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In the end, the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom ran out of steam. Although the race may be tight as individual votes count, Newsom won a comfortable victory. As of Wednesday afternoon, he is currently sitting on about 63% of voters who want to keep him, which is very close to the number President Joe Biden got in the Golden State in the 2020 presidential election.

In the end, forces stood up against Newsom, the frustrated small business owners who were suffering under lockdown, the homeless and mentally ill who roam the streets in big cities, and those concerned with crime and education just couldn’t vote. Get the governor out.


There are lessons in this not only for California but for the country as a whole.

After traveling across the state over the past week, the most important places I visited in terms of the final election results were in the GOP-leaning Central Valley. There, in cities such as Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield, voters favored the recall, but not in nearly enough numbers.

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It’s not – Govt. Gavin Newsom survives California recall election

What stood out in these rural areas of California was that life has largely returned to normal, not true for Los Angeles, and San Francisco in particular.

Read more opinion columns from David Marcus on the California recall

  • David Marcus: Looking for answers as California considers sacking Newsom
  • David Marcus: San Francisco is worse than we knew and Newsom needs to answer for it
  • David Marcus: Remembrance of California is no longer just about Newsom

This created a strange situation in that it was in the blue areas of California that the restrictions that triggered the recall were still in effect most strictly, while in conservative parts of the state, people were mostly living their normal lives.

The bottom line is that while Newson isn’t popular in rural California, it is afforded by those who bothered to vote, but things weren’t bad enough to call back the kind of numbers they needed.

LA Times celebrates victory in memory of Gavin Newsom over ‘extremist, intolerant’ Larry Elder: ‘a sigh of relief’

We spend a lot of time thinking about the left versus right polarization of the United States. Of course, this is a very real thing, but the more immediate divide is urban/suburban versus rural/outdoor in terms of the impact of government on Americans’ lives. Frustrated San Franciscans don’t need to move to the “free states” of Texas or Florida, it’s enough to move to Bakersfield. In some urban areas, such as Florida and Texas, labor is subject to significant locally-imposed restrictions.

Newsom had all the advantages we knew would cost a lot of money to spend, reducing devotion from unions, especially teacher unions, which have carnivorous organizational power, especially in mail-in elections. We do.

He was supported by most of the national media, and managed to focus on top of the race by his own record, and occasionally made racist attacks on his conservative Black rival radio talk show host Larry Elder.

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But none of these big benefits in the bright blue state tell us much we didn’t already know. Perhaps what we learned was that in states like California, Democrats are wise to leave rural, right-wing areas more or less to their own devices. And in that sense, the recall effort was successful in maintaining the powers that be at the California flyover at the state capitol to rough up the rights of those in the country.

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  • Tucker Carlson: Mark Milley committed treason, and others were implicated

Democrats are fond of saying that Trump’s impeachment (both) is forever, even if he was not removed from office.

If it’s true for Trump, it’s also true for Newsom, the recall is forever, even if 60% percent of his owners decide not to fire him.

The recall was not a wasted effort. In a very real way it helped curb the more restrictive impulses of Democrats across the country, by showing that suspending Americans’ liberties has consequences.

The game was lost, but for many, including those in rural California, simply playing it took the clutches of the government away from their lives and freedoms.

Click here to read more from David Marcus