Will Newsom Survive the Recall? Experts Weigh In

By Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.
June 9, 2021 Updated: June 9, 2021

As California’s gubernatorial recall takes shape, officials weigh in on the possibility of an early election and the chances of Gov. Gavin Newsom being removed from office.

Rescue California campaign manager Anne Dunsmore said she expects Newsom to call the election for August, when many Californians will be distracted by the reopening. She said if he waits any longer, voters could become angry at the newly implemented policies he’s due to sign in September.

“I think he’s going to call the election for August next week,” Dunsmore said.

She said Newsom has been working to provide Californians with good news, such as the state’s June 15 reopening and a lottery to incentivize residents to become vaccinated. If he waits until fall to hold the election, she said, joy over the reopening could be replaced with frustration over possible blackouts or inflation.

According to election officials, the gubernatorial election is expected to cost about $400 million.

“You want to talk about a $400 million special election?” Dunsmore said. “I say it’s worth it. Cut your losses. … They’re going to raise prices on energy. We’re going to have a low food supply, so that’s going to go up. The cost of living here could double by the time we hit November.”

When the election does happen, Californians will be asked to vote on whether Newsom should be recalled and, if so, who should replace him.

With multiple candidates campaigning to run against the governor, one political analyst said the chances of him being ousted seemed slim.

“It looks pretty unlikely that Newsom will be removed,” political poll strategist Dan Schnur told The Epoch Times. “Right now, he’s in a strong position. Primarily because of the timing and when the recall qualified, the pandemic was at its worst, and the state was suffering very badly.

“As the world has begun to reopen, voters aren’t as angry as they were earlier this year. … Californians were very angry about the way the state was handling the crisis, but as things have gotten better, a lot of those emotions have subsided.”

Craig Keshishian, former White House polling analyst under the Ronald Reagan administration, said the recall would likely be strategically held during the fall.

“This upcoming recall election … will fall short of the mark,” Keshishian told The Epoch Times. “Too much has elapsed. … The COVID virus will be in the rearview mirror by that time in November. The inconvenience they suffered, all of us last year, will probably be forgotten as people resume their normal daily lives.

“I think Newsom will win. I don’t think Newsom will even have to worry about being recalled. I think the recall effort will fail. He gets to run against these other fellows, and he’ll beat them.”

Other political strategists have said Republicans will have to step up their game in order to successfully unseat the governor.

“Gavin Newsom is a political Houdini—he almost always manages to narrowly escape his deserved political fate,” former California Republican Party spokesperson Jennifer Kerns told Politico.

California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said in a May 14 press release that Newsom was attempting to buy his way out of the recall with budget promises. Those efforts, she said, would fail.

“The only credit he and Democrats deserve is for California’s shuttered businesses, sky-high unemployment, deteriorating unemployment, shrinking population, devastating homeless crisis, and [a] failing education system that is punishing students and parents through its union-first virtual schooling,” Millan said. “With a recall looming, Governor Glitz is desperate to say and do anything to save his job, hoping that Californians fall for his political rhetoric and hollow promises.

“Californians’ memories are long, however, and Republicans will help ensure he is held accountable for his dismal performance and replaced with a true leader who will put California back on track.”

Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.