Democrat Gavin Newsom has a dominant lead over Republican John Cox in California’s race for governor, a contest where 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.
The post-primary survey also indicated that some Californians are adapting their behavior in response to the state’s relatively new top-two primary, where the pair of candidates who get the most votes move on to the general election regardless of party.
Three out of 10 Californians who voted for Cox said they did so primarily because they wanted to ensure a Republican was on the November ballot, as opposed to supporting him because he reflected their beliefs and values, or some other reason, the survey found.
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