(CNN) - California Gov. Jerry Brown's in the driver's seat as he campaigns this year for an unprecedented fourth term steering the Golden State, according to a new survey.
A Field Poll released Wednesday indicates that Brown leads GOP challenger Neel Kashkari 52%-32% among California voters likely to cast ballots in the November general election. Sixteen percent of likely votes were undecided.
Kashkari, a former Bush administration treasury official, beat out GOP state Rep. Tim Donnelly for second place earlier this month in California's gubernatorial primary.
The Golden State holds "open" or "jungle" primaries, in which all candidates compete in a single contest and the first and second place finishers, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election.
The 76-year old Brown was first elected California governor in 1974 and re-elected in 1978. He also served as Oakland mayor from 1998-2006, California Attorney General from 2006-2010, and was elected governor again four years ago. He also made bids for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, 1980 and 1992, but earlier this year ruled out a fourth run for the White House in 2016.
The Field Poll indicates that Brown tops Kashkari 82%-7% among Democrats and has a 49%-25% lead among independents, with Kashkari favored 71%-13% among Republicans.
The survey also indicates that 54% of California voters approve of the job Brown's doing as governor, with 29% giving him a thumbs down.
The Field poll was conducted June 5-22, with 1,382 registered voters in the Golden State questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.