A early Field Poll on the 2018 governor’s race shows Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa neck-and-neck in terms of voter support to replace Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown, who is currently in the midst of a record fourth term, is ineligible to run for reelection in 2018.
Current Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti trails slightly behind in third place.
“Greater than four in ten voters say they would be inclined to vote for Villaraigosa (42%) and Newsom (41%), and nearly as many say this about Garcetti (36%).” Newsom announced his candidacy for governor early, in February of this year. Villaraigosa and Garcetti have yet to make an announcement.
The poll also found that 29% of voters say they would be inclined to support Democratic billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who has stated that global warming is a bigger threat than terrorism.
The Field Poll, which was conducted between September 17 and October 4 of this year, found that Villaraigosa and Garcetti did best among voters polled in the ten-county Southern California region (42%), while Newsom received more support from Northern Californians, raking in 52% compared with just 34% in the southern part of the Golden State.
Additionally, the poll revealed that Villaraigosa would receive greater support than the other listed candidates among Latinos (62%). Newsom, however, would be slated to receive a slightly higher level of voter support among white, non-Hispanic voters (39%) and an even higher percentage among Asians and African Americans (49%).
California’s “jungle primary” system makes it possible for candidates from the same political parties to compete against each other, as the top two advance based on the amounts of votes received.