Heading into debate, Jerry Brown is far ahead of Neel Kashkari, poll showsBy Alan Silverleib, CNN Political ProducerUpdated 1:51 PM ET, Thu September 4, 2014Just WatchedPart 1: Governor of CaliforniareplayMore Videos ...Part 1: Governor of California 07:10Story highlightsGov. Jerry Brown leads GOP challenger Neel Kashkari, 50% to 34%, a new poll showsThe California governor leads Kashkari by 32 points among self-described moderatesBrown, 76, is seeking a fourth termHe and Kashkari are facing off in a debate Thursday night California Gov. Jerry Brown is leading his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari, by a hefty 16-point margin, according to a new Field Poll released Thursday.Brown, 76, who is seeking a fourth term in Sacramento, is favored by 50% of likely voters, compared with 34% for Kashkari. While Brown performs well among self-described liberals and Kashkari is strongly favored by self-described conservatives, moderates favor the incumbent Democrat by 32 points.Why is this man running for California governor?The new poll results were released shortly before the only scheduled debate between Brown and Kashkari. The two men are set to face off Thursday in Sacramento at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET).According to the Field Poll, 58% of likely voters now approve of Brown's job performance, while 56% hold a favorable opinion of the governor.Just WatchedPart 2: Governor of CaliforniareplayMore Videos ...Part 2: Governor of California 05:39PLAY VIDEOJust WatchedCalifornia governor praises ClintonreplayMore Videos ...California governor praises Clinton 00:36PLAY VIDEOKashkari, an investment banker and member of George W. Bush's administration, remains a blank slate for many California voters. More than four in 10 likely voters have no opinion of the Republican nominee. Thirty-five percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Kashkari, compared with 24% who view him unfavorably.Kashkari goes homeless to prove a pointNot surprisingly, Brown is maintaining his widest lead around San Francisco and Los Angeles, two Democratic strongholds. Kashkari is running narrowly ahead of the governor in the more conservative Central Valley.Brown was first elected governor in 1974, at age 36. He won additional terms in 1978 and 2010. Between terms in the state's highest office, Brown also served as the mayor of Oakland and state attorney general. Brown sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, 1980 and 1992. The Field Poll was conducted between August 14 and 28 among 467 likely voters. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.Amanpour: Brown stands up to critics2014 Midterm ElectionsFull election resultsSee the full results for who won the Senate, House and governor midterm elections. Get ready: 2016 starts nowAttention Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and everyone else "seriously considering" a run for president.Bad boys survive to win re-electionYou know that Republican doctor who got one of his patients pregnant and then demanded that she get an abortion? Yeah, he won.Many historic firsts among midtermsThe 2014 midterm elections brought a historic victory for Republicans, handing the GOP its largest congressional majority since World War II. New superstars, new villainsIt was a tough night for Democrats -- who will be looking for a leader for 2016 -- and a big night for the GOP -- who may have a few more names to consider. Republicans seize SenateA Republican tide ripped the Senate away from Democrats, giving the GOP full control of Congress and the power to pin down President Obama.GOP keeps grip on HouseThe House of Representatives remained solidly in Republican hands after Tuesday's midterm election.Mitch McConnell re-elected Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell has won re-election in Kentucky, staving off Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, according to a CNN projection. Cruz refuses to endorse McConnellSen. Ted Cruz lauded the Republican Senate takeover, but shied away from endorsing Sen. Mitch McConnell to lead the new majority.A huge night for Republicans CNN asked commentators for views on the results of the midterm elections, in which the GOP took back the Senate and retained control of the House. Tim Scott makes history in S.C.South Carolina's Tim Scott became the first African-American senator to win election in the South since Reconstruction. Oregon, D.C. legalize marijuanaVoters in Oregon and D.C. have voted to approve sweeping pro-marijuana legalization while voters in Florida gave the thumbs down.Good night for GOP governorsRepublicans continued their dominance of governor's mansions when a number of GOP leaders fought off stiff challenges from Democrats.Perdue defeats Nunn, avoids runoffRepublican David Perdue has won the race for Georgia's U.S. Senate seat occupied by retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.Thom Tillis wins NC Senate raceFirst-term Democratic incumbent North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan lost in a tight contest against GOP challenger Thom Tillis.Tom Cotton win scores GOP pickupRepublican Rep. Tom Cotton has defeated Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas, according to a CNN projection.Shaheen holds on to NH Senate seatRepublican Scott Brown lost his second Senate race in two election cycles, failing to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire. Charlie Crist concedes Florida raceFormer Gov. Charlie Crist conceded Florida's close gubernatorial race against GOP Gov. Rick Scott.Exit polls: Majority of voters dissatisfied or angry with D.C.A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with President Obama's administration and GOP leaders, according to exit polls released and analyzed by CNN.Photos: The places America votesTake a look around the country in our gallery as America votes.2014 Midterms: The Big DonorsWho's giving to outside groups? It's not just candidates and parties spending the cash.More from politicsUnder Obama, 4 in 10 say race relations worsenedRand Paul searches for green light on caucus proposalIs U.S. Air Force superiority under threat?