Politics Republicans see Glimmer of Hope With Latinos Despite Newsom Win
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.
Gavin Newsom won the recall election to remove him in convincing fashion, but both parties had positive takeaways both in California and nationally from the unusual off-year election fight.
Newsom stopped the recall in its tracks, with 64% of voters backing "no" on the recall and only 34% voting "yes," with 71% of the vote tallied.
Latino voters tuned into the election late and initially returned their ballots slowly. This was a cause of concern forin August, but they surged to back Newsom late as voters paid more attention to the recall election and the campaign poured $6 million into its Latino budget.
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President Joe Biden's campaign trip for California Gov. Gavin Newsom ahead of Tuesday's recall election, could help Biden as much as Newsom.Polls indicate Republicans’ attempt to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely to come up short in Tuesday’s election – for which many votes have already been cast.
Exit polls show Newsom was backed by 60% of Latinos, compared to 40% for.
But a deeper look at the results among Latino voters did provide a glimmer of hope for California Republicans, those who spoke to Newsweek said.
"Gavin Newsom under-performed's share of the Latino vote by 15 points in his own state — and that was with virtually no outreach by the local GOP," Giancarlo Sopo, who led the Trump campaign's Hispanic advertising, told Newsweek. "Imagine what we could do with minimal effort."
Sopo was comparing exit polls, with the California exit poll of the 2020 presidential election showing Biden with 75% Latino support compared to Trump's 23% in the deep-blue state.
How the Newsom recall could strengthen the push for Covid mandates
The closely watched California gubernatorial recall election on Tuesday is poised to send precisely the opposite political message that its proponents initially intended. © Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images An observer who declined to give their name watches election workers process ballots (and signatures verified) at vote centers across the state during the California gubernatorial recall election, including the Orange County Registrar of Voters in Santa Ana, on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.
He also said ads were left unwritten against Newsom, including using the Mexican term "un mirrey" against Newsom, which refers to a celebrity lifestyle of excess and consumerism, pointing to the governor's much-maligned trip to The French Laundry, a glitzy Napa restaurant, during the heart of the pandemic.
"I mean, the Spanish ads against Newsom wrote themselves, but no one bothered to make them. He's the textbook definition of 'un mirrey,'" he said. "The fact that no one in the entire California GOP establishment pointed this out should make Republicans wonder how much we're leaving on the table by not engaging blue state Hispanics with culturally sophisticated outreach. As Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Bryan Lanza, who also worked for the Trump campaign in 2016, said Newsom didn't win the recall because he said his stewardship of California was amazing, but because he "scared" voters over what Republicans would do, which isn't difficult to pull off in a very Democratic state. But he also sees hope in California for Republicans with Latinos in the future,
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.
"What you see in four years in California is the Latino vote moving towards the Republican column more and more," Lanza said, before pointing to the California stimulus Newsom approved. "He gave them cash and he still lost support. The enduring question is what match did Trump light that the party can use to continue to grow more of this Latino vote."
Democrats, of course, argue the specter of Trumpism from Larry Elder is what drove out voters to overwhelmingly rebuke the recall effort, and Newsom's position in the polls did stabilize once he made the election more about coronavirus guidelines he said Republicans would gut.
They also gave the campaign credit for its push in the final weeks on Latino engagement that led to a surge of Latino voters once in-person voting began last week. The campaign received help from grassroots groups that saw drawbacks to Newsom's leadership but viewed Republicans as wrong for California.
Michael Trujillo, a Los Angeles-based Democratic strategist, told Newsweek the campaign deserves to celebrate its win, but Democrats nationally may want to take note of exit poll results that show Newsom's support from Latino men at only 55% to 45%, compared to Latinas who backed Newsom at 64%.
Gov. Gavin Newsom easily survives California recall election, AP projects
California Governor Gavin Newsom withstood a recall election on Tuesday in a closely-watched race that drew national attention and campaign visits from President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, NBC News, the Associated Press projected less than an hour after polls closed in the state. Not only did COVID-19 rank as the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds, ahead of homelessness, wildfires, crime and the economy, but just three in 10 California voters said Newsom’s pandemic policies were too strict.
As there was during the 2020 presidential election, there is concern that support from Latino men is eroding in the Democratic party.
"Democrats nationally, locally, and regionally, we need to not ignore this," Trujillo said.
He allowed that the current confluence of events includes having to do door knocking and persuasion of voters during an unprecedented pandemic, which limits the in-person politicking that works well with Latino voters in their homes and neighborhoods.
But while county-level results show Newsom doing better with Latinos than the exit poll in some areas, he pointed to heavily-Latino Imperial County in the southeastern corner of state along the Mexican border, where 80% of residents are Hispanic, as worrisome.
In Imperial County, "yes" on the recall was outpacing the statewide figure 38.7% to 34%, evidence that even California Latinos can cool on Democrats.
"Everyone looked at Texas in 2020 and said, 'Well, that's a conservative state,'" Trujillo said of Republican improvement with Hispanics in the Lone Star State. "But it's not just Texas, it's happening in the most Latino county in the state of California."
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.