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San Diego Republican John Cox In Second Place In New Governor's Race Poll

California Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, right, speaks in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017
Associated Press
California Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, right, speaks in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017
San Diego Republican John Cox In Second Place In New Governor's Race Poll
San Diego Republican John Cox In Second Place In New Governor's Race Poll GUEST: Mark Baldassare, president and CEO, Public Policy Institute of California

>>> A shakeup could leave a Democrat and Republican on the November ballot. You don't have to worry about a hostile takeover but tomorrow's shareholder meeting could be tens. This is KPBS midday edition. [ MUSIC ] >> It's Thursday, March 22 in our top story is the California governor's race getting more interesting. A new poll from the nonpartisan public policy Institute shows that Republican John Cox is pulling ahead to second place behind Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. This is a price cut Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa were both Republicans and Democrats and Sunday for a debate. Joining me is the public policy Institute president, Mark. >> Hello it's a pleasure to be in your program. >>Reporter: The last poll showed Newsom and via rugosa tied at 20% each. Where do they stand now and what happened next >> In the poll this month, 20% of likely voters in California support Gavin Newsom for governor and 14% John Cox and 12% Antonio via rugosa, Democrat and former male of Los Angeles. 10%, Travis Allen who is the assembly man from Huntington Beach and other candidates with less than 10%. A quarter of Californians are still undecided. The last poll from January and via rugosa and John Cox had some support . >>> You have insight into how via rugosa fell? >> The insight comes from if we look at the cross tabs among Democratic voters as they have listened to the two candidates that there has been a consolidation of support for Gavin Newsom, 39 to 22 today, a 17 point difference. Let's keep in mind that Gavin Newsom has several advantages in the race. He clearly has more resources More of an organizational presence in the primary election than Antonio Villaraigosa just by virtue of the resources that he has that Gavin Newsom also has run for statewide office twice before in 2014, he ran for Lieutenant Governor . >>> John Cox doubled his support and is now in second place. What is his background and what are the issues he is running on? >> Well that we've had a couple chances to talk to him, he came in today speakers event with us so I spent some time on stage in public with them and we did have a chance to meet and talk to him separately. It's largely a message of lower taxes it's definitely a belief that the status quo in politics in Sacramento has been one of corruption. That resonates particularly with Republican voters and he now has about of the third of Republican voters supporting him and with independent voters who were displeased with both parties, many of them being on the conservative side. >> What issues did voters they were most important to them in the race? That's interesting that we ask an open-ended question in the top issues immigration and of course, the poll was taken in March and during the poll we had a visit from the Attorney General Jeff Sessions. At the end of the poll we had a visit from President Donald Trump so, clearly immigration was on voters minds and in our survey we ask a number of questions about attitudes about immigration as well as what is on people's minds. Democrats and Republicans, both say immigration is what they want to hear from candidates that both have very different policies about what they want. Overall Covert found means are very opposed -- overall Californians are very opposed to building a wall between Mexico and California that they are very supportive of the state taking actions to protect the rights of undocumented immigrants and that has not changed over time and neither has opposition to the wall. Batch, Democrats and Republicans have very different views that this is the issue that by far topped all other issues when there was an open-ended question between Democrats and Republicans . >>> Do you expect gun control will be a major issue in the gubernatorial campaign? >> I do. I think one of the more important findings from the survey was the fact that record numbers of Californians Based on our polling, over seven and 10 now say they want stricter gun limits. A number of people mentioned that stricter gun limits was an issue they were concerned about. I think this will continue to be an issue that gun control, though California has passed legislation that were people will be looking at the news and reading about what is going on, in our society and wondering what else our next governor might be able to do to prevent the kind of tragedies that are becoming all too frequent. >> There is high support even among Republicans. >> We have consistently found Democrats supporting stricter gun limits but in our poll we saw a 20 point increase in the number of Republicans who said they wanted stricter gun limits and now about a half of Republicans say they would like stricter gun limits as well as overwhelming numbers of Democrats in our state. >>> I've been speaking with Mark Boyle the sorry -- thank you so much Mark. >> Thank you.

Democrat Gavin Newsom is leading in the race for the California governor's seat.

That's according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California. Meanwhile, San Diego Republican candidate John Cox has gained traction too.

In February, the poll showed Newsom and his Democratic opponent Antonio Villaraigosa in a virtual tie. But this month, Newsom lead with 28 percent, while Villaraigosa was down 9 points from the previous poll.


Newsom's new top competitor is now Cox, a businessman who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, with the support of 14 percent of likely voters polled. Cox has 7 points more than last month.

A quarter of the voters remain undecided, but with the primary election less than 3 months away, the poll found voter interest has doubled since December.

In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Dianne Feinstein maintained a double-digit lead over her Democratic opponent Kevin de Leon.

The poll also showed that half of voters view this year's midterm elections as more important than midterms in the past.

Both Republicans and Democrats will be in San Diego this Sunday for a debate hosted by The San Diego Union-Tribune and 10News.