California Gov. Newsom survives recall election
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) defeated a Republican-backed effort to remove him, AP projected on Tuesday night.
Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Tuesday's results highlight the limits of Republicans trying to use Trump tactics in a deeply Democratic state.
- The campaign of Larry Elder — a conservative radio show host and Black Republican who has embraced Trump and anti-COVID vaccine rhetoric — in particular may have done more to help Newsom than hurt him by motivating Democrats to cast their ballots.
What he's saying: Newsom thanked Californians at a news conference for "overwhelmingly" voting "no" in the election, adding it meant they were saying "yes" to a lot of his policies, such as his pandemic response and environmental, racial, social justice issues.
- He continued that people had voted "yes" to their "right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression" — a swipe at scaremongering from some conservative figures peddling the Trump-esque lie that the state's election might be rigged.
- But Newsom added: "We may have defeated Trump, but Trumpism is not dead in this country. The Big Lie, the January 6 insurrection, all the voting suppression efforts that are happening all across this country."
By the numbers: Newsom received more than 5.7 million "no" votes (64.7%) with nearly 75% of precincts reporting just before 3:30am ET, per state figures.
The big picture: Newsom got a boost in the lead-up to Tuesday's election, with several high-profile Democrats joining him on the campaign trail.
- President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) each made stops in California in recent days. Former President Obama also appeared in a campaign ad.
- Biden warned voters on Monday that if Newsom was ousted, the state would end up with a "clone of Donald Trump" as governor.
Catch up quick: The recall efforts gained momentum last year as frustration among many conservatives grew over Newsom's COVID-19 restrictions and other policies.
- Newsom has also been criticized for reportedly misleading the public about the progress his office made in shoring up wildfire prevention.
- More than 45 candidates were on the recall ballot, including Elder, who emerged as Newsom's biggest threat.
- The California Republican Party chose not to endorse any candidate in the recall election, hoping the decision would unite its base toward defeating Newsom in the deeply Democratic state.
Flashback: This was the second time in the state's history that a gubernatorial recall campaign succeeded in getting on the ballot.
- California voters removed Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Newsom and state election data.