What to Look for in the California Recall Results

13 Sep 2021

CLAY: A lot going on this week in terms of politics. Maybe the most significant thing is the recall election. I say “maybe” because Congress is also back in session, and there are major decisions being made about what the Bernie budget is going to look like, how massive the tax increases are going to be, how many trillions of dollars more our federal government is going to outlay.

All of those things are being debated right now. But I think there’s an important story going on in California as it pertains to the Gavin Newsom recall effort, and also the rise of Larry Elder as the alternative to Gavin Newsom. Now, it’s worth mentioning: The state of California in 2020, Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden.

I believe the number was 63 to 37. So we’re talking about a deep blue state in California but there is so much angst, there is so much anger over the way that Gavin Newsom has handled covid. Over the fact that many of you who are listening to us right now in California, your kids were out of school for all of last year, remote learning.

The parks were closed down. They took rims off basketball courts. They filled in skate parks. They told you you couldn’t go to the beach. They arrested a paddleboarder out on the ocean in one of the extreme examples that went viral of California’s covid insanity. I don’t want to get too excited, Buck, about the idea of Gavin Newsom getting recalled.

Although I want to encourage all of you — and we’re gonna talk about this in the third hour — to make sure that you get out and vote for Gavin Newsom to be recalled in California, even though there are already, it appears, some shady shenanigans surrounding the recall vote. We’ll play some of that for you maybe in the third hour.

But I do think that even if Gavin Newsom isn’t recalled, the number to pay attention to is what the total vote to recall him is. I think you’re gonna see, Buck, a massive shift overall in the amount of people who voted against Donald Trump but are now going to vote in favor of the recall, maybe at minimum, a seven- or eight-point swing which is gonna be ominous to Democrats because California is their base; it is their deep blue bastion. If they’re in danger there, a lot of these swing states, a lot of these swing districts, major issues at play.

BUCK: Okay. So the polls show that he’s probably going to stay, unfortunately, which is annoying. But we’re hoping everyone turns out and votes and he loses and our friend Larry Elder would then most likely become governor, because you don’t have to get… You just have to be the next best option after the governor gets 50% of the vote in the recall situation.

So it would be great if Larry Elder became the next governor of California. Clay, to your point about how the numbers are likely or could play out in your prediction that we’ll see, certainly Newsom has lost support over the last year. That’s why this is happening. It’s a question of how much.

Whether that, though, translates into the Democrats feeling like their national party and congressional midterm prospects are in jeopardy for Gavin Newsom dining at French Laundry where there are photos being taken right after he shut down the rest of the restaurants in the whole state is…

My problem with the way California Democrats think — and it’s true of New York Democrats, too — is it’s never the ideas and the policies that have backfired so miserably. It’s always the person implementing them, right? It’s like, “Actual Newsomism, if you will, has never been tried.” That’s what it turns into, or actual Democrat policy hasn’t been tried. It’s Gavin Newsom.

CLAY: “We haven’t gone Dem hard enough. That’s the problem!”

BUCK: Exactly. They haven’t had a big enough, progressive enough state. But this is interesting. This was up on IndependentChronicle.com. “California Republicans told they ‘already voted’ when showing up to cast recall ballots.” This is from local media picked up by IndependentChronicle.com.

“Voters in the San Fernando Valley claim they were told they already voted in the gubernatorial recall election even though they had not. ‘I went to El Camino High School to vote…and she said, ‘You voted.’ I said, “No, I haven’t.” And she said, ‘This has been happening all morning.”‘ 88-year-old recall voter Estelle Bender told local media after finding out that someone voted in her name. Bender said she filled out a provisional ballot and ‘left really angry.'”

Clay we’re gonna have to watch this one very closely. I think that’s for sure.

CLAY: Well, and, Buck, first of all, if this is happening everywhere, we know that the fix is in based on the number of mail ballots that went out, right? We’re still allowing primarily vote by mail. That woman actually went into her precinct to cast a vote and told that reporter that they had her down as already voting.

They’ve issued a statement and said that these people filed provisional ballots. But what she said is where she lives in Orange County, it was happening all to the Republican voters who were going in, certainly Orange County is still a bastion in many ways of California conservatism. That’s why a lot of people flee L.A. County and move further south into Orange County.

This is, I think, something that is very, very significant. One of the issues with corruption, Buck… This is one of the things you learn in law school. It’s not only the corruption itself. It’s the appearance of impropriety, right, because it destroys the underlying faith in the action itself. And oftentimes, we try to protect not only from impropriety but appearance of impropriety.

Is there anybody out there who doubts now that our elections are significantly tinged with impropriety on a massive scale? I don’t think there’s a single person out there listening to us. When we look like a banana republic, and it takes weeks to figure out what the vote’s gonna be in Georgia or Arizona or Pennsylvania —

BUCK: Clay, there is an answer to this. You asked is anyone…? It always depends on the outcome, right? You have Democrats that tell you that any election they win the cleanest, fairest, best election imaginable. And any election they lose, magically — it’s amazing how this happens — was stolen by the Russians. “The Kremlin was hiding under their bed and some guy named Yuri was manufacturing votes for Trump!” That’s what they say.

CLAY: That’s why Florida, by the way, believe it or not — even with the craziness there — they fixed things after 2000, Buck. We knew immediately in Florida what the results were. These states are still a mess, and California is, too.

BUCK: They become a model for other states, but somehow also, Clay, Democrats always like — in Democrat states — very few safeguards and very messy elections.

CLAY: Lots of mail-in ballots. Probably a coincidence.

BUCK: You can say I’m a coincide theorist, but I think there’s something funky going on there.

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