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Why Gavin Newsom’s Big Latino Problem Could Bring Him Down

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The California recall vote on Sept. 14 should not even be happening. My home state is deep blue. Democrats hold every statewide office, control both chambers of the legislature, and don’t need a single Republican vote to pass bills.

This is the last place that Democrats should have to fight to maintain the governor’s office. The Democratic incumbent facing recall, Gov. Gavin Newsom, cruised to victory in November 2018—not even three years ago.

California is far from a red state. But being here can sometimes feel like you’re living on the red planet.

For example, it must seem crazy to some people that there could be a recall election where the incumbent gets more votes than anyone else, but he still gets bounced out of office because a majority of voters opted to remove him. Just like it must seem absurd that a weaker challenger with lesser appeal could be elected without getting even half the vote.

But these are the rules of the game. It’s not my job to defend the language in the California constitution. But it’s ironic that the procedure for a recall would turn out to be so inconvenient for Democrats. Again, this is the party that completely controls state government. Democrats could have amended the state constitution any time, but they never did.

Besides, politics is not an exact science. In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president with just 43 percent of the vote in a three-way race with Reform Party candidate Ross Perot. In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the presidency to George W. Bush thanks to the Electoral College. The same thing happened in 2012, when Hillary Clinton outdid Donald Trump in the popular vote but the Electoral College put Trump in the White House.

Nevertheless, the politics of California are stranger than most. They’ve been broken since the 1990s, when shortsighted........

© The Daily Beast

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