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California referendum, an important test for Joe Biden

California referendum, an important test for Joe Biden

This is famous Re-Call It’s kind of the first major election since Joe Biden came to power. While the November 2022 midterm elections are already looming, points of contention between the two camps are numerous. The most obvious are health measures, epidemic management, and economic recovery.

So it’s no coincidence that top Democrats are campaigning for Gavin Newsom, who faces the prospect of being fired from office if he loses that referendum. Kamala Harris, Barack Obama and Joe Biden himself, who gave him a boost on Monday on the eve of the vote, campaigned for governor of the blue state of California.

To save his skin, Gavin Newsom and his team tried to make this vote a referendum on health measures, such as the wearing of masks in schools and vaccination obligations. They say replacing Newsom with a Republican would turn California into another Florida — a reference to the way Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis fought health measures.

A strategy that could backfire and encourage Republican mobilization, and is somewhat evasive to these measures, which some describe as liberties pesticides.

massive action

With a certain number of signatures, an impeachment referendum allows citizens to force the state to organize a special election that calls into question the leader’s position. In this case, the threshold was set at 1.5 million signatures.

This is the second time since 1911 that California has been the scene of such an action. The first time was in 2003 when Governor Gray Davis faced this special election amid an energy crisis and a massive budget deficit. This referendum had finally removed him from power, allowing Arnold Schwarzenegger to inherit his seat, under the banner of the Republicans.

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The 1.5 million signatures collected against Gavin Newsom is still an impressive number, but it’s hard to know the exact motives of the voters.

Managing the pandemic, the cost of living, immigration policies, an increase in crime and taxes or even the flamboyant personality of a red-handed ruler, without a mask, in an elegant restaurant: the causes of frustration are numerous.

46 competitors

If more than 50% of the electorate vote for Mr. Newsom’s departure, the candidate with the most votes will automatically become the new governor, no matter how large that number is.

Against Mr. Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor who was handily elected in 2019, there are at least 46 candidates. They include lawyers, millionaires and Kaitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman, former athlete, and decathlon specialist in the 1970s (she won a gold medal at the Olympics in Montreal in 1976).

Gavin Newsom’s most serious opponent, Larry Elder, remains an African-American Republican radio host who opposes vaccine obligations, opposes abortion and adopts some of Donald Trump’s tactics. In particular trying to convince voters that if he loses, it will be because of election fraud.

But in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans twice, there should be no suspense about the outcome of the vote. But this referendum will make it possible to test both democratic and republican mobilization, in the context of strong political polarization across the country.

No instant results

The fact remains that in the event of a large rally for Republican voters – which is reasonable because the ruling party generally loses its feathers during special elections – this will be an opportunity for Democrats to rearrange their priorities and positions. Campaign messages By the midterms, control of the House and Senate will be at stake.

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California permits counting of mailed votes up to seven days after the polling date.

Since Democrats tend to vote by mail, while Republicans prefer to vote in person, it can take several days for the final result to be known in the event of a close vote.