What Gov. Gavin Newsom did was really unprecedented. He handily gained his reelection race with out operating.
He didn’t even ask for our votes — the very first thing any candidate ought to do. But, he was reelected governor of the nation’s most populous state in a close to landslide.
What does that inform us?
Reply: How weak the as soon as formidable Republican Celebration has lastly turn into in California. Its gubernatorial candidate couldn’t even mount a aggressive marketing campaign towards a noncombatant.
The GOP apparently stored its file intact of not having gained a statewide race since 2006.
Newsom’s opponent, state Sen. Brian Dahle, 57, a seed farmer from rural Lassen County, was probably the very best GOP gubernatorial candidate since enterprise govt Meg Whitman misplaced to Democratic legend Jerry Brown in 2010.
Measured by expertise in elective workplace, Dahle was essentially the most certified Republican to run for governor since then-Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren misplaced to Democrat Grey Davis in 1998.
However Whitman was megarich and will pour $150 million of her personal cash into the all-out marketing campaign. Lungren wasn’t wealthy, however the GOP was wholesome sufficient again then that donors felt he was a promising funding.
Dahle couldn’t elevate sufficient cash to rent a lot of a employees, not to mention purchase TV advertisements.
Newsom was rolling in marketing campaign buyers’ cash. He may have run TV advertisements 24/7, however didn’t run any. He didn’t must. That’s extraordinary for a governor.
The incumbent was a “D” in deep-blue California and Dahle was an “R.” That’s all voters wanted to know on this polarized period.
Oh, Newsom did run some TV advertisements, although not for himself. He appeared in an advert for Proposition 1, the poll measure to cement abortion rights within the state Structure. It gained lopsidedly and presumably helped prove Democratic voters, because the get together deliberate.
The governor additionally was featured in an efficient advert that helped defeat Proposition 30, the initiative bankrolled by ride-hailing firm Lyft that may have taxed the wealthy to subsidize electrical automotive purchases — and significantly helped Lyft’s drivers.
Newsom’s solely actual marketing campaign occasion was one little-noticed debate broadcast on a Sunday afternoon as professional soccer video games had been telecast. He was virtually flawless and may have pushed for a night efficiency proven to a statewide TV viewers.
By not campaigning on TV and on the stump, Newsom can’t declare what winners at all times do: a mandate for pet tasks. His solely mandate is to not turn into a Republican, though there are many unfulfilled guarantees nonetheless left over from his 2018 election marketing campaign.
Begin with eradicating homeless folks from the streets, housing them and treating their psychological well being points and addictions.
Newsom did marketing campaign out of state — on TV and billboards in Florida and Texas towards their governors’ conservative polices on abortion and immigration. That acquired his title circulated throughout America as a nationwide political participant and a possible presidential candidate — priceless publicity for a politician, even whether it is hype.
Having spent comparatively little in California, Newsom ended the marketing campaign with round $20 million stashed in his political kitty.
What does the 55-year-old governor do with that cash now that he gained’t be operating for one more state workplace?
He may use it to finance a poll measure or combat one. However utilizing cash raised for a state race on a federal marketing campaign is tough and impractical. The federal contribution guidelines are a lot tighter.
Nonetheless, what Newsom in all probability does is maintain doing what he has been: operating to get into place to enter the 2024 presidential race.
He definitely is aware of that finally it gained’t matter even when he did promise to serve a full four-year second time period as governor and has persistently insisted he has “subzero curiosity” within the White Home.
Positive he does. He’s a politician and he’s human.
That stated, I’d be stunned if Newsom runs for president in two years.
He wouldn’t run towards President Biden. And if Biden doesn’t run, he in all probability gained’t resolve that till the final minute — very late for a governor to leap into the early primaries.
Newsom in all probability wouldn’t hesitate to compete towards his previous California sidekick, Vice President Kamala Harris. However she’d have the early benefit. And Newsom is younger sufficient to attend for one more race.
Anyway, it’s extremely uncertain any California Democrat may win the presidency today. We’re simply too leftist for flyover nation and the South.
If Newsom does have desires of the Rose Backyard, he ought to take into account operating for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in 2024. She’ll definitely retire at age 91. The Senate would supply him with a extra noticeable nationwide pulpit. And California Senate seats hardly ever open up for Democrats.
However that’s additionally unlikely. Newsom must give up the final two years of his time period. And governors don’t like to surrender their highly effective govt jobs to turn into one in every of 100 senators, particularly as a freshman with out seniority.
In the meantime, all Democratic candidates, together with Newsom, have two folks to thank for stopping the buildup of the scary Crimson Wave: Donald Trump and Samuel Alito.
Trump was the GOP’s pink flag that scared off Democrats and independents along with his wretched habits and mendacity. Alito’s the Supreme Courtroom justice who wrote the intense ruling that killed nationwide abortion rights, agitating Democratic voters and giving the likes of Newsom a potent subject.
Republican politicians ought to lastly distance themselves from the embarrassing former president. And Democrats ought to hope he really runs in 2024. Fairly than a pink wave, there’d be a smelly sump.