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Newsom Recall Leaders Claim To Have Enough Signatures For Special Election

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File: California Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Courtesy Gov. Newsom's office)
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Leaders of the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom say they've collected 1.7 million signatures, roughly 200,000 more than needed to trigger a special election.

The Secretary of State must certify roughly 1.5 million valid signatures by mid-March to get on the ballot.

The recall grew out of opposition to Newsom's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been fueled largely by Republican activists and donors.

“Generally, recalls fail because you don't get enough signatures,” said Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at Wagner College’s Institute for Government Reform. “In U.S. history, only four times has a governor received enough signatures to get on the ballot.”

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A Newsom spokesman said Californians need to stay focused on ending the pandemic without, what he called, "the distraction of a hundred-million-dollar, hyperpartisan Republican recall circus."

As recently as December, Newsom’s ratings were good. The Public Policy Institute of California reported that he had a 58% approval rating in October and December, measuring him on jobs and economic performance.