Strict pandemic policy gets big victory
Newsom nodded in his remarks to reporters on election night, stating that even though people voted ‘no’ this vote meant they were saying ‘yes to science, yes to vaccines … yes to the end of this pandemic “.
This, more than any other lesson from California, is most likely to permeate further elections later this year and into 2022 – helping Democrats who have pushed tough coronavirus measures to curb the continued spread of the disease. Delta variant facing a small but noisy opposition.
Newsom has staked his campaign on his strict Covid measures, using them to attack Elder as lax on the pandemic, contrasting himself with Republican governors in Texas and Florida and working fully alongside the new vaccine requirements Biden announced just days before election day.
“We saw Delta’s surge as a real turning point in this campaign,” said Sean Clegg, Newsom’s top quarterback. “What Delta has highlighted is what is at stake in this election when a party has fundamentally become an anti-science, anti-vaccine and anti-public health party.”
A Newsom vs Elder 2022 race?
In the same breath as he acknowledged Newsom’s defeat from the encore on stage Tuesday night, Elder hinted at another run next year, in the California governor’s normally scheduled run.
“We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war,” Elder said.
This could be a headache for Republicans in California.
The party had other options – including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer – that might have been less objectionable to moderate and Democratic voters. But state conservatives have rallied to Elder, the radio host with a long list of inflammatory comments that Newsom has picked up on. His campaign presented the race as a choice between two candidates, one of whom was very out of step with California’s overwhelming Democratic majority, rather than a simple upward or downward referendum on the governor.
Yet Elder, who if elected would be California’s first black governor, galvanized conservatives in a state where Republicans are nearly powerless. He could be a leading voice in the GOP in the upcoming midterm elections.
“As a former radio host let me say this: stay tuned,” Elder said Tuesday night.
California classes are limited
Many of the lessons Democrats across the country can learn from the recall’s defeat are much less definitive – complicated both by the fact that this state, with its nearly 2-1 registration advantage for Democrats, bear little resemblance to most of the key races in 2022 and which are reminiscent of elections by nature create unique electoral conditions.
Newsom advisers were quick to assert that National Democrats would be wise to follow their lead – urging them to tie their opponents to Trump, as the governor has done, and nationalize the races to raise the stakes.
“Larry Elder is on the ballot here on the recall, but a version of Larry Elder will be on the ballot across the country,” said Juan Rodriguez, Newsom’s campaign manager. “And that’s an important lesson for Democrats and how they sort of lean on the message we’ve made.”
Democrats tasked with winning key races in 2021 and 2022 were less certain that California had provided them with a roadmap, given the state’s unique political makeup.
“It is very difficult to see any real deductions that could be made from the results of California,” said a top Democrat from Virginia, where Terry McAuliffe is currently running for a second term as governor, “hold for some of the points broader message because it concerns the response of Covid and the Republican brand. ”
No discussion of Elder fraud
California looked set to become the latest addition to former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie”, with Republicans showing signs of denying the reality of the recall election result.
Elder had warned against “shenanigans” in the voting process. His campaign had launched a website for those who encountered voting problems or saw evidence of fraud in submitting affidavits. And on stage Tuesday evening, before Elder’s intervention, speakers questioned the legitimacy of the electoral process.
“Some TV stations are saying this is coming to an end – it’s far too early. It is much too early. They have just counted the mail ballots. polls daily, ”said former Republican Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado.
Instead, it appears the gossip about voter fraud was simply a way to energize Tory voters who bought into Trump’s lies.
Elder appeared to end this conversation on stage. He made no mention of electoral fraud. And he interrupted the supporters who were booing Newsom. “Let’s be gracious in defeat,” he said.
Huge cost of Recall calls for reform
The price to pay for the California recall election was $ 276 million, according to the state Department of Finance.
In the end, the state’s strange laws allowed for an election that wasn’t close to happening, at huge expense, just 14 months before Newsom was on the ballot anyway. to vote for his re-election.
Along the way, this has sparked calls to reform the recall process – which can be triggered by a petition signed by 12% of voters in the last state governor election, for whatever reason.
“A waste of $ 276 million just to reaffirm 2018 results with an election coming up in 2022,” California Assembly Speaker Kevin Mullin tweeted Tuesday evening.
Mullin said reforms should include raising the lieutenant governor to the state’s chief executive if a governor is successfully recalled, rather than letting voters choose a replacement on the same ballot. .
Newsom’s campaign urged voters to vote “no” on whether to recall him, and then leave the second question – who should replace him if he were to be recalled – blank. This strategy appeared problematic when polls showed a close race without a viable Democratic candidate if Newsom was recalled. But it ultimately helped Newsom’s campaign turn the contest into a one-on-one with Elder.