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Jonathan Bernstein

California Recall Flashes Danger Signs at Republicans

Stolen-election fantasies are likely to demoralize GOP voters, and the party’s embrace of candidates as radical as Newsom’s main challenger just narrows its base.

Feeling blue.

Feeling blue.

Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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California Governor Gavin Newsom has survived the recall effort against him, and while the votes are still being counted, it wasn’t close. Nor is the result much of a surprise. California is about as solidly Democratic as it gets, and there was no particular reason for Democrats to turn against the governor. The fact of the recall was more a function of the state’s terrible Progressive-era laws than it was of discontent with Newsom, and once the campaign started, it wasn’t hard for the governor and his party to overcome any lack of enthusiasm Democratic voters may have felt toward the incumbent by reminding them how much they dislike former President Donald Trump’s Republican Party.