Politics Newsom touts victory over recall as rejection of 'Trumpism'
California recall election: Will the state keep or remove Gov. Gavin Newsom? Results could take time.
Tuesday is decision day in California and voters in the Golden State will decide whether they will keep Gov. Gavin Newsom or remove him from office.It's been a winding path to get here, but polls show the Democrat is likely to keep his job leading a state that is known nationally as a liberal trendsetter.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom took a victory lap on Tuesday after, casting his win as a rejection of "the negativity that's defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years."
In remarks delivered in Sacramento minutes after he was declared the winner of the recall election, Newsom said that with his victory, Californians had voted to safeguard democracy, taking a swipe at his main Republican opponent, conservative radio host Larry Elder, and former President Donald Trump, who had raised baseless claims of fraud ahead of the Tuesday vote.
Newsom's nightmare: How one November day fueled the recall
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — On a single day last November, two events helped set the course for just the second recall election against a governor in California history: Gov. Gavin Newsom dined with 11 friends and lobbyists at one of the country’s most expensive restaurants as he pleaded with Californians to stay home, while those looking to kick him out of office won four more months to qualify for the ballot. Photos of the maskless dinner showed the Democratic governor going against what he had been urging for months to combat the coronavirus: don’t gather in groups, keep your distance, wear a mask.
"Democracy is not football. You don't throw it around," Newsom said. "It's more like an antique vase. You can drop it and smash it in a million different pieces. And that's what we're capable of doing if we don't stand up and push back."
"We may have defeated Trump," he added, "but Trumpism is not dead in this country."
California voters went to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether Newsom should remain in the governor's mansion for at least another year. Recent polling had shown most voters rejecting the recall effort - a finding validated by the early election results.
With just about 60 percent of the vote reported, nearly 67 percent of voters chose to keep Newsom as governor. Only about a third - 33 percent - voted to boot him out of office.
How the recall election against California Gavin Newsom will work
The election will be just the second recall election for governor in state history. The other took place in 2003 when Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor. Here's what you need to know about the recall. How did we get here?In February 2020, a group called the California Patriot Coalition began circulating a petition to recall Newsom, citing his administration's policies on immigration, homelessness, the state's drought emergency and taxes. Newsom had faced five previous recall attempts, but such petitions require 1.
Newsom's remarks on Tuesday echoed his rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the recall election, which he cast as a Republican power grab by conservatives aligned with Trump.
Newsom touted his victory as a sign that Californians were on his side when it came to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, women's reproductive rights and voting rights, among other issues.
"I'm humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote and expressed themselves so overwhelmingly by rejecting the division by rejecting the cynicism, by rejecting so much of the negativity that's defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years," he said.
California recall: Environmentalists fear a one-time climate change denier could oust Newsom .
The Sept. 14 election is shaping up as a tight race. Lukewarm enthusiasm for the Democratic governor and a confusing ballot opens the door to an upset.That could help trigger a political earthquake: a "yes" vote to oust the Democratic governor and an upset victory by a conservative who could upend California's landmark environmental policies.