SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With four days away from the California primary election, a new poll from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and Los Angeles Times shows Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta could coast through their races on Tuesday.
The poll showed the Democratic incumbents for statewide office hold double-digit leads compared to their Republican and No Party Preference opponents.
Of the more than 3,400 likely voters, 50% of them said they would choose Newsom for governor while 46% said they would choose Bonta for attorney general.
Those numbers are similar to Democratic turnout so far with the state’s vote-by-mail ballots.
The latest ballot tracker from Political Data Intelligence shows Democrats make up for more than half of the ballots turned in.
But participation so far is low with 11% of ballots submitted of the 22 million sent out.
PDI vice president Paul Mitchell said although California has made it easier than ever to vote, there are several factors contributing to the low numbers, including voter fatigue.
The primary marks California’s third election in the last two and a half years, following the Presidential Election in 2020 and Gov. Newsom’s recall.
“We just don’t have that sense collectively as a state that this election is as important. And it will have consequences for the kind of people that get elected,” Mitchell said.
“Throughout the state, there are a lot of competitive races. Determining who makes the runoff will determine who is the next attorney general or who is the next insurance commissioner,” Mitchell continued.
Mitchell also notes those who have turned in their ballots so far don’t fully represent the state’s population. For example, Latinos make up 40% of the state’s population, but make up for only 15% of ballots turned in.
Seniors make up a quarter of the state’s voting population, but make up for about half of the ballots turned in.
Mitchell said it’s possible Republicans, who don’t trust voting by mail could boost turnout as more in-person polling locations open between now and Tuesday.
“It’s unlikely to be in the big numbers that we would really need to significantly impact this turnout number,” Mitchell said.