Recall Results: NONE OF THE ABOVE 44.5%–Elder 26%

To do an honest appraisal of the Recall election results, you need to do an honest accounting of the vote.  CalMatters makes it clear:  Leading up to September 14 I told radio audiences, newspaper journalists and organizations where I spoke to look for two numbers on election night—the number of votes received by Larry Elder and the number of votes for NONE OF THE ABOVE (these are people that voted on Part 1 of the ballot, but did not vote on part 2.

“Of the 9.3 million ballots counted so far, 4.1 million, or 44.5%, did not include a choice for the replacement candidate. That’s compared to the 2.4 million votes, or 26%, that went for the flesh-and-blood frontrunner Larry Elder. If “nobody” were a candidate, he or she would be crushing the competition. 

As a comparison: “A historical note: In the successful 2003 recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, only about 756,000 of 9 million voters, or 8%, left question two blank.”

What does this man for the Republican Party in 2022 (Elder ran as a registered Republican, but reminded folks he was a “libertarian” with a small “l”)  This does show the discipline of the Democrat Party—when told NOT to vote, Dems do not vote—4.1 million of them.  How do we save what is left of California when our opponents start with that number?

Also, in 2020 Trump received over 6 million votes in California.  It looks like the GOP turnout for the Recall was just over 3 million.  Where were the Trump voters?  If w are going to fix our problems, we need an honest assessment of the data.  What do you think?

And the winner in the California recall is? None of the above

by Ben Christopher, CalMatters,  9/16/21  

In summary

While Larry Elder clearly led all replacement candidates in the California recall election, he finished far behind none of the above. Millions left that question blank —exactly what Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrats wanted.

For weeks leading up to Election Day, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic leaders begged Californians to “just say no” to the recall. Rather than pore over the 46 names on the ballot to pick a promising — or for Newsom supporters, at least tolerable — back-up candidate in case the recall succeeded, the “no” campaign urged voters to skip the second question entirely. 

Californians took Newsom’s advice — by the millions.

Of the 9.3 million ballots counted so far, 4.1 million, or 44.5%, did not include a choice for the replacement candidate. That’s compared to the 2.4 million votes, or 26%, that went for the flesh-and-blood frontrunner Larry Elder. If “nobody” were a candidate, he or she would be crushing the competition. 

Ballots are still being tallied, but at last count the recall attempt against Newsom is going down in flames by a historic 28 percentage points. The secretary of state’s office reported today that about 2.9 million remain to be counted.

Newsom and his political brain trust were criticized, even by some Democrats, for refusing to engage with the ballot’s second question. The logic of the strategy: Don’t even humor the idea that another candidate would be acceptable, lest it convinces some voters on the fence that a “yes” vote wouldn’t result in sheer disaster. As some commentators noted at the time, it was a risky and potentially undemocratic tactic. 

But it’s one that seems to have paid off handsomely.

The two-question structure of California’s recall ballot was the subject of endless confusion among voters. Now it’s providing new ways to be perplexed by — or perhaps to purposefully misinterpret — the election results. 

Elder has already touted his 47% showing among voters who picked a replacement candidate as evidence of his strength as a possible 2022 candidate and to suggest that polls understated his popularity. In a tweet today, he juxtaposed the reported election night results to an Emerson College poll that put the candidate at a mere 23%.

In fact, the number Elder highlighted was his share of the vote only among ballots marked with a replacement candidate. Missing from his calculation: The 4 million-plus ballots without a selected candidate at all.

A historical note: In the successful 2003 recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, only about 756,000 of 9 million voters, or 8%, left question two blank.

And in case it wasn’t obvious that it was mostly Democrats who left question two blank, there is an indisputable correlation in counties with the largest share of Democratic voters.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. What comment could one leave that would sho the disgust for these CA politician communists?

  2. West W Walker says

    With 85% of the vote counted, and 10.55M votes cast, 36.5% YES votes (nearly 4M so far) – the current difference of 2,841,962 votes would not have been made up if all of 2020 Trump voters showed up. However, the percentage of YES exceeds the percentage of TRUMP overall vote. This is good news and moving in the right direction.

    A larger question may be, what would have been the results if the CAGOP and other candidates fell behind the clear front runner, focusing instead of attacking Newsom and Question 1, instead of Elder? many of the RINO candidates spent more time dividing the R and conservative-leaning NPP than focusing on a unified anti-Newsom messaging. Democrats showed they followed their party directions — what could it take to have CA Republicans as united?

