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Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Commentary: Non-Existent Coverage of Issues Aided and Abetted Governor’s Recall Campaign Strategy

Newsom does not appear to have won the No Party Preference vote

By Thomas Buckley, September 16, 2021 4:12 pm

And the beat goes on.

With Governor Gavin Newsom handily turning back the recall challenge Tuesday a bit of a post-mortem of the effort seems in order.

First, as to the media response (see yesterday’s item), it was eerily as expected.  A Los Angeles Times headline breathed a “Sigh of Relief” and the overwhelming majority of the other coverage played off of themes surrounding the need to reform the recall system, that Newsom now has a “broad and renewed mandate” for his policies, that this “humbling” experience means he will not face a serious Democrat challenger in next June’s primary and that, should he be re-elected governor, the now battle-hardened political heavyweight is very well positioned to run a strong campaign for the White House in the near future.

Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.

True, many stories mentioned that the state is still facing “huge policy challenges” like crime, homelessness, water and power infrastructure, and wildfires; of course, these are the very same challenges that were not mentioned by the media during the campaign.

It has been clear from the beginning of the recall process – and well, well before that – that California’s legacy media is utterly in the tank for Newsom.  But this time the coverage was beyond compliant, biased, slanted, propagandistic, and complicit – it was actively collaborationist and that is meant in the same sense that it was meant in World War II.  (It may behoove the citizens of California to convene a “De-Newsomfication Tribunal” once he has left the governor’s mansion.)

The coverage of the issues was non-existent in a way that was clearly deliberate and knowingly, purposefully, and intentionally following, echoing, aiding, and abetting the exact campaign strategy the governor needed to work in order to win.

Even a minor deviance from this pattern could have opened up the door to actual debate about the issues facing the state but that could not be allowed to happen.  Newsom was able, without changing anything else in his campaign, to simply replace the word “Trump” with the word “Elder;” just as Cartman in “South Park” did when he thought it would be easier to make more money by creating a Christian rather than a mainstream pop band – “It’s easy.  When you write the songs, you just change ‘baby’ to ‘Jesus.’”

Cartman got rich – at least for a while – and Gavin got re-elected – at least for a while.

Looking at Tuesday’s numbers is, to be blunt, gloomy and somewhat surprising.  It appears Newsom held more than 90 percent of the Democrat vote, a number even his campaign may not have expected.

It also appears – rather stunningly – that his message of “Vote NO, Don’t Vote” may have worked after a fashion.  There was a 40 percent drop between the number of votes cast on the recall question itself and in the replacement candidate category. (All of the numbers referenced in this article are referring to the latest available figures which will not be the exact final figures).

While clearly a winner strategically, it does not exactly translate into a showing of personal support for Newsom and his policies but a more general party loyalty.  Considering that of his main five campaign messages – Trump is bad, Elder is Trump, the recall is a scam, Senator Feinstein is going to bust a rivet soon, and you will die of COVID if you vote YES – none of them actually involved any mention of Newsom himself or his “progressive” policies.  So claims that this was a win for him personally and that the state wants to keep heading in the same direction are something of a stretch.

There were other numbers last night that should give Newsom pause going forward (of course they won’t –  “emboldened” narcissists with very rich friends who provide for their every need are not known for their introspection).

First, he had to spend – not even including the value of the adorative free media coverage – more than five times what every other recall-related entity – combined – had at its disposal.

Second, and more importantly, Newsom does not appear to have won the No Party Preference (independent) vote.  Pending the final outcome it seems the best he could possibly hope for with that quarter of the electorate is a tie.  Depending upon the candidate(s) who will challenge him next year, that is a significant – and exploitable – weakness.

While the “nationalization” of the campaign may now be over, one aspect of Tuesday’s vote will get attention across the country.  That is the very different results between the walk-in (traditional) numbers and the mass mail-in figures.  NO on the recall garnered about 68 percent of the mail-in vote but only about 40 percent of the walk-in tally – a staggering difference.  The YES campaign clearly and handily won the traditional vote.

