Jerry Brown

California Governor Jerry Brown (Hector Amezcua /

By David Siders
Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 – 12:06 am

Gov. Jerry Brown’s public approval rating has surged to a new high, and he is the overwhelming early favorite to win re-election next year, according to a new Field Poll.

Nearly six in 10 registered voters – 58 percent – approve of the job Brown is doing, up seven percentage points from July, according to the poll. Brown leads his closest Republican challengers, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and Twin Peaks Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, by more than 40 percentage points.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll. “Voters may be satisfied enough with Jerry Brown that they never seriously entertain any of the challengers. At least that’s what it’s looking like at this stage.”

Brown has not yet said if he will seek a fourth term, but he is raising money for the effort and is widely expected to run. The poll comes six months before a June primary in which the top two vote-getters will advance to a November runoff regardless of political party.

In a potential contest between Brown and three Republicans – Maldonado, Donnelly and former U.S. Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari – Brown leads with 52 percent support among registered voters, according to the poll. Maldonado and Donnelly trail with 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

Kashkari, who is laying the groundwork for a campaign but has not yet said if he will run, polls last at 3 percent, with 25 percent of registered voters undecided.

Brown leads the field by wide margins among both Democrats and independent voters, as well as across regions, genders, and age and ethnic groups.

“It’s such a dominant position up and down the line,” DiCamillo said. “It’s hard to find a segment that is not, at this stage, supporting Brown more than the others.”

Among registered Republicans, 21 percent favor Maldonado and 20 percent favor Donnelly, according to the poll. Seventeen percent of Republicans favor Brown.

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