What are the 2022 elections? California Republicans grim on hit Newsom

Oakland – Five months after California Governor Gavin Newsom Summoning crushed, the GOP field for the 2022 match is frozen in the suspended animation. Republican candidates and donors still reeling from Newsom’s 24-point blast are assessing whether they have the will for another round.

So far, the answer is no.

“I didn’t pay much attention to her. In fact, I didn’t pay any attention to her,” said Susan Groff, a California Republican permanent donor.

Last year’s recall impetus came out of nowhere in these bluish-blue states — and vanished just as quickly. Two months after the deadline to submit a candidate for the 2022 gubernatorial race, no major Republican has launched a campaign to deny Newsom a second term.

The pandemic anger that fueled the signature recall campaign has gradually subsided since the economy reopened last summer. the students Back in the classroom, even while increasing the omicron.

This does not mean that Newsom is immune. Homelessness remains a challenging challenge and crime has affected so many residents that San Francisco Mayor London Post recently said Can’t stand “the bullshit that destroyed our city”. The governor on Thursday helped clean up a railroad yard in Los Angeles where thieves scattered trash after raiding freight trains, leading to viral images Newsom said “It looked like a third world country.”

But conventional wisdom says the impeachment pollinated Newsom in his re-election year.

“If the subpoena is defeated by an overwhelming margin, you risk being so close to the 2022 election that it will be very difficult for a Republican to run before Gov. Newsom in 2022,” Tim Rosales said. , a Republican consultant who has worked for several drag candidates.

Many of the Republicans who sought to overthrow Newsom in 2021 withdrew. Libertarian talk show host Larry Elder, who received the most votes by a margin of any alternative candidate, He said this month will not run. Assemblyman Kevin Kelly, who has had more success expanding his following on social media rather than getting bills through the Democratic-controlled legislature, took a shot in Congress instead.

“We’ve never seen them close to an election and haven’t had a candidate of stature to be talked about or even publicly explored on the Republican side running for governor,” Rosales said.

The remaining contenders, most notably former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, are still holding back their financial prospects. Businessman John Cox, who lost overwhelmingly to Newsom in the 2018 general election and ranked fifth among the recall candidates, said he is considering whether there is a “support base out there and there is a path to success.”

Faulconer has been reaching out to funders to see if another round is viable after he finished a distant third among the alternative candidates, receiving only 590,000 votes compared to Elder’s more than 3.5 million votes. (Nearly 8 million voted to keep Newsom in office.)

His adviser Stephen Poetz said Faulconer may not make a decision until February — weeks before the March 11 application deadline.

“This is what Republican, pro-business, and center-right donors have to deal with. Either they want to take on a real challenge to Newsom, and they’ll make that decision over the next two months, or they won’t,” Poetz said. [Faulconer] He’s not running because he doesn’t think there will be tens of millions of dollars behind his campaign, in which case there is no point.”

This calculation reflects Newsom’s enormous financial advantage. Not only does the incumbent governor benefit from California’s Democratic voters, who rejected the impeachment by the same margin that Newsom achieved in 2018. He also has a massive cash advantage.

Newsom’s reelection commission had about $24.5 million at the end of September, and has since raised at least an additional $500,000, including from big players like Google and Warner Brothers. By contrast, Faulconer reports about $120,000 in the bank. He hasn’t reported a large donation to his 2022 account since July of last year.

Newsom’s advisers are optimistic but are careful not to guarantee re-election. Campaign advisor Sean Clegg acknowledged Newsom was in a “very strong position” after he refused to withdraw the summons, but said the governor’s team was “prepared to surprise,” noting that Elder was off their radar before he went into the summons and quickly jumped into Top Republican Sphere.

“[Newsom] “He’s in pretty good shape, but he’s going to be sweating who’s running until registration day and he’s going to try to get re-elected,” Clegg said.

Veteran Republican campaigner John Fleishman, a California Republican, said the case has pushed the GOP primaries into “underground” as candidates search for their prospects.

“Those people who are really looking into it rather than announcing that they are having a lot of quiet meetings with potential donors and analyzing if it is something they can actually do,” Fleischmann said. “Serious Republicans are trying to see if there is a financial appetite.”

Republican donors and fundraisers described a dearth of activity. “We just had an election and people were feeling overwhelmed,” said Gerald Marcel, a Republican donor and Faulconer supporter.

“I think they might be exhausted after the recall,” added Grove, who contributed to Faulconer before the impeachment merger and then spent $60,000 to help launch the impeachment election. “I think it cost everyone a lot of money on the call up and nothing happened.”

Although the impeachment may have dampened California’s governor’s GOP hopes, Republicans saw it as better than the 2022 general election. Conservatives took advantage of the outrage sparked by the pandemic in Newsom to gather enough signatures to force an impeachment. Newsom’s decision to dine at a luxury restaurant while urging Californians to stay home I charged this voltage.

that they Enjoyed the opportunity to vote up or down On Newsom’s record and on Conservative voter turnout, Republicans saw a rare opportunity to remove a Democratic incumbent. If a majority of voters summon Newsom, Republicans just need a plurality to support one of their alternate candidates.

At the least, the election in the off year gave California Republicans rare national attention. The recall became a staple in news networks last year, providing regular opportunities for Republicans to weather the pandemic shutdowns of Newsom and the ravages of California.

But Newsom succeeded in framing these efforts as a power grab by extremists and allies of former President Donald Trump — an argument Amplified by President Joe Biden On the eve of the elections. Newsom continued on He positioned himself as a bulwark against the Republican national agenda, regularly attacks Florida and Texas and regularly warns donors of another “alt-right” challenge.

Many California Republicans see more hope elsewhere on the ballot in 2022. California will host many Competitive house races It could change the scale in Washington. campaigns for the state Attorney General The state comptroller makes it possible for Republicans to break the Democrats’ monopoly on statewide offices.

“Who could win that win, if not at the state, statewide, state gubernatorial level, with some of these candidates running for attorney general and state comptroller?” Jennily Brown, director of communications for the Lincoln Club in Orange County, said people are looking “absolutely” beyond the governor’s race. “The checks and balances at Newsom really motivate people.”

At the same time, Newsom’s clear victory may deepen the sense of resignation among California Republicans who have been ousted from state office and relegated to the legislative supermajority. Every disappointing election makes it hard to rally wealthy conservatives in California.

“A lot of Republicans have given up on California and put their money into the national scene,” Marcel said.

The picture will become clearer after the March application deadline. Republican Chancellor Ann Dunsmore, who oversaw one of Newsom’s subpoenas, said she believed there was a “moral obligation on the part of an unwavering Republican to take the contest against Gavin Newsom, just to keep him in his position.”

But she admitted the obvious.

“Everyone is exhausted,” Dunsmore said. “We just ran our run for governor.”

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