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Brown, Whitman in dead heat in California

By Felicia Sonmez

California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), the former governor looking to make a comeback this year, is in a virtual tie with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) according to a new Field Poll released Wednesday morning.

Brown received 44 percent to Whitman's 43 percent in the poll, which surveyed 1,005 likely voters and had a margin of error of 3.2 points. That's a slight increase for Brown over a March Field Poll in which Whitman led the former governor 46 percent to 43 percent in a general election match-up.

While the race remains a dead heat, Whitman's unfavorable rating has soared in recent months due to a contentious primary battle and negative ads from a number of Democratic-aligned groups. 42 percent of likely voters now view Whitman unfavorably, up from 27 percent in March; her favorable rating has remained at 40 percent. Brown, meanwhile, is viewed favorably by 42 percent of likely voters. 40 percent view him unfavorably, a three-point increase since March.

In the weeks since the primary, some California Democrats have voiced doubts about Brown's campaign, worried that their nominee has waited too long to go on the offense against Whitman, has been slow to raise money and has been distracted from his campaign by gaffes, including remarks last month in which he compared Whitman to a Nazi propagandist.

Brown had $23 million cash-on-hand as of mid-June and has yet to go up with a TV ad. Whitman, meanwhile, has already spent more than $91 million of her personal fortune on the race and has said that she's willing to spend as much as $150 million.

Brown spokesperson Sterling Clifford said the campaign is "confident that what needs to get done is getting done, and at the end of the day that voters will have the information they need to make a decision." He also pointed to the 15-point increase in Whitman's unfavorable rating despite her spending in the race.

"She's spent over $100 million -- $8 million of it since the primary directly attacking Jerry Brown -- and for her troubles, she is less likable than when she started," Clifford said. A Whitman spokesperson did not comment as of press time.

Democrats hold a 44-percent-to-33-percent advantage in voter registration in California, a figure that bodes well for Brown. But Whitman has been making inroads among two key groups: independents, who make up about 22 percent of general-election voters, and Latinos, who lean Democratic and typically make up 18 percent of likely voters. Whitman is now winning independents 42 percent to 39 percent and trails Brown among Latinos by only 11 points, 39 percent to 50 percent.

During the Republican primary, Whitman played up her tough-on-immigration cred and ran TV ads highlighting the support of former Gov. Pete Wilson (R), the architect of the controversial 1994 anti-immigration measure Proposition 187. Since then, Wilson has all but disappeared from the campaign trail and Whitman has gone up with Spanish-language TV ads, including one that touts her opposition to Prop 187.

Whitman's camp downplayed the poll results.

"We know there will be many polls during this race. We're confident that on Election Day in November, Californians will choose Meg's leadership to create jobs, cut spending and improve education," Whitman spokesperson Sarah Pompei said.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  July 7, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

I think it comes down to, which is better - political experience or business experience.
The answer is indisputably political experience. Meg may have the best ideas in the world, but if she doesn't know how Sacramento works, she'll never get anything done. Jerry knows how to work the system, and he'll be able to make the changes we need to get California back on track.

Meg's UNofficial site:
http://megwhitman.biz

Posted by: lamarholst | July 14, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

How old is Brown? Isn't he like 90 yrs. old?
Um, considering how California is the U.S.' Greece...I'd say some new blood is needed, badly.....

Posted by: ohioan | July 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

How old is Brown? Isn't he like 90 yrs. old?
Um, considering how California is the U.S.' Greece...I'd say some new blood is needed, badly.....

Posted by: ohioan | July 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Californians are ready for another 4 years of tax and spend via Governor Moonbeam. Those that fail to study history are condemned to repeat it!

Posted by: Bockscar | July 13, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Go Jerry! You are the best qualified person for the job and the most intelligent. Whitman has no experience, and she hasn't even voted in 28 years. Yet she wants to buy her way into the Governor's mansion. No, dear. You need to start at the bottom and work your way up.

And after living through Arnold's incompetence, we need a person like Brown in office. Go Jerry!

Posted by: sunnyday1 | July 9, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I have just one question, "What will Fiorina and Whitman do to recoup their many millions of dollars", after they win the election. That is, if they do? I'm just asking, that's all.

Posted by: swiftone | July 9, 2010 5:37 AM | Report abuse

To those who say someone is spending too much...buying an election. IS YOUR VOTE FOR SALE? CAN YOU BE BOUGHT? Mine's not for sale either. I don't care if she spends a billion. We have had enough of Jerri-atric. I want someone with some new ideas. The legislature needs to be put in a box six feet under. The world knows about California's financial chaos. Arnold didn't cause the mess. The Dems have run Sacramento for years...they are the problem NOT THE SOLUTION. We need a Constitutional Convention to by pass the legislature. Meg will say NO to the legislature...Jerry won't. They can't print enough money to buy my vote...but I'll be voting for Whitman. SHE WILL WIN!!!

