LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Frustrated California voters may have lost the battle to recall Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 14, but the war to unseat him in 2022 is just beginning.
Multiple outlets officially called the referendum on removing the governor a failure on Tuesday night, less than one hour after polls closed. Some California residents were stunned, but others said they are determined to use the power they amassed to create the recall to keep fighting to hold the governor accountable for his tyranny.
“The movement or the feeling out here is a very strong one of disenfranchisement, and the recall movement ignited a resurgence of people who just got up and said ‘Yeah, we can do something,” Chairman of the Conservative Party of California Jon Matthews said.
Los Angeles GOP executive board member Julie Haff told The Federalist that even though results indicate the governor will keep his seat, Newsom’s trust in his track record clearly faltered in a way passionate voters can still use.
“If he was so confident in the job that he’s doing, why did he need to have millions and millions of dollars spent on this? Why does he have to have [President Joe] Biden, [Vice President Kamala] Harris, and others come in and help rally for him? He should be able to stand the job he’s doing and feel confident with the job he’s doing,” Haff said. “He’s not talking about the job he’s doing, he’s talking about the Republicans. I don’t think he’s doing a good job and obviously, there are millions of other Californians that don’t feel like he’s doing a good job, because why would we be here today?”
Newsom and his national Democrat cronies framed the recall as a shallow effort by Republicans who are still operating under “Trumpism.” During a rally to keep Newsom in office in Long Beach, Biden compared leading Republican candidate Larry Elder to Trump.
“I’m gonna 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: "I'm gonna 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." pic.twitter.com/zLwK6FxRbB
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 14, 2021
On election day, Newsom, “who outraised his gubernatorial opponents by millions, lamented how the GOP is “literally trying to dismantle democracy.”
“They are quite literally trying to dismantle democracy and trust in this country… I’ll accept the will of the voters no matter what it is. Period, full-stop,” the governor said.
NEW: Just caught up with Gov. Newsom. Asked him about Larry Elder refusing to commit to accept the recall results.
"They are quite literally trying to dismantle democracy and trust in this country… I'll accept the will of the voters no matter what it is. Period, full-stop." pic.twitter.com/XaC4w6M6Ml
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) September 14, 2021
The Democrat governor repeated these talking points in his victory speech on Tuesday, which came less than one hour after polls on the West Coast closed.
“Just in the last few days, the former president put out, saying this election was rigged. Democracy is not a football. You don’t throw it around … we may have defeated Trump, but Trumpism is not dead in this country,” Newsom said
Gov. Gavin Newsom: "Just in the last few days, the former president put out, saying this election was rigged. Democracy is not a football. You don't throw it around … we may have defeated Trump, but Trumpism is not dead in this country." pic.twitter.com/cWg3QCvUqL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 15, 2021
Pinning the recall on partisanship instead of the real issues plaguing Californians such as homelessness, crime, wildfires, and overbearing COVID restrictions, Haff said, not only insults voters but overlooks the diversity behind the recall movement.
“I know a lot of friends and people that I know are independent and we even have some people that have called our office and they said ‘Where do I sign up to be a volunteer? I’m an independent but I don’t like the direction that California is going in and it’s not the state I recognize,” Haff said. “…This is a nonpartisan recall.”
Matthews, who moved to California in 1959, said the state has changed and it’s up to voters to change it back.
“It was the most Republican state in the union when I moved out here, and it has turned into the exact opposite,” he said. “And it’s only because of the apathy that has settled in so many voters. We’re still a pretty conservative state, it’s just those people aren’t voting and they’re not doing anything because they’ve just kind of given up. And so we’re just hoping that if we can maintain them or the morale and keep the movement going and keep building on it that perhaps by next year when the governor’s election comes up that we can make a mark.”
Elder is clearly a fan favorite among Californians hoping to unseat Newsom. The state’s passion for the Republican broadcaster, Matthews said, should be harnessed for the 2022 gubernatorial election.
“If we can get the governor and get the secretary of state out, those are the only two people we need to change in California to turn things around,” Matthews said.