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Blog Post · May 25, 2018

Video: California Primary Preview

In the run-up to California’s June 5 primary, Democrat Gavin Newsom remains the top choice among likely voters in the governor’s race, according to the latest PPIC poll. Republican John Cox is in a close race with Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa to gain the second spot on November’s general election ballot. Senator Dianne Feinstein holds a wide lead over fellow Democrat Kevin de León.

Dean Bonner, PPIC associate survey director, detailed these findings and more at a recent Sacramento briefing.

The survey shows Newsom (25%) leading among likely voters, followed by Cox (19%), Villaraigosa (15%), Republican Travis Allen (11%), and Democrats John Chiang (9%) and Delaine Eastin (6%). Fifteen percent of likely voters are still undecided. Results were similar in an April PPIC poll (26% Newsom, 15% Cox, and 13% Villaraigosa). Cox’s support has more than doubled since the January (7%) PPIC poll.

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • A majority of likely voters (63%) favor Governor Brown’s final budget, and overwhelming majorities like his idea of additional one-time spending on infrastructure, homelessness, and mental health programs.
  • Immigrants are viewed as a benefit to the state by a majority of likely voters (67%) because of their hard work and job skills. The vast majority (80%) favor a way for undocumented immigrants to stay in the US legally—if certain requirements are met.
  • Californians are divided on the motivation of the Russia investigation, but a strong majority of likely voters (74%) think the Russian government tried to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
  • Californians distrust both the state and federal government—just 18 percent of likely voters say you can trust Washington to do what’s right.


elections gubernatorial election immigration June Primary Political Landscape Population Russia investigation Statewide Survey voters