American flag with Ballot envelope by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

The vast majority of voters in California are registered with the Democratic Party. There aren’t enough registered Republican voters in the state to compete with them – even if some Independents vote with the Republicans.

A Little History

Governor Gavin Newsom was elected governor in 2018, and his term started in 2019. California has a top-two primary, which means that the two candidates who got the most votes for a specific office have to run against each other. The top two candidates could potentially be: two Democrats, two Republicans, one Democrat and one Republican, or one candidate from a major party and one from a small one, or two candidates from small parties.

In the 2018 California primary election, Gavin Newsom (Democrat) got 2,343,792 votes (33.7%) and John Cox (Republican) got 1,766,488 (25.4%). None of the other candidates who were running for governor of California got more than those two people did.

Newsom and Cox faced each other in the General election. This time, Newsom got 7,721,410 votes (61.9%) and Cox got 4,742,825 votes (38.1%). The majority of voters in California chose Gavin Newsom to be their governor.

The Republicans in California are trying to steal an election. The complaints about Governor Newsom that the Republicans put on their recall ballot include phrases like “against the will of the people.” They should realize that “the will of the people” was very clearly shown when Governor Gavin Newsom won his election.

California has a much larger number of Democratic Voters than Republican Voters

The California Secretary of State website reported on October 30, 2020, that a record 22 million Californians registered to vote heading into the General election. The website contains a chart that shows statewide trends in voter registration from 1996 through 2020. The numbers are split up by political party (or no party preference).

A quick glance at the chart of percentage of voters by party shows that the Democratic party consistently had a higher percentage of voters than did the Republican party (and also than did the No Party Preference group). This holds true from 1996 right up to the 2020 election.

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to focus on the voter registration data from the two most recent presidential elections.

2016: Democratic (44.9%), Republican (26.0%)

2020: Democratic (46.1%), Republican (25.2%)

The number of Democratic registered voters increased between 2016 and 2020. The number of Republican voters decreased between 2016 and 2020. Based on this data, it seems that the outcome of the recall will result in Governor Newsom keeping his job. It would take an overwhelming number of registered Democrats to vote against Newsom in order for the Republicans to get their way.

That’s not just my opinion. ABC News posted an article in March of 2021 titled: “EXPLAINER: Why is California Gov. Newsom facing a recall?” It was written by Michael R. Blood. From the article:

…If petition numbers hold up, it appears the recall will easily qualify for the ballot. If that happens, Newsom would be forced to fend off rivals in the midst of a pandemic that has cost the state millions of jobs and shaken life for residents. But time could be on his side and the turbulent public mood could shift by fall. If schools, restaurants, gyms and other businesses continue to reopen. California also is one of the most heavily Democratic states in the country: Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by nearly 2-to-1, and the party controls every statewide office while dominating the Legislature and congressional delegation.

What has Governor Newsom Changed Since the Recall Election Qualified for the Ballot?

Reopened bars, hotels, gyms, offices, and other businesses

On May 17, 2021, San Francisco Chronicle posted an article titled: “California is set to reopen on June 15: What will change?” It was written by Carolyn Said and Erin Allday. From the article:

State officials say it will be a return to business as usual for scores of sectors – including restaurants, gyms and movie theaters – that have been forced to limit capacity under California’s color-coded blueprint. Bars will be able to reopen indoors in every county. Private gatherings like weddings can resume with larger guest lists…

…The four-tiered color-coded blueprint, in place since last August, mandates certain restrictions based on how prevalent the virus is in a county. In the least restrictive yellow tier, which only San Francisco and San Mateo counties have reached in the Bay Area, almost every sector can be open at 25% to 50% capacity.

