White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced on Wednesday that President Joe Biden will visit California in the next few weeks to personally rally support around Governor Gavin Newsom and against the recall election in California.
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President Biden has made clear his stance on supporting Newsom and against the recall since February when the recall was still in the signature gathering phase. Earlier this month, the President even announced his support of Newsom, a rare step for a President to take in a non-even election year. Despite the increased support, polls have continued to show a very close recall race, with the latest polls showing Newsom only surviving the recall by only a few points – well within the margin of error. Last week, the White House announced that Vice President Kamala Harris, a California native herself, will stump for Newsom on her way back from her trip to Singapore and Vietnam, later this week in the Bay Area.
However, Harris’ visit announcement failed to generate enough buzz, not even making a dent in the latest recall poll percentages. With the recall polls showing close numbers, Biden will now visit sometime in the next few weeks. Psaki did not give any dates on when Biden would go out to California, nor did she mention any locations where he might go to rally with Newsom.
“It’s still certainly his plan,” said Psaki on Biden visiting California after questions were raised on whether the situation in Afghanistan or hurricanes on the East Coast could disrupt those plans.
Last ditch efforts to stop recall against Newsom
Political experts have said that bringing out Biden is a ‘last ditch’ attempt at defeating the recall in California.
“The Democrats are doing everything they can,” explained Anne Winters, a political donation tracker for several special interest groups, to the Globe on Wednesday. “The Democrats can usually count on celebrities for high profile help. But besides an initial wave of donations and vocal support, it has largely dried up. Actions by top Democrats in the House and Senate, like Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) putting her entire machine behind Newsom, have also been falling short. Tech people and business leaders are largely siding with Republicans, with many even saying that they might go back to California if the Republicans take control.”
“So that just leaves Harris and Biden. They have the stature and the means to drive up support and funds for this. But even this is in doubt now. Harris was announced as coming to California and the needle barely moved in terms of support and excitement. So that just leaves Biden now. They are extremely worried now.”
According to sources in the Capitol in Sacramento, Newsom’s advisors’ concern has increased over the last month. And the upcoming visits by the President and Vice President have not exactly tempered fears that Newsom may be ousted by the state’s voters.
“I talked with a few people in the Governor’s office right after the Biden announcement,” said “Dana,” a Capitol staffer, to the Globe on Wednesday. “They aren’t worrying any less. Normally the president coming out in favor of you would bring relief. Obama did for the Democrats here and Trump did it for Republicans. But that feeling with Biden just isn’t there. A lot of worry is that his visit won’t energize more people to vote, but only cajole Democrats who were going to vote anyway. They’re still terrified.”
More information on the visits from Harris and Biden are expected soon.