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Gavin Newsom’s turnout problem: Democrats aren’t paying attention to recall election

"The Republican, right-wing recall supporters are far more enthusiastic, far more engaged about voting and.... they are going to turn out... Democrats have to do everything possible to ensure that the recall fails...There is no fail-safe.”

— Katie Merrill, BaughmanMerrill Partner

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Then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom campaigns in 2017. Can he convince Democratic voters to show up for him in the recall? 

NICK UT ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

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June 10, 2021

Katie Hill fights to make revenge porn a federal crime and ponders another run for office

“I think a lot of people, particularly Democrats and Democratic women, feel like she was the victim of a public bullying over those photos, and that’s something that should be illegal and a woman should not lose her job because of something like that,” said Katie Merrill, a veteran California Democratic strategist. “People think she has a bright future in front of her, and she is shining a light on an issue that is really important because it’s essentially a 21st century version of spousal abuse that played out in public for everyone to see.” 

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May 5, 2021

“IT’S THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING”: GAVIN NEWSOM’S TEAM IS THRILLED THAT CAITLYN JENNER IS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR

"Jenner is frequently compared to Arnold Schwarzenegger, another celebrity who jumped into a California gubernatorial recall—and won. But the parallel is a poor fit. “It’s just an entirely different electorate from 2003,” says Katie Merrill, a Democratic consultant based in Berkeley. “And people hated Gray Davis at the time, mostly because of the energy crisis and the rolling blackouts. Newsom, despite the pandemic and all the challenges, remains very popular.”

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May 23, 2021

Wealthy progressives spending $10 million, even if it means beating other California Democrats

Democratic strategist Katie Merrill, who worked with left-leaning Fight Back California super PAC, applauded the group spending big on California contests. But she hopes that Democrat-on-Democrat challenges don’t turn into a circular firing squad that could damage the party. “I wish they would use it just in districts where they’re just facing Republicans,” she said, “so it would have the most impact.”

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May 3, 2021

Kamala Harris' Senate successor is hanging out with AOC. Why experts say that's a smart move

Being identified with the liberal wing is also very good politics. “To me Padilla is doing exactly what he needs to do to show voters what he stands for,” said Katie Merrill, a San Francisco-based Democratic consultant..

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May 17, 2021

The Newsoms made $1.7M in 2019, tax returns show

Democratic strategist Katie Merrill says Newsom’s decision to release his taxes early only ups the pressure on the GOP gubernatorial candidates to match his move — or risk losing face.

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August 2, 2020

Trump’s assault on mail voting threatens his reelection bid

“He’s sowing the seeds of his own downfall with his rhetoric around vote by mail,” said Katie Merrill, a Democratic strategist whose consulting firm, Baughman Merrill, commissioned the polling by FM3 Research, a respected outfit that polls for a range of clients including Democratic campaigns and municipal governments. “It really was like President Trump looked at the crosstabs of our poll when he tweeted. He tweeted exactly to his base what they are thinking.”

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