Newsom win would make him a national Democratic hero

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely to face a recall election this year, putting him into a uniquely high-risk, high-reward situation. He would be only the fourth governor tested by a recall vote in U.S. history, and it would come just as he’d normally be gearing up for a reelection campaign.

The downside risk is quite evident. Newsom could lose his governorship and his political career, like his predecessor Gray Davis in 2003. He could also lose his governorship but stage a comeback, as North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier did by winning a Senate seat in 1922 — a year after he was recalled.

Alternatively, Newsom could keep his job but greatly underperform his 62% showing in 2018, thereby making him potentially vulnerable in his presumed reelection race. This weakness could entice a strong Republican challenger to take him on, or even a strong Democrat. 

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