With election day less than a month away, the race will come down to how the two candidates tackle the main issues on many Californians’ minds.


Back during the primary election, Gov. Gavin Newsom won on the Democrat side while Republican Brian Dahle won as the GOP candidate to run against the current governor. Now, both are campaigning to help boost their support and voter turnout.


In a recent poll shown by FiveThirtyEight, Gavin Newsom currently leads with 53% choosing to vote for him while only 32% have chosen to vote for Brian Dahle. With 21 more points than Dahle, the democrat currently holds a strong lead in this election.


That could change, however, with Californians looking for solutions to help deal with the current crisis the state is currently facing. A survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California shows the top five five issues on Californians’ minds. Ranked from first to fifth are the economy and inflation, homelessness, housing costs, environment and climate change, and the current drought.


Both candidates have outlined their stance on some of these issues as shown on CalMatters like the economy, homelessness, and the environment. 


Republican Dahle’s statement on issues related to the economy stated that he would ensure that California looks into different energy options to help reduce the cost of living — like producing oil in a safe, clean way that won’t harm the environment. Not only that, but he also added that companies should be given incentives to stay in California instead of leaving the state. That way, they can give out more jobs, and by lowering costs on bills and taxes, can persuade people to stay.


Gov. Newsom’s plan includes providing free healthcare, free universal pre-K education, more housing, investing in small businesses, waiving fees and providing tax breaks for small companies. He also pointed out that investing in parents allows families to invest in their children for a better future, hence why he wishes to support education for kindergarteners.


On the issue of homelessness, Dahle said, “There are not enough clinicians, period. Number one. We need to prioritize giving tax credits or something, or education vouchers, for people that want to go into social services work. … I prefer to give block grants to counties, because counties are really the ones that are going to implement these services and this is a very diverse state.


When Dahle was asked about how to increase affordable housing production, he said that CEQA was good to help with this issue but has now become a way for one to sue to extract money.


Newsom responded to the issue saying, “The next phase of our approach is creating the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court — a new framework to get people with mental health and substance use disorders the support and care they need. … CARE Court includes accountability for everyone — on the individual and on local governments – with court orders for services.


When affordable housing production was brought up to Newsom, he said that the past work done has greatly improved affordability and that a new investment will help boost production.


Ending it off with some questions on the environment, Dahle proposed that transmission lines would help allow the increase of charging stations for electric cars in order to reduce pollution. And as for the water drought, he states that California’s reservoirs should be conserving water and that for the governor to issue a mandatory water conservation order wouldn’t make much of a difference.


Newsom’s response to the issues on the environment consisted of promises on California leading the charge of clean, renewable energy, decreasing usage of fossil fuels and building more sustainable communities to help deal with climate change. For water conservation, he proposes letting local water agencies evaluate whether a ban on watering ornamental grass would help increase water use savings.

For those interested in hearing more about both candidates’ goals and stances, there will be a debate later this month on the 23rd, which will be live streamed through KQED.