Plus, over the past 18 years, party lines have hardened. In 2003, Democrats were more willing to criticize the governor from their party, while Schwarzenegger had cross-aisle appeal as a moderate Republican, and also a movie star.
“Arnold was to many Dems a perfectly acceptable alternative,” said Raphael Sonenshein, the executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles.
This year, however, Republicans failed to coalesce around a candidate who could appeal beyond the far right, as my colleague Jeremy W. Peters reports.
Kevin Faulconer, the centrist Republican candidate on the ballot, garnered little support throughout the campaign, though he resembles the kind of moderate Republicans who have succeeded here in the past.
Meanwhile, Larry Elder, a far right conservative radio host, quickly became the most popular candidate for recall supporters. But, as demonstrated by Tuesday’s results, Elder’s appeal with Republicans didn’t translate to Democrats, who overwhelmingly voted to keep Newsom in office.
There are no obvious answers as to what the future of the Republican Party will be in California. But Newsom is up for re-election in 2022, (yes, actually) so whatever tack the party chooses may become clear soon enough.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2021
At NYT, Soumya Karlamangla writes about Governor Gavin Newsom's victory in the CA recall. She notes that GOP registration has plunged since Schwarzenegger's 2003 election.