The California Recall Failure
Although votes are still being counted and the election has not yet been certified, somewhere around 7.4 million Californians vote “no” on the recall compared to only 4.4 million “yes” votes. There are around 22 million registered voters in California and millions more who are eligible to vote, but are not registered.
The lesson learned is that campaign activities focused on registering new voters and assisting registered voters in voting before election day or on election day are effective. The “no” on recall volunteers were far more organized, more active, and better funded. Governor Newsom raised $58 million to fight his recall. The combined money raised to recall Governor Newsom was only a fraction of Newsom’s total. Combined, the candidates running to replace Newsom raised around $26 million.
In summary, we were outworked, outspent, and out organized. While the candidates were focused on beating each other, efforts to convince voters to show and vote “yes” on the recall suffered. This resulted in a low voter turnout in an already tough campaign where every vote mattered. Activities like getting voters to register and then turn in their ballot are important and effective.