Californian Democrats are beginning to think the unthinkable

Ballots to recall California's governor, Gavin Newsom. will start being mailed out beginning on August 16.  The two-question ballot asks one "yes/no" question and one multiple-choice question.  The first question is whether the voter wants to recall Gavin Newsom.  The second question, which is open even to those voters who do not want to recall Newsom, is who should replace him in the event that the recall is successful.  Whoever is elected will have only a short time in office before going before the voters again in November 2022.  What's worrying leftists is that there seems to be a real possibility that Larry Elder might win.

The problem for Democrats is that there's no serious Democrat politician on the ballot in answer to question 2.  Instead, there are multiple people who are single-issue...er, eccentrics.  For example, there's Holly Baade:

Holly Baade, a self-described shaman, yoga instructor and life coach based in Fairfax, will be among the 46 candidates vying to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom in the Sept. 14 recall election.

Baade said she supported the idea of recalling Newsom from the first, but when she took a look at a list of prospective candidates to replace him, she didn't see anyone she could support.

"So I felt a little dispirited. I felt a sensation of disappointment," Baade said. "Then all of a sudden in that same moment, I felt this welling up in my heart. My own heart told me in ways that hearts can whisper, something very soft but also strong, that I could run and that I should."

In some respects, Baade has something to offer, because she's a vaccine skeptic and is seeking innovative ways to do business.  In her case, she's excited about "private member associations," which are groups of people voluntarily engaging in activities otherwise prohibited by law.  In other words, Baade is on her way to becoming a libertarian but still thinks she's a Democrat.  It's hard to imagine a broad base of support for her particular brand of politics.

The problem for the Democrats is that, as noted above, there are 46 people vying for the governorship.  Additionally, writes Eric Ting at SFGATE, "there are no elected Democrats at the bottom of the ballot this year, with YouTuber Kevin Paffrath emerging as the only Democrat who has polled over 1%."

The Newsom team is urging Democrats to vote "No" for the recall and not even to think about Question 2.  The reason for this is to avoid having Democrats randomly pick any Democrat other than Newsom to fill the top spot, thereby diluting the votes needed for a plurality victory.  However, Ting sees what's wrong with that strategy:

Of course, leaving question two blank would leave Newsom's replacement up to the state's Republican voters, who currently seem to be preferring conservative radio host Larry Elder. He led both an Emerson College/Nextstar Media poll and a Berkeley Institute of Government Studies/Los Angeles Times poll over the course of the past week, albeit at just 16% support and 18% support, respectively. The number of voters who were undecided on replacement candidates in the two polls was 53% and 40%, underscoring the volatility at the bottom of the ballot.

Elder, a frequent Fox News contributor and late entry to the race, is solidly conservative. While he has yet to offer many specifics regarding his policy positions, his campaign launch video feature pledges to revoke a statewide ban on cash bail, undo pandemic restrictions, roll back environmental positions and expand school choice programs.

The best that Newsom's team has been able to do to counter Elder is to say that he likes Trump.  However, more than half a year into Biden's administration, there are probably a lot of Californians with buyer's remorse, who look back on Trump's first term as a time of unprecedented prosperity.  Biden's term has brought inflation, border chaos, the threat of further lockdowns and mask mandates, and plans to force vaccines on people (something Blacks, especially, hate decades after the vile Tuskegee experiments).

The fact is that Elder is personable, intelligent, and ideologically consistent, and he represents a real change from the path down which Newsom was dragging California.  Former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is on the ballot, too, but he lacks Elder's name recognition throughout the state.  Moreover, this year, more than any other, voters may be seeking a genuine outsider.  Elder has never held office, but he knows how to use a pen and a phone, which is what's necessary to stop Newsom's draconian COVID orders, which are destroying the state.

(If you'd like to help Larry Elder, you can donate here.)

Image: Larry Elder’s campaign home page.

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