Gavin Newsom holds huge lead over John Cox in California governor’s race, poll finds

Gavin Newsom, the Democratic lieutenant governor, holds a commanding lead over his Republican rival, businessman John Cox, in the race to be California’s next governor, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

In a new poll released Wednesday, 55 percent of likely voters favored Newsom, compared to 31 percent who would pick Cox. More than three months before the November election, only 9 percent of respondents were still undecided.

Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of PPIC, said Democrats quickly coalesced around Newsom after an open, and sometimes bitter, primary in which millions of them voted for other major candidates, like former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Treasurer John Chiang. About 86 percent of Democratic likely voters in the poll supported Newsom, significantly narrowing the path forward for Cox’s underdog campaign.

“The electorate is so polarized,” Baldassare said. “Cox has equally solid support among Republicans, but there are many more Democrats than Republicans in the electorate these days.”

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