MEMO: Failed Republican Recall in California

September 15, 2021
TO: Interested Parties
FR: The Democratic National Committee
RE: Failed Republican Recall in California

Last night, California Governor Gavin Newsom overwhelmingly defeated Republicans’ attempt to recall him in a race that became a “referendum on pandemic management.”

In a landslide, voters rejected the Republican Party’s anti-science denial of the pandemic sweeping the country and their subsequent refusal to address it, rejected Republicans’ disproved conspiracy theories about our elections, and rejected Republicans’ unwavering loyalty to the man who caused it all — Donald Trump.

This result was a win for the bold agenda put forth by President Biden, Governor Newsom, and Democrats in Congress to crush the pandemic, get the country back on track, and build our economy back better.

Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic remains voters’ top concern:

  • Exit polls showed COVID-19 was the most important issue in this race, with a third of voters saying it is the biggest challenge facing the state. Voters also overwhelmingly said that they support Democrats’ measures to protect public health by requiring masks.

President Biden’s and Governor Newsom’s handling of the pandemic is popular with voters: 

  • President Biden campaigned in California on the eve of the recall election, highlighting the “life and death” choice facing voters between Democrats’ strong leadership on the pandemic and Republicans’ failures.
  • Last night’s results prove that the president’s message resonated, and voters overwhelmingly support his plan to crush the virus and get our economy back on track.
  • This comes as multiple polls released this week have shown that the vast majority of the American people support the president’s plan to defeat the pandemic.

Voters rejected Republicans’ reckless policies that would prolong the pandemic:

  • Republicans tried to make this race a referendum on Governor Newsom and Democrats’ handling of the pandemic. It backfired.
  • Leading Republican candidate Larry Elder’s promotion of dangerous misinformation on vaccines and the virus put him out of step with the vast majority of California voters.
  • In rejecting the recall, voters made it clear last night that courageous leadership and science matters. While President Biden and Governor Newsom have demonstrated that leadership, Republicans have repeatedly failed to do so.

Republicans’ failed leadership on COVID-19 is a key issue in races around the country:

  • In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe has put his plan to defeat the virus and strengthen the economy at the center of his campaign. Meanwhile, GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin has followed Republicans’ reckless playbook of opposing vaccine mandates and masking in schools.
  • In 2022 battlegrounds, Republicans have perilously staked their political futures on opposition to President Biden’s popular plan to defeat the virus.
  • In competitive House districts, Republicans are recklessly promoting lies and prolonging the pandemic, turning off moderate and independent voters.

The bottom line: Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the economy back on track remains voters’ number one priority, and Republicans’ failure to address it remains a major vulnerability headed into the 2021 and 2022 elections.