President Biden will travel to California on Monday to campaign for Gov. Gavin Newsom, adding yet another volley of national Democratic firepower to the governor’s effort to beat back a Republican-led effort to recall him.
The president will appear with Mr. Newsom in Long Beach for a final rally as the recall winds down to a Sept. 14 voting deadline. Vice President Kamala Harris appeared with the governor in Oakland on Wednesday and former President Barack Obama recorded a campaign advertisement released this week.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar stumped for the governor over Labor Day weekend, and Senator Bernie Sanders is featured in a television ad that has been in heavy circulation throughout the state.
Throughout the summer, Mr. Newsom’s allies in California privately complained that national Democrats were not paying sufficient attention to a race that, though it initially had seemed a long shot, has nationwide implications. Just weeks ago, Mr. Newsom appeared to be precariously on the edge of being recalled, but polls and ballot returns now suggest he is pulling ahead.
According to Political Data, Inc., which provides election data, nearly a third of the electorate had voted as of Thursday morning — the result of pandemic voting rules that sent mail-in ballots to all 22 million active and registered voters in California. More than twice as many Democrats have returned their ballots than Republicans so far — although many Republicans may be waiting to cast their votes in person.
The governor has also struggled to connect with the state's large and growing corps of Latino voters, many of whom have said they are ambivalent about both Mr. Newsom and the Democratic Party. So far, just 20 percent of Latino voters have returned their ballots, compared with 36 percent of white voters.
Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach tweeted that he was looking forward to welcoming the president and the governor to his city on Monday. Mr. Garcia is the first Latino and openly gay man to lead the city of nearly half a million people and was tapped last year to speak to the Democratic National Convention.
Seeking to turn out the state’s massive Democratic base in an off-year special election, Mr. Newsom has portrayed the recall effort as one led by right-wing extremists seeking to seize power in the nation’s largest liberal stronghold. Luminaries in his camp have included not only nationally known Democrats, but also celebrities such as Katy Perry and George Lopez, who have reached out on their social media accounts.
He has found a rich target in the leading candidate to oppose him, the conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who has said employers should be able to ask women about their reproductive plans and has vowed to immediately lift all pandemic mandates if he is elected governor.
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