What Next

California’s Recall Nightmare

Gavin Newsom needs to campaign just to keep his job.


Episode Notes

With just a month left, the California recall election is looking a little too close for comfort for Democrats. Governor Gavin Newsom’s approval rating is doing alright at the moment, but because of the way California conducts its recalls, if more than 50% of voters vote to oust Newsom, he loses his office, and whichever candidate garners even a small plurality of votes becomes his replacement.

How likely is it that California swears in a new executive next month? And how would the state fare under potential new leadership?

Guest: Guy Marzorati, politics and government reporter for KQED.

If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Davis Land, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.