Throughout the pandemic, when the media’s focus wasn’t on the Trump administration, our national journalism industry seemed intent on juxtaposing two state-level leaders to illustrate good COVID-19 policy versus bad COVID policy.
In short, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, good; Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, bad.
But that narrative has begun to implode.
The media seems no longer interested in covering for Cuomo’s incompetence, especially since he hid thousands of nursing home deaths — while despite the media’s best efforts to indicate otherwise, Florida, with the largest senior-citizen population in America, continues to outperform more than half the country.
Yet the media’s second-favorite blue state governor seems ripe for the picking by his own constituents.
The leader of the effort to recall California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he had the requisite signatures to force Newsom back before the voters.
Republican lawyer Tom del Beccaro, chairman of RescueCalifornia.org, tweeted Feb. 10: “EVERYONE: We have over 1.5 mill raw signatures but they are not all verified. My message is that 1.5m sounds great but is NOT ENOUGH. To ensure qualification we need 1.9 million.”
California media note that 1.5 million is the minimum number for ballot qualification. Del Baccaro added that he will continue to push until the March 17 deadline to ensure he can meet the minimum after allowing for challenges and disqualifications.
As the coronavirus spread, Newsom did not seem to get the same attention as Cuomo, even though his lockdown and masking policies were as draconian as the New Yorker’s. One explanation was that he wasn’t as confrontational toward former President Donald Trump as Cuomo.
But Californians are definitely feeling disillusioned.
The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies released a poll on Feb. 2 that pegged Newsom’s job approval rating at 46 percent. The same poll put his approval rating at 64 percent as recently as September.
The IGS further noted that only 31 percent say Newsom is doing a good job dealing with the pandemic, and only 23 percent support his handling of the state’s economy.
And when Californians go gunning for a recall subject, they more often than not get their man or woman.
Since 1913, according to the California secretary of state’s website, 10 politicians have faced recall efforts. Six of them succeeded.
Meanwhile, two polls released within the last two weeks had DeSantis’s approval rating at 52 percent and 54 percent, respectively, in a state where Democrats still outnumber Republicans among registered voters.
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