CALIFORNIA 55 Electoral Votes 
link to clickable map
Population 
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Calif. Secretary of State)
Total Resident Population, July 1, 2019 est.
39,512,223
Total Registration, Nov. 2020
22,047,448 >

Dem. 10,170,317 (46.13%)   Rep. 5,334,323 (24.19%)   AI 646,830 (2.93%)   Grn. 84,807 (0.38%)   Lib. 196,108 (0.89%)   P&F 103,476 (0.47%)   Unk. 109,665 (0.50%)   Oth. 118,069 (0.54%)   NPP 5,283,853 (23.97%)

California has: 58 counties.

Nine counties over 1 million: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramento, and Contra Costa. >
Six cities over 500,000: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, and Sacramento. >

Government
Governor: Gavin Newsom (D) elected in 2018.
State Legislature: California State Assembly: 80 seats  California State Senate: 40 seats
Local: Counties, Cities   NACO
U.S. House: 45D, 7R, 1v - 1. D.LaMalfa (R) | 2. J.Huffman (D) | 3. J.Garamendi (D) | 4.T.McClintock (R) | 5. M.Thompson (D) | 6. D.Matsui (D) | 7. A.Bera (D) | 8. P.Cook (R) | 9.J.McNerney (D) | 10. J.Harder (D) | 11. M.DeSaulnier (D) | 12. N.Pelosi (D) | 13. B.Lee (D) | 14. J.Speier (D) | 15. E.Swalwell (D | 16. J.Costa (D) | 17. R.Khanna (D) | 18. A.Eshoo (D) | 19. Z.Lofgren (D) | 20. J.Panetta (D) | 21. TJ Cox (D) | 22. D.Nunes (R) | 23. K.McCarthy (R) | 24. S.Carbajal (D) | 25. M.Garcia (R) | 26. J.Brownley (D) | 27. J. Chu (D) | 28. A.Schiff (D) | 29. T. Cardenas (D) | 30. B.Sherman (D) | 31. P.Aguilar (D) | 32. G.Napolitano (D) | 33. Ted Lieu (D) | 34. J.Gomez (D) | 35. N.Torres (D) | 36. R.Ruiz (D) | 37. K.Bass (D) | 38. L.Sanchez (D) | 39. G.Cisneros (D) | 40. L.Roybal-Allard (D) | 41. M.Takano (D) | 42. K.Calvert (R) | 43. M.Waters (D) | 44. N.Barragan (D) | 45. K.Porter (D) | 46. L.Correa (D) | 47. A.Lowenthal (D) | 48. H.Rouda (D) | 49. M.Levin (D) | 50. vacant | 51. J.Vargas (D) | 52. S.Peters (D) | 53. S.Davis (D).   >
U.S. Senate: Dianne Feinstein (D) re-elected in 2018, Kamala Harris (D) elected in 2016.
2020

U.S. Senate: Sen. Kamala Harris (D) was elected vice president.  On Dec. 22 Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the appointment of Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) to fill the seat.  Harris is resigning effective Jan. 18.  Padilla will be up for election in 2022.
U.S. House:
Democrats lost four of the seats they had won in the 2018 mid-terms, taking the delegation from 45D, 7R, 1v to 42D, 11R.  New members are J.Obernolte (R), Y.Kim (R), M.Steel (R) and S.Jacobs (D), and returning after defeats are D.Valadao (R) and D.Issa (R).
- In CD-8, Rep. Paul Cook (R) ran for San Bernardino County Supervisor.  Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R) defeated Chris Bubser (D), an engineer and consultant, by 56.1% to 43.4%.
- In CD-21 freshman Rep. TJ Cox lost a rematch with former Rep. David Valadao (R) by 1,522 votes (0.89%), 85,928 (50.44%) to 84,406 (49.55%).
- In CD-25 (northern L.A. Co. and eastern Ventura Co.) Rep. Katie Hill (D) resigned Nov. 3, 2019.  Fighter pilot Mike Garcia (R) defeated Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D) in the May 12 special election.  Garcia prevailed again on Nov. 3 winning by
just 333 votes (0.097%), 169,638 votes to 169,305.
- In CD-39 (northern Orange Co.) freshman Rep. Gil Cisneros (D) lost a rematch with Young Kim (R), a small business owner and former member of the Assembly, by 4,109 votes (1.20%), 173,946 votes (50.60%) to 169,837 (49.40%).
- In CD-48 (coastal Orange Co. incl. Seal Beach to Laguna Beach; north of Dana Point) freshman Rep. Harley Rouda (D) lost to Michelle Steel (R), member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, by 201,738 (51.06%) to 193,362 (48.94%).
- In CD-50, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) resigned Jan. 13, 2020.  Former Rep. Darrell Issa (R) defeated Ammar Campa-Najjar (D), who challenged Hunter in 2018, by 54.0% to 46.0%.
 
