September 16, 2021
General News

The California recall and its very real political consequences, explained

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a No on the Recall campaign event with Vice President Harris on Wednesday in San Leandro, Calif. President Biden is set to campaign with Newsom on Monday.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

A rare event happens Tuesday in California. Californians will decide whether Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom should remain in office.

It’s just the second recall election in the state to qualify for the ballot, but the second in the past 20 years. That previous recall, in 2003, resulted in actor Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor.

A lot has changed since then on many fronts, but that it’s even happening in the first place — and who the leading Republican contender is — is an example of how politics has shifted in the state and reflects a national shift toward sharper partisanship.

The election will also have national consequences. A California governor could…

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