Gov. Gavin Newsom prevailed in the state's recall election this week, with nearly two-thirds of voters across the state voting against ousting him from public office. Opposition to the recall was strongest in left-leaning coastal areas, and Mountain View was no exception.
Election results as of Friday morning show just over 20,000 Mountain View voters opposed the recall, amounting to more than 83% of the ballots cast in the city. This is higher than the 75% of voters across Santa Clara County who voted against the recall, and much higher than the 63.7% of voters statewide.
Local residents appeared less than enthused about the 46 alternative candidates, however, with just under half of those who weighed in on the recall picking a possible successor. Democratic candidate Kevin Paffrath received the most votes at 3,267 (27.3%), followed by Republican Larry Elder at 2,442 (20.4%) and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer at 1,160 (9.7%).
Elder, the frontrunning opponent to Newsom across California, won the most replacement votes by a large margin in Santa Clara County, making Mountain View the outlier. Paffrath billed himself as a centrist Democrat during the election with a career as a YouTube personality and real estate investor, and a platform that included everything from pro-housing initiatives to building a pipeline to funnel water from the Mississippi River to California.
Opposition to the recall was uniform across all voting precincts in Mountain View, with the highest percentages of people voting "no" in Old Mountain View and the Shoreline West areas of the city at 86.8%. Only one precinct, which encompasses Waverly Park and part of the Martens-Carmelita neighborhood, dipped slightly below 80% in favor of rejecting the recall.
Among replacement votes, Old Mountain View stuck out with the highest support for Paffrath at 32.5% as well as the lowest support for Elder at 14.5%.
Mountain View's voter turnout in the special election fell short of the norm for presidential and midterm elections, with 60.6% of registered voters casting a ballot in the Sept. 14 recall election. By comparison, the city's voter turnout exceeded 77% in the 2018 general election and 84% in the November 2020 election. Countywide, voter turnout dipped to 52.8% for the recall vote.