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The California recall is over, and it didn’t present a lot suspense. However whereas voters’ verdict was clear, the importance of Gavin Newsom’s win for the nationwide panorama is much less apparent. I spoke with nationwide political correspondent Gabriel Debenedetti about the right way to interpret what went down within the Golden State.

Gavin Newsom wearing a suit and tie: Time to celebrate! (Maybe not at the French Laundry.) Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

© Bing Guan/Bloomberg through Getty Pictures
Time to rejoice! (Perhaps not on the French Laundry.) Bing Guan/Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

Ben: In the long run, it wasn’t shut: Governor Gavin Newsom romped to victory in Tuesday’s California recall over his closest rival Larry Elder, and a

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In the giddy early hours of his landslide victory, California’s governor-elect struck a tone that signaled the grandiosity of his ambitions. “The sun is rising in the west, and the arc of history is bending in our direction,” Gavin Newsom told jubilant supporters on election night in November 2018.

There was some basis for a progressive Democrat’s fizzy confidence. Newsom had trounced his Republican rival with 62% of the vote. He would enter office with a massive budget surplus in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2 to 1, with supermajorities in both legislative houses.

He had survived a

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