WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will head to California on Monday to campaign for Gov. Gavin Newsom a day before the state’s recall election, when voters could throw the Democrat out of the governorship and replace him with a Republican.
Biden and Newsom will appear together in Long Beach, just outside of Los Angeles, at the governor’s final rally on the eve of the election to urge Californians to vote to keep Newsom in office.
The rally will be part of a multi-stop trip to the West by Biden, including events in Idaho and Colorado.
Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1 in California, but Republicans have been far more motivated to vote, so Newsom could use all the help he can get in reminding his party’s voters to return their ballots.
Every registered voter in California has been mailed a ballot, but polls show many voters are not even aware of the unusual off-year election, though awareness has grown as the election nears.
The ballot asks voters first if Newsom should be recalled and then, if so, who should replace him as governor of the country’s most populous state.
Recent polls show Newsom has regained strength in the past month while talk radio host Larry Elder, the Republican leading the 46-candidate field of potential replacement candidates, has struggled to expand his support beyond his base, with a significant number of voters who oppose Newsom unsure of whom they will chose as an alternative.
The last recall election in California, in 2003, had an even larger field of potential replacements and ended with Democrat Gray Davis being removed from office and replaced by movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, a moderate Republican.