The chances of Governor Newsom being recalled in the ‘golden state’ of California are improving slowly but surely as more citizens realize that he may not be fit for the job. For a long time in the later months of 2020, it didn’t even look like the recall petition would receive enough signatures and suddenly, Governor Newsom’s chances of being recalled could be nearing 25% or more.
What exactly is causing this recall effort to succeed? A mixture of poor policy choices, scandals, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the golden state have certainly hurt Newsom’s standing with the citizens. Extended business closures and stay-at-home orders certainly didn’t help, especially as protests across the state developed and calls to ‘reopen California’ became apparent.
The negative effects of the pandemic certainly hurt Newsom’s approval ratings. A restaurant scandal in November of 2020 certainly didn’t help his case either when he was seen dining indoors at a high-end restaurant with lobbyists. This leaked to the public while stay-at-home orders were in place and many business closures were also in affect.
Newsom struggled to maintain his political popularity in the days that followed and many individuals that are supporting the active recall effort would probably admit that the restaurant scandal was the day they really knew they had a shot at retrieving enough signatures. Newsom was forced to apologize but it was already too late and the damage had been done.
Now the citizens of California will likely see a recall election take place later in 2021 that focuses on Governor Newsom’s job performance and potential replacement. Even just a few weeks ago at the beginning of March, most people didn’t actually believe Newsom had a chance of successfully being recalled. Only 9% of people believed that he would be removed from office through a recall election. Now nearly 20% of people, according to PredictIt, believe that Newsom will be removed through the recall effort when the election takes place.
That means that there’s a 20% chance for citizens to remove the Democratic Governor from the bluest state in the nation in terms of political demographics. The big question right now is, who’s going to show up to the ballot box and defend their governor when the recall election arrives?
The recall effort has proven that Republicans, Democrats, and Independents all support the removal of Newsom to some extent, but are there enough loyal Democrats that are willing to vote to defend Governor Newsom?
That is an answer that will only be known at the conclusion of the recall election. California is heavily democratic in just about every conceivable way. It certainly is possible that Newsom won’t be removed but his chances of successfully being recalled seem to be increasing slowly but surely.
With the recall election likely not taking place until the conclusion of this year, Newsom still has some time to repair some of the political damage. The larger concern for Newsom is the possibility of a major candidate entering the race and swaying the opinions of many voters that show up at the ballot box, similar to how Arnold Schwarzenegger won the governorship in 2003 during a previous California recall election.