Metro Weekly

Not even Republicans support Caitlyn Jenner’s bid for governor

Caitlyn Jenner started her campaign for governor by throwing transgender youth under the bus -- and it's gone downhill from there.

Caitlyn Jenner, california, governor
Caitlyn Jenner — Photo: Chris Boland / Flickr

A new poll out of California paints a bleak picture for Caitlyn Jenner’s campaign for governor, with only 6% of voters saying they’d support her in an upcoming recall election.

That’s according to a new LA Times/UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, which asked prospective voters about four candidates hoping to best California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Jenner, who launched her campaign last month, polled last amongst prospective Republican candidates.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and businessman John Cox were backed by 22% of respondents, with Northern California Rep. Doug Ose on 14%. Jenner drew support from only 6% of those polled.

Speaking to the LA Times, pollster DiCamillo put Jenner’s performance bluntly, saying there “doesn’t seem to be a significant constituency for her candidacy.”

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

RelatedCaitlyn Jenner says trans girls should be blocked from girls’ sports

Jenner’s campaign has hit a series of roadblocks in the few weeks since the former Olympian and reality TV star declared, “I’m in!” — and almost all were put in place by Jenner herself.

Just days after announcing her campaign, reports emerged that her children thought she didn’t have the experience to run the state and that her Kardashian step-daughters wouldn’t be endorsing her.

At the start of May, Jenner threw transgender youth under the bus, declaring that they should be banned from competing in sports according to their gender identity in order to “protect girls’ sports.”

In her first campaign ad, a slickly produced video released at the start of May, Jenner declared herself to be a “compassionate disrupter” who would “save California.”

She then undid any goodwill the video generated by going on Fox News and touting her personal wealth and complaining about California’s homeless population.

Just this week, Jenner admitted she went golfing instead of voting in the 2020 election.

RelatedEven Caitlyn Jenner’s children don’t want her to be California’s governor

Jenner’s candidacy has been compared to that of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who also campaigned during a recall election. But a Field Poll conducted prior to that 2003 election found support for Schwarzenegger at 31% — significantly higher than Jenner’s 6% support.

What’s more, the LA Times/UC Berkeley poll found that only 36% of registered voters planned to vote to recall Gov. Newsom, and his job approval sits at 52% — up from a low point in January, while another wave of COVID-19 was ravaging the state.

At the time of her campaign launch, several Republican operatives had expressed hope that Jenner’s name recognition, her “outsider” status as a non-traditional politician, and her focus on fiscal concerns tied with socially liberal views would make Jenner a more attractive candidate than a generic Republican, and could potentially help her attract support from independents and Democrats.

Jenner, a former gold medal-winning decathlete at the 1976 Olympic Games, has been vocal about her conservative political leanings, well before she came out as transgender. A prominent fundraiser and trans advocate, Jenner previously endorsed the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2016, despite Cruz’s opposition to LGBTQ rights.

After Cruz’s loss, Jenner supported former President Donald Trump and continued to do so until 2018, when she severed ties with him over his changing position on LGBTQ issues. Jenner also previously considered running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in 2018, but ultimately did not pursue a bid for political office.

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