As we continue to battle to oust the Hair-Gelled One here in California, too many pundits and commenters are criticizing our state for being unable to put forth compelling Republican candidates. They say we deserve to “lose” this recall election because of it.
I think it is important to address two issues here that a lot of people don’t understand, and which are completely separate issues in this recall election. I’ve noticed a lot of people (including myself until quite recently) carry a lot of confusion about the process and that’s what makes it scary and frustrating.
So please allow me to explain:
1.The recall election is a simple up or down vote. YES or NO.
Outside of the very fair criticisms of California’s GOP, the recall election does not depend at all on a compelling candidate to succeed. A compelling candidate is helpful, and certainly makes the process easier, but the question on the ballot will not be, “Who would you rather be governor, Newsom or Caitlyn Jenner/Kevin Faulconer/Random Porn Star Who Runs Every Cycle.”
The ballot will be a simple “yes” or “no” question…what we often refer to in legislative politics as an “up or down vote.” There is a singular question at the top of the ballot to be answered:
Shall Governor Gavin Newsom be recalled from the office of Governor? YES or NO.
Here is a sample of the recall ballot from the last governor to be fired in this state, Governor Gray Davis.
This then leads to the second question on the ballot and the second phase of the process that many fail to understand.
2.Who should be governor if we fire Gavin Newsom?
The first is just a question as to whether or not we despise the governor enough to fire him. The second question asks us to decide who we would prefer to see elected in the event of his firing. The person with the most votes on question #2 is the new governor. It has nothing to do with a direct race. If Newsom is recalled, one of those people will be the governor, whether they get two votes or two million votes. As long as they get the majority for question #2 that person will win.
This article from Redstate’s Jennifer Oliver O’Connell illuminates the (French) laundry list of reasons Newsom has been grossly unpopular for quite some time.
Now, this isn’t to say that the California GOP doesn’t have a long, long, long, long, long, long, very long way to go in repairing their image in this state and making permanent inroads. The list of current Republican candidates is not that inspiring, to be sure. This is one recall election, but if we want to have any chance at combatting the political insanity in this state, the state and national GOP need to start sinking a lot more resources into longterm plans for persuasion and campaigning. The GOP in California has traditionally been led by career politicians and the consultant class who have been perfectly fine with being the “loser opposition” in the state. There’s a lot of money to be raised on the back of that.
“Oh, if we just had another $5 million we could beat the Dems once and for all!”
Wash, rinse, repeat.
There are people working to change the state party and that work shouldn’t be ignored. But it is what it is right now.
We can’t let the current state of the California GOP discourage us from changing the current state of the governor’s office. At this one moment in time, we do not need them to be inspiring. We only need enough people to tick the “NO” box on the ballot.
Governor Newsom has managed to change the state law yet again in order to move the recall election up. This is after he indicated he’d be pushing it as close to the end of the year as possible. One of the reasons for the change in strategy is that he knows a lot of people aren’t informed about the ballot process and he wants to capitalize on the ignorance. He’s hoping many voters will stay home because they’re discouraged by the lack of compelling opposition.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Essentially our ballot is two votes, but the first vote counts the most. Do we want Governor Gavin Newsom to continue serving the state of California?
To that, the answer must be a clear and resounding NO.
*The recall election still has hurdles, mostly financial. If you’d like to support efforts to get volunteers on the ground to educate and advocate, consider going to Recallgavin2020.com to see how you can help.