(CNSNews.com) - "I will not fail you, I will not disappoint you, and I will not let you down," said the new Republican Governor-Elect of California after his victory at the polls on Tuesday.
Voters overwhelmingly chose actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace the unpopular Democrat incumbent Governor Gray Davis. Partial returns, the latest available, show about 56 percent of voters said yes to recallling Davis, while about 44 percent said no.
With 94 percent of the precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Schwarzenegger had 3.3 million votes -- about 50 percent -- compared with 2.2 million (34 percent) for Democrat Cruz Bustamante; 919,000 (14 percent) for conservative Republican Tom McClintock; and 197,000 (3 percent) for the Green candidate, Peter Miguel Camejo.
CNN said its exit polls showed Schwarzenegger picked up 47 percent of the women's vote, despite -- or many because of -- the last-minute allegations that he groped a number of women at different times in his life. Some people called the newspaper reports unfair -- an 11th-hour smear job.
When the reports came out, Arnold apologized for past misbehavior with women, but he denied some of the specific allegations.
Davis proclaims 'no-tears zone'
"Tonight, the voters did decide it's time for someone else to serve, and I accept their judgment," Davis said in his concession speech. "I'm calling on everyone ... to put the chaos and division of the recall behind us and do what's right for this great state of California," he told cheering, but saddened, supporters.
Picking up where his campaign began, Schwarzenegger had Tonight show host Jay Leno introduce him after the polls closed and his victory was assured. It was on Leno's show that Schwarzenegger surprised even his closest advisers by announcing that he would run for governor.
"Everything I have is because of California," Schwarzenegger told his cheering supporters.
"I came here with absolutely nothing, and California has given me absolutely everything. And today, California has given me the greatest gift of all - you have given me your trust by voting for me."
Tom McClintock, the other, more conservative Republican in the race, garnered about 753,650 votes to Arnold's 2.6 million. He told his supporters, "In response to a common danger, the people of California rose to their duties and ordered a new direction for our state."
According to wire reports, voter turnout was very heavy - about 65-70 percent, according to the California Secretary of State.
By losing the Oct. 7 election, Davis becomes the second governor in the U.S. to be recalled. The first was Lynn Frazier of North Dakota, who was removed from office in 1921.
The fate of Gov. Davis wasn't the only item on the recall ballot. A majority of voters rejected Proposition 54, which would bar state and local governments from collecting most data on race, religion and ethnicity.
Wire reports said that voters of all races overwhelmingly voted against the measure.