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The Big National Lesson From The Spectacularly Failed GOP Recall

"The Trump Kiss of Death" by Nancy Ohanian

As of dawn today, the recall had gone down to a much bigger defeat than any poll or polling aggregate had predicated. Few pundits thought the Republican defeat would even result in a 60-40 landslide. It looks bigger than that:

  • No- 5,840,283 (63.92%)

  • Yes- 3,297,145 (36.08%)

For comparison's sake, here are the California stats for the last three presidential elections. See the similarities in the results? The NO vote did even better than Biden did against Trump last year! No one predicted that.

• 2020

Biden- 63.48%

Trump- 34.32%

• 2016

Hillary- 61.73%

Trump- 31.62%

• 2012

Obama- 60.24%

Romney- 37.12%

Although the recall-- which cost California voters over a quarter billion dollars-- ended in a landslide against this childish Republican Party tantrum, there were some counties where it was a landslide in the other direction, namely the lazy, unproductive counties that live off the welfare from the rest of the state. The counties where the recall was hugely popular, are states that have a net suck against the state's financial health.

Not unrelated, the state is 57% fully vaccinated but the same counties that voted for the recall and also the counties with the worst vaccination rates. These are California's beggar counties:

  • Lassen Co.- 82.9% (29% vaccinated)

  • Modoc Co.- 78.1% (refuses to give stats)

  • Tehama Co.- 73.8% (32% vaccinated)

  • Glenn Co.- 69.4% (44% vaccinated)

  • Shasta Co.- 66.3% (39% vaccinated)

On the other end of the spectrum, the productive counties with residents intelligent enough and good-willed enough to get vaccinated are also the counties that voted in the highest proportions against the GOP recall:

  • San Francisco- 86.7% (72% vaccinated)

  • Marin Co.- 84.3% (76% vaccinated)

  • Alameda Co.- 82.5% (68% vaccinated)

  • Santa Cruz Co.- 80.2% (66% vaccinated)

  • San Mateo Co.- 79.1% (71% vaccinated)

  • Sonoma Co.- 77.8% (66% vaccinated)

  • Santa Clara Co. 75.9% (73% vaccinated)

Votes still being tabulated, Jonathan Martin wrote this morning that Newsom "will remain in office because, in a deeply liberal state, he effectively nationalized the recall effort as a Republican plot, making a flame-throwing radio host the Trump-like face of the opposition to polarize the electorate along red and blue lines. Newsom found success not because of what makes California different but because of how it’s like everywhere else: He dominated in California’s heavily populated Democratic cities, the key to victory in a state where his party outnumbers Republicans by five million voters.

The recall does offer at least one lesson to Democrats in Washington ahead of next year’s midterm elections: The party’s pre-existing blue- and purple-state strategy of portraying Republicans as Trump-loving extremists can still prove effective with the former president out of office, at least when the strategy is executed with unrelenting discipline, an avalanche of money and an opponent who plays to type.
“You either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor or you’ll get Donald Trump,” President Biden said at an election-eve rally in Long Beach, making explicit what Mr. Newsom and his allies had been suggesting for weeks about the Republican front-runner, the longtime radio host Larry Elder.
...[F]or Republicans eying Mr. Biden’s falling approval ratings and growing hopeful about their 2022 prospects, the failed recall is less an ominous portent than a cautionary reminder about what happens when they put forward candidates who are easy prey for the opposition.

That should serve as a warning to Republicans that most of their primary frontrunners in the big Senate races are the most likely to lose in general elections. In Missouri, for example, a pretty solid red state, experts think that Lucas Kunce would be able to wipe the floor with disgraced former Republican s&m governor Eric Greitens, who is popular with extremists and fascists but completely anathema to moderates and independents, let alone Democrats. Similarly, Trump-endorsed Ted Budd is seen as so extreme that he would lose badly in the general election for the same reason-- turning off North Carolina independent voters, depressing the vote among moderate Republicans and super-charging turnout for the state's Democrats.

In Ohio, JD Vance and Josh Mandel have gone so far out of the mainstream in their efforts to prove themselves the most Trumpian, that neither will be able to credibly move back towards the comfortable center after the midterms, even if they try to by general election time. Ironically, Mandel, an increasingly deranged Jewish neo-fascist, could well be wearing a swastika armband before the primary!

Trump's kiss of death will hand Herschel Walker the Republican Party nomination in Georgia and Sean Parnell the Republican Party nomination in Pennsylvania-- and then almost sure general election defeats against, respectively, Raphael Warnock and John Fetterman.

Trump has endorsed Ron Johnson for reelection in Wisconsin-- not that Johnson needs Trump's endorsement to prove to anyone how extreme, radical and out of touch with Wisconsin voters he is. If the state's Democrats are smart enough to nominate a proven mainstream progressive like former Bernie delegate Tom Nelson, they're going to take back Wisconsin in 2022. Going with a Republican-lite centrist Sarah Godlewski or Alex Lasri is the sure way Democrats could wind up losing this opportunity-- especially if Johnson decides to not run and the Republicans nominate a conservative instead of a fascist.

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