image source, Reuters image caption Governor of California Gavin Newsom claimed victory in recall vote
California Governor Gavin Newsom appears to have survived a rare statewide vote for withdraw it with a clear majority, US media report.
Republicans launched elections on his handling of the pandemic.
The Democrat, currently in the third year of his four-year term, had faced a field of 46 candidates and was due win by a large margin.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned with Mr. Newsom leading the contest.
The American partner of Hfrance. en, CBS, predicts the governor will win, with around two-thirds of voters supporting him and over 70% of the votes cast.
"I am humble and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians who have exercised their basic right to vote," Mr. Newsom said in a victory speech in Sacramento.
I The result was closely watched as an indicator of the 2022 national elections.
Mr. Newsom 'his main rival, Tory radio host Larry Elder, claimed the vote was rigged even before the 'opening of polling stations.
The day before the recall vote, Mr Biden appeared at a rally with Mr Newsom - a former mayor of San Francisco - to tell voters their choice "will reverberate in the whole world ".
image source, image caption President Biden campaigned with Mr Newsom a day before the vote
The effort to topple Mr Newsom was motivated by increasingly partisan politics, but gained momentum after he was photographed having dinner at a fa ncy while urging Californians to stay home to avoid spreading the Covid-19.
He apologized for the "bad mistake" but some voters found his actions hypocritical.
media caption The sleeping son of Governor Gavin Newsom takes the stage during his inauguration speech
Nearly 1.5 million signatures were collected per petition (i.e. 12% of t lors of the 2018 vote), meeting with the bar for an election to decide whether Californians wanted to keep Mr. Newsom in power, or replace him for the remainder of his term.
Mr. Newsom has faced a motley group of conservatives mostly hoping to take her place, including reality star Caitlyn Jenner, who disappeared from the election campaign to film Celebrity Big Brother in Australia.
Republican John Cox drew attention for traveling with a living Kodiak brown bear as part of his "unleash the beast " campaign - he introduced himself as the "beast " of Mr. Newsom.
source of the image, image caption A candidate campaigned with a weight of 1000 lbs (455 kg) brown bear figcaption>
With the largest state population in the United States, California has some 22 million registered voters and the fifth largest economy in the world.
The Golden State has been a strong Democrat in national elections, but the state has large Republican regions. Six million voters voted for Donald Trump in 2020, leaving Mr. Biden with a 29-point victory in the state.
Continued efforts have been made to remove the governors of California via the recall process since the 1960s, although many did not qualify for a vote.
In 2003, the last time California held a recall election for governor, the voters fired an unpopular Democratic governor and replaced him with Republican bodybuilder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan also made his political debut as Republican governor of Californie before later serving eight years as President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
The Struggling Governor heaves a sigh of relief
Sophie Long, Hfrance.fr News, Los Angeles
As polls ended across California, the Golden Governor State was probably breathing a little easier than he would have been a few months ago. In early August, polls indicated it could be a surprisingly close race.
And it wasn't just Gavin Newsom sweating in the intense heat of the California summer.
If he lost this recall election, it wouldn't just end his career - it would put a hand brake on California's political trajectory, with a new Republican governor elected by a tiny fraction of the state's 22 million voters. And this could have major national implicationsures.
Senior California Senator Diane Feinstein is 88 years old. If she was, for some reason, unable to complete her term after the inauguration of a new Republican governor, they would appoint her replacement and, in doing so, immediately eliminate the Democrats' voting majority of just one in the Senate. .
What started as a grassroots recall effort has turned into a referendum on Democrats' handling of the coronavirus. Policy makers on both sides will now seek indications of how their national pandemic policies are playing out in marginal districts of Congress.
This is, if you will, training before the middle of next year 's marathon run.