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California recall results closely linked to COVID-19 vaccination rates

California’s historic recall election results fell and Gov. Gavin Newsom survived.

A closer look at the county-level results, which are still preliminary as late-arriving mail ballots are counted, reveals a strong relationship between governor’s support and COVID-19 vaccination rates, data analysis shows of the Times.

The counties with the lowest vaccination rates were the most eager to oust Newsom. Conversely, those with higher immunization coverage supported the governor at higher rates.

The data reveals a clear geographic divide between the two measures, with residents of smaller, more rural places less likely to support Newson and get the shot, according to the analysis.

In San Francisco County, for example, about 74% of the population is fully vaccinated and about 87% of its voters did not support the recall. Lassen County, on the other end of the spectrum, only has a 21% vaccination rate – and its voters overwhelmingly favored the recall at 83%.

Los Angeles County has a 59% vaccination rate and 71% of its voters have sided with Newsom against the recall, according to the preliminary vote tally.

The trend follows what political observers have suggested in the run-up to the election – that the inoculation status of voters has become a new indicator of how they would vote.

Across all parties, vaccinated voters were more likely to oppose the recall than their unvaccinated counterparts. For example, 15% of vaccinated Republicans were against the recall compared to 1% of unvaccinated Republicans, according to campaign surveys.

Times editors Janet Hook and Melanie Mason contributed to this story.