SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: A sign against the recall is posted behind California Gov. Gavin Newsom as he talks with volunteers who are phone banking against the recall at Manny's on August 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom kicked off his "Say No" to recall campaign as he prepares to face a recall election on September 14. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Do People Know That There Is a California Gubernatorial Recall Election Going On?

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Right now, there is a California gubernatorial recall election unfolding, where Democratic governor Gavin Newsom might end up losing his seat to a fringe right-wing radio host.

Ahh, love that American democracy in action.

California’s recall system is kind of a mess. It was created in 1911, during California’s Progressive Era, when Republican reformers instituted the recall system to weaken the influence of private interests and reinstate “the people’s rule.” Well, that was then and this is now.

Since the ’60s, every California governor has had some sort of call for a recall. Before this election, the only other gubernatorial recall attempt in California that led to a general vote was back in 2003 and led to Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor.

What has Gavin Newsom done that has encouraged such a recall attempt?

He had a party.

Published pictures of Gov. Gavin Newsom at a birthday dinner in an upscale Napa Valley restaurant started the backlash. It seemed to run contradictory to rules in place the time that required Californians to social distance and limit the number of people at a gathering. Following the photos, the governor released a statement expressing regret for his mistake.

“It was an outdoor restaurant,” Newsom said. “As soon as I sat down at the larger table I realized it was a little larger group than I had anticipated. And I made a bad mistake — instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back down to my car and drove back to my house. Instead, I chose to sit there with my wife and a number of other couples that were outside the household.”

That resentment on top of the fallout from a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal at the state unemployment agency has whipped up the people of California enough to have this recall.

However, there is a lot of apathy from Democrats, and so far, it looks like Republicans will turn out a higher percentage of their voters.

The Guardian has reported, “Only 36% of all registered voters want to oust Newsom, but that number rises to 47% when polling likely voters, according to a poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. And a recent CBS News poll found that 72% of Republican voters were ‘very motivated’ to participate in the recall, while just 61% of Democrats felt the same.”

“Turnout is likely to be far higher among Republicans than Democrats and ‘no party preference’ voters. And, since nearly all Republicans favor Newsom’s ouster, a larger proportion of likely voters are voting yes,” said Mark DiCamillo, the poll’s director.

“Newsom doesn’t have to worry about the Democratic base voting for the recall,” said Dan Schnur, a politics professor. “He has to worry about them not voting at all.” Although, it’s worth noting that California’s share of Democrat and Republican voters isn’t nearly equal, meaning that Republicans need to turn out a much higher percentage of their voters make up the difference in sheer numbers:

10,170,317 (46.10 percent) were registered Democrats, 5,334,323 (24.20 percent) were Republicans and, 5,283,853 were No Party Preference (24.00 percent). (Wikipedia)

Still, this is a situation where assuming that things will be fine is how they could go very wrong for Democrats. “People, we implore you: please vote,” Newson pleaded at a recent campaign event in Los Angeles. In this case, it would be voting no to the recall.

I wasn’t aware of any of this happening until a political podcast I was listening to informed me of it. Newsom has asked for the Democrats to run no other candidates, which means that he is up against a bunch of Republicans and that if he does lose and is recalled, a fringe Republican candidate will be governing even with a small amount of the vote.

Not to mention all this money that is being spent on this election could be used to deal with countless other issues than this.

(image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.