LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Support for the petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom is highest in conservative, sparsely populated counties in parts of the Sierra Nevada and the state’s rural, remote northeast, newly released data shows.
The California secretary of state’s office released its final report Wednesday, verifying more than 1.7 million signatures have been certified as valid in the effort to recall the Democratic governor.
The recall effort targeting Newsom began in February 2020, led by a group called the California Patriot Coalition that opposed Newsom’s liberal politics.
Newsom won election in 2018 with support from more than 60% of voters. Recalling him will be a tough sell in the heavily Democratic state where just a quarter of the state’s registered voters are Republicans, about the same number as those who identify as “no party preference.”
The numbers show counties to the north and east of Sacramento — including along the Sierra foothills — had the highest percentage of registered voters who signed the petition.
Amador County in the Sierra Nevada had the highest rate in the state, where 19.1% of the some 26,000 registered voters signed the petition.
Just to the south of Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne were among the other counties with the highest proportion of registered voters who gave their support for the recall effort, along with Sierra and Lassen counties, which are farther north.
Support for the recall was lowest in San Francisco, with just 1.8% of registered voters supporting the effort. Its neighbor across the bay, Alameda County, was the next least supportive, with 2.7% of registered voters signing the petition.
Going by signatures alone, Los Angeles County — home to more than one-quarter of the state’s registered voters — contributed the most to the recall petition, turning in 264,495 valid signatures. But that only accounted for 4.6% of the county’s registered voters, putting L.A. County among the areas with the lowest rates of participation.
Runners-up include Orange with 215,714 (12% of registered voters), San Diego with 179,039 (9.1%) and Riverside with 146,803 signatures (11.5%).
The requisite number of valid signatures to force a recall election was reported to the state on April 26, but it wasn’t until Wednesday afternoon that a final report was made available with all 58 counties’ final numbers.
In the end, more than 1.7 million valid signatures from registered voters were counted. That’s nearly 7.8% of the state’s more than 22 million voters.
Recall organizers needed nearly 1.5 million signatures, or 12% of the ballots cast when Newsom was elected in 2018. They submitted more than 2.1 million, and nearly 80% of them were counted as valid.
As far as the rest of the California recall process goes, the state is in the period in which it allows more than a month — 30 business days — for voters who signed the petition to withdraw their support by contacting their county elections office.
Then, those county offices have 10 days to report the withdrawn signatures, and the state does another count to see if the recall still hits that 12% threshold to qualify for the ballot.
After that, the state does a cost estimate, then there’s a review. After a few more steps, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis would be required to call for an election.
A poll released by Nexstar Media Group’s six California television stations along with Emerson College earlier this year found Californians are split when it comes to Newsom’s performance and he has his work cut out for him if he is to hold onto his office for another term.
Among the most prominent Republicans running to replace Newsom are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who has never run for elected office. Businessman John Cox, who lost badly to Newsom in 2018, and former Congressman Doug Ose, also are running.
This story is developing. Refresh for updates.