Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., is struggling to stay above the waves these days. As he faces a September 14 recall vote, conservatives from sea to shining sea should follow this race closely. Its ripples could stretch far beyond the Golden State.
For starters, Republicans could win the governor's mansion, so long as California's crooked Democrats don't turn around and steal it back.
''Since Gavin Newsom took office, our problems have gotten worse,'' recall proponent Orrin Heatlie wrote in the Official Voter Information Guide. Heatlie continued, ''crime and homelessness have spiked since he ordered the early release of nearly 20,000 prison inmates.''
He added: ''Public schools rank 37th K-12 overall, and our roads are crumbling. Between 2008 and 2017, California had 4,300 blackouts. On Newsom's watch, there were 25,281 blackouts in 2019 alone. Our water is rationed, and mismanaged forests are burning.''
As these near-biblical plagues spread, Californians will answer two simple ballot questions.
Question One: ''Shall GAVIN NEWSOM be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?''
Democrats enjoy an intimidating party-registration edge. California voters are 46.5% Democrat, 24% Republican, 23% independent, and 6% caucus with smaller parties.
What the Left has in numbers, the Right enjoys in intensity, for now.
A CBS News/YouGov poll of 1,856 adults sampled between August 6 and August 12 found that among registered voters, conservatives are more motivated to cast their recall ballots, at 82%, than liberals, at 64% — an 18% buffer. Only 55% of moderates are enthused about voting. Advantage: Energized conservatives. This could overcome the ''No'' recall vote's 4% lead, which mirrors this poll's margin of error.
Paralleling this encouraging result, Trump voters (81%) and Republicans (72%) are more psyched about this race than are Biden backers (62%) and Democrats (61%).
And with so many Americans enraged at Biden's Afghan catastrophe, California voters might punish him indirectly by spanking Newsom. Democrats might be too ashamed these days to stampede the polls. Biden's Kabul calamity could yield Newsom's California collapse.
If a simple majority votes Yes on recall, then Newsom is nullified.
Question Two: ''Candidates to succeed GAVIN NEWSOM as Governor if he is recalled – Vote for One''
If Question One makes Newsom old news, the candidate with the most votes on Question Two would become California's next governor. Neither a majority nor a runoff is required. So, among 46 contenders, the victor could prevail with a vote percentage in the teens, although the winner needs merely one more ballot than the second-place finisher.
Kevin Paffrath leads the Democrat wannabes. The 29-year-old YouTube influencer is also a landlord who gleaned some $6 million last year in internet ads, financial deals, and rent from nearly two dozen properties in his portfolio. This is hardly the AOC/Bolshevik barista prototype that makes today's Leftists swoon.
As The Washington Post's Helaine Olen explained, Paffrath posted a video that reinforces the greedy-landed gentry stereotype that rattles Democrats. In "27-Year-Old Landlord: How I Prevent Getting SCREWED by Tenants," Paffrath advises, ''Never, ever tell the tenant that you're the owner. You're just the manager.'' Thus, if a renter requests something, reply: ''I'm so sorry. The owner said 'no.'''
This does not exactly scream: ''Housing for all!''
The latest RealClear Politics (RCP) survey average shows 8.3% of voters behind Paffrath.
Three top Republicans itch to replace Newsom:
Businessman John Cox ran unsuccessfully against Newsom in 2018. He was thrown on defense at an August 17 debate in Sacramento. As the fun began, a private eye approached the stage, flicked a document at him, and said, ''John Cox, you've been served by the San Diego Superior Court.'' On live TV, Cox was presented with a judge's order to pay $100,000 to a campaign vendor who claims that Cox stiffed him for ads produced during his previous failed gubernatorial bid.
Not a good look.
RCP gauges 4.4% support for Cox.
Kevin Faulconer was San Diego's GOP mayor between 2014 and 2020. Faulconer held the line on taxes in California's second largest city and increased its law-enforcement budget while many of his Democrat counterparts defunded the police, with bloody results. Faulconer's formidable record and tax-relief plans should find him above 4.2%.
Why not higher?
With California so far gone, Newsom's detractors seem to thirst for someone who will give the entire calcified system a massive, well-earned jolt.
Which brings us to Larry Elder — at 26.2%.
The 69-year-old veteran radio host and conservative commentor — who appears at least two decades younger — entered this race late, rocketed atop the polls, and has remained there. Some 30 years in broadcasting have bought him sky-high name identification and the admiration of rock-ribbed conservatives.
