Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) became the official candidates for Governor early Wednesday following the Gubernatorial primary election on Tuesday.
With no major challenger from within his party or outside of it, Governor Newsom easily coasted to a first place finish, with 1.400,308 votes, or 61.2% of the total. Amongst the other candidates, who were mostly Republican, only one candidate managed to come within a quarter of that total, with Senator Dahle receiving 346,018 votes, or 15.1% of the vote, with a large focus coming from his base of Northeastern Californian counties.
In a distant third place was Republican Jenny Rae Le Roux, who finished with 80,461 votes, or 3.5% of the vote, followed by Independent Michael Shellenberger who, despite getting significant media attention in the last few weeks, ended with 68,727 votes, or 3% of the vote. No other candidate managed to get above 3%, with only one other, Republican Shawn Collins, getting over 2% of the total vote.
Newsom’s 61.2% came out as only slightly under par compared to other previous Gubernatorial races with Newsom as the major candidate. During the 2018 Gubernatorial primary, Newsom pulled ahead in the primary with over 2.3 million votes, or 33.7% of the vote. As 2018 had no incumbent, voters came out in droves to support candidates from both parties, with Democrats favoring Newsom over other candidates such as former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who ultimately came in third behind Republican businessman John Cox. In the general, Newsom proceeded to win in a 61.9% to 38.1% landslide to Cox.
Three years later following political turmoil and scandals such as the French Laundry incident, Newsom was on the ballot again, although this time to be recalled. While at one point Newsom was within the margin of error in polling of being recalled, a swift media blitz in August and September quickly brought support on his side once again, with Newsom ultimately defeating the recall by 61.9% to 38.1%, almost identical to the 2018 election. However, on Tuesday, Newsom saw a slight dip in support. While both Dahle and Newsom sent messages of thanks out on Wednesday following their primary wins, a low voter turnout may likely be hiding what true support levels are for both candidates.
— Senator Brian Dahle (@BrianDahleCA) June 8, 2022
The upcoming General Gubernatorial election
“Primaries always tend to get fewer voters. There are a few exceptions, like in a city controlled by one party when the primary election pretty much serves as the general election, but for the most part, the General has a greater turn out, especially during even numbered years,” noted Edgar Reyes, a California-based election consultant, to the Globe on Wednesday. “This one was far lower than usual, but with the mid-terms coming up, we’re going to see voters come out in force again and vote for Governor.”
“Now, Newsom will most likely stay in, barring him screwing up big time or Dahle somehow reversing a lot of Republican sentiment in the state. But it will be interesting to see if Newsom goes above or below 62%. Conservatives made out quite well on Primary day, and there is a growing Democratic backlash nation-wide due in-part to Biden’s unpopularity. In San Francisco, they even just recalled a very-left DA. It’s like turning a ship around for the GOP here it can seem so slow, but progress is now being seen.”
“There are a lot of markers to see progress for the GOP this November. How well they do in the Assembly and state Senate races, Congressional races, even other state positions. In LA, that also means the all but certain recall election of their DA. But for an election that isn’t that winnable, like Governor, we’ll be looking at that percentage. 62% is the percentage to look for. A lot of Democrats didn’t vote this primary, but also a lot on the right and center too. This race may be all but certain already who will win, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. If Dahle can knock Newsom down some percentage-wise, it will be another red flag for Democrats that maybe they reached their peak in California. November will be very interesting.”
The general election is to be held November 8, 2022.
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