Early returns suggest that California's huge Democratic base is allied with Governor Gavin Newsom, who was elected in a 2018 landslide. 40 competitors on the ballot.
SACRAMENTO - California voters will decide if you need reminder Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday, concluding a special election that was held in the midst of a pandemic and closely watched as the 'one of the first major indicators of the country's political direction since President Biden took office.
Democrats increasingly feel confined tooth, predicting that Mr Newsom will prevail and avoid what would be a disaster for the party in California, the most populous state in the country. If Mr Newsom is recalled, his likely replacement would be Larry Elder, a Tory talk radio host who has made a career out of denigrating liberal causes.
But the fact that the Democratic governor of a state Mr Biden won by almost 30 percentage points is being forced to fight to keepworm his post highlighted the vulnerabilities of leaders who seemed well positioned before the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats are trying to energize voters without the elder President Donald J. Trump on the ballot, and a defeat - or even a narrow victory - would raise questions about Mr. Biden's political clout, who campaigned with Mr. Newsom Monday night.
Top Republicans vying to replace Mr. Newsom have embraced Mr. Trump and his baseless allegations of a stolen election, an early sign of the party's reluctance or inability to distance itself from the former president. On Tuesday, the red-versus-blue bias of the recall campaign and of California itself was evident as electors were going to the polls all over the state.
"We have already removed a governor from office - we can do it again, and we should do it again, "said Sue Vonidstein, 61, a former business owner who voted for the recall in one of the more conservative parts of Orange County.
Miles away, in another part of the county, Candice Carvalho, 42, voted against the recall.
" I thought it was important to show that Orange County isn 't just Republicans, "Carvalho said, adding of the recall:" It was a waste of 'money and completely unnecessary. And I'm a little shocked that we're focusing on that now. "
Although the special nature of California election reminder does not provide a perfect barometer of national mood Much is at stake, including the leadership of the world's fifth largest economy. Political insiders from both parties note that Mr Newsom's fate could have far-reaching national consequences, given the governor's power to appoint a new one. senator in case of vacancy. Image Gov. Gavin Newsom at a“ Vote No ”campaign rally in Sun Valley, Calif., Sunday. Credit ... Alex Welsh for Hfrance.fr
Voters are asked two questions: should we remind Mr. Newsom? And if this happens, who should replace it? Forty-six candidates, about half of them Republicans, are on the ballot, along with seven certified candidates in writing.
The winner will serve the remainder of Le Mr Newsom's term, which ends in January 2023. Whatever the outcome, there will be another election in just over a year.
When will the polling stations close?
Polling stations close at 8 p.m. Pacific Time. Depending on the number of early polls and the number of in-person votes on Tuesday, the calculations could be clear a few hours after the polls close, according to election experts. But if the race is tighter than expected, weeks could pass while the countdown drags on.
Follow our live updates and this is what we look at as the results are published.
Will the governor survive the recall?
Early feedback suggests California's huge Democratic base is rallying for Mr Newsom, who was elected in a landslide in 2018. The governor's campaign featured the recall like a Republicans take power from Trump .
If Mr. Newsom is recalled, it will be because a critical mass of 'Independent voters and Democrats voted against him, which in California would suggest a vSignificant and unlikely right shift.
The most likely question is whether the governor wins by a wide or narrow margin. For a while, polls seemed to indicate likely voters were not enthusiastic about Mr Newsom, which sparked a torrent of support from major donors and appearances from leading Democratic figures. countries, including Mr Biden.
A decisive victory for Mr Newsom, as some recent polls predict, would strengthen him ahead of a campaign for a second term in 2022 and maybe even position him for a national post. But if Mr Newsom wins by just a few percentage points, he could face a major challenge next year. The recall election in California›
How many Republicans will vote?
Republicans make up only a quarter of registered California voters. Since the 1990s, when the party's anti-immigrant positions alienated Latinos, their numbers have declined. Supporters have presented the recall as a way to check the power of the Democrats, who control all state offices and the legislature. Republicans also say the battle has animated their party base.
