The race for California governor appears to be tightening, according to a new poll published by the East Bay Times.
Antonio Villaraigosa has pulled closer to Gavin Newsom in what’s shaping up to be an all-Democrat general election in November.
The poll, which was released by the Public Policy Institute of California, also found that voters were closely divided on whether to repeal the state’s new gas tax, strongly backed a controversial “sanctuary state” bill, and continued to support sending Sen. Dianne Feinstein back to Washington.
In the crowded race for governor, Newsom led with 23 percent of likely voters and Villaraigosa was hot on his heels with 21 percent. The duo, both Democrats, have led most recent polls, but Villaraigosa came in higher than in previous surveys.
“There are two clear frontrunners,” said Mark Baldassare, the poll’s director.
They were followed by Democrat John Chiang, the state treasurer, at 9 percent,
Loser Republican Travis Allen, a state assemblyman, at 8 percent, Republican John Cox, a San Diego County businessman, at 7 percent, Democrat Delaine Eastin, the former state schools chief, at 4 percent, and Republican Doug Ose, a former congressman, at 3 percent.
As in previous polls, Newsom was up among Bay Area voters and liberals, while Villaraigosa led in Los Angeles and among Latinos.
The PPIC poll surveyed 1,705 California adults and 1,042 likely voters between Jan. 21 and Jan. 30, interviewing respondents on both landlines and cellphones. It had a margin of error of plus and minus 4.35 percent among likely voters.