Republican moderate Neel Kashkari begins his gubernatorial challenge to incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown 20 points behind in the latest Field Poll, released Wednesday morning. While Kashkari appears to have cemented his support among Republicans, Brown leads Kashkari among almost every other group of voters. Regionally, Brown leads everywhere except in parts of Southern California outside L.A., San Diego and Orange County.
Kashkari faces two challenges in particular: Brown’s 54% approval rating, and his own low impression among voters. There is a “huge difference” among proportions of voters who recognize each of the two candidates, the poll notes: “Currently 85% of likely voters offer an opinion of Brown and it divides 54% favorable and 31% unfavorable. Just 44% of voters can rate Kashkari, with 28% viewing him favorably and 16% unfavorably.”