California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will likely serve out the remainder of his first term as voters rebuff a recall effort.
As of 8:45 p.m., 59 percent of the votes have been counted and by a 67–32 margin, Newsom is on pace to keep his seat. Here's the Los Angeles Times live election results for those who want to keep tabs.
Newsom was elected in 2018 by a similarly wide margin, defeating Republican businessman Jon Cox, 62–38 percent. But as Newsom's oppressive pandemic shutdowns frustrated residents (and he was seen violating his own rules to attend a fancy dinner with lobbyists at The French Laundry), recall circulators were able to gather enough signatures to force the matter to a vote.
But while polls at points in the summer showed some voters (especially undecided voters) souring on Newsom, he maintained a solid base of support among Democrats (who significantly outnumber Republicans in California) and was able to get them to vote. In the final days before the recall, polls had Newsom surviving the recall.
Currently, in the event that the vote somehow flips (it would be very difficult and would pretty much require that most people who voted at the polls today support the recall), Republican talk show host Larry Elder is far and away the front-runner to replace him. Elder currently has 43 percent of the vote among the potential candidates vying to replace Newsom. Real estate YouTuber Kevin Paffrath, running as a Democrat, trails far behind in second place with 11 percent of the vote.
But those votes won't really matter unless Newsom is recalled, and it seems clear at this point that's not going to happen. CNN has called the election in Newsom's favor, as has the Associated Press.
Just before 9 p.m., Newsom gave a victory speech thanking Californians for rejecting the recall: "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 without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression."