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2021 California gubernatorial recall election

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2021 California gubernatorial recall election

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County results

Incumbent Governor

Gavin Newsom
Democratic



Vote on recall
Results by county
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  Yes     No

The 2021 California gubernatorial recall election will be a special election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. It will be the second gubernatorial recall election in the state's history.[lower-alpha 1]

Background[edit]

California law[edit]

California is one of 19 states that allow recalls.[2] Under state law, any elected official may be the target of a recall campaign.[3] To trigger a recall election, proponents of the recall must gather a certain number of signatures from registered voters within a certain time period. The number of signatures statewide must equal 12 percent of the number of votes cast in the previous election for that office.[4][5] Based on the 2018 results, the 2021 recall petition required 1,495,709 signatures.[5]

When a recall petition against a statewide elected official meets the required number of signatures, a special election for the recall vote must be scheduled within 60 to 80 days.[6][7] If the petition qualified less than 180 days prior to the next regularly scheduled election, then the recall would become part of that regularly scheduled election.[8] In the case of a recall against the governor, the responsibility for scheduling a special election falls on the lieutenant governor,[9] which is Eleni Kounalakis.[7]

As previously done for the 2020 elections, the California state legislature passed a bill requiring all active registered voters be mailed a ballot for any elections held in 2021, which would include the recall.[10]

Newsom recall petition[edit]

Early in Gavin Newsom's tenure as governor, several recall petitions were launched against him, though they failed to gain much traction.[11] In June 2020, another petition was launched against Newsom, mainly for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] It was initially given a signature deadline of November 17, but it was extended to March 17, 2021, after a ruling by Judge James P. Arguelles.[13] The petition received the support of the California Republican Party,[14] former Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer,[15] and 2018 gubernatorial runner-up John H. Cox.[16] In February 2021, the Republican National Committee donated to the recall campaign and the Republican Governors Association had begun to commission polling involving prospective candidates.[17]

Throughout the majority of the petition's circulation, Newsom refused to acknowledge it when questioned by reporters.[18] His attendance at a private birthday party held at The French Laundry in November 2020, with no masks or social distancing in place, which violated edicts he had imposed due to COVID-19, was widely credited for the recall campaign's surge in support.[19] Rusty Hicks, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, attempted to link the recall campaign to that of the storming of the U.S. Capitol without evidence, calling it the "California coup".[18][20] The attempted connection drew bipartisan backlash, with Yashar Ali, Newsom's former deputy chief of staff, saying it was "absolutely insane to frame a recall where the voters go to the polls a coup".[20][21]

On February 9, 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated and later confirmed that the Joe Biden administration opposed the recall and was in contact with Newsom's office in regards to it.[22] Ten days later, the office of the secretary of state of California validated 668,202 signatures out of a sample of 1,094,457, with the recall campaign having a "relatively high" validity rate of 84 percent. To ensure a successful validation, the recall campaign sought to gather 2 million signatures.[23][24] The recall campaign announced that they had submitted 2,117,730 signatures on March 17.[25] By this point, Newsom acknowledged the recall, deriding it as a "partisan, Republican" effort and recruiting nationwide Democrats to help fundraise against it.[26][27]

Notable candidates[edit]

Democratic[edit]

Potential[edit]

  • Joe Sanberg, entrepreneur and investor[28]
  • Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles (2005–2013)[29]

Declined[edit]

  • Ro Khanna, U.S. representative from California's 17th congressional district (2017–present)[28]
  • Eleni Kounalakis, lieutenant governor of California (2019–present)[30]
  • Fiona Ma, California state treasurer (2019–present)[28]

Republican[edit]

Declared[edit]

  • John H. Cox, businessman and 2018 gubernatorial election runner-up[31]
  • Kevin Faulconer, former mayor of San Diego (2014–2020)[32]
  • Doug Ose, former U.S. representative from California's 3rd congressional district (1999–2005)[33]

Potential[edit]

  • Richard Grenell, former U.S. ambassador to Germany (2018–2020) and acting director of National Intelligence (2020)[34]

Declined[edit]

  • Caitlyn Jenner, television personality and former athlete[35]

Endorsements[edit]

