Latest Poll: Gubernatorial, Senate Races Remain Close

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ A new poll shows Californians are split between the Democratic and Republican candidates in the contests for governor and U.S. Senate.

And a large number of voters are still undecided in both races.

The Public Policy Institute of California poll released on Wednesday shows 37 percent of likely voters support Democrat Jerry Brown for governor while 34 percent support Republican Meg Whitman.

Nearly one in four voters are undecided.

In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer leads Republican challenger Carly Fiorina 39-to-34 percent, with 22 percent undecided.

The poll also took a look at the environment. Among the undecided voters, 79 percent described the environment as being a very important or somewhat important issue to them when they pick a candidate.

Two-thirds of those polled favored the state’s global warming law. And 45 percent believe cutting greenhouse gases will add jobs, compared with 23 percent who say there will be fewer jobs.

When asked whether the government should take action on climate change right away or wait until the economy improves, 53 percent said the state should act now.

Californians have appeared to change their minds on offshore drilling since the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico three months ago.

The survey found 59 percent of Californians oppose more drilling off their coast, a 16 point shift from a year ago when a slight majority favored it.

And it showed that just 21 percent of Californians said they have confidence in the federal government’s response to the Gulf spill.

The poll surveyed 2,502 California residents from July 6 to July 20 and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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