    Getting rid of those who do not support the national party slate (Trump) and not being the national headquarters for the “Republican Lincoln Project” /RINOS would be a start. Republicans calling for the Impeachment of Trump, and “censor” sure suppresses the vote more than those calling for election integrity. Hopefully each county is busy with volunteers to “cure the vote”- since a study of abnormally low turnout and No winning in Red Counties is a concern: Nevada County case-in-point. Small county, easy to find an irregularity (apox 19% turnout, voting NO by large margin in red district. Why is that?)

    • I couldn’t agree more. However, if Republicans had turned out the results would not have given Newsom such a radical victory and would have indicated that Republicans are “in the fight”. They are not in the fight and are part of the problem.

      As for what explains Nevada County, I spent several hours Tuesday evening “Observing” two election centers. There was a blue duffel bag, approx 2′ x 2′ x 3′, at each location UNSECURED sitting on tables near or not near the regular drop boxes. I was told these blue duffels were “alternate drop boxes”.

      At 8:15 pm, while I was at the last election center I monitored, we were waiting for “Couriers” to pick up the ballots from these blue duffels. The “normal” dropbox ballots had already been collected about ten minutes prior. I received a text message from my son that Newsom was ahead and 37% (approx) of votes had been counted. An hour later, at 9:15 pm (approx) I watched Newsom declare victory with 66% of votes counted. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ELECTION RESULTS IN CALFORNIA COLLECTED THIS QUICKLY. Usually after one hour approximately 5% of votes are in.

      So, voters need to get active and lose the defeatist attitude. We could use a lot more people Observing at these election centers. I’m sick and tired of Republicans/Conservative/Evangelicals bitching about how bad things are on their keyboards but doing absolutely nothing more to help fix it!

      VOTERS, AS USUAL, ARE WHAT’S WRONG! Gavin Newsom didn’t just walk into Sacramento and sit in the Governors chair, VOTERS sent him there!

      • Truth!!!!! I was at a small meeting last night in Mendocino County. People were complaining about what they saw and heard at the polls when I asked did you report that? They all said NO, I thought about it…..
        But I didn’t. You cannot start changing what happens in your county until you start taking ACTION and typing of social media doesn’t county!

  3. Trump voters tend to be absolutists and many of them won’t show up, unless it glorifies Trump. This does not bode well nationally for the Republican Party or the pro-American cause. Samson-like many Trump supporters would rather see the temple brought down than to make any compromise and at the same time they are gradually marginalizing themselves, so that they can’t win by themselves, either.

  4. Frances J. Freedle says

    The facts on Nevada County – Nevada County has been blue for some time – at least 8 elections since a marijuana crazed voter registration put dems in control – and since many Bay Area dems move to Nevada County bringing their politics with them. It’s a high hill to scale to bring the blue back. Nevada County still invites dead people to vote and they do. Nevada County has been vote-by-mail only since the opportunity was offered but purging the rolls has not been done with !,375 ballots undeliverable in 2020 and nearly 7,000 voters choose to still vote in person in 2020 at a vote center.

  5. Of course, it is likely true that Dem Counties are in no hurry to clean up voter rolls. They prefer to mail out ballots to dead voters and to voters who have moved away.
    That said, I’ve heard that even IF counties wanted to clean up voter rolls, they could not.
    That is because the statewide CalVoter (or alternately called VoteCal) database they depend on is hopelessly corrupt and unusable.

  6. This RECALL WAS RIGGED FROM THE BEGINNING….The ballots that were sent out you COULD SEE RIGHT THROUGH THEM..This made it easy for Nancy to have the ballots picked out that were recalling and making them disappear…..Anybody really think Newsom won this recall? if yes you are as big a MORON AS PELOSI…The ballots sent out to everyone was nothing more then a joke when YOU KNOW HOW TO PICK OUT THE ONES YOU DON’T WANT TO COUNT…Once again the SKANK BITCH PELOSI TRIED TO PULL A FAST ONE, JUST LIKE THAT SWEET INSIDER TRADING WITH MICROSOFT…..Right Nancy? Right bitch

  7. Maybe instead of the NPP taking over and disrespecting the RINOs, there’s a chance for conservatives to take over if ALL conservatives whether moderate or tea-party, and whether Trump supporters or never-Trumpers, realize that the only way to save this country is to be UNIFIED as conservative-leaning. If that doesn’t happen, we will be a Democratic Socialist nation, weak and ripe for takeover. China’s star is rising and ours is just fading away with a whimper.

