World California Recall Election Could Be a Win for Vaccine Mandates
More states, cities hit citizens with mask mandates amid delta spread: 'We are all still in danger'
Even more states and cities are implementing mask mandates as the delta coronavirus variant spreads.The most notable universal indoor mask mandates this week come from Philadelphia and Oregon. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced Wednesday that the city is implementing an indoor mask mandate effective Thursday. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a mask mandate Wednesday to take effect Friday.
California Governorappears on track to defeat the recall effort and remain in office with the election just two days away and mail-in voting already ongoing.
A victory for Newsom in the September 14 election may also be seen as a win for the governor's efforts to mandate vaccination against COVID-19 in the state, which will now require vaccines for healthcare workers.
Gavin Newsom on Shaky Ground Six Weeks Out From California Recall Election
California voters will decide the Democratic governor's fate during the statewide recall election on September 14.If Newsom defeats the recall effort, he will remain in office and get the opportunity to run for a second term in the 2022 midterm election. But if more than 50 percent of California voters cast their ballots in favor of removing the Democrat from office, the recall candidate who receives the greatest number of votes will replace him and run the state until the midterms.
All healthcare workers in the state will have to be vaccinated by September 30 and there is no opt-out for those who receive weekly testing. California also became the first state in the nation to require state employees to show proof of vaccination or get tested at least once a week.
California has introduced the same requirement for teachers and other school employees - either show proof of vaccination or get tested on a weekly basis.
In a recall election that was largely prompted by dissatisfaction with Newsom's approach to the pandemic, including a stay-at-home order and controversy about his mask-free fundraising dinner at a Napa Valley restaurant, vaccine requirements have proven a key issue in the closing days of the race.
The California Recall Could Be a Road Map for Democrats
Gavin Newsom’s strategy has momentum, and it provides a crucial template for his fellow Dems in 2022.One key reason the president’s party historically fares so poorly in midterm elections is that its supporters turn out at lower rates than voters of the party not in the White House. Polling earlier this summer showed that Newsom faced an especially acute version of that challenge; California Democrats displayed far less interest in, or even awareness of, the recall than did Republicans.
All of the Republican candidates running to replace Newsom, including leading contender and conservative radio host Larry Elder, have said
Elder has been vaccinated against COVID-19 but he believes taking the vaccine is a matter of choice for individuals and parents - that position has been a focus of some campaign ads aimed at defeating the recall effort.
At a vaccine event in Oakland on August 31, Newsom said: "There is no more consequential decision to the health and safety of the people of the state of California than voting no on this Republican-backed recall."
Newsom has leaned heavily on the COVID-19 issue as part of his pitch to beat the recall and a victory for him could easily be framed as an endorsement of the mandates. However, experts who spoke to Newsweek suggested there was more going on in the race.
Gavin Newsom Says Larry Elder 'Celebrates' Texas Abortion Law, Wants Roe v. Wade Overturned
Texas' new abortion law is being highlighted by the governor and other Democrats as evidence of what a Republican governor could do in California.Newsom said that Larry Elder, his leading Republican challenger in the recall effort, is someone who "celebrates what just happened to women in Texas and is celebrating the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade.
Mark Shanahan is a professor and head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Reading University and editor of The Trump Presidency: From Campaign Trail to World Stage. He believes the issue is more complex.
"It certainly does look to be a case of 'Go Gavin!' rather than 'Gavin Go!', and this is definitely a case of Newsom's GOP opponents playing politics on the recall because they could rather than because they should," Shanahan said.
"There are more issues at play in this recall election than the vaccine mandates, but clearly they are front of mind and grabbing the headlines," he went on.
"But Californians will be thinking about other issues such as climate change and the recurring issues of droughts and wildfires, plus the ongoing challenges of jobs, housing and homelessness as the State moves slowly from the pandemic to endemic state of Covid-19. Overall, the majority still feel the sitting governor is doing a decent job.
"But it's vaccine mandates that grab the headlines and split voters largely along partisan lines," Shanahan said.
Larry Elder Rallies at California Megachurch Ahead of Recall Election
"People are leaving, crime is up, homelessness is up – there's no area where I believe this man has done a good job," said Elder of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.Since he announced his candidacy in July, Elder, a talk radio host, courted his conservative base at several large evangelical churches across the Golden State. On Sunday, those same churches once again reminded congregants to cast their vote in what they see as a crucial election.
"Newsom's message that if he's recalled his replacement will be a Trumpist Republican has an air of scare about it. The leading Republican challenger, Larry Elder is vaccinated after all, but is pushing a message of personal choice rather than government mandate. And that's where this election breaks: essentially between personal rights and common good.
"Athat the are getting their response to COVID absolutely right. Don't forget Newsom's handling of the pandemic in the first months was not judged well.
"But it will be a repudiation of Trumpist divisiveness and a recognition that common responsibility may well outstrip personal freedoms. If a Democrat governor can't make that stick in a bastion of liberalism, one may concludenext year," he said.
Thomas Gift, founding director of University College London's Centre on U.S. Politics, told Newsweek that a Newsom win wouldn't necessarily be an endorsement of vaccine mandates per se.
"Although vaccine mandates might be on the ballot in the California recall, so are many other issues that voters care about - healthcare, climate, education, the economy. The list goes on," Gift said.
Gavin Newsom projected to win California recall race
CNN and NBC both projected that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom would win Tuesday's recall race in California.Newsom held an early and substantial lead in results from California's Tuesday recall election shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. local time.
"It's hard to definitely say that Newsom's vaccine position - more than others - will tip the balance one way or the other. A close look at most polls show that, dating back to at least the summer, support for keeping Newsom has ebbed and flowed - but the current governor's numbers have never really fallen into negative territory. California remains a very Democratic state, and odds are, it's going to maintain its Democratic governor.
"If Newsom does win, this may just represent a fairly vanilla, and predictable, outcome: support for a general package of left-leaning policies that tends to be popular in one of the most liberal states in the country," Gift said.
The outcome of the recall election may not be determined by Newsom's stance on vaccine mandates but continuing those mandates will depend on his ability to stay in office.
Four takeaways after California governor handily defeats recall .
Newsom wins on strength of response to COVID-19 as voters reject Republican claims in heavily Democratic state.The California recall election was the first significant US political contest of Joe Biden’s presidency and served as a stress test for both parties before next year’s midterms that will determine whether Biden’s Democratic Party can retain control of Congress.