Will Caitlyn Jenner replace Gavin Newsom? A look at reality TV star's odds ahead of California recall election

Is Jenner serious about running for governor? She may be, but her past shows California isn't too enthusiastic about another celebrity leader


                            Will Caitlyn Jenner replace Gavin Newsom? A look at reality TV star's odds ahead of California recall election
Could Caitlyn Jenner replace California governor Gavin Newsom? (Getty Images)

California Governor Gavin Newsom will have to face a recall election, the Secretary of State (SoS) confirmed. The SoS confirmed to reporters on April 26 that the recall election will take place as enough signatures have been validated. The GOP-led effort has so far received and verified over 1.5 million signatures, about 100,000 more than what is needed. 

The first-term Democrat would normally be up for reelection in 2022, but will now face voters sometime this fall. The recall election, unlike traditional elections, works differently. When it happens, voters will face two questions-

1) Should Gavin Newsom be recalled?
2) If yes, then who should replace him?

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Gavin Newsom talks with reporters after voting at the Masonic Temple Fairfax on June 5, 2018 in Larkspur, California. (Getty Images)

 

Assuming the first question 'Should Gavin Newsom be recalled' is answered by more than 50% of voters, then whoever gets the most votes to the second question 'who should replace him' will win the election. There is no minimum threshold that needs to be met. Right now, there is a crowded field of candidates running to replace Newsom and more are expected to announce their candidature in the coming days. 

Under California guidelines, candidates have until 59 days before the election to file papers to run. No date has yet been confirmed, but it will likely be held sometime this fall. Also, since Newsom is barred from running, it is almost a certainty that he will be replaced. That presents a tough position for Democrats, who will look for another senior leader in the state to fill in Newsom's shoes.

Republicans though, don't have that issue. So far, four prominent Republicans have announced plans to run  - Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner and former Rep Doug Ose. Of course, the most prominent of these names in recent weeks has been Jenner, which begs the question - will she replace Newsom?

Caitlyn Jenner holding a 'Caitlyn for California' mug. (@caitlynjenner via Instagram)

Will Jenner replace Newsom?

The big question on many people's minds is if Jenner is a serious candidate. Of course, she isn't the first to face that question. Back in 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger too ran for governor in the recall election and to many people's surprise actually won. Can Jenner do a Schwarzenegger? It seems unlikely. Apart from being a celebrity, Jenner also faces the challenges of poor optics. 

When she has dipped her toe in politics, Jenner hasn't always been clear about where she stands. In 2015, she told Ellen DeGeneres that she wasn't sure about marriage equality, before changing her mind. Jenner also infamously supported former president Donald Trump in his 2016 Presidential campaign before doing another about-face. After that, the LGBTQ community seemed less than enthused about her running. Equality California tweeted, "Make no mistake: we can’t wait to elect a #trans governor of California. But @Caitlyn_Jenner spent years telling the #LGBTQ+ community to trust Donald Trump. We saw how that turned out. Now she wants us to trust her? Hard pass"



 

 

It's not just the lack of support, but what appears to be a lack of interest from Jenner as well. USA Today noted that "the website announcing her candidacy has no policy positions, no substance, nothing — only 'Shop' and 'Donate' buttons". Then there's also the fact that Jenner is running as a Republican. After four years of Trump, the modern GOP party has massively shifted towards the right. Such conservatism means Jenner is unlikely to be popular with most voters and even the party ahead of 'traditional' candidates like Faulconer or Ose. We've seen some of this in action. Conservative political commentator Michael Knowles tweeted on April 23, "Having left the state, I no longer have a dog in this fight. But it would be absolutely hilarious if the first female governor of California were a man."



 

 

Going from the above, it does look like Jenner faces a very uphill task of winning over voters. If Twitter polls were a thing, then it would be clear just how poor Jenner's chances are.

Caitlyn Jenner speaks at the 4th annual Women's March LA: Women Rising at Pershing Square on January 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

'This is not a TV show'

Jenner is clearly unpopular with Californians right now. One user tweeted, "If @Caitlyn_Jenner is your choice for governor, you really will need Jesus to help! I support her LGBTQ work, but that doesn’t qualify her to run one of the 10 largest economies in the world!" Another tweeted at Jenner, "This is not a TV show for running for Governor ok".



 

 



 

 

"Caitlyn Jenner against Newsom for CA Governor? Only the people in Devin Nunes district are dumb enough to vote for Jenner!" one person said. Another told her, "You are unqualified and unwanted as governor in this state. We've had more than enough of inexperienced executives with that orange POS you supported."



 

 



 

 

One person asked, "Seriously curious to know why Caitlyn Jenner thinks she’s qualified to be the governor of California????"



 

 

Another tweeted, "WAIT - @Caitlyn_Jenner, who spent years telling us to trust Trump, NOW all of the sudden wants lgbtq+ support so she can run for governor of CA. Baby sit down. I’m laughing so hard."



 

 

We can't deny, it's not looking good for Jenner. Between her botched positions in the past, her support of Trump and the modern GOP, her odds of becoming the governor are quite small. Odds Checker put her at 25-1 to win, meaning she has just a 3.8% chance of winning. That said, we've seen Trump beat the odds before when nobody expected him to. So it's not impossible for Jenner to win, but she'll have to run quite a campaign to do that. And of course, it also matters who the Democrats decide to back, which could make for a very interesting election. 

These remarks were made by the Internet and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet.

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