SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Some of the highest ranking women in politics, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, hammered home the message Thursday that women mailing in their ballots and showing up to vote over the next couple weeks will determine Gov. Gavin Newsom’s fate.

Democrats continue to pounce on leading Republican recall candidate Larry Elder’s comments about women published decades ago.

“Women, not being smart enough, not being tenacious enough for office to run for office,” said Malia Cohen of the California State Board of Equalization.

Elder’s campaign has stated his comments that “women know less than men about political issues, economics and current events” were taken out of context and based on a University of Pennsylvania study.

He declined to be interviewed Thursday.

“Voting for someone like that is going to take us back decades,” said Catherine Stefani of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Celebrating Women’s Equality Day at San Francisco City Hall, high-ranking female politicians signed and pledged to vote, urging others, the female turnout on September 14th is crucial for a Democratic governor to keep his seat.

“In a couple weeks with the recall, we must vote,” said Pelosi.

Recent polling shows Newsom has the majority of the female vote. A CBS News/YouGov poll shows 44% of female likely voters would vote to recall Newsom, while 56% say they will vote to keep the governor in office.

“We need people in power who are accountable and understand women’s rights, families’ rights and reproductive rights,” said Sharon Lai.

Lauren Wright, teaches Political Science at Princeton University and School of Public and International Affairs.

“Even when we’re talking about really offensive remarks for the for the most part, most Republican voters, including Republican women, will let their partisanship lead and that will dictate their vote,” said Wright.

Newsom is looking to count on a 22 point Democratic registration advantage in the state. But with poll numbers showing a close race, energizing the female vote by highlighting Elder’s comments from 20 years ago, with just weeks to go before Election Day, is politics in action.

“It is absolutely smart, whether it’s a stopgap or a solid strategy heading into September 14 to bring up the weaknesses and controversies surrounding potential Republican opponents,” said Wright.