The second debate of recall candidates for California governor was held last night in Sacramento.
Absent was Former Congressman Doug Ose who suffered a heart-attack on Sunday and is now bowing out of the race. Conservative Talk Show Host Larry Elder, the front runner, again skipped the debate. As in a previous debate among Republicans this month, the candidates used the platform to rail against Newsom and the Democratic policies they say hurt Californians. But the event also marked the first time front-runner Elder was targeted by the candidates from the debate stage. Elder’s previous remarks on eliminating the minimum wage also drew scrutiny during the debate. During an interview with McClatchy’s California-based editorial boards this month, Elder said “the ideal minimum wage is $0.”
Hosted by the Sacramento Press Club, the Sacramento Bee and CapRadio, the debate came just as the first ballots were arriving in voters’ mailboxes across California. A recent poll by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and cosponsored by The Times showed that the race is tight among likely voters, with 47% supporting the recall, compared with 50% who are opposed.
The result will ultimately come down to turnout, and whether conservative candidates can excite their base enough to remove the governor in a state where Democrats far outnumber Republicans in voter registration.