LONG BEACH, Calif. – President Joe Biden led an exuberant rally Monday night against the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who increased the governor’s cast of the campaign as part of a national struggle.
The day before the vote was closed, Biden described the recall race as an extension of the 2020 presidential contest. He repeatedly said a Newsom win would “send a message” to the nation and Republican leader Larry Elder as “what a Trump clone I do in your state, “warned Elder would undermine women’s rights and undermine health and safety and blunt California’s fight against climate change.
“The nation’s eyes are on California because the decision you are about to make will not only have a huge impact on California, it will resonate across the country,” said Biden.
With 24 hours of voting remaining, the event felt like an early victory speech given to a few hundred people filling a lawn at Long Beach City College and saying “No!” all night. Recent polls have shown Newsom is expanding its lead well into double-digit percentage points, and Democrats are extremely confident after fearing the race was a deadly heat stroke a few weeks ago. The participants greeted Biden with chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe! “.
“There is no scenario in which we lose,” Newsom strategist Sean Clegg told reporters ahead of the event.
The recall gave Biden an opportunity to commit to a Democratic victory after watching his own approval ratings plummet as the Taliban quickly took control of Afghanistan and 13 American troops were killed in an attack by Islamic State. Like Newsom over the past few months, Biden turned on his divisive predecessor and angered Democrats in a blue state where Trump is deeply unpopular.
“Either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor or you get Donald Trump,” added Biden, saying that rejecting the recall would ensure that “Trump’s dark, destructive, divisive policies never find a place in California.”
Newsom has put the recall in recent weeks as a choice between California’s strict coronavirus mandates, paralleling Biden’s orders that require vaccinations for civil servants, and a withdrawal of Covid-19 rules similar to those of the red states. Biden doubled that contrast, comparing Newsom to Republicans trying to “block or undermine the lifesaving mandates we proposed.”
“Voting ‘no’ will protect California from Trump Republicans trying to prevent us from defeating this pandemic,” Biden said. “We don’t need any politics in this fight against Covid,” he added. “We need science. We need courage. We need guidance. We need Gavin Newsom. “
Biden’s narrower role in the campaign limited Newsom’s efforts to nationalize the race. The governor has long referred to the election as a contest between California’s progressive vision and resurgent Trumpism, predicting that losing it would undermine Biden’s agenda and hurt the Democrats in the 2022 midterm election.
“We may have defeated Donald Trump, but we did not defeat Trumpism. Trumpism is still on the ballot in California, “Newsom said in a line that was about putting the stakes in the stakes that drew tumultuous applause.
To this end, Newsom has recruited several Democratic luminaries to try to mobilize voters. Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) And former President Barack Obama have all appeared in campaign spots. Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned with Newsom in the San Francisco Bay Area last week.
Before Biden spoke, Newsom gathered a phalanx of prominent supporters, including organized labor leader, Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) And most of California’s statewide elected officials. The show of force underscored the strongly democratic constitution of California.
“We will send a message. We will vigorously fend off this recall, ”said State Controller Betty Yee.
Republicans angered Biden for taking time out of his presidential duties to support Newsom, arguing that he was neglecting more important duties – though Biden used his trip west to study the damage and response from forest fires in Idaho and in the country investigate still smoldering Northern California.
“Joe Biden has given up the crisis in Afghanistan and the Americans stranded there, imposed his most authoritarian COVID-19 mandate to date and moved away from the rubble and ignored the ongoing crisis on our southern border,” said RNC spokeswoman Hallie Balch in a statement. “It is fitting that Biden would rather promote Governor Newsom than solve his multiple crises.”
While the Newsom campaign was haunted by voter turnout concerns as Republican enthusiasm eclipsed Democrats’ interest, data from the roughly eight million postal ballots that have already been returned shows that Democrats are more than their share of the electorate have chosen. And Newsom is feeling good, as a poll by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies last week showed that Democrats and Independents are much more committed than they were a month ago.