Opponents of the Democratic Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, had to collect 1,495,709 valid signatures to trigger a recall election against him. And on April 26, the state announced that they had surrendered at least 1,626,042. As a result, a statewide gubernatorial recall election (only the fourth in American history) is likely to take place in the fall – but it’s not a safe bet just yet.
This is because Democratic lawmakers changed the rules in 2017 to allow recall supporters to reconsider and request that their names be removed from the recall petition. (The change was an attempt to Short circuit a brewery recall campaign against a Democratic senator; however, it was him called back anywayonly to win his seat back in last year’s election.) So if Newsom supporters can convince enough recall signers to withdraw until June 8thcan he avoid a referendum. However, California political observers do not believe this is likely.
It could be a while longer before the recall vote hits the ballot. If the Secretary of State determines that there are enough signatures to trigger a recall, the California Treasury Department has 30 business days to estimate the cost of the election and the state legislature has up to 30 additional days to make that estimate to check. Once that’s done, the lieutenant governor will schedule the recall elections to last anywhere from 60 to 80 days, likely sometime in October or November. A logical choice could be November 2nd – already election day in many states of the country. On the other hand, the Democratic Legislature and Lieutenant Governor may attempt to schedule the recall for the date they believe will give the Democratic Governor the best chance of winning. (As long as you adhere to the time window set by law, you can decide at your own discretion which date is chosen.)
At that point, the recall would come in front of voters with two questions on the ballot: first, a yes-no question about whether Newsom should be removed from office, and second, who should replace him if more than 50 percent of the Voices are correct. “Yes” to remove it. As we wrote in February, there’s a good chance Newsom will prevail on the first question. No polls on the recall elections have been published since the end of March, however two Survey From then on, only 35-40 percent of likely voters stated they wanted to remove Newsom, while 53-56 percent said they would vote to keep it.
This is a very different position than that of other Democrats Gray Davis found himself before he was successfully recalled as governor of California in 2003 survey In April 2003, it was found that 46 percent of registered voters were in favor of calling Davis back, while 43 percent were against – and Davis Polling numbers just worsened from there.
This year, however, the long delay between the signature collection (which ended March 17) and the recall election could take the wind out of the sails of Newsom haters. This is the main reason why the recall campaign garnered so many signatures conservative were about Newsom’s coronavirus restrictions in armsand his public image had taken a blow at him broke his own rules by Attend a dinner party in the French laundry, an exclusive Napa Valley restaurant. But with vaccination rates rising, California is like any other state reopeningand by November it will have been a full year since the French laundry incident.
But if Newsom went south instead, and more than 50 percent of the electorate voted “yes” to the first question, the second question on the ballot would determine his replacement. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would be elected as the new governor of California. There is no drain. This means that in a large field of candidates, a small majority of votes could be enough to win. And a large field of candidates is very possible: In 2003, the voters had 135 candidates to choose from.
Several prominent Republicans have already announced their intention to run for office. Potentially the strongest – at least judging by electoral success – is Kevin Faulconer, a moderate who has twice been elected mayor of buoyant San Diego. Business man John Cox, a multi-year candidate who lost 24 points to Newsom in 2018, and former MP Doug Ose, who last won an election in 2002, are also on the line. But the biggest name of the race might be former Olympic athlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who threw her hat into the ring on April 23.
Jenner quickly Comparisons drawn to another celebrity, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the action star who won the 2003 recall election to replace Davis. While Jenner’s fame could certainly help her, she doesn’t come close to the following that Schwarzenegger had. In February 2003, Gallup found that Schwarzenegger was one of the most popular people the then 68-year-old company had ever interviewed Nationwide 72 percent positive rating. A California-specific survey CNN / USA Today / Gallup also noted that Schwarzenegger started the recall campaign with a positive rating of 82 percent and a negative rating of just 10 percent among likely voters. No pollster has asked Californians about Jenner, but a YouGov national survey From January to March 2021, it only received a positive rating of 18 percent – along with an unfavorable rating of 48 percent.
At this point, no major Democratic candidates have announced a campaign, although there are indications of it former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and 2020 presidential candidate Tom Steyer consider running. (Newsom itself cannot run in the by-pass election.) So if a single notable Democrat ran, this could serve as an insurance policy for Democrats in the event Newsom is recalled: if the Republican vote is split in at least four ways, it’s easy to pose propose a Democratic candidate to finish first, especially if you don’t have to vote “yes” on the first question to vote on the second question. In other words, Democrats could vote “no” on Newsom’s recall but still choose Villaraigosa or Steyer as their preferred replacement.
However, Newsom’s allies are working hard to ensure this is the case No prominent Democrats enter the racefearing that this might encourage the Democrats to vote “yes” on the recall if they see the chance to replace him with someone they like even better. This would also undermine Newsom’s strategy to oppose the recall Paint it as a partisan witch hunt by supporters of former President Donald Trump, who is extremely unpopular in California. But as long as the recall remains a competition between Democrats and Republicans, Newsom should win easily. However, when the democratic base is not united behind the governor, things could get interesting.