Multiple media outlets projected Tuesday night that California Democrat Gavin Newsom would keep his job and survive the recall effort against him. According to projections, a majority of Californians had voted against the recall of the embattled first-term governor.
Voters were asked two questions on the ballots. The first was was whether the governor should be removed from office. The second question offered a list of candidates running to replace the governor. If the governor had been recalled, the candidate who won the most votes would have succeeded Newsom.
The recall push was launched in June 2020 following Newsom’s onerous coronavirus restrictions, including those on businesses and houses of worship, as well as school shutdowns. The effort gained momentum after Newsom was caught violating his own restrictions.
Newsom and his political allies spent the campaign attempting to nationalize the recall drive and characterize it as a Republican recall and a fight against "Trumpism." Multiple high ranking Democrats rallied to his aide including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Newsom repeatedly attacked talk radio host Larry Elder, who became the front runner among the 46 gubernatorial candidates on the ballot after he announced his campaign in July.
Newsom said at his election night party, "We said yes to science. We said yes to vaccines. We said yes to ending this pandemic. We said yes to people's right to vote...We said yes to women's fundamental constitutional right to decide for herself...We said yes to diversity."