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Poll: California governor’s race a one-man show

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POSTED March 26, 2014 7:31 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The governor’s race in California looks like a one-man show.

About two months before the June 3 primary election, Gov. Jerry Brown holds a 37 percentage-point edge over his nearest rival in a hypothetical matchup of potential contenders, a statewide survey found Wednesday.

The poll of likely voters by the Public Policy Institute of California represented a mostly grim assessment for Brown’s Republican rivals, who have made little impression on voters even after months of campaigning.

The 75-year-old Democratic governor is a favorite to capture an unprecedented fourth term, even though the poll found just a slim majority of likely voters, 52 percent, approves of the job he is doing in Sacramento.

About one in three voters remains undecided, but Brown grabbed 47 percent when respondents were asked about choices in the race — not a majority but well beyond the tally of either Republican. Former banker and U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari, of Laguna Beach, notched a meager 2 percent, while state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, of Twin Peaks, pulled 10 percent.

The poll confirmed what has been obvious for months. Brown is essentially running against himself. State Republican leaders do not intend to expend any efforts on the race unless something changes. And Brown has raised about $20 million for the race so far, about 13 times more than his rivals combined.

Not all the findings were encouraging for the governor.

Only 41 percent of likely voters said the state is moving in the right direction, and voters remain sharply divided on his signature project, a $68 billion high-speed train.

The poll found most Californians aren’t paying attention to the race, echoing predictions that the June election could draw a record low turnout.

Brown was elected to his third term in 2010. He also served two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983.

The telephone survey of 1,702 adults, conducted March 11-18, has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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