'We Got Embarrassed': California Loss Leaves Conservatives in Crisis

Conservatives have responded with disappointment and anger on social media after California Governor Gavin Newsom defeated an effort to remove him from office on Tuesday.

The Associated Press called the recall election for Newsom with around two-thirds of ballots counted and the Democrat's main Republican rival, talk-show host Larry Elder, has conceded defeat.

Newsom looks set to beat the recall by 30 percentage points.

Conservatives on Twitter reacted to the results with a mix of criticism for Newsom and expressions of hope for future races, as well as thanks for those who had campaigned to oust the governor.

Voters' strong endorsement of Newsom, who has backed COVID-19 measures such as mask and vaccine mandates, may spell trouble for conservatives and elected Republicans who object to President Joe Biden's new vaccine requirements.

Dave Rubin, a YouTube personality and host of The Rubin Report, warned that life would get worse in California.

"Congrats on the destruction of the state, California machine. Things will now get much worse," Rubin tweeted.

"Hey, @michaeljknowles I sat with you over whiskey a year and a half ago and said I would stay and fight. Now it's time for the next decision."

Knowles, host of The Michael Knowles Show, a podcast for The Daily Wire, retweeted Rubin along with a gif of the U.S. and Tennessee flags.

Nick Adams, founder and president of the Foundation for Liberty & American Greatness, suggested that the effort to replace Newsom had been an embarrassment to conservatives.

"We didn't just lose in California, we got embarrassed," Adams said. "What a waste of time and resources. Leave California!"

We didn't just lose in California, we got embarrassed.

What a waste of time and resources. Leave California!

— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) September 15, 2021

Adams wasn't the only conservative to suggest people leave the state of California.

Brigitte Gabriel, founder and chairman of ACT for America, tweeted: "Dear Republicans in California, Your vote will make a difference in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas. Make the move!"

Conservative activist Scott Presler, who tweets under the name #ThePersistence, thanked people who had campaigned to recall Newsom: Thank you to all of the volunteers, who put countless hours into the California recall. You fought for religious freedom, medical freedom, & economic freedom. Please know how appreciated your efforts are. Onward."

Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren expressed a similar sentiment, tweeting: "California, you fought the good fight and you put the fear of God in Newsom. Don't lose steam. The fight ain't over! Keep the energy high and be proud of how much you accomplished. You had him shaking!!!"

The conservative Twitter account Reagan Battalion tweeted photos of what appeared to be tents where homeless people live, adding the comment: "Hey California, this is what you voted for, this is what you deserve, but please, stay the hell in California, don't come to Florida to vote in the same worthless incompetent imbeciles you are trying to run from."

Lavern Spicer, who ran for the House of Representatives in 2020 in Florida's 24th congressional district, pointed to the fact that Elder was an African American in her criticism of Newsom.

"Gavin Newsom said that by not electing the state's first black Governor, California said 'Yes' to diversity and inclusion," she wrote. "They really just be saying anything."

Eric Brakey, a Republican and former Maine state senator, tweeted, "California = Atlas Shrugged"—a reference to the book of the same name by conservative writer Ayn Rand, though his exact meaning was not immediately clear.

Update 9/15/21 6.55 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a new photo.

Larry Elder Speaks to Supporters
Republican candidate Larry Elder (L) speaks to supporters at an election night event on September 14 in Costa Mesa, California. Some conservatives have reacted to Elder's defeat with disappointment and anger. Mario Tama/Getty Images