Vice President Kamala Harris has received some criticism in recent days for crisscrossing California to campaign on behalf of embattled Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Now, President Joe Biden has announced he will be traveling to the Golden State on a similar mission ahead of an upcoming recall election, as the Washington Examiner reports. Given Biden’s steadily declining approval rating, however, it remains to be seen whether his presence will actually help Newsom.
“A trip he’ll take early next week”
California voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to determine whether Newsom will be recalled and replaced by a GOP candidate. The recall election stems from growing frustration among his constituents on a variety of issues.
Opponents have expressed opposition to the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as his record on crime and homelessness across the state. Making matters worse, Newsom faced charges of hypocrisy last year when he was spotted at a ritzy restaurant without a mask in violation of his own decree.
Although FiveThirtyEight’s aggregation of polls indicates Newsom will likely prevail in the upcoming election, his lead has diminished in recent weeks.
If he is recalled, the GOP frontrunner in the race is conservative pundit Larry Elder.
According to the Examiner, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Monday that Biden will be campaigning on behalf of the governor, asserting: “I expect we have more to report to all of you, or announce, on a trip he’ll take early next week, later today.”
“Republicans are motivated”
Earlier this year, Democratic political consultant Steven Maviglio warned that his party is suffering from an enthusiasm gap ahead of the election.
“Republicans are motivated and Democrats aren’t,” he told the Examiner.
Although Democrats might hope that the president’s involvement will give Newsom a last-minute boost, evidence suggests Biden’s sagging popularity could be a hindrance.
As FiveThirtyEight reported, Biden’s approval rating stands at 45% compared to nearly 48% who disapprove of his leadership thus far.
Voters are increasingly disillusioned by his handling of the recent U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as domestic issues such as the economy and COVID-19. Time will tell whether he still retains enough goodwill to benefit another widely unpopular Democrat facing a fight for his political future.