California Recall Opponents Warn We Might All Die If Newsom Gets Ousted
The latest political ad in California attempting to discourage voters from recalling Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t just suggest people will suffer if the governor is ousted, it outright says so.
“What’s at stake in the September 14 recall?” the ad opens. “It’s a matter of life and death.”
Looks like Newsom’s side has realized that voter apathy might bounce him out. Early confidence that Newsom’s numbers were high enough to weather this political storm has faded as polls show undecided voters increasingly turning against him, which makes turnout a bigger factor.
California is overwhelmingly run by Democrats and far more voters are registered as Democrats than Republicans. But polling shows a nearly even chance of Newsom getting recalled not because he’s losing the support of his own voters, but because they’re telling pollsters they’re not as likely to vote.
Thus the warning: Vote against the recall or people will die. The advertisement leans heavily into the friction between Democrats and Republicans in terms of COVID responses and support for related lockdowns and mandates. It suggests Newsom’s directives have helped to protect the state, also noting that he has ordered vaccination mandates for health workers and teachers. Then the ad argues that Republican recall frontrunner Larry Elder (they don’t say his name, but they use his image and one of his tweets) would get rid of mask and vaccine mandates “on Day One.”
The ad seems to be trying to frighten apathetic Democrats into voting to protect Newsom, because of his importance in fighting the pandemic. But the oppressive mandates that weren’t tied to the scientific understanding of COVID’s spread, and his own flouting of those guidelines, means his credibility has taken a hit. If Newsom hadn’t made a mockery of his own lockdown demands by having a fancy dinner at French Laundry with lobbyists, would Republicans have gotten enough signatures for the recall?
Beyond the comically extreme fearmongering, a secondary line of attack outside of these campaign ads has involved questioning the legitim
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