Gov. Gavin Newsom of California has enlisted a roster of progressive powerhouses — including Stacey Abrams, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — to fight a recall effort by Republicans enraged by the state’s lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, allies of Mr. Newsom announced the creation of a new fund-raising arm and website, stoptherepublicanrecall.com, that is allowed to raise virtually unlimited donations under state law. The creation of the group, Democrats said, was a tacit admission that the measure will garner enough signatures to be on the ballot later this year.
“I won’t be distracted by this partisan, Republican recall — but I will fight it,” wrote Mr. Newson in a Twitter post on Monday.
Ms. Abrams, Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders and the state’s new senator, Alex Padilla, joined other national Democrats to throw their support behind Mr. Newsom in a campaign already seen as a cash-attracting dry run for the 2022 midterms.
The pro-Newsom messaging has the feel of a test attack. A video that accompanied the launch tied the recall effort to former President Donald J. Trump, QAnon and the mob that attacked the Capitol.
“Defeating this cynical, Republican recall effort will be one of the most important priorities for Democrats this year,” said Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, in a testimonial on the new organization’s website.
Mr. Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco elected to run the nation’s biggest state in 2018, has been a target of Mr. Trump and a well-financed coterie of local conservatives, as well as libertarians and independents who think the state’s response to the virus has hurt businesses and impinged on civil liberties.
Two committees, RescueCalifornia.org and RecallGavin2020.com, have been collecting the 1.5 million signatures needed to put the recall on the ballot by the deadline of 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Organizers say they already have more than 2 million and would have until April 29 to verify the signatures.
Republicans, outnumbered and outgunned in the state, are hoping to capitalize on Mr. Newsom’s recent missteps, especially the revelation that he celebrated a lobbyist’s birthday party at an exclusive restaurant in Napa Valley at a time when he was urging Californians to shutter themselves at home for safety.
Recall votes can be unpredictable, but most analysts believe the odds of Mr. Newsom being removed from office are not high; 29 released Monday found that California voters, by a 42-to-38 percent margin, support Mr. Newsom’s bid to remain in office, with many undecided.