I wanted to share a way that I look at the recall that may be helpful to those trying to understand the margin of victory. In order to do so, I want to start with the 2003 recall, as, I feel it has a great comparison. For the record, those numbers were as follows:
4,007,783 No on Recall
2,724,875 Lead Democrat
1,161,287 Next Lead Republican
0,242,247 Lead Green
0,323,224 Everyone Else
As you can see, Schwarzenegger took more raw vote than the "no recall" vote for Gray Davis.
Let me make some assumptions. These assumptions will allow me to present this data in a way that's easiest to understand. First, lets assume the all of the people who backed Davis (and thus voted No on recall) backed the Lead Democrat. These, along with people who voted in the recall, but, did not vote on the second ballot (for a replacement, should 'yes' win the recall vote), are, combined, the "pure" votes for Davis. If we do this, we get the following:
3,051,015 Pure Davis
1,726,758 all others
As you can see, Schwarzenegger clearly "wins" the election. (edit: correction to the following) - he won more votes than davis, and a total of 47% overall
Lets compare this to the results of the 2021 recall. Lets keep in mind that not all ballots may yet be counted. However, lets go ahead with the results as they stand right now.
1,064,788 Other Republicans
0,203,089 Other Parties
4,080,083 did not vote on 2nd ballot
3,297,145 Yes on Recall
5,840,283 No on Recall
There are a lot of people who did not vote on the second ballot. For this election, I am combining the did-not-vote with all the Democrats, for the "Pure Newsom" vote. The result is as follows:
3,641,428 all other options
As you can see, not only did Newsom clearly "win" the vote, but by a much wider margin than Schwarzenegger did in 2003.
And that, is all I wanted to say.
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