California’s Gubernatorial Elections: The Race for Second Place in the Primary

California’s race for Governor has been interesting from the beginning: with 27 different candidates encompassing five different parties, there are many different positions to consider.  Frontrunners were established early on, and as we get closer to the primary on Tuesday, it seems obvious who will come out on top.

California is unique in that the two best performing candidates—regardless of party affiliation—are placed on the general ballot. So, instead of being divided by party, everyone running must compete for the two available spots. 

At this point in the process, Democrat Gavin Newsom is the clear favorite with opponents trailing behind him. Democrat Villaraigosa and Republican Cox have put up a good fight, but Newsom’s platform appears to be the most attractive to California voters according to recent polls. In one poll conducted by USC Dornsife and L.A. Times, Newsom is 11 points ahead of Villaraigosa, who is 1 point ahead of Cox.

With Newsom positioned to move on to the general election, the spotlight now shines on the second spot that remains open. So now, the race for California Governor has been refocused on who gets that coveted second place spot—and herein lies the issue: of the top five contenders vying for the second spot in the primary, three of them are Democrats.

With President Trump backing Cox, a proponent for gun rights, anti-sanctuary cities, Prop 13 (reducing property taxes), and anti-gas tax, California Republicans have responded in full force against progressive ideologies and laws in support of Cox. A recent poll also shows Cox gaining popularity, which means that he could very likely win the second spot if undecided voters cast their votes among the remaining three Democrats. 

So, for Californians who will choose to vote for a candidate other than Newsom or Cox, it is important to look at the polls.

While multiple candidates is a testament to democracy, it also allows for huge divisions in the party. Among the twelve individuals running within the Democratic Party, only Newsom, Villaraigosa, Chiang, and Eastin have managed to garner a considerable amount of support. This is not meant to sideline the incredible efforts put in by all the other candidates and their teams, but at this point in the campaign season it is time to look at the facts.

For Progressives, Villaraigosa, who stands behind economic prosperity, education reform, and affordable housing, is the only other Democratic candidate who has any chance of overtaking Cox. Between Villaraigosa and Newsom, their main divisions lie among single-payer healthcare (Newsom being a supporter while Villaraigosa supports the idea with some reservations) and charter schools (Villaraigosa supports them while Newsom does not).

While Chiang and Eastin have put up a good fight and have amassed a significant amount of support, they simply do not have the means to overtake Villaraigosa’s numbers. Many may not agree with his politics, but he is a better option than Cox by Democratic standards and more likely to have the necessary votes against the other candidates. It is also important to consider that if Democratic votes are scattered among the other candidates, it only makes it easier for Cox to overtake Villaraigosa.

Considering the politics of Newsom, who leans far to the left, some voters may not feel like his ideals are a fair representation of their own; thus, it could influence them to abstain from voting for governor in the general election come November 6, 2018. Should progressive voters decide to abstain from voting, it paves the way for Cox to overtake Newsom in the general election. 

Low Democratic voter turnout in tandem with higher Republican voter turnout could lead to something unheard of: a Republican winning California’s governor race.

If Democrats truly want the Blue Midterm of 2018 elections, it is necessary to start right here at the primaries. To ensure a Democrat is elected governor of California, voters must support the people who have the best chance of overtaking Republicans, and that advantage lies with Newsom and Villaraigosa. So, on Tuesday when you go to your local polling place and are still undecided, perhaps consider voting for Newsom or Villaraigosa to ensure a Blue sweep during the generals.

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California’s Gubernatorial Elections: The Race for Second Place in the Primary

California’s race for Governor has been interesting from the beginning: with 27 different candidates encompassing five different parties, there are many different positions to consider.  Frontrunners were established early on, and as we get closer to the primary on Tuesday, it seems obvious who will come out on top.

California is unique in that the two best performing candidates—regardless of party affiliation—are placed on the general ballot. So, instead of being divided by party, everyone running must compete for the two available spots. 

At this point in the process, Democrat Gavin Newsom is the clear favorite with opponents trailing behind him. Democrat Villaraigosa and Republican Cox have put up a good fight, but Newsom’s platform appears to be the most attractive to California voters according to recent polls. In one poll conducted by USC Dornsife and L.A. Times, Newsom is 11 points ahead of Villaraigosa, who is 1 point ahead of Cox.

With Newsom positioned to move on to the general election, the spotlight now shines on the second spot that remains open. So now, the race for California Governor has been refocused on who gets that coveted second place spot—and herein lies the issue: of the top five contenders vying for the second spot in the primary, three of them are Democrats.

With President Trump backing Cox, a proponent for gun rights, anti-sanctuary cities, Prop 13 (reducing property taxes), and anti-gas tax, California Republicans have responded in full force against progressive ideologies and laws in support of Cox. A recent poll also shows Cox gaining popularity, which means that he could very likely win the second spot if undecided voters cast their votes among the remaining three Democrats. 

So, for Californians who will choose to vote for a candidate other than Newsom or Cox, it is important to look at the polls.

While multiple candidates is a testament to democracy, it also allows for huge divisions in the party. Among the twelve individuals running within the Democratic Party, only Newsom, Villaraigosa, Chiang, and Eastin have managed to garner a considerable amount of support. This is not meant to sideline the incredible efforts put in by all the other candidates and their teams, but at this point in the campaign season it is time to look at the facts.

For Progressives, Villaraigosa, who stands behind economic prosperity, education reform, and affordable housing, is the only other Democratic candidate who has any chance of overtaking Cox. Between Villaraigosa and Newsom, their main divisions lie among single-payer healthcare (Newsom being a supporter while Villaraigosa supports the idea with some reservations) and charter schools (Villaraigosa supports them while Newsom does not).

While Chiang and Eastin have put up a good fight and have amassed a significant amount of support, they simply do not have the means to overtake Villaraigosa’s numbers. Many may not agree with his politics, but he is a better option than Cox by Democratic standards and more likely to have the necessary votes against the other candidates. It is also important to consider that if Democratic votes are scattered among the other candidates, it only makes it easier for Cox to overtake Villaraigosa.

Considering the politics of Newsom, who leans far to the left, some voters may not feel like his ideals are a fair representation of their own; thus, it could influence them to abstain from voting for governor in the general election come November 6, 2018. Should progressive voters decide to abstain from voting, it paves the way for Cox to overtake Newsom in the general election. 

Low Democratic voter turnout in tandem with higher Republican voter turnout could lead to something unheard of: a Republican winning California’s governor race.

If Democrats truly want the Blue Midterm of 2018 elections, it is necessary to start right here at the primaries. To ensure a Democrat is elected governor of California, voters must support the people who have the best chance of overtaking Republicans, and that advantage lies with Newsom and Villaraigosa. So, on Tuesday when you go to your local polling place and are still undecided, perhaps consider voting for Newsom or Villaraigosa to ensure a Blue sweep during the generals.

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