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Newsom needs Latinos. Can he mobilize them to the polls?

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On Monday, California began mailing ballots to registered voters for the upcoming recall election of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Set for Sept. 14, the process is only the second in the state’s history (voters ousted Gray Davis in 2003). Just six months ago, Newsom seemed certain to avoid Davis’s fate. When I interviewed him in February, he dismissed the recall campaign as a “distraction.”

“I’m focused on the state’s challenges,” he told me. Things have changed. Now, less than four weeks from the election, Newsom seems to be in trouble. Recent polls show most voters oppose firing him, but just barely. Faced with an energized conservative base, Newsom could very well lose his job and be replaced by a figure on the opposite end of the political spectrum, such as controversial radio host Larry Elder.

It would be a strange turn of events for Newsom, who has faced criticism for his handling of the pandemic (including questionable personal decisions early on, such as dining at an elite restaurant during restrictions), but whose administration has been a far cry from, say, the calamitous scenario in Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Newsom’s potential defeat........

© Washington Post

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