''To get an idea of how Democrat one-party rule can wreck a state, look no further than California,'' Elder tells me. ''Rising crime, rising homelessness, rising cost of living, deterioration in the quality of public schools, all resulting in a net exodus from California for the first time in our state's history.'' Indeed, the 2020 Census cost California one of its 53 seats in the U.S. House — a first.
''A new study from the Hoover Institution finds that in the first six months of 2021, businesses are leaving at twice the rate they did in the past three years,'' Elder continues. ''We have a water shortage and 'rolling brownouts' because lawmakers have forced utility companies to spend an ever-increasing amount on so-called renewables — wind and solar— that are unreliable.
"As a result, the utilities spend less money on fire prevention and fire suppression measures, like putting powerlines underground, resulting in more severe fires every year.''
Elder's vision: ''Let's make California golden again!''
His secret weapon might be Gloria Romero.
''I was the majority leader of Democrats in the State Senate,'' Romero explains in a TV ad. ''I believe in charter schools and school choice. So does Larry Elder, but not Gavin Newsom ... Larry Elder for Governor.''
What would an Elder victory mean?
''It would mean that voters in a blue state can elect a common-sense conservative Republican, and it might cause people to rethink their allegiance to the Democratic Party,'' Elder says. ''It would be an earthquake.''
Indeed, the tremor that Newsom's recall would trigger—especially coupled with an Elder win—would make the 1906 San Francisco catastrophe look like someone bumping into a desk. The ensuing chaos would shake Democrats just seven weeks before November's off-year elections.
When it comes to survival instincts, politicians are more sensitive than seismographs. Vulnerable congressional Democrats who face re-election in 2022 would watch Newsom flounder, panic, and then instruct Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to spurn AOC and the Squad and steer nearer the middle of the road. The CRT/BLM/Antifa monsters will be less welcome in Democrat cloakrooms than they are today.
Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and perhaps Mark Kelly (also Arizona) will stiffen their spines if they see Newsom drown beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. If so, the filibuster should survive.
H.R. 1, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders' $3.5 trillion spend-o-rama and other programs likely would sink. And if this ultimately hands the U.S. House and perhaps the Senate to Republicans in 2022, then Biden's radical agenda will be swept away.
If Newsom survives, however, the far Left will be recharged, and the bad news will roar on. The media will judge this as an endorsement of the Democrats' wackiest wishes.
Biden's, Pelosi's, and Schumer's hands will strengthen. Manchin's and Sinema's will wither.
If Democrats move even further Left after a Newsom victory, if that's possible, the American people likely will be even more appalled at the former party of JFK and Bill Clinton. This could trigger an even stronger backlash in November 2022.
This could score a win for the Right, either way: The Democrats return to normal, or they double down on far-Left Wokeness and then face annihilation at the midterms. Of course, slouching even further toward Bolshevism has its own shortcomings, no matter how appealing the counter-revolution.
Meanwhile, a GOP victory could add this incredible bonus: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., 88, is feeble. A friend of mine recently saw her in Los Angeles, being carried around by two aides, one under each arm. If she no longer can serve in office, the governor is empowered to replace her. A Republican governor presumably would name a GOP appointee, and the entire U.S. Senate would flip Republican!
Not so fast ...
The big, grinning joker in this deck is vote fraud.
Sacramento has blasted out 22.1 million mail-in ballots to every registered voter, solicited or not. What could go wrong?
Torrance police found a man passed out in his car on August 16. Also, inside the vehicle, the Los Angeles Times reports, ''a 9-millimeter handgun ... methamphetamine, Xanax pills, a scale, multiple California driver's licenses, and credit cards in other people's names.''
Oh, yes. And more than 300 recall mail-in ballots.
This contest features much of what made November 2020's vote not even Third World: Ballot harvesting, same-day registration, and ballots post-marked on Election Day can trickle in for another week. Tabulation may continue until October 14—one month after Election Day.
These loose ''standards'' now include Remote Accessible Vote-By-Mail. Translation: Print your own ballot at home and drop it in the mail.
Who could oppose that?
These permissive rules could create a Cinemascope horror show for election-integrity advocates and a Democrat-directed bloody ending for Republicans.
However, a Yes vote for recall, by a majority that exceeds the margin of any potential fraud, could push Gavin Newsom's slickly coiffed noggin beneath the pounding Pacific surf.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Read Deroy Murdock's Reports — More Here.
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