Opinion | Gavin Newsom and the Revenge of California’s ‘Anger’ Lobby

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The political universe has been transfixed by what could happen to California’s governor on Tuesday: A special election may throw Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom — who won his last election with a decisive 62 percent of the vote — out of office and replace him with a right-wing radio host supported by just a small fraction of Californians.

While late polls say it’s unlikely, that possible outcome would be the result of a Rube Goldberg process where voters first decide whether to keep the governor or not (it’s a simple yes-or-no question on the ballot); and then, if “yes” wins, choose his replacement from a list of 46 — that’s forty-six — candidates to replace him. Whoever gets the most votes from that crowd becomes the new chief executive.

Right now, talk show host Larry Elder leads that group with around 20 percent.

The specifics are almost perverse.

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