Caitlyn Jenner’s poll numbers are woeful despite media blitz

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California Recall (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
California Recall (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner’s campaign for California governor is generating terrible poll numbers despite her going on a media blitz to generate interest.

Ms Jenner is one of several Republican candidates in the GOP’s effort to recall the state’s Democratic governor Gavin Newsom.

A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll shows that only six per cent of Californians are interested in supporting Ms Jenner, a retired Olympic gold medalist.

Mr Newsom has experienced a slight increase in his approval rating since January, 52 per cent of Californians now approve of his performance as governor.

According to the poll, the top Republicans in the race to oust Mr Newsom are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox, who each got 22 per cent support.

Speaking about the Jenner campaign, the director of the poll Mark DiCamillo told the LA Times that “there doesn’t seem to be a significant constituency for her candidacy”.

“Even among Republicans, only 13 per cent say they’d be inclined to vote for her. It’s a very poor showing,” he said.

Ms Jenner, 71, was mocked for a rambling CNN interview in which she said “a guy called Lee” and other “budget people” helped her understand the state’s economy.

When asked if she feels “qualified” to be governor of a state that on its own is the fifth largest economy in the world, she told CNN’s Dana Bash: “Yes, because I’m going to surround myself with some really great people.”

“I had meetings this week with budget people – I just was so impressed,” she added.

Ms Jenner’s entrance into the race drew comparisons to the last time a celebrity entered California politics. But Arnold Schwarzenegger had something that Ms Jenner seems to lack: broad support from members of both parties.

After Democrat Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, Mr Schwarzenegger easily took his place in the governor’s mansion.

While Ms Jenner has six per cent support after already having started her campaign, 31 per cent of voters said they were inclined to vote for Mr Schwarzenegger three months before he had officially entered the race.

But this year’s recall campaign is only just starting, with an election probably taking place in October or November.

Ms Jenner has already made a few blunders on the campaign trail. In her first interview since announcing her run, she told Sean Hannity of Fox News from her private plane hangar: “My friends are leaving California. My hangar, the guy right across, he was packing up his hangar and I said, where are you going? And he says, ‘I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona, I can’t take it here anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless’.”

Fred Wellman of the Lincoln project wrote: “What a heartbreaking story! Packing up his hangar and moving to Sedona! Who will think of those overlooked elites who have to be mildly inconvenienced by the poors!”

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel called her an “ignorant a**hole” for her comments.

The Independent has reached out to the Jenner campaign for comment.

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