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SF Standard Poll: DA Chesa Boudin Faces Grim Odds in Recall Election
Monday, May 16, 2022

SF Standard Poll: DA Chesa Boudin Faces Grim Odds in Recall Election

With less than a month until the final day to vote in the June primary, the SF Standard Voter Poll found that over half of registered voters (57%) support recalling District Attorney Boudin, while less than a quarter of respondents (22%) plan to reject the recall.

A substantial portion of surveyed San Franciscans (21%) had yet to decide how they will vote, but negative job performance ratings found that 52% said they “strongly disapproved” of Boudin, while 18% said they “somewhat disapproved” of how he’s performed in his first term.

The Standard commissioned Embold Research, a nonpartisan and nonpolitical arm of Change Research, to conduct the poll, which surveyed 1,048 San Francisco registered voters online between April 30 and May 4. The questionnaire centered on the upcoming election, San Francisco city life and community priorities. The findings are representative of the city’s voter population. Read more about the methodology here.

Additionally, the SF Standard Voter Poll  found that homelessness and safety concerns—issues that have become focal points in the recall campaign—are among voters’ top concerns:

  • 68% said homelessness is what they like least about living in San Francisco.
  • 65% said they feel less safe since 2019.
  • 73% supported arresting those who commit minor property crimes like shoplifting and car break-ins.
  • 66% favored forcing drug users who pose a risk to themselves or others into treatment.
  • “Policing” is the No. 1 area voters would target for increased city spending (44%), and another 36% would fund more non-law enforcement safety measures. 

“As the recall election nears, this poll is yet another glaring proof point that San Franciscans are fed up with DA Boudin’s lack of competence and concern for the safety of our city,” Mary Jung, chair of the committee trying to recall Boudin, wrote in a statement. “Residents and visitors want to feel safe in San Francisco, and victims want to have confidence that justice will be delivered. As long as Boudin is in office, we won’t have either.”

Boudin’s anti-recall campaign expressed skepticism about the poll’s methodology, which involves recruiting people via social media and texting, and they said they’re seeing “enthusiastic” on-the-ground support against the recall.

“The reality is Chesa Boudin has been the subject of $4 million of attack spending funded by Republican mega donors and billionaires… as voters hear that trusted organizations and leaders oppose Prop H, we expect our support to grow,” recall spokesperson Julie Edwards said in a statement.

Two earlier polls on the DA recall, both conducted in February 2022, found different results. One poll—commissioned by the recall committee—found 68% of respondents supported the recall. Another poll from David Binder found that 44% supported the recall and 44% were against, with 12% unsure. The latter poll, however, focused on state Assembly District 17, which does not include the more conservative west side of the city.

Jonathan Simon, a criminal law professor at Berkeley, said the SF Standard Voter Poll reflects deeply held beliefs that more incarceration and more police will create safer communities.

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“That myth works beautifully for the police, because generally speaking they are the only part of the criminal legal system that can be down there enforcing minor illegalities, perhaps backed by a DA that’s willing to aggressively prosecute,” he said.

David Alan Sklansky, a law professor at Stanford University who studies criminal justice, said that a disproportionate amount of blame is being attributed to Boudin, as prosecutors work within a system and they can only charge the cases that police bring to them.

Additionally, many of Boudin’s policies, Sklansky said, such as diverting defendants into programs that help them avoid committing crimes in the future rather than being sentenced to jail or prison, have not come to fruition yet.

“Those effects take some time to manifest themselves,” he said. 

Anna Tong can be reached at [email protected].
Josh Koehn can be reached at [email protected].
  • Thank you so much SF Standard for this valuable (and in this case encouraging) information. All voters, please mail in your ballot (preferably as soon as possible) and vote YES on Prop H to recall this extraordinarily incompetent, cruel, destructive, and hateful DA. Also, be sure to vote no on Prop C, a Putin-style anti-democracy initiative from the Board of Supervisors trying to limit our essential ability to recall corrupt politicians like Boudin.

  • For all San Franciscans who want to help our City by recalling Boudin, in addition to voting, you can donate money, volunteer, and put up window signs to help with this vital election at safersfwithoutboudin.com/

  • YES on H — Recall Boudin
    NO on C — Protect the People’s Right to Recall

    Vote Early & Often! 😉

  • Recallers,

    Who will replace the DA you want removed and what is , at least, one specific thing you expect that person to do that will make you proud of your vote?

    I hear big complaints about crime: why not advocate for the removal of the police chief? He deploys the force, sets priorities, takes responsibility for the training and performance of officers, etc. It seems to me those things are hugely impactful and 100% beyond the control of the DA.

    I get that folks are angry and dissapointed. Me too. But why is the obvious solution to negate a popular election and have the mayor pick our DA for us? That’s what I truly do not understand.

    I am not the smartest person in the room so it could easily be i am missing something. I am open to being convinced, if you want one more vote.

  • The Police Chief is governed (some would say obstructed) by the Police Commission, which sets policy for SFPD.) Their latest policy proposal is to stop police from making traffic stops for expired licenses and illegal tinted car windows favored by car burglary and drug dealer kingpins. Other obstructive policies already in place prevent pursuit of non-violent criminals, most usage of security cameras and anti-gang techniques. So that is another cause of low resolution of criminal cases in SF. Boudin is only part of the problem, if the most predominant and serious.

  • The serial killer Ted Bundy was only caught because of a low level violation traffic stop. Another of many good reasons to recall Boudin, who’s criminals first ideology empowers crime in San Francisco.

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