A new poll shows that conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is leading in the crowded race to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom — ahead of Caitlyn Jenner — in a recall election this September.
Elder leads at 16% in a new Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll.
Elder, a 69-year-old Republican, is followed by businessman John Cox, at 6%, and former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, at 6%. California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and Jenner are at 4% each, according to the poll.
The poll found that 48 percent of voters still want Newsom to remain in office but the number of people who want him out is increasing. Forty-three percent of people polled now say they will vote to recall Newsom — up from 38 percent in March. A majority of voters say they don’t know yet who they’d want if Newsom is booted from office.
Elder has a nationally syndicated talk show and is a frequent guest on Fox News. He calls himself the “Sage of South Central” on his website, a reference to where he grew up in LA.
Former Fox News anchor and now podcaster Megyn Kelly is a fan, frequently tweeting out “LARRY!” on her feed.
Elder said Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is why he decided to run.
“The arrogance of Gavin Newsom was crystalized by the way he handled this pandemic,” Elder told the Sacramento Observer Friday.
“This man has presided over the most severe coronavirus lockdown in all 50 states. People lost their jobs, people lost their livelihoods, meanwhile his own private business kept open and his own kids remained in in-person private schools,” he said.
Elder says he’s not focusing on other candidates.
“The target is Newsom,” he said. “If he isn’t recalled, it doesn’t matter. I intend to be the person that you write down or you check off for who you want as a replacement when you recall this guy. He’s going.”
Elder said he’s not normally in favor of recalls or impeachments.
“But when someone has become so outrageous, sometimes something has to be done,” he said.
The recall effort against Newsom, launched in January 2020, gained strength due to the governor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the closure of schools and businesses even as Newsom himself was photographed violating state restrictions on indoor gatherings.