On Wednesday, President Joe Biden weighed into the recall election of Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom, throwing his support behind Newsom as the governor faces an ever-tightening race.
On Thursday, Biden tweeted, “Gov. [Gavin Newsom] is leading California through unprecedented crises—he’s a key partner in fighting the pandemic and helping build our economy back better. To keep him on the job, registered voters should vote no on the recall election by 9/14 and keep California moving forward.”
Gov. @GavinNewsom is leading California through unprecedented crises—he's a key partner in fighting the pandemic and helping build our economy back better. To keep him on the job, registered voters should vote no on the recall election by 9/14 and keep California moving forward.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 13, 2021
On September 14, the recall election for Newsom will take place. Active registered voters in California will receive a ballot in the mail that includes two parts. The first part will ask voters if Newsom should be recalled, and the second part will involve voters selecting someone to replace Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is needed for the first question, but if he is recalled, the winner will be whoever receives the most votes out of all of the candidates. Newsom’s term ends January 2, 2023.
According to The Hill, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki commented on Biden’s involvement in the election.
“I don’t — I wouldn’t say he’s following it particularly closely, in the sense that he’s got a lot on his agenda. But we certainly support Governor Newsom and have worked with him on a range of key issues, whether it’s the pandemic, addressing wildfires, growing the economy, and look forward to continuing to do so.”
“He supports him,” Psaki said Wednesday. “I don’t have anything in terms of additional steps to preview for you.”
The Biden administration could wade further into the recall election and push harder for Newsom to stay in office in California.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times earlier this week, “Beyond Biden’s statement, the White House and Democratic National Committee are working on potential campaign appearances by Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, get-out-the-vote assistance and efforts on social media to thwart the recall attempt.”
A new poll released earlier this month showed that the recall election was even closer than some had previously considered.
The poll was from Survey USA and the San Diego Union-Tribune. It showed that 51% of likely voters in the upcoming recall election would vote in support of recalling Newsom. Those who voted that they would keep Newsom in office came to 40% of likely voters.
Respondents were asked why they think that Newsom should be recalled. Out of the respondents, “34% cite Newsom’s handling of COVID restrictions; 13% the closures of businesses; 4% the closures of schools. Another 10% point to Newsom’s attendance at a party while the state was in lockdown. 18% say Newsom’s spending decisions are the main reason he should be recalled; 12% say the mishandling of unemployment dollars.”
Regarding who might replace Newsom, SurveyUSA reported that two candidates were leading the results.
Democrat Kevin Paffrath, a YouTuber and real estate broker, takes 27% of the replacement vote today. Paffrath draws particular support from younger voters, Latinos, Democrats and liberals, and leads 12:1 among those who who are opposed to recalling Newsom. Paffrath leads 2:1 in greater Los Angeles and by 35 points in urban parts of the state.
Republican Larry Elder, a talk radio host, attorney, and documentary filmmaker, takes 23%. Elder runs strongly among older voters, among Republicans and conservatives, and leads among independents 27% to 19%. Elder leads 2:1 in the Inland Empire and by 30 points in rural CA.