LOS ANGELES – The campaign to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom is already showing signs of becoming a circus, like the one that brought Gray Davis down in 2003.
Axios on Tuesday reported that Caitlyn Jenner, a former reality star and Olympian, and the stepfather of the even more famous Kardashian clan, is considering entering the governorship race if a recall petition is eligible to vote. NBC News did not check if Jenner intended to leave and did not announce a decision.
Jenner may be the first of many strategists to be nominated for long celebrities and novelties, closely reflecting those who started in 2003 when adult film star Mary Carey, former children’s actor Gary Coleman and publisher Larry Flynt Hustler took their name from To the list of 100 future governors. Action movie hero Arnold Schwarzenegger eventually won the election.
Nearly 20 years later, comparisons stop.
Of the three Republican applicants who announced their intention to start, none have a national name recognition similar to Schwarzenegger’s. Kevin Faulconer, a former mayor of San Diego who is likely to be considered a leader, is unknown outside of Southern California. Businessman John Cox suffered a double-digit defeat from Newsom in 2018, Doug Ose, a former member of Congress, took up the post of governor briefly in 2018 before dropping out of the race.
“Newsom’s biggest job is to prevent Democrats from leaving,” said Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist and former spokesman for Schwarzenegger. “It’s been good so far, but it’s still easy. We have months of waiting ahead of us.”
Recall organizers say more than 2 million signatures have been collected, well above the 1.5 million needed to reach the state threshold. Counties must verify signatures by the end of the month and report their details to state election officials. The State Treasury will need about 30 days to prepare an election cost estimate before a legislature reviews the results. Only then would the date of the elections be determined.
If the recall matches the vote, voters are asked two questions: The first would be whether they want to call Newsom, and the second would be who would replace him. There is no limit to how many people can start and who gets the most votes wins.
Since Davis’s recall in 2003, California’s political landscape has increasingly shifted to the left. According to the State Secretary of the Secretary of State, 35 percent of registered Republican voters were voters in February 2003, compared to 24 percent this year.
In contrast, 44 percent were registered as Democrats in 2003, and 46 percent this year. In 2003, 15 percent refused to say which party they were in; this year, 24 percent of voters registered as “no party preference.”
“Politically, we’re completely different states than we were in 2003,” Katie Merrill, a Democratic strategist, said on Wednesday on a Facebook Live panel hosted by the Sacramento Press Club. “If we look at the nationwide tournaments, the Republican Party has practically become a third party in California.”
Democratic strategist Ace Smith told the board, “It’s another time. We’re in a state where, frankly, there were Republicans in the past who were once moderate. Trump’s Republican party lost [its] beat.”
The shadow of former President Donald Trump, repeatedly referred to as a kind of political beetle, is another notable difference between the recall effort against Newsom and the campaign against Davis.
Since efforts to oust Newsom have surfaced, California Democrats have come together to grasp the idea that the campaign is to seize power from Trump’s loyalists, making it bitter to lose the White House to President Joe Biden.
Last month, Newsom’s campaign adviser Dan Newman said the recall campaign was “pure party politics,” while Newsom said recallers include white superiors and right-wing militia groups, including the Proud Boys.
“We are only worried about future violence as we move further and further away from the January uprising and put down our guards. We need to be vigilant about these groups and how serious they are,” Newsom told MSNBC last month. . “All you need is about a quarter of the people who supported Trump to sign only one petition, and they seem to have done so.”
In 2003, Davis had no such ghost to distract. By the time it won its second cycle in 2002, it was already embroiled in various crises and was heavily criticized for being too slow to respond to an energy crisis that ruled more than a million people in 2000 and 2001. He apologized, but the bankruptcy tarnished his reputation.
Davis won re-election in 2002, with 47 percent of the vote. By 2003, only 27 percent of California voters had approved their work, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. Davis’s chance to recall won 55 percent of the vote.
In contrast, 40 percent of respondents responded to Newsom’s recall, with 79 percent claiming to be Republican, according to a survey by the California Institute of Public Policy, an impartial research organization. Newsom’s approval rating is also higher than Davis’s – 53 per cent of likely voters last month, compared to 42 per cent saying they didn’t understand his job.
“If other Democrats don’t get into the competition and it stays that way – the economy recovers, the coronavirus doesn’t escape again, and anything that looks good isn’t going to be nearly as unpopular as Davis was,” Stutzman said.
Unlike Davis, whose administration was caused by a $ 38 billion budget deficit, Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposal boasted a one-time surplus of $ 15 billion earlier this year. At the time of the pandemic, wealthy California residents were earning $ 185 billion in capital gains or money from the sale of assets, generating $ 18.5 billion in tax revenue for the state, the Associated Press wrote. Due to the surplus, Newsom’s plan would cost $ 25 billion more than last year.
But record levels of homelessness and unemployment continued to plague California throughout the pandemic, and experts warn that this summer could bring more catastrophic fires up and down the state.
As residents fight on several fronts for crises, it is too early to celebrate the victory, according to supporters of the recall.
“What an interruption,” Anne Dunsmore recalled fundraising. “People on the streets are being flooded from their tents, and we’re going to brag about a surplus?