The state will retire that blueprint on June 15, assuming it meets two criteria for broadly reopening: making vaccines easily available to anyone who wants them, and keeping COVID-19 hospitalizations low. At the moment California is easily meeting those goals. Individual counties may, however, choose to retain certain restrictions after that date.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom facing a recall election, may public health and business leaders say they can’t imagine he’ll back away from the June 15 reopening unless there’s an unexpected new pandemic threat. Newsom said last week that there is no backup plan if the state falls off course: “Plan A is the only plan we need,” he said…

Opened restaurants

On May 24, 2021, Eater posted an article titled: “California Says No More Restaurant Capacity Limits or Physical Distancing Starting June 15″. It was written by Mona Holmes. From the article:

California is approaching a milestone moment since the COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago. On May 21, California officials announced the state would fully reopen without restrictions on June 15. As the first state to officially shelter-in-place, California will convert back to zero restrictions on indoor and outdoor capacity limits and physical distancing at restaurants and bars within the next three weeks.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly stated that California will no longer require any pandemic-related constraints, which moves the state into a full reopening, reports the L.A. Times. With half of Californians fully vaccinated and COVID-19 infection/death rates remarkably low, Ghaly believes the state is ready. The color-coded system used to track the pandemic will no longer be used…

…More changes will come after the Division of Occupational Safety and Health or Cal/OSHA updates California’s workplace rules in early June. LAist reports the state agency – which determines safety regulations for employers throughout California – could all vaccinated workers without COVID-19 symptoms to no longer wear masks if workers did not display symptoms.

After June 15, expect to see the following in restaurants and bars across the state:

  • Bars, restaurants, concert venues, and grocery stores can operate at full indoor and outdoor capacity.
  • California will utilize CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people who will not be required to wear masks except for public transit, flights, and when visiting health facilities.
  • Physical distancing requirements will not be required at public and private events.
  • Large venues, like sports arenas and performance stages, will no longer have capacity limits. But a vaccine verification or a negative test will be required for indoor events with more than 5,000 people, and the vaccine verification or negative test will be recommended for outdoor events with 10,000 people or more.
  • People traveling into the state will not be required to isolate or quarantine.

Created a plan for opening schools next over the summer and next fall for full-time in-person instruction

On June 7, 2021, Governor Newsom shared his plan to reopen the schools in the fall. The information was posted on his official website, and titled: “California Releases New Summer Programming and School Reopening Data, Launches Parental Engagement Campaign”. From the press release:

Today, California launched a new series of interactive data visualizations at the Safe Schools for All Hub to continue tracking the progress of school reopening efforts while highlighting school districts’ plans for summer program offerings to support students’ learning needs. Of the data submitted:

  • 89 percent of school districts submitting data will offer learning opportunities over the summer, including learning acceleration (e.g., high-dose tutoring), enrichment and mental health services.
  • 99 percent of public school districts submitting data plan to fully reopen for in-person instruction for the school year beginning Fall 2021.

…Additionally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is launching a new campaign throughout the summer to build confidence with parents and students about the safety of returning to school full-time in Fall 2021. The campaign will reach out to parents in the hardest hit by the pandemic – especially Latinix, African-American, Asian American and Pacific Islander parents of school aged children – with $25 million from AB 86 to support the safe opening of schools during the next fiscal year. These monies will: fund a campaign to reach parents ($1 million), build on-the-ground local collaborations between local public health departments ($10 million) and county offices of education ($10 million) and provide ongoing statewide technical assistance and encourage two-way communication through enhanced technology ($4 million).

The Governor’s California Comeback Plan proposes to permanently expand summer and after-school programs at all schools serving the highest concentrations of vulnerable students, beginning with $1 billion in the 2021-22 school year and growing to $5 billion by 2025. The plan also proposes a return to full-time in-person instruction for the 2021-22 school year…

Recall Elections Have a Tendency to Fail

It is worth pointing out that recall elections that are intended to remove an elected governor in California have a tendency to fail. The California Secretary of State website provided some information. I filled in the gaps with more details from various sources.

1939: A recall against Governor Culbert L. Olson. It failed to qualify for the ballot. Two other recalls of the Governor were attempted that year, one filed by Olson Recall Committee, and the other by Citizens of Olson Recall Committee. Both of those failed to qualify for the ballot.

1940: More recalls against Governor Culbert L. Olsen were filed. Each one was filed by the Olsen Recall Committee. Both of them failed to qualify for the ballot.

1960: A recall against Governor Edmund G. Brown (Democrat) was filed by Roderick J. Wilson (also a Democrat). The recall failed to qualify for the ballot.

1965: A recall against Governor Edmund G. Brown was filed by C. Fain Kyle.

