SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — For the first time since his election, President Joe Biden boarded Air Force One Monday to head to California for a tour of the devastation left in the wake of the Caldor Fire and give support to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall election on Tuesday.
Before he arrives at the former Mather Air Force Base in suburban Sacramento, President Biden will make a stop in Boise to visit the National Interagency Fire Center — which is coordinating the federal and state battle against this year’s outbreak of wildfires in the west.READ MORE: Getting Answers: What Do Increased Releases From Folsom Dam Mean For Region's Water Levels?
He is expected to deliver remarks on his administration’s response to the wildfires and make the case for his twin economic proposals and specifically how they would strengthen the nation’s resilience to the climate crisis and extreme weather events.
“Folks, the evidence is clear: Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy,” Biden said during the New York visit of damage left in the wake of Hurricane Ida. “And the threat is here; it’s not going to get any better. The question: Can it get worse? We can stop it from getting worse.”
Once in California, he will survey damage from the Caldor Fire by taking an aerial tour of El Dorado County. Containment of the fire had grown to 67% by Monday morning with the burn zone stretching 219,267 acres. The blaze has destroyed 1,003 structures including several hundred homes in Grizzly Flats.
On Sunday, President Biden signed a declaration of emergency covering the fire zone, freeing up federal dollars to help with the recovery efforts.
In the evening, his attention will pivot from wildfires and climate change to the Newsom recall.READ MORE: 'This Isn't Going To Hold Us Back': Drag Event In Woodland Stopped Over Alleged Threats Of Violence
President Biden will travel to Long Beach and deliver remarks at a campaign rally ahead of Tuesday’s recall election. Newsom is attempting to stave off a Republican-backed effort to oust him, which is motivated in part by anger toward his pandemic restrictions.
As for polling, there’s been an obvious shift over the last several weeks as the recall election draws nearer.
The latest poll released by the LA Times and IGS UC Berkeley poll, shows more than 60 percent of likely voters oppose the recall, compared to nearly 39 percent in support.
That’s a much larger differential than just weeks ago.
“From decades of research, the closer you get to an election, the more reliable the polls,” said Lauren Wright of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.
The shift in polling favoring Newsom can be partly tied to a clearer picture of the leading GOP candidate.MORE NEWS: California Lawmakers Demand Accountability After Personal Info Of Concealed Weapons Holders Leaked
“Part of the reason Democrats and left-leaning independents have come back to supporting Gavin Newsom is they see the alternative as someone in Larry Elder who would take the state in a very different direction, especially around the pandemic,” said UC San Diego political science professor Thad Kousser.