As the California gubernatorial recall election set for September 14 draws near, Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom is turning his increasingly stressful outbursts toward leading Republican challenger Larry Elder.
Newsom recently laid into Elder, calling him a “fringe candidate” who is “more right-wing” than President Donald Trump. He warned his fellow Democrats that their policy priorities nationwide are threatened by an Elder win.
The governor told voters to think about the judges Elder would appoint and who he would have appointed to replace Kamala Harris in the Senate if he could have. He added that the Elder candidacy even threatened the Democratic majority in next year’s midterm elections for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Newsom has urged his supporters to vote simply on the first section of the ballot, replying “no” to whether he should be recalled. He wants his voters to leave the second section blank. That part of the ballot asks voters to select Newsom’s replacement for the remainder of his term. Elder leads the polling among Republicans in the crowded field of 46 candidates in that part of the ballot.
The governor said, “Just vote no,” and that the other part is “irrelevant.”
The most recent polling data from SurveyUSA show that 51 percent of voters planning to participate in the recall election plan to vote “Yes” to end Newsom’s tenure early. Only 40 percent indicated that they intended to vote “No.”
The overall leader in polling as Newsom’s potential replacement is Democrat Kevin Paffrath, a real estate broker, and YouTube personality, favored by 27 percent of voters.
Larry Elder stands at 23 percent overall in second place among the rest of the field. His campaign has focused on Newsom’s mismanagement of the response to the COVID pandemic. The governor’s lockdowns and continuing restrictions have crippled the small businesses that make up the backbone of the California economy.
Elder has promised to overturn vaccine and mask mandates on his first day in office, and then he will “break for breakfast.”