5 Takeaways After Gavin Newsom Handily Defeats Recall
Speaker 1: 00:00 Governor Gavin Newsome celebrated his victory in the recall election last night, by telling voters they didn't just say no to the recall here's governor Newsome. Speaker 2: 00:10 We said yes to science. And you said yes to vaccines. They said, yes, to ending this pandemic, we said yes to people's right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression, we said yes to women's fundamental, constitutional right to decide for herself what she does with her body Speaker 1: 00:33 Newsome racked up a major wind. And the recall with more than 60% of voters supporting the governor, the numbers are similar in San Diego with about 59% of San Diego wins voting. No with 70% of the votes currently counted. The question remains what Newson will do with this show of support and what happens to his recall challengers specifically former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulkner joining me is UC San Diego political science professor Thad. Couser that welcome. Thanks. Now, I remember speaking with you a couple of months ago when the polling was not looking good for Newsome. And you said despite that Newson would probably survive the recall. What gave you that confidence? Speaker 3: 01:17 Well, this is California let's remember, right? This is a strongly democratic state that Joe Biden won by by 5 million votes. And that just gave Gavin Newsome, such a margin of error. What we saw over the course of this election, that was, you know, he, he made some big moves right around that time, mid summer, late July, early August, when several polls had them neck and neck, he gambled big on making this a referendum on COVID and on his vaccine requirements for teachers, for healthcare workers on the mask mandates that his Republican opponents oppose. And as you just heard in his victory speech, that was really what he led with, right? It was science and vaccines. That's what he staked his governorship on. And that's part of what led him, not only to survive this recall, but to win a renewed mandate for California's approach to COVID and, and, uh, and re-energize his not only his governorship, but it's potentially future political career Speaker 1: 02:12 KPBS. Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen spoke to some voters yesterday. We have a little bit of a sound bite from one of them. Let's play that. Now. Speaker 4: 02:20 I believe that our current governor is doing all that he can given the circumstances Speaker 1: 02:26 That was San Diego voter McKayla. Sabido on why she voted no. On the recall my question to you fed, why do we know about why people voted? No. On the recall, did people vote more for Newsome or against the recall Speaker 3: 02:40 They were checking off the same box for both? It's, it's impossible to, to, to tell, but here's what we know from, from exit polls, right? COVID was the top of the mind issue, uh, for, for the largest number of voters. It was the biggest issue in the campaign. And it was the biggest issue, especially for Democrats, 40% of Democrats, but only 20% of Republicans said this was their top issue. So I think that that seems to fit with the story that, that Democrats embraced him, even though they may not love every single thing about the way he's governed for three years, even though they may still recognize the strong challenge as the California places and things like housing, homelessness, um, poverty, you know, uh, racial justice, like at least on a top issue of the day COVID he seems to have won a mandate for his approach versus the approach backed by all of his Republican opponent. Speaker 1: 03:30 And there was another factor that a lot of people are pointing to that got Newsome, uh, over this recall. And that was the entrance of Larry elder in the race. What kind of effect do you think he had? Speaker 3: 03:42 So Larry elder, both galvanized the Republican base really led to much more fundraising for the recall. A lot of people who are, who are volunteers, we saw signs in ways that we hadn't seen coming up and we're in front of Republican homes over the last few elections, but he also put, I think a ceiling on, on both his candidacy and, and the effect of the recall because he is very much a Trump Republican. He has what people love about Donald Trump, but also what people are worried about. He shoots from the hip and he said a lot of things that deeply, deeply alienated, not only the Democrats who came running back to Gavin Newsome, but voters in the center. And I think that made it both put him clearly ahead in the recall replacement race, but also effectively doomed the recall placement question. Speaker 1: 04:29 And what kind of role do you think Larry elder might have in California politics moving forward? Speaker 3: 04:36 Look, Larry elder is now the dominant figure in, in Republican politics in California. He, he trouts John Cox, right? Who had been the Republican standard bear in the 2018 election. And, and now unfortunately for him and also ran in this campaign, he solidly beat Kevin Faulkner, who many have seen as the great hope for the future of, of, of a bridge-building Republican, a Republican who could get to 50%, all of them paled compared to Larry elder, who, if you look at his percentage in this recall placement race, he did almost as well at 47% is Arnold Schwartzenegger did back in 2003, but that's a Mirage. It misses the fact that 4 million voters skip that second question, essentially turning it into a Republican primary, but at least it shows that he's the Republican primary front runner in 2022. Speaker 1: 05:26 Now, Gavin Newsome now has this re recall election campaign behind him. Uh, what kind of agenda do you expect to see him pursue over the next month? Could this embolden him to become more progressive? Speaker 3: 05:39 I think so. I think he clearly has, uh, a renewed mandate, uh, and he's got the pressure to deliver from all the progressive groups that put so many troops on the ground to help turn out the vote. For this recall, he has governed in many ways, rather timidly, not taking the sorts of bold steps that he took, uh, as a mayor, when he embraced the same sex marriage licenses as Lieutenant governor, when, when he embraced the proposition on, on, on legalized marijuana, he stayed on the sidelines and, and hemmed and hawed on key issues, such as housing police reform, even vaccines a few years ago, I think by taking a bold step and winning in this recall by embracing his COVID approach, owning it and winning on it. I think he may in bold be emboldened to take some stronger steps on progressive issues. Things like single-payer healthcare police reform, that if he wants to have those national ambitions for eight years, two or six years from now, it really, uh, he's got a, he's got a run on that record. Speaker 1: 06:39 Okay. I've been speaking with UC San Diego political science professor fed cows. Are that, thank you very much. Speaker 3: 06:45 Thanks for having me.