Long Beach, Calif. – After a year of debate in America’s most populous state, Californians will decide on Tuesday whether Governor Gavin Newsom keeps his job, or whether the state moves in a more conservative direction.
Newsom ended his campaign to stay in office in a recall election with a final push late Monday from President Joe Biden, who warned that the contest would result in the pandemic, reproductive rights and the fight to slow climate change. can shape the direction of the country.
The Democrats, who defeated Republican President Donald Trump less than a year ago, said the issues defining the 2020 race were resurfaced in California, with potentially disastrous consequences if Newsom is removed in the election ending Tuesday. are given.
Speaking to hundreds of enthusiastic supporters during a Twilight rally in the coastal city of Long Beach, south of Los Angeles, Biden called leading Republican candidate Larry Elder a “clone of Donald Trump.”
“Can you imagine that he is the governor of this state?” Biden asked, as the crowd chanted “No, no!” replied with the slogan of
“You can’t let that happen. A lot is at stake,” said the Democratic president.
“The eyes of the nation are on California,” he warned. The recall vote is “going to resonate across the country and … around the world.”
The outcome of the race in which Newsom requires a majority vote to keep his job is likely to affect the 2022 midterm, when control of Congress will be in play again and the party controlling the White House has historically held seats. loses it. They may determine how prominently Democrats campaign on COVID-19 restrictions that many Republicans have decried as unnecessary and excessive burden.
With much riding on the result, Biden is on a leading list of Democrats to make cameo appearances in the contest, either personally or in commercials, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Sen. were the last. Elizabeth Warren.
Newsom’s ouster would be a surprise rebuke in heavily Democratic California, where the party controls every statewide office, dominates legislature and congressional delegations and holds a nearly 2-to-1 advantage among registered voters. Less than three years ago he was elected in a landslide.
Biden’s visit in the waning hours of the race was intended as a last-ditch effort to inspire the state’s more than 10 million Democratic voters. Meanwhile, Newsom’s advisers expressed confidence that the governor would refrain from attempting to remove him more than a year before the end of his first term. The campaign had 25,000 volunteers on the streets over the weekend, and has sent 31 million text messages to voters.
Recent polling has shown Newsom taking an edge in his bid to save his job.
“There is no scenario where we lose tomorrow,” said Newsom strategist Sean Clegg.
Elder staged his capstone rally in nearby Orange County, where he urged his supporters to reach out to friends and neighbors and vote for them. A heroic Election Day poll would be needed to catch Democrats turning in large numbers of mail ballots to the GOP. Nearly 8 million Californians have already cast mail-in ballots.
“Make sure your friends vote, vote, vote, and try and vote for 10 more friends and hit every call, every call, knock on every door, if we vote we’ll do this The thing is about to win, said the Elder from a hotel ballroom in Costa Mesa.
California Republican Party Chair Jessica Milne Patterson called it “shocking and outrageous” that Biden attended a political event when some Californians were trapped in Afghanistan.
“It is clear that protecting the people for whom he was chosen comes second in politics,” he said in a statement.
While Newsom has sought to nationalize the race, Republicans have consistently criticized them for rising taxes, an unchecked homelessness crisis, soaring crime rates and housing prices that are out of reach for many in the working class. The recall was largely accelerated by Newsom’s frustration with COVID-19 restrictions, which have closed schools and businesses and cost millions of jobs.
Elder said earlier on Monday, “There’s no front I can think of where this guy has done a good job – not in schools, not on homelessness, the way he closed this state down.” “
Voters are being asked two questions: Should Newsom be recalled, yes or no, and if he is thrown out, who will replace him? The results of the second question are irrelevant if the majority of voters support retaining Newsom.
In recent days, Elder suggested that the results of the recall election may be skewed by unspecified “shenanigans,” echoing Trump’s baseless claims of voting fraud with Biden in his 2020 race.
No corroborative evidence of widespread fraud has been found. Elder’s campaign website links to a “Stop CA Fraud” site where people can sign a petition calling for a special legislative session to investigate “twisted results” before any results are announced. It added that “instances of undocumented ballots have been discovered prior to the election date of September 14.”
Asked to provide evidence of any suspicious voting activity, Elder campaign spokeswoman Ying Ma said that “we all want every fair vote to be counted” and that “whatever the shenanigans are, they are going to be her next governor.” Won’t stand in the way.”
Before the rally, Biden visited the damage caused by wildfires in Northern California. He praised Newsom’s leadership in responding to climate change, which is contributing to making California’s wildfires bigger and more devastating. Elder and Republicans say Democratic leaders have failed to properly manage California’s forests, leaving more fuel for the fires.
Other leading candidates in the race are Republicans Kevin Faulkner, Kevin Kelly, Caitlyn Jenner and John Cox, and Democrat Kevin Pfrath.
Newsom is the fourth governor in US history and the second governor in California to face a recall. Californians ousted Democratic Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and replaced Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.