Less than 24 hours after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom survived a nationally watched recall election by a 2-to-1 ratio, California Republicans who collected signatures to put the recall on the ballot expressed no regrets about their losing campaign on the ballot.
''The bluest of blue states got a shiner,'' Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel told Newsmax, ''Homelessness will grow, crime will increase, the droughts will get worse, and there will be more wildfires — all because of Democrat extreme progressive policies.''
Steel, with wife and House Republican Rep. Michelle Steel, appeared at a recall rally the day before the vote, predicted that this would eventually persuade voters to turn to Republicans.
Many analysts say that the emergence of radio talk show host Larry Elder, a stalwart conservative, as the leading Republican alternative to Newsom enhanced the Democratic turnout and the ''no'' vote.
''If Larry Elder didn't exist, Gavin Newsom would have wanted to invent him,'' said Dan Schnur, professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies and top aide to GOP former California Gov. Pete Wilson.
''Elder was the perfect foil for Newsom. He's a living, breathing, talking opponent who says and does controversial things, and Newsom framed the recall as a choice between the two of them. It's no coincidence that Newsom's poll numbers appear to have greatly improved over the course of these attacks,'' he said.
But Steel and other party activists disagree.
''We have a rejuvenated party,'' Steel said, ''David took on Goliath and missed. Larry Elder is now a true national spokesman for common sense and a new, emerging star.''
Steel's conclusion was seconded by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., the runner-up in the 2003 recall election that made fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger governor.
''The result of the recall election had nothing to do with Larry Elder, who did a heroic job out of articulating a path out of this mess,'' McClintock told us.
He added that ''I used to think that when things in California get bad enough, voters will wake up and set things right. But I've begun to realize that there comes a point when it's just a lot easier just to move to another state. Californians have been voting with their feet, leaving behind an increasingly dependent and pliant population.''
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.