On Tuesday, Sept. 14, voters flooded the polls to participate in America’s fourth gubernatorial recall election. Governor Gavin Newsom prevailed at the end of the day with a 30-point lead over his competition according to the Associated Press.
NPR reports that over 9 million voters participated, culminating in a 63.8% to 36.2% lead for Newsom with 75% of the votes having been counted.
Over 50% of voters must vote “yes” in response to the first question on the ballot, which asks whether Newsom should be recalled, in order for the recall to succeed. The second question asks who should replace Newsom. The names of 46 potential replacements graced the recall ballot, foremost among them Larry Elder, a conservative talk show host who ran a competitive recall campaign against Newsom.
The New York Times’ election results map names 27 counties in California in which the majority of voters chose to recall Newsom. These counties were mostly concentrated in northern California, but included nearby Kern County. Santa Barbara County, with 72% of the votes counted thus far, leaned towards keeping Newsom in office with 65% voting yes and 35% voting no.
In Elder’s concession speech, he said of the election results, “We may have lost the battle, but we will certainly win the war.” Later, he emphasized the benefits of the recall effort, even without victory: “They are now listening like they never listened before. They are now hearing us in ways they’ve never heard us before … we believe in hope, true hope, and unity.”
After his recall win was projected, Newsom focused on the policies Californians said “yes” to when they confirmed his position as Governor of California. In his victory speech, Newsom commented, “We said yes to all those things we hold dear as Californians and, I would argue, as Americans. Economic justice, social justice, racial justice, environmental justice are values where California has made so much progress. All those things were on the ballot this evening.”
Newsom will remain governor of California for a little over a year until the winner of the midterm election takes office on Jan. 2, 2023.
A previous article detailing the origins of the recall movement can be found here.