California Governor Gavin Newsom has overwhelmingly overcome the recall attempt against him.
As of 10:00AM Wednesday with 100% of the precincts reporting, Newsom captured a resounding 63.9% of the vote (5,840,283) compared to 36.1% (3,297,145) of those who voted “Yes” to recall the governor.
Newsom’s overwhelming support came from the major population center of the state, including the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Sacramento regions. Rural northern California counties and a swath of counties in the central valley favored the recall.
In an emotional prime time address, Newsom said, “Thank you” to the many Californians who rejected the recall and showed their support. “’No’ is not the only thing that was expressed tonight,” Newsom said in an address within an hour after the polls closed.. “I want to focus on what we said ‘yes’ to us as a state. We said “yes” to science, we said “yes” to vaccines, we said “yes” to ending this pandemic.”
Though the question of who should replace Newsom should he be recalled is moot at this point, right wing radio talk show host and staunch Donald Trump supporter Larry Elder easily lead the field of 40 plus challengers with 44.9% of the vote. Elder, mimicking Trump, claimed election fraud even before the polls closed, though there is no evidence whatsoever to support such a claim. But by late Tuesday evening, he conceded calling on his supporters to be gracious in defeat. “We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.”
Political analysts say the “blow out” bodes well for Newsom’s political future. Facing reelection next year, Newsom has successfully portrayed himself as the antithesis of Donald Trump, leading California’s COVID-19 recovery and reopening based on science, not politics. In a state where Mr. Trump has been hugely unpopular, Newsom categorized his main opponent, Larry Elder, as being farther right than the former President. The message hit a nerve with voters, and propelled Newsom to victory with an even larger margin than he enjoyed when he was elected governor in 2018.