California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) crushed a Republican-led Memory The effort results came surprisingly quickly on Tuesday evening, with most cable networks and The Associated Press estimating that the recall fell too short of the 51% vote needed to oust the Democratic governor from office a year ago.
Despite early claims of voter fraud from his campaign and other prominent voices on the right, the conservative radio host Larry Elder, the GOP front-runner who led a vast field of candidates seeking to replace Newsom, conceded in front of a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles.
“Let’s be gracious in defeat,” he said, “we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.”
Here are five takeaways from the California gubernatorial recall election:
Democrats’ coronavirus approach proved correct
Newsom put the coronavirus pandemic front and center, repeatedly warning California voters on the campaign trail that a Republican governor would undo many of his policies when it came to tackling the virus, such as face masks. Requirements and school vaccine mandates. Elder, warned a far-right candidate like Newsom, would try to turn the state into Republican strongholds like Texas or Florida, where COVID-19 cases are rising and hospitals are struggling to find ICU beds. are filled with
“We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to end this pandemic,” Newsom said in his victory speech Tuesday night. “We said yes to everything we hold dear as Californians and, I would argue, as Americans.”
Newsom isn’t alone when it comes to leaning more aggressively in the fight against COVID-19. President Joe Biden, who held a campaign event for Newsom on the eve of the election, is similarly betting that requiring people to regularly receive a vaccine or test will not only bring a speedy end to the pandemic, but Will also prove to be popular with voters across the country. According to Recent Surveys, most Americans – including suburban voters – support vaccine mandates for federal workers as well as private companies, which Biden announced Last week.
‘Trumpism is not dead’
“We may have defeated Trump, but Trumpism is not dead in this country,” Newsom warned, referring to former President Donald Trump in his victory speech on Tuesday, which claimed “rigged” just weeks before the election ended. did.
Democrats chose Elder, a far-right candidate with extreme views, as Trump’s second arrival. The strategy worked effectively in a blue bastion where registered Democratic voters outnumbered registered Republican voters by a 3-1 margin.
Although voters vehemently rejected the recall, Elder fared better on the second ballot question, which asked voters who should replace Newsom. He garnered about 50% of the vote, and more ballots are yet to be counted. More establishments fell far behind GOP candidate Elder. For example, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulkner was the second Republican in the race behind Elder with less than 10% of the vote.
The results continue a trend seen nationally: candidates like Trump who mimic their rhetoric tend to gain more traction in the Republican Party than more traditional voices in the GOP. For example, in Senate races across the country, Trump acolytes are finding support, including writer JD Vance in Ohio, former football player Herschelle Walker in Georgia, and Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama.
Newsom dodges friendly fire
A big reason why Newsom still has the job is that no other leading credible Democratic candidate has entered the race. Despite many scuffles from Democrats and something in the media, Newsom’s campaign settled on an initial strategy: resist the recall and leave Question 2 blank. Critics of the strategy feared that far-right candidates such as Elder might be chosen from voters who opposed the recall for not selecting the preferred candidate to replace Newsom. But it paid off handsomely for Newsom.
Real estate broker and YouTube personality Democrat Kevin Pfrath came in second on Tuesday behind Elder with nearly 10% of the vote. If another celebrity had jumped, Newsom would have faced more difficulty.
In 2003, when then-democratic Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante decided to run as a candidate in the then-government recall election. Gray Davis (D), had trouble tagging Davis’ recall attempt as a partisan attempt to oust him. However, Newsom successfully portrayed this year’s recall effort as a GOP exodus that began even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recall reform may get public support
The recall election lasted for months, was called by the network within minutes of voting close, and cost California taxpayers more than $270 million. That accounting is calling for reform of the California recall system, which is enshrined in the state’s constitution.
Even before the elections were over, critics were already pointing out that the system was fundamentally undemocratic and needed to be changed. For example, if Newsom had failed to garner 51% of the vote on the recall question, it would have been thrown out. Whoever comes first from the field of candidates running to take his place would become governor, even if he had a plurality of votes.
All Republicans required to trigger the recall were the signatures of 12% of voters in California. They did so, thanks to a judge’s order that extended the deadline to submit the required amount of signatures—just 1.5 million out of a total of 40 million residents.
new polling data Indicates that proponents of reform, if not outright elimination, stand on solid ground for changes to the recall system.
‘The Big Lie’ is here to stay
Republicans may have lost Tuesday, but their dangerous strategy of contesting the election with false allegations of fraud is showing no signs of slowing down.
Addressing supporters Tuesday night, Newsom predicted that the GOP strategy in California would be emulated in other states, warning it could have disastrous consequences for the country.
“Democracy is not a football. You cannot throw it around. It is like an ancient vase. You can drop it and break it into a million little pieces,” he said.