LOS ANGELES – California voters have rejected a transfer to unseat their governor in a recall election, a hardly ever used provision of direct democracy in some 20 U.S. states.
As the poll depend continued Wednesday, practically two-thirds of voters had rejected the recall effort, and Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, turned again 46 challengers in an election the place former President Donald Trump was an unseen participant.
Democrats urged a “No” vote on the recall, however Newsom mentioned Tuesday night time at a victory celebration that the outcome was an affirmation of his and his celebration’s values.
“We said yes to science. We said yes to vaccines. We said yes to ending this pandemic,” he mentioned.
Newsom’s main challenger, conservative radio host Larry Elder, a Republican, mentioned COVID-19 precautions equivalent to masks and vaccines needs to be voluntary and never mandated by politicians. That view disturbed voter Alice Frankston.
“COVID is quite real, and we’re not done with it yet, and we need to keep with the fight,” she advised VOA after voting “No” on the recall.
As early voting was below approach Monday, President Joe Biden campaigned in California towards the recall and Elder.
“He’s the clone of Donald Trump,” Biden mentioned of Elder at a Newsom rally in Long Beach. “Can you imagine him being the governor of this state?” The partisan crowd yelled, “No.”
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics on the University of Virginia, mentioned that for Democrats, dislike of Trump grew to become a robust motivator in voting down the recall.
“I think what the California result proves is that Donald Trump is still toxic to Democrats, and using Trump as a campaign issue will produce lots of Democratic votes,” he mentioned.
But Democrats had been fearful, as Republicans rallied round Elder over dozens of rival candidates, mentioned analyst Shannon Bow O’Brien.
“They brought big-named national Democrats out to rally the troops. I think that betrayed that they considered this a serious threat,” mentioned O’Brien, an affiliate professor of authorities on the University of Texas at Austin.
In addition to showcasing Biden, Democrats aired anti-recall advertisements from main celebration figures, together with U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Some ongoing points harm Newsom, together with California’s excessive crime rate and rising homelessness, prompting voters like Roger Neal to assist the recall.
“I’ve been living in Southern California for 40 years … and I just think that we need new leadership,” he mentioned.
Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco and a former lieutenant governor, will face voters once more subsequent year in an everyday election for a second four-year time period. Elder, as he conceded defeat Tuesday, advised supporters and reporters that the struggle was not over.
“We recognize that we lost the battle, but we are certainly going to win the war,” he mentioned.
It will probably be an uphill fight. Nearly half of California voters are registered as Democrats, whereas fewer than one-quarter are registered as Republicans.
And California’s Republican Party is shifting away from reasonable voters, mentioned Sabato.
“What we’re seeing here is a party that has moved to Trump and to the right so far that they can’t win statewide elections in California,” he mentioned.
Khrystyna Shevchenko of VOA’s Ukrainian Service contributed to this report.