Three weeks before California voters decide whether to recall Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom and replace him with one of several Republicans, GOP leaders generally dismissed the impact of an attack on their leading contender by his onetime fiancé.
Three days ago, gubernatorial candidate and veteran radio talk show host Larry Elder was hit with sensational charges by ex-fiance Alexandra Datig that he waved a gun at her in 2015 while smoking marijuana.
“He’s a despicable human being,” Datig told reporters, “Every woman should be afraid of him.”
As mail-in voting began for the Sept. 14 recall election, Elder denied what he called the “salacious allegations,” insisted he never brandished a gun, and said Democrats were now nervous because “California can elect a conservative governor.”
Elder’s campaign also noted that Datig is a volunteer for the campaign of former San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer, another Republican vying in the recall election as an alternative to Newsom. Falconer has called on Elder to withdraw from the race and branded him “unfit to serve.”
Most Republican officials who spoke to Newsmax feel otherwise and do not believe the attack will hurt.
“Late coming hits don’t usually hurt,” California GOP National Committeeman Shawn Steel told us, “Remember they tried to do the same thing to Arnold Schwarzenegger before he won the last recall election [in 2003] and said he groped women, No one cared. And remember Donald Trump and the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape in ’16? In the end, no one cared.”
Jon Fleischman, editor of the much-read “Flash Report” on California politics, told us that Larry Elder’s support is "largely coming from conservatives who have known him from his popular radio show and syndicated columns for decades.
"I don’t think unsubstantiated attacks made by an ex-fiancé, mostly reported in newspapers that conservatives don’t read anymore, will matter one bit. Elder has raised nearly $10 million and will bring his own message directly to likely voters," he added.
According to the latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, 47 percent of likely voters support recalling Newsom while 50 percent opposed his removal from office.
The same survey showed that when asked who should replace Newsom if he is removed from office, Elder topped the field with 18%, followed by Falconer and perennial candidate John Cox with 10% each, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley 5%, and Caitlyn Jenner (who has abandoned the race and is now filming a reality show in Australia) 3%.
Forty percent said they were undecided on an alternative to Newsom, according to UC Berkeley.
John Gizzi is Newsmax's chief political columnist and White House correspondent. He is “the man who knows everyone in Washington” as well as many who hold elected positions and party leadership roles throughout America. He has appeared on countless radio and TV shows in America and Europe. He is the recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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