Remember Proposition 9 missing from your ballot—the proposal by venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into three states? The California Supreme Court expressed doubt that the state could be divided by initiative and pulled the measure from the ballot. But I wondered who might have prevailed as governor in these three states between the two candidates who did run for governor of California. Take heart John Cox, you might have been governor in the State of Southern California.

As a reminder, Draper proposed carving up California into three states this way:

State of California consisting of the counties: Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

State of Southern California consisting of the counties: Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare.

State of Northern California consisting of the state’s remaining 40 counties, including those around the Bay Area, the state capital area of Sacramento, and north to the Oregon border.

If the split did happen, the three states would each have individual candidates battling for the top job. But let’s use the results of the Newsom-Cox contest as a measuring stick.

As of this writing, Gavin Newsom has captured 60.8% of the total votes cast in what we know as California.

My calculation has Newsom sweeping to victory in both the states of Northern California and the new state of California, capturing 64.5% of the vote in Northern California and 67.7% of the vote in the new State of California.

However, in the State of Southern California John Cox could be crowned governor.

Rob Pyers of the California Target Book took a look at the 12 counties that make up the Southern California state. As of yesterday his figures show Cox with a 7% lead over Newsom.


Of course, the way the vote counts have been going with late Democratic surges overtaking Republicans, Newsom might close the gap but it appears difficult for him to sweep all three states once the final tabulation is completed.

Certainly, the results indicate if California were broken into the three pieces proposed by the initiative, politics would be different. At least as indicated by this governor’s race an even wider margin for the Democrat in two of the proposed states but the chance for a Republican to capture the third state.

In the real world, Cox will have to satisfy himself instead of being governor of Southern California with the fact that it appears he beat Newsom in 32 of California’s 58 counties.