SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- Recent desperate pleas by embattled Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky to avoid being recalled may be having an impact on voters, according to the numbers in the latest exclusive KPIX Survey USA Poll.
Persky has been fighting hard to keep his job, publically campaigning against what seemed like a growing effort to recall him.
"The recall if successful threatens the integrity of our justice system," said Persky in a recent interview.
49 percent of Santa Clara County voters said they were in favor of recalling Judge Persky according to the latest Survey USA Poll.
36 percent said they would not vote for the recall and 15 percent were undecided.
The latest poll marks a seven percent shift in favor of Persky when compared to a survey in March which found 56 percent of voters favored the recall.
"They are dropping. We are rising up. Our hope is we will reach more than 50 percent and there will be no recall," said retired California Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell, who opposes the recall.
Persky became the target of a recall effort two years ago when he sentenced Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail after a jury convicted him on three counts of felony sexual assault.
Persky maintains the sentence was lawful and within judicial guidelines, but critics called it was too lenient and claimed it exposed bias.
"We feel great about this, because it shows that so many voters in Santa Clara County are ready to recall Judge Persky," said recall supporter Michele Dauber.
The latest poll also found a 29-point gender gap. If just men were voting, Persky would keep his job by three points. If only women voted, he would lose by 26 points.
The two sides are vowing to keep up the pressure in the weeks leading up to the June primary election.
"We're in the middle of a social movement, of which the recall is a part of women demanding that sexual harassment and sexual violence be taken seriously," said Dauber.
'We have two weeks left. Every day counts. We will continue to get out our message, which is simply get the facts. When people get the facts, they will vote no to the recall of Judge Persky," said Cordell
The poll additionally asked voters who they would want to replace Persky as Superior Court Judge for Santa Clara County. When given the choice between San Jose lawyer Angela F. Storey and current Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Cindy Seeley Hendrickson the responses were fairly even. 16 percent responded they would vote for Storey versus 15 percent for Hendrickson. 69 percent of respondent were still undecided.
If Judge Persky survives the recall, he would next be up for re-election when his term ends in 2022. If he is recalled, he would be the first judge to be recalled in California in 86 years.
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