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Polls open in California for recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom

California Recall Gov. Gavin Newsom
Posted at 10:01 AM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 10:01:18-04

Polls have opened in California's second-ever recall election, one that could determine the political fate of current Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

California voters on Tuesday will be faced with two questions: 1.) Should Newsom be recalled, and 2.) If he is recalled, who should replace him? If more than 50% vote for Newsom's recall, the top vote-getter in response to the second question will be named California's new governor.

Heading into Tuesday's vote, polling shows that a majority of Californians believe that Newsom should keep his job. In addition, early voting and mail-in voting numbers — votes which tend to lean Democrat — appear to be higher than expected.

However, Thad Kousser, a political science professor at UC-San Diego, told Scripps station KGTV in San Diego that Republicans could still possibly pull ahead.

MORE: Everything you need to know about California's recall election

"What we saw in the 2020 election is that Republicans in California now prefer to cast their ballots in person," Kousser said. "So, as these vote centers have been opening up over the weekend and through election day, I think we'll see the next group of voters coming in more strongly Republican."

Newsom rallied supporters on Monday night, and President Joe Biden joined the governor and delivered a campaign speech. According to The Sacramento Bee, Biden warned supporters that Larry Elder, the conservative talk show host that polls show has the best chance to replace Newsom in the event of a recall, is a "Trump clone."

"I'm going to make this as simple as I can, you either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor, or you'll get Donald Trump. It's not a joke," Biden said, according to the Bee. "In Gavin, you have a governor who shares the state's values; in Gavin, you have a governor to make sure Donald Trump's dark, destructive, divisive politics never finds a place in California."

According to NBC News, Elder has already taken a page out of Trump's playbook and has been stoking fears of widespread voter fraud before polls even close. Despite offering no proof of widespread fraud in the state, Elder has published a form on his website where he asks supporters to submit suspected instances of voter fraud.

According to The New York Times, polls in California will close at 8 p.m. PT. Given the high amount of mail-in ballots, it's unclear when results will be published.