Wednesday, September 15, 2021 3:17 pm
As long as the process of recall lasted, California Governor Gavin Newsom was on tenterhooks. Just as Williams Shakespares writes in one of his plays, “grief makes one hour ten,” the period of wait made it appear that there are 48 hours in one day! Now, that wait is over.
Thus, with his victory, the Governor heaved a sigh of relief and, according to a report by Reuters, gave a speech Tuesday night in the state capital of Sacramento: “I’m humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote.” The victory, as the report has it, “is a decisive message that voters in the deeply Democratic state-supported his policies for tackling COVID-19, immigration and crime.”
Newsom, who won his first term in 2018 by a landslide, the report shows, again claimed a resounding victory in the special recall election. “That means he will remain in office through his term ending in January 2023 and see his chances significantly bolstered in next year’s regularly scheduled election. With 58% of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Newsom was ahead by 32 percentage points, with 66% of voters saying he should stay in office and 34% saying he should be removed.”
His win and the high turnout in Tuesday’s election, as Reuters put it further, came as a relief to national Democrats, who already were bracing for a tough fight in the 2022 elections that will decide control of Congress. A loss in one of the party’s stronghold states would have set off alarms across the country, particularly given the leading Republican challenger was a supporter of former President Donald Trump with a track record of controversial statements about women and minorities.
“Newsom and Democratic leaders including President Joe Biden characterized the recall effort, heavily supported by state and national Republican groups, as part of a broader Republican agenda to oust Democrats from power and expand conservative restrictions on voting, civil rights and abortion.
“Economic justice, social justice, racial justice, environmental justice, our values where California has made so much progress, all of those things were on the ballot this evening,” Newsom said in his speech.
His decisive win holds lessons for national Democrats, who will be fighting next year to keep majorities in Congress and seats in governor’s mansions, said Democratic strategist Steven Maviglio.
Newsom mounted a massive get-out-the-vote effort that mobilized Democrats who typically are not engaged in off-year elections.
His embrace of strong COVID-19 protections such as mask and vaccination mandates, and his messaging around the threat Trumpism posed to his liberal policies, resonated with Democratic voters, Maviglio said.
“Nationalizing this election was the smartest move he could have made,” said Maviglio, who was press secretary for former Governor Gray Davis.”