Annenberg Radio

USC College Republicans react to Newsom recall failure

The future of the GOP in California is in doubt after the failed attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The campaign to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom tanked on Tuesday. Now, the already beleaguered Republican Party in California is looking at what’s ahead. Atticus Parker with special help from Hao Xu has reactions from USC’s College Republicans.


Newsom defeated the GOP effort to remove him by a near 30-point margin. Marina Ruiz is the president of College Republicans at USC. Here’s what she had to say about the future of the California GOP.

MARINA RUIZ: I know that it’s very difficult here in California to get a big Republican vote like that, so all of us weren’t super shocked. You know, I think some of us were a little bit disappointed in the outcome but I think overall it wasn’t too much of a surprise.

Despite Newsom’s overwhelming victory, Ruiz expects the election results will motivate the Republican Party.

RUIZ: I think it’s actually going to push them to work a lot harder. I generally think the party didn’t work as hard for this recall as they should have. There was a lot of things they could have done better. But I think given what’s happened, a lot of people are upset and I think it’s just going to drive people to vote even more in the next upcoming election.

In the election this week out of nearly 50 other candidates, Newsom’s biggest challenge came from Larry Elder, a conservative talk show host making his first foray into politics. Ruiz insists that even with the sound defeat this week, California Republicans are energized.

RUIZ: I do think that it’s going to set up a lot of really great successes for the near future and I’m excited to see, you know, what’s going to happen with the party, what’s going to happen with Larry Elder, for example, or even you know, what Gavin Newsom is going to do now now that he knows that all these people wanted him out. Like, is he going to change or not?

Ruiz says it would be smart for the state GOP to pay attention to the growing population of minority voters. Exit poll data from the 2020 presidential election revealed the power of these minority voters. As the nation continues to diversify in coming years, the minority vote is only going to become more important. Ruiz hopes her party will target these groups in future campaigns and policy decisions.

RUIZ: Speaker 3: They’re an underrepresented group and, you know, Republicans do need to understand that they also are part of America and they are also just as affected as these policies. And so I definitely think that that’s something that the party is going to have to focus on.

Still, the recall may show the state GOP has a lot of ground to gain to reach a victory. Upon his victory, Newsom said the recall ended up being a resounding yes from voters for science, for vaccines, for ending the pandemic and for environmental, economic and racial justice. The regularly scheduled governor’s race is right around the corner. Primaries begin June 7th of 2022, and the election itself will take place on November 8th.

For Annenberg Media. I’m Atticus Parker.