A Complete Guide to the California Recall Election: Elder vs. Newsom, Voting Closing and Mail-In Ballots
California voters will decide whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday, concluding a foolish election in the middle of a pandemic and one of the first big indicators of the country’s political direction since President Biden took office. seen as one.
Democrats feel increasingly confident, predicting Mr Newsom will win and a disaster for the party in the country’s most populous state, California. If Mr Newsom is remembered, his likely replacement would be Larry Elder, a conservative talk radio host who has built a career bashing liberal causes.
But the fact that Biden, the Democratic governor of a state won by nearly 30 percentage points, is being forced to fight to stay in office, highlights the weaknesses of leaders who are battling the coronavirus pandemic. Was well positioned before.
Democrats former President Donald J. Without Trump trying to energize voters on the ballot, and a defeat – or even a narrow victory – would raise questions about the political influence of Biden, who campaigned with Mr Newsom on Monday night. did.
Leading Republicans in the race to replace Mr Newsom have accepted Mr Trump and his baseless claims of stealing the election, an early sign of the party’s reluctance or inability to distance itself from the former president.
Even though the peculiar nature of California’s recall elections doesn’t offer a perfect barometer of national mood, much is at stake, including the leadership of the world’s fifth-largest economy. Political insiders from both parties noted that Mr Newsom’s fate could have far-reaching national consequences, given the governor’s power to appoint a new senator if a vacancy arises.
Voters are being asked two questions: Should Mr Newsom be recalled? And if that happens, who will replace him? Forty-six candidates, about half of whom are Republicans, are on the ballot along with seven certified write-in candidates.
The winner will serve the remainder of Mr Newsom’s term, which ends in January 2023. Whatever the outcome, there will be another election in a little over a year.
Voting closes at 8 pm on Prashant. Follow our results page here and our coverage of the election and its effects on mcezone.
We are checking here after the result is released.
Will the governor survive the recall?
Early returns suggest California’s vast Democratic base is rallying for Mr Newsom, who was elected in a landslide in 2018. The governor’s campaign has framed the recall as a power grab by Trump Republicans.
If Mr Newsom is remembered, it would be because a significant mass of independent voters and Democrats voted against him, suggesting a significant – and impossible – shift to the right in California.
The more likely question is whether the governor wins by a wide or narrow margin. For some time, polls indicated that potential voters were not enthusiastic about Mr Newsom, which triggered a stream of support from prominent donors and attendees by national Democratic figures including Biden.
As some recent polls have predicted, Mr Newsom’s decisive victory will strengthen him to campaign for a second term in 2022 and perhaps even place him for national office. But if Mr Newsom scores only a few percentage points, he could face a primary challenge next year.
How many Republicans will vote?
Republicans represent only a quarter of California’s registered voters. Since the 1990s, when the party’s anti-immigrant stance alienated Latinos, their numbers have declined. Supporters present the recall as a way to test the power of the Democrats, who control all statewide offices and the Legislature. Republicans also say the fight has brought their party’s base to life.
But Republican support and money for the recall has failed to reach Mr. Newsom’s larger operation and the chest of the war. And it appears that Mr. Elder’s candidacy is branding the GOP by California standards. Polls indicate that support for moderates such as former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulkner is in the single digits.
Critics of the GOP under Mr Trump say the failure to remove Mr Newsom could further reduce Republican influence in California and increase the polarization of the country.
How will Latinos vote?
Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California, accounting for about 30 percent of registered voters – a largely Democratic constituency that has shaped the state’s governance for decades.
But to the consternation of Mr Newsom’s party and the great interest of recall backers, Latinos have been slow to weigh in on his expulsion, thanks to a combination of distraction – with many voters more focused on navigating the pandemic. There has been — and ambivalence, both about Mr. Newsom in particular and the Democratic Party as a whole.
Critics warn that California Democrats have unwisely assumed that Latino voters will be inspired by memories of anti-immigrant policies, Republicans, rather than trying to woo Latinos with their vision for the future.
This has fueled speculation whether the rapidly growing Latino vote in California and elsewhere may be poised to be grabbed by candidates willing to work to engage those voters. As Republicans snatched away significant amounts of Latino support nationwide during the 2020 election, a poor performance in recalls by Latino voters could start a new round of Democratic soul-searching.
How effective will mail-in ballots be?
Every registered, active voter in California was sent a ballot detailing the pandemic voting rules. The system, introduced in 2020 to keep voters and polling personnel safe, helped increase turnout in the presidential election by over 70 percent. This month, lawmakers voted to make the arrangement permanent.
California election officials say voting went smoothly in 2020. But Republicans have claimed that mail-in ballots invite fraud, echoing Trump’s baseless claim that Democrats used them to steal the presidential election.
Last week, in an appearance on Newsmax, the former president claimed without evidence that the recall election was “probably rigged”.
Conservative groups seeking evidence of voter fraud are asking Californians to alert them to recall ballots that arrive in the mail addressed to voters who are dead or not living at their addresses.
The warnings about voting by mail seem to have had an effect: Republicans have proven themselves reluctant to adopt the practice – a trend that worries some in the party as more states adopt mail-in voting. . Still, the night before the election, nearly 40 percent of all registered voters had already cast their ballots, an overwhelming portion suggesting the ease of early voting and voting in an unusually timed special election by mail. will increase.
This bodes well for Mr Newsom, who is counting on the state’s vast base of Democratic voters.
Still, analysts are watching to see whether significant numbers of Republican voters vote in person on Tuesday, and whether young and Latino voters will join them.
What will the vote say about pandemic policies?
If Covid-19 had not set the stage, Mr Newsom certainly would not have been fighting for his job anymore. But recently, they have made progress to report. Cases dropped this month in California, where wearing face masks indoors has become a fact of life in many places, and nearly 80 percent of eligible people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
In recent weeks, Mr Newsom has bemoaned California’s view, noting that mask and vaccination requirements have reduced new cases to less than half of the rates reported in Republican-run states.
Californians have said that no issue matters to them more than conquering the coronavirus. Widespread support for Mr Newsom, beyond Democratic voters, could signal to policymakers elsewhere – including in dozens of other states running for governors next year – that strong health policies could be good politics.
Other Democratic candidates on this fall’s ballot have also leaned into policies like mask and vaccine mandates, while their Republican opponents will undo those measures. Mr Biden has followed suit, offering tough policies around mandates and tough talks aimed at Republican governors.
How will Trump affect race?
For four years, Democrats made huge gains thanks to Mr. Trump. The former president energized party workers, helped his candidates raise funds for the campaign and inspired his voters to turn up in record numbers.
Mr Newsom has tried to maintain that source of inspiration, while constantly warning about the continuation of “Trumpism” in American political life. His recall election offers the first major test of whether the former president’s ghost still has the power to mobilize liberal voters while keeping liberals voting Democratic.
On the Republican side, the leading candidates have adopted Mr Trump’s political playbook, making baseless allegations of electoral fraud and “rigged” votes. Mr Elder declined to say whether he would accept the results of the election.
Not all Republicans agree with this playbook. Some worry that it could cause some Republicans to stay in the house because they believe their votes will not count, and the low turnout may give credence to that argument.
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