Polling data on the September recall election of California Gov. Gavin Newsom has some startling numbers for the incumbent:

…a shock poll showed the governor losing the first question (“Should Gavin Newsom be recalled?”) by double digits.

The poll came from Survey USA and the San Diego Union Tribune, and was conducted among 1,100 Californians from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4. It found that 51% of respondents were in favor of recalling Newsom, while only 40% wanted to keep him in power. The previous Survey USA/San Diego Union Tribune poll from May found 36% in favor of the recall with 47% opposed.

Is the ground really shifting under Newsom? Perhaps. But let’s not forget the mechanics that make this recall different from the one that successfully recalled Democrat Gray Davis in 2003:

“[There are] differences from 2003,” explained Cooper. “We are mailing every voter a ballot, which we didn’t do before. That puts a ballot in every hand, whether they vote or not. That’s up to them.”

Every voter with a ballot, just for a recall, during a pandemic. It is an unprecedented election, with just two weeks before votes can be cast.

“How close the recall turns out to be depends on exactly one thing and only one thing,” Sragow said. “And that is whether Democrats take the time to vote.”

That’s a truism for every election. Still, stay tuned. This election could be the most interesting of the year.