Government Watch / Politics

Five Lessons for Republicans from the California Recall

AMAC Exclusive – by Seamus Brennan


Though Larry Elder did not ultimately prevail in his long-shot bid to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) in Tuesday’s recall election, his defeat should not be discouraging to Californians wanting a real choice in government. In fact, this week’s election brought many hopeful signs for the future of the conservative movement and the Republican Party in California and elsewhere.

Here are five key takeaways from this Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election in California.

California’s problems are now on full display—and Newsom is up for reelection next year

For the first time in recent memory, Elder’s campaign brought many of California’s longstanding problems to the forefront of our national discourse—problems that Newsom and his allies in the media have routinely ignored. Elder’s campaign motto, “We’ve got a state to save,” speaks to a profound disconnect between the rule of the progressive coastal elite and many who live under its rule. Under Newsom’s governorship, many have lost their jobs and watched their communities fall prey to rising taxes, crime, and homelessness. “It’s time to tell the truth,” Elder’s website declares. Even though his candidacy failed, tens of millions of Californians have now, perhaps for the first time, gotten a glimpse of the truth. Anger against Newsom’s autocratic policies has steadily increased—and that trend is likely continue.

Conservatism in California has a new face

The recall received widespread attention in the national media, which means millions of Americans are now well-acquainted with Larry Elder and his platform. Elder’s growth in both national popularity and in California politics is beneficial to the conservative movement in two ways: first, Americans now have a better grasp of why California is a failed state and why Gov. Newsom’s policies are harmful to Californians; and second, and perhaps most importantly, conservatives in California, of all backgrounds, can now coalesce behind Elder as the growing movement to save California marches forward. If Elder wants to, he likely has a good shot to be the Republican nominee for governor next year—when he will have far more time to make his case to voters.

Democrats were so scared that they had to drastically outspend Republicans

If the closing weeks of the recall campaign indicate anything about the current state of the Democrat Party, the overarching theme is that Democrats are scared. In the days prior to the September 14 election, Newsom recruited both President Biden and Vice President Harris to campaign on his behalf, called in former President Obama to cut an ad, and spent behemoths of cash. Newsom-allied forces opposing the recall raised an estimated $83 million leading up to Tuesday’s vote—nearly double the amount raised by all pro-recall effort candidates combined. Elder reportedly raised only $14 million. In the deep blue state of California, this pattern is in many ways shocking: if Newsom had to fight this hard and shell out this much cash to save his governorship in the biggest blue state in the nation, it seems clear Democrats will be facing a real battle next November.

Republicans are on track to win competitive House in CA districts next year

Spurred by Democrats’ political spending spree and Newsom’s no-holds-barred effort to smear Elder as an existential threat to Californians, Democrat turnout far exceeded that of Republicans. But even so, the “yes” vote on the recall is on track to outweigh the “no” votes in several competitive U.S. House districts, including Orange County. As journalist Dave Wasserman writes, “Even a 20-25% ‘No’ margin statewide” may be consistent with “an environment in which Republicans take back the House & Senate in 2022.” Should Wasserman’s prediction hold true, Newsom’s victory is far from the progressive triumph many Democrats are holding it up as; rather, if current trends hold, Newsom’s victory could quite easily give way to GOP House pickups in the far-left state and bolster Republicans’ chances of taking back the chamber next fall.

The problems with mail-in ballots were once again apparent

Regardless of whether voter fraud was a factor in the recall election, California’s voting process shows the dire need for states to enact voter integrity laws. On the heels of all the problems already associated with the massive use of mail in ballots in the 2020 presidential election, California still is allowing mail-in ballots to come in up to a full week after Election Day. Moreover, as Arizona senatorial candidate Blake Masters points out, the California voting envelopes are thin enough to see through with a cellphone flashlight and thus determine how one voted. If anything, this episode and others like it will encourage more states to enact laws that will protect the sanctity of the secret ballot and decrease the likelihood that questions will arise.

The movement to unseat Gov. Newsom in the deepest of blue states was always going to be an uphill battle, and Republicans ought not be discouraged by Tuesday’s results. Instead, they should look to Tuesday’s election and understand that Republicans are well positioned for victory next year and thereafter. As Elder said on Tuesday night, “We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.” And the war is only just beginning.

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

YOU GO LARRY!!! I happened upon your radio program and quickly became a must not miss. I admire you for pulling no punches and telling it like it is! I pray for your success and that that those who have allowed themselves to be miss led will have an AWAKENING from their wokeness.

1 year ago

California government has been rigged how can one party rule for so long. The Key is securing the voting process, break the biggest unions in the country, uncensored free speech/press and have better education not indoctrination going on in public schools by making an alternate choice for poor families and others.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew
1 year ago

How many registered voters in CA Sept 2021?
How many actual votes counted FOR recall?
How many actual votes counted AGAINST recall?
Does total votes counted add up to more than total registered voters?
If so, the percentage of votes counted FOR or AGAINST is irrelevant!
All I heard was what PERCENTAGE of votes counted FOR or AGAINST. If mailed ballots actually allowed for a possibility of a “stuffed ballot box”, then stated results of the recall are questionable at best.

