The closing of the votes for the California recall election draws near and the fate of incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom hangs in the balance. In such a situation, exit polls become a marker to at least try to know what actually goes on in the minds of the voters.

According to an exit poll by Edison Research, the top subject on the mind of Californians voting in the recall is the coronavirus pandemic. About one-third of the voters said that COVID-19 is the biggest issue for the state.

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COVID-19 is followed by homelessness with just over one-fifth considering it the biggest issue. One in six voters the economy as their biggest issue. Wildfires, that have devastated parts of the state in recent months, also get the same number of votes as the economy. Slightly under one-tenth of Californians consider crime as the biggest issue.

As expected, party lines decide the concerns of the people. More than 40% of Democrats are most concerned about coronavirus, while only about 20% of Republicans say the same. On the other hand, Republicans who consider the economy as their top issue outnumber Democrats holding such views by 3 to 1.

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According to CNN, voters have mixed outlooks on the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in California. About 40% of the voters say that the pandemic situation is getting better while 30% say that it remains about the same. In what can be seen as a good sign for Newsom and his chances of staying, just under 25% of the voters think the situation is worsening.

Women hold a slight majority in the electorate in the California recall, about the same as in the 2020 presidential election. White people narrowly make up the majority of the electorate, according to the exit poll data. The rest of the electorate is made up of people of colour. In 2020 exit polling, about half the electorate was White. That number stood at 63% in 2018.