Politics Gavin Newsom Survives Recall, Crushes Trumpism in California
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 Governoris the projected winner of what his campaign often referred to as the "Republican recall," delivering a win to ahead of next year's midterm elections and a blow to the who were hoping to unseat him.
CNN,and the Associated Press have all called the election for Newsom, with 67.4 percent voting against the recall with about 61 percent of votes counted, as of 11:54 p.m. ET.
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.
"I said this many, many times on the campaign trail. We may have defeated Trump, but Trumpism is not dead in this country. The Big Lie, the January 6 insurrection, all the voting suppression efforts that are happening all across this country," Newsom said at his Tuesday night victory speech.
Newsom has portrayed the recall as a Republican-driven effort sinceto battle it earlier this year. His Stop the Republican Recall campaign identified those behind the recall as a "coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant Trump supporters," characterizations those behind the recall petition have disputed.
As the recall election drew closer, Newsom's campaign continued drawing comparisons between recall supporters and former President, a strategy that intensified following the campaign launch of conservative radio host Larry Elder. On the eve of the September 14 recall, the most recent statewide polling results suggested Newsom would defeat the recall but identified Elder as the candidate most likely to replace him if the recall was successful—a factor Newsom focused on during his final days of campaigning.
How Larry Elder has helped Gavin Newsom in California's recall election
Earlier this year, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom was searching for the right message to convince disengaged Democrats to vote against the effort to oust him in Tuesday's recall election, it would have been impossible to imagine a more perfect foil than conservative talk radio host Larry Elder. © Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP California Gov. Gavin Newsom is photographed during a TV interview before a rally against the California gubernatorial recall election on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Sun Valley, California.
Newsom is only the second governor in the state's history to face a recall election, and he's the first to defeat one. Eighteen years ago, Democrat Gray Davis was first to battle a recall election and was ultimately removed from office. Davis was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who ran as a Republican and received more votes than any of the other 134 candidates who appeared on that recall ballot.
This time around, Newsom faced 46 candidates who qualified for the recall ballot. Though the special election had one clear front-runner—Elder, who ran as a Republican—Democratic political strategists told Newsweek none of Newsom's challengers had the kind of familiarity among voters as Schwarzenegger had, a factor that served asbetween this year's recall and that of 2003.
Despite those differences, polling results released shortly after Newsom's recall election date was set suggested voters were split on the decision of Newsom's removal. The Californiaand several high-profile Democrats from around the country quickly rallied to Newsom's side to motivate voters and encourage turnout, all while reiterating the Newsom campaign's portrayal of the recall effort as one driven by far-right conservatives.
What Makes Newsom's Recall Election Different From Davis' 2003 Ouster
A Democratic strategist who advised former California Governor Gray Davis said there are "several" differences between the two gubernatorial recall elections.Newsom and Davis, both Democrats, are the only California governors who have had to defend their seats through a recall election since the state adopted its recall process in 1911. While voters elected to remove Davis from office nearly 18 years ago, South said he believes the September 14 recall election "is going to be a blowout win for Newsom.
The candidates running for Newsom's seat similarly toured the state and encouraged voter participation. Despite the state's largely Democratic makeup, many recall candidates argued the recall had a chance for success if enough Californians frustrated with Newsom voted "yes" to remove him. Since there was no limit to the number of candidates who could run in the recall, the California Republican Party decided not to endorse any one candidate and instead focused on the first portion of the two-question ballot pertaining to Newsom's removal.
Even without the state party's official endorsement, Elder quickly became the front-runner of the recall candidate field after announcing his campaign in July. He led in most polls conducted through September, often by double digits as he outpaced Newsom's other challengers.
While Elder joined his fellow Republicans in criticizing Newsom's handling of homelessness, crime, wildfire management and more, the coronavirus pandemic and the shutdowns Newsom ordered to prevent the virus' spread have been widely credited with driving support for the recall. Though Elder has said he is vaccinated against COVID-19, he said that, unlike Newsom, he would not impose mask or vaccine mandates for Californians.
Allegations fly as recall vote looms for California’s Newsom
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a blitz of TV ads and a last-minute rally, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom urged voters Sunday to turn back a looming recall vote that could remove him from office, while leading Republican Larry Elder broadly criticized the media for what he described as double standards that insulated Newsom from criticism and scrutiny throughout the contest. The sunny, late-summer weekend was a swirl of political activity, as candidates held rallies, continued bus tours and cluttered the TV airwaves with advertising offering their closing arguments in advance of the election that concludes Tuesday.
Last month, Newsom's campaign targeted Elder for his position on mask and vaccine mandates in an ad that said the outcome of the recall would beThe 30-second ad contrasted Newsom's handling of the pandemic with a resurfaced tweet from Elder vowing to revoke any mask and vaccine mandates in place if Elder were to become governor. It also featured a photo of Elder standing beside Trump as each man flashed a thumbs-up for the camera.
During a campaign event in mid-August, Newsom told voters Elder was, and his campaign has frequently distributed fundraising and voter participation emails outlining what it described as a "terrifying" scenario in which Elder limits pandemic restrictions, rolls back climate change regulations, appoints conservative judges and more after becoming governor.
Out-of-state Democrats have also raised concerns about what it would mean to have Newsom replaced by a Republican. In one ad released by Newsom's campaign in late August, Vermont Senatordescribed the recall as a "Republican power grab." Massachusetts Senator said in a statement on her website that "the same Republican, pro-Trump forces who lost the White House are trying to recall Gavin and install a Trump protege in the Governor's office."
What The French Laundry Has to Do With Gavin Newsom's Recall Election
A dinner California's governor attended last November has been credited with galvanizing support for the recall petition that ultimately qualified for a ballot.More than a month before the first COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), California was battling a rising wave of new COVID-19 infections with health experts predicting additional increases during the holiday weeks that were still to come.
Vice Presidentjoined them in speaking out against the recall and addressing its potential to have a far-reaching impact during a Newsom campaign event she attended in California on September 8.
"Republicans think if they can win in California, they can push policies everywhere to attack women's rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, and workers' rights," Harris said in a tweet following her rally appearance. "We will show them they're not going to get this done. Not here. Never."
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Larry Elder Hints at Political Future, Propelled by California Recall Momentum .
In conceding defeat, Elder described himself as a "former radio host"—suggesting his first foray into politics might not be his last.Speaking early in the night to a crowd of his supporters, when it was clear Newsom had defeated the attempted recall convincingly, Elder hinted at his aspirations.