California gubernatorial election, 1966

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California gubernatorial election, 1966
California
1962 ←
November 8, 1966 → 1970

  Ronald Reagan 1969.jpg Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown.jpg
Nominee Ronald Reagan Pat Brown
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 3,742,913 2,749,174
Percentage 57.55% 42.27%

CA1966Gov.svg

Election results by county

Governor before election

Pat Brown
Democratic

Elected Governor

Ronald Reagan
Republican

The California gubernatorial election, 1966 was held on November 8, 1966. The election was a contest between incumbent Governor Pat Brown, the Democratic candidate, and actor Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate. Reagan mobilized conservative voters and defeated Brown.

Primary results[edit]

Democratic[edit]

1966 Democratic primary election results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Pat Brown (inc.) 1,355,262 51.91
Democratic Sam Yorty 981,088 37.58
Democratic Carlton Benjamin Goodlett 95,476 3.66
Democratic Wallace J. Duffy 77,029 2.95
Democratic Dale Alexander 43,453 1.66
Democratic Ronald Reagan (write-in) 27,422 1.05
Democratic Ingram W. Goad 18,088 0.69
Total votes 2,597,818 100

Republican[edit]

1966 Republican primary election results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan 1,417,623 64.62
Republican George Christopher 675,683 30.80
Republican Warren N. Dorn 44,812 2.04
Republican William Penn Patrick 40,887 1.86
Republican Joseph R. Maxwell 7,052 0.32
Republican Sam Yorty (write-in) 5,993 0.27
Republican Pat Brown (inc.) (write-in) 1,700 0.08
Total votes 2,193,750 100

Election background[edit]

Incumbent Edmund G. (Pat) Brown had been a relatively popular Democrat in what was, at the time, a Republican leaning state. After his re-election victory over former Vice President Richard Nixon in 1962, Brown was strongly considered for Lyndon Johnson's 1964 ticket, a spot that eventually went to Hubert Humphrey. However, Brown's popularity began to sag amidst the civil disorders of the Watts riots and the early anti-Vietnam War demonstrations at U.C. Berkeley. His decision to seek a 3rd term as governor (after promising earlier that he would not do so) also hurt his popularity. His diminishing support was evidenced by a tough battle in the Democratic primary – normally not a concern for an incumbent. Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty received 38% of the primary vote while Brown barely received 52%, a very low number for an incumbent in a primary election.

The Republicans seized upon Brown's sudden unpopularity by nominating a well known and charismatic political outsider – actor Ronald Reagan. With Richard Nixon working tirelessly behind the scenes and Reagan trumpeting his law and order campaign message, Reagan received almost 2/3 of the primary vote over George Christopher, the moderate Republican former mayor of San Francisco, and went into the general election with a great deal of momentum. At first Brown ran a low key campaign, declaring that running the state was his biggest priority. As Reagan's lead in the polls increased, however, Brown began to panic and made a gaffe when he told a group of school children that an actor, John Wilkes Booth, had killed Abraham Lincoln.[3] The comparison of Reagan to Booth did not go over well and led to a further decline of the Brown campaign. Come election day, Reagan was ahead in the polls and favored to win a relatively close election. However, Reagan won in a landslide; his nearly 1 million vote plurality surprised even his strongest supporters. Brown won in only three counties: Alameda, Plumas, and San Francisco. He narrowly won Alameda by about 2,000 votes (.5%) and Plumas by about 100 votes (1.6%).

General election results[edit]

1966 gubernatorial election, California[4][5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ronald Reagan 3,742,913 57.55
Democratic Pat Brown (incumbent) 2,749,174 42.27
Other Various candidates 11,358 0.18
Total votes 6,503,445 100.00
Voter turnout 57.70%
Republican gain from Democratic

Results by county[edit]

County Reagan Votes Brown Votes
Mono 77.84% 1,205 22.16% 343
Orange 72.15% 293,413 27.85% 113,275
Sutter 70.43% 9,828 29.57% 4,126
Calaveras 67.77% 3,810 32.23% 1,812
Butte 67.48% 25,443 32.52% 12,263
Glenn 66.35% 4,676 33.65% 2,371
Inyo 66.19% 3,961 33.81% 2,023
Nevada 65.85% 7,373 34.15% 3,823
Alpine 65.78% 148 34.22% 77
Del Norte 63.99% 3,409 36.01% 1,918
San Diego 63.82% 252,070 36.18% 142,890
Santa Barbara 63.54% 50,284 36.46% 28,853
Lake 63.09% 5,499 36.91% 3,217
El Dorado 63.08% 9,189 36.92% 5,378
Tehama 63.01% 6,629 36.99% 3,891
Imperial 62.87% 12,372 37.13% 7,307
Riverside 62.77% 84,501 37.23% 50,112
Modoc 62.73% 1,946 37.27% 1,156
Kern 62.67% 64,716 37.33% 38,543
San Luis Obispo 62.55% 21,528 37.45% 12,891
Trinity 62.27% 2,050 37.73% 1,242
San Bernardino 62.19% 121,916 37.81% 74,120
Colusa 62.09% 2,806 37.91% 1,713
Mariposa 61.51% 1,811 38.49% 1,133
Santa Cruz 61.47% 26,988 38.53% 16,913
Monterey 61.06% 35,944 38.94% 22,923
San Benito 60.96% 3,565 39.04% 2,283
Ventura 60.94% 58,068 39.06% 37,224
San Joaquin 60.77% 54,647 39.23% 35,281
Sonoma 60.68% 41,516 39.32% 26,898
Yuba 60.52% 6,658 39.48% 4,344
Tulare 59.95% 33,095 40.05% 22,109
Mendocino 59.81% 10,161 40.19% 6,827
Napa 59.53% 17,740 40.47% 12,060
Amador 58.33% 2,985 41.67% 2,132
Tuolumne 58.21% 4,845 41.79% 3,479
Los Angeles 57.26% 1,389,995 42.74% 1,037,663
Marin 57.21% 40,411 42.79% 30,230
Humboldt 57.20% 19,210 42.80% 14,374
Kings 55.79% 9,957 44.21% 7,890
Santa Clara 55.40% 164,970 44.60% 132,793
Sierra 55.27% 650 44.73% 526
Contra Costa 55.13% 107,543 44.87% 87,525
Shasta 54.83% 15,155 45.17% 12,486
Placer 54.61% 14,664 45.39% 12,187
Stanislaus 54.37% 31,473 45.63% 26,418
Siskiyou 54.21% 7,057 45.79% 5,962
Madera 54.18% 7,490 45.82% 6,335
Fresno 53.96% 70,182 46.04% 59,869
Lassen 53.95% 3,190 46.05% 2,723
San Mateo 53.71% 107,498 46.29% 92,654
Merced 53.01% 14,103 46.99% 12,499
Sacramento 50.91% 109,801 49.09% 105,861
Solano 50.15% 23,187 49.85% 23,047
Yolo 50.08% 13,073 49.92% 13,032
Alameda 49.75% 189,055 50.25% 190,968
Plumas 49.18% 2,658 50.82% 2,747
San Francisco 41.11% 114,796 58.89% 164,435

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Campaigns - CA Governor - D Primary Race - Jun 07, 1966". Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns - CA Governor - R Primary Race - Jun 07, 1966". Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Reagan, Michael; Denney, Jim (2010), The New Reagan Revolution: How Ronald Reagan's Principles Can Restore America's Greatness, p. 111, ISBN 978-0-312-64454-3 
  4. ^ "CA Governor Race – Nov 08, 1966". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived September 12, 2015 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]