Paul and Scott have already noted the prominent reasons why the Newsom recall failed, and failed badly. This is worse than a rout: it is going to embolden California progressives to push their agenda even harder.
Let us recall that even Nate Silver, a month ago, thought Newsom was in genuine peril:
Then came Larry Elder, who was unknown outside the conservatives who listen to talk radio. He was the perfect foil for Democrats to turn the recall in to a genuine general election with Newsom running against Elder rather than defending his own sorry record, and light up a heretofore apathetic Democratic base. Elder’s campaign could have been better: it didn’t emphasize runaway homelessless that is extremely unpopular, nor did he attack Newsom for our $5 gasoline prices that are largely the result of obsolete state regulations that a sensible governor could get the Biden Administration to waive if it wanted to.
But there are a couple silver linings: progressive overreach might provoke a backlash in next year’s election. Newsom might get upset, perhaps by a bland GOP candidate like former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, who was planning to run next year already. Also, the recall did win in a couple of swing congressional districts suggesting that the GOP might pick up a House seat or two next year.
Finally, the exit polls show Newsom performed more poorly than expected with . . . Latino voters. Hmmmm.