California Recall Election Live: Biden’s Push for NewsomSeptember 13, 2021
Here’s what you need to know:
LONG BEACH, Calif. — In a final push to maintain Democratic leadership in California and fend off the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom, President Biden landed in the state on Monday to encourage voters to reject the Republican-led effort to push Mr. Newsom from office.
Mr. Biden’s visit, his first to California as president, came the day before the election on Tuesday. The president’s arrival underscored the alarm within the Democratic Party at the possibility of losing the governorship of the nation’s most populous state, where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly two to one.
At a rally Monday evening in Long Beach, Mr. Biden was set to appear with Mr. Newsom, who polls show is likely to prevail, after a nervous summer for Democrats in which polls showed the recall had a good shot of succeeding. But since those early projections, millions of dollars have flooded the state on Mr. Newsom’s behalf, campaign money the Democratic Party has used in get-out-the-vote efforts.
In Mr. Newsom, the president sees not just a member of his own party whose job is in jeopardy, but an ally on policy who has been pushing vaccine mandates and aggressive efforts to combat climate change, two issues that have defined the early days of Mr. Biden’s presidency.
On the pandemic, Mr. Newsom has positioned himself in opposition to former President Donald J. Trump, repeatedly describing the recall as a matter of life and death rather than a question of his popularity. His leading rival, the conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, has said that lifting mask rules and vaccine mandates would be his top priority if elected.
Mr. Newsom has focused voter attention on the state’s strict pandemic rules as the Delta variant has surged, filling hospitals in states led by Republicans who have imposed fewer restrictions.
The state was the first to mandate that all teachers in both public and private schools be vaccinated or else face regular testing, and the governor has toured the state and implored residents to get vaccinated. Seventy percent of Californians have received at least one shot, a higher rate than many other large states, including New York, Texas and Florida.
But Mr. Newsom has struggled to connect with the state’s growing core of young and Latino voters, many of whom have said that they do not find the governor particularly compelling and that they are weary of partisan tribalism. On Monday, the choice to host a rally with the president at Long Beach City College, where 53 percent of the student body is Hispanic, was an attempt to dispel the notion that he has failed to engage Latino voters.
The president and the governor were scheduled to appear alongside Long Beach’s mayor, Robert Garcia, who is the first Latino and openly gay man to lead the diverse city of almost half a million people just south of Los…