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Blog Post · March 26, 2018

Video: Preview of the California Primary

As California’s June 5 primary approaches, the latest PPIC survey finds Democrat Gavin Newsom gaining ground over Antonio Villaraigosa in the governor’s race, while support for Republican John Cox rises among likely voters. In the US Senate race, Dianne Feinstein holds her double-digit lead over fellow Democrat Kevin de León.

Dean Bonner, PPIC associate survey director, detailed the findings at a Sacramento briefing last week.

The survey shows Newsom (28%) as the top choice among likely voters, followed by Cox (14%), Democrat Villaraigosa (12%), Republican Travis Allen (10%), and Democrats John Chiang (6%) and Delaine Eastin (5%). Yet a quarter of likely voters are still undecided, which raises questions about what will happen in the top-two primary.

A few other highlights include:

  • Governor Jerry Brown’s approval rating (54%) has held steady, despite state-federal tension over immigration policy. The legislature’s approval rating (45%) has also stayed consistent, in spite of sexual misconduct reports last fall.
  • The top issue voters would like gubernatorial candidates to talk about before the June primary is immigration, followed by guns or school safety.
  • Nearly half of Republicans (48%) are now joining an overwhelming number of Democrats (87%) and independents (68%) in saying there should be stricter gun controls.
  • Bipartisan support emerged for a water bond measure, with two-thirds of likely voters saying they would vote yes. Partisans were more divided on affordable housing projects.


approval ratings elections gun laws housing immigration June Primary Political Landscape Statewide Survey voters water bond