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Former President Barack Obama is the latest high-profile figure to appear in an ad supporting Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and urging Californians to vote “no” in next Tuesday’s California recall election.
The spot released Wednesday is a big get for Newsom. The former president has largely stayed out of the political fray since leaving office but remains a popular figure among Democratic voters.
“Governor Newsom has spent the past year and a half protecting California communities,” Obama says in the ad. “Now Republicans are trying to recall him from office and overturn common-sense COVID safety measures for health care workers and school staff.”
The ad, which Newsom shared on Twitter, is slated to start running on television Thursday, Politico reported.
“Your vote could be the difference between protecting our kids and putting them at risk; helping Californians recover or taking us backwards,” Obama says in the ad. “Protect California by voting no on the Republican recall.”
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have also appeared in ads opposing the Republican-led recall effort in California.
Warren and Vice President Kamala Harris have been rallying alongside Newsom in person over the past week. Harris, who appeared with him in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday, emphasized the importance of Democratic enthusiasm for blocking the recall.
While Democrats have a massive edge in California, voter turnout among the state’s Republicans is expected to be high.
President Joe Biden said he would also stump for Newsom in California early next week.
Among the 40-plus candidates seeking to unseat Newsom, the highest-polling candidate is conservative radio host Larry Elder ― a supporter of President Donald Trump who denies human-caused climate change, believes abortion is “murder,” wants to disband all of California’s COVID-19 safety measures and is under police investigation for domestic violence allegations by his ex-fiancee.
A Republican governor in California could spell serious trouble for Democrats’ narrow majority in Congress. If Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) retires or dies before her term ends and a Republican governor names a GOP replacement for her, Republicans will reclaim the majority in the U.S. Senate.