California’s Recall is About Gavin Newsom: Not the Democratic Party

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readAug 24, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s main vulnerabilities in the upcoming recall have nothing to do with his political party.

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. June 1, 2019. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

When deep-blue California overwhelmingly elected Governor Gavin Newsom in 2018, he received almost 62% of the vote. His victory was classified as a landslide by no less a historical authority than Wikipedia itself.

That was 2018; furthest antiquity for California residents who feel as if they’ve endured a lifetime of trials in the scant three years since.

Many Californians are asking one question, and those who aren’t will soon be giving their answer anyway:

What has Gavin Newsom done for California lately?

Gavin Newsom- once popular Governor, prominent face of the Democratic Party, prominent force in the California Democratic Party- is now a facing a serious recall effort.

Initially written-off as Republican wish-casting, the Newsom recall effort- and the growing likelihood of its success- have become a matter of gravest concern for Democratic Party officials at the highest level in California and beyond.

Newsom’s situation has become so dire, the L.A. Times contorted itself into a rhetorical pretzel over the weekend calling Newsom’s main challenger- African-American conservative radio personality Larry Elder, who hails from Compton- the “Black Face of White Supremacy”.

Democratic Party leaders are, to their credit, standing behind Gavin Newsom. But the fact that Newsom is facing a serious recall effort at all seems like reason enough for some Democrats to start panicking about 2022. In California, registered Republicans comprise only about 24% of the population.

Considering this, moderate Democrats and Independents certainly seem to be turning on Gavin Newsom. But are they really turning on the wider Democratic Party he represents?

If Newsom loses, it may indeed have far-reaching consequences for the whole Democratic Party, including the policy goals of the Biden Administrtion. Newsom himself certainly thinks so, and he is anxious to convince party leaders of the likelihood of this outcome.