The California Recall And Its Very Real Political Consequences, Explained | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The California Recall And Its Very Real Political Consequences, Explained

A rare event happens Tuesday in California. Californians will decide whether Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom should remain in office.

It's just the second recall election in the state to qualify for the ballot, but the second in the past 20 years. That previous recall, in 2003, resulted in actor Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor.

A lot has changed since then on many fronts, but that it's even happening in the first place — and who the leading Republican contender is — is an example of how politics has shifted in the state and reflects a national shift toward sharper partisanship.

The election will also have national consequences. A California governor could appoint a new U.S. senator to the evenly divided chamber in the next year or so. And this is the first big test of whether Democrats can fire up their base — even in a very blue state — ahead of next year's midterm elections when Republicans are favored to take back the House.

Here's a primer on the recall, how it works and how we got here. But first:

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