(this is from a reply I recently made but decided to make this a post, also decided to adjust some stuff)
I mean not like picking a fight here but in 2020 in California there was 6,006,429 Trump voters and in 2018 there was 4,742,825 John Cox voters. It is obvious that if there was a recall petition in California today it would get the 2 million signatures (I think it was that). Also just look at Newsom's approval polls, it's only wishful thinking to say that something major will happen (for example in American's newspaper thingy). I can tell you if nothing major happens by mid-August then I heavily doubt Newsom will lose. Also to mention in almost every poll it's a "no on recall" result and just in general, California is much bluer than it was in 2003. In 2002 John Kerry only won California by 10 POINTS. For instance, in 2020 Joe Biden won California by oh lets say... 29 POINTS. Since then the Democratic areas have just gotten bigger and with southern CA getting more blue it's almost impossible for Faulconer (even as a moderate) to flip the state (that's not counting all the other GOP candidates and people who would nevertheless just vote for a Democrat anyways even if the recall vote is yes). Also for instance, in 2003 there was a major celebrity that people actually heard of and respected. Is Caitlyn Jenner respected? No. When California voted in the recall it was yes +11 but if California has gotten 19 points more Democratic the math is almost impossible. Talking about more trends, from 2000 to 2003 the state trended Republican by around +20 and comparing the math from 2020 to 2021 the state would still vote Democratic. Lastly, the state is trending blue since 2000 and with this pace it will probably vote for a Democrat by over 30 points in 2024. In conclusion from this giant essay, I just can't see a way even with a scandal that Newsom is recalled and Faulconer (or any other Republican) is elected in 2021 period.