Newsom’s Political Endorsements: What they Mean to California Voters

Ariana Jaramillo, Political Writer

Endorsements Pool in on Newsom’s Behalf as Recall Election Nears

With the California recall election around the corner, Gov. Gavin Newsom has gained endorsements from several powerful democrats in an effort to encourage voting ‘no’ on the recall.

As Newsom’s campaign strategy focused on bringing powerful democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris, to visit California, it begs the question: do their endorsements of the governor make an influence on voter’s decision to either recall or retain? And how do democratic leaders influence voters?

On Sept. 4, Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Newsom in an anti-recall rally in Culver City, Calif. She encouraged attendees to, “consider this week what we’ve seen in Texas: a state legislature and Republican governor who are willing to set vigilantes loose to prey on vulnerable women who want to make their own decisions about their bodies.” A reminder that abortion rights in California may be in jeopardy should conservative Larry Elder win the election.

On Sept. 7, Harris visited the Bay Area to speak to voters about the importance of increasing voter turnout. Harris spoke about the restricting voting laws passed in Georgia and the anti-abortion laws passed in Texas, saying, “They (Republicans) think if they can win in California, they can do this anywhere.”

Rally-goers shared their opinions on the vice president’s endorsement. “I’m a strong believer in what democrats could do for the state and the progress that can be made, but I can see why people who don’t like Kamala Harris would be a little confused about how they feel about Newsom based on her endorsement,” Jeyson Lopez said.

Another rally-goer, Daniella Martinez, commented, “I think Harris’ endorsement should help Newsom because she is the Vice President, and since President Biden is on his way here next week, he could encourage his supporters to vote for Newsom. It helps Newsom to have that support from those in Washington.”

An anonymous rally-goer shared, “Not that I was planning to change my mind, but Harris’ endorsement only makes me want to recall him even more. Didn’t help his case with me.”

While some attendees felt more confident in voting ‘no’ on the recall, some were emboldened by Harris’ remarks. However, the numbers in favor of the recall continue to decrease as the election creeps up on California voters.

With more endorsements means more tribalism: American voters are swayed by endorsements from figureheads, like the President. Newsom’s strategy to deploy strong democratic leaders continues to prove effective.

Sixty percent of likely voters wish to retain Newsom compared to numbers polled the month before (50%), according to a UC Berkeley poll co-sponsored by the L.A. Times released in early September.

The endorsements of Newsom’s fellow democrats have snapped apathetic Californians into action, increasing the number of voters wanting to retain the governor. While on the other hand, reaffirming other voter’s decisions to recall.