Elections

California’s political divide: Visualizing the state’s partisan landscape

Watch Gavin Newsom speak after being elected governor

"Now is the time for leaders to lead." Gavin Newsom and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom greet a crowded room in Downtown Los Angeles after he was elected California's newest governor, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. He'll be inaugurated Jan. 7.
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"Now is the time for leaders to lead." Gavin Newsom and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom greet a crowded room in Downtown Los Angeles after he was elected California's newest governor, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. He'll be inaugurated Jan. 7.

California’s political divide is evident in voters’ choices in statewide and district-based offices in the Nov. 6 midterm election. From races for governor and U.S. Senate through Congress and state Assembly and Senate, a clear general pattern emerges.

In the governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated Republican businessman John Cox by a hefty margin statewide. Cox, however, won more of the state’s counties. But Newsom’s support was concentrated in more populous counties along or near the California coast, while support for Cox was scattered across inland counties that have much smaller populations.

The same trend played out, to varying degrees, in other offices in which voters chose between Republicans and Democrats or, in the case of the U.S. Senate, a long-established Democratic incumbent and a Democratic challenger trying to make the jump from the state Legislature. From the population centers around the Bay Area through the sprawling metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and southward, the coastal region’s voters trended Democratic. Republican candidates largely held sway in more rural areas of the state as well as Southern California’s Inland Empire.

Explore the interactive maps below for details based on the latest returns available from the California Secretary of State.

Governor: County by county

U.S. Senate: County by county

U.S. Congress: District by district

California State Senate: District by district

California State Assembly: District by district

Tim Sheehan: 559-441-6319; Twitter: @TimSheehanNews.
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