Politico believes we should be taking the effort to recall California governor Gavin Newsom seriously.
The campaign to oust Newsom went from unlikely to unavoidable this week as pervasive frustration with Newsom’s pandemic management cut sharply into his approval numbers....
The nation's biggest Democratic vulnerability after a score of blue victories has become an irresistible nightly feature on Fox News....
The deadline to certify is March 17, and the campaign is still operating on a shoestring budget by statewide campaign standards, relying on volunteers and some paid mail to collect the 1.5 million valid signatures they need.
... the campaign had a surprisingly high rate of valid signatures in the last statewide report through early January, hovering around 85 percent. California county registrars have verified about 600,000 signatures so far....
Two of the state's most respected polls this week showed that Newsom's support has fallen after the state's worst stretch of the pandemic.... The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies survey painted a worse picture for Newsom, showing his approval rating has plummeted from two-thirds in September to 46 percent now among all registered voters. Newsom may take comfort in the Public Policy Institute of California poll, which showed him at 52 percent support among likely voters; that's a drop from the 59 percent he had in November, but still slightly higher than his pre-pandemic numbers.
The Berkeley poll has Newsom slightly underwater -- 46% approval, 48% disapproval -- but it also says that Californians oppose recalling the governor by a 45%-36% margin. So he's probably safe.
However, Americans often rally around a "Throw the bums out" message, so Newsom could be vulnerable. But if he is, I think the increasingly berserk nature of the Republican Party could prevent a repeat of California's 2003 gubernatorial recall.
I remember that recall, in which Democrat Gray Davis was ousted less than a year after winning reelection. A huge number of candidates ran in the simultaneous election to choose Davis's successor. Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course, was the winner.
In 2003, "Cry harder, libs" was the main motivation of Republicans, just as it is now, but GOP voters didn't always look for the craziest possible candidate in order to own the libs. Schwarzenegger was a right-centrist -- but he was also a macho man, and he'd been accused of sexual misconduct. So it was "politically incorrect" to vote for him. And because he was a movie tough guy, it also felt as if supporting Schwarzenegger meant supporting George W. Bush's Iraq War, which "the libs" and many Democratic officeholders opposed, and which hadn't become unpopular yet.
The entire right wing rallied around Schwarzenegger, even though he wasn't extremely conservative. This time around, if Newsom is vulnerable to a recall, the party's establishment figures will probably rally around businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, or former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer. But neither of these candidates has the star power of Schwarzenegger.
So who'll be the candidate of the crazies? Let's go to Gateway Pundit:
As the recall efforts of failed Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom gain steam, filmmaker, author and activist Mike Cernovich is expected to challenge Democrat Governor in a recall election.
Mike Cernovich announced his plan on Monday.
Why I am running for Governor of California https://t.co/O77I5iLy8p
— Cerno (@Cernovich) February 1, 2021
That video is a bit nutty -- but if you think the berserkers will shun someone like Cernovich, the most prominent Pizzagater and an all-around racist, sexist, and troll, in order to form a Popular Front with the establishment GOP, you haven't been paying much attention lately. If the recall is successful, I think the Republican Party will have a hard time rallying its voters around someone who's not offering uncut 2021-style conservatism. Cernovich will undoubtedly be outspent, but I bet he'll punch way above his weight.
According to the insane rules for a recall in California, you don't need any more than a plurality to win, no matter how many candidates are in the field. Also, the replacement election takes place at the same time as the recall -- so if you're a Democrat, you'll have to choose whether to cheerlead for Newsom to survive the runoff or run against him so that Republicans don't dominate the field.
I don't know how this will turn out. I suspect Newsom will survive, mostly because the state is much bluer than it was in 2003, and because increased vaccine supply will bring some good news on the pandemic by the time the election happens, if it does. I don't really think Cernovich has a shot. But he'll do better than the political pros expect him to do, because he's more in sync with the base than any politician from the establishment.
Published with permission of No More Mr. Nice Blog