SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) – The most recent effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom says it’s making progress towards its signature goals, with months to go.

“The recall is halfway there,” says Orrin Heatlie of Folsom, near Sacramento. “The courts agreed with us that we need an extension to continue gathering signatures.”

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Heatlie is the man behind the recall campaign, which has until March 17th to collect about 1.5 million signatures.

“820,000 people have weighed in on this already,” Heatlie says. “There’s going to be another 820,000 people, plus, in the next couple of months.”

Gavin Newsom may have won his election with 62% of the vote, but 4.7 million Californians did vote against him in 2018. By raw numbers, he was starting with a sizable well of opposition.

The year 2020 has brought challenges and some missteps for the governor, but the most recent polling, some of which was conducted during and after The French Laundry affair, shows the governor with a 59% approval rating on jobs and the economy.

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“I believe that by the beginning of next year you’re going to see those numbers decrease even more so,” says Clint Griess, a recall petition leader in San Francisco.

Griess, a Republican who supports the recall, said some Democrats are joining the cause, and he thinks more ultimately will.

“The future is unknown,” Griess told KPIX 5. “There are a lot of things that could happen in the New Year. Again, his response to COVID in the new year is going to make a huge difference.”

Criticism of the governor has certainly intensified, but is it broad enough that most Californians would support a recall, just one year before he’s up for reelection?

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“No, I wouldn’t,” said Vanessa Chirgwin of Crockett. Trying to recall him would be a waste of taxpayer dollars right now, and we could use that money to do a whole lot more.”