UPDATE: Gavin Newsom Retained As Governor

by on September 8, 2021 · 0 comments

in California, Election

Go to Ballotpedia updated: September 15 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) was retained in a recall election on September 14, 2021. Based on unofficial results with all precincts partially reporting, 63.9% of voters voted to retain Newsom and 36.1% voted to recall. To see the results of the replacement candidate question, click here. Results will be certified by October 22.[1]

The following is from the earlier pre-vote article:

Forty-six candidates, including nine Democrats and 24 Republicans, are running in the election. The candidates to receive the most media attention and perform best in polls so far are YouTuber Kevin Paffrath (D), 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), radio host Larry Elder (R), former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), California State Board of Equalization member Ted Gaines (R), former Olympian and television personality Caitlyn Jenner (R), and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R).[3]

Recall supporters say Newsom mishandled the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, did not do enough to address the state’s homelessness rate, and supported sanctuary city policies and water rationing.[4] In a March 2021 response, Newsom called the effort a “Republican recall — backed by the RNC, anti-mask and anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces who want to overturn the last election and have opposed much of what we have done to fight the pandemic.”[5]

Newsom and the Democratic Party of California were successful in keeping an experienced Democratic politician off the recall ballot, which was not the case in the 2003 recall. In 2003, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamente (D) received the second most votes among replacement candidates, and his candidacy was cited by many in the media as a reason for the recall’s success, claiming he gave Democratic voters more of a reason to vote to recall the governor. In this recall election, there is no similar Democratic politician for Democratic voters to coalesce around. Newsom and those campaigning on his behalf have been telling voters to vote “No” on the recall question and leave the replacement candidate question blank.[6]

The Republican Party of California has taken a different approach. Faulconer, considered by many in the media to be a candidate for higher office (such as governor in 2022), was one of several experienced politicians to file. Elder, who entered the race close to the filing deadline, appealed to the party’s evangelicals, voters over 65, and people who voted for former President Donald Trump (R).[7] Although the state party scheduled a vote to endorse a candidate, delegates voted not to endorse. Leaders praised the move, saying they feared an endorsement would drive down turnout among voters who preferred a different candidate.

Organizers of the recall campaign submitted 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 filing deadline.[8] The secretary of state’s office found 1,719,943 signatures were valid – more than the 1,495,970 necessary to trigger a recall election. Voters who signed the petition had until June 8 to request removal from the petition. Forty-three signatures were removed, leaving 1,719,900 valid signatures on the petitions.

Newsom was elected as governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Orrin Heatlie began this recall campaign on June 10, 2020. It was the fifth of six recall petitions filed against Newsom since 2019. To read more about how this recall went from the official petition to the ballot, click here.

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was elected as Davis’ replacement.[9][10] In that election, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.6% of the vote.

Election updates:

  • September 7, 2021: YouGov released a poll finding that 44% of voters supported the recall and 56% opposed the recall. Of the respondents, 38% said they left or planned to leave the candidate question blank. Larry Elder (R) led candidate polling at 20%.
  • September 3, 2021: The secretary of state’s office released a list of seven certified write-in candidates.
  • September 2, 2021: The Public Policy Institute of California released a poll finding that 39% of voters supported the recall and 58% opposed the recall. Of the respondents, 25% said they left or planned to leave the candidate question blank. Larry Elder (R) led candidate polling at 26%, with 24% of respondents undecided.

NOTE: Please go to the original Ballotpedia site for any links.


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