California Governor Gavin Newsom is focusing on conservative radio personality Larry Elder as he faces a recall election later this year. Newsom is particularly appealing to female voters in his fight to stay in office, calling attention to the precarious state of reproductive rights if Elder were to be elected governor. While Elder is Newsom’s chief target, his allies are focusing their attacks on the Republican candidates in general, who they argue are much more conservative than mainstream voters. Planned Parenthood’s California branch in particular is mobilizing against Elder and other Republican candidates, characterizing them as extremists.
Newsom sharpened his criticism against efforts to recall him in a phone call with Planned Parent representatives earlier this week. During the call, Newsom argued that the situation was especially dire for female voters as all the Republicans seeking the governorship have expressed interest in limiting reproductive rights. Given the possibility of challenges to Roe v. Wade, Newsom contends that any Republican being elected governor could spell doom for abortion rights in the state. Turning to Elder specifically, Newsom reminded voters that in the past, the talk show host has levied unfair criticism at women. Newsom alleged that throughout his career, Elder has made a variety of sexist remarks, including questioning women’s intelligence, emotional stability, and fitness for public service. Elder’s remarks about women have led two of his biggest rivals in the Republican Party, Caitlyn Jenner and Kevin Faulconer, to call for him to suspend his campaign for governor.
For some Democrats, Elder’s comments have become a rallying cry. While not all Democrats are pleased with Newsom’s leadership, they see the prospect of a Republican leading the state as even worse. This has led to record numbers of people flocking to organizations like Planned Parenthood to campaign on Newsom’s behalf. According to some political forecasters, Newsom’s biggest challenge is his declining support among female progressive Democrats, who feel that the governor has not done enough for them during the pandemic. Many single mothers in the state have found themselves without jobs because of the pandemic and feel that Newsom has abandoned them while they continue to struggle.
Other progressive voters say that Newsom has not done enough to address the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles. While the state has devoted a large sum of money to build new facilities to house the homeless, many Los Angelenos say that the problem still persists and that their city has never before been inundated with so many homeless people.