Speaking as a current Californian, I wouldn’t treat the recall as a done deal. Far from it.
Democrats have a huge organizational advantage that they can use to rig elections (think of the 2020 presidential race as the Californication of national elections) and a pretty big cultural advantage.
Newsom has bet that he can counter his unpopularity in the state by nationalizing the election. It’s why his ads don’t tout his accomplishments. Not only because they don’t exist, but because the state machine has put all of its money on turning this into a national race so California voters don’t think about what a mess the state is.
Newsom’s biggest ad used to feature Elizabeth Warren decrying Texas. A newer ad features Bernie Sanders. Neither of them are especially pleasant, but they make Newsom seem personable by comparison.
And Newsom is also targeting the lefties who are likeliest to turn out, to counter conservative turnout.
But what about finding some national figure who isn’t just an aspirational American version of Stalin?
Kamala Harris’ Bay Area rally for Newsom is back on again after being canceled due to the inconvenient Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
The obvious problem here is that Kamala is unpopular. So is Newsom. Can two unpopular California machine politicians help each other?
Kamala’s approval numbers are actually worse than Newsom’s.
Maybe Newsom should be campaigning for her?
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