California Survey: Independent Voters Shake Up Governor’s Race

The Public Policy Institute of California released its most recent survey on Californias and their government Thursday — including public opinion on the upcoming elections. One of the most notable findings is that Democrat Gavin Newsom’s lead over Republican John Cox has been cut in half.

PPIC reports that Newsom has a 12-point lead over Cox. It is important, however, to note that this lead is down from 24 points in July. It is also important to note who is driving this shift.

Registered Republicans and Democrats are sticking by their party’s candidate, for the most part. Eighty-six percent of likely Democratic voters support Newsom, and 85% of likely Republican voters support Cox.

Independents, on the other hand, are divided — 42% support Newsom, 37% support Cox, 15% are undecided.

The number of likely independent voters who either support Cox or are undecided increased from July. Independent support for the Republican nominee increased from 33%, and 9% of independent voters previously said they were undecided.

IVN continues to report on the importance No Party Preference voters will play in key California races, including for governor. One poll even suggested that Newsom’s lead was cut to as low as 5 points.

Yet as we are just weeks from the election, voters will get little opportunity to hear from both candidates to make an informed decision. In fact, unless they tune in to the single radio debate that both candidates agreed to so far, they won’t hear from the candidates at all, outside political ads or statements in the press.

Stay tuned for more coverage on the race.