More than 7.7 million people have voted, according to ballot tracking data compiled by Political Data Inc., a data firm that works with Democrats.
Newsom called the numbers encouraging and attributed it to more Democrats becoming aware of the recall as it winds to a close. Still, he said he's taking nothing for granted. He'll spend the next few days campaigning in Southern California, and on Monday he'll be joined by Democratic President Joe Biden.
He stuck to his closing message that the race could have profound consequences beyond California, calling it a contest of "outsize consequences." He and other Democrats have likened it to former President Donald Trump's refusal to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election and have charged Republicans with pursuing a recall because they can't win a normal election. Californians haven't elected a Republican statewide since 2006.
"The recall is about catching you while you're sleeping," he said. "This recall is about getting us in an off year, in an off month, while no one else is paying attention."
The recall made the ballot through a process that's been in the California Constitution for more than a century. Originally the recall was likely to be held in October or November, but Democrats in the state Legislature sped up the process to allow for an earlier election.
Republicans angry with Newsom's policies on immigration, crime and a host of other issues sparked the recall drive, but it took off during the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers got more than 1.7 million signatures to place it on the ballot. That's less than a tenth of registered voters.
"Gavin Newsom has failed Californians. From surging crime to a broken unemployment department and raging wildfires, our state deserves better than this governor's serial incompetence," California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said in a statement. She was out Saturday knocking on doors in Los Angeles County.
Meanwhile, the union leaders who rallied alongside Newsom pointed to his pandemic policies as lifesaving measures for home health care and other essential workers. They also applauded him for increasing providers' pay, which was cut under former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the winner of the 2003 recall.
The Service Employees International Union has donated more than $2.5 million to Newsom's campaign, and unions collectively are his biggest financial backers.
Beyond campaigning, several candidates marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Larry Elder, who is considered the Republican front-runner, attended 9/11 commemorations and a lunch with homeless and disabled veterans, and John Cox and Kiley also attended anniversary events. Before his campaign stop, Newsom visited the Wall of Heroes memorial at the California National Guard's headquarters.Original Article