Voters headed to the ballot box Tuesday to decide the fate of Gov. Gavin Newsom, and perhaps the future of California, in the state’s gubernatorial recall election.
While the latest polls show Newsom defeating the recall vote, he is not taking that for granted. In a final campaign push Monday, the governor stood side by side with President Joe Biden, who was in California to tour wildfire damage and to endorse the No on the Recall campaign. During a rally in Long Beach, Biden praised Newsom’s leadership in protecting Californians from the coronavirus and for standing up for science.
Meanwhile, in his own final campaign push, leading replacement candidate, Republican Larry Elder, questioned how the governor has made life better for Californians, especially when it comes to crime and public education.
Businessman and Republican John Cox also concluded his campaign Monday at the famed French Laundry restaurant in Yountville to remind voters that Newsom attended a dinner party there during the height of the pandemic, when most people and businesses were on lockdown.
The incident became a flashpoint for the recall effort.
Another replacement candidate, Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, encouraged people to vote, saying she will be casting her ballot in person Tuesday at Beverly Hills City Hall.
Research by Political Data Inc. showed 39% of ballots statewide, or about 8.7 million, already had been returned before in-person polls opened Tuesday morning. Of those ballots mailed to registered Democrats, 43% have been returned; of those mailed to registered Republicans, 42% have been returned; and of those mailed to registered independents, 30% have been returned.
Republicans were hoping for a strong showing of in-person voting Tuesday.
The latest poll released Friday by UC Berkeley showed about 60% of voters rejecting the recall while 38% want Newsom removed. The rest were undecided.
In the state’s only other gubernatorial recall election, Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled and replaced by actor and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.
Source: NBC Bay Area