- In CD-53, Rep Susan Davis (D) is retiring. 
Sara Jacobs (D), whose experience includes founder of San Diego for Every Child and work at the U.S. State Department, defeated San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez (D) by 59.5% to 40.5%.
State Legislature: 20 of 40 Senate seats and all 80 Assembly seats were up.  The Senate went from 29D, 11R to 31D, 9R and the House from 61D, 17R, 1I and 1v to 60D, 19R and 1o.
Ballot Measures:
The Los Angeles Times reported that more that $785 million was spent for and against the 12 propositions on the ballot, including $224 million in the Prop. 22 contest. >  Among those of note:
Prop. 15 would change the tax assessment on commercial and industrial property (yes  |  no). ...defeated by 52.0% to 48.0%.
Prop. 16, a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, would re-institute affirmative action in public employment, public contracting and higher education by repealing Prop. 209, passed in 1996 (yes  |  no, 2).  ...defeated by 57.2% to 42.8%.
Prop. 22 would change the employment classification rules for app-based transportation and delivery drivers (yes  |  no).  ...approved by 58.6% to 41.4%
Prop. 24 would strengthen consumer privacy laws (yes  |  no).  ...approved by  56.2% to 43.8%.
Governor: The latest effort to recall Gov. Newsom, launched by Orrin Heatlie, a retired sheriff from Folsom, on June 10, 2020, needed to collect 1,495,709 signatures by Nov. 17, 2020 to force a recall election.  It appeared headed for failure, but on Nov. 6 a judge in Sacramento extended the deadline to Mar. 17, 2021 due to the pandemic.

State of California
Secretary of State

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CA Democratic Party
CA Republican Party
Green Party of CA
Libertarian Party of CA
Constitution Party of CA
Peace and Freedom Party

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The Golden State

General Election: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Vote by Mail
For the November general election, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on May 8 requiring county officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter ahead of the November 3 general election.
 
Republicans filed a lawsuit terming Newsom's action an unlawful power grab "violating eligible votersí rights and creating an opportunity for fraud." 

The state legislature subsequently passed legislation requiring county officials to mail a ballot to every active registered voter (+).

Also, on Sept. 28, 2020, Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued emergency regulations on signature verification, ballot processing and ballot counting (+).

In October California Republicans stirred up a bit of controversy by putting rogue (unofficial) ballot drop boxes in several locations (+).


Eligible to Register: 25,090,517.
Total Registration:
22,047,448.

Total voters: 17,785,151
Precinct voters  2,361,850 (13.28%)
Vote by mail   
15,423,301 (86.72%)

The above vote by mail numbers are somewhat inflated as several counties "issued all ballots as vote-by-mail, including at in-person locations."

Official Results >

 
+Biden/Harris (Dem.)
11,110,250
63.48%
Trump/Pence (Rep.)
6,006,429
34.32%
Jorgensen/Cohen (Lib.) 187,895
1.07%
Hawkins/Walker (Grn.) 81,029
0.46%
De La Fuente/West (AIP)
60,160
0.34%
La Riva/Freeman (P&F) 51,037
0.29%
Brian Carroll (w/in) 2,605

Jesse Ventura (w/in) 611

Mark Charles (w/in) 559

Brock Pierce (w/in) 185

Joseph Kishore (w/in) 121

Total........17,500,881

Total voters: 17,785,151 (70.88% of eligible).

