Governor Gavin Newsom came out swinging Monday against those pushing vaccine misinformation and contributing to vaccine hesitancy, lumping them in with the Republicans who have pushed for his recall and the batshit wing of the party like Marjorie Taylor Greene. But the recall may be gaining some steam as we enter the final phase before the special election, with Newsom haters potentially a lot more motivated to go the polls than the majority of California voters who still support him.
A new poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times finds that among voters who say they are likely to vote in the September 14 recall, 47% favor recalling Newsom, while 53% say they'll vote 'no.' That four-percentage-point difference is not as secure as Newsom's camp would like it to be, especially when polling is also finding that registered Republicans in California say they're more likely to vote in September by a significant margin than Democrats or Independents.
A whopping 90% of Republicans expressed a high interest in the recall, but that drops down to 58% of Democratic voters and 53% of Independents.
When asking registered voters overall whether they favor recalling Newsom or rejecting this effort, the numbers are largely unchanged since the early spring, with 51% opposed, and only 36% saying they'll vote 'yes.'
This clearly leaves the Newsom camp needing to shift to a voter turnout effort, because the more of those registered voters show up to the polls on September 14, the more likely this thing is to go down in flames.
Also, this thing had better fail because none of the 42+ candidates running to replace Newsom is going to delight anyone or succeed in running this very complex state any better — with the person polling the highest being Larry Elder, a Black Republican/libertarian who doesn't believe in the minimum wage and who thinks that welfare programs are to blame for too many Black children born out of wedlock.
Newsom may be stepping up that effort to motivate his base with comments he made on Monday. Speaking at a news conference in Oakland, as Bay Area News Group reports, Newsom said in response to questions about vaccine misinformation, "Let’s call it out. There’s been a right-wing talking point here. And it’s overwhelmingly coming from certain networks. … Including, by the way, the folks that are behind this damn recall in California. These are the exact same people describing mask coverings as the equivalency of the Holocaust."
Newsom went on to repeat similar remarks on CNN and MSNBC on Monday, and he escalated a Twitter war with Marjorie Taylor Greene, calling her anti-vaccine rhetoric "murderous."
Disgraceful? Here's a word -- murderous.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 26, 2021
Your anti-vaccine lies are literally killing Americans. Your own supporters are following you off a cliff and into the ICU.
Come clean about vaccines -- they save lives. https://t.co/pJjlzJ3TVJ
As Bay Area News Group notes, the campaign strategy appears to be intended to fire up Democratic supporters at the risk of alienating moderate voters and those who remain vaccine-hesitant — which could further impede the late-stage vaccination push across the state.
Fox & Friends already clutched their pearls this morning, balking at a comparison that Newsom made between drunk drivers and those who refuse to get vaccinated.
"You know, I have a real problem with anybody forcing vaccinations through shame," said Fox Nation hose Tomi Lahren. "I think it's going to have the unintended consequence of actually pushing more people away from vaccination, which is not their goal." She then went on to blab about our state being full of "criminal aliens" and calling Newsom "felon coddling," so... this should be productive.
Top image: California Governor Gavin Newsom attends California Governor Gavin Newsom's press conference for the official reopening of the state of California at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 15, 2021 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)