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California Recall: Positive Results on COVID Handling, Strong Democratic Turnout Help Governor Newsom, ABC News Exit Poll Says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – The results of the ABC News exit poll reveal the main concerns of voters during the recall election in California of Governor Gavin Newsom.

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

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Poll data shows that 31% of voters called the pandemic a major problem for the state and 80% of those voters supported keeping Newsom in power.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in exit poll data by 17 percentage points, 43-26% (along with the rest of Independents and others).

Highlighting the GOP’s challenges in California, 62% rated the Republican Party unfavorably, compared to a lukewarm but still positive rating of 51% for the Democratic Party.

Only 3 in 10 people said Newsom’s pandemic control measures were too strict, contradicting a key argument in the recall campaign against him. 70% support the state’s student mask mandate and 63% sided with the governor in viewing vaccination more as a public health responsibility than a personal choice.

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But some results were less favorable to incumbents; 6 out of 10 voters described the cost of living in their region as “unmanageable”. Respondents were also divided in rating the state’s economy positively or negatively at 50-47%.

Overall, 55% approved of the way Newsom handles its work.

Check out the latest California Governor’s Recall Stories and Videos.

ABC News contributed to this report.

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