Democrats may be on the verge of losing their majority in the U.S. Senate. But on the eve of Election Day, a new poll finds that here in California, Democrats are in a good position to keep their monopoly on statewide offices.
At the top of the ticket, the USC-Dornsife- L.A. Times poll says that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has maintained his big lead over Republican Neel Kashkari. Fifty-six percent of likely voters say they’ll cast their ballots for Brown tomorrow, compared to 37 percent for Kashkari.
The survey says Democrats lead their Republican rivals in the races for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, state Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner. The contest for Secretary of State also favors the Democratic candidate, but it’s close. The poll says former Assembly Speaker Alex Padilla leads Republican Pete Peterson 45 percent to 41 percent.
The closest statewide race is for Superintendent of Public Instruction, which involves two Democrats. Tom Torlakson has a slim, three-point lead over reform candidate Marshall Tuck. But that’s basically a tie because the spread is within the poll’s margin of error.
Schools are definitely on the mind of state voters. Forty-two percent say education is the most important issue in the race for governor. That’s followed by the economy, water and drought issues, taxes and crime and public safety.
And while Gov. Brown may be quite popular – his approval rating is 60 percent – one of his pet initiatives is not. Forty-eight percent of voters would halt the state’s high-speed rail project, compared to 44 percent who want the bullet train to be built.