California votes to recall governor

Gavin Newsom

The 22 million Californians are called on the 14th to participate in a vote on the continuity in office of the state's governor, Gavin Newsom. Seen from our point of view, it could be said that the call for this popular consultation is a mixture of censure, referendum and elections, because in fact it includes all of them.

Voters will have to express on the same ballot whether Newsom, of the Democratic Party, should be removed from office and, if so, who should replace him.  The vote has attracted extraordinary interest throughout the state and especially in Sacramento, the capital and centre of political activity. It is worth remembering that California alone would rank among the ten richest countries in the world despite being a state within the United States. 

The motion leading to the governor's impeachment is largely a legacy of Donald Trump's presidential term in which he was under constant attack. The campaign of discrediting and accusations has been increasingly active throughout these months by the Republican Party. The process underway is officially described as a recall. 

Polls predict that Newsom will narrowly hold on to office. Virtually every newspaper in the state backs his continuity and rejects the allegations, while public opinion is also overwhelmingly in his favour. The key is estimated to be the Hispanic vote, which represents a third of the electorate and is less well defined.

In addition to the impeachment vote, there is a simultaneous proposal to elect a successor in the event that the post becomes vacant. There are 46 candidates, mostly Republicans and independents, including many well-known names from film and big business.

Under the rules, which are highly contentious in the media, Newsom would be ousted if he did not get more than 50% of the vote or if, within the relative majority of voters who support his continuity, any of the candidates aspiring to succeed him received more votes. His problem is that he cannot be on the list of candidates to succeed him.