The TAKE with Rick Klein
Mandates won out, at least for one night, and at least in one very big and very blue state.
Math also won, in ways that mattered for this race and that figure to dominate countless more in an era of fierce partisanship.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s laugher of a triumph over recall efforts represent a broad affirmation of his approach to COVID-19. Recall backers got the showdown they wanted but not the environment they banked on, not with 70% support for mask mandates in schools and voters adamant about not wanting to go backwards in fighting the pandemic.
Leah Millis/ReutersCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom, who faces a September 14 recall election, speaks during a campaign event at Long Beach City College Liberal Arts Campus in Long Beach, Calif., Sept. 13, 2021.
Still, it’s a fair bet that an election like this is hard to replicate in other states. That comes back to math, as President Joe Biden’s 56% approval rating among recall voters is not the reality in battleground states, and while California is the largest and among the most diverse states in the nation, it’s far from the most representative.
If running a campaign on coronavirus restrictions won’t work everywhere, running one against former President Donald Trump certainly won’t. Newsom’s declaration Tuesday night — “Trumpism is not dead” — could actually serve as a rallying cry in large swaths of the nation this year if not beyond.
All that said, timing matters in politics. Biden has gotten more aggressive in his COVID-19 response as of late, and it helps him and his party to be able to show and not just say that it can be a winning issue.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
After a nearly $300 million election, Newsom averted recall Tuesday. Despite his win, the California governor will be forced to stay on defense, as the clock ticks toward an expected reelection effort.
Newsom should expect a number of issues significant to state residents to undoubtedly reemerge in next year’s gubernatorial race. Among the issues that Newsom will still be forced to answer for, if he runs as expected, are crime, homelessness and the economy. He mentioned none of the aforementioned issues during his speech after staving off ouster.
“I’m humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercise their fundamental right to vote, and express themselves so overwhelmingly by rejecting the division by rejecting the cynicism. By rejecting, so much of the negativity that’s defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years,” he said.
David Swanson/ReutersPeople vote in the California gubernatorial recall election in Long Beach, Calif., Sept. 14, 2021.
According to exit poll data, about 6 in 10 voters described the cost of living in their area as “unmanageable” and the electorate divided evenly in rating the state’s economy positively or negatively, 50-47%. Additionally, only half of independent respondents voted “no” on the recall.
The figures should be a sign for Newsom and his team.
The TIP with Alisa Wiersema
Whoever becomes the mayor of Boston in November will make history as the first woman of color to win a campaign to lead the historic city. But while votes continue to be counted, interim Mayor Kim Janey already acknowledged she won’t be among the final contenders.
Janey — who made history in March as the city’s first Black mayor and first woman mayor — conceded defeat in a statement late Tuesday, according to Boston ABC affiliate WCVB. To compete in November, the sitting mayor would have had to be one of the top two vote-earners.
David Swanson/Reuters"I voted" stickers are seen during the California gubernatorial recall election in Long Beach, Calif., Sept. 14, 2021.
Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu came out on top, The Associated Press projected, and it’s still too early to call who her opponent will be. City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George is currently behind Wu in second. Fellow councilor Andrea Campbell, another early potential frontrunner, trails Essaibi George in third by less than 1,000 votes but also conceded Tuesday night. In her statement, Janey congratulated both Wu and Essaibi George.
Despite conceding she won’t make it across the finish line, Janey’s historic ascension to the mayor’s office was recognized in its own right by one of the women poised to keep campaigning into the fall.
“She has shattered a glass ceiling that was left intact for far too long,” Essaibi George said in her campaign remarks overnight. “Black women and girls have seen a reflection of themselves standing at the mayor’s podium.”
ONE MORE THING
President Donald Trump’s senior military adviser took secret precautions to prevent Trump from being able to launch a nuclear weapon or taking military action after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to a new book. Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president’s top military aide, feared that Trump could “go rogue” after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and worried that he could stoke military conflict to cling to power and derail the peaceful transfer of power, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write in “Peril.” https://abcn.ws/2YZiSaE
ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. In Wednesday morning’s episode, ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman explains Gov. Gavin Newsom’s victory in the California recall. Then, we get an inside look at how one Ohio children’s hospital is handling a surge in COVID cases among kids. And, ABC News’ Elizabeth Schulze reports on the decline in poverty after accounting for pandemic relief. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
FiveThirtyEight’s Politics Podcast. Tuesday is election day in California as Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a recall, only the fourth gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew checks in on the recall and other upcoming races and discusses how former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of one particular candidate is shaping the Wyoming primary. They also talk about surveys on Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social policy and climate change bill and whether they are a good or bad use of polling. Later in the show, FiveThirtyEight senior writers Maggie Koerth and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux come on to talk about President Joe Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate, how Americans feel about vaccine mandates in general, how effective they are and whether Biden’s is legal. https://53eig.ht/395ymf6
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