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In the end, the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom ran out of steam. Though the race may tighten as in person votes are counted, Newsom racked up a comfortable win. As of Wednesday afternoon, he is currently sitting at about 63% of voters who want to keep him, very close to the number President Joe Biden got in the Golden State in the 2020 presidential election.
In the end the forces arrayed against Newsom, the frustrated small business owners who suffered under the lockdowns, those who decry the homeless and mentally ill overrunning the streets in big cities, and those concerned with crime and education just couldn’t muster the turnout to kick the governor out.
There are some lessons in this not just for California, but for the nation.
Having travelled throughout the state over the past week, the most important places I visited, in terms of the ultimate result of the election, were in the GOP-leaning Central Valley. There, in towns like Modesto, Fresno, and Bakersfield, voters landed in favor of the recall, but not in nearly large enough numbers.