California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s campaign expects to sail to victory in Tuesday’s recall race, where voters will decide whether to oust the Democrat and replace him with a Republican – the most likely being conservative radio show host Larry Elder.
‘There’s no scenario where we lose tomorrow,’ Newsom campaign adviser Sean Clegg told reporters Monday night in Long Beach, before Newsom was joined by President Joe Biden for a final rally. ‘I may have a lot of Clegg on my face tomorrow, but I don’t see a scenario where we’re not talking about a victory for the governor,’ he jokingly added.
The campaign’s boast came after Newsom saw a steady five-week ascent in the polls after they appeared deadlocked in early August among those who wanted to keep Newsom and those who wanted to see him replaced.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (left) campaign believes he’ll sail to victory in Tuesday’s recall race in the state. On Monday night he was joined at a Long Beach rally with President Joe Biden (center) and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom (right)
Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder hugs a patron as he visits Philippe The Original Deli during a campaign for the California gubernatorial recall election on Monday. Elder is the most likely replacement for Newsom, polls show
‘We saw the Delta surge as a real inflection moment in this campaign. I think it was a turning point for us,’ Clegg explained. ‘What Delta brought into clear, clear focus was what the stakes are in this election. When one party has basically become an anti-science, anti-vaccine, anti-public health party.’
‘Our message and endgame here reduced to a single sentence: a vote for this recall is a vote for a pro-Trump, anti-vaxx Republican governor who is going to reverse vaccine mandates on day one,’ Clegg said.
Vaccine mandates are popular in the state with 61 per cent of California adults in favor of some kind of mandate according to a survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California conducted late last month.
That Trump link was broadcast Monday night by Biden, who appeared alongside Newsom at a rally at Long Beach City College.
‘You either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor or you get Donald Trump,’ Biden warned.
‘You either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor or you get Donald Trump,’ President Joe Biden warned at a Long Beach rally Monday night
California Gov. Gavin Newsom looks on track to win a recall election, which threatens to boot him from office and put in the next top vote-getter, which polls show is conservative radio host Larry Elder
Serena Delgadillo casts her vote Monday morning in the historic Los Angeles Union Station Ticket Hall in California. Voters in the state have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to vote in-person or turn in their mail-in ballot
The president also called Elder ‘the closest thing to a Trump clone that I’ve ever seen in your state.’
‘That was our theory of the case, that we needed to name the villains and define the stakes,’ Clegg said of Newsom using Trump as a boogeyman during the race.
FiveThirtyEight.com’s compilation of polls showed on Monday that 57.5 per cent of California voters wanted Newsom to stay in office, while 40.8 per cent planned to vote for his removal.
A month ago, polls were essentially tied among Californians who planned to vote ‘no’ on the recall, which would allow the Democrat to remain, and those who planned to vote ‘yes,’ to oust him.
The second question on the recall ballot asks Californians to choose a Newsom replacement.
Elder has remained the top choice, despite saying that he believed white slave owners could be owed reparations for slavery – a remark that got national attention.
A number of high-profile Democrats visited the state on behalf of Gov. Gavin Newsom (right) in advance of Tuesday’s recall eletion including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (center)
On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris (left) appeared at a rally in San Leandro, California with Gov. Gavin Newsom (right)
Newsom has seen gains in the polls as he’s nationalized the race – and gotten national political figures to come to California to stump for him.
Prior to Biden’s visit – described by Clegg as ‘the crescendo’ – Vice President Kamala Harris, a former California senator, campaigned in the Bay Area with Newsom Wednesday. Former 2020 Democratic primary candidates and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar made the trek the weekend before.
Some of Newsom’s ads featured Sen. Bernie Sanders – popular with the progressive wing of the party – as well.
Meanwhile, former President Trump was setting the table earlier Monday to contest the election result pointing to California’s use of mail-in ballots.
‘Does anybody really believe the California Recall Election isn’t rigged? Millions and millions of Mail-In Ballots will make this just another giant Election Scam, no different, but less blatant, than the 2020 Presidential Election Scam!’ Trump wrote in a statement Monday.
California is the largest blue state in the nation.
In 2020, Biden won the state over Trump by 29.2 points and by more than 5 million votes.
However, the state has recalled a Democratic governor once in the past and replaced him with a Republican.
In 2003, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was recalled and replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Republicans were hoping low Democratic turnout could recreate this dynamic.
Newsom’s campaign said that’s not happening.
‘I think we have a lot to be worried about and hopefully tomorrow we have a silver lining here that we can apply to the big, big problem we have nationally in 2022 – that you can wake up the base,’ Clegg said.
‘The base may start out asleep,’ Clegg said, pointing to a close Berkeley poll from July. ‘But you can wake up the base.’
Elder is planning to host a victory party in Orange County, a more Republican-friendly part of the state.
With Democrats more prone to use mail-in ballots and Republicans likely to vote on election day, initial results – which will come in shortly after polls close at 8 p.m. PDT – could show a wide margin of support for Newsom.
The margin could then narrow as in-person votes are counted – opposite of the dynamic that played out in the presidential race, which saw Trump’s leads in swing states evaporate once mail-in ballots were counted.
In California, counties were allowed to start processing mail-in ballots one week ago.