In November 2020, the voters in California will have to decide whether they want to recall the election of California’s Republican Governor. The recall is largely due to a scandal that has a lot of people upset about how it has affected California. Many people will vote for the recall, but it remains to be seen if they will succeed.
One of the more prominent politicians opposing the recall is California senior Senator Barbara Boxer. She has made clear that she believes the recall campaign is largely about racism and sexism. Other politicians supporting Governor Schwarzenegger’s position are Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and former Republican President George W. Bush. All four have publicly stated they disagree with how Governor Schwarzenegger got his job back and believe he can still do good for California.
Governor Schwarzenegger’s popularity dropped after it was revealed he had an affair with a member of his household staff before he became governor and fathered a child out of wedlock. The woman worked as one of two housekeepers who took care of his home in Brentwood. Mildred Patricia Baena (50) was hired in 1999 after she gave the Governor’s wife her resume. The other housekeeper was Josephine Gabbitas, who has vehemently denied rumors she is related to Schwarzenegger by blood or marriage.
On April 3rd, 2011, Christopher Nixon Cox, grandson of former President Richard Nixon, announced he would run for California as an independent candidate because his grandfather never got fair treatment by the press and Democrats (he lost the election against John F. Kennedy). This has polarized the gubernatorial election even further because it will likely split up Republican votes, making it harder to win an election for either party.
The final vote will be held on November 8th, 2021, with recall election voting on November 2nd, 2021.
The recall will be a historical one, and voter turnout is expected to be massive and highly contested. For the first time, voters will vote for their governor, and the senators of California as both seats are up for reelection in 2022 after serving out their six-year term limits. California has always been divided into north and south, with San Francisco as the dividing line. The coastal cities tend to favor Democrats, and the inland cities lean Republican, so it makes sense that important battles will take place where there is high population density, such as Los Angeles and San Diego. Although Sacramento was once considered a battleground city, Republicans have done so poorly there that it is now considered “safe” Democratic territory.
Los Angeles – The first battleground city in California will be Los Angeles, which has nearly 4 million under its jurisdiction. It provides many opportunities to Democrats by having both the Hollywood Hills vote and Beverly Hills vote for them. However, Republicans have traditionally done well with voters living out to Santa Monica and LA County (excluding Long Beach). These areas can afford large homes on larger lots, so local taxes aren’t an issue for them; they tend to favor lower taxes at all costs, even if that means slow police response times or neglecting education funding. Also, these counties tend to do very well off high-tech jobs like computer science and engineering, which means they support Republicans.
Long Beach – The next city up for contention is Long Beach, which has nearly 2 million people under its jurisdiction. Despite being the second-largest city in California, it has only voted for three governors since becoming part of Los Angeles County (including LA, Compton, and Hawthorne). However, it does show how many urban areas like Long Beach favor Democrats because even though suburbs are surrounding it, these same suburbs haven’t been able to change the Democratic stronghold that is Long Beach. This all changed during the 2016 election when many voters decided to vote against Hillary Clinton due to multiple scandals involving her email server and Benghazi attack inquiry hearings. Even still, Clinton beat out Donald Trump by a margin of nearly 3%, which shows that the Democratic Party has been able to secure this city from Republicans despite their continued failures.
San Diego – The third and final city under Los Angeles County will be San Diego, home to over 1 million people under its jurisdiction. Like Long Beach, it has shown a strong Democratic presence since becoming part of San Diego County (which includes Del Mar and Chula Vista). Although scandals are surrounding Democrats as well as an inquiry on Clinton’s State Department emails, voters have favored Democrats because they provide a platform for social issues such as immigration reform and environmentalism over things like foreign policy or national security, which were not seen as important in those elections. With Arnold Schwarzenegger being from Austria, there is a strong pro-immigration sentiment in San Diego County, which favors Democrats for this reason.
San Francisco – Although not within Los Angeles County, there are nearly 1 million voters who can be included in the battleground cities because they live under the jurisdiction of San Francisco and often vote against their own interests when electing Republicans to office. This city has become much more liberal ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger was recalled from office in 2011. It has led to Republican politicians losing elections time after time to Democrats such as Gavin Newsom. Voters who live outside of San Francisco proper tend to favor Republicans. In contrast, those living inside prefer Democrats, so campaigns will likely focus on the surrounding areas instead of central San Francisco. These voters also tend to be wealthier than other Californians, and living in such a liberal city sometimes discourages people from voting for Republicans overall.
Orange County – The final area to be contested during this election will likely be Orange County, which has around 3 million under its jurisdiction. Before the 1990s, Orange County had been a Republican stronghold since it was created and had voted Republicans into office multiple times (such as Nixon and Reagan). However, ever since Bill Clinton beat out George Bush Sr., Democrats have gradually gained ground on Republicans who control this county. While some cities like Irvine or Huntington Beach remain strong Republican strongholds, voters tend to vote against incumbents if they feel their policies are hurting them. Take, for example, how California hasn’t voted for a Republican Presidential candidate since the year 1988 even though it has become more conservative in recent years. Even still, Orange County may be a battleground area that either party could win. Some of its cities, such as Anaheim or Santa Ana, have been considered swing areas in previous elections.
LA COUNTY – The biggest political battle will likely take place in Los Angeles County, which is home to over 10 million people under its jurisdiction. Because of how diverse LA County is, every city will play an important role when selecting a new Governor. This includes Compton or Inglewood, so campaigns will focus on many different types of voters, including African Americans who tend to favor Democrats overall. There are also large Asian populations in places like Artesia, so both parties will have to strategize on who they think has the best chance of getting more votes. When it comes to registration, Democrats dominate with over 3 million voters, whereas Republicans number in at around 1.5 million, and there’s a large decline when it comes to Independents, who only account for under 2 million registered voters. This means that both parties must appeal to groups such as African Americans and Hispanics (which make up the majority within LA County) if they hope to win this election.
San Bernardino – San Bernardino is home to nearly 4 million people under its jurisdiction, with only Riverside having more residents, followed by Los Angeles County itself. While Democrats currently hold a strong position here, some cities like Fontana or Rialto could swing either way, mainly due to the largely white population who largely favor Republicans. Now, because Democrats perform well in San Bernardino County, most of its cities will likely turn Democrat yet again, and that’s not a good sign for Republicans who wish to win this election. Even still, campaigns may attempt to play it safe by visiting every area within the County rather than focusing on certain cities as they’ve done in other parts of California.
Riverside – Riverside county is notable because while there are only around 1 million registered voters here, it has experienced significant growth since 2010, which means more people can cast their ballots during this election. Due to this increased growth rate (and increased Hispanic population), immigration has become an important topic to discuss within Riverside County. Both parties should consider a strategy to win voters over. Riverside County is also notable because it was the first county Democrats won during the 1990s. Since then, they have never lost here, even though Republicans have been competitive within some cities. In fact, Riverside was one of three counties that tipped for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential Election, so if this trend continues throughout 2018, Democrats will be in a strong position.