Bernie Swings and Misses, Argues 'Extremists' Behind California Recall

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Posted: Mar 09, 2021 2:15 PM
Bernie Swings and Misses, Argues 'Extremists' Behind California Recall

Source: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Avowed socialist and senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, has taken notice of California’s gubernatorial recall and made his opinion clear on the event unfolding over 3,000 miles from his own constituency.

In a tweet on Monday, the senator blamed “extremist Republicans” for the push to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, further insinuating that all charges levied against California’s top executive are unsubstantiated anti-science conspiracy theories.

Bernie’s wading into California’s political waters comes on the heels of his 7-point primary win last March within the state, in which he carried 34.3 percent of the vote. It is unknown if Gov. Newsom asked the senator to get involved or if he did so of his own interest, but the message to his over 15 million followers was likely meant to galvanize Bernie’s own supporters behind Newsom.  

However, in doing so, Sen. Sanders grossly misrepresented the recall effort.

For starters, California is not a Republican state, making the notion of a “right-wing” coup utterly unlikely. In fact, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, the state’s political identification is 46.3 percent Democratic, 24 percent Republican, and 24 percent independent.

This makes it virtually impossible for a recall effort, which requires a majority vote to remove the current Governor, to be successful without garnering support from all three groups; Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. 

Another nail in the coffin of Bernie’s logic comes by way of the latest polling results which show Gov. Newsom’s support in the state plummeting. Released in early February, a UC Berkley poll found an 18 percent drop in the governor’s approval rating, down to 46 percent from a September high of 64 percent.  

The governor's disapproval rate has likewise increased, rising from 36 percent in September to 48 percent in February, with 31 percent of those disapproving, disapproving strongly. 

So clearly, extreme right-wingers are not in the position to publicly fire Gov. Newsom all on their own, but unluckily for the governor, it just so happens that the polls paint a much more bipartisan picture then Bernie, or vast swaths of the left, will have you believe. 

And why is the recall effort garnering bipartisan support? Is it, as Bernie suggests, because Californians are anti-science and wish to oust Gov. Newsom for simply “telling people to wear masks?” Unlikely.

Much more likely is that California’s recall effort is a genuine response to the controversial, if not illegal, actions and decisions made by Newsom throughout the pandemic. But why take the word of a lowly reporter.