California Recall Update: Governor Elder?

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Wall Street Journal describes the lay of the land in California, where Governor Gavin Newsom faces a recall election. His best-known challenger is conservative commentator Larry Elder:

Image by Jew Info, via Wikipedia, license.
This election doesn't have that kind of star power [of an Arnold Schwartzenegger], but it does have Mr. Elder, who says that he's known well enough throughout the state to win support from people who don't traditionally vote Republican. "I've been on the air 27 years," he said. "I'm on in every major market, from Sacramento down to San Diego and everywhere in between. And people know me from talking about these issues and writing about these issues for decades."

Californians are almost evenly split on replacing Mr. Newsom. A survey released Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times and the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found that 47% of likely voters support recalling the governor, while 50% say he should stay, a difference that is almost within the poll's margin of error. Last week, an Emerson College/Nexstar survey reported a similar result, with 43% of respondents saying they would recall Mr. Newsom, and 48% saying they would keep him in office.

In both polls, however, Mr. Elder is the leading choice among dozens of candidates vying to replace the governor. His support was at 18% in the Times poll and 16% in the Emerson survey. His closest rivals, who include Mr. Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, are polling no better than 10%. [bold added]
The piece calls Elder's candidacy a long shot, but it doesn't sound like it's that long to me: Newsom will be gone so long as enough disgruntled voters want him out.

I find it interesting that no prominent Democrat is running against him, given the ridiculous majority in voter registration that Democrats enjoy in California. Is it a strategy to protect their embattled leader by making it seem like there is no viable alternative? Fear of retribution for potentially tanking a rising star? A recognition that the term will be too short to do much of anything? I have no idea, but the first of these seems quite the gamble.

The best news comes in the last paragraph, which notes that close to sixty percent of the voters there want a different governor, at least by 2022.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, interesting article. I have to say (again) the thought of Newsom getting kicked to the curb makes me very happy; I'd love our senators to get the same. On the other hand, I fear Elder would get chewed up and spat out by the job to little good end. Given the circumstances of his taking office, he wouldn't have a great mandate, and given the political situation here, he'd probably make little headway. It would be a symbolic choice, but one I endorse heartily.

I get ads from the groups supporting Newsom against the recall all the time on YouTube, interrupting perfectly decent listening when I'm trying to work. They basically come down to listing all the cronies he's given loot. This is any politician's schtick, of course, but it would be nice to hear that lot's grinding teeth were he dismissed.

Gus Van Horn said...


I think the main benefit to Newsom getting kicked to the curb would be the hit his political future would take.

That doesn't mean it wouldn't be fun to see this happen.