Ballot Access
    California has six qualified political parties.  One of those is the American Independent Party, which nominated Trump in 2016.  In 2020 the AIP nominated Rocky De La Fuente and Kanye West.  According to Ballot Access News the action occurred at the AIP's convention on Aug. 15.  "The meeting was electronic with approximately 20 participants. The vote was unanimous, except for one abstention." 
    The requirement for non-qualified, independent candidates for president is steep: one percent of the number of voters registered in the last general election or 196,964 signatures. 
Two third party presidential candidates filed lawsuits challenging the requirement in view of the pandemic and seeking ballot access: Don Blankenship (C) and Joseph Kishore (SEP).  U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ruled against Kishore on July 20, 2020. [PDFU.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled against Blankenship on Aug. 3, 2020. [PDF]
Overview:  The Nov. 3 election set records for number of voters registered (22.0 million), votes cast (17.8 million) and votes cast by mail (15.4 million).  Turnout of registered voters was the highest since 1976 and turnout of eligible voting age population was the highest since 1952.  Biden's 11.1 million votes and Trump's 6.0 million votes set records for their respective parties.    
   Although the Biden-Harris ticket won a comfortable victory, Republicans did win back four of the U.S. House seats they had lost in 2018.  Biden's 63.48% of the vote was the highest share since FDR achieved 66.95% against Alf Landon in 1936.  Biden carried 35 counties to 23 for Trump; his winning margin was 5,103,821 votes (29.16 percentage points).  Those 5.1 million votes accounted for 72.3% of Biden's national margin of 7,060,141 votes. 
   Two Californians figured in vice presidential speculation.  On Aug. 11, Biden announced Sen. Kamala Harris as his VP pick. 
Harris, who ended her own presidential campaign on Dec. 3, 2019, (+) was seen as a leading contender from early on.  In late June there were also reports that Rep. Karen Bass, who represents CA-37 in Los Angeles, was being vetted. 
   President Trump visited on Sept. 14 for a briefing on wildfires in the Sacramento area, and Sen. Harris and Gov. Newsom visited Auberry to address wildfires on Sept. 15.  President Trump visited Newport Beach for a fundraiser on Oct. 18, and Ivanka Trump did fundraisers in Mountain View on Oct. 25 and Beverly Hills on Oct 26.  California has long served as a cash cow for presidential campaigns; according to the FEC, the Biden campaign raised $141.7 million out California and the Trump campaign $69.6 million (>). 
   The Biden campaign announced a couple of California staff who focused mainly on organizing phonebanking to battleground states (
+); top Democratic officials also helped with GOTV in neighboring Nevada (+).  Trump supporters showed their enthusiasm with caravans and other such events (+).  
[CASOS]  | 
BALLOT [PDF]

2020 Presidential Primary Election -- Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Eligible  25,251,216.   Registered  20,660,465... Dem. 9,361,582, Rep. 4,937,986, AIP 600,057, Grn. 83,281, Lib. 175,352, P&F 95,242, Unknown 104,680, Other 120,494, NPP 5,181,791.   Ballots Cast  9,687,076.
Democrats
Sanders 2,080,846 (36.0%), Biden 1,613,854 (27.9%), Warren 762,555 (13.2%), Bloomberg 701,803 (12.1%)... Total 5,784,330.  details

495 Delegates: 271 District, 90 At-Large, 54 PLEO, 80 Unpledged. [PDF]

Republicans
Trump 2,279,120 (92.2%), Weld 66,904 (2.7%), Walsh 64,749 (2.6%), De La Fuente 24,351 (1.0%), Matern 15,469 (0.6%), Ardini 12,857 (0.5%), Istvan 8,141(0.3%).  Total: 2,471,591.


More
Six parties conducted presidential primaries: Dem., Rep., AIP, Lib., Grn and P&F.  In the Libertarian primary 13 candidates split the vote; Hornberger topped the field with 19.4% of the vote.  Phil Collins won the AIP primary, Howie Hawkins won the Green primary and Gloria La Riva won the P&F primary.  
General Election Winners in California, 1992-2016
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
Clinton
46.01%
Clinton
51.10%
Gore
53.45%
Kerry
54.41%
Obama
61.01%
Obama
60.24%
Clinton
61.73%
  and the details...

General Election -- Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Voting Eligible Population*: 25,278,803.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 55.6%.

CASOS VEP: 24,875,293


Registration:
Dem. 8,720,417 (44.92%)   Rep. 5,048,398 (26.01%)   AIP 507,377 (2.61%)  Grn 94,647 (0.49%)   Lib. 139,805 (0.72%)  P&F 75,640 (0.39%)   Other 114,140 (0.59%)   No Party Pref. 4,711,347 (24.27%)  ...Total 19,411,771.  >
Voter Registration Deadline: Online or postmarked by Oct. 24, 2016.


Vote by Mail Period: Oct. 10-Nov. 1, 2016.

Vote by Mail: 8,443,594 [57.79% of Total Voters].

