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Voters Are Starting To Pay Attention. Will Cox or Villaraigosa Face Newsom?

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Republican John Cos and Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa images side by side
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A day later: Different poll. Similar results.
A Public Policy Institute of California statewide survey released at 9 p.m. today shows Democrat Gavin Newsom garnering 25% support among likely voters in the June 5 gubernatorial primary.

Voters’ interest in the news about the gubernatorial candidates has nearly doubled since January, but 15 percent are still making up their minds about the June primary.” — Mark Baldassare, PPIC president/CEO
Newsome, the two-term lieutenant governor, leads Republican businessman John Cox (19%), former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (15%) and Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen (11%).
“Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s support has been consistent across five PPIC surveys, while John Cox’s support has sharply increased since our January survey,” Mark Baldassare, PPIC president/CEO said in a news release.
With Newsom the likely victor, the focus is on the fight for second between Cox and Villaraigosa in California’s top-2 primary. Given that the poll’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.1%, the Cox-Villaraigosa battle remains too close to call.
On Tuesday, the USC Dornsife/LA Times poll had the top five gubernatorial candidates lined up this way: Newsom (21%), Villaraigosa (11%), Cox (10%), Democrat John Chiang (6%) and Allen (5%).

Voters Starting to Follow the Race

But there was a glaring difference in the polls. While the USC Dornsife/LA Times poll pegged the number of undecided voters at 39%, the PPIC poll found that only 15% of voters are undecided.
“Voters’ interest in the news about the gubernatorial candidates has nearly doubled since January, but 15 percent are still making up their minds about the June primary,” Baldassare said.
According to the PPIC poll, 58% of likely voters are paying attention to the race.

Feinstein Runaway Leader for Senate Seat

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein holds a commanding 41% to 17% lead over her closest rival, fellow Democrat Kevin de León, with 36% undecided.
The PPIC questioned voters on their views on many issues.
Among the findings:

  • Forty-eight percent approve of Gov. Brown’s job performance.
  • Thirty percent approve of President Trump, while 24 percent approve of the US Congress.
  • Seventy-five percent view immigrants as a benefit to the state.
  • In addition, more than 80% say that there should be a way for undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. to stay in the country legally if certain requirements are met.

You can read the PPIC report “Californians & Their Government” at this link.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email