A new poll from the University of California’s Institute of Government Studies has found that the 2018 governor’s race is tightening between Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Both leading candidates are Democrats.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Villaraigosa has gained six points on Newsom since March. The race now stands at 22% for Newsom and 17% for Villraigosa, with 37% of voters stating no preference.
The Mercury News addss: “Support was in the single digits for little-known Republicans John Cox and David Hadley and Democrats John Chiang, the state treasurer, and former state schools superintendent Delaine Eastin.”
Newsom’s campaign reportedly declined to comment on the poll numbers, and Villaraigosa’s team downplayed his advance.
The UC Berkeley IGS Poll also found that the San Francisco Bay Area was more fond of Newsom, while Southern California leaned towards Villaraigosa. However, that same poll reportedly also found that wealthier, white and black voters leaned heavily toward Newsom, whereas Villaraigosa earned more support from Latinos and those in low-income households.
A total of 1,628 Californians, including 885 likely voters, were surveyed. The surveys were conducted in in six languages and dialects between May 4 and May 29, and reported a 3.3 percent margin of error.
California politics remain dominated by Democrats from the Bay Area, which has higher rates of political participation than voters in the Los Angeles basin.
That has hampered the ability of politicians from Southern California to win statewide races. New Attorney General Xavier Becerra was appointed, not elected. Latino politicians have also tended to fade, as former Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) did last year in her race against Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate.
The 2018 gubernatorial race, however, may be a closer contest.