Elizabeth Warren tweets, “In a naked partisan power grab, extreme right-wing Republicans are trying to recall Gavin Newsom.” If so, just collecting the 1.5 million signatures to force a recall election would represent the biggest accomplishment of so-called “right-wing Republicans” in years.
The voter-registration statistics in California show 10.1 million registered Democrats and 5.3 million registered Republicans, with another 5.2 million Californians selecting “no party preference.”
As much as Warren would like to pretend the recall is yet another vast right-wing conspiracy, Newsom is not particularly liked or supported by Californians, even with his natural partisan advantage. A recent survey found 38 percent saying they would support the recall, with 42 percent opposed, another 13.9 percent undecided, and a little over 6 percent saying they wouldn’t vote in a recall election. And even if Newsom survives the recall, when asked about 2022, 41.7 percent of respondents said they would re-elect him, while 58 percent said it is time for someone new.
Blame Newsom’s French Laundry dinner, or a slow rollout of the vaccine, or just exhaustion with the state’s extensive quarantine restrictions. Or maybe it’s just that Newsom can’t position himself in contrast to Donald Trump anymore. Either way, he’s likely to face a recall because of his own record, not because of the sudden overwhelming power of “extreme right-wing Republicans.”