(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) Results from a poll published by the Public Policy Institute of California Wednesday indicate that roughly 39 percent of likely voters, the majority being Republicans, plan to vote "yes" on the Sept. 14 recall that would remove Gov. Gavin Nesom.
Comparatively, the poll indicates that roughly 58 percent of likely voters would vote "no." These results mirror the numbers from similar polls in March and May, pointing to relatively stagnant support for the Republican-led recall.
The numbers do point to a possible missed solution from the Democratic governor, who campaigned to the progressive left of his thus far center-right policy proposals.
In 2018, during his initial campaign for Governor and in the midst of growing Golden State sentiment for a more equitable healthcare system, Newsom supported Medicare for All. At a gathering of nurses in Sacramento, Newsom said, in part, "We will have Medicare for All ..."
He similarly vowed to fix the "inefficient and wasteful" combination of private insurers with a single, state-funded program.
“I don’t know how to do it, because it’s never been done. But I believe it can be done. And if any state can prove it, we can,” he told CalMatters at the time. “I’m willing to tackle this."
Despite the promises, Californians are no more equipped to deal with insurance woes than we were during his campaign. While failed campaign promises are nothing new, especially in Califonia politics, this case presents a good example of the unwillingness among Democrats to energize the young, mostly left-wing of California politics.
In early April, the California legislature saw an opportunity to approve a single-payer healthcare system in the form of AB 1400. The bill failed to it through the Assembly Rules Committee and became essentially shelved until January 2022, at which point the state legislature can revisit it, kill it or amend it.
Notably, while the paperwork for the sixth official recall attempt was finalized in 2020, the media coverage and signatures needed to trigger the election were not gained until April of this year.
This fortuitous timing for Republicans could have been easily, if not quickly, circumvented by Newsom's camp had the governor loudly come out in support of AB1400, a policy supported by the majority of the public.
Unfortunately, Newsom let the chance pass him by and now faces Republican challengers like Larry Elder who seeks to privatize what's left of California's social safety net.
Had Newsom's camp taken the recall challenge seriously, they would have leaned in, or at least gestured toward, that young and energetic left-wing that was so convenient during his campaign. They did not, and it may cost him.
While the polls indicate Newsom will survive this recall, it serves as an example for young voters of what California Democrats are afraid of. It's not so much the hard-charging civil liberties right-wing as much as the young left-wing that scares the Golden State's majority.
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