By Marissa Perlman

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The effort to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office is close to the 1.5 million signatures it needs to get on the ballot.

The campaign is now only 50,000 signatures short with more than a month to go until the deadline. The creators of this movement are now pointing to the governor’s pandemic performance as to why they have new​ support.

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Mail is filing into the “Recall Newsom 2020” headquarters in Roseville by the thousands. There are thousands of requests for the “Recall Newsom 2020” petition to be sent to their homes.

“There are a lot of things that have driven the recall forward,” said Orrin Heatlie, who’s leading the campaign.

That includes the people behind it. The campaign has almost exclusively been run by volunteers, 100,000 of them, making their voices heard across the state. Heatlie says business owners and senior citizens are two of the biggest groups supporting the campaign across a broad political spectrum.

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Those seniors who Heatlie says have been stuck inside for months.

Small business owners like Aaron Ralls are now behind the movement. He opened up his barbershop in Folsom as a “Recall Newsom” petition drop off.

“The thing is with barbershops, we don’t talk politics at all. This is about the only exception in 10 years,” Ralls said.

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After the state shut down closed his shop for seven months, Aaron volunteered, calling for new leadership. He says he sees new people stop by every day to sign.

“It seems like every day we’re getting a lot of older people,” he said.

This is actually the sixth attempt in the governor’s two-year tenure to remove him from office.

So what makes this effort different? CBS13 Political Analyst Gary Dietrich says timing and discontent with Newsom’s leadership during the pandemic.

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Now, this campaign has the physical signatures and the cash to make it happen.

“You got to have actual signatures, but you also have to have the dollars,” he said.

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The last time California saw this was in 2003 when Gray Davis was recalled. Newsom’s approval rating of 58 percent now is higher than Gray Davis’s was at 30 percent when he was recalled.

Marissa Perlman