California recall: These 4 candidates are leading polls in race to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom
California’s recall on Tuesday will be the biggest election since Joe Biden became president, and the unorthodox process has had wild outcomes before, like when actor Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor in 2003.
If a majority of voters want Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom gone, the candidate with the highest vote total becomes governor even if that candidate falls well short of a majority, which is almost a certainty. With 46 candidates, the winner could get 25% or less.
People who vote against recalling Newsom can still choose a replacement option in case he’s recalled. But Newsom can’t run as a candidate, and any write-in votes for the sitting governor won’t count.
The top four candidates to replace him, according to an average of leading polls by FiveThirtyEight as of Friday, are Republicans Larry Elder, Kevin Faulconer and John Cox, and Democrat Kevin Paffrath.
The GOP hasn’t won a statewide race since 2006 and Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by nearly 2 to 1. But the unusual math that underlies the recall election could upend the expected.
However, an exclusive Inside California Politics / Emerson College poll released Monday found Newsom is poised to survive the recall, with around 60% of likely voters in favor of keeping him in office.
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