The funny thing about California’s recall election is its sad build-up. There were occasional mentions that Governor Gavin Newsom was polling well but, overall, the media conveyed a sense of dread. Going in to the September 14 election it seemed very very likely that California’s Democratic governor would lose the Republican-led recall attempt.
The serious air time given to the Republican Party’s chorus of election fraud — even before the first ballot was cast — created a surreal sense. Everything seemed to suggest that America and a section of its voters was willing, nay happy, to refuse to accept the election results if they lost…and that would be that. That Trump’s Big Lie would become California’s organic lived truth.
After Mr Newsom won, and convincingly, the story clearly is the rejection (by a bigger section of voters) of the Trumpian trend to challenge the results of any election lost by a Republican. Though the Republican Party seems to increasingly believe in this consensus, more voters aren’t buying it than are. What this means for the Republican Party needs to be explored and in granular detail.
California matters. The recall election was, as others have pointed out, the first big contest since the Delta variant caused a spike in coronavirus cases. And it’s the first big election since Trump’s Big Lie was told and repeated ad nauseum.
The result: the Republicans didn’t even win Orange county!