After a long fought recall, Gavin Newsom (D) becomes only the second governor in American history to survive a recall election

Gavin Newsom, the first term democrat governor of CA, has successfully survived a recall attempt. The Associated Press called the race last night with nearly ⅔ of the votes in as just under 70% of CA voters wishing for Gov. Newsom to maintain his position. 

Newsom becomes the second governor, in addition only to Scott Walker of Wisconsin (R), to survive a recall election. 

Though the California GOP refused to endorse a candidate in the Newsom recall, the party had hoped that Newsom’s unfavorability due to COVID-19 protocols would have been enough to oust him from office. Just over a month ago the governor was facing a double-digit loss in the polls, which seemed to be favorable to the GOP. 

CA voters faced two questions on their recall ballot: yes or no on recalling the sitting governor and if he should be recalled, who should replace him? 46 candidates challenged Newsom, including Republican hopeful Larry Elder, radio host and author. 

Elder was the most well-positioned to defeat the incumbent, receiving 43% of the votes in the challenger’s race, according to early voting. He was also Newsom’s most consistent target, at one point claiming that a vote for Elder would amount to a vote against “diversity” and “racial justice.”

The radio host conceded defeat late Tuesday night, stating, “we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.” He also suggested that voters should “stay tuned,” which many are calling a hint that he will run again in the 2022 governor’s race. 

Gov. Newsom also gave a speech just after the recall thanking California for rejecting the recall. In his speech, after attacking former President Trump and making reference to Jan. 6, Newsom said that the California voters, “said yes to ending this pandemic… said yes to diversity… said yes to inclusion.”

CNN contributor Anna Navarro Cárdenas expressed her satisfaction with the outcome via Twitter, writing, “.@GavinNewsom beat recall by so much, it made him stronger. He should send fruit-baskets to Abbott & DeSantis. Californians decided they [would] rather live w/high taxes and a guy who eats a The French Laundry, than under mini-Trump’s, exploiting COVID and controlling women’s uteruses.”

The tweet expressed a sentiment felt by many on the left of both understanding the hypocrisy of Gov. Newsom and yet not wanting to allow a Republican Larry Elder in office.  

Though the governor won with a large margin, his 2022 prospects are looking shaky. The mere fact that he faced a recall in a state that is nearly 2-1 Democrat does not bode well for his reelection. 

Gov. Newsom will finish his term with a renewed mandate and head into another challenge in 2022.