By Tim Hunt
Newsom recall polls now are within the margin of errorUploaded: Aug 3, 2021
California Democrat party leaders thought they were enhancing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s chances to beat the recall when they passed special legislation and then set the recall election for Sept. 14—the earliest date it could be held.
It just may backfire on them.
And, of course, it demonstrated the hypocrisy that is so rampant in politics. The legislation reversed a bill they’d passed a few years ago that extended the timing of recall elections to help a fellow Democrat legislator beat a recall election. He failed, although the later won that seat back.
The early September date tightened the window for Republican and independent challengers to gather signatures and other information for the ballot. The ballot will contain two measures:
1. Whether Newsom should be recalled.
2. And, in the event he is recalled, who should replace him. That will be the top vote-getter, no 50% requirement.
The latest polling shows that the recall question is now within the margin of error and Newsom’s favorability rating has been steadily falling. Of even more interest is that well over half of the respondents would not vote for Newsom for re-election should he survive the recall and be on the 2022 ballot. Throw in the enthusiasm that Republican voters have to participate while the Democrats are facing a major challenge to crank up their base despite the 2-1 registration advantage. Thus the ads that are currently running featuring progressive favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Add in a variety of other factors and it’s a challenging time for the governor, particularly since he’s been trotting around the state throwing taxpayer money at every interest group. The influx of federal money and the state’s economic performance resulted in about $100 billion to spend. That largess certainly hasn’t helped his polling numbers.
The current outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant and health orders to wear masks indoors whether vaccinated or not will not help. That’s a 180-degree reversal from what the president said a couple of months ago and not one easily explained to questioning voters.
School opens in Pleasanton Aug. 11 with masks required for all students and staff. There’s certainly a win when school reopens in-person, but it will still be different.
And then there’s the wildfire situation. The September date presumably misses the worse of California’s wildlife season that typically is in October or November before the rains start. The raging fires in the Sierra Nevada resulted in lousy air quality in the Lake Tahoe basin, a reminder of what the lightening-caused fires had cause in 2020.
And then there’s the possibility of rolling electrical blackouts should demand soar beyond capacity and the world’s 5th largest economy (pre-covid) would function like a Third World country. That’s because Newsom and other progressive leaders have pushed for alternative energy regardless of costs and practicality. So when the sun goes down, there go the solar panels just as people are cooking and doing other activities at home.
The state Public Utilities Commission’s failure to ensure that Pacific Gas and Electric updated and improved its aging infrastructure also is part of the picture that will fall at Newsom’s feet.
He has gobs of cash (about $35 million) because there are no limits on contributions in recall elections.
It promises to be an interesting next five weeks until the election, although vote-by-mail ballots will go out this month.