Newsom or a New Someone?

By Hailey Abdilla

September 14, 2021 may prove a fateful day for Californians as the recall election of Gavin Newsom takes place. According to recent polls taken by CBS News, about 48% of Californians voted to recall the governor, whereas 52% voted to have him replaced.  However, very few polls regarding the recall have been published, leaving many in the dark regarding Newsom’s stance in California’s politics. The last time a California governor was recalled was in 2003 when Gray Davis was replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger, highlighting the regular feature turnout advantages for Republicans when it comes to recall elections in California. If enough people vote “yes” on recalling Newsom, he will be replaced by one of the top candidates. First up is Republican John Cox, who has little political experience and opposes mask mandates and vaccine requirements. However, the leading opponent of Newsom appears to be Larry Elder, who is a conservative talk show host and an attorney. Elder also opposes mask mandates and vaccine requirements as well as minimum wage, cashless bail, and defunding the police. Elder also has stated that he plans to suspend the California Environmental Quality Act in order to combat the affordable housing crisis and homelessness that is surging across California. One more candidate running against Newsom who has gained some traction is Caitlyn Jenner, but she has been labeled as an illegitimate candidate. Jenner has said little about her plans of action and proposed policies, but she does favor a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants living in California and wants to make changes to environmental regulations. Anger against Newsom arose early last year as many Conservatives in California became upset with Newsom’s policies, which was only exacerbated by Newsom’s implementation of mask mandates as well as his past shutdowns of businesses and schools. While most polls maintain that Newsom will not be recalled, the margin of error is minuscule, and Newsom has reason to be worried. If Newsom is recalled, the polls report that Larry Elder is most likely to replace him. Only time will tell if California will decide to elect the first conservative governor since 2011, or if Newsom will hold onto his position after all.