Friday, December 3rd, 2021

California Recall Newsom Well Positioned As Elder Cries Foul

California Recall Newsom Well Positioned As Elder Cries Foul CALIFORNIA — Heading into the final day of the recall election, the slate of 46 challengers looking to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom faced powerful headwinds.

Nearly 8 million people have already voted, and the majority of the returned ballots are from registered Democrats. By the final week of voting, Democrats had a 28 percentage point advantage in pre-election day ballots returned, according to Political Data Inc.

A likely victory by the governor has recall opponents crying foul. Less than two months after a major poll appeared to show Newsom losing, his sudden rise in the polls prompted Republicans such as former President Donald Trump and leading recall candidate Larry Elder to claim election fraud over the weekend.

With no major Democratic candidates running in the recall, the high turnout among Democrats would seem to bode well for the governor. But if recent election trends hold up, Republican voters are more likely to vote in person on election day than Democrats. It’s that election day turnout that has Newsom campaigning with President Joe Biden Monday while his challengers crisscross the state to turn out their supporters.

Republican candidate Assemblyman Kevin Kiley was scheduled on Monday to speak to supporters outside Manuel Arts High School in Los Angeles, where he once taught English. Republican candidates John Cox and Elder both spent the weekend campaigning in San Diego County, the state’s second largest county and a once-reliable Republican stronghold.

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Elder, a conservative radio host and the leading Republican challenger in the polls, spent his final weekend on the campaign trail with actress Rose McGowan, who claimed Newsom’s wife urged her not to report sexual assault allegations against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein. A spokeswoman for Jennifer Siebel Newsom called the allegation a fabrication.

Republican conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder with former actress and activist Rose McGowan hold a news conference at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. Elder is running to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in the Sept. 14 recall election. McGowan, who is known for her role in the “Scream” movie franchise, was one of the earliest of dozens of women to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, making her a major figure in the #MeToo movement. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Biden was scheduled to campaign with the governor in Long Beach Monday night for the campaign’s final rally against the recall effort.

Newsom heads into the homestretch with momentum on his side. Midsummer polling had voters nearly evenly split on whether to recall the governor, but polls began skewing dramatically in his favor in August just as voters began casting ballots by mail.

According to an averaging of major polls by FiveThirtyEight, 41.6 percent of likely voters want to recall Newsom, compared to 56.2 percent who want to keep him in office.

Newsom’s major weakness earlier in the summer stemmed from an apparent enthusiasm gap between his base and recall supporters who reported being more motivated to vote. Since then, ballots were mailed to every registered voter, and Democrats returned those ballots at much higher rates, driving especially high turnout for an odd-year, single-issue election day.

Political Data Inc., a data firm that works with progressives, recently reported that 7,799,192 ballots have already been returned, with 52 percent coming from registered Democrats, compared to 25 percent from registered Republicans and 23 percent from no-party voters.

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