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August 10, 2021

Gavin Newsom will lose the California Recall Vote [Dave in Fla]

Ha! We'll see. - Dominion

I said vote, not election, you tiresome overused stinky sock.

The California Recall System

Ace posted on August 6th about a new poll from Survey USA showing Newsom is in trouble in the recall election. In the comments it was obvious that a lot of people don't know how this election works and are making uninformed assumptions about expected results.

On September 14th, California will hold a special election. There will be a single topic on the ballot, whether or not to recall the governor.

The ballot has two questions:
1) Should Governor Gavin Newsom be recalled?
2) If the governor is recalled, who will fill out the rest of his term?

If 50%+1 votes are received with a "yes" on question 1, then Gavin Newsom is no longer the governor. His name is not allowed to be listed as an option for question 2, even as a write-in. The person who will serve out the rest of his term is the top vote getter from the 46 names that are listed in question 2. Even if the top vote is 18%, the most votes wins. There is no runoff.


Newsome is in Trouble

If Newsom is in trouble in California, it shows you how deeply unpopular, at a core, lockdown policies really are nationwide. Because that is the most favorable audience for a lockdown in the country. - Robert Barnes, Civil Rights Attorney

I started paying attention after listening to Richard Baris and Robert Barnes discussing this on their "What are the Odds" YouTube broadcast on August 2nd. They were digging into the poll conducted for the LA Times by UC Berkeley. Barnes started the subject by saying that he had changed his mind on the recall election after digging into the crosstabs of the Berkeley poll. He noted that Newsom was doing very badly in key demographics. For example, "keep him" leads by 16 points among Hispanics, where that lead should be 40 points. Newsom's support among blacks is under 80%, a serious warning sign. Newsom also is being supported in only two geographic regions, Los Angeles metro and west side, and the Bay area. He is losing in the Central Valley, Orange County, Inland Empire, San Diego, and North California. Even the very wealthy areas of the Central Coast are only barely in favor of keeping Newsom.

Survey USA released a poll last week that showed an even more dramatic result, with recall winning 51-40 among likely voters. This poll asked for vaccination status, and found that among those vaccinated, recall wins by 4 points, but among the unvaccinated recall is winning by 40 points (67-27).

Problems with these polls

I wrote last year about polling mode problems. The Berkeley poll is a perfect example of a flawed mode that results in a biased result. Their methodology was to send 5700 email requests to participate in a survey. They received 3200 responses that were then included in the poll. While 3200 is a decent number, the methodology alone is highly skewed toward young, urban, professional class respondents. It's been shown that work from home liberal women flock to this particular methodology. This mode always ends up with results that are skewed toward liberal upper middle class, the exact demographic that supports Newsom and Lockdown Theater.

Survey USA suffers from the age-old problem of small sample size. They only have 613 likely voters in their final numbers. This makes their result showing Newsom losing by 11, suspect. There were only 25 blacks in their likely voter pool. The non-white sample size is too small to be valid and doesn't track with the Berkeley results.

2020's Most Accurate Pollster

Baris has been separately polling congressional districts CA-16 through CA-21, which span the central part of the state, especially Fresno. When he looked into his data, he saw some very bad numbers for Newsom in this portion of the state.

CA-21 is a Mexican American district in the central valley. It is generally a 50/50 district, and the current representative is David Valadao, a Republican who voted to impeach Trump. While Valadao won by less than 1 point, Biden won the district by 10. In this district, recall is currently winning by 21 points. Baris is finding the follow results when broken down by education and race.

CA-21 Education (recall yes or no)
Pre-high school - Yes +35
High School/GED - Yes +15
Some College/Associates - Yes +10
Bachelors - Yes +10
Graduate Degree - No +30

CA-21 Race (recall yes or no)
Hispanic - Yes +1
White - Yes +17
Asian - Even
Black - Yes +10

The only demographic that supports keeping Newsom are those with graduate degrees. Baris's results show the sampling bias in the Berkeley poll. CA-21 is the same region that Berkeley polled as Central Valley. Where Berkeley found recall winning by +14 in this region, Baris found +21, a 7 point difference. Note that Survey USA found recall supported 58-33 in this region, a 25 point lead.

When looking at all 6 districts, which span from the coast south of the Bay area, all the way to the Central Valley, Baris breaks down the voters by employment status.

