Mary Plummer and Sandra Oshiro | April 11, 2018

Republican John Cox once more came in second to California gubernatorial frontrunner Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, in the latest Public Policy Institute of California survey released late Wednesday.

Results of the phone poll of 1,704 adult residents, including 867 likely voters, conducted March 25 to April 3 come as the primary election campaign to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown enters its final two months.

Newsom maintained the lead in the PPIC poll, with backing from 26 percent of the likely voters surveyed. Cox followed in second place with 15 percent while former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, came in third place with 13 percent.

While Newsom has a strong lead against Cox, this nonetheless is the second PPIC survey in a row showing the Republican overtaking Villaraigosa. The former mayor first fell behind in a survey taken March 4 to March 13. Back in January, Villaraigosa was second behind Newsom, 21 percent to 23 percent.

Other major candidates are significantly behind the leader in the latest poll: Republican candidate Travis Allen had the backing of 10 percent of likely voters surveyed. Democrat John Chiang drew 7 percent and Democrat Delaine Eastin captured 6 percent.

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