southern border. This is a special point of grievance for those who criticize California’s sanctuary state status.

Californians who are unhappy with the sanctuary laws in the state are saying that Newsom deserves to be recalled and they plan to vote for his removal. They also argue that too much money is being spent on illegal immigrants, which they view as both a border and economy issue

Public safety and immigration are also overlapping issues, with many people pointing to crimes committed by illegal aliens as unacceptable and far too frequent. Many reiterate Newsom’s prioritizing the rights of illegal immigrants and violent felons over the safety of Californians.


  • Gavin Newsom’s current approval on crime is 46%, with a 30-day average of 43%.
  • His 30-day high was 53% and his low was 27%.

Regarding crime as a whole, people highlight rising violent crime and retail theft. They discuss the increased and relentless instances of theft and car break-ins, especially in places like San Francisco. They also talk about the impact organized retail theft is having on both shopping and the overall economy.

There’s also a discussion about gun rights in the state and how they impact crime. Democrats call for stronger gun laws in hopes of reducing gun violence. More conservative voters are unhappy with the existing gun restrictions, arguing it makes protection of life and property more difficult amid rising criminal activity. This group also criticizes the cost of carry permits in the state, saying they're unconstitutional.

There is an emphasis on crimes committed by illegal aliens who, many say, would never have the chance to perpetrate crimes if they were not allowed in the country to begin with. Many also point out that technically, all illegal immigrants are criminals, breaking the law when they entered the country.

Winning Issues for Newsom

Climate Change

  • Gavin Newsom’s current approval on crime is 48%, with a 30-day average of 45%.
  • His 30-day high was 51% and his low was 25%.

Many Democrats and Independents praise Newsom’s commitment to climate action. They call for more robust and equitable climate initiatives like the ones he has promoted.

Supporters appreciate his stance on issues such as climate change and social equity. They express their intention to vote against a recall, suggesting that they believe he genuinely cares about the climate, despite disagreements over some of his policies. This same group also applauds his efforts to counter policies and rhetoric of Republicans.


  • Gavin Newsom’s current approval on crime is 52%, with a 30-day average of 47%.
  • His 30-day high was 52% and his low was 38%.

A lot of people support Newsom's stance on abortion, viewing it as a necessary right for women. They disagree with the idea of a national abortion ban, and certainly don’t want to see one in California.

They argue that the right to an abortion is essential for women's health and autonomy and should be protected. This group praises Newsom for standing up for women's rights in the face of conservative opposition.

Newsom’s Possible Presidential Run

Rumors of a potential run for the presidency also factor into how Californians view their governor.

Democrat Support for Newsom

Some Democrats believe Newsom is doing a great job as governor. They appreciate his defense of President Biden and say they would support his policies on a national level. This group think Newsom demonstrates strong leadership, and they admire his advocacy for issues like homelessness and wildlife protection. It is likely supportive Democrats would view Newsom as a strong candidate and might support his potential presidential run.

Democrats’ approval for Newsom often includes healthcare, climate change, his leadership during COVID, and his handling of the wildfires. They also overwhelmingly support his progressive stance on abortion rights.

Democrat Disapproval for Newsom

There are some concerns about Newsom among a portion of Democrats. Especially in a potential presidential run. These Democrats tend to disagree with some of his policies and actions as governor – particularly regarding immigration and the homeless crisis.

More moderate Democrats view Newsom as too liberal or too tied to the problems of California to be a strong presidential candidate. There are also concerns about Newsom's failure on issues like child exploitation and prostitution, which some Democrats feel he has not addressed adequately.

Overall, voters including a segment of Democrats criticize Newsom on homelessness, cost of living, and crime. Many people see these issues as egregious failures and therefore might not support him for president.

There are also those who express skepticism about Newsom's support for President Biden, accusing him of ignoring Biden's clear cognitive decline and supporting a false narrative.

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