Los Angeles, US, Sep 14 (EFE).- Democrat Gavin Newsom won the California gubernatorial recall election on Tuesday by a wide margin, according to US media projections.
Preliminary results, mostly from mail-in ballots, suggest that 66.8 percent of California voters (5.5 million) chose to keep the governor in office while 33.2 percent (2.7 million) wanted to recall him.
Although the in-person vote count is expected to reduce that margin, the media considers it wide enough to declare Newsom the winner.
The Republican-led recall referendum needed more than 50 percent of voters to vote in favor of Newsom’s removal in order to elect a replacement by simple majority from among the 46 candidates who ran.
Conservative radio host Larry Elder led that list of replacement candidates with 43.6 percent (1.9 million).
Most of the signatures for the recall campaign against Newsom were secured between late 2020 and early 2021, when the governor imposed drastic measures to curb a Covid-19 wave that made California the state with the most coronavirus deaths in the country (more than 67,000).
During that period, a scandal erupted when photographs of Newsom at a party at a posh restaurant in violation of his own restrictions were made public.
Although California is a Democratic stronghold and the polls were always in Newsom’s favor, a few months ago the margin seemed so narrow that the entire Democratic apparatus launched a campaign to support him, including US President Joe Biden, who campaigned in California on Monday.
Former President Donald Trump accused Democrats of rigging Tuesday’s elections even before the polls closed. EFE