LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - As Tuesday's recall election looms, the barbs and accusations between the leading candidates grow more personal.
"My wife just beat me here by 15 minutes, dropping off her ballot. You could've interviewed her, if you'd been here a little bit earlier. I know my daughter's voting over in Los Feliz," said Chris Hartman.
He and his family are among the more than 6 million voters who have already voted in the recall election, or, according to the California Secretary of State, about 29% of eligible voters.
Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom and those who would replace him, including Republican frontrunner, conservative talk show host Larry Elder, are still campaigning.
Newsom was in Sun Valley framing the choice between candidate as nearly a matter of life and death, in reference to Elder reversing COVID protocols.
"I cannot reinforce the consequences of this recall to set back California, take us off the same COVID cliff that you see in places like Texas, Florida, Mississippi and elsewhere," Newsom said.
In Los Angeles, Elder was endorsed Sunday by actress and activist Rose McGowan, who repeated claims that Newsom's wife pressured her to keep accusations quiet about Harvey Weinstein, claims Newsom has said are a complete fabrication.
Elder claims the media is burying McGowan's accusations because it is biased.
"This is a double standard to which I've been subjected to my entire time and I'm sick of it, and you ought to be sick of it," Elder said.
Political expert Jennifer Cryer said Elder's choice to highlight an alleged scandal two days before the election is a new campaign strategy a la Trump and added that the move rarely wins over any undecided voters.
"...this highly polarized election, this is the new style," said Cryer, an assistant professor of political science and international relations at the University of Southern California. "It doesn't really have to make a lot of sense. It's just what their voters want and it's what they want ideologically as a candidate."
Cryer's waiting to see if it works, to see how many voters show up. Early numbers show Latino voters have yet to weigh in. Cryer thinks both sides missed out by making this more about Trumpism than the candidates themselves.
"These communities want, kind of, police initiatives. They want facts. They want promises. They want information, and so while they were are primarily voters that will support Newsom and have in the past, it's not something that should be taken for granted," Cryer said.
Whatever the outcome, she said it won't end with voting, as a wave of recalls has crossed the country and candidates are raising questions about the validity of elections.
"This is something that is probably going to be come a hallmark of elections nationwide, where's there's just repeated, repeated frustrations exhibited by those who are dissatisfied with vote returns and vote outcomes and that's not particularly a good thing - again, a threat to kind of democratic stability if there's not that trust in results," Cryer said.
President Biden will join Governor Newsom in Long Beach Monday rally support for the incumbent.
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