Sen. Dianne Feinstein leads CA Senate race but potential trouble ahead in the General; Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom leads Governor Race with GOP candidates in hunt for second place finish

A new Emerson College Poll finds Sen. Dianne Feinstein at 38% with no other candidate breaking double digits, and 32% of voters undecided. In the Governor’s race, the current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom leads with 24% of the vote, with four rivals vying for the second spot, 19% of voters undecided. The poll was conducted May 21-24 of 600 registered voters (+/-4.2 credibility interval) who were more likely than not to vote in the June 5 Primary.

A deeper look into the Senate race reveals that none of Support of the candidates reveals distinct regional distinctions. Newsom, the former San Francisco Mayor, garners 42% of the vote in the Bay region, while former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has 19% of the vote in the LA metro region, but is unable to crack double digits north of Fresno.

GOP Candidate John Cox, recently endorsed by President Trump, is receiving 39% of the Trump vote from 2016, while his Republican counterpart Travis Allen receives 19% of the Trump vote. Among Democrats, Newsom receives 35% of the Clinton vote. Clinton won CA 62% with Trump at 33% in 2016. In a generic congressional ballot test- Democrats lead Republicans 54% to 36%. Democrats are strongest in the San Francisco Bay Area (71% to 23%; Congressional Districts 11- 21, and 23) while Republicans have their best chances to win seats in the Northern Central Valley (Republicans leads 48% to 40%; Congressional Districts 4, 8-10, 16, and 22).

Senator Kamala Harris is popular in the State with a 45% approval and 22% disapproval, Conversely, President Trump has a 33% approval and 56% disapproval in California. Part of the President’s high disapproval could stem from his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 55% of voters disagreed with Trump’s policy change, 29% agreed. On other statewide issues, voters approve nearly 2:1 (49% to 25%) the California Energy Commission (CEC) mandate, requiring that all new house and multi-family residences of three stories or fewer must be built with solar panels beginning in 2020.


The CA Emerson College Poll was conducted May 21-24, 2018 under the Supervision of Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters who were more likely than not going to vote in the June 5th Primary, n=600, with a Credibility Interval (similar to margin of error) of +/- 4.2 percentage points. The data was weighted by 2016 presidential vote preference, region, age, ethnicity and mode based on a registered voter model. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only and an online panel provided by Survey Sampling International (SSI).

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