GOP Strategists See Chance of Perfect Storm In Newsom Recall

The latest polls poll on the California recall election shows Gov. Gavin Newsom clinging to a precariously thin margin of support ahead of a Sept. 14 special election to recall him — and GOP strategists think a perfect storm is about to hit.

In a FiveThirtyEight accounting of recent surveys of California voters, 47.6% support a recall, while 48.8% favor keeping him in office. If a majority of Californians vote “yes” to recall, Newsom will be removed from office.

“This is a Hail Mary pass at best,” Robb Korinke, a Democratic strategist with GrassrootsLab, a political consulting firm in California, said of the recall effort, the Washington Examiner reported. “It’s the half-court shot of California politics.”

But some GOP insiders think there’s a chance for an ouster — even though it would take a combination of GOP overperformance at the polls, a collapse of Democratic participation, and high levels of Democratic defections on the recall question, the news outlet reported.

Democrats have a 22.4-point advantage over Republicans among registered voters in California.

“Our polling shows Republicans to be highly motivated and Democrats to be very uninterested,” David Gilliard, a GOP strategist in Sacramento and key organizer of the petition to place the recall election on the ballot, told the Washington Examiner.

“The biggest issues against Newsom are not COVID related. Crime, homeless, and gas prices/cost of living dominate.”

Gillard said his polling shows more than 50% of Latinos and voters unaffiliated with a political party are backing the recall, the Washington Examiner reported.

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is the Republican leading the horse race, garnering an average of 19.3%, with the rest of the candidates trailing significantly, the Washington Examiner reported.

“I’ve seen two private polls in the last week. Democratic apathy is still there, but I’m yet to see a poll that shows he actually loses,” Rob Stutzman told the Washington Examiner.

Stutzman advised former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during the 2003 recall campaign that led to the ouster of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis told.

“I think Elder as a presumptive replacement will drag on the ‘Yes’ vote,” he told the news outlet.

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