According to information on the Internet Archive, C. Fain Kyle was Executive Director of Dedicated Independent Society Committee Against Racial Demonstrations, Inc. He also founded the Christian Conservative Churches of America. In 1965, C. Fain Kyle announced the formation of Recall Brown Committee. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

Also in 1965, a second recall against Governor Edmund G. Brown was filed – this time by L.J. Beauchamp. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

1967: A recall against Governor Ronald Reagan (Republican) was filed by Nancy L. Parr. Getty Images has a photo of her holding a petition seeking the recall of Governor Ronald Reagan. According to Getty Images, Nancy L. Parr thinks Gov. Reagan is “inept and incompetent” and that he’s riding roughshod over the desires of both the legislature and California. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

1968: A recall against Governor Ronald Reagan was filed by Joyce A. Koupal and James E. Berg. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

1972: A recall against Governor Ronald Reagan was filed by Margaret Bullard. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

1977: A recall against Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. (Democrat) was filed by Patricia Dolbeare. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

1979: Two recall efforts were filed against Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. (Jerry Brown). One was filed by Frank James Compton. The other was filed by Cecil Gibson. Both of them failed to qualify for the ballot.

1980: Two recall efforts were filed against Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. (Jerry Brown). Both were filed by Cecil Gibson – one of April 16, 1980, and the other on October 18, 1980. Both of them failed to qualify for the ballot.

1983: Three recall efforts were filed against Governor George Deukmejian (Republican) was filed by Michael Greenspan and Charles Brookey. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

The second was filed by M.P. Baltzer, George Baltzer, Johnny Van Pelt, and Cynthia Van Pelt. It failed to qualify for the ballot. The third was filed by R. Ahl. It also failed to qualify for the ballot.

1985: Another recall effort was filed against Governor George Deukmejian. It was filed by Michael Bogatirev. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot. Los Angeles Times reported the following:

…A Pacific Grove man, Michael Bogatirev, has filed with the secretary of state’s office a petition to recall Gov. George Deukmejian for allegedly failing to adequately represent environmental concerns. The petition must be signed by 945,204 registered voters, which represents 12% of all of the votes cast for the office in 1982, by next Jan. 30. If the recall drive qualifies, a special election would be set. A spokesman for the governor had no immediately official comment on the petition but said, “We certainly aren’t nervous about it.”…

1986: A recall effort was filed against Governor George Deukmejian. It was filed by Michael Bogritev, Timothy Grady, and Harry Snell. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

Michael Bogaritev also filed a recall effort against Governor George Deukmejian – one on February 2, 1986, and another on February 21, 1986 (with Timothy Grady.) Both of those recall efforts failed to qualify for the ballot.

1987 and 1989: A recall effort was filed against Governor George Deukmejian by Michael Bogatriev and Douglas Cupp Sr. It failed to qualify for the ballot. Michael Bogatriev also filled two more recall efforts against Governor George Deukmejian. Both those efforts failed to qualify for the ballot.

1991: Two recall efforts were filed against Governor Pete Wilson (Republican). One was filed by Deborah Murray, Teresa S. Squier, Herbert C. Redlack, Sharon Moad, and Corinne Lavorico. The other was filed by Lorna G. Fowler, Emily L. Powell, Patricia Williams and Elmer E. Powell. Both of these recall efforts failed to qualify for the ballot.

1992: Four recall efforts were filed against Governor Pete Wilson. One was filed by Peter James. Another was filed by Gordon Reynolds, Joseph DeSiata, Deborah Murray, A. Lee Sanders, and Janice L. Tracey. The third was filed by Gary Karnes and Ralph White. The fourth was filed by Barbara Brammer, Mary Reyna, Patrick Hill, and Robert Cunha. All of them failed to qualify for the ballot.

1995: A recall effort was filed against Governor Pete Wilson. It was filed by Jayne Liera and 101 others. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

1999: A recall effort was filed against Governor Gray Davis (Democrat). It was filed by Glenn J. Spencer and 73 others. The recall effort failed to qualify for the ballot.

