Neel Kashkari+Tim Donnelly

California Republican gubernatorial candidates Neel Kashkari, left, and Tim Donnelly, far right, at an Anaheim debate last week. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Michael Finnegan
May 21, 2014

The race between the two main Republicans vying to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown’s reelection has tightened, but Assemblyman Tim Donnelly still holds an edge over Neel Kashkari, a former assistant U.S. Treasury secretary, a new poll has found.

The Democratic incumbent remains a strong favorite in the June 3 primary, according to the Public Policy Institute of California poll.

The survey found 48% of likely voters backing Brown, followed by 15% for Donnelly and 10% for Kashkari. The candidates who finish first and second, regardless of party, will compete in the November election.

Donnelly’s lead over Kashkari falls within the poll of likely voters’ margin of error of 4.9 percentage points in either direction.

While both GOP candidates have gained support in recent weeks, roughly a third of Republicans remain undecided, according to the survey. That portends a hard-fought contest in the campaign’s 12 final days.

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