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Polls to close soon in California

Voters deciding whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom - CBS' Major Garrett reports from Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY/CBS News) - Millions have already voted by mail, which is good news for a Democratic governor who's facing recall less than three-years after winning by a landslide.

Newsom on Tuesday, rattled by the effort to oust him from office, met with volunteers on the last day of voting.

"We got eight more hours in this campaign. We take nothing for granted," he said.

Newsom has pulled party heavyweights into the recall drama, none bigger than President Joe Biden, who headlined an election eve rally in Long Beach.

"We don't need politics in this battle against COVID, we need science," Biden told the crowd.

The ballot has two questions. Should Newsom be recalled? And, if so, who should replace him?

More than nine million people have already voted. So far, twice as many registered Democrats have cast ballots compared the Republicans.

Republican state assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who voted just outside of Sacramento Tuesday, is one of 46 candidates seeking to replace Newsom, but trailing in some polls.

"Do you believe in polls?" asks CBS' Major Garrett.

"The poll that matters is the one on election day today," responded Kiley.

Talk show host Larry Elder leads the Republican field and has drawn fire from Democrats for embracing former President Donald Trump.

If Newsom prevails it will be in part because Californians on balance support his tough COVID-19 restrictions and mandates. Democrats have mobilized against Elder. Still, we spoke with several Californians who believe Newsom's COVID policies have gone too far.

"I don't believe a mandate is appropriate. I think it violates everybody's rights."

Some also told us one-party Democratic rule in California has led Newsom to cut ethical corners.

"He cares more about himself rather than caring for the people."

Newsom told us he had heard those complains, admitted mistakes, and emerged from the recall humbled. He's also left nothing to change, fueled by unlimited campaign donations. He's also outspent his rivals at least six to one. His top advisors told us there is no scenario in which Newsom loses this recall.

Article Topic Follows: Decision 2022

CBS News

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

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