Official Results >

 
+Clinton/Kaine (Dem.)
8,753,788
(61.73)
Trump/Pence (Rep.,AIP)
4,483,810
(31.62)
Johnson/Weld (Lib.)
478,500
(3.37)
Stein/Baraka (Grn.) 278,657 (1.96)
Bernie Sanders (w/in)
79,341
(0.56)
La Riva/Banks (P&F)
66,101
(0.47)
Evan McMullin (w/in)
39,596
(0.28)
Mike Maturen (w/in)
1,316
 - 
Laurence Kotlikoff (w/in)
402
 - 
Jerry White (w/in)
84
 - 
Total........14,181,595

Total voters: 14,610,509.
Overview:  The last Republican presidential candidate to carry California was George H.W. Bush in 1988.  Democrats headed into this election with a registration advantage of over 3.6 million voters (+).  Trump-Pence did get the nomination of the American Independent Party (AIP), California's third largest political party, at its convention on Aug. 13.
    The Hispanic vote is very important in California.  According to the Pew Research Center (>), the state has a Hispanic population of about 15 million, accounting for 39% of the total population, the second highest share of any state.  6.9 million of these people are eligible to vote, or 28% of the total eligible to vote. 
    California had its share of fundraising visits, particularly on the Democratic side.  With the state solidly in the Democratic column, activists focused their efforts on getting out the vote in battleground states (+).
    The outcome was most-lopsided result in decades as Clinton carried 33 counties to 25 for Trump, amassing a margin of 4,269,978 votes (30.11 percentage points).
General Election Visits
Clinton  |  Trump
BALLOT [PDF]

General Election -- Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Voting Eligible Population*: 23,620,070.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 55.2%.


Vote by Mail: 6,753,688 [51.16% of Total Voters].


Registration: Dem. 7,966,422 (43.66%)   Rep. 5,356,608 (29.36%)   AIP 477,129 (2.61%)   Grn. 115,034 (0.63%)   Lib. 108,736 (0.60%)   P&F 61,987 (0.34%)  AmElect 3,313 (0.02%)   Other 336,196 (1.84%)   Decline 3,820,545 (20.94%)  ...Total 18,245,970.
Official Results >

 
+Obama/Biden (Dem.)
7,854,285
(60.24)
Romney/Ryan (Rep.)
4,839,958
(37.12)
Hoefling/Ornelas (AIP)
38,372
(0.29)
Stein/Honkala (Grn.)
85,638
(0.66)
Johnson/Gray (Lib.) 143,221
(1.10)
Barr/Sheehan (P&F)
53,824
(0.41)
write-ins (8)
23,249
(0.18)
Total........13,038,547

write-ins: James Harris 72  -  Jerry White 79  -  Ron Paul 21,461  -  Rocky Anderson 992  - Shelia "Samm" Tittle 6  -  Stephen Durham 54  -  Stewart Alexander 82  -  Virgil Goode 503
 
Total voters: 13,202,158.
2012 Overview
President Obama won the state's 55 electoral votes without difficulty and Democrats had success in congressional and state legislative races as well.  Obama achieved a margin of 3,014,327 votes (23.12 percentage points) and carried 31 counties to 27 for Romney.  More than half of voters cast the ballots by mail.  Half a million fewer votes were cast than in 2008.

General Election Details
Obama (Romney)
BALLOT [PDF]

General Election -- Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Voting Eligible Population*: 21,993,429.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 61.7%.

Mail in voting began on Oct. 6, 2008.  Last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot was Oct. 28, 2008. 

Vote by Mail: 5,722,465 [41.64% of Total Voters].


Registration: Dem. 7,683,495 (44.40%)   Rep. 5,428,052 (31.37%)   AIP 370,405 (2.14%)   Grn. 118,416 (0.68%)   Lib. 83,574 (0.48%)   P&F 56,350 (0.33%)  Misc. 118,876 (0.69%)   Decline 3,444,923 (19.91%)  ...Total  17,304,091.
Official Results >


+Obama/Biden (Dem.) 8,274,473
(61.01)
McCain/Palin (Rep.) 5,011,781 (36.95)
Keyes/Drake (AIP)
40,673
(0.30)
McKinney/Clemente (Grn.)
38,774
(0.29)
Barr/Root (Lib.) 67,582
(0.50)
Nader/Gonzalez (P&F)
 108,381
(0.80)
Baldwin (w/in)
3,145
(0.02)
Moore (w/in
36
 -
Harris (w/in)
49
-
Paul (w/in)
17,006
(0.13)
Total........13,561,900


Total Voters: 13,743,177. >
2008 Overview
The Obama-Biden ticket easily won California, gaining a margin of 3,262,692 votes (24.06 percentage points), and carrying 34 counties to 24 for McCain.  Both campaigns milked the state for money (visits) and "Tonight Show" appearances.  In third party news the AIP disaffiliated from the Constitution Party and ran Alan Keyes as its nominee rather than Chuck Baldwin.
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  |  Nader

General Election -- Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Voting Eligible Population*: 21,132,533.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 58.8%.

