Jerry Brown hits a 59 percent approval rating in California

That big ol’ Democratic majority in California apparently isn’t going anywhere for awhile. At 76 years of age, the country’s oldest sitting governor is going for an unprecedented fourth term in office — and if this is any indication, Brown is in for some fairly smooth sailing.

Riding a new high in popularity, Gov. Jerry Brown looks to be coasting toward re-election in November, with GOP Assemblyman Tim Donnelly moving solidly into second place in the June 3 top-two primary, according to a new Field Poll.

The survey “is overwhelmingly good for Brown, but, secondarily, it’s good news for Donnelly,” said Mark DiCamillo, who runs the poll. “Republicans are coalescing around Donnelly” as the candidate they want to see challenge Brown in the November general election.

Among likely voters, 57 percent back Brown, 17 percent support Donnelly of Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County), 4 percent favor Andrew Blount, the Republican mayor of Laguna Hills (Orange County), and 3 percent are for Neel Kashkari, an Orange County investment banker.

It looks like the only possible threats to his reelection right now are in the form of the state GOP coalescing more firmly around a single candidate combined with super-low turnout among unmotivated Democrats:

Republicans will play a disproportionate role in what’s expected to be a low-turnout election in June, and they gravitate toward Donnelly and his pro-gun, anti-illegal immigration and antiabortion views. …

But with 38 percent of GOP voters still undecided on their choice for governor, “there’s a lot of room for change if one candidate can communicate with the voters,” DiCamillo said.

Something tells me the state Democrats aren’t too worried about their prospects at this point, though. Thanks to some very helpfully higher taxes the state recently levied, Brown had a small budget surplus to tout at the beginning of the year, which I wouldn’t doubt is abetting voter contentedness with his performance — never mind that the temporary ‘surplus’ pales in comparison to California’s unsustainable debt burden and unfunded liabilities with which they’re refusing to substantively deal. Just add the bullet-train boondoggle, the state’s above-the-national-average unemployment rate, and the highest state poverty rate in the entire country to the list of things a lot of California voters evidently don’t feel the need to get too riled up about.