Newsom, Democrats Poised For Wins In California

Nov 5, 2018

Nevada is not the only state that'll be holding major elections up and down the ballot. To the West, voters in California are also set to decide who will lead their state for the next four years. KUNR's Paul Boger spoke with Alexei Koseff, a political reporter at the Sacramento Bee, to get the latest on the some of the high profile campaigns there.

"So, for the first time in eight years, the governor's seat will be open. Gov. Jerry Brown is terming out after two terms back in office and the race has come down to Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican Businessman John Cox," explained Koseff. "With the partisan lean in California, Gavin Newsom has been able to maintain a fairly comfortable lead, it seems, in terms of fundraising and polling. Cox has tried to keep up, but it's just hard in California in this day and age."

In addition to campaigns for political office, California has 11 propositions on the ballot. Perhaps the most high profile initiative seeks to repeal the state’s new gas tax that went into effect earlier this year. For some, the measure offered a way to galvanize the state’s conservative minority, and bring more Republicans to the polls. However, Koseff says the strategy doesn’t appear to be working.

"It seems to be fading in the home stretch. The last couple of polls we've seen have it behind by a fairly comfortable margin, which has to be disappointing for those who put it on the ballot. They really wanted this to be a central issue of the 2018 election in California, and, by all accounts, it's been overshadowed by everything that's been going on the national stage."

This article is an excerpt of an extended conversation. You can listen to a longer interview by clicking the play button above.