Gov. Gavin Newsom

Governor Newsom Counting on Labor Union Army to Tank the California Recall

“OAKLAND — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has the numbers, but his opponents have the enthusiasm — and Newsom is counting on a union-heavy army of allies to make up the difference.

With a recall vote looming, the Democratic governor’s political survival could hinge on activating enough of his base to counteract the fervor of conservative foes. A substantial part of that task will fall to unions that have vowed to defend him with a mass mobilization effort, dispatching members to doorsteps across the state.

“People like to make noise. That doesn’t translate to votes,” said Orange County Labor Federation Executive Director Gloria Alvarado. “The voters are already in support, so all we need to do is make sure we secure those votes and talk to our members to ensure that base. We’re not going to take it for granted.”

California’s recall election will ask voters two questions: whether they want to oust Newsom and who should replace him if the electorate removes him.

Political winds are gusting at Newsom’s back as the coronavirus pandemic steadily recedes. The state’s rebounding economy and brimming budget allow Newsom to regularly express optimism and, implicitly, confidence in his leadership. His approval numbers have stabilized and polls show a durable majority opposed to recalling Newsom, thanks in part to California’s overwhelmingly Democratic electorate.

But within those numbers lurks a warning sign: While California Republicans trail Democrats by millions of registered voters, polling shows they are more motivated to vote in a recall election powered by pandemic fatigue and conservative antipathy toward Newsom. It’s also the kind of off-year election that tends to skew toward loyal Republican voters.”

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White, Jeremy B. “Newsom Counting on Labor Union Army to Tank the California Recall.” Politico PRO, 3 June 2021,