California Gov. Gavin Newsom easily fends off historic recall attempt

Newsom defeats recall attemptGov. Gavin Newsom easily fended off a historic attempt to recall him from leading the nation's most populous state, an effort that threatened to shift California's role as a liberal trendsetter and would have sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party.

Newsom, a Democrat who had been heralded as a potential presidential contender, found himself at the center of the country's divisions over COVID-19 and mandates aiming to keep people safe. He was applauded for his work at the beginning of the pandemic, leading the first state to shut down. But after months of tight restrictions and public flubs, that same work helped ignite the effort that led to the fourth gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history.

Newsom needed to convince more than half of voters that he should remain in office, which he easily managed. Elections experts cautioned results could take time in the state, which is known for taking weeks to count ballots.