Newsom, a first-term governor beset by challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme drought and severe wildfires, boosted turnout among Democrats with a flurry of late campaigning and overcame the move by Republicans to recall him.
"I'm humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote," Newsom said in a victory speech Tuesday night in the state capital of Sacramento.
In the final days of the race, he appeared alongside President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who formerly represented California as a U.S. senator and attorney general.
By late Tuesday, returns showed Newsom easily winning a majority of support from voters who said he should remain in office.
The leading Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder, a Black radio talk show host and supporter of former President Donald Trump, garnered about 43% of the vote on the portion of the ballot asking who should replace Newsom if he were recalled, the New York Times reported.
Elder has vowed to remove requirements for COVID-19 vaccines and mask wearing. In the days leading up to the recall vote, he and Trump pushed the narrative that Democrats planned to steal the election.
The removal of Newsom, who was elected in a landslide in 2018, would have set off alarms among Democrats, coming in one of the nation's most liberal states just over a year before the 2022 elections that will decide control of Congress.