Registration: Dem. 7,120,425 (43.00%)    Rep. 5,745,518 (34.70%)   AIP 326,763 (1.97%)   Grn. 160,579 (0.97%)   Lib. 89,617 (0.54%)   NL 28,779 (0.17%)   P&F 68,100 (0.41%)  Misc. 91,581 (0.55%)   Decline 2,925,901 (17.67%)  ...Total 16,557,273
Official Results
24,035 of 24,035 precincts


+Kerry/Edwards (Dem.)
6,737,355
(54.41)
Bush/Cheney (Rep.) 
5,501,496
(44.43)
Peroutka/Baldwin (AIP) 26,580 (0.21)
Cobb/LaMarche (Grn.) 40,598
(0.33)
Badnarik/Campagna (Lib.)
50,101
(0.40)
Peltier/Jordan (P&F)
27,548
(0.22)
Total........12,383,678
2004 Overview
Although Republicans had made some headway by electing Gov. Schwarzenegger and cutting the Democrats' registration edge, California remained a "safe Kerry" state.  Kerry gained a margin of 1,235,859 votes (9.98 percentage points); he won in 22 counties to Bush's 36.
General Election Details
Kerry/Democrats  |  Bush-Cheney '04

General Election -- Tuesday, November 7, 2000
Voting Eligible Population*: 19,685,258.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 55.7%.

2,739,155 of the 11,142,843 total votes cast were by absentee ballot -- 24.58%.

Registration: Dem. 7,134,601 (45.4%)   Rep. 5,485,492 (34.9%)   AIP 321,838 (2.1%)   Grn. 138,734 (0.9%)   Lib. 94,900 (0.6%)   Ref. 79,152 (0.5%)   NL 58,275 (0.4%)   Misc. 137,999 (0.9%)   Decline 2,256,316 (14.4%)  ...Total 15,707,307

Official Results


+Gore/Lieberman (Dem.) 5,861,203
(53.45)
Bush/Cheney (Rep.) 4,567,429 (41.65)
Phillips/Frazier (AIP) 17,042 (0.16)
Nader/LaDuke (Grn.) 418,707
(3.82)
Browne/Olivier (Lib.) 45,520
(0.42)
Hagelin/Goldhaber (NLP) 10,934
(0.09)
Buchanan/Foster (Ref.)
44,987
(0.41)
W.M.Kenyon, Sr. (Ind.w/i)
6
-
David McReynolds (Ind.w/i) 28 -
Total........10,965,856

Total Votes Not Cast in Presidential Race 177,010 (1.6%)
2000 Overview
Brash talk and a significant investment of resources by the Bush campaign and the Republican party failed to pry California's 54 electors out of the Democratic column.  As in other recent statewide elections, the Democrats' registration edge of about 10% held solid; Vice President Gore won with a margin of 1,293,774 votes (11.80 percentage points).  Los Angeles County weighed in heavily, producing a plurality of more than 800,000 votes for Gore.  Overall, Gore won in 20 counties to Bush's 38.  Early in the campaign it appeared Ralph Nader might be a factor.  From Aug. 1 to Election Day he spent 13 days campaigning in Calif., but he ended up not having much impact on Gore's showing.  Pat Buchanan failed to make a mark despite significant TV buys. 
General Election Activity

1992 and 1996 General Elections

1992
Clinton (Dem.).....5,121,325
(46.01)
Bush (Rep.).........3,630,574
(32.61)
Perot (Ind.)..........2,296,006
(20.62)
Others (3+w/ins).......83,816
(0.75)
Total........11,131,721

1996
Clinton (Dem.).....5,119,835
(51.10)
Dole (Rep.)..........3,828,380
(38.21)
Perot (Ref.).............697,847
(6.96)
Nader (Grn.)...........237,016
(2.36)
Others (4+w/ins).....136,406
(1.36)
Total........10,019,484

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