1 year ago

sad truth. California’s problems have been on full display for at least 50 years. THAT hasn’t prevented the mess they are now, just encouraged complacency on the way to the undeniable obvious disaster it is. Elder is a great American!!! end of story. Elder promised to replace newsome at al with sane, sentient action. result? rejection. cali is a self-destructive, at-all-cost, lost majority of morons, ie, democrat fear of thinking or, phronemophobia. “On track” only means you’re delusional. results from here on out are the ONLY evidence of winning vs. hopeful optimism that has led to the current state of destruction of “the land of milk and honey”. “mail-in ballots” USE is evidence CONSERVATIVES are not ready, willing, or committed to taking their state back, let alone the country. mail-in ballots are CONSERVATIVES EXCUSE to not roll up their sleeves and throw out all the (insert ALL your favorite labels you like to use for democrats, here) and take back your state. there are no hard results proving CONSERVATIVES are even capable, or concerned; just impotent.

Charles Sever
1 year ago

It’s the only State so far that self screw themselves and I’m waiting now for the main election to see the rest that won’t stand over the corrupt communist democratic party as they will cheat.

Peter K
1 year ago

I read “cheating” and “not fair”, yet wonder why the people do not care about not fair or cheating. Every state has election laws and those laws should be scrutinized to deliver a sense of fairness and one that prohibits cheating. This theme palys out all across America, much of it due to incompetent government officials. There are also federal election laws that have been ignored for decades. Voter removal is but one that has been ignored and is open to abuse and fraud.

All in all, We our country is a mess.

1 year ago

Not a fair election!!!

1 year ago

This is a Big VICTORY because we all got to see how the Demoncrats cheat in California elections.

Cindy Cunniffe
1 year ago

I worked the polls in November and again on September 14. The mailing of ballots to everyone is a joke, so many people did not get their ballots and so many got multiple ballots. The blatant fraud and corruption is sickening and I can sadly say that in my opinion conservatives have no voice in California and no path to acquire one. The left will maintain control of the once beautiful state, continue to run it into the ground and the dictator governor will unleash more of his communist rules on his constituents. I pray daily for my state and country, God is our only hope. I would like to know where the republican leaders were in our recall fight…it is hard to discern them from the democrats. At least the communists fought for their guy, can’t say the same for the “right” side. I did not see any outpouring of support for any of the candidates from the republican party, knowing that putting a conservative in as governor of Kalifornia would really help the nation. Very hard to stay motivated to be involved.

1 year ago
Reply to  Cindy Cunniffe

Just want to say thank you Cindy for telling your story re: mailing of ballots and your concerns for support of California. I really love California. I was born in Sacramento, raised in Northern California. It is so very sad to see what has happened to that state. I moved away when I retired 16 years ago to travel the great USA until recently. I now live in Arizona because my husband loves the warmth of the weather. But, I just want to encourage the people of California, those who are true Americans and care about the state, to continue the good fight against the corruption that is taking place there. We, my husband and I, must continue to fight where we are planted and we are doing what we can, contacting our representatives, speaking out, fighting against the “far left” side who are trying to change America. Bloom where you are planted and don’t give up. God is on our side, He hates evil.

Charlie C.
1 year ago

as long as there are no ballot/voting integrity reforms and the continued use of the current voting machines conservatives will NEVER win another election …

K. Martin
1 year ago

I don’t see how Republicans can ever win against this continuing voting fraud. In addition to what was noted in the article, I’ve also read where countless people who tried to vote were told by poll workers that they’d already voted, despite the fact that they knew they most certainly had not voted. I’m also wondering if Dominion machines were again used.

Cindy Cunniffe
1 year ago
Reply to  K. Martin

Dominion machines are used in Tehama County

1 year ago
Reply to  K. Martin

Yes Dominion machines were used so we will never know the true results of the 2020 CA recall. We can not possibly allow an more suspicious machines to count the 2022 vote. Mike Lindell mentioned in the cyber symposium that there are new machines that are tamper proof ready to use.

1 year ago

For me, the sad matter is that the republicans don’t seem to be able to learn much of anything.
I see the opportunities being squandered again and again. When will they get their act together?
Who knows? While the democratic liberal game plan is easily recognized, the republicans seem inept at responding with working efforts that have much effect……reflecting their meager actions and repeated rhetoric as impotent at best and collusive at worst. It would seem the light at the end of the tunnel is a train.

1 year ago
Reply to  D.P.

Very well said. The RNC and the most establishment Republicans in Washington and elsewhere seemed locked in repeating a very narrow and ineffective set of moves over and over again. Clearly there doesn’t seem to be an original idea to be found in the RNC and most establishment Republicans just keep repeating the same worn out and ineffective talking points at every turn.

The Democrat strategy book is paper thin and very predictable. They telegraph their moves well in advance and they only have six or seven plays, that they keep repeating over and over again. Yet neither the RNC nor career establishment Republicans seem to willing or able to figure out the straight-forward way to crush their predictable game strategy. It’s like watching a 5 year old playing the same game over and over again, using the exact same moves, and then wondering each time why the game ends the same way over and over again. It’s embarrassing.

