California governor's race shaping up to be 'non-event'

The midterm elections are four weeks away, but the race that's usually a big draw does not appear likely to motivate many voters this year. 

The contest for California governor between incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican challenger Brian Dahle looks like a "non-event," according to political expert Steve Swatt.

Newsom has $24 million in his campaign account to spend but appears so comfortable against Dahle, a state senator, that he's using political funds in Florida to target Ron DeSantis, the governor there.

Dahle is from a small town in Lassen County and has little name recognition, Swatt said.

He "isn't known throughout California at all and hasn't been able to raise any money," said Swatt. "This is really sort of a nonevent in terms of the race for governor."

A recent poll from UC Berkeley showed Newsom with a comfortable lead among likely voters.

There are several propositions on the ballot, including measures about reproductive rights and sports betting, which could increase voter turnout. 

In 2014, another midterm year, voter turnout hit a record low of 42%. In 2018, 64% of voters cast ballots. Swatt said he expects this year to be in between those levels.

Early voting begins Tuesday in San Francisco. 

Voters throughout the state will begin receiving ballots at home.