OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – With two weeks to go until the recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom was in the Bay Area to make his case. Meanwhile, experts are saying turnout and enthusiasm will likely be key in determining if Newsom will get to keep his job.
In Oakland on Tuesday, Newsom touted the state’s vaccination program and his handling of the pandemic.
“We have broken now 80% of eligible Californians having received at least one dose,” Newsom said.
The embattled governor also took a jab at his political opponents.
“I want to remind people that we have the power of choice here in California — to walk down a path where we’re ideological and political about our approach to helping keep people safe or continuing down the path that we’re on here in the state of California,” Newsom said outside a vaccination clinic in the East Bay.
With the recall just two weeks away, a steady stream of voters showed up in person at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters’ office in San Jose.
“I wanted to go to the Registrar of Voters’ here to make sure my vote will be counted,” said a man who decline to give his name after dropping off his ballot in person this afternoon.
Newsom is only the second governor in California’s history to face a recall election, following Gray Davis in 2003. His political fortunes have risen and fallen with frustration over pandemic lockdowns and with the resurgence of the virus itself.
“I would not want to bet my life as to which way this election is going to go,” said Jim Pitkin after voting in-person. Pitkin said whichever side does the best job marshaling the enthusiasm of their supporters will likely come out on top.
It’s not clear who will emerge from a crowded field of candidate if the recall does succeed.
Former San Jose City Councilman and political strategist Johnny Khamis said that has some reluctant to endorse the recall even if they’re not pleased with Newsom’s leadership.
“I have people in my own family who are hesitant about voting yes in the recall because they’re unhappy about the candidate field that they have because no one’s really emerging as a good candidate for them to vote for,” Khamis told KPIX 5.