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Newsom's team confident he'll beat recall attempt

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Governor Gavin Newsom's team is supremely confident it has enough "No on recall" votes to keep Newsom in the statehouse.

"There's no scenario where we lose tomorrow," said Sean Clegg, a senior adviser to Newsom. "We see the blue giant waking up. I don't see evidence of a red giant waking up in California."

Recently released public polling shows Californians want to keep Newsom in office by double-digit margins. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state, by a 2 to 1 ratio.

And multiple Republican campaigns, too, told CBS News their private polling shows "Yes on recall" losing by margins in the high single digits or low double digits.

Under recall rules, a majority of voters must vote "Yes" to oust Newsom. If that happens, the top vote getter among 46 challengers becomes governor — no matter how small their share of the vote.

Newsom's team says its analysis of 8.3 million early votes has staked "No on recall" to an insurmountable lead.

"I don't see a scenario where were not talking about a victory for the governor and a complete rejection of this appalling partisan power grab," Clegg said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom delivers remarks to reporters after a helicopter tour of the Caldor Fire region with President Biden at Mather Airport on Monday, September 13, 2021, in Mather, California. / Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
California Governor Gavin Newsom delivers remarks to reporters after a helicopter tour of the Caldor Fire region with President Biden at Mather Airport on Monday, September 13, 2021, in Mather, California. / Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Republican recall organizers pointed to the governor's stringent COVID pandemic lockdowns and vaccine and mask mandates as reason to oust him from office. But Newsom advisers argue the recent uptick in cases has made it clear to voters that those protocols were necessary.

"We saw the delta surge as a real inflection moment in this campaign. I think it was a turning point for us," Clegg said.

Newsom's advisors said passage of the Texas abortion bill also animated California's Democratic base, as did invoking former President Trump's name — he lost the state by a wide margin in 2020, nearly 30 points.

President Biden joined Newsom in Long Beach on Monday for his final campaign event before Election Day.

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