Close Race for Second Place Between Villaraigosa and Cox in California Governor’s Race, New Poll Finds

Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Republican John Cox are both contenders in California’s gubernatorial contest. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / John Cox’s Facebook page)

Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Republican John Cox are both contenders in California’s gubernatorial contest. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / John Cox’s Facebook page)

The fight for second place in California’s governor’s race between Republican John Cox and Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa remains unpredictable and volatile as the June 5 primary approaches, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom led both by 10 percentage points or more, validating every other poll that suggests it’s a certainty the Democrat will claim one of the two spots on the November ballot.

With the second slot up for grabs and a substantial bloc of undecided voters two weeks from the election, Newsom’s campaign has unleased a barrage of ads in an attempt to manipulate the primary vote. The strategy aims to influence who he’ll face in the general election, with Cox — a conservative out of step with California’s left-leaning voters on many issues including immigration policy — among his top choices.

Newsom’s tactics are among the many undercurrents that could determine the outcome of the primary by swaying the 39% of California’s likely voters who were undecided in this statewide poll, conducted over one month.

Read the full story on LATimes.com