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Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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 3:30a.m. 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 their 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.

Go deeper

19 states enacted voting restrictions this year

Voters cast ballots at a polling location in Arlington, Va. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

States enacted 34 laws this year that add hurdles to the voting process — more than any other year for at least a decade, according to new data released by Brennan Center for Justice.

Why it matters: The surge in mostly Republican voting bills across 19 states follows former President Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud and the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

2 hours ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.