Elder says Newsom 'in serious trouble' in California recall election

Larry Elder: Gavin Newsom is in ‘serious trouble’ and he knows it

GOP California gubernatorial candidate joins ‘Gutfeld!’ to discuss education, homelessness and whether he believes Newsom will be recalled

Larry Elder, the front-runner in polls and fundraising among the replacement gubernatorial candidates in next month’s California recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, says the Democratic governor is on very unstable political ground.

“I think he’s in serious trouble and he knows it,” the well-known conservative talk radio host insisted in an interview Tuesday night on Fox News’ “Gutfeld.”

Pointing to the latest public opinion polls, which indicate those likely to vote in the recall contest are divided on ousting Newsom, Elder noted that “the polls are right in the margin of error. About half of them want him gone, and about half of them don’t.”

The polls point to how crucial turnout will be in the Sept. 14 election in a state where registered Democrats greatly outnumber registered Republicans. One of the recent surveys, a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies/Los Angeles Times poll conducted two weeks ago, indicated that Republicans appear to be more motivated to cast ballots in the recall contest. Although Republicans only account for roughly a quarter of all registered voters in California, the poll suggested they made up a third of those most likely to vote in the recall election.

During a virtual get-out-the-vote conversation with female Democratic leaders in California on Monday, Newsom warned that “those that think this thing is not close… I’d hate to disabuse you. It is.”

The governor and his political team for months have framed the recall drive against him as an effort by the far right, Trump supporters, national Republicans and conservative media to oust him. So it’s no surprise they’ve been blasting Elder in recent weeks, sending out press releases, fundraising emails and social media posts highlighting Elder’s opposition to having any minimum wage and his downplaying of climate change and the nation’s issues with racial inequity.

Newsom said on Monday that it’s “important to focus on Larry” because he argued that Elder’s “even more extreme than Trump in many respects.”

Responding on Tuesday, Elder told Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, “I know that he’s (Newsom) worried about me.”

Elder, who reported hauling in a whopping $4.5 million in fundraising in the first 19 days after launching his campaign on July 12, declined to take shots at his GOP rivals in the recall election. But he touted, “I’m way ahead of the other Republicans. I’ve raised more money than all but one of them who can self-fund, so I’m not worried about the Republican side.”

Voters will be asked two questions on the Newsom recall ballots, which will be mailed to California voters starting in the coming days. The first question is whether the governor should be removed from office. If more than 50% support removing Newsom, the second question offers a list of candidates running to replace the governor.

The recall push was launched in June of last year over claims the governor mishandled the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The effort was fueled by the state’s COVID restrictions on businesses and houses of worship, school shutdowns and even opposition to the state’s high taxes. But the effort surged in the autumn after Newsom’s dinner at an uber-exclusive restaurant, which – at best – skirted rules imposed by the governor to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Republicans see the recall election as their best chance to topple a politician who has never lost an election during his years as San Francisco mayor, California lieutenant governor and now governor – and their first chance to win a statewide contest since the 2006 gubernatorial reelection victory by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was a moderate Republican.

Three years earlier, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis became the second governor in U.S. history to be successfully recalled and he was succeeded by Schwarzenegger, who won the recall election. Schwarzenegger captured nearly 50% of the vote on the second question, even though he was one of 135 candidates listed on the ballot.

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