Gavin Newsom makes final push as California votes in recall election

Gavin Newsom is making one last push to prevail in California’s upcoming gubernatorial recall election, with Joe Biden scheduled to join the governor on the campaign trail in southern California.

With just one day to go before the recall race concludes, Newsom appears to be in a strong position.The latest surveys indicate that the effort to unseat the embattled governor is struggling, with recent surveys showing Newsom with a double-digit lead. Some antsy Republicans seeking to replace the governor – including his frontrunning challenger, the radio host Larry Elder – are already bracing for defeat by spreading false conspiracy theories that the election is rigged.

Biden, who is stopping by Idaho and northern California on Monday to tour areas devastated by western wildfires, will spend the evening with Newsom in Long Beach for a get-out-the-vote rally to encourage voters in the largely Latino neighborhood to cast their ballots against the recall.

Although polls appeared neck and neck in the weeks leading up to the election, they appear to have trended in Newsom’s favor in recent days. The governor, who has characterized the choice between him and Republican challengers like Elder as a “choice about life and death”, has aimed to rev up Democrats by warning that while he has made mistakes, his challengers – who have vowed to lift pandemic restrictions, including mask and vaccine mandates – would cause a public health disaster.

The stakes of the recall – which will determine who will lead the most populous US state, with the nation’s largest economy, are indeed high, political experts say.

The special election in the Golden state has in many ways “become a national election” – a microcosm of broader partisan issues and a testing ground for what might come next year, said Mindy Romero, the founder of the Center for Inclusive Democracy, a non-partisan research organization.

A decisive victory for Newsom could help Democrats in California and nationally shore up support ahead of the midterm elections, Romero said. But anything short of assured success for the Democratic governor in deep-blue California could provide Republicans with ammunition to characterize their rival party as ineffectual and unpopular.

Elder, whose early, meteoric rise appears to be fizzling out, held a news conference with the actor Rose McGowan on Sunday, who accused the governor’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, of trying to bribe her to prevent her from revealing allegations against Harvey Weinstein. A spokesperson for Siebel Newsom had denied the allegation.

As mail-in ballots and early returns are tallied ahead of election day, Elder has also asked supporters to report “anything suspicious”, as Fox News hosts and Donald Trump fueled the false narrative that voter fraud was rampant.

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