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Video: Preview of the Statewide Election

Linda Strean December 7, 2017

Setting the stage for a year of crucial decisions, the December PPIC Statewide Survey took a first look at the 2018 governor’s race. Two Democrats—Gavin Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, and Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles—lead among likely voters. But the survey also underscored that it’s early in the campaign to replace retiring governor Jerry Brown. Among likely voters, a third are undecided and just a quarter are following news about the candidates fairly or very closely.

In the US Senate primary, incumbent Dianne Feinstein leads fellow Democrat Kevin de León, state senate president pro tempore, by a two-to-one margin in a matchup of the two candidates. A third of likely voters are undecided in this race, as well.

Dean Bonner, associate survey director at PPIC, presented the key findings at a Sacramento briefing last week. As he noted, the survey findings reflect a divided and unsettled electorate. Likely voters are split on what is more important in a candidate for statewide office: new ideas and a different approach (48%) or experience and a proven record (42%). Asked about how candidates for statewide office should interact with the federal government, half of likely voters (51%) prefer that candidates push back against the Trump administration and 41% prefer that candidates work with the administration.

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