Posted by: billinps | July 8, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

California should leave the union and become a state in Mexico.

Posted by: JCM-51 | July 8, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Brown is supported by the unions. Like last time?
Brown is a tax and spend kinda guy! (Your money, not his)
Govenor Moonbeam? Really!
The Democrats have done such a good job with balancing the budget in recent years that it makes no sense to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result...

Posted by: dmax1 | July 8, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with the comments that anyone who spends $91M to win a primary is not someone I want running anything important. If someone has to outright buy the election , something is wrong.

Kevin - http://www.SoleraGroup.com

Posted by: KevinCarney | July 8, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Having spent over $100M and is still unable to beat Brown, on early paper tallies anyway, more than 5+ points?

Brown has spent no more than a couple hundred thousand so far, and the old guy's not even doing aggressive campagning yet.

Whitman's going to spend around $250M of her eBay money and still receiving a defeat... Just like all executives the last a couple years, both Dems and GOPers, Arnold the Terminator accumulated tens of billions, perhaps more, of debts....

And Whitman wants to run the state like she did eBay, she said.

Isn't that kinda naive and clewlessness?

How can a governor run a state of close to 40M people like she ran a small private company where all the people sitting around her were subordinates and could be FIRED at any moment's notice?

Whitman can't fire any of the state legislators in Sacramento, both Dems and GOPers, with Dems being the majority... how's her "take America back" Tea Party nonsense going to fly?

With the Terminator, at least, if things got tough in Sacramento, he jumped into his private jet and flew to Hollywood where he lives...

Posted by: HerLao | July 8, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

To those who are trashing Jerry Brown's lifetime of public service to California, I ask... What part of creation of 1.9 million jobs during Governor Brown's tenure don't people like? Or the $5 billion 'rainy day surplus' that was accumulated and then given out to all the municipalities and school districts who had just lost 2/3 of their revenue stream through the peoples' vote on Prop 13? These are quantifiable facts. Another fact: During Brown's tenure as governor, it was California's 'most innovative period in our state's history'. We were the WORLD leader in renewable energy!

He was right about renewable energy, being fiscally prudent, focusing on sustainable development, protection of our natural resources and investing in tomorrow's technology. And guess what else? Taxes were greatly reduced during his tenure as governor.

One last thing... as Mayor of Oakland, he put Oakland on the venerated list of "Top Ten Greenest Cities' in America! He knows our government from every vantage point, and has served us Californians his whole adult life, whereas Mrs. Whitman became a multi-billionaire at the corporate trough, shipping tens of thousands of jobs to India while she gutted our middle and working class here in California. She's a corporatist and he is a public servant. I know who's for the working people.

Posted by: pacifica1 | July 7, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

A White House reporter asked why Obama was suing Arizona - and not the "sanctuary cities"


If Obama is so concerned with states and cities treading about Federal immigration powers, then certainly the "sanctuary cities" would fall into that category.

Excellent Question.

Selective use of the Justice Department - COMPLETE LACK OF EQUAL PROTECTION.

Add this to the list of OBAMA'S IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES.

.

Posted by: FlowersOfPeace | July 7, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1324

(c) Authority to arrest
No officer or person shall have authority to make any arrests for a violation of any provision of this section except officers and employees of the Service designated by the Attorney General, either individually or as a member of a class, and all other officers whose duty it is to enforce criminal laws.


__________________________________


Is there a lawyer on this blog tonight ???


Is it possible that this FEDERAL LAW AUTHORIZES OFFICERS IN ARIZONA TO ENFORCE the immigration laws ???


I realize that there has been established agreements between the Federal government and some states on joint enforcement - but those agreements would NOT affect this provision of Federal law.


So, it is possible that this lawsuit filed by Obama is just completely ridiculous.


Obama says it is a FEDERAL issue, but Congress has apparently already allowed local "officers" to enforce the law.

In that case, Obama, who is supposed to be this smart kid from Harvard, just made a really stupid legal mistake.


Take away his degree.


.

Posted by: FlowersOfPeace | July 7, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I think it is interesting that some people are conflating Whitman and Fiorina. I find myself doing it, and I am very aware of the difference between HP and Ebay being a child of the high tech era. I think the conflation is one that is common, and will work to Whitman's detriment.