Kevin Faulconer
State assemblymembers
  • Marie Waldron, minority leader of the California State Assembly from California's 25th State Assembly district[36]
  • Frank Bigelow, state assemblymember from California's 5th State Assembly district[36]
  • Jordan Cunningham, state assemblymember from California's 35th State Assembly district[36]
  • Megan Dahle, state assemblymember from California's 1st State Assembly district[36]
  • Tom Lackey, state assemblymember from California's 36th State Assembly district[36]
  • Devon Mathis, state assemblymember from California's 26th State Assembly district[36]
  • Janet Nguyen, state assemblymember from California's 72nd State Assembly district[36]
  • Thurston Smith, state assemblymember from California's 33rd State Assembly district[36]
  • Randy Voepel, state assemblymember from California's 71st State Assembly district[36]
State senators
  • Scott Wilk, minority leader of the California State Senate from California's 21st State Senate district[36]
  • Patricia Bates, former minority leader of the California State Senate and state senator from California's 36th State Senate district[36]
  • Brian Jones, state senator from California's 38th State Senate district[36]
  • Jim Nielsen, state senator from California's 4th State Senate district[36]
  • Melissa Melendez, state senator from California's 28th State Senate district[36]

Independent[edit]

Potential[edit]

  • Dwayne Johnson, actor and professional wrestler[37]

Declined[edit]

  • Chamath Palihapitiya, venture capitalist and engineer[38][39]

Polling[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Poll Dates administered Sample size Margin of error John H.
Cox (R)
Kevin
Faulconer (R)
Richard
Grenell (R)
Antonio
Villaraigosa (D)
Other Undecided Ref.
WPA Intelligence (R) February 12–14, 2021 645 LV ± 3.9% 31% 28% 41% [40]
WPA Intelligence (R) February 12–14, 2021 645 LV ± 3.9% 7% 16% 9% 35% 32% [40]

Newsom recall[edit]

Poll Dates administered Sample size Margin of error Support Oppose Undecided Ref.
Berkeley IGS Poll January 23–29, 2021 10,000 RV ± 2% 36% 45% 19% [41][42]
WPA Intelligence (R) February 12–14, 2021 645 LV ± 3.9% 47% 43% 10% [40]
Nexstar / Emerson College Poll March 12–14, 2021 1,045 RV ± 3% 38% 42% 20% [43][44]

Newsom approval ratings during recall circulation[edit]

Poll Dates administered Sample size Margin of error Approve Disapprove Undecided Ref.
Berkeley IGS Poll September 9–15, 2020 10,000 RV ± 2% 64% 36% *α [41]
Newsom is photographed at The French Laundry – November 6, 2020 (photos released November 17, 2020)[19]
Berkeley IGS Poll January 23–29, 2021 10,000 RV ± 2% 46% 48% 6% [41]
PPIC Statewide Survey January 21–31, 2021 1,703 LV ± 3.3% 52% 43% 5% [45]
Nexstar / Emerson College Poll March 12–14, 2021 1,045 RV ± 3% 42% 40% 18% [43][44]
Less than ½ of 1%

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. The first recall election was held in 2003 against Democratic Governor Gray Davis.[1]

Citations[edit]