What that number does is very specifically confirm the lesson Democrats learned from the 2020 presidential campaign – the party’s edge in the mail-in voting universe is very real, very big, and must be protected and increased at all costs.  Already existing movements to expand that voter base – everyone gets a ballot, no one has to show ID, more ballot harvesting, etc. – will intensify around the nation and at the state level.  In DC, one can be assured that Speaker Pelosi has already used this new data to shore up support for the egregious “For the People” act.

It is interesting – and not all hypocritical – that it seems that those in power who have placed such onerous COVID-related restrictions on the public in the name of the common safety and security also do everything in their power to make sure that the beating heart of our democracy – the ballot box – is as unsafe and insecure as it can possibly be.

And now on to June!

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8 thoughts on “Commentary: Non-Existent Coverage of Issues Aided and Abetted Governor’s Recall Campaign Strategy

  1. Californians have been under duress promulgated by the current Governor and the National Executive Political Cronies’ Narrative for more than a year now. After months of propaganda, fear mongering, abuse and failed policies, it appears that for many voters in California Stockholm Syndrome has arrived.
    Sypmtoms of Stockholm Syndrome include:
    developing positive feelings toward the person holding them captive or abusing them; developing negative feelings toward police, authority figures, or anyone who might be trying to help the victim get away from their captor.
    Patty Hearst, a California Native, is a good example for understanding and applying Stockholm Syndrome to the recent Recall effort. This could also be a good argument as to why our elderly but abusive politicians keep getting re-elected by California Voters.

  2. Thank you to every No Party Preference voter that voted for the recall. There were some moderate Republicans that voted against it and it skewed the vote but disregarding that, it’s great that there was a near even split among independents voted yes on the recall. However I don’t know why over 90% of Democrats voted no. There are mask mandates in almost half of California and you’re literally shooting yourself on the foot by voting no. Public health officials and county supervisors are free to do what they want and no ones doing anything.

    1. As we were assured during the Obama campaign/administration, any hesitation on voting for a black candidate or otherwise not supporting such a candidate is based solely on overt, naked racism. Thus the failure of the recall and subsequent election of the FIRST Black Governor of California can be laid at the feet of the racist bigots infesting California. The southern states aint got nothin’ on Kalifornia.

  3. Funny I got my Corona bucks today after the election, I’m non partisan. “D” as in democrat comes before “N” and “R”. Sure, just a coincidence.

  4. CA is now a PERMANENT blue state — for reasons few will understand
    Posted on FlashReport by Richard Rider on Sep 16, 2021

    Gavin Newsom’s lopsided victory was NOT the result of voter fraud. There was no NEED for voter fraud, though some doubtless occurred.

    Instead, the Democrats have stumbled across the LEGAL way to keep California voting Democrat — forever. It’s really simple:

    1. Mail everyone a ballot. Previously one had to REQUEST a mail ballot. Automatic ballot mailings will become permanent in CA. A bill to send ALL registered CA voters a mail ballot EVERY election has already been passed by the CA state rubber stamp legislature. It is currently on Newsom’s desk.

    2. The return postage on the ballot was paid by the taxpayers. Previously the voter had to put the stamp on the envelope — something that the young and low interest voters usually wouldn’t do.

    3. Ballot harvesting is legal and encouraged in the Golden State.

    The key to a functional democracy is an informed electorate. In this election, the average IQ of voters dropped 10 points or more. A more uninformed and MISinformed electorate is hard to imagine.

    Want to test my assertion out? Ask a typical Newsom voter this question:
    “Under Newsom, there was a THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR unemployment fraud that sent OUR money to California prisoners and international crime cartels — while many of our legitimate CA unemployed had big problems getting their checks. Not a single CA government bureaucrat was fired as a result. Did you even KNOW about that?”

    Thanks to our biased MSM, most will NOT be aware of this huge scandal. Try to imagine the voter awareness of this massive fraud if Donald Trump had been the Governor of CA.

    California governments are subsidizing more and more people, with the approval of voters. People love getting something for nothing. With this new “easy vote” policy, an even lower percent of the voters will understand the downside of voting for an oppressive, high tax, anti-business, nanny state.

  5. I wonder why 2M registered Republicans did not show up at the polls or mail in their vote. I was also shocked to receive a letter from my county asking me if I wanted to just vote online. I have no faith at all in the integrity of our voting system, whether nationally or in the State of California.

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