California governor defeats recall challenge
Voters in California refused to recall Governor Gavin Newsom in a recall election. The election is a little-used provision of direct democracy in about 20 states.
As votes continued to be counted Wednesday, nearly two-thirds of voters rejected the recall of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, defeating 46 gubernatorial challengers in an election in which former President Donald Trump played an invisible role.
Democrats urged a no vote on recall, but At a victory rally Late Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said the vote affirmed his and his party’s values.
“We say yes to science. We say yes to vaccines. We say yes to ending this outbreak.”
‘Novel coronavirus protection, like masks and vaccines, should be voluntary and not imposed by politicians,’ said Larry Elder, a Republican and conservative radio host who is Mr. Newsom’s main challenger. That didn’t sit well with voter Alice Frankston.
“Novel Coronavirus is very real,” she told VOA after voting against the recall. “We are not out of it yet. We need to keep fighting.”
As early voting began Monday, President Biden campaigned in California against recall and against Elder.
“He’s a Trump clone,” Biden said of Elder at a Newsom rally in Long Beach. “Can you imagine him as governor of this state?” Partisan crowds shouted “No”.
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said aversion to Mr. Trump was a powerful incentive for Democrats to oppose a recall.
“I think the California result proves that Trump is still unacceptable to Democrats,” he said. “Making Trump a campaign issue is going to drive a lot of Democratic votes.”
But analyst Shannon Bow O ‘Brien says the concentration of Republican support for Elder among dozens of rival candidates is a concern for Democrats.
“They brought out national Democratic bigwigs to boost morale,” said Michael O ‘Brien, associate professor of government studies at the University of Texas at Austin. I think it shows that they see this as a serious threat.”
In addition to bringing Biden out, Democrats are airing anti-recall ads recorded by leading party figures such as U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Warren.
Some of the existing issues, such as California’s high crime rate and growing homelessness, hurt Mr. Newsom and led voters like Roger Neal to support recall.
“I’ve lived in Southern California for 40 years. I think we need new leadership.”
Newsom previously served as mayor of San Francisco and lieutenant governor of California. He is up for re-election to a four-year term as governor in a regular election next year. In conceding defeat Tuesday, Elder told supporters and reporters that the fight is not over.
“We know we are losing the battle, but we are definitely going to win the war,” he said.
It will be an uphill battle. Nearly half of California’s voters are registered Democrats, and less than a quarter are Registered Republicans.
Sabato says California Republicans are moving away from moderate voters.
“What we see here is a party that is close to Trump and to the right, and they can’t win statewide elections in California,” he said.