1 year ago
Reply to  D.P.

We have the same problem in Oregon. I have been unsuccessful in getting my questions about voter integrity answered. I do not trust any of the elected officials (Republican or democrat) to answer my questions truthfully. Oregon has been ruled by liberals for 40 years. They are on target to totally destroy this state if we don’t do something, but no body seems to care.

1 year ago

Newsome is delusional like his relative Pelosi. Can you name 5 significant things Newsome has done for the people of California? How much money did Sorros contribute to Newsome to get him elected? There should be a mandatory spending limit per candidate, we all know this, so as to make it more obvious about the corrupt buying of votes. California would be so much better off with the ethical Red White & Blue Larry Elder. By putting the corrupt Newsome back in office is a major loss for the California people. How many more people and businesses will move out of CA? I know there are a lot of CA plates in CO and FL. Watch the tax increase and crime in CA under Newsome continue to increase. The people of CA got what was paid for and now will suffer the consequences. Another lets by the votes by the Dems scam. .I am sick of corrupt anti American politicians like Newsome and all the non sensical continual investigations. Corrupt officials should not be given a pass and allowed to retire with full benefits. They should be put in prison then executed for betraying the American trust and violating our Constitution.

1 year ago

Several women on TV said they went to the poles to vote and they were told they had already voted !!!!! We need to get rid of the machines and keep each vote w/each signature and when more people voted than are entitled to vote, we either vote again all over or that area’s votes don’t count. That’s why voter ID when voting is pertinent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 year ago

that picture is nothing like what our ballots looked like. The question on recall was a separate section under a ton of small print instructs. The selection of who to replace him was on a separate page. Stupidity on reading instructions could well be part of why he is still in place.

Ed J
1 year ago

Unfortunately, we residents of the Peoples Republic of alifornia are stuck with Governor Gruesome for at least one more year. And yes, the Demsheviks are running scared, because even they are beginning to see the writing on the wall. Like Bidense, Gruesome and all his toadies are like King Midas in reverse – almost everything they touch turns to crap, and they echo the universal Demshevik mantra, “We snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory!”
Larry Elder was the only refreshing person to come forward out of this recall effort. He will be a wonderful governor of California if he can beat Governor Gruesome next year. Let’s hope enough of the Demshevik lemmings wake up next year, recognize the magnitude of the problem(s) and vote for common sense.

1 year ago

Never underestimate the stupidity of the California voter.

Jay A.
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

Could be said for most liberal Democrat voters!

Martin Lakey
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

I’ve always said, “It’s not the votes that count, it’s the vote counters that “count””!
Another example of fraud!

Ed J
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

The reservoir of stupid California voters consists almost entirely of the Demshevik minions in our state. Most Democrats just “don’t get it” while most Republicans generally “do get it!” That’s why we had the recall in the first place because over 2,000,000 “right thinking” Californians signed the recall petition earlier this year.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

not all Californians are stupid! There was criminal activity to stop this recall, I am sure.

1 year ago

The Marxist Democrats will use the same playbook next year: Trump hatred & fear, character assassination in lieu of arguing issues they lose big on, and their ace in the hole, VOTER FRAUD!

Eric The Patriot
1 year ago

Unless we fix voter fraud … we will never have a fair election again!!

Nick Patriot
1 year ago

And most repos DON”T CARE!!!!

1 year ago

As long as the mail system is used in any phase of handling ballots (before or after marking by the voter) you will continue to have some level of rigging by the Democrat Party….period. And without an honest fair Constitutionally protected right of one-man-one-vote election process, you will NOT have a Constitutional Democracy balloting process. Using US mailing is to add haste to the voting process, but as far as actual political voting is concerned, HASTE MAKES WASTE as far as producing a guaranteed honest election. In case my point is not clear…. THE US MAIL SYSTEM SHOULD NOT DO ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH BALLOTS … PERIOD. it is okay to use the mail system to send bulk notices regarding voter sites, etc. but the actual balloting process should NOT has any connections with the voting process. There are so many ways the use of MAIL ballots pre-vote and post-voting is staggers the imagination as to how grossly it can be abused to rig an election result.

1 year ago
Reply to  Hal

If they follow the correct procedures for mail-in balloting ( which Is absentee balloting) the responsibility of asking, receiving, and using it belongs solely to the INDIVIDUAL voter. No one should be allowed to mass pick up ballots for “delivery” and only a correctly identified person should hand-deliver the ballot. The voter should be responsible for knowing how to correctly fill out an absentee ballot and correctly fill out and sign and seal it. Just because you use technology as your sole means of communication does not exclude the voter from not knowing how to read paper forms and fill them out correctly. Voters need to know how to read directions on paper forms because technology can be hacked but paper ballots are the hard copy version of their vote. Also, each voter has to be verified as registered into the roll of eligible voters, just like you send a change of address to all companies you deal with, you also need to keep your voting information current for your location. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x