BERKELEY — It’s still nine months away, but Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to lead the pack of contenders in next June’s “top two” primary election for governor, according to a UC Berkeley poll released Friday.
Results show that the Democrat, a former San Francisco mayor, is favored by 26 percent of likely voters.
Three other candidates vying for second place are trailing far behind, including former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat who garnered only 10 percent of likely voters in the poll, which was conducted by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.
Two Republicans, San Diego businessman John Cox and Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen, posted similar numbers: Cox was favored by 11 percent of likely voters, Allen by 9 percent.
The number of likely voters who favor Newsom changed little from a Berkeley IGS poll in May, when it was 22 percent.
But it’s still early and most California voters aren’t paying much attention to the race, said Larry Gerston, a professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University.
“Newsom still leads, but his lead is not nearly enough to separate him from everybody else if you are thinking about the top two’’ vote-getters who will advance to the November election regardless of party. “Newsom is only at 26 percent, which is only a quarter of the electorate,’’ Gerston said.
And as promising as the early numbers may be for Newsom, the poll shows that a third of likely voters are still undecided in the race, which has a crowded field of six major candidates that also includes state Treasurer John Chiang and former state schools superintendent Delaine Eastin, both…
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