Larry Elder, a syndicated conservative radio host running for governor of California as a Republican, says he has raised nearly $4.5 million in the first 19 days of his campaign to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a special recall election set for September 14.
His campaign said the total includes contributions received “from July 12, 2021, the day Elder announced his candidacy, to July 31, 2021, the end of the latest reporting period.” Elder’s team said about 46,000 donors had provided financial support, making the average donation $84.00.
According to Politico, “In mere weeks, his total eclipsed what fellow Republicans had raised in months, and daily filings show Elder has pulled in another $440,000 in the first few days of August.”
“The numbers announced by my campaign today solidify my candidacy to defeat Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election,” said Elder in a statement issued on Thursday. “Californians have shown up and believe in our mission to recall Newsom and elect me in his place. Newsom can raise an unlimited amount of funds for this election; therefore, every single donation to my campaign counts, whether small or large.”
More details from Politico:
The highest-raising Republican contenders registered hauls in the low millions, while Newsom has raised at least $45 million since the start of 2021. All told, Republicans have cumulatively raised a fraction of Newsom’s stash, which has allowed the governor to dominate the airwaves this summer and puts him in a position to continue running ads statewide in the roughly five weeks left before the Sept. 14 election…
Elder provided a copy of his statement showing topline numbers, but his campaign said his forms aren’t on the California secretary of state’s website because the system was clogged at Thursday night’s deadline. Likewise, Newsom’s forms weren’t showing up accurately as of Friday morning…
Newsom enjoys a singular edge over his GOP rivals: campaign finance rules allow the incumbent governor to raise unlimited sums of money because state law treats the question of whether to oust Newsom as a ballot issue rather than a candidate race. That has allowed Newsom to lap the Republican field, drawing on a panoply of deep-pocketed backers across the worlds of organized labor, Hollywood, tech, agriculture, Native American casinos, and real estate.
The recall ballot will contain two questions. First, voters will decide whether Newsom should be recalled. The second question asks who should replace Newsom if he is recalled.
The latest Emerson College and Nexstar Media “Inside California Politics” poll released on Tuesday found “voters remain split, with 46% in favor and 48% against the recall of Gov. Newsom. Six percent of likely voters are still undecided.” The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
Elder leads the list of more than 40 candidates on the ballot to replace Newsom with 23% support, up seven percentage points since the previous survey last month. However, pollsters emphasized that 40% of respondents were unsure which candidate they would choose.
The poll found the other top contenders, all Republicans, were all in the single digits. Businessman John Cox and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner polled at 7%, followed by California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley at 5%, and former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer at 4%.