If California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was expecting an easy race for the governor’s mansion, a poll released Thursday didn’t carry much in the way of good news.
While the statewide poll from Probolsky Research showed Newsom leading with 44 percent of respondents, his Republican opponent John Cox had 39 percent support; a further 17 percent of those polled were unsure whom they would support.
Cox, a relative newcomer to California politics, also claimed support well beyond his base among Californian registered Republicans, who make up fewer than a quarter of the state’s voters.
“We have always known that this is a real race,” Cox said on his campaign Facebook page.
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While the poll found that “intensity of support is strong for both candidates,” Cox led in support among male and white voters, as well as voters aged 65 and older, while Newsom led in every other age group, as well as among female, black and Asian voters.
Hispanic voters split nearly evenly between the two candidates; 33.6 percent supported Cox while 34.5 percent supported Newsom.
The margin of error on the poll is 3.3 percent.
But if voters were looking to see Cox and Newsom debate to make up their mind, they may be out of luck.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the two camps have yet to agree on a debate; Bryan Anderson reports Newsom wants one debate, hosted by CNN, while Cox wants five debates.
Newsom wasn’t the only Democratic frontrunner to see his lead evaporate.
Probolsky Research also found the race between California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and challenger Kevin de León tightening to single digits.
Among those polled, 37 percent supported Feinstein, while 29 percent supported de León, who serves as a California state senator.
Another 34 percent were unsure.
Though de León has billed himself as a progressive alternative to Feinstein, he received a majority of support from polled Republican voters, 31 percent to Feinstein’s 26 percent. De León also narrowly led in support among voters aged 18 to 29.
Feinstein led de León in every other category, including among all demographic groups, plus male, female and Democratic voters.