by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
San Francisco district attorney and George Soros darling Chesa Boudin went down in flames Tuesday evening, recalled by double-digits in ultra-liberal San Francisco, a far larger margin than the less than 2 percent of voters who carried him to victory three years ago.
Tuesday’s outcome tracks months of polling showing San Franciscans’ opposition to Boudin, with the recall consistently commanding a large advantage, and even a Boudin campaign poll showing a tied race. The result also follows voters’ decision to recall three ultra-woke school board members, with whose progressive project Boudin is often identified. The San Francisco Chronicle projected that Boudin would be removed within minutes of the polls closing on Tuesday night.
Boudin’s defeat will likely be seen as part of a broader backlash against criminal justice progressivism—one that has installed Democratic New York City mayor Eric Adams in Gracie Mansion, put moderate Rick Caruso neck and neck with far-left Karen Bass for the mayoralty of Los Angeles, and produced an about-face from municipal Democrats across the country. This backlash is a response to surging violent crime rates, which spiked in the wake of the “Defund the Police” movement and has driven the homicide rate to record highs.
Though this movement is doubtless part of Boudin’s loss, Tuesday’s results tell us something else. Specifically, San Francisco voters were responding not so much to violent crime—with which the city has struggled less than others—as to disorder, which has become rampant. Boudin’s now-former jurisdiction has become infamous for rapidly growing homelessness, public defecation, and organized shoplifting which has shuttered some retailers. The situation has become so hostile that numerous companies have decamped to redder states, citing relative quality of life.