Hopefully — hopefully! — the massive number of mail-in ballots that counties have already begun processing will yield results Tuesday night that will put this recall to bed, one way or another... but more than likely one way.
The last thing any of us needs is another close election, and there are enough signs and polls to indicate that this will not be close. An errant poll in July that set the pro-Newsom camp scrambling may not even have been the slightest bit reliable, and since then things have mostly confirmed what we said all along — it will be very tough for Newsom to lose this thing in such a deeply blue state.
Some voters just needed to be scared into realizing that we could have anti-mask, anti-abortion Republican in the governor's office if they didn't vote.
The FiveThirtyEight's polling average still has the "No" side 16 points ahead of the recall proponents, which is a solid cushion for Newsom that should make up for any polling errors. Also, the state remains very heavily Democrat, and about 43% of mail-in ballots from Democratic voters have already been returned — leading to former Newsom campaign manager Addisu Demissie to tweet confidently that Newsom should sail to victory.
Also, as analyst Ryan Matsumoto noted, as of September 12, the percentage of returned ballots from Democratic voters overall was higher than at the equivalent point in the 2020 election, indicating high turnout for the recall.
🚨Our polling averages for the California recall election are final and no longer updating. https://t.co/IQugCqohJ4 pic.twitter.com/t5kr68ae0V— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) September 14, 2021
52.48% of returned ballots in California right now are from registered Democrats.— Ryan Matsumoto (@ryanmatsumoto1) September 12, 2021
This is HIGHER than 52.36% at an equivalent point of the 2020 election cycle.
The CA recall electorate is shaping up to be pretty similar to the 2020 presidential election electorate.
Anything is, of course, still possible, but as the New York Times notes today, statewide polling in California tends not to be too far from reality, and there was no state in either the 2016 or 2020 election where the polls were off by 16 points. The only states where polls tended to be very off — Wisconsin and Maine — are states with very high populations of white working class people without college degrees, which California is not.
Also, as the Times notes, the FiveThirtyEight has been pretty dead-on when it comes to California — the site had Biden winning by 29.2 points in the state, and that is exactly how many points he won by last year.
So long as the numbers show an insurmountable loss for the "Yes" side by later Tuesday evening, we should have an answer before tonight, or at the latest by Wednesday morning.
If things turn out surprisingly close, we could be waiting weeks to know if Newsom stays in office — with mail-in ballots still able to be counted if they arrive within a week.
Also, the longer this drags on, the more fodder there will be — and airtime on Fox News — for former President Trump, Larry Elder and the conspiracy ilk to cast doubt on the election process. So let's pray for a swift victory.
The polls close tonight at 8 p.m. Don't know where your polling place is in San Francisco? You can find that here.