The Times podcast: The origins of California’s recall fever

The "Recall Gavin Newsom Rally" at the San Diego County Administration Building on June 28, 2020.
The “Recall Gavin Newsom Rally,” held in June at the San Diego County Administration Building, drew about 100 people and featured speakers, musicians and a recall signature effort.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

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Over the next couple of months, media outlets from across the world will descend on California to cover the possible recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom. There have been only two successful recalls of governors in U.S. history — including the recall of California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.


Why is this famously liberal state so prone to conservative voter uprisings? It’s part of a decades-long trend that has rocked local and state politics, a trend that’s gone on to influence the rest of the U.S. Today, we examine the roots of the upcoming recall election against California Gov. Gavin Newsom with L.A. Times politics columnist Mark Z. Barabak and Randy Economy, one of the architects of the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: Randy Economy, senior advisor for the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign, and L.A. Times politics columnist Mark Z. Barabak

Further reading:
How three political novices with turbulent pasts helped spark the Newsom recall

Column: Good news for Gavin Newsom — California is no longer the place it was in 2003

From the Archives: Death Ends Career of Sen. Hiram Johnson

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producers Steven Cuevas and Denise Guerra, executive producer Abbie Fentress Swanson and editor Julia Turner. Our engineer is Mario Diaz and our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.