2003: Two recall efforts were filed against Governor Gray Davis. One was filed by Edward L. Nicholson and 9 others. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

Another recall effort was filed by Edward J. Costa and 98 others. It qualified for the ballot, and the recall election was held on October 7, 2003. The recall succeeded with 55.4% in favor and 44.6% opposed. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) was elected to be the successor of Gray Davis.

Wikipedia provided some information about why Gray Davis was removed by a recall election:

…According to the subsequent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s investigation and report, numerous energy trading companies, many based in Texas, such as Enron Corporation, illegally restricted their supply to the point where the spikes in power usage would cause blackouts. Rolling blackouts affecting 97,000 customers hit the San Francisco bay area on June 14, 2000, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company filed a complaint alleging market manipulation by some energy producers in August 2000. On December 7, 2000, suffering from low supply and idled power plants, the California Independent System (CAISO), whioch manages the California power grid, declared the first statewide Stage 3 power alert, meaning power reserves were below 3 percent. Rolling blackouts were avoided when the state halted two large state and federal water pumps to conserve energy.

On January 17, 201, Davis declared a state of emergency in response to the electricity crisis. Speculators, led by Enron Corporation, were collectively making large profits while the state teetered on the edge for weeks and finally suffered rolling blackouts on January 17 and 18. Davis stepped in to buy power at highly unfavorable terms on the open market, since California power companies were technically bankrupt and had no buying power. California agreed to pay $43 billion for power over the next 20 years. Newspaper publishers sued Davis to force him to make public the details of the energy deal…

…Gray Davis critics often charge that he did not respond properly to the crisis, while his defenders attribute the crisis solely to the corporate accounting scandals and say that Davis did all he could…

2004: A recall effort against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) was filed by Henry F. Ramsey Jr. and 64 others. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

2005: Two recall efforts against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were filed. One was filed by Kevin Matsumura and 121 others on October 7, 2005. The other was filed by Kevin Matsumura and 105 others on November 16, 2005. Both failed to qualify for the ballot.

2008: A recall effort was filed against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was filed by Mike Jimenez and 84 others. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

2009:Three recall efforts were filed against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. One was filed by John D. Fusek and 110 others on March 20, 2009. The second one was filed by ET Snell and 112 others on March 23, 2009. The third one was filed by John D. Fusek and 119 others on April 17, 2009. All of them failed to qualify for the ballot.

2012: Two recall efforts were filed against Governor Jerry Brown. One was filed by Edgar Origel and 9 others on May 17, 2012. The other was filed by James D. Smith and 9 others on November 1, 2012. Both failed to qualify for the ballot.

2013, another recall effort was filed against Governor Jerry Brown. It was filed by James D. SMith and 90 others on October 23, 2013. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

2015: A recall effort was filed against Governor Jerry Brown. It was filed by Lauren Stephens and 74 others on October 29, 2015. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

2017: A recall effort was filed against Governor Jerry Brown. It was filed by Rachel Gunther and 197 others on November 16, 2017. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

2019: A recall effort was filed against Governor Gavin Newsom. It was filed by Erin Cruz and 69 others on March 15, 2019. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

2020: Three recall efforts were filed against Governor Gavin Newsom. One was filed by Orrin E. Heatlie and 124 others on February 3, 2020. It failed to qualify for the ballot. Another was filed by Carla Canada and 9 others on June 3, 2020. It failed to qualify for the ballot.

In between those two was another recall effort filed by Orrin E. Heatlie and 124 others on February 21, 2020. This one qualified for the ballot. There will be a recall election on September 14, 2021.

Los Angeles Times reported that the recall effort proponents are Orrin Heatlie, Mike Netter, and the California Patriot Coalition.

According to the Recall Gavin Newsom website, Orrin Heatlie is the Lead Proponent. Mike Netter is the Coalition Founding Member. He describes himself as a veteran working in sales and marketing, and states that he has worked in senior executive roles at Corporate Express and Staples. Robin McCrea is a veteran budget officer/analyst. Los Angeles Times also identified the California Patriot Coalition as having something to do with the recall.

Recall Proponents Got Extra Time to Collect Signatures

CNBC reported information about why the proponents of the recall got more time than they should have gotten to collect signatures. From the article:

…After receiving approval from the secretary of state in June 2020, organizers of the effort had 160 days to collect petition signatures equal to 12% of the voter turnout in the last election for governor, or 1,495,709 signatures, in accordance with state recall laws.

