A new poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows Republican businessman John Cox in second place, with Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom leading the crowded field of mostly Democratic candidates in California’s gubernatorial race.
According to the new poll, which was released late Wednesday evening, Cox has 14 percent support among likely voters. However, Newsom, who is the top choice among likely voters, has 28 percent support,
Villaraigosa, a Democrat, who was in a virtual tie with Newsom in January (with 21 percent compared with Newsom’s 23 percent support) now has 12 percent support among likely voters. Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) has 10% support and Democrats John Chiang and Delaine Eastin has 6 and 5 percent support.
However, 25 percent of likely voters are still undecided.
Cox has so far poured $4 million of his own money into his campaign, and has reportedly already has spent over $1.5 million on ads in the Golden State.
Democrat Amanda Renteria, former national political director for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, was not included in the poll. Her sudden and late entry into the race had many people scratching their heads and thought she did so to take Latino votes away from Newsom.
The PPIC poll also found that incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is leading her fellow Democratic challenger state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) by a wide margin. Feinstein has 42 percent support among likely voters compared with 16 percent for de León.
The poll also found that Feinstein is leading among men, women, individuals across every income level, all ethnicities, and among Latinos. De León is Latino.
Despite that lead, the California Democratic Party decided not to endorse Feinstein, in what was seen as a major rebuke of the lawmaker who has represented the Golden State for over 20 years.
Feinstein received just 37 percent of the party’s votes while the delegates gave de León 54% of their votes, which fell six points short of the 60% he would have needed to secure the party’s endorsement.