Congenial and clear sunshine this mid-day Monday here in California’s Central Valley, with both the actual physical meteorology and the political weather expected to heat up as time moves through the day — tomorrow the state once again is strapped into a governor-recall election with dire consequences if it succeeds.
The whole shebang is wingnuttery hokum, pushed by reality-denying Republicans who have no idea how to govern so can only lie and bullshit their way into a public forum, crashing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s fairly-decent time in office — they’re already screaming voter fraud.
Bright note with fingers crossed, polling indicates a failure to recall.
However, since apparently, this event so weird an outcome is really hard to predict — from FiveThirtyEight this morning:
According to the FiveThirtyEight polling average of the first question on the recall ballot — whether to remove Newsom from office — 41.6-percent of Californians want to recall Newsom, while 56.2-percent want to keep him in office.
But it’s important to note that this is not a forecast of what will happen (like those we issue for presidential and midterm elections); it’s just a description of what the polls have said.
Usually, a 14.7-percentage-point polling lead is pretty safe, but this election isn’t usual, so some caution is warranted. This is a particularly challenging race to poll accurately because it’s hard to estimate who’s likely to vote. That’s due to two things in particular: the odd timing of the election (September of an odd-numbered year) and the fact that it is being conducted primarily by mail.
In other words, don’t be surprised if there’s a larger-than-usual polling error.
Indeed, as CNN’s Harry Enten has observed, the polling average of the previous gubernatorial recall election in California (in 2003) missed the final result by 9 points, and the “true” margin of error of polls of recent U.S. House special elections (which, like this recall, have been oddly timed) is around 13 points.
At the same time, as Enten wrote over the weekend, there have been only four gubernatorial races since 1998 (out of 243) where the polling average missed by 15 points or more.
Overall, our assessment is that Newsom is a clear favorite to prevail. While an upset wouldn’t be unprecedented, it would qualify as a historically large polling miss.
Shitty last words, for sure. I already mailed in my ballot — tracked it, too, all the way to the county clerk’s office — and I hope a shitload of other Californians have done the same. Newsom is victim of the times and the crazy-loudmouth nutcases in the Republican party. A crazy list of the crazy candidates here.
A nutshell of the situation (the Guardian yesterday):
These calamities — a once-in-a-generation health crisis and unprecedented challenges posed drought and extreme weather — were, largely, what gave rise to the recall effort. Having won his seat by a historic margin in 2018, Newsom has found himself in a peculiar position.
Still broadly popular in the state, he’s fending off challenges from Republicans and rightwingers who are more out of touch with most residents than the governor at his worst.
Extraordinary crises have given rise to an extraordinary recall — one that could trigger extraordinary political upheaval in one of America’s bluest states.
And supposedly the situation dire enough to bring Kamala Harris out here last week (though, she’s from here), and this evening:
Biden will visit Long Beach tonight: Expect road closures and delays https://t.co/cVCNIQQXVe
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) September 13, 2021
Biden knows the shitty downside to losing California. From Jeremy Stahl at Salon at the end of last month:
But the worst possible outcome of the recall challenge goes far beyond Newsom.
The true nightmare scenario for Democrats would be this: What if Newsom loses, a Republican replaces him, and then 88-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein becomes unable to finish her term?
This is not some kind of paranoid thought experiment.
Not only is the senator nearly 90 years old with COVID bouncing around the chambers, recent reporting has highlighted the “rumors of her cognitive decline,” as the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer put it at the end of last year.
If Newsom is replaced by a Republican and Feinstein is not able to serve until a new governor enters office in January 2023, a GOP governor would be the one to appoint someone to fill her seat, potentially tipping the balance of power in the U.S. Senate to Mitch McConnell and the Republicans.
It’s not a small thing.
No shit, again. And it’s already formulated:
Larry Elder already promising to flip the senate if he gets elected https://t.co/DAx3dtNSx2
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) September 4, 2021
Elder, the way-front-running GQPer in the field, is a piece of shit:
Two days before the recall election, leading candidate Larry Elder appeared with an actress who says Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife tried to suppress her rape claims against disgraced director Harvey Weinstein.
The Democratic governor and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom responded that the charge was false.
Elder earlier in the campaign faced an accusation that he behaved aggressively toward a former fiance. Alexandra Datig, a former radio producer for Elder who once worked as a prostitute, said he brandished a gun at her while high on marijuana.
Elder denied the charge.
Typical Republican stance nowadays.
Newsom is not in a peculiar situation as being recalled is California history, every governor the past 60 years has undergone recall attempts with only one succeeding — Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.
Nutshell synopsis for this go-around: ‘If a majority votes no on the first question, then he stays governor. If a majority votes yes, they want to recall Newsom. Whoever gets the most votes on the second question wins and becomes governor.‘
Claims before claims:
The idea of a peaceful transition of power, something that’s more or less necessary for a functioning democracy, is essentially gone if one party simply alleges fraud every time they lose. The consequences of that will inevitably be disastrous. https://t.co/if0s4vyEHP
— Hutch (@hutchinson) September 13, 2021
Actually, the only idea put forth by the wing-nuts — via The Washington Post last Thursday:
As they’ve dimmed, supporters of the recall have speculated more loudly about a stolen election, saying flat-out — and without evidence — that the fix is in for Newsom.
Elder and his surrogates openly warn of Democratic “cheating.”
Pro-recall websites warn that about folding lines on ballots or holes in ballot envelopes that they say could be used to throw out votes.
A statute that lets voters print ballots at home if their mail ballots are damaged has fueled theories about large-scale fraud.
“It’s probably rigged,” former president Donald Trump said in a Newsmax interview Tuesday, providing no evidence.
“They’re sending out all ballots, the ballots are mail-in ballots. In fact, I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot. When that happens no one is going to win, except these Democrats.”
What a fricking mess this country is in right now.
And once again, here we are…