But state health orders that closed nonessential businesses and enforced social distancing became a hurdle for collecting signatures, which led to a Sacramento judge to approve a 120-extension for the organizers in November.

The recall effort continued to struggle in collecting signatures until photos leaked of a maskless Newsom attending a dinner at a Napa Valley restaurant on November 6, with people from several households. Californians were outraged, especially since Newsom’s actions contradicted stay-at-home orders…

In other words, a judge decided to give the recall proponents an extra 120 days to collect signatures. Why would a judge decide to do that? Los Angeles Times provides some answers:

The Sacramento County Superior Court judge whose ruling in November was pivotal to the recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom, providing supporters extra time to gather the necessary petition signatures to trigger a special election, was once a law partner with the attorney hired by the effort’s proponents to plead their case.

Judge James P. Arguelles and Bradley Benbrook were attorneys at the Sacramento law firm of Stevens, O’Connell & Jacobs before 2010 and, according to federal court records, the two served as co-counsel on at least two cases…

…Benbrook represented recall proponents Orrin Heatlie and the California Patriot Coalition in the case before Arguelles last fall. The judge on Nov. 17 agreed with Benbrook’s argument that California’s COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions had limited the recall campaign’s ability to circulate petitions.

Arguelles gave them an additional five months to gather and submit 1.49 million petition signatures from California voters, the number required by state law to qualify the recall for the ballot, and they did so successfully by March 17. Were it not for that extra time, the recall would have failed to qualify…

…Benbrook also worked for an independent expenditure committee that backed Newsom’s Republican opponent in the 2018 gubernatorial election, John Cox. Cox is currently running to replace Newsom if he is recalled…

A Closer Look at How Each County Voted in the 2020 Election – by Party

NBC Los Angeles posted data about how California voted, by county, in the 2020 Presidential election. As you may recall, the most well known candidates were Joe Biden (Democrat) Donald Trump (Republican) and Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian).

The final outcome – statewide – in California was:

  • Joe Biden (Democrat) 11,110,250 (63.5%)
  • Donald Trump (Republican) 6,006,429 (34.3%)
  • Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian) 187,895 (1.1%)

To get a closer look, I decided to put in the data about how each county in California voted. NBC Los Angeles color coded each county when the final votes were tallied. The Republican leaning ones were red, and the Democratic leaning ones were blue.

Red Counties:

  • Del Norte: 6,461 votes for Trump (56.4%) / 4,677 votes for Biden (40.8%)
  • Suskiyou: 13,290 Trump (56.7%) / 9,593 Biden (40.9%)
  • Modoc: 3,109 Trump (71.7%) / 1,150 Biden (25.5%)
  • Trinity: 3,188 Trump (50.9%) / 2,852 Biden (45.6%)
  • Shasta: 60,789 Trump (65.4%) / 30,000 Biden (32.3%)
  • Lassen: 8,970 Trump (74.8%) / 2,799 Biden (23.4%)
  • Tehama: 19,141 Trump (66.6%) / 8,911 Biden (31.0%)
  • Plumas: 6,445 Trump (57.3%) / 4,561 Biden (40.5%)
  • Glenn: 7,063 Trump (62.5%) / 3,995 Biden (35.4%)
  • Sierra: 1,142 Trump (59.2%) / 730 Biden (37.8%)
  • Colusa: 4,559 Trump (57.3%) / 3,239 Biden (40.7%)
  • Sutter: 24,375 Trump (57.2%) / 17,367 Biden (40.7%)
  • Yuba: 17,676 Trump (59.3%) / 11,230 Biden (37.7%)
  • Sierra: 1,142 Trump (59.2%) / 730 Biden (37.8%)
  • Placer: 122,488 Trump (52.1%) / 106,869 Biden (45.5%)
  • El Dorado: 61,838 Trump (53.2%) / 51,621 Biden (44.4%)
  • Amador: 13,585 Trump (60.9%) / 8,153 Biden (36.6%)
  • Calaveras: 16,518 Trump (60.8%) / 10,046 Biden (37.0%)
  • Tuolumne: 17,689 Trump (58.2%) / 11,978 Biden (39.4%)
  • Mariposa: 5,950 Trump (57.9%) / 4,088 Biden (39.8%)
  • Madera: 29,378 Trump (54.7%) / 23,168 Biden (43.1%)
  • Tulare: 77,579 Trump (52.8%) / 66,105 Biden (45.0%)
  • Kings: 24,072 Trump (54.9%) / 18,699 Biden (42.6%)
  • Kern: 164,484 Trump (53.9%) / 133,366 Biden (43.7%)

