Top recall candidates across the state plan to focus on the large and politically diverse Los Angeles and Sacramento areas on Monday, both showing their importance to recall election and making one final statement for each candidate ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Governor Gavin Newsom has only focused on the Bay Area and the LA area in the last several weeks, including stumping with nationally known high profile candidates to increase Democratic voter output. This included a rally with Vice President Kamala Harris outside of Oakland last week and events across SoCal with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Labor Day weekend. While Newsom has been going more statewide as well through ads with former President Barack Obama in an attempt to draw more voters, in-person visits have been largely limited to the two largest populated places in the state.
Newsom isn’t changing up the “highly populated area with prominent guest” strategy on Monday, holding a rally at Long Beach Community College at 6 PM with President Joe Biden, by far his largest to date, as a final campaign event. Along with a few other visits on Monday in the area, Newsom is hoping to bring out one final push of Democratic and anti-recall voters out.
Newsom’s strategy has been largely effective in the past month, with poll aggregates showing as much as a 16 point lead against the recall heading into Monday. However, Democrats fear an election day surge in the polls by Republicans due to many foregoing mail-in ballots, as well as a high Republican turnout hurting future elections for the Democrats.
“It may not be a fear of them winning anymore so much as the recall nearly happening now,” explained former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe on Monday. “They don’t want to give any ground. If they keep this close, they can give a clear early sign that things won’t be going well for Democrats next year during mid-terms. If they can keep it above 10 points it will be a sigh of relief although Newsom will still probably be finished politically. If they manage to lose, well, that’s even worse for them.”
“Newsom and the Democrats are giving it their all. To them, they already lost this election in some way. Right now it’s just seeing by how much. Right now it’s just Newsom being tainted from any higher office in the future due to being in this recall vote. They have so much more on the line.”
Recall candidates give it their all on the final day of campaigning
Those hoping to be elected in as Governor should the recall succeed also sharpened their focus on final election events on Monday. Business man and 2018 GOP Gubernatorial candidate John Cox is ending his final bus tour on Monday by going directly after Newsom by visits to the State Capitol in Sacramento and then to the French Laundry restaurant in Yountville. The latter event is particularly insulting towards Newsom as it highlights the French Laundry incident, where Newsom appeared at a party at the most expensive restaurant in the state/country last year without a mask, indoors, breaking his own state masking guidelines and mandates less than 24 hours after chastising Californians for not following them.
Radio host Larry Elder, meanwhile, is back in Southern California, with events planned in Monterrey Park, Los Angeles, San Pedro, and Costa Mesa on Monday. In addition to many prominent supporters coming out, Elder is using the events to reach out to members of the Asian American, African American, Latino, and White communities across the area, working together a last day diverse pastiche of areas before election day on Tuesday.
Finally, other candidates are largely splitting their time in either SoCal or Sacramento, including Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Kiley, in particular, will be eschewing staying in one region on the final day like the other candidates and go across the state. Starting in San Diego on Monday, Kiley is set to also campaign in Los Angeles at the Manuel Arts High School where he used to teach, Fresno, and then Sacramento.
“This is dress rehearsal for most candidates,” Riley Bernard, a campaign strategist who focuses on West Coast races, told the Globe Monday. “For some recall candidates, like Elder, this is just a chance for Governor in 2021. Considering where the polls are right now, it may not happen, but they’re still dogging it out. You never know. Polls have been wrong before.”
“But others, like Kiley, Faulconer, and Cox, they have all expressed some degree of interest in 2022. And remember, Newsom will be severely weakened by this recall. There is talk of the Democrats going for someone else, or Newsom losing in the primaries. They don’t want him recalled, but they aren’t happy with him either. So 2022 will also be a decent shot for the GOP, at least right now. The recall has been very expensive for Democrats. Tens of millions being spent in ads alone with over $70 million raised. For the GOP candidates it has been comparatively cheap, with all of them combining for only a total of $26 million being spent.”
“Along with 2018, they now know what makes the guy tick and the now have several very viable candidates with experience running in such a big election now. They all have well-oiled machines.”
“A lot of people have been saying that even if the anti-recall people win on Tuesday they still lose, and that is becoming more and more true.”
September 14th, 2021 is the official Recall Election Day.