New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Voters less Republican and white than in 2003

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It’s a familiar refrain among California’s recall watchers: 2021 is not 2003.

Yes, the state again is in the middle of a recall election that could remove the Democratic governor from office. But today’s California electorate looks far different than it did 18 years ago: It’s less Republican, more Latino and Asian, and younger - all trends that favor Gov. Gavin Newsom, so long as he can get his voters to turn out.

“Newsom has always had it by the numbers, and he knows that,” said Mindy Romero, director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy at the University of Southern California and an expert in voters and the electorate.

Early voting has been going on for weeks and more than 7 million ballots have been cast so far. The final day to vote is Tuesday.

There are two questions on the ballot: Should Newsom be recalled and, if so, who should replace him? If a majority wants him gone, whoever gets the most support among the 46 names on the replacemen­t ballot will become governor. It would almost certainly be a Republican since no Democrat with political standing is running. Conservati­ve talk radio host Larry Elder has been leading in polls.

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