In a recall election, California’s Democratic Governor’s fate hangs in the balance.
Californians flocked to the polls on Tuesday to determine whether to dismiss the Democratic governor of the country’s most populous state or allow him to finish his term.
Gavin Newsom, 53, who was elected in a landslide in November 2018, is widely projected to win the unusual recall election, defeating a field of 46 candidates, the majority of whom are Republicans.
Polls in the Golden State, which has the world’s fifth largest economy, opened at 7:00 a.m. Pacific time (1400 GMT) and will close at 8:00 p.m.
Many Californians have chosen to vote by mail, and they have until Tuesday evening to return a ballot on which they will be asked first if they want to remove Newsom, and then who they want to replace him with.
To save his job, Newsom needs to get more than 50% of the vote. If he falls short of that criterion, the candidate with the next highest vote total, no matter how tiny, becomes governor.
The telegenic Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, looks certain to escape the recall after a rough start. On Tuesday, the polling website fivethirtyeight.com estimated that 57.3 percent of voters will choose to keep him in office.
President Joe Biden flew to California on Monday to show his support for Newsom, warning voters that removing him would result in a Donald Trump-style governor.
Biden told a crowd in Long Beach, “You either maintain Gavin Newsom as your governor or you get Donald Trump.” “By voting no, California will be protected from Trump.
“The option should be crystal clear.”
Newsom also brought up the specter of former Republican President George W. Bush, a figure reviled in California, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by two to one.
“In California, Trumpism is still on the ballot,” he remarked.
Larry Elder, 69, a right-wing talk radio host who has openly endorsed Trump, is Newsom’s biggest opponent.
The former Black attorney is leading a field of candidates that includes a cannabis consultant, a former San Diego mayor, reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, and a self-described “Billboard Queen.”
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox is also on the ballot, having received only 38% of the vote in 2018 compared to Newsom’s 62%.
Republicans opposed to mask mandates and Covid lockdowns prompted the recall effort, which has cost the state $280 million.
Republicans were angered by Newsom’s lockdown rules, which they claimed kept children out of school unnecessarily and smothered local businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, which killed thousands. Brief News from Washington Newsday.