A campaign to reinstate affirmative action in overwhelmingly Democratic California has failed resoundingly despite having money and momentum.
The rejection of Proposition 16 means California will keep a ban on granting preferential treatment based on race and gender in public hiring, contracting and college admissions.
With more than 11 million votes tallied, Proposition 16 had just 44% approval Wednesday.
Supporters sought to reinstate affirmative action during a national reckoning on race but said they didn't have enough time to reach voters. Others say it failed because it lacked a clear champion or because voters are comfortable with the way things are.