  8. Where are all the Republican voters from California who voted for Trump in 2020 you ask?
    Well, I’ll tell you just where they are.
    The smart ones have been getting the hell out of the new medieval fiefdom of Commie-fornia as fast as they can, while they still can, and taking their business’s with them.
    Unfortunately, I cannot leave just yet. But as soon as I am able to do so, just watch my dust!
    With all the commiecrat voter fraud in this state, paired with no voter ID laws, and the ever dwindling population of conservatives, Republicans don’t have a prayer of ever winning another rigged election here.
    And as the elite leftist ruling monarchy continue to happily “rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic” as she is slowly sinking,due to all the illegal invaders, homeless bums and more and more ignorant communist leaning/loving young fools who are flooding into the now “crimeless” state (no more laws against stealing/shoplifting, trespassing, prostitution, &c, &c, &c), all that will be left will be the super, mega-rich elites protected by their private police force in their exclusive walled castles, and the abject poverty, dirt-poor slaves who will be bowing and scraping to their new Communist masters who will hold all the (purse) strings, lured here by the elites siren call of “free” everything (as long as you shut up and do what you’re told to do) and no responsibility for anything.
    And at that point in time, the Democrats (at least in California) will have smugly regained their position as America’s slave owners, a position that they have been lusting for, and have been working tirelessly to regain since Republicans forced them to give up their old slaves in 1865. Then the question will be whether the Republicans will once again be able to muster the resolve that will be necessary to stop the democrats from owning slaves yet again, because, most likely, it will take another civil war to accomplish that feat.
    Good luck.

  9. After this horrific recall, we too are leaving and hope the hideous progressive leftist Marxist party of KKK Democrats do not follow us to any of the red states where their vote is ruinous of everything they touch or come in contact with. Who could endure much more of the Marxists? I am losing my job because I won’t get a mRNA treatment at a hospital who won’t honor my religious exemption. Did it ever occur to these nods that we see the adverse effects and they didn’t much care for me when I had to work amongst covid patients for the last 1.5 years and now they are worried about me? It is just dividing the who got it and who isn’t and making us the villains. Even though my vaccinated co-workers can give covid, get covid the only benefit they got from the treatment is a lessening of symptoms. After a year they will have to pile on booster after booster because their treatment is only 40% effective. Alas we were so downtrodden here and under appreciated, hope they miss me now.

  10. Dave Lorenzen says

    Steve – nice analysis. My opinion has been that if we had a really viable candidate that could win our California voters – the recall vote would have been yes. I don’t think this paints a pretty picture for 2022. Faulconer’s city even went for ‘no’ on the recall. Granted, I am sure the reports of busy polls were due to the unions doing a strong get out the vote effort. And in a blue state, I am sure the Obama ads helped with the Democrat rally cry. This will all play again in 2022 with the added drum beat about the costly and time wasting recall election the Republicans caused. We need new blood outside of the anti-mask crowd. We are not going to win an election on that. I am of the opinion we need a Reagan Part II – Gary Sinese. I don’t know what his position would be on running for office at this time. I understand he is a California resident and might even be in West LA County or Ventura County.

  11. As long as vote by mail is used as a means of electing someone to office, the party in power at the time of the election will win. At stake is control of all the money in the world and it’s hard to trust your own mother in this scenario. If anyone is interested in having an honest election, voter ID is the only way, along with a member of each major party counting all votes. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

    • Just think social democrats spent 81 million dollars for this recall but we have one more year to make a ballot understandable and vote for a true Conservative. If we ever plan to win California again we must unite on one person. A person with money and name recognition.

  12. Joseph Grcar says

    Nobody believes these vote totals. California election results are whatever the crooks want them to be.

  13. You can leave California but that will not save you. As goes California, so goes the nation. Just remember where we got Pelosi, Kamala, Schiff, Schwawell (sp?), Maxine Waters, amongst others. Now we have Gascon and Boudin. Mail in ballot will be pervasive throughout the nation. Then where will you go? I’m going to stay and fight in the belly of the beast. It will be a long haul but I have at least 10 more years left in me!

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