Whitman leads in latest poll

Monday, July 12, 2010

A new poll released Monday shows Meg Whitman has a slight lead over Jerry Brown in California's race for governor. Meanwhile, the race for California's U.S. Senate seat is nearly a tossup.

In an exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA, Whitman is leading Brown 46% to 39%. Here in the Central Valley, that lead is even greater. 51% of voters said they'd vote for Whitman if the election were happening now while 37% said they'd vote for Brown. A representative for Brown said the campaign is really just beginning. "The circumstances on the ground will change from time to time. But for now, the traditional start of the campaign is Labor Day, and that's the date we have circled in red on our calendar," said Sterling Clifford, a spokesperson for Jerry Brown's campaign.

Political analyst Don Larson agreed a lot could change in the next four months. He attributed Whitman's lead in part to her deep pockets. "Meg Whitman has been over the television for, it seems like decades, but it's only been a few months," said Larson.

Whitman's latest attack focuses on Brown's 40 year political history, full of what she calls failures. Monday, a spokesperson called the latest poll encouraging, while she defended the ads. "Jerry Brown has not laid out any of the details of how he would govern ... so what we're left to do go on is his record," said Sarah Pompei, a spokesperson for Whitman's campaign.

To date, Brown hasn't released any TV ads. Larson believes Whitman's money may have its limits. "At what point is it a matter of diminishing returns? Is she going to get a greater amount of support? Or has she gotten the support she's going to get? That's a question that has to be asked... And I'm sure it keeps her up at night, thinking about it," said Larson.

The survey also showed a virtual tie in the race for California's U.S. Senate seat. Republican Carly Fiornia had a two point lead over Democrat and incumbent Barbara Boxer. "This is supposed to be the year for the Republicans to win, and win big. Now whether that happens remains to be seen," said Larson.

The survey also showed Fiorina leads Boxer in every region except the Bay Area. Larson said Fiorina still faces a fight because California is traditionally a blue state.

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meg whitman, jerry brown, politics, amanda perez
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