But Republicans are backing money for the recall to does not have could approach the big operation and Mr. Newsom's war chest. And the candidacy of Mr. Elder seems to mark the G.O.P. as far right by California standards. Support for moderates like Kevin Faulconer , the former mayor of San Diego, is in single digits, according to polls. Image Larry Elder supporters gather on Monday at a campaign stop at the hotel in town of Monterey Park. Credit ... Alex Welsh for Hfrance.fr
Critics of the GOP under Mr. Trump, the failure to remove Mr. Newsom could further diminish the 'Republican influence in California and accentuate the polarization of the nation.
How will Latinos vote?
Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California, accounting for around 30% registered voters - a largely Democratic circumion that has shaped state governance for decades.
But to the dismay of Mr Newsom's party and Much to the interest of recall supporters, Latinos were slow to weigh on his ouster, thanks to a combination of distraction - many voters are more focused on navigating the pandemic - and ambivalence , at both on Mr. Newsom in particular and on the Democratic Party as a whole.
The critics oHe warned that California Democrats recklessly assumed that the Latino electorate would be driven by memories of Republican anti-immigrant policies, rather than trying to woo Latinos with their vision for the future.
This has sparked speculation whether the rapidly growing Latin American vote in California and elsewhere might be within the grasp of candidates willing to work to engage these voters . After the Republicans withdrew significant amounts of Latino support across the country in the 2020 election, a poor performance by Latino voters in the recall could spark a new round of Democratic introduction.
What will be the influence of postal ballots?
Every active voter registered in California has received a ballot as part of an extended pandemic voting rules. Initiated in 2020 to keep your safe, the system has helped increase attendance at more than 70% in the presidential election. This month, lawmakers voted to make the system permanent .
California election officials say the vote went well held in 2020. But Republicans argued that -in the ballots invite cheatingerie, echoing Mr. Trump's baseless claim that Democrats used them to steal the presidential election.
Last week , in an appearance on Newsmax, the former president claimed without evidence that the recall election was "probably rigged ".
Conservative groups seeking evidence of electoral fraud have asked Californians to alert them to recall ballots that arrive in the mail addressed to the deceased or to vote no not residing at their address.
Warnings about postal voting appear to have had an effect: Republicans have been reluctant to adopt the practice - a trendwhich worries some party members as more and more states adopt postal voting. Yet, on the eve of the election, nearly 40% of all registered voters had already voted, a considerable portion that suggests ease of voting early and by mail will increase participation in what is an exceptionally scheduled special election. Image Voters handed in the ballots outside the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland. Credit ... Jim Wilson / The Hfrance.fr
This bodes well for Mr. Newsom, who corelies on the state 's huge Democratic voter base: the higher the overall turnout, according to his campaign, the better his chances.
Still, analysts are watching to see if significant numbers of Republican voters vote in person on Tuesday, and if younger and Latino voters will join them.
What will the vote say about pandemic policies?
Wasn't Covid-19 set the scene , Mr. Newsom probably wouldn't fight for his job now. But lately he has some progress to report. Cases have declined this month in California, where the wearing of masksfacial indoors has become a reality in many places, and about 80 percent of eligible people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
In recent weeks, Mr Newsom has trumpeted California's approach, noting that mask and vaccination requirements have lowered new cases at half the rates reported in states led by Republicans.
Californians declared no problem matters more to them than beating the coronavirus. Broad support for Mr Newsom, beyond Democratic voters, could signal policymakers elsewhere - including in some of the dozens.nes other states with governor races next year - that strong health policies can be good policy.
Other Democratic candidates competing this fall have have also looked into policies such as mask and vaccine warrants while alarming that their Republican opponents would reverse these measures. Mr. Biden followed suit , offering stricter policies on tenure and harsher rhetoric aimed at Republican governors.
How will Trump affect the race?
For four years, Democrats have enjoyed enormouss gains thanks to Mr. Trump. The former president energized party activists, helped their candidates raise mountains of campaign money and led voters to the polls in record numbers.
Mr. Newsom has tried to maintain this source of inspiration, offering frequent warnings about the continuation of "Trumpism" in American politics. His recall election offers the first major test of whether the specter of the former president still has the power to mobilize liberal voters while keeping moderates voting Democrat.
On the Republican side, the main candidates adopted Mr. Trump's political playbook , making groundless allegations of voter fraud and“ rigged ”votes. Mr. Elder declined to say if he acwould however disagree with the election results.
Not all Republicans agree with this manual. Some fear that some Republicans are staying at home because they think their votes won't count, and a low turnout could lend credence to that argument.