President Joe Biden’s Monday campaign event with California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be a meeting of two Democrats whose fortunes are careening in opposite directions.
For Newsom, the past six weeks have been a resurgence after finding his political career on the ropes. For Biden, they’ve been a nightmare after a strong start to his presidency.
Just a month ago, FiveThirtyEight’s poll average showed California voters divided evenly on whether to retain Newsom or boot him from office. Meanwhile, Biden’s average approval rating sat at 51 percent, 8 points higher than his 43 percent disapproval.
Yet while Biden’s standing has flipped over the past month-plus — he’s now in negative territory in the FiveThirtyEight average, 45 percent approval to 48 percent disapproval — Newsom has seen crucial improvement, leading the recall by a double-digit margin in the California poll average as of Thursday.
These countervailing trends — Newsom rising even as Biden’s standing crashes nationally — point to an uncomfortable reality for Democrats: Even if Newsom runs