Larry Elder is a well-known ultra-conservative political commentator and radio show host.  If Governor Newsom is recalled, Elder has the first option to replace him and get Republicans in control of California.  (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes)

California not only is it the most populous state in USA, but the richest in the country as it concentrates more than 14% of GDP. Because it is one of the most liberal and diverse, it is also a democratic bastion. However, the color of the state could change from blue to red, if the recall process promoted by the Republicans to remove the governor from power is successful. Gavin Newsom, one of the rising figures of the party of Joe Biden.

Although the polls and the voting by mail anticipate a ratification in the position in the elections of this Tuesday, the blow has been given and it is putting to the test the power of mobilization of the republicans, especially of the more pro-Trump sector.

The dispute in California has become so politically important that the very Biden traveled on Monday to support him: “Voting ‘No’ (to impeachment) will protect California from Donald Trump. The option should be very clear “, said the president at an event in Long Beach.

The stakes are high because if the revocation is approved, the first on the list to replace him is Republican Larry Elder, a 69-year-old African-American far-right political commentator who has openly supported Donald Trump.

Larry Elder is a well-known ultra-conservative political commentator and radio show host. If Governor Newsom is recalled, Elder has the first option to replace him and get Republicans in control of California. (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes)

The objective of the contest, in addition, is the next control of Congress, because in 2022 there will be the mid-term legislative elections and the Republican Party is betting everything to be able to regain the upper house. In the Senate, the Democrats barely have a vote of difference (the forces are divided 50-50, but with the casting vote of Vice President Kamala Harris), however the eventual retirement of veteran legislator Dianne Feinstein, from 88 years old, from California. If a republican governs the state, then he has the power to directly appoint his replacement, with which the balance shifts.

In his campaign, Elder has bluntly said that it is time for Feinstein to retire so he can name a Trump player in his place.

Justifications

One of the main arguments of the Republicans to remove Newsom It is their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with respect to the closure of businesses, suspension of school classes, quarantine orders and mandatory use of masks and vaccination, an agenda that the most conservative have opposed .

“It is the argument of freedom from the state and the government. Democratic governors have the position of being more interventionist, and Republicans point out that citizens are losing rights and freedoms ”, political analyst Octavio Pescador, professor at UCLA (University of California – Los Angeles) and commentator on CNN en Español, tells El Comercio.

Despite Newsom's popularity in California, his leadership of the state has not been without criticism.  PHOTO Bloomberg
Despite Newsom’s popularity in California, his leadership of the state has not been without criticism. PHOTO Bloomberg

But the complaints of many citizens also point to the high payment of taxes, the rationing of water due to droughts, the continuous forest fires and the economic aid to undocumented immigrants.

This in addition to a multi-million dollar fraud scandal at the state unemployment aid agency, and the scandal that caused the assistance of Newsom to a dinner in a luxurious restaurant at a time when he had ordered the population to stay home because of the pandemic.

“There are some visceral arguments, such as that the governor is arrogant, that he has surrendered to the interests of the unions and organized groups that do not represent all the citizens, or that he was linked to a Democratic elite that supported Harvey Winstein. (the once powerful Hollywood producer denounced for sexual abuse), ”says Pescador.

Revocation of Newsom It could spell the end of his political ambitions, as many already see him, at 53, as a potential presidential candidate.

California is the most populous state in the country, with almost 40 million inhabitants.  Furthermore, only the state represents the fifth largest economy in the world.  (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)
California is the most populous state in the country, with almost 40 million inhabitants. Furthermore, only the state represents the fifth largest economy in the world. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

The fate of the Democrats

“A resounding victory for Newsom will give him a boost already Biden. But the elections are more important for the Democratic Party than for Newsom ”, Fisher says.

The analyst explains that California, like New York, are the states that contribute the most money to Democrats thanks to the donations received during the campaigns.

“That is the importance of hitting California, because if the Republicans get to Newsom they demoralize the party and take away the possibility of obtaining funds for contests in the rest of the country. The party does many events in the state because they raise a lot of money, and it is convenient for them to maintain the governorship. If a Republican comes to office in California, it will be easier for them to restructure the demographic advantage that Democrats have. “, he comments.

If the Democrats lose a status like California It also hits them in terms of mobilizing the electorate: “Support for the party would be compromised. Biden has an important support here, and if he loses his re-election in 2024 it will be difficult ”.

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