Former President Barack Obama Is helping California Gov. Gavin Newsom by asking residents to reject the recall in a new TV ad released Wednesday.
The former president is the latest Democratic politician to back Newsom. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Vice President Kamala Harris have come to the governor’s defense in recent weeks as next week’s recall election could mean the end of Newsom’s term.
“You’ve got a big choice to make by September 14. Governor Newsom has spent the past year and a half protecting California communities. Now Republicans are trying to recall him from office and overturn common-sense Covid safety measures for health care workers and school staff,” Obama says, with an image of Larry Elder, Newsom’s leading Republican opponent, and former President Donald Trump flashing on the screen.
Obama’s words are not unlike Newsom’s messaging around the illness that is quickly heading towards a death count of 700,000. Newsom is running against Caitlyn Jenner and Elder, who said one of his first actions would be to roll back many of Newsom’s COVID-19 mandates.
Elder, who was forced to leave a tour of homeless encampments in Venice by its residents earlier this week said Democrats are “scared to death” of losing the election.
“They know they are in trouble,” Elder told reporters on Tuesday. “They know that Gavin Newsom can’t defend his record on crime. They know he can’t defend his record on how he ignored science and imposed all sorts of mandates that he didn’t abide by himself. They know that he is unpopular.”
Polls show Newsom’s popularity in the race has been growing. According to the Public Policy Institute of California released last week found 58% of likely voters plan to vote “no” on recalling Newsom. 39% of registered voter plan to vote “yes”
So far, far more Democrats have returned mail-in ballots than Republicans. CNN reports 53% of the 6.4 million ballots that have been returned so far have come from Democrats, while 25% have come from Republicans.