If California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was expecting an easy race for the governor’s mansion, a poll released Thursday didn’t carry much in the way of good news.

While the statewide poll from Probolsky Research showed Newsom leading with 44 percent of respondents, his Republican opponent John Cox had 39 percent support; a further 17 percent of those polled were unsure whom they would support.

Cox, a relative newcomer to California politics, also claimed support well beyond his base among Californian registered Republicans, who make up fewer than a quarter of the state’s voters.

“We have always known that this is a real race,” Cox said on his campaign Facebook page.

While the poll found that “intensity of support is strong for both candidates,” Cox led in support among male and white voters, as well as voters aged 65 and older, while Newsom led in every other age group, as well as among female, black and Asian voters.

Hispanic voters split nearly evenly between the two candidates; 33.6 percent supported Cox while 34.5 percent supported Newsom.

The margin of error on the poll is 3.3 percent.

Full story at The Sacramento Bee.