Washington, D.C. – With most polls showing California voters split evenly on the issue of whether Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsome should be recalled, a surprising endorsement in favor of his removal has the potential to tip the scales against him.
A video released Wednesday featuring former California State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero has the Democratic politician speaking out strongly against the embattled governor and in favor of his replacement by conservative commentator Larry Elder.
“Yes: I’m a Democrat. But the recall of Newsom is not about political party. It’s about Newsom,” Romero, who occupied the top job in the California State Senate from 2001 to 2008, said in her message which, presumably, is targeted at Democrats, independents, and Hispanics who the Elder campaign thinks can be persuaded to vote Newsom out of office.
“Our public schools need big change. I’m Gloria Romero; I was the majority leader of Democrats in the state senate. I believe in charter schools and school choice. So does Larry Elder — but not Gavin Newsom. He shut our public schools while he sent his kids to private schools,” Fox News reported.
The race is close. The website FiveThirtyEight, which has been tracking the polls since the beginning of the recall period, finds that “Keep” is narrowly ahead of “Remove,” 48.8 percent to 47.6 percent, well inside any potential margin of error.
Early voting in California has already begun. Romero’s endorsement may help Elder with support among Hispanics who, polling data finds, tend to be supportive overall of initiatives like school choice. Polls have show Elder with a considerable lead over the other 45 candidates on the recall ballot. Voters are being asked first to choose whether Newsom should be recalled and, if a majority opt for “Yes” then the leading vote-getter among those vying to replace him will become the state’s next governor.
Peter Roff can be reached at RoffColumns AT GMAIL.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeterRoff.