California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday defeated a pandemic-driven recall effort after spending weeks warning that the nation’s largest state was at risk of falling into Republican hands.
The prospect of recalling Newsom once appeared to be a political fantasy, but conservative foes harnessed frustration with the Democrat’s Covid shutdown orders to qualify the election. Newsom raised some $70 million and enlisted national Democratic figures like President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders to ensure supporters turned out to vote.
The governor now enters the final year of his first term in a position of strength. Republicans’ failure to oust Newsom in an off-year special election fueled by conservative grievances suggests they face an uphill fight to defeat him next year.