California Recall Results Show Pandemic Still Top of Mind for Voters – and Republicans Are on Defense

On the heels of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s landslide victory — which overwhelmingly reaffirmed voters’ support for President Biden’s and Democrats’ leadership in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic — it’s clear Democrats are on offense. 

On Tuesday, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, voters rejected the GOP’s anti-science denial of the pandemic and their subsequent refusal to address it, instead supporting a leader who has put tackling the pandemic and rebuilding the economy at the forefront of his agenda.

Defeating the pandemic and getting our economy back on track remains voters’ top priority, and Republicans’ failure to address either is a major vulnerability heading into the 2021 and 2022 elections. But don’t just take it from us — keep reading to learn more about how Democrats’ landslide victory this week should have Republicans on their heels. 

The Washington Post: Emboldened by recall win, Democrats brush aside talk of unity and escalate attacks on Republicans

“Democrats have been sharpening their attacks on Republicans over the pandemic, former president Donald Trump and other polarizing topics, and now, emboldened by victory in California’s recall election, party leaders are seeking to further escalate hostilities ahead of the midterm elections.


“‘The contrast is going to be clear as we move into 2022,’ Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison told reporters Wednesday. ‘The contrast between folks who are card-carrying members of Trumpism and folks who are Americans through and through and are fighting for this country.’”

The Hill: Top Democrats tout California recall with an eye toward 2022

“Top Democrats are touting California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s victory in Tuesday’s recall election as a harbinger of what’s to come in the 2022 midterms when the party will have to defend its narrow House and Senate majorities.

“In a Wednesday morning call with reporters, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said Newsom’s win underscored their party’s greatest hope heading in next year’s midterm elections: that voters will deliver a sweeping rejection of the GOP under the continued influence of former President Trump.”

Associated Press: 5 takeaways after California governor handily defeats recall

“Republicans intended the recall to be a referendum on Democrats’ rule of California, and the homelessness, crime, high housing costs and energy problems that accompanied it. But in a bit of political maneuvering — and with the help of the spreading delta variant — Newsom turned it into a referendum on Republicans’ opposition to precautions against the coronavirus.

“The Republicans running to replace Newsom opposed mask and vaccine mandates, and the California governor was happy to highlight that. Newsom aired an ad calling the recall ‘a matter of life and death’ and accusing the top Republican candidate, talk radio host Larry Elder, of ‘peddling deadly conspiracy theories.’”