California Recall: Newsom urges supporters, ‘Polls don’t vote. People vote’

OAKLAND — In the final weekend before Tuesday’s recall election, a “hopeful” Gov. Gavin Newsom, buoyed by the latest polls, stopped in West Oakland on Saturday to urge union workers and other supporters to get out and vote.

The result, Newsom said, could have national implications and, he argued, be a “life-and-death decision.”

The rally comes a day after a poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies showed Newsom has turned the tide on what just weeks ago looked like a nail-biter of an election. Now, more than 60% of likely voters oppose the recall, the poll found, meaning Newsom is very likely to keep his job.

“Polls don’t vote,” Newsom warned Saturday. “People vote.”

Newsom’s campaign stop marked the final push of the recall campaign with some of the Republicans vying to replace the governor holding events in Southern California. His leading opponent, conservative radio host Larry Elder, attended a 9/11 anniversary commemoration in Fullerton on Saturday.

In a refrain he has repeated for weeks on the campaign trail, Newsom painted Elder as an extremist who would roll back mask and vaccine mandates, ignore climate change and threaten other progressive policies.

“Larry Elder doesn’t even believe in 15 cents,” Newsom told a crowd of SEIU paid caregivers and others gathered at the nonprofit St. Mary’s Center, referring to Elder’s opposition to a minimum wage. The union has been pushing for higher wages for its members.

Elder has shot back that liberal Democrats are on a crusade against Black conservatives.

Brenda Okoli, an Oakland caregiver, attended the rally and said she’s been working to get out the vote in favor of Newsom in part because he helped restore cuts made years ago to the caregiving program she works through.

Recall proponents, she said, “tried to sneak in the back door,” knowing they are unlikely to win in a regular election. In a recall, if more than half of voters say they want to get rid of Newsom, the replacement candidate with the most votes will win, even with a fraction of the overall votes.

DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 10: Gavin Newsom speaks during a rally at St. Mary’s Center in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2021. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group) 

Addressing the crowd before Newsom spoke, Okoli urged people to vote even if the polling appears to be in Newsom’s favor.

“Don’t go to sleep. That happened to us before,” she said, referring to Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Newsom said he was “hopeful” leading into the final stretch of the race, and encouraged by early returns of mailed ballots, which have favored Democrats.

Asked how much Elder joining the list of candidates running to replace him has helped Newsom’s own push to increase awareness about the election, Newsom said “I think people have certainly woken up” to Elder’s views, which he called “extreme even by extreme standards.”

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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