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City of Fresno Certified Election Results: An Emphatic 12 point NO to Gubernatorial Recall


October 21, 2021

CONTACT: Karina Martinez 858/752-1262 or [email protected]

City of Fresno Certified Election Results: An emphatic 12 point NO to Gubernatorial Recall

Fresno Speaks 2021 provides insights into how voters of color are shifting the Fresno political landscape 

Fresno, CA - The City of Fresno recently released their certified September 14, 2021 Gubernatorial recall election results, which reflect a changing political landscape that is trending progressive in Fresno led by a growing participation of voters of color who are proving to be an election firewall to traditional local conservative politics. 

Fresno voters of color voted against the recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom by a 12 point margin, almost exactly as indicated by the Fresno Speaks survey data prior to the September 14 election: Heating Up: Recall Election and Climate Crisis in Fresno

The project, a partnership between the UC Merced Community and Labor Center and the Fresno County Civic Engagement Table, surveyed a representative sample of 1,520 registered voters with phones, in the city of Fresno, from July to August 2021. In addition to accurately reflecting election results, the survey also identifies voter attitudes and priorities, data which can and must be used to inform public policy making going forward. 

Fresno Speaks 2021 Survey Results 

Among likely registered voters, 57% were against the recall compared to 43% who were in favor. Latino, Black, and Asian voters were more likely against the recall, while white voters were evenly split.

Certified Fresno Election Results 

Fresno voters voted against the recall 56% to 44%. 

Table 1. Comparison of City of Fresno Gubernatorial Recall Vote between CLC Survey and Certified Results

The accuracy of the results of the Fresno Speaks survey substantiates the importance of grassroots organizations as trusted messengers in Fresno, and prove that campaigns and organizers have a lot to gain from communicating with voters and engaging in the issues that they identify in their neighborhoods. Organizers have stressed the importance of year-round outreach to constituents and continued two-way communication.

Analyzing Election Results  

The recall election results in the City of Fresno reflected unity among voters of color; the great majority of these voters were against the recall. These results were echoed statewide. Latino, Black, and Asian voters were more likely against the recall, while white voters were evenly split.

In addition to uncovering voter attitudes towards the recall, the representative survey data also evidences the most pressing issues in Fresno neighborhoods. In particular, the Fresno Speaks 2021 Survey recorded that climate change divided voters more than any other issue, with voters of color in accord while white voters defected. Neighborhood level data from other sources corroborates that of the 10% worst scoring CALEnviroScreen census tracts in the state, people of color make up 91% of the population and this racial division is present in Fresno too. 

Pablo Rodriguez, Executive Director of Communities for a New California Educational Fund expanded, “Fresno Speaks 2020 and Fresno Speaks 2021 scientifically capture seismic shifts taking place in the City of Fresno. Elected officials who don't believe in science and dismiss the impact climate change is having on Valley families do so at their own political peril."

Once a bastion of conservative politics, the Fresno Speaks Survey shows that people of color in the City of and County of Fresno have drastically changed the political landscape. Legislative priorities and campaign investments must be re-evaluated accordingly. 


Communities for a New California Education Fund is building a new power in the San Joaquin, Central and Imperial valleys by inspiring working-class Californians to engage, activate and fight for social change in their communities. With the help of staff and volunteers from the very communities we serve, CNC EF organizes and educates residents about policy issues that impact our rural families and organizes to improve our neighborhoods.