New York, San Francisco At 6 a.m. on Wednesday, US Vice President Kamela Harris left Washington DC to land at Oakland International Airport after a five-hour flight. Here, in the “East Bay” of Silicon Valley in California, she competed to help her fellow party member Gavin Newsom. He is threatened with being voted out of office on September 14th. Republican groups had gathered enough votes to call citizens to the polls and decide his fate.
Many people of color and Latinos live in the “East Bay” who, in the presidential election in 2016, completely unexpectedly for the Democrats, switched to the Trump camp. Here Harris, the first Latino-Asian Vice President of the USA, points out the explosiveness of the vote for the whole of America: “What is happening in Texas, Georgia and other states with politics that attack women’s rights, undermine suffrage and labor rights,” she warns in San Leandro, “They (Republicans) think they can do this anywhere if they win California. But we will show you: Not here, never! “
When the Republicans attempted to vote out, they had no idea what an explosive time they would be calling citizens to vote on. In the middle of a pandemic that keeps the US under control, just months after a lost election for the previous President Donald Trump and the attempted storming of the Capitol in Washington by his supporters.
When citizens cast their ballots, quite a few of them will be afraid of their existence. The monthly Corona aid money for the unemployed has just been abolished and the Supreme Court has decided that millions of people may be put on the streets again in the coming months because of rent debts. And the humiliating retreat after 20 years of war in Afghanistan is traumatizing the entire superpower.
Top jobs of the day
Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.
This is the background in which Gavin asks Newsom for trust. There have been numerous attempts to oust governors from office since 1911. Most of them failed in advance, the rest mostly got lost in the ballot boxes. But a special electoral system in California is like an unlocked hand grenade that can explode at any time.
Republicans prepare the next stab in the back legend
Newsom needs 50 percent of the vote to stay in office. If he does not get it, there will be no new elections. The successor will automatically be the one of the 46 candidates on the ballot who received the most votes. Even if it is only five percent.
Only once has this turned the political landscape in the most populous state in the United States on its head. In 2003, the unpopular Democrat Gray Davis had to leave and there was already a successor in office that nobody had expected: Arnold Schwarzenegger, an actor from Austria. How many people ticked the Hollywood “Terminator” and Republicans as governor out of sheer joke will probably remain a secret forever. But the consequences were real.
Another type of Terminator could come to power on September 14th: Larry Elder. According to surveys, the Trump fan and radio host could get up to 26 percent of the vote. He already clearly indicated the direction in which he wants to steer California: “On the first day after my election,” he called to cheering believers in a church in San Jose, “the first thing I will do is to override all Covid mandates. And then I will first go to have an extensive breakfast. “
California is known for Covid measures that are strict by US standards, such as mask requirements in schools. This has helped to prevent conditions with high new infections such as in the republican states of Texas, Florida or Alabama, where Covid protection requirements are lax or non-existent. But Elder doesn’t see it that way. His victory would cut a deep breach in the front line of the Covid fighters in the United States.
The Recall proponents use proven resources from Donald Trump’s trick book: The “San Francisco Cronicle” has analyzed social media postings in partly private groups with thousands of members for two months. As a precautionary measure in the event of a defeat, recallers spread a “stab in the back legend”. The Democrats would “steal this election too”. Facebook is again the most active platform for conspiracy ideologues.
The Democrats need all of their party celebrities
But nobody goes as far as the TV broadcaster Fox: The presenter and Trump supporter Tomi Lahren proclaimed that the “only way” for Newsom to get away with it again would be “election fraud”. She urged people to “be vigilant and watch the election fraud”. Because that will have consequences “for upcoming elections”.
The current survey results are to provide Lahren’s reasons. After a period of weakness in August, you see Newsom again with a comfortable majority of over 54 percent, while the number of voters who voted out has slipped to a good 42 percent. This is shown by an analysis of current election polls by the political project “FiveThirtyEight”.
With the election campaign in the home stretch, leading party members are taking to the front. Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were already there. Kamela Harris too. Now US President Joe Biden is rushing to the west coast. “Governor Newsom is leading California through unprecedented crises,” Biden campaigned in a White House statement. “He is an important partner in fighting the pandemic. It is helping to rebuild our economy better than ever. He takes on the climate crisis and campaigns for the rights of women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community. He knows what work means. Because he does it. “
The parade of party celebrities is necessary. There seem to be hardly any certainties in US politics. Florida, which has long been a “swing state”, is now firmly in Republican hands thanks to many voices from the Latino camp. Texas was to be conquered multiple times, which always failed. In the state of Georgia there was a respectable win in the Senate elections, but power often depends on a few thousand votes.
The shock of 2016, when a number of Midwestern states went to Trump, runs deep. California is considered a left-wing liberal powerhouse – a Republican victory a year before the important midterms would be a fatal signal for the Democrats.
Specifically, they fear losing their majority in Congress – even before the midterms. The chamber has 100 seats and is split fifty-fifty between Democrats and Republicans. Biden’s Democrats cannot afford to deviate on important decisions. And even then, they can only push through large projects with the extra vote of Vice President Harris, who can resolve a stalemate with her vote.
Corona politics could be decisive for the election
A change of power in California could bring the filigree building to collapse. California Senator Dianne Feinstein is 88 years old. If she retired, a Republican governor could designate a Republican successor. Then the conservatives would have power in the Senate – and could block all projects of the Biden government.
“Nothing is certain with this choice,” said strategist Lou Correa on CNN. “Everything depends on the voter turnout.” In theory, that would not be a problem. There are two Democratic voters for every Republican. The fear is that many of them are so sure of their cause that they’ll stay home while a top-to-bottom Republican base rallies in full force to erase the shame of the 2020 presidential election.
Corona and the consequences are the most important factors, election researchers are unanimously certain. And the approval of Newsom’s corona policy has risen again, according to FiveThirtyEight. He had lost a lot of sympathy, even with Democrats, when he had a big party in a posh restaurant in the middle of the strictest going-out bans in 2020.
But that seems to be forgotten. Despite all the problems from homelessness to high living costs and unemployment to high taxes, illegal immigration, water shortages and huge forest fires, a “memorandum choice” like the one that Schwarzenegger brought to power does not seem in sight. Even so, Biden, Newsom, Harris and others continue to tour tirelessly. President Barack Obama sent a video message to voters in California. All or nothing.
For the challenger Larry Elder too: On Thursday he started his “Recall Express Bus Tour” in the south, in Los Angeles, up to the state capital Sacramento in the north. Already at the first stop at the bodybuilder beach in Venice there was a scandal. Elder was molested, the homeless were apparently violent, an egg is said to have just missed the head of the politician, reports the “LA Times”. The police are investigating.
Elder escaped to his SUV and left LA. He later tweeted: “Before we even left LA, my security guards were attacked, we were slingshot and objects were blown. But the intolerant left will not stop us. We will recall Newsom. We will save California. “
More: The US economy is left without important social support – too early, economists warn