FiveThirtyEight
Rick Klein

Amid the discussion here and elsewhere about whether it’s too easy to recall — or, at least, try to recall — a governor in California, some intriguing comments from Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California over on ABC News Live tonight. She took note of the dozens of recalls going on at every level of government in California and said there needs to be a serious effort to “see who’s behind it all.”

More of what she said: “This could be a strategy to essentially grind government to a halt, to paralyze government. And so I think that that’s what we have to take a look at. I know that I’m very interested in analyzing who started all these recalls, who’s funding them, because you can’t just recall someone without financial backing, significant financial backing.”

We (myself, perhaps, included) have sometimes covered this recall a bit like the French Laundry photo made things automatically happen. But, of course, the recall drive began long before that picture went viral, and that photo only mattered because serious political infrastructure was already in place to take advantage of that moment.

Rick Klein

To Nathaniel’s earlier point, the preliminary exit polls suggest that Californians — specifically those who took the trouble to vote in the recall — feel pretty good about where the state is in terms of the pandemic, and don’t want to backslide. More than two-thirds of recall voters feel like the state’s coronavirus situation is getting better or staying the same. And in addition to the 69 percent support for the school mask mandate, 63 percent say they see getting vaccinated as more of a public-health responsibility than a personal choice.

Also of note: COVID-19 ranks as the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds — ahead of homelessness, wildfires, crime and the economy.

Anna Rothschild

We’ll be back right before 11 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Pacific when the polls close. But in the meantime, we got a great question from Danny Adams on YouTube, who wondered why California has recall elections at all. Here, FiveThirtyEight copy editor Maya Sweedler and politics podcast host Galen Druke discuss how recall elections got passed into law in the state, and whether than law can be changed: