The chance that California’s Governor Gavin Newsom could be voted out of office today is alarming Democrats across the country. It’s going to be dangerous even for Joe Biden.
If things go bad for the Democrats in California today, even Joe Biden’s presidency could be in jeopardy. In the most populous and third largest state in the United States, a Republican election process against Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom ends on Tuesday evening (local time).
If the Republicans succeed, the Democrats are threatened with more than just losing their post as governor. Even before the mid-term elections next year, their already razor-thin majority in the US Senate could shake. In any case, a Newsom defeat would send a disastrous signal to Biden’s presidency. Losing California, of all places, to the Republicans. This should be prevented at all costs.
Support to save yourself
Panic recently spread among the Democrats. Polls in August indicated that too few of their own voters might vote against Gavin Newsom’s voting out. This is one of the reasons why they all came to an expensive emergency rescue mission to the west coast:
Last week, US Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to her home state to somehow support the sometimes helpless governor in the final spurt. US President Joe Biden also worked hard, made a special trip to California on Monday, spoke at Newsom’s campaign event and warned about the Trumpists. “To vote no is to protect California from Trump,” he shouted.
Even ex-President Barack Obama had a commercial broadcast a few days ago in which he called on the Californians to vote no, that is, against the election of the governor. “Your voice could mean the difference between protecting our children or putting them at risk.”
The Republicans’ smart box
But how did this situation come about at all? For a long time now, the Republicans have not been able to get a foot on the ground using the traditional gubernatorial elections. California is considered a “deep blue state” in which the democratic majority is currently considered irrevocable.
So the Republicans reached into their bag of tricks. Since 1911 it has been possible in California to vote the head of government out of office by referendum, even during his current term of office. Precondition for this: A sufficient number of signatures must have been collected beforehand by a certain point in time. The Republicans actually got these votes at some point because a court had granted them a longer period of time because of the Covid-19 situation.
As early as February 2020, the Republicans had urged Newsom to be voted out of office. Your criticism of him: He cannot get illegal migration under control, is demanding too high taxes, the homeless rate is exploding, but the quality of life continues to decline. Then came Covid-19 and the allegations were added: Newsom’s Covid-19 rules were too strict and he himself would not adhere to them. In fact, the governor was caught celebrating without a mask.
If it goes wrong, it could go really wrong
The situation for the Democrats is particularly delicate because of the voting process. Every Californian eligible to vote has received voting papers in which he is asked to answer two questions. “The first is, should Gavin Newsom be removed from office as governor?” In a second, the voters then have the choice between at least 46 candidates who should instead become the new governor.
That means: Gavin Newsom needs at least 50 percent of all votes, plus one. Then he remains governor. However, if it only reaches 50 percent or less, it is voted out and the candidate who got the most votes on the second question is the governor. In other words, even a candidate who may have only got 18 percent of the vote could end up being the new head of government, although Newsom may have got more votes on the first question.
Radio presenter Larry Elder is considered one of the most controversial and promising candidates. He rejects stricter gun laws and the minimum wage. He has already denied man-made climate change and defended police officers who shot black Americans.
Moderator, but not moderator: California Republican Larry Elder. (Source: imago images)
But former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is also doing well, business man John Cox, regional MP Kevin Kiley and TV star Caitlyn Jenner. Kevin Paffrath is one of the few Democrats standing for election.
Worst case scenario: the loss of the Senate majority
All in all, a real worst-case scenario could eventually develop for the Democrats and for the US President. Because the governor of California is entitled in certain cases to appoint a senator for Washington. For example, after the presidential election, Gavin Newsom appointed the Democrat Alex Padilla to succeed the new Vice President Kamala Harris in the Senate.
For California there is a second Senator in Congress: 88-year-old Dianne Feinstein. Because of their very old age, the Democrats are afraid: What if Feinstein should fall ill or even die? Then a Republican governor could nominate a Republican to the Senate. The wafer-thin majority for the Democrats would be gone. Blocking Joe Biden’s big plans is even easier than it already is.
“Think about the consequences! California, all of this is at stake on September 14th!”, Gavin Newsom called out to his viewers on one of the last election campaign dates. He warned of Chuck Schumer as a possible majority leader in the US Senate.
It could actually be exciting before a final result is known. The proportion of postal voters is high and the participants are still allowed to submit their documents including today.
Much depends on how many democratically inclined voters will actually have cast their vote. If there are many, it is taken for granted that Newsom will remain in office. In a survey by YouGov, the proportion of “no” voters was around 57 percent. Accordingly, 43 percent want to vote for deselection. In a recently published survey by the Trafalgar Group, however, only 53 percent wanted to vote to stay. A low turnout among Latinos could be particularly critical for Newsom. According to figures from Political Data Intelligence, relatively few of them should have cast their vote.