Beating all odds, United States’s California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to remain in office, notwithstanding a furious recall election against him that ended on Tuesday, news networks like CNN and Fox News have projected. The actual results, however, are not yet out. A recall election is basically the candidate against himself—the electorate had to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in removing Newsom from office. The early results had Republican challenger Larry Elder throwing a credible challenge Newsom’s way.
The election was crucial in more ways than one—the results of the race were likely to influence the 2022 midterms, when control of Congress again will be in play and the party that controls the White House historically loses seats. Moreover, it would a stunning victory for the Republicans in an emerald blue state where the Democratic party controls every statewide office, dominates the legislature and congressional delegation, and holds a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in registered voters.
With much riding on the outcome, Biden was last among a prominent list of Democrats to make cameo appearances in the contest either in person or in ads, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former president Barack Obama and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
While Newsom has sought to nationalise the race, Republicans have criticised him relentlessly for rising taxes, an unchecked homeless crisis, climbing crime rates and housing prices that are out of reach for many in the working class. The recall gained momentum largely out of frustration with Newsom’s COVID-19 restrictions that shuttered schools and businesses and cost millions of jobs.
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