But among Republicans, he’s the choice of 7 percent of those surveyed, while Kashkari only musters 5 percent GOP voter support.
A small plurality of Republican voters — 20 percent — favor Tim Donnelly, the Tea Party-aligned assemblyman from San Bernardino County. Andrew Blount, the mayor of Laguna Beach, barely edges the governor among Republicans with 8 percent support. The vast majority of GOP voters — 58 percent — are undecided.
The PPIC survey is just the latest statewide to show Donnelly, a staunch conservative who gets a warm reception from die-hard GOP audiences, as the de facto frontrunner. And yet his support remains relatively small, with some political observers arguing that Donnelly has limited appeal beyond core Republican voters. Some have started publicly saying they fear a Brown vs. Donnelly fall matchup could hurt the GOP’s chances in other races.
And yet Kashkari, a former federal official who crafted the TARP effort of 2008 and a first-time candidate for office, clearly has failed so far to make any noticeable inroads among likely voters. And it’s not as though he’s not trying: the 40-year-old Newport Beach resident has been traveling the state for more than a year, he’s released relatively substantive position papers on jobs and education (the latter coming just Tuesday), and it’s hard to browse a California news or political website without seeing a “Kashkari for Governor” ad pop up on the screen.
If Kashkari can gain any traction with voters, education issues could be part of his arsenal. The PPIC poll, which is largely about how Californians view K-12 and higher education, shows Brown is on thinner ice with the electorate when it comes to schools. Just 33 percent of likely voters approve of his work on public schools. And on Tuesday, Kashkari released his thoughts on schools — which, in a nutshell, are to send tax dollars to individual schools and let them pretty much do whatever they want with it.