California’s gubernatorial recall has been a stomach-churning political roller coaster ride for Gov. Gavin Newsom — one that looked at the start like a longshot, and even a crazy impossibility, in the deep-blue state.
But the drive, started last year by determined conservative activists, beat the odds and turned into a very real and very expensive drama that has dominated California’s political landscape for months, from the big cities to the Central Valley.
Conservative radio host Larry Elder’s rise to the top of a field of 46 candidates turned the election into a real fight, forcing the Democrats to drop big money and bring in marquee names to ensure the governor’s survival.
Newsom is looking confident lately, with a variety of polls showing him with a double-digit lead against the recall in the final days. But it wasn’t always that way.
In a state that has been slammed by homelessness, rising crime, raging wildfires and exorbitant housing prices, Newsom’s performance had been under intense scrutiny when 2020 arrived. Then came Covid-19 and the closures of public schools and many businesses, which angered many Californians and put Newsom on defense.
Volunteers took to