California Governor Gavin Newsom Pushes Back GOP-Led Recall | Texas
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday flatly defeated a recall to expel him from office earlier, a competition the Democrat held as part of a national battle for his values. party in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the continued threats of “Trumpism”.
Newsom rushed to an early victory spurred by healthy participation in the majority Democratic state. He touted it as a victory for science, women’s rights and other liberal issues, and it ensures that the country’s most populous state will remain under democratic control as a laboratory for progressive policies.
“’No’ is not the only thing that has been voiced tonight,” Newsom said. “I want to focus on what we said ‘yes’ to as a state: we said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to the end of this pandemic.”
With around 60% of the ballots counted, “no” on whether to recall Newsom was ahead 2-1. This lead was built on the votes cast by mail and ahead of Tuesday’s in-person ballot, with a strong performance from the Democrats. Although it is likely to wane somewhat in the coming days as the votes cast at the polling stations are counted, Newsom’s lead could not be overcome.
Republican talk radio host Larry Elder would almost certainly have replaced Newsom if the recall had been successful, an outcome that would have brought an anti-Sacramento political worldview.
The recall focused on Newsom’s approach to the pandemic, including mask and vaccine warrants, and Democrats applauded the result as voters approved their approach. The race was also a test of whether opposition to former President Donald Trump and his right-wing politics remains a motivating force for Democrats and Independents as the party contemplates the midterm elections l ‘next year.
Republicans were hoping for proof that frustrations over months of pandemic precautions would keep voters away from Democrats. The GOP reclaimed four seats in the United States House last year, an achievement Republican leaders hoped would indicate a new lease of life in a state that the Democrats have controlled for more than a decade.
But a recall election is a flawed barometer – especially of national trends. Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 2-to-1 in California, so the results may not translate into troubled state governors or reflect how voters will judge members of Congress next year.
Trump, who had largely stayed away from the contest, made unsubstantiated claims that the election had been rigged in the past few days, claims echoed by Elder’s campaign. Elder did not mention the fraud when speaking to supporters after the results were released.
“Let’s be gracious in defeat. We may have lost the battle, but we will win the war, ”he said, later adding that the recall forced Democrats to focus on issues such as homelessness and the cost of homelessness. high life in California.
For months, Newsom had likened the recall to efforts by Trump and his supporters to overthrow the presidential election and to pressure in Republican-led states to restrict access to the vote.
“Democracy is not a football, we do not throw it. It’s more like – I don’t know – an antique vase, ”Newsom said after his victory. “You can drop it, smash it into a million different pieces – and that’s what we’re capable of doing if we don’t stand up to face the moment and push back.”
He became the second governor in U.S. history to defeat a recall, cementing him as a prominent figure in national Democratic politics and preserving his prospects as a future candidate. Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall in 2012.
California voters were asked two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and, if so, who should replace him? Only a handful of the 46 names on the replacement ballot were publicly recognized, but most failed to gain traction with voters.
Elder entered the race just three months ago and quickly rose to the top of the field. But it allowed Newsom to turn the campaign into a choice between the two men, rather than a referendum on his performance.
Newsom took Elder’s opposition to minimum wage and abortion rights as proof that he was outside the mainstream in California. Governor called him “more extreme than Trump”, while President Joe Biden, who campaigned for Newsom, called him “the closest thing to a Trump clone I have ever seen. seen”.
While the contest didn’t quite bring the circus element of California’s recall in 2003 – when voters replaced Democratic Governor Gray Davis with Republican movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger – it did showcase its own moments. unusual.
Reality TV star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner entered the race but gained little momentum and left the state for part of the campaign to film a reality TV show in Australia. Businessman John Cox, who lost severely to Newsom in 2018, tried to spice up his campaign by hiring a live bear to join him, posing as the “beast” of Newsom’s “beauty”.
Newsom will soon be campaigning again; he is running for re-election next year.
Orrin Heatlie, the Republican who launched the recall effort last year, touted it as a ‘David and Goliath’ battle and said it was telling that Newsom called on National Democrats like Biden to ‘save his damaged political career ”.
The president and other prominent Democrats offered their support to Newsom in the final days of the race, while national Republican leaders largely kept the contest at bay.
The recall required 1.5 million signatures to cast the ballot out of the 22 million registered voters in California. It would never have been in front of voters if a judge had not given organizers an additional four months to collect signatures due to the pandemic. The move came the same day Newsom attended a maskless dinner at the lavish French Laundry restaurant with lobbyists and friends, causing an uproar.
Supporters of the recall expressed frustration at the business closures that lasted for months and the restrictions that kept most children from attending class. Rising homicides, a homelessness crisis and an unemployment fraud scandal have further angered critics at Newsom.
But the general public has remained on its side. Public Policy Institute of California polls showed its approval rate remained above 50% throughout the pandemic. In a few weeks, the institute’s poll showed that 60% of Californians approved of Newsom’s handling of the pandemic.
The rise of the highly contagious delta variant has led Newsom to view running as one of the “life and death” consequences. He pointed to Texas and Florida, which were seeing flare-ups worsen as their Republican governors rejected mask and vaccine warrants, as warnings of what could become of California.
Newsom has been considered a potential White House candidate since at least 2004, when he defied federal law to issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples as mayor of San Francisco. His victory maintained those prospects, although he will still have to navigate the ambitions of Harris, who came through politics from San Francisco alongside Newsom.
He came to the competition with benefits. The California electorate is less Republican, less white, and younger than it was in 2003, when voters started the Davis Democrat. Newsom was allowed to raise unlimited funds, eclipsing its competition while flooding television screens with advertising. Public worker unions and business and tech leaders poured millions into his campaign.
Associated Press editors Julie Watson in San Diego, Jocelyn Gecker in Lafayette, Don Thompson in Lincoln, Christopher Weber in Los Angeles, and Adam Beam in Sacramento contributed.
Catching up with AP Recall Coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/california-recall