Democrats can breathe. The voters of California have decided to keep their governor in office, voting overwhelmingly “no” in the referendum organized by his detractors to obtain his dismissal. At 9:00 p.m. (6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Paris time), the yes only reached 33.2%, far from the absolute majority required, on about two-thirds of the ballots counted. Even if the gap should narrow with the majority Republican votes of the day, its lead is more than sufficient, according to projections by CNN, NBC, ABC and the AP agency.
The outcome of the poll is not only a victory for Governor Gavin Newsom, weakened by the Covid crisis and the health measures decreed to stem the pandemic, but also for the entire Democratic camp. Proof of the national stake of this referendum in a state equivalent to the fifth economic power in the world, President Joe Biden went to California on Monday to support Gavin Newsom and put all the chances on his side to win this first electoral test since his election to the White House last year.
Accusations of fraud even before the count
A loss for Gavin Newsom could have had ramifications in Washington in the event of the early retirement – or death – of 88-year-old Senator Diane Feinstein. It is in fact the governor who is responsible for appointing a replacement while waiting for a senatorial to take place.
Much like Donald Trump, most of the Republican candidates who hoped to take the governor’s place, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003, had started contesting the ballot and screaming about electoral fraud even before the end of voting operations, a strategy that has now become commonplace. in the conservative camp.
A favorite in the event of a “yes” victory, ultra-conservative radio host Larry Elder has so far refused to say whether he would accept the election results. He launched a website inviting his supporters to denounce any irregularities they witness in order to preserve the “integrity” of the vote.