Former CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democrat Voters Weigh in: Gavin Newsom Will Be Recalled

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Governor who benefited from the 2003 Gray Davis Recall took to POLITICO to weigh in on the 2021 Gavin Newsom Recall.

Arnold Schwarzeneggar rode his name recognition, close ties with the Kennedy family (he was married at the time to Maria Shriver), and his ability to deliver a message all the way to Sacramento; and he did it for two terms.

But Schwarzenegger, 73, warns that there are plenty of similarities between California’s history-making populist movements nearly two decades apart, and that elected officials ignored them at their peril.

“It’s pretty much the same atmosphere today as it was then,” Schwarzenegger, the 38th governor of California, said in an interview this week. “There was dissatisfaction, to the highest level. And it’s the same with the momentum. Something that sets it off to a higher level, kind of the straw that breaks the camel’s back … like an explosion.”

In his first-ever interview on this year’s California recall drive, which is expected to be certified soonthe Republican former governor tells POLITICO that the same voter frustration and yearning for effective leadership and post-partisan cooperation are still clearly at play in the nation’s most populous state — and offers Newsom some advice on what may lie ahead.

Here is the kicker from the article. Schwarzenegger, who used to be a reliable Republican stalwart, had this to say:

The Republican party is, like I have said, dying at the box office. This is the crazy thing here, when they say it’s a “power grab” of the Republicans. Let me tell you, the [California] Republicans couldn’t even get anyone elected. It’s ludicrous — the Republican Party doesn’t exist. These are the signatures of the ordinary folks that have signed on.

Yet, Newsom is still insistent that the Recall is a partisan coup attempt. Los Angeles Times is now touting a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California that says the majority of “likely” voters oppose the Gavin Newsom Recall.

A majority of likely California voters would keep Gov. Gavin Newsom in office if a recall election were held today, according to a new poll conducted as vaccinations in the state increase and the Democratic governor ramps up his campaign to fight the effort to remove him.

Among the 1,174 likely voters surveyed by the Public Policy Institute of California, 56% said they oppose the recall and 40% support it, with the remaining undecided. More than three-quarters of likely voters said the worst of the pandemic is over.

PPIC is basing its assessment on just over 1,000 people who claim they would vote, when the over 2 million signatures of people who are registered and actually do vote say otherwise.

It’s almost laughable what reliable water carriers both the L.A.Times and PPIC are.

The Times also spoke with Newsom’s newest spokesperson, Dan Newman, and it is as expected:

“Newsom has never had a majority disapproval,” Newman said.

Interesting political spin and phrasing. Newsom has never had majority approval either. What’s Newman’s point exactly?

Newman said the poll results were largely in line with an earlier survey that found only about one-third of voters support a recall.

Also fascinating spin. Since 12 percent of signatures of the voting constituents are all that is needed to trigger a recall election. So, it doesn’t matter whether someone signed the Recall petition or not, the sentiment that Newsom needs to go is still very much the driving force, and that is not expected to diminish, no matter how well the vaccine rollout is going.

What re-opening will first reveal is how much damage was done as a result of Newsom’s arbitrary, capricious, incompetent leadership. Those things will only add fuel to the fire.

The Desert Sun did a piece that further debunks Newsom’s claims that the Recall is a Republican-mounted effort, with fringe groups like Q-Anon and the Proud Boys leading the charge. It also diminishes this L.A. Times sunny overview of the PPIC polling.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is framing the burgeoning effort to remove him from office as a fringe Republican movement backed by right-wing extremists, Trump supporters and QAnon conspiracy theorists.

But Newsom isn’t telling the whole story about who supports his recall.

Democrats and independent voters — who together dominate the state’s electorate — have also signed the recall petition, motivated by frustration with Newsom’s response to the covid-19 pandemic. Even Californians who helped elect Newsom to his first term in 2018 are angry over prolonged school closures, the whipsaw of business closings and openings and closings, vaccination chaos and turmoil at the state’s unemployment agency — which has been plagued with fraud, website failures and devastating backlogs that have left legions of residents without benefits.

“I’m not anti-mask, I’m not anti-science,” said Hastin Zylstra, 34, a Santa Ana Democrat who owns a laundromat and voted for Newsom in 2018. He signed the recall petition earlier this year, in part because he feels Newsom hasn’t done enough to help struggling small businesses.

“It sucks to be lumped into a group of white supremacists and anti-mask Republicans when a few months ago I was text-banking for Joe Biden and helping in the Georgia runoffs,” he added. “It feels a little bit like a knife in the back.”

A knife in the back. Doesn’t sound like waning sentiment to me.

Another registered Democrat voter, who didn’t sign the Recall petition still feels betrayed.

“I would vote for another Democrat over Gavin, of course I would,” said Mara Kolesas, 51, a Berkeley mother of two who voted for Newsom and didn’t sign the recall petition but believes he has failed students. “He had an opportunity to lead, but he’s putting politics and labor unions above kids.”

The L.A. Times ends with this unicorn fart:

The poll was conducted as more Californians have gotten vaccinated and schools have begun to reopen — crucial aspects of a return to some level of normality in the state and Newsom’s ability to beat back a recall.

Lead proponent for Recall Gavin 2020 Randy Economy issued this salvo:

Dream on, L.A. Times and PPIC. We may be open, but we want better governance.