After a movement in which organizers were able to obtain over two million signatures, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom will officially be up for a recall election on Sept. 14.
A recall ballot in California consists of two questions: whether the incumbent should be recalled? and if so, which challenger should replace them? If a majority of voters favor removing Newsom by selecting “yes” on the first question, then the recall candidate with the most votes will finish his term as governor of the Golden State.
Out of the dozens of contenders that will appear on the ballot, one, in particular, has become the frontrunner to replace Newsom if the recall vote is a success: longtime conservative radio host Larry Elder.
The latest polls show that a “yes” vote on the recall has a slight +0.5 advantage in the RCP average while FiveThirtyEight has Newsom surviving by an average of just +1.2. Larry Elder is dominating in the polls to be Newsom’s replacement, with RCP and FiveThirtyEight both showing him leading by an average margin of +10.
The razor-thin margins polling indicates, along with Elder’s surge to the top of the polls, has Democrats and the media panicking that California could very well soon have a Republican governor.
A South Central Los Angeles native, Elder has subsequently been subject to a flurry of negative headlines from the media and even has Newsom attacking him by name. (RELATED: California’s Former Democratic State Senate Leader Endorses Larry Elder)
“Larry Elder is the black face of white supremacy. You’ve been warned,” is just one of the many headlines that California’s largest newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, has published in the last few weeks.
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) August 23, 2021
— An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) August 21, 2021
The LA Times also dedicated an entire piece to criticizing the way Elder pronounced the n-word during a stand-up comedy routine in the mid-1990s, writing that “he used an exaggerated tone, enunciating the “er” at the end of the word rather than using the “a” pronunciation, which is more commonly accepted among and used by Black people, studies have shown.”
“With Elder as a front-runner, it’s one more looming disaster for our beleaguered state,” read another column in the New York Times titled “Brace Yourself for the Man Who Could Become California’s Governor.”
MSNBC host Joy Reid said of Larry Elder’s political views that “even people of color can be influenced by white supremacist narratives.” CNN’s K-File team investigative team also published a piece full of previous comments Elder made on his radio show going all the way back to the 1990s.
In addition to attacks from the media, Newsom has stepped up his criticisms of Elder amid his rise in the polls, referring to him in a fundraising email as “Larry Trump” and attempting to portray his political views as “far-right.” (RELATED: Democrats Fear Turnout Flop For Newsom Recall Election Because Trump Is Out Of The Picture)
“If this guy is governor during Delta it would lead to extraordinary suffering,” Newsom claimed in the same email. “His anti-science approach would move our planet backward in the race against a changing climate. He would be a disaster for California.”
.@GavinNewsom just sent out a fundraising email that refers to @larryelder as “Larry Trump” and says “if this guy is governor during Delta it would lead to extraordinary suffering” and “would be a disaster for California.” It also says Trump and Elder “are basically the same.” pic.twitter.com/sQHtYH7quG
— Doug Sovern (@SovernNation) August 12, 2021
“The leading candidate thinks climate change is a hoax, believes we need more offshore oil drilling, more fracking, does not believe a woman has the right to choose [and] actually came out against Roe v. Wade, does not believe in a minimum wage,” Newsom also said while speaking to volunteers in early August.
Other Democrats have also attacked Elder such as California Rep. Adam Schiff who said that the recall is a “GOP power grab.”
“If it were to succeed, Larry Elder might become governor,” Schiff went on to say. “That would be a disaster: He’s anti-truth. Anti-science. Even anti-minimum wage.”
Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach also criticized Elder for his plan to immediately repeal vaccine and mask mandates in California, adding that “Delta and Elder as Gov is dangerous.”
“And after Trump, what Californian would want another TV/radio personality running anything?” Schiff added.
California officials also recently announced an investigation into Elder’s financial report, alleging that he failed to disclose personal financial information. His campaign attributed this to a “simple mistake” that was fixed “as soon as possible.” (RELATED: 54% Of Hispanic Voters In California Say They Would Vote To Recall Newsom)
The last time California had a Republican governor was when Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected during a recall election of then-incumbent Democrat Gray Davis.
Given the uptick in unflattering headlines against Larry Elder, it seems obvious that Democrats and the media are terrified that history could repeat itself.