Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, is staking his future in a special impeachment election on Tuesday. The democrat must survive in office at a time when the pandemic remits in the most populous region of the country (39.5 million), gigantic fires consume the northern part of the territory, the State suffers its worst drought in more than a century and several cities live for some months a rebound in the insecurity indexes. With almost everything against him, the politician must prevail in an effort organized by supporters of the Republican party who believe the stars have aligned to move the entity to the conservative side for the first time in 18 years. It is not only the local control of the State that is at stake. It is vital for Democrats to maintain control of California in the midst of 2022. That explains the number of high profiles who traveled from Washington in recent weeks to join the “No” campaign, which aims to leave Newsom, from 53 years, in power until November 2022, when he will be able to run for reelection. Vice President Kamala Harris, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were just a few of those who came to her defense. The latest accolade has come this Monday with the visit of President Joe Biden to the State.
Retaining California would be great news in a catastrophic summer for Democrats. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, another of his superstars, was forced to resign from office in August after an investigation into a series of allegations of sexual harassment. Kamala Harris, a California senator before joining Biden’s campaign, has suffered a sharp decline in popularity. If Newsom falls, control of the Senate could remain in the hands of the Republicans as the president who replaces him can name whoever replaces Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who at 88, is close to retirement. The outlook would be even more complicated for Biden’s legislative agenda.
More than 40 people are on the ballot in Tuesday’s election, where there is only one question. “Should Gavin Newsom be removed from the governor’s office?” Those who answer yes will have to cross out the name of who they believe should become the governor. There are no Democratic candidates, who support Newsom, a politician who swept the 2018 elections with more than 60% of the vote. The main contender for Newsom is Larry Elder, a 69-year-old African-American broadcaster, conservative and frequent participant in Fox News talk shows with radical views such as that the minimum wage should not exist and that climate change is a hoax. Elder was the last to enter the competition, but when he did, he began to rise like foam over other more seasoned applicants, such as former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former Republican candidate for governor in 2018 John Cox and others. recognized out of state as transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner. Analysts see Elder’s rebound as a legacy of the ideology former President Donald Trump left behind in the Conservative party. His breakthrough, however, also mobilized the undecided to defend Newsom in a Democratic stronghold.
The latest polls affirm that the “No” will prevail in the elections with 57%. A month ago, in mid-August, the “Yes” was at the top according to the daily demoscopic monitoring of the Real Clear Politics site. Newsom’s campaign, however, outpaces his opponents with funding of $ 81 million. This includes the endorsement of the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, who alone with his wife has donated three million dollars for the continuity of the governor. Those promoting the impeachment barely managed to raise 43 million. At an event this Sunday, Elder showed that he, too, can arouse sympathy among Hollywood heavyweights. Rose McGowan, the actress and one of the most visible activists in the MeToo movement, endorsed the conservative broadcaster. “All those who have harassed, mistreated and robbed me in Hollywood are Democrats … this is not a state for everyone, it is only for a few,” said the actress who denounced Harvey Weinstein and who called herself a listener of Elder’s program.
Newsom’s is the fourth impeachment election faced by a local ruler in the United States. These types of elections were adopted by the states since the beginning of the 20th century so that voters would withdraw officials who obeyed corporate interests rather than popular ones. The first to establish them was Oregon, in 1908. California followed in 1911. And this entity has been the last where an effort to remove a governor prospered. It was in 2003, when Hollywood hero Arnold Schwarzenneger replaced the unpopular Gray Davis among a universe of 158 gubernatorial hopefuls. From his first day in the local capitol, the Republican governor promoted an anti-immigrant agenda in a state with 39% Latino population. At the end of his term, in January 2011, Schwarzenneger had approval ratings as low as those of the Democrat he had replaced.
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