By Emily Hoeven
Do you hear it?
That’s the sound of California candidates and campaigns pulling out all the stops ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for voters to cast ballots in the highly consequential general election.
Gov. Gavin Newsom was set Monday to campaign for Democrats running in Orange County, including Dr. Asif Mahmood, who’s seeking to oust Republican U.S. Rep. Young Kim, said campaign spokesperson Nathan Click.
After stumping for candidates across the state over the weekend, the California Republican Party was also holding its final campaign events in Orange and San Diego counties, a reflection of the region’s influence in determining control of the U.S. House.
On Sunday, Newsom — who the UC Berkeley poll shows leading his opponent, Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle, 58% to 37% — spoke at a trifecta of campaign events:
• In Stevenson Ranch, he stumped for Democrat Christy Smith, who’s vying with incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Garcia for a hotly contested House seat.
• In Long Beach, Newsom rallied alongside a coterie of Democratic state officials and candidates in support of Proposition 1, which would enshrine the right to abortion and contraception in the state constitution.
• And in Costa Mesa, he rallied voters for Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, who’s facing a tough reelection bid against Republican Scott Baugh for a newly redrawn congressional district with a slim Democratic majority.
The three rallies followed Newsom’s Saturday appearance at a San Francisco phone banking event urging voters to support Democrats in other key California congressional races — which was also the focus of President Joe Biden’s trip to the Golden State on Thursday and Friday, his second in less than a month.
On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris was set to rally in Los Angeles at a get-out-the-vote event hosted by the California Democratic Party. She was also slated to stump for U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, whose projected lead over billionaire businessman Rick Caruso for Los Angeles mayor is shrinking, according to a new poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies and the Los Angeles Times.
Also on Monday, Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, made an appearance at the Smith headquarters in Stevenson Ranch, ahead of appearances scheduled Monday evening by State Controller Betty Yee and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.
The emphasis on House races comes amid growing Democratic concerns that a Republican “red wave” could ensure GOP control of Congress. Newsom, who’s facing pushback from some prominent Democrats for saying that it feels like a red wave is coming and that his party is getting “crushed on narrative,” seemingly sought to turn those sentiments around at the Prop. 1 rally:
Newsom: “Don’t be pessimistic, Democrats! They want you to be pessimistic. They want to talk about this red wave. … We can turn this country around, we can turn the conversation back and get on the offensive and stop being defensive, Democrats!”
Hallie Balch, Republican National Committee director of communications for California and Nevada, said in a statement: “A new era of leadership is coming this Tuesday. From state legislators to members of Congress, Californians will get the representation they deserve. Democrats have had a supermajority almost exclusively for nearly 30 years, and under their leadership, inflation is at historic highs, crime is on the rise and the homelessness crisis is worse than ever.”
Find out everything you need to know about voting before California’s election ends Tuesday with the CalMatters Voter Guide, which includes information on races, candidates and propositions, as well as videos, interactives and campaign finance data. The guide can be found at calmatters.org/california-voter-guide-2022.
Signal staff contributed to this report.