Blue Counties:

  • Humbolt: 21,770 Trump (31.6%) / 44,768 Biden (65.%)
  • Mendocino: 13,267 Trump (30.6%) / 28,782 Biden (66.4%)
  • Butte: 48,730 Trump (47.8%) / 50,426 Biden (49.4%)
  • Nevada: 26,779 Trump (41.4%) / 36,359 Biden (56.2%)
  • Lake: 13,123 Trump (45.6%) / 14,941 Biden (51.9%)
  • Sonoma: 61,825 Trump (23.0%) / 199,938 Biden (74.5%)
  • Napa: 20,676 Trump (28.7%) / 49,817 Biden (69.1%)
  • Yolo: 27,292 Trump (28.1%) / 67,598 Biden (69.5%)
  • Sacramento: 259,405 Trump (36.1) / 440,808 Biden (61.4%) – State Capitol
  • Alpine: 224 Trump (32.9%) / 476 Biden (64.2%)
  • Alameda: 136,309 Trump (17.7%) / 617,659 Biden (80.2%)
  • Solano: 69,396 Trump (33.7%) / 131,639 Biden (64.0%)
  • Contra Costa: 152,877 Trump (26.3%) / 416,386 Biden (71.6%)
  • San Joaquin: 121,098 Trump (42.0%) / 161,137 Biden (55.9%)
  • Mono: 2,513 Trump (37.3%) / 4,013 Biden (59.6%)
  • Stanislaus: 104,145 Trump (48.5%) / 105,841 Biden (49.3%)
  • San Mateo: 75,584 Trump (20.2%) / 291,496 Biden (77.8%)
  • Santa Cruz: 26,937 Trump (18.6%) / 114,246 Biden (78.9%)
  • Santa Clara: 214,612 Trump (25.2%) / 617,967 Biden (72.7%)
  • Merced: 39,397 Trump (43.5%) / 48,991 Biden (54.1%)
  • Inyo: 4,630 Trump (48.7%) / 4,634 Biden (48.9%)
  • San Benito: 10,590 Trump (36.7%) / 17,638 Biden (61.2%)
  • Fresno: 164,464 Trump (45.1%) / 193,025 Biden (52.9%)
  • Monterey: 46,299 Trump (28.3%) / 113,942 Biden (69.5%)
  • San Luis Obispo: 67,436 Trump (42.2%) / 88,310 Biden (55.3%)
  • Santa Barbara: 65,736 Trump (32.8%) / 129,963 Biden (64.9%)
  • Ventura: 162,207 Trump (38.4%) / 251,388 Biden (59.5%)
  • Los Angeles: 1,145,530 Trump (26.9%) / 3,028,885 Biden (71.0%)
  • San Bernadino: 366,257 Trump (43.6%) / 455,859 Biden (54.2%)
  • Riverside: 449,144 Trump (45.0%) / 528,350 Biden (53.0%)
  • Orange: 676,498 Trump (44.5%) / 814,009 Biden (53.5%)
  • San Diego: 600,094 Trump (37.5%) / 964,650 Biden (60.2%)
  • Imperial: 20,847 Trump (36.8%) / 34,678 Biden (61.1%)
  • Marin: 24,512 Trump (15.8%) / 128,288 Biden (82.3%)

The numbers of voters, by political party, show that the majority of voters in California are registered Democrats. It also shows that some of the smallest counties – with the smallest populations, have a disproportionate percentage of Republican voters.

It doesn’t make sense for them to try and overturn the results of the 2018 election (where Governor Newsom won against his opponent John Cox) by initiating a recall. It feels like the registered Republicans are attempting to steal an election.

Which counties had the highest percentage of support for the recall?

