- The Washington Times
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Hillary Clinton made a pitch Tuesday for California Gov. Gavin Newsom, urging voters in an Election Day message to reject the recall and sounding the alarm about a “dangerous Trump follower.”

“Californians—don’t sit out today’s recall election,” Mrs. Clinton tweeted. “Vote NO on Question 1 to retain Gavin Newsom as governor and prevent a dangerous Trump follower from taking leadership of your state.”

Mrs. Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential race to Republican Donald Trump, was presumably referring to Republican Larry Elder, the conservative Los Angeles radio show host who leads the field of 46 recall candidates.

Mrs. Clinton’s support comes the day after President Biden joined Mr. Newsom for an anti-recall event in Long Beach as prominent national Democrats rally behind the embattled first-term governor.

Polls for those who opt to vote in person are open until 8 p.m., but the outcome may not be known immediately because mail-in ballots need only be postmarked Tuesday, not received by elections officials.

About 8.7 million, or 39%, of the 22 million voters who received mail-in ballots had returned them as of Monday, according to Political Data Inc.’s special-election tracker.

The return rate for Democrats and Republicans was nearly equal: 43% of Democratic voters have returned their ballots versus 42% of Republicans, while 30% of independents have mailed back theirs.

Given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 2 to 1, however, that means twice as many Democrats have voted by mail. More than 4.5 million Democrats have returned ballots versus 2.2 million Republicans, the tracker showed.

The two-part ballot asks voters first whether they support recalling Mr. Newsom, and second, which recall candidate they favor. The second question only comes into play if a majority supports the recall.

Polls show support for the recall fading in the last few weeks, with a majority of those surveyed now opposing Mr. Newsom‘s ouster.

The Democrat Newsom is the second California governor to face a recall. In 2003, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was recalled and replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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