  1. Navarro, Aaron (February 1, 2021). "Recall threats are common in California. But the latest one against Gavin Newsom might get further than most". CBS News. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. Bowser, Jennie (July 8, 2019). "Recall of State Officials". National Conference of State Legislatures. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Article II, Section 13 of the Constitution of California (June 8, 1976)
  4. Article II, Clause B, Section 14 of the Constitution of California (June 8, 1976)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Blankley, Bethany (January 5, 2021). "Newsom recall reaches 60 percent of goal over holiday with two months to deadline". Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Article II, Clause A, Section 15 of the Constitution of California (November 8, 1994)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Wilson, Reid (March 19, 2021). "What's next in the California recall". The Hill. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. Article II, Clause B, Section 15 of the Constitution of California (November 8, 1994)
  9. "Procedures for Recalling State and Local Officials" (PDF). California Secretary of State. January 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. Associated Press (February 16, 2021). "California OK's mailed ballots for 2021 as recall looms". KUSI-TV. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. Marinucci, Carla (December 16, 2020). "Long shot Newsom recall drive gets serious in California". Politico. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved December 16, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. Cillizza, Chris (December 15, 2020). "How it all went so wrong for Gavin Newsom". CNN. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved December 16, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  13. Stone, Ken (November 6, 2020). "Newsom Recall Drive Gets New Life: Signature Deadline Delayed to March 17". Times of San Diego. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved December 16, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. Marinucci, Carla (December 11, 2020). "Gingrich and Huckabee back Newsom recall effort". Politico. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  15. Sklar, Debbie (January 2, 2021). "Ex-San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Joins Effort to Recall Gov. Gavin Newsom". Times of San Diego. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  16. Sze, Kristen (February 18, 2021). "John Cox talks recall Newsom efforts, CA gubernatorial campaign". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  17. Isenstadt, Alex (February 11, 2021). "National Republicans dive into Newsom recall push". Politico. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Tapp, Tom (January 15, 2021). "California Governor Gavin Newsom Refuses To Address Recall Effort, Called "California Coup," During Press Conference". Deadline. Archived from the original on January 17, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Sources that reference Newsom's attendance at The French Laundry as a contributor to recall support:
  20. 20.0 20.1 Marinucci, Carla (January 13, 2021). "California Democrats try to tie Newsom recall movement to Capitol attack". Politico. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  21. Nichols, Chris (January 13, 2021). "No, Efforts To Recall California Gov. Newsom Are Not 'A Coup'". KXJZ. Archived from the original on January 14, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  22. B. White, Jeremy (February 9, 2021). "White House declares opposition to Newsom recall". Politico. Archived from the original on February 10, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  23. B. White, Jeremy (February 19, 2021). "Newsom recall drive faces tight finish based on latest California data". Politico. Archived from the original on February 20, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  24. Tapp, Tom (February 19, 2021). "Gavin Newsom Recall Effort Delivers 1M Signatures To California Elections Officials". Deadline. Archived from the original on February 20, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  25. Axelrod, Tal (March 18, 2021). "Newsom recall organizers submit 2.1 million signatures". The Hill. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  26. "California's Newsom blames 'anti-mask and anti-vax extremists' for recall effort, vows to fight". Fox News. March 15, 2021. Archived from the original on March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  27. Marinucci, Carla (March 15, 2021). "Warren, Sanders join Newsom to fight 'extremist' GOP recall". Politico. Archived from the original on March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Marinucci, Carla (February 18, 2021). "California Democrats scramble to fight Newsom recall, close ranks". Politico. Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  29. Kreutz, Liz (February 18, 2021). "'It will be a 3-ring circus' if recall election happens this year, CA political strategist predicts". KABC-TV. Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  30. Barrabi, Thomas. "California Lt. Gov. Kounalakis slams Newsom recall effort, says 'shameful' for any Dem to run to replace him". Fox News. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  31. Phillips, Morgan (January 30, 2021). "John Cox says he'll challenge California's Newsom if recall effort succeeds". Fox News. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  32. Marinucci, Carla (February 1, 2021). "Former San Diego mayor to officially launch GOP challenge to Newsom". Politico. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  33. Blood, Michael R. (March 16, 2021). "Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose enters California recall election". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 17, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  34. Isenstadt, Alex (February 5, 2021). "Big Trump donors converge on Newsom recall". Politico. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  35. Isenstadt, Alex (February 11, 2021). "Caitlyn Jenner bats down rumors she'd run for California governor". Politico. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  36. 36.00 36.01 36.02 36.03 36.04 36.05 36.06 36.07 36.08 36.09 36.10 36.11 36.12 36.13 "Majority of GOP State Legislators Rally Behind Faulconer for Governor". kevinfaulconer.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 5, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  37. Kiefer, Peter (February 23, 2021). "Is Gavin Newsom Blowing It?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  38. Ting, Eric (January 26, 2021). "Ex-Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya says he wants to run to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom". SFGate. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  39. Bursztynsky, Jessica (February 3, 2021). "Tech investor Chamath Palihapitiya says he's not running for California governor". CNBC. Archived from the original on February 4, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Wilson, Chris (February 15, 2021). "Newsom's Recall is About Newsom, Not Trump". WPA Intelligence. Archived from the original on February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 DiCamillo, Mark (February 2, 2021). "Voters now much more critical of Governor Newsom's performance" (PDF). Institute of Governmental Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  42. McFall, Caitlin (February 2, 2021). "Gov. Newsom's approval rating plummets as recall campaign heats up". Fox News. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  43. 43.0 43.1 Associated Press (March 15, 2021). "Exclusive poll: Californians split on Newsom as recall looms". KRON-TV. Archived from the original on March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  44. 44.0 44.1 "California Poll: Governor Newsom Facing Potential Recall". Emerson College. March 15, 2021. Archived from the original on March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  45. Bliss, Steven; Cook, Abby (February 2, 2021). "PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government, January 2021" (PDF). Public Policy Institute of California. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 4, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

Further reading[edit]

External Links[edit]


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