Providing a boost to Newsom in contrast, chief GOP rival Larry Elder may or may not be talking to his team tonight. With the double digit lead Newsom has, Elder may also be reconsidering his undermining of the vote process, cause his court chances look even worse than his electoral chances right now.
Joe Biden Calls Larry Elder A 'Clone Of Donald Trump' As He Helps Gavin Newsom Wrap Up Anti-Recall Campaign
Also with the $276 million and counting cost of the recall that has left the incumbent in office for at least the rest of his first term, a California coming out of the pandemic may want someone to pick up the bill.
We need a loser pays rule in California Governor recall elections. If you call for it and you lose you pay for the hundreds of millions of dollars it costs.
— Ted Boutrous (@BoutrousTed) September 15, 2021
So, in a state of 58 counties, a refreshed W. Kamau Bell may be staying after all:
Waiting on the California recall results with a glass of wine in one hand & my passport in the other.
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) September 15, 2021
According to CNN, exit polls tonight from Edison Research showed that the coronavirus as the most important issue to Golden State residents in the recall. Homelessness and the economy follow, with far less of a hold on the public consciousness. Even though it was Newsom’s handling of the pandemic response that initially fueled the recall, the exit polls gave him some reason for optimism, as it showed that 39% believed that the coronavirus situation was getting better, 30% thought it was staying the same and 24% thought it was getting worse.
In the state that elected Ronald Reagan to Sacramento twice, Republicans gauge the economy as the top issue in the tax-heavy region, even as things have picked up considerably in recent months out of the health crisis and public coffers are almost overflowing. Elder and other Republicans have hammered Newsom and Sacramento Democrats on taxes and regulation.
The question is whether Trump’s involvement in the race will be a help or a hindrance to the recall’s prospects. He might be helping to motivate his own MAGA supporters with new claims and conspiracy theories — or it might end up depressing turnout among Republicans.
On Tuesday, following a rally in San Francisco, Newsom told NBC News, “They are quite literally trying to dismantle democracy and trust in this country, in this very nation.” The governor said the irony was that it was “going to hurt the Republican Party because they are telling their voters their vote doesn’t matter. So it’s a helluva thing.”
President Joe Biden campaigned for Newsom on Monday night, giving a speech in which he said that Elder was a Trump “clone.” Democrats haven’t missed many opportunities to make the race as a kind of proxy battle between Biden and Trump, who remains an unpopular figure in the state. Having racked up deep pocket donations from Disney and other studios through the Motion Picture Association, plus Comcast and a slew of individual Tinseltown donors, Newsom garnered get-out-the-No-vote backing from some big names today:
Share this if you’ve already voted NO on the California recall (or if you’ve reminded your California friends & fam to vote! ✔️)
PS 🚨YOU ONLY HAVE TIL 8PM TODAY!🚨 pic.twitter.com/kEDUuI740m
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) September 14, 2021
Even with millions of mail-in ballots already sent in, the call to action on both sides of the recall seemed to be reflected in lines at voting centers, as director, producer and ex-BET boss Reggie Hudlin made clear today:
The recall was treated like a pre-midterm election by cable news as a rolling segment throughout the day on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, which even had a right screen of a clock counting down the hours until the polls close at 8 p.m PT.
Leaning into the unfounded voter fraud narrative that Elder and others in the Golden State were declaring long before the polls actually closed, Fox News moved Martha MacCallum out to the West Coast for her daytime show The Story. On MSNBC, The Beat host Ari Melber made an overwrought comparison between the Republican-fueled effort to dethrone Newsom to Chile’s decisive 1988 national plebiscite on keeping General Pinochet in power or not. For the record, the dictator lost, and democracy returned to the South American country — which seems to mix the metaphor even more.
In an amusing and confusing aside, Fox News aired a rather effective Elder ad during the day that actually was not for the radio host’s campaign. With the firebrand Republican seen serenely strolling along a beach, playing with his dog and looking relaxed in shorts, the ad was for Relief Pain, a drug-free ailment reliever that Elder has been shilling for over the years.
On Tuesday evening, a number of pundits talked of how Newsom was in trouble, until Elder emerged as the leading candidate to replace him, as it fed into a strategy of making the race about supporters of Donald Trump trying to score a win in a deeply blue state. But Elder said that he isn’t going away. “I have now become a political force here,” he told a Fresno radio station on Tuesday. “I am not going to leave the stage.”
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