Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state elections. The biggest off-off-year election is the CA recall.
The campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom has turned into a money magnet — for Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Newsom’s anti-recall campaign raked in more money in its first five months — $54 million — than the $50.2 million his 2018 gubernatorial campaign raised over four years.
Most of the money came in six- or seven-figure donations from longtime Democratic financial backers, including government employee and trade unions, as well as people and interest groups that stand to gain from a relationship with California’s governor. Even allies of the governor have expressed concern about the amount of money flooding in.
Netflix co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings, a major supporter of charter schools, topped the list of individual donors with $3 million. The California Teachers Assn., which has clashed with charter school advocates for years, gave $1.8 million.
The Service Employees International Union and its local affiliates, which together represent about 700,000 members, including government employees, donated a combined $5.5 million to Newsom’s anti-recall campaign. Others in the $1-million-and-up club include associations representing California Realtors, home builders and Democratic governors.
Republican political consultant Rob Stutzman said the political calculus for writing big checks to Newsom’s anti-recall committee is easy to understand.
Newsom still is favored to defeat the attempt to remove him from office and to be reelected to a second term in 2022. Even if he is ousted, the odds are slim that a GOP candidate who takes his place will last more than a year in office in such a heavily Democratic state, Stutzman said. No matter the outcome of the recall election, California will have a gubernatorial election next year.