CLAY: Big day in the state of California. Prior to the time people said it would never happen, a recall election for Gavin Newsom. Well, it is happening today. If Gavin Newsom were recalled, Larry Elder would likely be the next governor of the state of California. Now, the polls, to the extent you can rely on the polls, suggest that Gavin Newsom is going to win his recall election.
But certainly the way the Democrats have mobilized makes it clear that they expect for this to be at least a somewhat challenging election. They have brought out all the big guns to campaign with Gavin Newsom all over California, including — well, they even got Joe Biden on an airplane to fly across the country, and he was in California yesterday. And Biden was saying, “Hey, if you vote for Larry Elder, you’re basically voting for Donald Trump.” Here’s Biden yesterday.
BIDEN: (whiserping) This year the leading Republican running for governor is a, uh… the closest thing to a Trump clone that I’ve ever seen in your state.
CROWD: (smattering of laughter)
BIDEN: No, I really mean it. And he’s leading the other team. He’s a clone of Donald Trump. Can you imagine him being governor of this state?
BIDEN: You can’t let that happen.
CROWD: (smattering of applause)
BIDEN: (screaming) There’s too much at stake!
BUCK: Isn’t this so classic, Clay? Because California, from a governance perspective — and I have a lot of friends, particularly in LA, but I also know a bunch of people inside San Fran — or in San Diego. I actually don’t know that many in San Fran. Even the ones who are Democrats will tell you that the state government is a total mess, that this is unsustainable.
CLAY: Yes. One-party rule is a disaster.
BUCK: It’s a disaster because there’s no impetus. There can be no accountability when you have an entire state that has effectively become a Democrat enclave, and so you just choose one Democrat or another.
CLAY: That’s right.
BUCK: And they’re all totally in bed with the public sector unions, and they believe in the same social justice nonsense. You really have two Californias. You have the people who live close to the coast who are very, very wealthy. The average home price in California right now is over $800,000.
BUCK: Average home price!
CLAY: Yeah, I know. And a lot of those homes, by the way — this blew my mind ’cause I spent a lot of time working in L.A. with Fox Sports. So I spent months or years, just about, living in California off and on in the past several years. And, Buck, some of those houses that cost a million dollars in California, you’re like, “Yeah, I wouldn’t even to want live there.”
For people in the rest of the country who are hearing that, your mind explodes because when you hear — for most of the country — “Oh, that’s a million-dollar house,” it has a certain connotation of excellence. In California, it’s like mediocrity. It’s wild.
BUCK: It’s like a $120,000 house in Oklahoma City.
CLAY: Yeah, that’s right.
BUCK: That’s what you get for a million. Look, the problems that California has, though — and this reminds me in a lot of ways, Clay, of the Biden administration — is that there are bad things that happen, and you can draw a very clear straight line between the bad outcome and the bad decision-making rooted in the Democrat, progressive approach or the Democrat, leftist, socialist approach, right?
BUCK: We were just talking about home prices. Why are home prices in California so high? It’s not because everyone’s moving to California and they love it so much. It’s because environmentalist lobby is very powerful in that state. I remember I was at a military base a long time ago when I was in the CIA, and they talked about how they had to create — I’m not kidding — tunnels for turtles to go under the road leading to the military base because they were worried about the tortoises that would get hit by cars going in and out of the base.
This was a huge problem. They spent millions of dollars, and then they also built these fences because the tortoises — guess what — don’t go into the tunnels; they just go for the easiest thing. This is real. I sat through a whole briefing by the general on base about this. And then they realized that when they built these little…
This was all because the California environmentalist lobby. When they built these little tunnels for tortoises and the fence along it so they would go into the tunnels, they realized that the tortoises would get stuck in the fence and then they were essentially, like, an open-air barbecue for the predatory birds that would see them.
BUCK: It was just disaster after disaster because the environmentalists were saying, “We’re gonna kill all the turtles.” That’s why you have such high home prices in California, Clay. That kind of ideology over reality is why you have rolling brownouts which are things you usually think of in the Third World. California doesn’t have enough power.
You have water shortages. You have the horrible fire problem. California could not have been more poorly managed as a state for the last 20 years, and it’s like the Democrats just keep saying, “Oh, but, you know, I’m cool.” They don’t care.
CLAY: (laughing) Well, this is the problem with one-party rule in general is that — especially when it’s Democratic one-party rule — it leads to disaster. And that’s the undergirding story here of why Gavin Newsom got recalled. It’s because every single time they have a new — first of all, the population in California dropped for the first time ever as a state, right?
I think that’s pretty significant. But I’ll tell you here in Tennessee, Buck — and I’ve had the same thing from Realtors in Florida and in Texas and other states that are seeing massive influxes of people — every time they come out with a new, crazy covid restriction, the phones blow up in all of these other states because it pertains to people…
It’s like the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s the final little bit of detail, and that’s ultimately what’s going on here. They need someone to shake up the existing government. Look, I think we need to talk about it when we come back in this next segment, what does victory look like? One possibility, obviously, is Larry Elder wins, and that would be a political earthquake of seismic portions if that happens.
