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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

Sen. Padilla: Extreme weather events can change political discourse

Photo: Axios

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) said at an Axios event Friday that extreme weather events may create political momentum to respond to climate change.

Driving the news: The deadly ice storm in Texas this winter that caused widespread power outages prompted Padilla to reach out to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to find ways to invest in the electrical grid, the California senator said.

Sep 17, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Police overhaul measure back on ballot as Minneapolis voters head to polls

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Early voting begins in Minneapolis this morning, with a consequential question on the future of the police department back on the ballot.

Driving the news: In an eleventh hour ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court overruled a Hennepin County judge's decision to strike the police charter amendment from the ballot over concerns that the language was too vague.

Why it matters: Question 2, which proposes replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety agency that could include officers "if necessary," could fundamentally change public safety in Minneapolis by removing the minimum officer requirement and giving the City Council more say in police policies.

  • Supporters had argued that the judge's intervention subverted the will of the 20,000-plus voters who signed a petition to get the measure on the ballot.

What they're saying: Both supporters and critics of the proposal applauded the court's ruling.

  • "Voters can rejoice that their voice, their civic engagement, and their votes matter," a statement from the "yes" campaign read.
  • Mayor Jacob Frey, who opposes the measure, said the court made "the right call," saying residents "deserve the opportunity to weigh in this fall and bring this debate to a close so we can move forward with clarity for our residents' safety."

Between the lines: The fight over the measure is expected to attract national attention and major spending on both sides — opponents are launching their first TV ad.

  • That battle could impact turnout and the outcome of other local contests, including the mayor's race and competitive City Council match-ups.
  • Questions on city governance and rent control, as well as the Park Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation races, are also on the ballot.

Zoom out: It's not just Minneapolis. Early voting begins in dozens of municipalities and school districts across the state today.

  • Voters in St. Paul pick a mayor, school board members and face a rent control question of their own.
  • Contests elsewhere cover city government, school boards, tax levies and other local ballot questions.

Be smart: Absentee ballots can be cast in person, often at an early vote center or local election office, or by mail. Click the links for early voting sites across Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.