JoinCalifornia: Election History for the State of California

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CANDIDATES WITH THE HIGHEST VOTE COUNTS

Another way to evaluate the relative successes of candidates is to compare the total vote counts they receive. The following is a list of the most popular candidates from each of four categories (the statewide category excludes US Senate and the Presidential candidates). The all-time highest vote counts received by a candidate in California in a single election was;

2016 - Hillary Clinton for President - 8.75 million votes
2008 - Barack Obama for President - 8.27 million
2012 - Dianne Feinstein for Senate - 7.86 million
2012 - Barack Obama for President - 7.85 million
2016 - Kamala Harris for Senate - 7.54 million
2004 - Barbara Boxer for Senate - 6.95 million
2004 - John Kerry for President - 6.74 million

 

  Candidate Election Vote Count
State Senate
Since 2010
Mark Leno 2012 General
303,241 votes
Since 2000 Mark Leno 2008 General 326,755 votes
Since 1980 Mark Leno 2008 General 326,755 votes
Since 1950 Richard Richards 1958 General 1,409,469 votes
Since 1900 Richard Richards 1958 General 1,409,469 votes
All Time Richard Richards 1958 General 1,409,469 votes


State Assembly

Since 2010
Tony Thurmond 2016 General
189,530 votes
Since 2000 Tony Thurmond 2016 General 189,530 votes
Since 1980 Tony Thurmond 2016 General 189,530 votes
Since 1950 Tony Thurmond 2016 General 189,530 votes
Since 1900 Tony Thurmond 2016 General 189,530 votes
All Time Tony Thurmond 2016 General 189,530 votes

Congress
Since 2010
Barbara Lee 2016 General 293,117 votes
Since 2000 Barbara Lee 2016 General 293,117 votes
Since 1980 Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes
Since 1950 Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes
Since 1900 Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes
All Time Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes

(Non-Federal) Statewide Offices
Since 2010
Bill Lockyer
Treasurer (2010) 5,433,508 votes
Since 2000 Bill Lockyer
Treasurer (2010) 5,433,508 votes
Since 1980 Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes
Since 1950 Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes
Since 1900 Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes
All Time Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes

 

CANDIDATES WITH THE LOWEST VOTE COUNTS
It can also be interesting to see what the lowest votre requirements for a certain office might be. It takes a combination of factors to reach some of these numbers, as in the case of Assemblyman Fuentes, who got just over 50% of the votes in an election with low turn-out (10.24%) in an Assembly district with the second lowest voter registration rates in the state (only AD-46 had fewer voters).

  Candidate Election Vote Count
State Senate
Since 2010
Isadore Hall III
2014 Special 17,951 votes
Since 2000 Isadore Hall III 2014 Special 17,951 votes
Since 1980 Isadore Hall III 2014 Special 17,951 votes
Since 1950 Charles Brown 1942 General 2,509 votes
Since 1900 Charles Brown 1942 General 2,509 votes
All Time Incomplete data Incomplete data Incomplete data

State Assembly
Since 2010
Freddie Rodriguez 2013 Special
7,630 votes
Since 2000 Felipe Fuentes 2007 Special 5,819 votes
Since 1980 Denise Ducheny 1994 Special 5,150 votes
Since 1950 George A. Willson 1958 Special 905 votes
Since 1900 James Slaven 1904 General 804 votes
All Time Incomplete data Incomplete data Incomplete data

Congress*
Since 2010
Jimmy Gomez 
2017 Special
25,569 votes
Since 2000 Judy Chu 2009 Special 15,238 votes
Since 1980 Juanita Millender-McDonald 1996 Special 13,868 votes
Since 1950 Juanita Millender-McDonald 1996 Special 13,868 votes
Since 1900 Julius Kahn 1906 General 5,678 votes
All Time Milton S. Latham 1854 General 1,843 votes

(Non-Federal) Statewide Offices
Since 2010
Tom Torlakson  Superintendent of Public Instruction (2014)
3,167,212 votes
Since 2000 Steve Westly Controller (2002) 3,157,757 votes
Since 1980 Bill Honig Superintendent of Public Instruction (1990) 2,554,143 votes
Since 1950 Roy E. Simpson Superintendent of Public Instruction (1954) 1,524,142 votes
Since 1900 Horace A. Johnson Controller (1918) 103,039 votes
All Time John G. Marvin Supt. of Public Instruction (1850) 3,823 votes