What the recall election results tell us about California
By now, you’ve probably heard that Governor Gavin Newsom easily defeated a Republican-led effort to recall him, with a vote count this morning showing that 65 percent of Californians opposed his removal.
Newsom’s lead was so widespread when the opening numbers were released last night that several news outlets declared the race to be over within an hour of the close of voting.
“We’re enjoying a huge ‘no’ vote tonight here in the state of California,” the governor looked weary, he told reporters in Sacramento at about 9 p.m.
There are many facets to this election, from the need to reform California’s won recall process to the success of Democrats to electorate Donald Trump. But what is most surprising to me is what has been revealed about the dwindling power of the Republican Party in California.
The state was once a stronghold of Republicans that turned reliably red in the presidential elections. We produced Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who we also elected governor twice.
Yet the share of Californians who identify as Republican has dropped from 35 percent in 2003 to 24 percent now. (Meanwhile, the fraction of registered Democrats has increased slightly from just 45 percent to 46.5 percent, while those without party affiliations have risen from 16 percent to 23 percent, with a tendency toward Democrats.)
The reason I chose the number from 2003 is because that year provided a road map for Republicans hoping to recall Newsom. In 2003, Californians voted Gray Davis, a Democrat, out of office and replaced him with Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.
But in 2021, a similar feat was always a much steeper climb.
Democrats now outnumber Republicans by almost two to one.
Wagner College’s Hugh L. “When you have such a big loss, when your party is only 24 percent, you have a problem,” Joshua Spivak, senior fellow at the Kerry Institute for Government Reform, recently wrote a book on the recall. Election. “They don’t have voters.”
Furthermore, over the past eighteen years, the party line has hardened. In 2003, Democrats were more inclined to criticize their party’s governor, while Schwarzenegger had cross-isle appeal as a moderate Republican and a movie star.
“Arnold was a perfectly acceptable choice for many Dems,” said Rafael Sonnenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.
This year, however, Republicans failed to strike a chord with a candidate who was my colleague Jeremy W. That could appeal too far, as Peters reports.
The centrist Republican nominee on the ballot, Kevin Faulkner, has little support throughout the campaign, although he resembles the kind of moderate Republicans who have succeeded here in the past.
Meanwhile, Larry Elder, a far right conservative radio host, quickly became the most popular candidate for the recall supporters. But, as Tuesday’s results demonstrated, Elder’s appeal with Republicans didn’t translate to Democrats, who voted overwhelmingly to keep Newsom in office.
There is no clear answer as to what the future of the Republican Party will be in California. But Newsom is up for re-election in 2022, (yes, really) so whatever the party chooses may soon be clear.
where are we traveling
My colleagues asked readers to tell them about places that pleased or comforted them in a dark year, and 52 of those suggestions to “remind us that the world is still waiting.”
On that list is Santa Rosa, a place full of resilience and glory. Read more
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions at CAtoday@mcezone. We will share more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
Between wildfires, pandemics, and droughts, this summer in California hasn’t been easy.
So with September 22 marking the end of the season, I’m asking you to share what helped you make it through. Maybe it was a vacation you postponed, a trashy TV show, a delicious meal you cooked up or your night out.
Email me your favorite summer memory at CAtoday@mcezone With your name and the city you live in. If you wish to include a picture, please ensure that it is oriented horizontally.
And before we go, some good news
In Volcano, a city of about 100 people an hour’s drive from Sacramento, an all-volunteer theater company is rekindling joy in a dark year.
Pandemic, fire – it all goes away on stage, actress Brenda Metzger told The Los Angeles Times.
In Volcano Theater Company’s production of Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever,” Metzger plays flirty flapper Myra Arundel.
“When you’re performing, you have to be in the moment,” Metzger told the newspaper. “When I’m on stage, I’m Myra. And the thing Myra cares about most is being laid.”
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Soumya
ps is here Today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: participate in democracy (4 characters).
#recall #election #results #California