California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom urged voters Sunday to vote against a looming recall vote that could remove him from office, while leading Republican Larry Elder broadly criticized the media for what he described as “double standards” that insulated Newsom from criticism and scrutiny throughout the contest.
The opposing candidates each held rallies, continued bus tours, and clogged up the local TV airwaves over the final weekend of campaigning, with advertising offering their closing arguments in advance of the election that concludes Tuesday.
Newsom welcomed President Joe Biden on Monday for a final get-out-the-vote rally in Long Beach, a largely Hispanic area on the northern edge of Los Angeles, where he sought to drive up turnout with the key voting bloc. The Latino vote has often proved elusive for Democrats, with an aggressive MAGA presence within the community, and the challenges won’t be ending with the recall vote. Democrats would be wise to follow Newsom’s example and court the Latino vote in every state going forward.
📣 California recall candidate Larry Elder defended the murder of Trayvon Martin and said he WOULD want Trayvon’s murderer living in his own neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/R9HPsDKUum
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) September 12, 2021
Polls indicate Newsom well ahead of Elder and his other Republican challengers, but the recall effort has been hampered by confusion–one phone banker related that the California residents he spoke with were unaware they had to vote if they opposed the recall, necessitating the aggressive final push from Newsom.
While phonebanking to CA all week, I keep talking to Democrats who think that the only people who need to vote are those who WANT Newsom recalled!
So here's the deal… If you know anyone in CA, text them *RIGHT NOW* to make sure they're voting NO.
We have 2 days ☑️
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) September 13, 2021
The election will determine whether Newsom can complete his first term or will be tossed out of office more than a year early. Voters are being asked two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and, if so, who should replace him? If he gets a majority vote on the first question, the second question with the names of 46 replacement candidates is irrelevant. Otherwise, the highest vote-getter among the replacement candidates would become governor.
Do you know why Trump issued his daily memo today accusing the California recall election of being rigged, and generally putting Democracy in just a little more danger? Huh? Do you know why?
It's because he can. Because he hasn't yet been criminally convicted or even charged.
— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) September 13, 2021
Elder, the front-runner, also employed a typical right-wing stunt by staging a photo op with actress Rose McGowan, a former leader within the Me Too movement whose rhetoric has shifted drastically more right in the last year. McGowan is accusing Newsom’s current wife, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, of attempting to persuade her in 2017 not to go public with her allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Newsom was previously married to Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is now in a relationship with Donald Trump, Jr. McGowan spoke of Elder with warmth, yet acknowledged he was a flawed candidate. “Do I agree with him on all points? No,” McGowan said. Saying Hollywood Democrats traumatized her life, McGowan, who now lives in Mexico, followed that by saying, “So what. He is the better candidate. He is the better man.”
Don't wait! Vote NO on the California recall today. PASS IT ON! pic.twitter.com/VwxwwlVnf5
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) September 13, 2021
Voting concludes Tuesday. Recent polling shows Newsom is likely to hold his job.