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Despite Newsom's Name Recognition, He's Slow to Win Over Voters



Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsome
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In his Tuesday, Feb. 20 column, CALmatters’ Dan Walters sizes up California’s gubernatorial election as a two-man, “down to the wire” race.
The two leading candidates are Democrats, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and they are running neck-and-neck in the most recent Public Policy Institute of California poll.
Walters notes that “Newsom’s standing in PPIC’s polling hasn’t budged much in the last year. … he should be worried that after years of official and unofficial campaigning, he’s still favored by less than a quarter of the state’s likely voters.”
The Capitol columnist also opines that Villaraigosa’s “dramatic rise in the polls could open the wallets of potential campaign donors and give him the wherewithal to make it a real horse race.”
Interestingly, Newsom appears to be tacking to the left while Villaraigosa is trying to broaden his appeal to Republicans and independents by positioning himself as a conservative Democrat.
For Walters’ complete analysis of the crowded field, including Democrat Amanda Renteria’s late entry, click on “It looks like a two-man race for California governor.”