As she made her way out of the Capitol last week, Vice President Kamala Harris declared her plans to campaign on behalf of embattled Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom who is currently in the throes of a heated recall election, as The Hill reports.
Harris was asked by a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle whether she intended to actively advocate for Newsom’s retention as her home state’s chief executive, and she responded in the affirmative.
The Hill contacted Harris’ staff for confirmation of the vice president’s plans to campaign, which was provided, though no further specifics were offered.
The recall push against Newsom first took root in early 2020, even before the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the state as well as the nation, and was centered largely on issues such as high taxation, illegal immigration, and a growing homelessness problem in San Francisco, among other areas, according to The Hill.
Anti-Newsom sentiment gained steam, however, amid frustration over the governor’s lockdown decrees and the hypocrisy he was said to display when caught indulging in a luxurious meal with a large group of friends even as state residents were told to avoid such activities.
With under two months to go before Californians head to the polls to decide Newsom’s fate, a new poll from Emerson College/Nexstar Media shows a deep divide as to whether the governor should remain in office and also suggests that one particular Republican contender for his job has carved out a notable lead.
According to the survey, while 48% of respondents suggested they would keep the governor in place and 43% said they would recall him, fully 9% of voters are still undecided. Should Newsom lose his bid to keep his job, 53% of voters are still unsure of who should replace him, though of the current crop of candidates, conservative talk radio personality Larry Elder commended the most support, at 16%.
Others seeking to replace Newsom include business executive John Cox, who commanded 6% support in the poll, former mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer, also at 6%, California State Asssemblyman Kevin Kiley, reality television notable Caitlyn Jenner, and social media personality Kevin Paffrath.
Though earning the support of a high-profile national politician such as Harris would ordinarily be a boon to any campaign, with the vice president’s approval rating currently underwater, as The Hill reported separately, she may ultimately end up doing Newsom more harm than good by entering the fray.