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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown continues to lead his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari, by a double-digit margin while support for Brown's rainy day fund measure is gaining ground, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released Wednesday.

The statewide poll showed 52 percent of likely voters support re-electing Brown while 36 percent favor Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official and Goldman Sachs banker. That is a narrower margin than the institute's last poll in September, which showed Brown with an edge of 21 percentage points.

A majority — 56 percent — continue to support Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond, while Proposition 2 now has 49 percent support. The measure to establish a more robust rainy day fund has gained 6 points from 43 percent in September.

Both were passed by the Legislature and are being promoted by Brown ahead of the Nov. 4 election.

"Good news for California," said Dan Newman, Brown's campaign spokesman.

The campaign considers Brown's re-election and the two initiatives a joint effort.

Brown launched his first campaign ads of the general election season earlier this month, promoting propositions 1 and 2. The governor stars in some of the television spots and says "Save water, save money."

The institute found support for Proposition 45 slipping from 48 percent in September to 39 percent this month. That initiative requires the insurance commissioner's approval over health insurance rates for small businesses and individual health plans.

A majority continue to favor Proposition 47, which would require a misdemeanor sentence rather than a felony for some drug and property offenses. Fifty nine percent of likely voters support the initiative compared to 62 percent in September.

Among likely voters, 54 percent approve of Brown's job performance, compared to 37 percent who disapprove and 9 percent who said they don't know. The statewide poll also found voter approval of the state Legislature at 37 percent, up from 21 percent two years ago.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama hit a record-low approval rating among California's likely voters at 44 percent. They gave Congress an even lower rating of 16 percent.

The poll also found a lack of interest in the election, with 42 percent of likely voters saying they are less enthusiastic than in previous elections.

"California likely voters are signaling an enthusiasm gap that cuts across party lines," said Mark Baldassare, president and chief executive of the policy institute. "The potential for another low turnout election is troubling for California."

In the June primary, just 25.2 percent of registered voters participated, the lowest turnout for a statewide election in California history.

The poll released Wednesday surveyed 1,704 Californians from Oct. 12-19 and has a sampling error rate of 4.6 percent among likely voters.



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