Live by the ballot harvesting, die by the ballot harvesting: Democrats will mail ballots to the “unsophisticated” voters who most want Newsom gone.
I will start today’s analysis on the September recall vote that will decide the political fate of current governor Gavin Newsom with some anecdotal evidence.
The people in my neighborhood know I am a conservative activist via the work I do here or the various local talk shows I have been on. This week, on two separate occasions, friends who are “soccer moms” asked me for the status of the recall election was. Both are Democrats, with independent leanings. Both are furious at Newsom for his lockdowns and for destroying their children’s school experience.
They. Want. Newsom. Gone. And they will both crawl over broken glass to make sure they vote “Yes” on the recall.
It doesn’t matter who replaces Newsom. Neither woman cared. They both figured they would pick their candidate a little closer to the election.
New reports and analysis indicate that Newsom, indeed, is in trouble. To begin with, he is facing a “wall of apathy.”
Most worrisome for Democrats is the fact that the potential removal of Newsom has been met with a collective yawn by many voters in their party who have much more pressing concerns in their lives.
Poll after poll has shown feverish enthusiasm about ousting the Democratic governor among Republican voters. But despite near frenetic texting, emailing and breathless cries of ‘Stop the Republican Recall’ by Newsom’s forces, the Democratic base appears at most, uninterested.
“Oh, they want to remove him?” asked Christian Gutierrez, a young, registered Democrat in South Pasadena. And he is not alone. Despite television ads featuring Democratic stars like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren warning her party’s voters to pay attention and get ready to fill out their ballots, Democratic strategists are becoming increasingly concerned that a lot of voters will simply throw them in the trash because they don’t see the recall as a real threat — or don’t even know that it’s happening.
“They’re not focused on it,” said longtime California Democratic strategist Bill Carrick. “They’re happy about (President Joe) Biden. They’re happy about … having control of Congress, so they’re not coming down off that high to be depressed about a recall.”
“Turnout is a problem,” Carrick added. “If you’re a Democrat, it’s scary.”
Team Newsom shortened the campaign season to help his case. However, it may backfire as he now has a shorter period to inspire voters to his cause.
“Democrats have not had urgency, and that’s Newsom’s greatest challenge at this point,” said Democratic consultant Michael Soneff. “His ability to convince Democrats to return their ballot over the course of a month is going to make all the difference in whether or not he wins against the recall.”
And, per a great analysis of the current recall situation in Ace of Spades, the Democrats’ reliance on absentee ballots make backfire…bigly. It turns out that many Democrat voters who aren’t “sophisticated” enough to appreciate masking and vaccines want Newsom gone. (The complete analysis is a must-read; emphasis mine).
3) Absentee ballots statewide – This is the primary Democrat strategy in California now, send absentee ballots to every registered voter, then send out ballot harvesters to get them turned in with the “correct” vote filled in. But this time it might work against them. Newsom’s strong support is in the affluent professional districts that were going to turn out to vote anyway.
What they have done is send a lot of ballots to working class voters that were less likely to vote, but now might vote anyway. Democrats just made it easier for them to vote, and they are leaning hard toward voting yes on the recall. This is compounded by the short election cycle, it is harder to get the harvesters into the field, and it is harder to recruit them in the first place, since harvesters are in the demographic that wants to recall Newsom.
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