Exit poll shows demographics of California recall election voters

California Governor Recall

SACRAMENTO (INSIDE CALIFORNIA POLITICS): An exclusive Inside California Politics / Emerson College exit poll released Tuesday found that the majority of California likely voters to keep Gov. Gavin Newsom in office.

Did you vote to recall, or to keep Governor Newsom?

Vote to recall: 40%
Vote to keep Governor Newsom: 60%

Newsom is just the fourth governor in U.S. history and the second in California to face a recall. He was elected in a landslide less than three years ago and would be up for reelection next year if he survives the bid to oust him.

“I’m feeling good, as long as we can get out that vote,” Newsom said after greeting volunteers in San Francisco earlier in the day.

Which candidate did you vote for to replace Governor Gavin Newsom if he is recalled?

John Cox (R) 3%
John Drake (D) 6%
Larry Elder (R) 31%
Kevin Faulconer (R) 5%
Caitlyn Jenner (R) 0.3%
Kevin Kiley (R) 2%
Jacqueline McGowan (D) 2%
Doug Ose (R) 0.2%
Kevin Paffrath (D) 5%
No one 44%

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder held a commanding lead on the second question and appeared all but certain to end the race with the votes needed to have replaced Newsom had the recall been a success.

What is your party affiliation?

Democrat. Recall: 8.4% | Keep: 91.6%
Republican. Recall: 73.8% | Keep: 26.2%
Independent or other. Recall: 45.8% | Keep: 54.2

A Republican almost certainly would have replaced Newsom had the recall succeeded, bringing a polar opposite political worldview, though they would have had to contend with a state Capitol dominated by Democrats.

The recall, which turned on Newsom’s approach to the pandemic, mirrored the nation’s heated political divide over business closures and mask and vaccine mandates, and both parties will dissect its outcome heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

What is your gender?

Male. Recall: 34.4% | Keep: 65.6%
Female. Recall: 35.9% | Keep: 64.1%
Non-binary or other: 51.8% | Keep: 48.2%

What is your age range?

18-34 years. Recall: 24.1% | Keep: 75.9%
35-49 years. Recall 38.9% | Keep: 61.1%
50-64 years. Recall 37.8% | Keep: 62.2%
65 or more years. Recall: 36.4% 20%

Educational Attainment?

No College. Recall: 37.6% | Keep: 62.4%
College Degree or More. Recall: 33.1% | Keep: 66.9%

Though Newsom defeated the recall, he may soon be running against Elder again: The governor is up for reelection next year, and the primary, which puts candidates from all parties on one ballot, is just nine months away.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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