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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Poll finds Newsom has a commanding lead over Cox in California governor’s race

Democrat Gavin Newsom has a dominant lead over Republican John Cox in California’s race for governor, a contest in which a significant number of voters appear to have cast ballots strategically to sway the outcome of the state’s top-two primary, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Forty-five percent of registered voters who said they planned to vote in the November race intend to support Newsom, while Cox won the support of 28% of those who plan to cast ballots, according to the poll. Twenty-seven percent of those voters were undecided.

“Voters are learning how to strategically game the system,” said Bob Shrum, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. “I think we’re going to see more of this in California.”

Two-thirds of voters polled said they cast ballots in the June 5 primary for the candidate who best reflected their beliefs, or who they believed would be the best to lead the state. But 1 in 5 voters said they decided whom to support with the goal of making sure someone from their party advanced to the November general election or for a Democrat-on-Democrat contest.

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Gov. Jerry Brown rallies Democrats to elect Gavin Newsom as his successor

Rallying Democrats for the November election, Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that he looks forward to passing the baton to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the party’s candidate for governor, who in turn promised to continue the progressive agenda pursued by Brown.

Standing in front of about four dozen activists and other Democratic candidates for state office, the 80-year-old governor said he would campaign for Newsom, saying the 50-year-old candidate would bring a “creative, energetic” approach to the governor’s office.

“Gavin Newsom will get stuff done. There is a time for an old guy, and there is time for a young guy,” Brown said, drawing laughter during the event at the state Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento. “I was the right man at the right time, and right now Gavin Newsom is the right man at the right time for the next four years in California.”

Brown said problems remain to be addressed involving the environment, workers’ rights and criminal justice reform.

“Now, I think I’ve done a hell of a lot, but I didn’t do so much that I didn’t leave a lot of problems for Gavin Newsom to solve,” Brown quipped.

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Republican John Cox wants to expand access to charter schools and push public universities to cut their costs

It wasn’t President Trump that gave us one of the most expensive and failing school systems in the country. This is absolutely criminal to deprive our children of the education they deserve …the extra tax money they passed in Prop 30. It’s not going in to the classroom, it’s going to administrators and pensions,” GOP businessman John Cox told supporters on Tuesday night after coming in second behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the primary for California governor.

“We need to get that money into the classroom. We need to give our children and our parents the education they deserve. And that includes building more charters, and giving parents choice, and encouraging home schooling.”

His remarks pointed out how Cox’s views on education are intertwined with those of the Trump administration, and could become an issue in the months leading to the general election in November.

Cox did not fill out a questionnaire EdSource sent to the leading primary candidates last month to get their views on a variety of education issues. He did describe his education views in an extensive interview with EdSource reporter Nico Savidge, last month. It is summarized in this article.

Below is an edited transcript of the interview:

Cox, from Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego County, now faces an uphill battle against Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, in a state where registered Republicans make up only a quarter of voters.

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Voters look to embrace most school bonds by wide margins

(Calif.) School bond measures appeared to enjoy another successful election cycle with 27 victories out of a total of 35 put before local voters statewide in Tuesday’s primary election.

Although some ballots are still outstanding, among the biggest winners appears to be Beverly Hills Unified, which asked approval to issue $385 million in bonds to pay for new school construction, and remodeling projects, as well as improved technology services.

With most of the vote counted, the bustling resort town of Mammoth is poised to approve a $63.1 million bond issue for school facilities, and the middle class community of Hawthorne also appears to have agreed to $59 million in borrowing for school improvements.

One of the disappointments is likely the $33 million bond that would have helped provide housing to teachers and staff of the Jefferson Union High School District. The novel concept, which would have provided 80 affordable rental units, was still just short late Wednesday of the 55 percent supermajority needed for passage.

Unlike other tax proposals, school bonds have traditionally won broad support among voters—even during tough economic times. It is not unusual that schools would sweep in local elections statewide.

It is noteworthy that of the eight school bonds that looked to have been defeated Tuesday, a number were in generally affluent communities such as San Mateo County—where the average annual income is close to $120,000.

Along with the Jefferson measure, voters in San Mateo County also narrowly losing was a proposal to sell $99 million in bonds by Cabrillo Unified that would have been used for repairs, new equipment and other facility updates.

Voters living in the upscale El Segundo area of Los Angeles County were on track to turn down a $29 million bond by Wiseburn Unified, while a $119 million bond for the Pleasant Valley School District in Ventura County also faced defeat.

Although voters in economically challenged parts of the state did turn down school bonds, there were also examples where they did not. Voters in the Ravenswood City School District, located in East Palo Alto, were set to approve a $70 million bond.

The effort to use school bonds to help with the teacher shortage is likely to be tried again.

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