California gubernatorial election, 1958

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California gubernatorial election, 1958
California
1954 ←
November 4, 1958 → 1962

  Gov. Pat Brown.jpg William F. Knowland headshot.jpg
Nominee Pat Brown William F. Knowland
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 3,140,076 2,110,911
Percentage 59.75 40.16

CA1958Gov.svg

Election results by county

Governor before election

Goodwin Knight
Republican

Elected Governor

Pat Brown
Democratic

The California gubernatorial election, 1958 took place on November 4, 1958.

General election results[edit]

California was considered a Republican stronghold in the post-World War II era, electing republican governors Earl Warren and Goodwin Knight, as well as senators Richard Nixon, William Knowland, and Thomas Kuchel. Knowland was a prestgious two term Senator who had served as Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader. His seat was considered safe going into the 1958 mid term elections, but he stunned everyone when he announced his intention to run for governor instead of re-election to the Senate. This was especially surprising because California had a relatively popular Republican governor in Goodwin Knight who was also expected to be re-elected. Knowland coerced Knight into a "backroom deal" in which Knowland and Knight would "trade places", with Knight running for Knowland's Senate seat. Knight really had no desire to be Senator and in later years lamented how Knowland "strongarmed" him into the switch. Knowland thought being governor would enhance his chances of challenging another Californian, Richard Nixon, for the 1960 Republican Presidential nomination. For their part, the Democrats nominated popular state Attorney General Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, who was the only Democrat that held a state-wide office in a Republican leaning state. As it turned out, the Knowland-Knight switch was not popular with California voters. Brown steadily gained in the polls and defeated Knowland for governor, and Knight lost to Congressman Clair Engle in the Senate race.

1958 gubernatorial election, California
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Pat Brown 3,140,076 59.75%
Republican William F. Knowland 2,110,911 40.16%
No party William P. Gale (write-in) 4,790 0.09%
Totals 5,255,777 100.00%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic gain from Republican

Results by county[edit]

County Brown Votes Knowland Votes Gale Votes
Plumas 74.16% 3,714 25.50% 1,277 0.34% 17
Santa Clara 72.86% 198,732 27.09% 73,874 0.05% 142
Shasta 71.24% 14,024 28.68% 5,645 0.08% 16
Sacramento 70.95% 107,679 29.01% 44,027 0.03% 52
San Francisco 70.79% 219,413 29.17% 90,430 0.04% 126
Yolo 70.27% 13,014 29.62% 5,485 0.11% 20
Solano 69.79% 27,429 30.14% 11,847 0.07% 27
Lassen 69.68% 3,553 30.30% 1,545 0.02% 1
Trinity 69.37% 2,315 30.39% 1,014 0.24% 8
Madera 68.95% 8,133 31.05% 3,663 0.00% 0
Placer 68.75% 13,422 31.21% 6,093 0.05% 9
Kings 68.33% 9,227 31.58% 4,264 0.09% 12
Merced 67.79% 15,430 32.19% 7,328 0.02% 4
Siskiyou 67.39% 8,747 32.53% 4,223 0.08% 10
Fresno 66.84% 72,692 32.87% 35,747 0.30% 322
Tuolumne 66.66% 4,771 33.17% 2,374 0.17% 12
El Dorado 66.43% 5,720 33.55% 2,889 0.01% 1
Contra Costa 65.14% 95,128 34.79% 50,812 0.07% 104
Sierra 64.89% 826 35.11% 447 0.00% 0
Alameda 64.84% 228,105 35.07% 123,372 0.09% 326
Amador 64.23% 2,665 35.74% 1,483 0.02% 1
Colusa 64.04% 2,924 35.96% 1,642 0.00% 0
Mendocino 63.71% 10,759 36.22% 6,116 0.08% 13
Tehama 63.50% 5,860 36.50% 3,368 0.00% 0
Kern 62.87% 52,587 36.93% 30,889 0.19% 162
Modoc 62.77% 2,010 37.23% 1,192 0.00% 0
San Joaquin 62.58% 48,284 37.34% 28,807 0.08% 65
Stanislaus 62.50% 31,984 37.46% 19,168 0.04% 23
Humboldt 62.12% 21,013 37.84% 12,799 0.04% 14
Del Norte 62.05% 3,368 37.95% 2,060 0.00% 0
San Mateo 61.76% 97,475 38.15% 60,215 0.09% 138
Ventura 61.63% 32,789 38.28% 20,368 0.08% 44
Glenn 61.46% 4,190 38.51% 2,625 0.03% 2
Napa 60.95% 14,544 39.01% 9,309 0.04% 9
Yuba 60.43% 4,992 39.51% 3,264 0.06% 5
San Benito 59.53% 3,213 40.43% 2,182 0.04% 2
Calaveras 58.99% 3,067 40.16% 2,088 0.85% 44
San Bernardino 58.33% 86,882 41.55% 61,891 0.12% 172
Nevada 58.20% 5,035 41.63% 3,601 0.17% 15
Tulare 58.19% 25,668 41.73% 18,407 0.08% 35
Mariposa 58.01% 1,437 41.99% 1,040 0.00% 0
Los Angeles 57.91% 1,254,226 41.99% 909,429 0.10% 2,116
Sonoma 57.04% 30,841 42.94% 23,216 0.03% 14
San Luis Obispo 56.78% 15,315 43.17% 11,646 0.05% 13
Monterey 56.12% 26,676 43.87% 20,853 0.02% 8
Marin 55.98% 29,096 43.93% 22,832 0.09% 47
Lake 55.72% 3,411 44.28% 2,711 0.00% 0
Butte 55.23% 16,886 44.74% 13,677 0.03% 10
Inyo 53.92% 2,780 46.04% 2,374 0.04% 2
Riverside 52.65% 46,611 47.24% 41,824 0.11% 94
Imperial 51.93% 8,580 48.07% 7,943 0.00% 0
San Diego 51.71% 150,925 48.22% 140,734 0.07% 213
Santa Cruz 51.58% 17,635 48.34% 16,528 0.07% 25
Sutter 50.10% 5,032 49.87% 5,009 0.03% 3
Santa Barbara 49.43% 23,340 50.50% 23,849 0.07% 33
Orange 46.30% 85,364 53.55% 98,729 0.14% 259
Mono 44.41% 461 55.59% 577 0.00% 0
Alpine 43.50% 77 56.50% 100 0.00% 0

See also[edit]

References[edit]