61% of the vote—garnering the most votes for any California governor and the largest margin of victory since Earl Warren in 1950
Courage for a Change
Bearstar Strategies (formerly known as SCN Strategies) served as general and media consultant for Gavin Newsom’s winning campaign for Governor. Newsom handily defeated his Republican opponent with a decisive 61% of the vote—garnering the most votes for any California governor and the largest margin of victory since Earl Warren in 1950. In a political climate dominated by Donald Trump’s rhetoric and an economic environment dominated by the affordability crisis facing Californians, Newsom’s media campaign focused on his lifelong commitment to issues like same sex marriage and healthcare for all, and his courage to take on the Trump Administration and the big issues—housing crisis, rising cost of healthcare—threatening the “California Dream.”
Newsom’s toughest challenge was beating a crowded Democratic primary field to ensure a general election against a Republican opponent. The primary strategy was clear: redefine the primary as a two-way race between Newsom and a Republican opponent. The strategy prevented a costly Democrat-on-Democrat general election that would have had unintended consequences on down ballot races, including competitive congressional seats.
As a result, Newsom was able to dedicate time and resources to campaigning for Democrats up and down the state, a strategy that paid dividends with a record number of Democrats being elected to the State Legislature and U.S. Congress.