California Governor Gavin Newsom survives recall election to stay in power – .

California Governor Gavin Newsom survives recall election to stay in power – .

California Governor Gavin Newsom flatly defeated a recall on Tuesday to expel him from office earlier, a competition the Democrat held as part of a national battle for his party’s values ​​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 about 60% of the ballots counted, “no” on whether to recall Newsom was ahead 2-1. This lead was built on votes cast by mail and ahead of Tuesday’s in-person ballot, with a strong performance from the Democrats. While it is likely to wane somewhat in the coming days as the votes cast at the polls 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.

Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder speaks to supporters after losing the California governor’s recall election Tuesday in Costa Mesa, Calif. (Ashley Landis/The Associated Press)

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 has been controlled by Democrats for more than a decade.

Trump claimed the election was rigged

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 high cost of 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 soccer ball, you don’t throw it away. 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.

Workers remove mail-in ballots from envelopes at the Sacramento Registrar of Electors on Tuesday. (Fred Greaves/Reuters)

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.

Unusual moments in the countryside

Newsom took Elder’s opposition to minimum wage and abortion rights as proof that he was outside the mainstream in California. The 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 had. 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 feature some quirky moments. .

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 badly to Newsom in 2018, tried to spice up his campaign by hiring a live bear to join him, posing as Newsom’s “beast” of “beauty”.

Caitlyn Jenner speaks to the media after voting in the California recall election in Beverly Hills, Calif. On Tuesday. The former Olympian entered the race but gained little popularity with voters. (Ringo HW Chiu/The Associated Press)

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 closing days of the race, while national Republican leaders largely held 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, sparking an uproar.

Approval ratings remained high

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 remained on its side. Public Policy Institute of California polls showed its approval rate remained above 50% throughout the pandemic. Within weeks, the institute’s poll showed 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.

Top Democrats have come forward for Newsom, including President Joe Biden, above, Vice President Kamala Harris, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama. (Leah Mills/Reuters)

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.


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