California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom ended his campaign to retain his post in a recall election with a final push from President Joe Biden who warned that the outcome of the contest could shape the country’s direction on the pandemic , reproductive rights and the battle to slow down the currency climate.
The Democrat who defeated Republican President Donald Trump less than a year ago has said the issues that defined the 2020 race have been resurrected in California, with potentially disastrous results if Newsom is impeached in an election that is ending Tuesday.
Addressing hundreds of jubilant supporters at a twilight rally in the coastal city of Long Beach, south of Los Angeles, Biden called leading Republican candidate Larry Elder a “Donald Trump clone.”
“Can you imagine him being governor of this state?” Biden asked, as the crowd responded with shouts of “No, no!” ”
“You can’t let this happen. There is too much at stake, ”said the Democratic president.
“The eyes of the nation are on California,” he warned. The recall vote “will reverberate across the nation and … around the world.”
The results of the race in which Newsom needs a majority vote to hold his post are likely to influence the midterms of 2022, when control of Congress will again be on the line and the party that controls the White House historically loses seats. They could determine how hard Democrats are campaigning on COVID-19 restrictions that many Republicans have decried as unnecessary and too onerous.
With great confidence in the outcome, Biden was the latest in a substantial list of Democrats to make appearances in the contest, in person or in advertisements, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former President Barack Obama and Senator from Massachusetts. Elizabeth Warren.
Newsom’s ousting would be a mind-boggling rebuke in a heavily Democratic California, where the party controls all state offices, dominates the legislative and congressional delegation, and holds a nearly 2-to-1 advantage among registered voters. Less than three years ago, he was elected in a landslide.
Biden’s visit in the final hours of the race was intended as a last-ditch effort to motivate the state’s more than 10 million Democratic voters. Newsom advisers, meanwhile, have expressed growing confidence that the governor will survive the effort to oust him from office more than a year before his first term ends. The campaign brought 25,000 volunteers to the streets over the weekend and sent 31 million text messages to voters.
Recent polls have shown Newsom has an advantage in its bid to save his job.
“There is no scenario where we lose tomorrow,” Newsom quarterback Sean Clegg said.
Elder held his closing rally in neighboring Orange County, where he urged his supporters to reach out to their friends and neighbors and urge them to vote. The GOP will need a heroic election day turnout to catch Democrats who mailed out more mail-in ballots. Almost 8 million Californians have already voted by mail.
“Make sure your friends vote, vote, vote and try to get 10 other friends to vote and answer every call, make every call, knock on every door, we’re going to win this thing if we vote,” he said. said Elder from a hotel ballroom in Costa Mesa.
California Republican Party President Jessica Millan Patterson called it “puzzling and insulting” that Biden had embarked on a political event while some Californians remained stranded in Afghanistan.
“It is clear that protecting those they have been elected to serve comes after politics,” she said in a statement.
As Newsom sought to nationalize the race, Republicans criticized him relentlessly for higher taxes, an unchecked homelessness crisis, rising crime rates and housing prices that are out of reach for many members of the working class. The recall has gained momentum in large part because of frustration over Newsom’s COVID-19 restrictions that have closed schools and businesses and cost millions of jobs.
“There is no front I can think of where this man has done a good job – not on schools, not on the homeless, not in the way he closed this state,” Elder said earlier. Monday.
Voters are asking themselves two questions: should Newsom be recalled, yes or no, and, if he is ousted, who should replace him? The results of the second question are irrelevant if a majority of voters support keeping Newsom.
There has been no confirmed evidence of widespread fraud. Elder’s campaign website links to a website called “Stop CA Fraud” where people can sign a petition demanding a special election to investigate the election, even if the election is not over.
Ahead of the rally, Biden visited the wildfire damage in northern California. Elder and Republicans say Democratic leaders have failed to properly manage California’s forests, leaving more fuel for the fires.
The other prominent candidates in the race are Republicans Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley, Caitlyn Jenner and John Cox, and Democrat Kevin Paffrath.
Newsom is the fourth governor in U.S. history and the second in California to face a recall. Californians removed Democratic Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ronayne reported from Sacramento. Associated Press reporter Alexandra Jaffe contributed from Long Beach.
Catching up with AP Recall Coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/california-recall
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