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Final Newsom recall results show which California counties are getting more red, blue

SF Gate logo SF Gate 10/21/2021 Eric Ting
© Datawrapper/SFGATE

After five long weeks, election officials in California have finally finished counting all of the ballots in the Gavin Newsom recall election.

The final statewide results are perfectly in line with the results of the 2018 gubernatorial election: 61.9% of the state's voters supported Newsom, while 38.1% voted against him.

While the margin was the same, Newsom won with a slightly different coalition this time around. Exit polling from the 2021 election indicated that Newsom lost ground with white voters without a college degree, Latino voters and Black voters, but was able to offset those losses with dramatic gains in white voters with a college degree.

A look at county-by-county shifts from 2018 to 2021 supports that polling data.

Newsom improved on his 2018 margins in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most highly educated regions in the country. The Bay Area county where he saw the most dramatic boost — Contra Costa — is home to several suburban cities including Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and San Ramon that are home to many white voters with college degrees.

Furthermore, Newsom also gained ground in Orange County, a development that national publications have identified as a sign of Democrats' growing strength in suburban areas.

On the flip side, the county map also shows that Newsom lost ground with Latino voters, best seen through serious slippage in the Southern Central Valley. Three separate Central Valley counties where over 54% of the population is Latino — Kings, Tulare and Kern — all moved away from Newsom over the past three years.

In addition, Imperial County — where 85% of the population is Latino — also shifted to the right.

You can explore county-by-county shifts in the map above.



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