by Dylan Lee.
Vice President Kamala Harris, former Senator for California, visited the Bay Area on September 9th, speaking at a rally in support of the governor in an effort to increase voter turnout and enthusiasm. California Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election on September 14th, potentially removing him from office.
“They think if they can win in California, they can do this anywhere,” said Harris in reference to the Republican-led recall effort.
The frontrunner to succeed Newsom is a conservative talk radio host, Larry Elder, attaining 26% support from those who want Newsom recalled.
Harris also offered criticism of recent acts in Texas, Florida, and Georgia in regards to the Delta variant surge, abortion rights, and voting rights, warning these issues could also be at stake for Californians should the recall succeed.
Other issues could be at stake for California, including a U.S. Senate seat. Incumbent Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is 88 years old and is not up for reelection until 2024. Many worry that should the senator die or be forced to retire due to poor health/elderly age, a Republican governor would appoint a Republican senator, flipping the majority power in the Senate.
Despite California being a stronghold for the Democratic Party, Newsom has struggled to gain enthusiasm and voter turnout for the recall election, specifically among Latino voters, whom the governor is relying on for support. In early August, polls showed the governor leading by less than a point, but as the election nears, the governor’s margin of support has increased to 13 points. This is still a sizably smaller margin than the 23.8-point lead the governor won the 2018 gubernatorial election with against Republican John Cox.
Democratic efforts to increase voter turnout will continue into election week, as President Joe Biden is expected to visit California in support of the governor.