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President Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a campaign event at Long Beach City College on Monday. Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden said while campaigning for Gov. Gavin Newsom in California that if the Democrat is ousted in Tuesday's recall election, voters will end up with a "clone of Donald Trump" as governor.

Between the lines: Although Biden never mentioned him by name, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder has emerged as Newsom's biggest threat. Elder in 2019 described Trump's 2016 election win as "God-sent," and state Democrats have sought to imply that a vote for him is a vote for Trumpism.

Yes, but: Elder has said he's "indifferent" on the matter of being endorsed by former President Trump, telling CNN: "If he would like to give me the endorsement, fine. If he does not want to give me an endorsement, that's fine too. I haven't asked him. I haven't requested it."

What he's saying: Biden told voters at Monday evening's rally in Long Beach that they "can either keep Gavin Newsom as your governor, or you'll get Donald Trump."

  • "It's not a joke," he added. "A Republican governor blocking progress on COVID-19 who is also anti-woman, anti-worker, a climate denier, who doesn’t believe in choice. The choice should be absolutely clear."

The big picture: Biden is the latest high-profile Democrat to throw his full support behind Newsom, against GOP-led efforts to oust him.

  • Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have campaigned for Newsom in California, and former President Obama appeared in a campaign video for the governor.
  • Elder told reporters last week that top Democrats were throwing their support behind Newsom because they're "scared to death" he'll lose, per CNN.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

By the numbers: Who can be recalled

Expand chart
Re-created from Ballotpedia; Map: Axios Visuals

Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated the effort to recall him earlier this week — but there are 10 other states besides California allowing recalls of any elected state official.

The big picture: Officials across the U.S. have come under extra scrutiny for how they've handled the coronavirus and the 2020 elections in each state.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

Sep 17, 2021 - Podcasts

What California’s recall election and the Texas abortion law have in common

California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom survived a Republican-led effort to recall him from office this week. Axios' Margaret Talev says new polling points to some GOP voters pushing back on the party.

  • Plus, research into kids and long COVID.
  • And, crab cakes are the latest supply-chain headache.

Guests: Axios' Margaret Talev, Tina Reed, and Michael Graff.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sabeena Singhani, Alex Sugiura, and Michael Hanf. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper: