Newsom Recall Moves Relentlessly Towards Qualifying

With exactly one month left to gather signatures, the effort to force California Governor Newsom to fight for his political life in a special election appears on the verge of success.

Back in June 2020, against the advice of every political expert in the state, a group of volunteers began circulating a recall petition. The chances they would gather 1.5 million verifiable signatures were considered negligible. But they had several advantages previous volunteer efforts lacked.

For starters, the recall committee had access to thousands of volunteers who had already participated in an earlier effort to recall the governor. Before running out of time in February 2020, that recall campaign, while unsuccessful, had gathered over 350,000 signed petitions. That may not have been anywhere close to the number required, but was nonetheless an impressive achievement that required a well coordinated statewide effort.

When the new recall petition was approved for circulation in June, this army of volunteers was not only trained, but reenergized by Newsom’s response to the pandemic. His heavy handed approach, of dubious benefit, was added to a litany of preexisting complaints about his governance.

Another advantage this recall effort had was its skillful use of online resources. Even ten years ago, when smartphones were just beginning to become ubiquitous, these tactics could not have had the same impact. But by June 2020, it was possible to immediately offer virtually any registered voter a downloadable petition along with written and video information on how to print it […] Read More