This is only the fourth time in history that this has happened. Tuesday is the time for the “recall election”, the referendum that will decide the future of California Governor Gavin Newsom. And if he has, in theory, a small margin of safety, the Democrats are not quiet: 18 years ago, it was under similar circumstances that Arnold Schwarzenegger came to power.
Why is this referendum taking place?
It is due to an obscure law of 1911. This recall procedure allows the dissatisfied to organize a referendum to try to remove a governor (or another elected official) if they collect enough signatures. This has happened twice in California, and four in the United States. In an American political landscape more polarized than ever, it is not very complicated, with 1.5 million votes needed to force a referendum out of 22 million voters.
Why is Gavin Newsom disputed?
Management of the Covid-19 crisis, confinement, debate on the wearing of masks and more recently controversy on the cleaning of forests, in the middle of the fire season … There is no shortage of disagreements. Widely elected in 2018, former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has made some unfortunate odds. Including a dinner in a luxurious Napa Valley restaurant with the family of a lobbyist in the fall of 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, even as he asked his fellow citizens to avoid gatherings.
Who are the suitors?
They are 46 in the ranks. In detail, 24 of them are declared Republicans, nine Democrats, ten non-registered, two members of the Greens and one libertarian. If Caitlyn Jenner has been talked about, it is conservative radio host Larry Elder who is far ahead, despite accusations of violence from an ex-girlfriend, with 30% of intention to vote, against 6% for the following. And if a majority of Californians vote to recall Gavin Newsom, a candidate only needs to come out on top to be elected.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s warning
The former “governator” recently assured that the climate of discontent reminded him of the conditions which had allowed him to be elected in 2003. But they are far from identical: the Democratic governor of the time, Gray Davis, was at the bottom of the hole, with a popularity rating under 30%, compared to over 50% at Newsom. And above all, in 18 years, the Republican Party has fallen by 9 points in the
Why are Democrats nervous, including in the Senate in Washington?
In the polls, Gavin Newsom has a margin of 6 points ahead of the 50% mark, according to the average compiled by the site Five Thirty Eight. But the studies for the referendums are far from reliable: in 2009, they underestimated the “no” by 9 points.
One year away from the midterm elections, Democrats have two reasons to be nervous. A victory would put Republicans in a positive dynamic. And above all, if 88-year-old Senator Diane Feinstein was forced to retire before the end of her term (or if she dies), it is the governor who is responsible for appointing a replacement, while waiting for that. an election takes place the following year. In such a scenario, the Democrats, who have only 50 seats out of 100, with Kamala Harris in reinforcement to decide a vote in the event of a tie, would risk losing their majority. This explains the reinforcement of the cavalry in the home stretch, with trips from Kamala Harris last week and Joe Biden on Monday.