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Follow the Money: Gavin Newsom Recall Edition

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The forecast for this summer is hot, with high wildfire risk and a fever-pitch campaign to determine the political fate of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The fight to recall Newsom has already consumed state politics, with the governor in campaign mode since March and both sides already reporting millions of dollars in the bank. Although the recall date has not yet been set, it will be the second major election in as many years and a third is on the way in 2022.

For recall backers, money and grassroots support will be critical in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one. Newsom has added more than $5.8 million to his campaign coffers just in May.

How Much Money Has Each Side Raised?

As of Jun 7, 2021, $18.1 million has been raised specifically for the recall election.

Supporters of the recall have raised approximately $4.7 million and opponents have raised about $13.5 million.

California requires disclosure of information for contributors who give $100 or more to a candidate or committee in a calendar year. If a person gives less than $100, then the campaigns do not have to report that contributor’s name and address. Supporters of the recall have raised about $745,000 and opponents about $1.4 million from these small-dollar donors.

Where Is the Money Coming From?

We can only determine this to a certain degree because we don’t know where the small-dollar contributions come from. But based on larger contributions, which the state classifies as “itemized,” it is clear that the vast majority of the money is coming from within California.

Pro-recall committees raised 93% of their itemized contributions from within California and about $294,000 from other states.

Meanwhile, the anti-recall committees raised 94% of their itemized contributions from within the state and about $710,000 from elsewhere.

Who Is Giving the Money?

Unlike contributions to candidates, there are no limits on how much donors can give to the recall committees. Here are the top ten contributors to each side.

This page was last updated on Jun 7, 2021.

About the Author

Jeremia Kimelman is a data journalist who uses code and data to make policy and politicians easier to understand. He was previously a graphics editor at the COVID Tracking Project and a data journalist at NBC News covering elections and national politics.

He wrote this story for CalMatters, a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

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