The California Secretary of State website posted information about the number of signatures received and the number of signatures that were withdrawn – by county. Ballotpedia reported that the recall effort needed more than 1,495,970 valid signatures in order to pass. California Secretary of State found 1,719,943 to be valid. She also stated that 43 signatures were removed during the removal period, leaving 1,719,900 valid signatures. This is more than enough to trigger a recall election.

What makes a signature valid? The signature has to come from a registered California voter. To make a long story short, the California Secretary of State must confirm that each signature is valid. Those that are invalid are removed.

Los Angeles Times posted an article on April 29, 2021, titled: “Who wants to recall Gov. Newsom? Signatures point to Trump’s California”. It was written by Sweltha Kannan and Sandhya Kambhampati. From the article:

…A Times analysis of data released by Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber shows where support was the strongest. Though petitions were signed all across the state, the highest concentrations of signatures were found in the rural northeast, areas with low coronavirus case counts and where voters heavily favored former President Donald Trump…

…Newsom’s critics say his strict COVID-19 pandemic policies were a leading factor on the effort to recall the governor, arguing that these restrictions cost thousands of jobs and shuttered businesses.

The Times found, however, that coronavirus caseloads alone were not enough to predict which areas would provide the most signatures.

Many Republican-leaning counties that favored the recall had low case rates. But counties with predominantly Democratic voters that experienced similar caseloads, such as those in the Bay Area, were less supportive of the effort…

…Among the areas most supportive of recalling Newsom were rural, right-leaning counties to the north and east of Sacramento. Those areas had high signature rates and low case rates, with the exception of Lassen County, where a surge in cases hit several state prisons. Those counties also voted to reelect Trump in 2020.

These areas are home to 5% of the state’s population but more than 10% of the total signatures gathered.

The highest concentrations of signatures are in the rural northeast.

Still, the massive effort to force a recall relied largely on the state’s densely populated urban centers where Democrats win most elections. Los Angeles County, home to one-quarter of the state’s population, provided 264,409 signatures, or 16% of the total so far…

…The question will be settled later this year at the ballot box. To remove Newsom from office, more than 50% of voters will need to cast their ballot in favor of the recall…

California News Times posted an article titled: “Recall Gavin Newsom petition has enough signatures: Map shows where in California there’s most support”. It was posted on April 27, 2020. From the article:

…In raw numbers, the maximum number of verified signatures is from Los Angeles County, which is about 264,000. But that’s not a big surprise, as Los Angeles County is also the largest in the state. In neighboring Orange and Ventura counties, more and more voters are signing petitions to recall Newsom as a percentage of their population…

The article include a link to a map of California counties which were designated as supporting the recall, or not supporting the recall, based on the color the county was given. White, light blue, and shades of gray marked counties that did not support the recall. Darker shades of blue indicated counties that supported the recall.

Which counties had the most support for the recall?

The counties with the highest percentage of registered voters who signed the recall petition are:

  • Kings: 12.12% – Trump (54.9%) / Biden (42.6%) – in 2020 election
  • Siskiyou: 11.28% – Trump (56.7%) / Biden (40.9%)
  • Calaveras: 11.03% – Trump (60.8%) / Biden (37.0%)
  • Placer: 10.84% – Trump (52.1%) / Biden (45.5%)
  • Lassen: 10.77% – Trump (74.8%) / Biden (23.4%)
  • Madera: 10.04% – Trump (54.7%) / Biden (43.1%)
  • Tulare: 9.91% – Trump (52.8%) / Biden (45.0%)
  • Glenn: 9.75% – Trump (62.5%) / Biden (35.4%)
  • Modoc: 8.64% – Trump (71.7%) / Biden (25.5%)
  • Del Norte: 7.87% – Trump (56.4%) / Biden (40.8%)

The data shows that the top ten counties with the highest percentage of signatures of registered voters (per county) all just so happened to vote for Trump over Biden in the 2020 election. This is a Republican recall election.