BUCK: You’re a betting man, Mr. Travis. What do you think the actual odds are on that right now? I think you’d probably get three to one odds against — and I’m Team Larry all the way. He’s a great guy, great radio host.
CLAY: I want everybody in California to go vote, but I would probably need if I were putting down money, I’d need eight or nine to one to put down money on it happening. So for people out there like, “What does eight or nine to one mean?” It means 10 to 15% chance basically of it happening, right?
BUCK: Yeah, I think that’s probably based on all the polling we’re hear. But, hey, you know, remember election night 2016 one of the greatest things of all time, what was the New York Times Hillary meter at? Was it 97% she’s gonna win or something? I still I love that.
CLAY: We don’t know how valid the polling is. We don’t know who’s actually gonna vote. We do know that they have sent as many mail-in ballots out as they possibly can, and that they are ricocheting all over the country, not just in California. There’s been lots of misaddressed ballots, and we already know — we talked about yesterday — some of the challenges of people that are actually going to vote.
But to me, one of the things to look at is, whatever the margin is, right? Because Trump lost, not surprisingly, California in 2020 by a substantial margin. But I think it’s fair to say in whatever it is now — almost a year — since November of 2020 as we come up on 10 months plus since that time, overall Democratic support has declined substantially.
So what will the numbers actually reflect in this recall vote in terms of the amount of people who can line up against Gavin Newsom? And what might that reflect about where the country is one year out from the midterms?
BUCK: This stuff is always hard, though, because you’ll see that Congress as a general proposition in terms of polling support will be about as popular as a cold sore before going on a photo shoot or something. But then you’ll find out, “Oh, but all those people like their congressman.”
CLAY: That’s right.
BUCK: Right? “Oh, my congressman’s cool. It’s just Congress in general.” In California, I think that any drop attributed in support overall for Newsom, people are going to — certainly the narrative from Democrats but I think this may actually be the political reality — is that it’s a lack of support for Newsom, not a repudiation of the fundamental beliefs of the Democrat Party in that state. There isn’t the New York City, Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s moment here, Clay. What happened in New York City? It got — and I was living here. I was a kid. I remember.
BUCK: It got so dirty and so dangerous —
CLAY: So bad. Yeah.
BUCK: — that people of all political persuasions were willing to say, “Enough. We just need to clean this place up. We just need…” You had black Baptist preachers who were reaching out to the Giuliani administration saying, “Let’s work together. Let’s get police more involved. We want safe communities.”
You had Latino community members, you had everybody coming together saying, “We gotta make this city safe for everybody, right? So there was a political will. In California, man? I don’t know. I think, yeah, the tent cities in Venice and the stuff that’s going on, all the heroin usage out in open air in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard.
We see it, it’s gross, it’s depressing — the thefts that are occurring broad daylight. But there are a lot of libs, man, who say as long, “As I can put my #BLM square on Instagram and I live in a safe neighborhood, I don’t really care.” So we’ll see.
CLAY: How do you register your disapproval? How do you fire back in a big way right now? That’s the question we get, I bet, Buck, more than any other from our listeners. I get that question again whenever I’m out and about and I get it a ton from people in Arkansas. I’m gonna be down in Florida this weekend.
How do we get back to normal? I think it’s, one, by living your life normally. It sounds simple. But by embracing normalcy in your own life, fighting for normalcy, fighting for the things that would have seemed very simple and not outlandish before March of 2020. And one of those things is, if you’re listening to us right now in California…
It’s not only removing Gavin Newsom that counts as a win. It’s registering, I think, a massive increase in disapproval for his policies. Right? Look, Trump lost in California by around 30 points, Buck. You know, he got six million votes. Joe Biden allegedly got 11 million votes, okay? Thirty-point deficit. Imagine if we got it down — as the Republican Party did — to 10 or 12 points.
If it’s a close election for California’s sake, I think a lot of people are getting really nervous. And, by the way, Dub, who is one of our producers on the show, texted me that European books where you can bet on politics (you can’t legally bet on politics in America right now, really) it’s 10 to one basically that Newsom would lose and be removed from office.
BUCK: That sounds about right.
CLAY: About what Trump was in ’16. I mean, not a lot of difference in terms of what odds you could have gotten on Trump being elected in ’16.
BUCK: It’s so fascinating, isn’t it? Donald Trump is not running for office, is not in office. As of now, he’s not running. We don’t know. But he is not in American politics. And yet the go-to move, just to give everyone a sense of how indoctrinated and how clearly true believers in the leftist orthodoxy Californians — Democrat Californians — are, all they have to do is bring up the specter of Trump.
Somehow tie Larry Elder to Donald Trump as if these are guys with similar stories, similar backgrounds. Yeah, they have some similar ideas. But why is he the second coming of Trump or whatever? Well, because it gets all the libs scared; they’re gonna go out and vote against this. But notice there’s not actually any arguments been made that Gavin Newsom — or, for that matter, the Democrat Party of the state of California — is good at their jobs, is making it a better place to live, handles anything well.
BUCK: It’s “Trump is scary. Vote against Trump. I mean Larry Elder.” It’s pathetic.
BUCK: It’s pathetic. But this is what that state, at a political level, has been reduced to.