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Tue Sep 14, 2021, 10:30 PM

The California recall may backfire on its supporters [View all]

(CNN)The closely watched California gubernatorial recall election on Tuesday is poised to send precisely the opposite political message that its proponents initially intended.

It was a strong gust of discontent in the state's most conservative regions last year over Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's stringent measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic that allowed the recall to qualify for the ballot at all. But now a swell of support in the broader statewide electorate for the more recent steps Newsom has taken to combat the Delta variant outbreak -- particularly the vaccine mandates he's imposed for educators, health care workers and state employees -- has positioned him for a potentially resounding victory, according to the latest polls.

Recall proponents had hoped to demonstrate the political potency of the backlash against tough Covid regulations and discourage other states from implementing them; instead, the race now seems more likely to embolden Democrats in California and beyond by documenting the existence of a new "silent majority" of vaccinated Americans ready for tougher measures against the minority of adults who have resisted the shot.

"What we were able to do is take the governor's clear national leadership on vaccine mandates and drive it as the core contrast in the election," says Sean Clegg, a strategist for the Newsom campaign. "I hope what we've shown Democrats ... is to embrace [mandates] as a partisan question, put up our dukes and get Republicans on the wrong side of the fence on this thing."


The GOP needs to get out more and quit sniffing each other's farts.

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