California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will remain in office after defeating an effort to recall him in an apparent landslide, according to several news networks that called the race within the first hour after polls closed on Tuesday evening.
Thus the eleventh recall in California history has gone down to defeat.
Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder (R) led potential replacements for Newsom by a wide margin, but the “yes” vote was simply too small to place him within reach.
Votes are still being counted, and mail-in ballots will still be arriving for several days, meaning that the margins could change. However, a surge in “yes” votes sufficient to overcome the “no” vote is considered a statistical impossibility.
In late July, polls suggested that Newsom was vulnerable to the recall. But as Newsom and the Democrats began to spend money, and the media demonized Elder — often in racial terms — Democrats swung behind their party’s state leader.
Questions will linger about Newsom’s political future. His decision to dine at the elite French Laundry restaurant, in defiance of his own coronavirus restrictions, provided fuel for the recall campaign that it otherwise would not have had.
Moreover, as Elder was being attacked in racist terms — including in Newsom’s presence — the governor did not disavow the views of his supporters, nor did he condemn a violent racial attack against Elder. Should Newsom seek higher office — as many have long assumed he would — his silence will be likely fodder for future Democratic Party primary opponents.
But Newsom ran against “Trumpism” and Republican caricatures, which proved enough to carry the day handsomely.
With recall defeated, Democrats are already discussing ways to shut the door on future recalls, debating ways to reform a process that was established over a century ago in the original “Progressive” era as a last resort to ensure accountability.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.