“The concept that these Republican politicians are in search of to ‘shield life’ is a complete farce,” Newsom mentioned in a press release. “They’re in search of to limit and management their constituents and take away their freedom.”
California, one of many nation’s least-restrictive states in terms of abortion, has bolstered its efforts to guard reproductive rights this 12 months following the Supreme Courtroom ruling. The state Legislature not too long ago handed greater than a dozen payments increasing entry and funding for abortion, and positioned an initiative on the November poll that might enshrine the appropriate to an abortion and contraceptives within the state structure.
Latest polling reveals the poll measure, Proposition 1, has overwhelming support among voters. Newsom is sort of definitely going to win his reelection bid this fall, with the final polls exhibiting a 27-point lead over his Republican opponent, state Sen. Brian Dahle.
The adverts instantly drew accusations that Newsom is utilizing the billboards to additional his presidential ambitions, which he has denied having even whereas repeatedly taking steps to advance his nationwide profile.
“It is vitally attention-grabbing to see Governor Newsom’s 2024 main marketing campaign lengthen to Mississippi,” mentioned Cory Custer, deputy chief of employees for exterior affairs for Gov. Tate Reeves. “However we do suspect that the majority Mississippians is not going to be concerned with what he’s promoting.”
This isn’t the primary time this 12 months Newsom has aimed to boost his nationwide profile by going after pink state governors. Over the Fourth of July vacation, he deployed an ad on Fox News in Florida, attacking Gov. Ron DeSantis. Later in the summertime, he purchased full-page adverts in three Texas newspapers highlighting Gov. Greg Abbott’s lack of assist for gun management measures within the wake of the Uvalde college capturing.
Including to the knocks on Republican leaders, Newsom on Thursday additionally sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, calling for a proper investigation into experiences that DeSantis and Abbott transported migrants from the southern border to Democratic strongholds.
Molly Weedn, spokesperson for the Sure on Prop 1 marketing campaign, praised Newsom’s billboards, calling them additional proof of California’s assist for entry to abortion and reproductive freedoms.
“Abortion is on the poll this fall with Prop 1 and these billboards are another reminder to voters about how vital this concern is,” she mentioned in a press release.
Political watchers, generally, agree that the campaigns in different states will do little to vary the minds of Republican leaders, however it might rile up an voters that has, in current months, voiced discontent with leaders in Washington.
“I believe that many of the Democratic base simply actually feels that the Democratic institution is means too reserved, means too buttoned up, and somewhat bit boring,” mentioned Invoice Wong, a longtime California Democratic marketing consultant. “It doesn’t should be a massively strategic transfer to make sense, for folks to say ‘Hey, I really like that, so I’m going to chip into Gov. Newsom’s efforts.’”
Newsom’s marketing campaign spent $100,000 to run the adverts on 18 billboards throughout seven states on Thursday — a small chunk of the almost $24 million he has in his reelection struggle chest. However very like his different out-of-state campaigns, the billboards are producing vital media protection.
“It’s a extremely good, uneven transfer,” Wong mentioned. “$2 million in California will get you want, 2 a.m. on some actually random cable channel. However for those who’re spending $100,000 on billboards in pink states, and also you’re getting earned media, that’s in all probability well worth the equal of like a $4 million or $5 million media purchase.”
The billboards are additionally, unsurprisingly, additional fueling hypothesis about Newsom’s White Home ambitions.
The California governor has repeatedly rebuffed strategies that he’d prefer to run for president. In Might, he instructed the San Francisco Chronicle he had “sub-zero interest” in a 2024 bid. Talking with The Washington Publish, Newsom mentioned he’s paying for the billboards as a result of he’s “privileged to have the ability to do it.”
“I’m doing this as a result of I care. I’m doing it as a result of the folks that assist my candidacy assist this. And when many heard about this, they needed to assist further efforts prefer it, to be totally clear with you,” he instructed the Washington Publish.
If he did need to run for president, the trail ahead is mired in political uncertainty. Newsom is publicly supporting President Joe Biden for a second time period in 2024, and mentioned he’d support Vice President Kamala Harris as his successor.
However there are some indications Newsom might seize on a gap. A ballot performed in August discovered Californians overwhelmingly do not want Biden to hunt one other time period and see the governor as a first-rate contender to succeed him. Newsom has additionally discovered himself at odds with the president in current weeks. Sources instructed POLITICO earlier this month the governor was privately seething over Biden’s endorsement of a labor invoice that Newsom was anticipated to veto.