By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Gov. Gavin Newsom joined democratic leaders for a virtual get-out-the-vote conversation Monday as a recall election is set for September.

Hosted by Women Against the Recall, Reps. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and Barbara Lee, D-Oakland joined in the meeting.

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“Those that think this thing is not close,” said Newsom. “I’d hate to disabuse you.  It is.”

Claremont McKenna College Political Science Professor, Jack Pitney, said Newsom’s strategy is to streamline the special election by calling it an effort led by Trump Republicans.

“Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in California,” Pitney told CBSLA Monday. “Donald Trump lost this state twice by enormous margins. And Trump is not popular in California.”

Supporters of the recall have been focusing on Newsom’s handling of the pandemic, homelessness, and the upticks in crime.

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While speaking to female voters – Newsom framed the recall on judicial nominations and the line-item veto.

Four of the top Republicans who want to replace Newsom — John Cox, Kevin Faulconer, Kevin Kiley and Doug Ose — each made moves to distinguish themselves from the current governor.

Newsom, who was in Long Beach last Thursday to promote his Cleaner California campaign, slammed his GOP opponents for shunning vaccine mandates. He called his opponents “anti-science.”

“You listen to those guys, that’s a ‘COVID cliff,’ Newsom said. “They want to set us back, not move us forward. I hope people pay real attention to what’s at stake.”

The recall election is set for Sept. 14.

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Most county registrars will begin mailing out ballots across the state next Monday. Voters can return them by mail or use a ballot dropbox.