Newsom Is Weaker. Too Late For GOP?

The crime issue is teed up for her — and would be for GOP gubernatorial aspirants if they hadn’t buried the ball in the rough last year.

To use a golf analogy, the ball’s teed up for the Republican Party to contest Gov. Gavin Newsom. But it already swung weakly last year and shanked to the right.

There won’t be a mulligan — no do-over — on the foolish recall attempt that Newsom crushed by about 24 percentage points.

“After the recall, the ball’s definitely lying in the deep rough,” says Republican consultant Rob Stutzman, an avid golfer.

Newsom should be vulnerable on the issues of crime and homelessness, two separate polls showed this week. But there doesn’t appear to be a competitive Republican candidate around to take a good swing because the party wasted its shot in the recall effort.

Former San DiegoMayor Kevin Faulconer was warming up to challenge Newsom’s reelection bid this year. The Republican moderate theoretically could appeal to Democratic centrists, as he did in San Diego. But Faulconer felt compelled to enter the recall race and got swamped by right-wing talk show host Larry Elder.

Many Democratic voters ignored the contest to replace Newsom if he was recalled, leaving the irrelevant choice mainly to Republicans. And they overwhelmingly preferred the conservative who advocated zero minimum wage, opposed abortion rights and suggested that descendants of slave owners be paid reparations for loss of their ancestors’ property.

Elder was the showcase Republican. And his far-right positions probably tarnished the party image even further among Democrats and independents.

Faulconer lost to Elder by 40 percentage points. And that most likely cooled investor interest in helping to finance another Faulconer gubernatorial bid.

Elder quickly decided not to run again this year. But Faulconer has been seriously considering it, assessing whether he can raise enough money to be competitive. He probably can’t. But if the awful campaign grind is bearable, he might as well take a swing.

Newsom already has $25 million stashed and has unlimited potential for raising all he desires from interests, especially after his recall romp.

March 11 is the deadline for entering the race.

Right now, state Sen. Brian Dahle, a former Assembly Republican leader, is considered the GOP front-runner. He’s a good legislator who could handle the governor’s job, a likable seed farmer from the state’s northeastern corner.

But Dahle is little known outside his isolated district. And it’s very doubtful he’ll have enough money to get known.

Underlying the GOP’s debilities, of course, is its small voter registration that has plunged over the years. Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2 to 1 in California.

But ordinarily with poll numbers like Newsom’s, even a Democratic governor would be sweating.

After several years in relative political dormancy, except as a sentencing reduction issue for Newsom and other liberal Democrats, crime has resurfaced as a hot campaign topic. It could affect state and local races — from governor to mayor and district attorney — in California and across the country.

A poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times found that registered voters’ approval of Newsom’s job performance has plummeted from 64% to 48% while disapproval has climbed from 36% to 47% since September 2020.

Those figures make things look worse for the Democrat than they probably are. Since the recall election last September, his approval has dipped only 2 percentage points and disapproval has risen 5.

But voters are unhappy with Newsom’s handling of crime and homelessness. When people get angry about crime, as happens cyclically, it historically has benefited law-and-order candidates, mainly Republicans. And we may be there again.

Only 20% of surveyed voters believe Newsom is doing a good job on crime, while 51% think he’s doing a poor job.

Worse, just 11% say he’s doing a good job on homelessness, an issue Newsom owns after all his rhetoric and the billions the state has spent trying to get people off the street. A whopping 66% says he has done a poor job.

“The homeless issue is out of control,” Newsom told reporters in May 2019. “It’s a stain on the state of California.”

In February 2020, he devoted his entire State of the State address to homelessness. Unprecedented.

“The public has lost patience, you have all lost patience and I’ve lost patience,” he said.


Click here to read the full article at LA Times


  1. Eleanor Howard says

    The California Republican Party, led by the hapless Jessica Patterson, is why we are in this mess. I have as much chance of winning as any other Republican running.

  2. It’s really hard to compete with the money injected into campaigns from CALSTRS, CALPERS, Reed Hastings, George Soros, the Facebook Boys and the other State employees (UC, etc). They own the State legislature and Newsom and will protect him. How else can CALPERS pensions be over 400k? The average Californian has no clue who the real players are.

  3. Agree with Eleanor Howard.

  4. Daniel Wright says

    There was a good candidate for the recall last year in Larry Elder but with 20 other Republicans running he had no chance. Also,with ballot harvesting being legal in Ca. even if he were alone he wouldn’t have had a chance. Newsom was hugely unpopular yet won the yes or no question in a landslide. Trump wasn’t the only victim of fraud.

  5. How amazing to watch Slick and his self inflicted wounds getting away with it.

    Now he wants to sue firearms manufacturers……. To stop the pandemic of shootings and killings in the “minority” neighborhoods you have to go after the current power structure that encourages anti US activity and begs for more welfare.

    When you hear on TV a black Bishop of a popular almost all black church, state he would fight against the lighter skin persuasion people from going into his neighborhood to intimidate black voters you know the fix is in.

    That fix is not for white types. The fix it is to maintain the power and money of the bigots of the black community have been getting that continues their prejudice. Get rid of that and there goes the neighborhood.

    Elections? Why are not the Dem’s fighting against this type of actions by Slick? Because of the above type of power structure. The millions will not flow and the power of the Dem gated communities will evaporate.

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