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California Governor Gavin Newsom’s chances of remaining in office improved ahead of Tuesday’s revocation election, with an increase in the number of Democrats who voted in early elections and polls showing that most voters oppose efforts to remove him.
Newsom will get additional reinforcements Monday when President Joe Biden appears next to him at an event in Long Beach, showing the importance to the White House that the largest U.S. state remains under democratic control. Vice President Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren also campaigned for him.
Tuesday’s vote will include an unusual election in which a wealthy, ambitious first-term governor will face 46 challengers — a diverse group including Republican politicians, a YouTube star, a reality show personality, a model billboard and a handful of law enforcement officers. It cost the state more than $ 275 million, and even if Newsom prevails, it will face re-election next year.
Recent polls show Newsom is gaining momentum, with about 60 percent of likely voters opposing his removal, an improvement from 50 percent in July. For most of the summer, he was plagued by concerns about a “enthusiasm gap” that could reduce turnout among Democrats, who outnumber Republicans in the state by two to one.
Strong efforts by public sector unions and community groups in recent weeks have helped close the gap. Steve Philips, co-founder of the political organizing group PowerPAC +, said Newsom’s turnaround has been reduced to efforts aimed at Latin Americans, Asian Americans and other colored people in recent weeks.
“The risk was that people would not pay attention and fall out,” he said. “I feel better than six weeks ago” about Newsom’s chances.
But the emergence of Larry Elder as the leader to replace Newsom seems to have given the governor’s campaign the necessary clarity. Elder, a conservative radio-shock radio, opposes abortion rights, advocates the abolition of the minimum wage and is against the mandate of masks and vaccines.
Newsom said last week that Elder, a Republican, is “someone who celebrates” recent Texas restrictions abortion, a motivating issue among California Democrats. According to a Berkeley IGS survey, 65 percent of voters said electing a Republican governor would “jeopardize” state policy on issues such as climate change, immigration, health care and abortion.
Newsom toyed with fears among Democrats that the recall could jeopardize their tight control over the U.S. Senate. Elder has vowed to do just that, saying he will appoint a Republican replacement for Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, 88, if she cannot complete her term.
“They’re afraid I’m going to replace her with a Republican, which I would definitely do and it would be an earthquake in Washington, DC,” Elder said in a recent radio interview.
Such issues have set in motion a democratic base in the state even as Newsom and California face a range of problems, including droughts, fires, homelessness and the lasting consequences of Covid-19. Newsom may have helped itself on this issue in late August, when the state began issuing new $ 600 incentive checks to residents earning less than $ 75,000 a year.
Elected in 2018 with a convincing 62% difference against Republican businessman John Cox — who is also on the recall ballot — News positioned himself as the leader of the “resistance” against Trump. His position in the state was strong a year ago, when he had 64 per cent approval. But since then, many have been frustrated by Covid’s state restrictions.
Republicans began demanding Newsom’s recall almost immediately after he took office. They managed to collect enough signatures to recall in their sixth attempt, the second time in California history that the governor faced an election recall. Democrat Gray Davis lost the recall vote in 2003 to actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who himself faced seven recall attempts during his two terms.
Despite the improvement in the number of polls, there are still risks for Newsom. On the ballots in California, Newsom must win the revocation measure by a majority vote, but if it fails, the candidate with the most votes will serve the rest of his or her term. This means that his potential successor could defeat him with a far smaller share of support.
If he wins, Democrats are expected to make efforts to reform California’s 110-year-old recall system.