Progressive superstar Senator Bernie Sanders aims to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom as “a bold Republican takeover” in a new TV ad and digital ad supporting the struggling Democratic governor.
Sanders, a longtime senator from Vermont and a finalist in the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential nomination races, is the latest high-profile leader left to lend a hand to Newsom.
The new spot is set statewide with just two weeks before the Sept. 14 recall election in California, with the latest opinion polls suggesting those who are likely to vote in the contest are divided over whether to remind Newsom.
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Two weeks ago, state election officials began sending ballots to California’s 22 million registered voters, as Republican ballot candidates stepped up their attacks on the Democratic governor and Newsom said stepped up efforts to encourage supporters to vote.
Newsom and his allies recognize they need a strong turnout to counter motivated Republican voters hoping to overthrow the governor.
The latest opinion polls indicate that those likely to vote in the recall contest are divided over Newsom’s ouster. Polls also show how crucial turnout will be in a state where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans. One of the recent polls, a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies / Los Angeles Times poll conducted late last month, indicated that Republicans appear to be more motivated to vote in the recall contest. Although Republicans only make up about a quarter of all registered voters in California, the poll suggested they represent a third of the people most likely to vote in recall elections.
Voters are asked two questions about Newsom’s recall ballots. The first question is whether the governor should be removed from office. If more than 50% support the removal of Newsom, the second question proposes a list of candidates vying to replace the governor. If the governor is recalled, the candidate who would get the most votes on the second question – whether it was a majority or a simple plurality – would succeed Newsom to lead California.
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Sanders, who won the Democratic presidential primary in California last year, addresses the camera directly in his ad, noting that “at this unprecedented moment in American history, as we try to cope with the climate change crisis, ensuring health care for all, and enacting real immigration reform, the last thing we need is to have a right-wing Republican governor in California. “
Newsom’s recall campaign team, officially known as Stop the Republican Recall, also launched a second TV ad on Monday telling voters how to complete the ballots they received in the mail.
“Here’s what you need to know about the September 14 recall,” the narrator said on the spot. “Voting yes elects an anti-vaccine Republican Trump. Voting no allows Gavin Newsom to fight the pandemic on the basis of science, compassion and common sense. And if you don’t vote, we could have a Republican governor California anti-vaccine. “
Sanders becomes the second progressive to star in an ad to recall and support Newsom. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, another Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, appeared at a similar location in July.
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Newsom has greatly increased the candidates for the GOP replacement – and has spent them significantly on running ads, according to AdImpact, a national ad tracking company /
“With two weeks to go to California governor’s recall, Gov. Newsom retains $ 19.2-6.9 million spending advantage over Republican opponents from 08/01 to 09/14,” said Ben Taber from AdImpact to Fox News. “However, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to overcome a Democratic base that remains relatively uninvolved as its main rivals reduce its spending advantage.”
The two new commercials indirectly target Tory radio host Larry Elder, who entered the race just six weeks ago. Most of the latest polls show Elder as the favorite among the 46 gubernatorial candidates on the ballot.
The governor and his political team have for months touted the recall campaign against him as an effort by the far right, Trump supporters, national Republicans and the conservative media to oust him. It’s no surprise, then, that they have blasted Elder in recent weeks, sending out press releases, fundraising emails and social media posts highlighting Elder’s opposition to a minimum wage and his downplaying of the minimum wage. climate change and racial inequality issues in the country.
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Newsom said earlier this month that it was “important to focus on Larry” because he argued that Elder is “even more extreme than Trump in many ways.”
Elder hit back at the governor in a Fox News interview, stressing, “I think he’s in serious trouble and he knows it.”
Some worried Democrats
The controversial radio talk show host isn’t the only one who believes Newsom may lose his job soon.
“You are just wondering if the governor and his team sounded the alarm soon enough,” a California Democratic strategist who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely told Fox News.
“The governor and his team made a very big bet not to say anything positive about Newsom in this campaign and to focus only on participation,” noted the strategist. “The advice on question two was to leave it blank meaning that if he is recalled, a very small number of right-wing extremists will choose the next governor, who will be Larry Elder.”
Newsom won the 2018 gubernatorial election in the Very Blue state of California 24 points ahead of Republican businessman John Cox, who is one of 46 replacement contenders on the ballot. to vote. And now President Biden won the state by 29 points last November.
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“There are so many Democrats here that there is a world where Newsom wins in double digits and they look like geniuses. But there is another world where it was a pretty massive miscalculation,” warned the strategist. “They certainly should have done it at least a month ago… all the energy has been on the recall side.”
And the strategist noted that “I run in very Democratic circles with very Democratic friends and most of them didn’t even know there was an upcoming election, that there was a reminder on the ballot. vote, or what they were supposed to do. “
How the recall started
The recall campaign was launched in June last year over allegations the governor mismanaged the state’s response to the pandemic. The effort was fueled by the state’s COVID restrictions on businesses and places of worship, school closures, and even opposition to high state taxes. But the effort increased in the fall after Newsom’s dinner at an ultra-exclusive restaurant, which – at best – circumvented rules imposed by the governor to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Republicans see the recall election as their best chance to topple a politician who has never lost an election in his years as mayor of San Francisco, lieutenant governor of California and now governor – and their first chance to win a statewide competition since winning reelection for governor in 2006 by then-Govt. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was a moderate Republican.
Three years earlier, Democratic Governor Gray Davis became the second governor in US history to be successfully removed from office and was replaced by Schwarzenegger, who won the recall election. Schwarzenegger won almost 50% of the vote on the second question, even though he was one of the 135 candidates entered on the ballot.
The faces of the elders push back
Elder is the favorite this time around among replacement contenders, but he was attacked this month by some of his Republican rivals for past controversial comments about the women and his ex-fiancée’s allegations. Kevin Faulconer, former San Diego mayor for two terms, and Caitlyn Jenner, 1976 Olympic gold medalist, transgender rights activist and nationally recognized television personality, called on Elder to withdraw from the race.
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State election officials reported on Friday that 3.1 million ballots had already been returned and accepted, meaning that about 14% of active registered voters in California had returned a ballot. Ballots must be postmarked before election day Sept. 14 – or deposited in a secure ballot box by 8 p.m. PT that day – to be counted.