SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP)–California’s social conservatives joined ranks with moderates and liberals Oct. 7 to help oust one of the more socially liberal governors in the country.
Less than one year after he won re-election, California Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled by a vote of 55-45 percent, according to returns reflecting reporting from 99 percent of the precincts.
He will be replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who easily won on the second part of the ballot with 48 percent of the vote. Lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante finished with 32 percent while state Sen. Tom McClintock — who is pro-life and was the choice of many social conservatives — ended up with 13 percent.
But Schwarzenegger — who is pro-choice — gained a majority of conservative votes according to FOX News exit polling.
Among voters who considered themselves “very conservative” he won 65 percent to McClintock’s 23 percent. Among those who said abortion should be illegal in most cases, Schwarzenegger won 62 percent to McClintock’s 18 percent. Even among voters who said abortion should be illegal in all cases, Schwarzenegger outpolled McClintock 45-24 percent.
“Conservatives, the largest voter bloc in the recall election, are overwhelmingly pro-life and pro-family,” Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for California Families, said in a statement. “They didn’t vote for Arnold’s morally liberal values. They voted for Arnold because they saw him as the one who could kick out Gray Davis.”
Davis consistently sided with homosexual-friendly organizations on state legislation. In September he signed a domestic partners bill that will give homosexual couples most of the rights of married couples.
Little is known about Schwarzenegger’s stances on specific moral issues. He is pro-choice, although according to California Pro-Life he opposes partial-birth abortion and supports parental notification — two positions Davis did not take.
Campaign for California Families actively worked to inform conservatives about McClintock’s stances.
“The election of Arnold Schwarzenegger is not a rejection of pro-life, pro-family values,” Thomasson said. “This was about saying ‘no’ to a corrupt governor and saying ‘yes’ to a Hollywood celebrity who pledged to clean up Sacramento.”
During his victory speech Schwarzenegger said that he wants to “represent everybody.”
“I will do everything I can to live up to that trust,” he said. “I will not fail you. I will not disappoint you, and I will not let you down.”
Thomasson said he hopes Schwarzenegger will represent the views of conservatives.
“Pro-family citizens will be watching Governor Schwarzenegger very closely so that he doesn’t undermine marriage, parental rights and religious freedom, or push abortion and the homosexual agenda like Gray Davis did,” Thomasson said. “Arnold can’t afford to sign immoral legislation and lose the support of pro-family voters in 2006.”
Schwarzenegger overcame last-minute allegations that he groped women in various incidents over the past three decades. A Los Angeles Times story in the final week interviewed six women who said Schwarzenegger had inappropriately touched them.