California Governor Candidates Make Final Pitch to Voters

It's crunch time in the primary for California governor.

Candidates are exploring creative strategies and benefiting from massive spending as they try to get the edge on their rivals in the race’s final days.

The heat is especially intense for Republican John Cox and Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, whom polls show to be in a tough fight for the second of two slots on the general election ballot.

Democrat Gavin Newsom is the undisputed front-runner and is expected to advance. Republican Travis Allen and Democrats John Chiang and Delaine Eastin have small but enthusiastic bases of support they hope will push them into second place.

The primary is Tuesday, and more than 1.6 million ballots have already been cast by mail.

Catch the NBC Bay Area California Gubernatorial Debate moderated by Chuck Todd in May to find out where candidates stand on the issues.

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