CA-16 to CA-21 Employment (recall yes or no)
Retired - No +19
Unemployed, not looking - No +17
Part time - Yes +17
Full time - Yes +11
Part time, want to work Full time - Yes +19
Disabled - Yes +19
Students - Yes +15
Small Business Owner - Yes +18

In the central part of the state, the only people who want to keep Newsom as the governor are people who aren't working. They are either retired or they are happy to sit at home collecting benefit checks. This portion of the state is heavily dominated by working class voters who are not part of the professional class. These districts are agricultural and industrial. Most importantly, these voters are heavily ethnic and tend to vote Democrat. The El Salvadoran community is 3:1 Democrat, but is currently 50/50 on the recall.

How will the Democrats Cheat?

Frankly, it is depressing to have to spend time discussing this in every post. But here we are, the conventional wisdom is now that no level of voting against a Democrat will be sufficient to win. Honestly, I will be completely unsurprised to hear on September 15th that Newsom managed to squeak out a 400 vote win and retain the governorship.

But Newsom and the Democrats made this harder on themselves by making 3 strategic mistakes.

1) Early election - They moved this election up to try to limit the ability of other candidates to organize. This has worked against them now that they are behind and need to get their less reliable voters in LA and the Bay area to the polls.

2) No recognizable Democrat - Newsom and Pelosi blatantly ignored the advice of Willie Brown, who had been hearing rumblings that the recall has a good chance of winning. He advised putting a well known Democrat on the ballot as a safety measure. He was overruled and instead there is no Democrat with name recognition running. Survey USA has Kevin Paffrath, a YouTube influencer, leading on Question 2 simply because he is the only person with a (D) next to his name that anyone has any familiarity with. Even Newsom doesn't have a (D) next to his name. because he forgot to include it on his ballot application. By the way, if you are worried about Paffrath, note that Berkeley has him polling 4th at 4% behind 3 Republicans.

3) Absentee ballots statewide - This is the primary Democrat strategy in California now, send absentee ballots to every registered voter, then send out ballot harvesters to get them turned in with the "correct" vote filled in. But this time it might work against them. Newsom's strong support is in the affluent professional districts that were going to turn out to vote anyway. What they have done is send a lot of ballots to working class voters that were less likely to vote, but now might vote anyway. Democrats just made it easier for them to vote, and they are leaning hard toward voting yes on the recall. This is compounded by the short election cycle, it is harder to get the harvesters into the field, and it is harder to recruit them in the first place, since harvesters are in the demographic that wants to recall Newsom.

The Democrats have their work cut out for them. The way they win statewide elections is to assume that they will get a decent vote share out of the ethnic districts in the Central Valley and from the LA suburbs to offset the losses they get in San Diego and Orange County. And in recent years they haven't even been losing in those areas because Independent and 3rd party voters are voting for the Democrat. With this baseline of a legitimate vote, they run up the count in their strongholds of LA County, the Bay area, and Oakland. This is done through traditional machine politics as old as Tammany Hall. They bus voters to the polls, encourage their voters to vote through pressure politics, and even "enhance" the vote as much as needed by controlling the election system in their strongholds.

Since 2018, they have upped the game to use ballot harvesting to start winning in other areas of the state where they don't control the election system. Multiple long term Republican incumbents lost in 2018 by putting canvassers out to collect ballots from voters who traditionally don't vote. While these votes may or may not have been fraudulent, the county election systems were not obviously corrupted in these districts. By law they had to accept and count these votes.

But now the Democrats have a self-inflicted problem. The districts that they need votes from are not ones that they control to the point that they can just manufacture additional votes. They need to use ballot harvesting in these districts, but the time frame available to do so is short. There is a real danger that they don't have enough registered voters in their stronghold districts to overcome the votes in the rest of the state, even if they were to report a 100% turn out.

There are still a decent number of undecideds, and it is possible that the Democrats will find a way to get the undecideds to vote for Newsom. But so far, core Democrat ethnic working class constituencies are "yes" on recall by about 7:2. We might be looking at a repeat of Mike Garcia's win in the May 2020 special election for Katie Hill's seat. He won by 10 points by winning every demographic in the district. This is not a good place for Newsom to be 5 weeks before an election.

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posted by Open Blogger at 12:18 PM

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