The newest poll in the 2014 race for governor finds a bit of new political history being made by Gov. Jerry Brown: the first chief executive in California in almost three decades to have a majority of voter support going in to a re-election campaign season.
Not since former Gov. George Deukmejian has a sitting governor sought another term and not either floundered or trailed in public polls taken during the summer preceding the fall battle.
Wednesday night's poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California finds Brown with 52 percent support among likely voters surveyed in the contest against Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, who was chosen by 33 percent of likely voters. Eleven percent were undecided, and 4 percent actually told the pollsters they'll skip the race altogether.
Brown's 19-point lead is due to how well he's solidified his support among Democratic voters (80 percent); his solid numbers among independents (a 24-point lead); and the level of support for his re-election in vote-rich Los Angeles (63 percent back Brown).
Kashkari, a former U.S. assistant treasury secretary in his first race for elected office, is almost even with Brown among white voters; and he polls well in both the Inland Empire (an 8-point lead) and the Central Valley (only 2 points behind Brown).
But Brown remains in the driver's seat in his attempt at winning an unprecedented fourth term as governor. In fact, no governor of the Golden State has enjoyed such a comfortable cushion in the polls since, well, "Top Gun" was the No.1 movie in theaters.