Data Indicates Governor Newsom NOT Being Recalled

On March 30, 2021, Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) posted information titled: “Four in Ten Support Newsom Recall, Job Approval Holds Steady”. From the information:

With signature-gathering complete for potentially placing a gubernatorial recall on the ballot, four in ten likely voters say they would vote yes on removing Governor Newsom in a special recall election. Just over half of Californians approve of the governor’s job performance, similar to ratings in January. Three in four Californians now say the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us…

…If a special election to recall Governor Newsom were held today, 40 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes on removing Newsom, while 56 percent would vote no and 5 percent are unsure. Views break along party lines: Republicans (79%) are far more likely than independents (42%) and Democrats (15%) to say they would vote yes. Across regions, support for removing Newsom is highest in the Central Valley (49%) and Inland Empire (47%) and lowest in the San Francisco Bay Area (27% Orange/San Diego 40% Los Angeles)…

…Newsom’s approval rating has held steady so far in 2021. Just over half of Californians (54% adults, 53% likely voters) approve of how he is handling his job as governor essentially unchanged since January. This is similar to the share approving in February 2020, before the governor issued COVID-19 stay-at-home orders (53% adults, 52% likely voters). Peak approval for Governor Newsom was in May of 2020, when 65 percent of adults and 64 percent of likely voters said they approved of his performance…

On May 25, 2021, Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) posted information titled: “Support for Governor’s Recall Still Falls Short; Outlook for COVID-19 Improves, though Some Groups Lag in Vaccines”. From the information:

With Governor Newsom likely facing a recall election this year, four in ten likely voters say they would vote yes to remove the governor, with views breaking along party lines…

…If the recall election were held today, 40 percent of likely voters say they would vote yes to remove Newsom from office, while 57% would vote no and 3 percent don’t know. Support for the recall is unchanged from March (40%). Views on the recall break along partisan lines, with Republicans (78%) far more likely than Independents (47%) and Democrats (11%) to say they would vote to remove Newsom. Support for the recall is higher in inland regions (56% Inland Empire, 49% Central Valley) than coastal areas (42% Orange/San Diego, 32% Los Angeles, 32% San Francisco Bay Area.)

“The remarkably stable opposition to the recall of Gavin Newsom is driven by a large and consistent partisan divide that favors the Democratic governor,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO.

Fifty-five percent of adults and 54 percent of likely voters approve of the governor’s job performance, similar to March (54% adults, 53% likely voters) and January (54% adults, 52% likely voters). Newsom continues to have majority approval for his handling of the pandemic (64% adults, 61% likely voters)…

On June 11, 2021, CNBC posted an article titled: “California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a recall – here’s what to know and why he’ll likely win”. It was written by Annika Kim Constantino. From the article:

…Californians will decide whether or not to recall the Democratic governor in a special election on Sept. 14, California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis announced July 1…

…Prior to Newsom, the first governor to face a recall election was then-Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, who lost to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 recall election.

Unlike Davis,however, experts and recent polling indicate that Newsom will likely survive the recall and defeat the nearly 60 candidates running against him…

…”At this point, it would be shocking if the recall succeeded,” said GOP consultant Rob Stutzman, who served as former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s communications director.

“Covid has waned, the economy is resurging and there are far more Democrats than Republicans in this state that will vote in favor of him. I think Newsom should be in good shape,” Stutzman said.

A poll conducted in early May by the Public Policy Institute of California, or PPIC, found that 57% of likely voters would support Newsom in the election while 40% would vote to recall him.

The poll also found that Newsom’s job approval rating among likely voters is 54%, which is almost double Davis’ approval rating in 2003, according to to PPIC President Mark Baldassare.

To explain this data, Baldassare cites “two important indicators” of Newsom’s standing that dramatically improved between January and May of this year. This includes Californians’ perceptions about the U.S. economy and Covid, which are both data points recorded in the poll as well.

“These indicators have evidently improved in the last few months, putting Gov. Newsom in a relatively strong position as he faces a recall,” Baldassare said…

Given what the data shows – that voters who are registered as Democrats vastly outnumber both voters who are registered as Republicans, and voters who are registered as Independent – means that the Democratic voters are likely to vote to keep Governor Newsom. They will vote that way because they like what he is doing.

As such, we should expect that after the votes of the recall election are counted – Governor Newsom will still be the Governor of California.

Here’s Why Governor Newsom Won’t be Recalled is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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