What I hear from my friends in the state is that Whitman is another business outsider who is supposed to "blow up the boxes" like Schwarzenegger . We all like Arnold, because what's not to like, but no one believes he knew how to fix the state any more than anyone else. Whitman, as Arnold-lite, is not persuasive. In fact, it is seen as a negative to not have any governing experience.

Second, she's buying her way into the governorship, which is highly resented in these days of long term unemployment. This is where the conflation hurts--people often blame Meg for the loss of high tech jobs, which is more the province of Carly Fiorina.

Third, she didn't even bother to vote until recently, which shows that politics is just a rich gal's hobby.

I don't know a single person who says they will even consider voting for her.

I know that's not exactly a polling sample, but it does reflect what is happening in northern California in a very affluent small town in the East Bay (not San Fran).

Posted by: 12BarBlues | July 7, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

All Meg Whitman has to do is run on Jerry Brown's record as former Governor of California. Neglected roads - we're still feeling the impact of that 27 years later. Soaring costs for State employees (the REAL reason for California's deficit). Skyrocketing crime rates (source: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/cacrime.htm).

As a native Californian, we don't need 4 more years of "Arnie-Light." BUT, it'll be better than electing Jerry Brown.

Posted by: jk12852002 | July 7, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Three cheers for Governor Moonbeam. Three cheers for Moonbat, too.

Posted by: Brigade | July 7, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry! I don't care if she runs as a pseudo-Republican or a NEW Demoncrat. What matters to me is that she is on record as an admirer of Van Jones. That tells me where her true political agenda is.

Posted by: healthnet | July 7, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

How about she's just a really really unpleasant person, totally unlikable, irritating, sloppy, incoherent.


Drivl is expert at self description. That's all though

Posted by: Moonbat | July 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Of course they are in a dead heat. I don't know why people underestimate this race. This is the far more competitive race than Boxer/Fiorina- Boxer is a good politician and is popular with libs who will go out and vote as well as minority communities- Fiorina is a blown hard who got let go from HP. Whitman, on the other hand started a company that is the premier company in it's field and has been copied by others. If only she was a liberal...
Brown is going to have a hard time- in an anti incumbent year, here is a guy who has held every office in the state practically and was governor before.

Posted by: NYClefty | July 7, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Of course they are in a dead heat. I don't know why people underestimate this race. This is the far more competitive race than Boxer/Fiorina- Boxer is a good politician and is popular with libs who will go out and vote as well as minority communities- Fiorina is a blown hard who got let go from HP. Whitman, on the other hand started a company that is the premier company in it's field and has been copied by others. If only she was a liberal...
Brown is going to have a hard time- in an anti incumbent year, here is a guy who has held every office in the state practically and was governor before.

Posted by: NYClefty | July 7, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

And all Jerry has to do to win is to promise to float a bond catching up the K-12 capital investment building program and halving unemployment in the state.

It's that simple.

Posted by: quiet1 | July 7, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

These elections make California look like it is up for Auction Jerry Brown is needed and Boxer is better than Carly F. She about put HP out of business. This election is about the money, wait until the corporations start putting the money out, they are for the republicans.

Posted by: truthbeknown1 | July 7, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"(Carly Fiorina was head of HP and even at her worst couldn't be worse than Boxer.)"


Fiorina was a flop as head of HP, got dumped and now is trying to buy a seat with her golden parachute. But she's a tacky, clueless and classless candidate, and CA voters aren't buying it.

Posted by: drindl | July 7, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Whitman spends $100 million, almost all of it her I'll-gotten gains, to buy, what, how many votes? She'd probably do better just mailing them checks.

And still the more people see if her, the less they like.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 7, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I followed Whitman in the Primary and now vs. Brown. Her attack ads are disingenuous, in my humble opinion, and vicious. My fellow Californians know better than to choose Meg Whitman who I think of as Karl Rove with a dress. That is how I see her, so tell me I'm wrong.

Brown, is a decent guy, a lifetime of devotion to public service, honesty, and integrity and was a good Governor and left California with money in the bank. Brown has always worked for the people, all the people.

I only have one vote, but it is not going to someone who wants to buy the Governorship by being an attack dog.

Read Me: http://theHARVview.blogspot.com
See my products: www.attitudejewelry.com

Posted by: HarveyY | July 7, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

transorbital, you're conflating Carly Fiorina, Repub candidate for Senate in CA (challenging incumbent Sen Boxer) with Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay & Repub candidate for Governor of CA.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

transorbital: Meg Whitman was NOT CEO of HP; she was CEO of e-Bay. (Carly Fiorina was head of HP and even at her worst couldn't be worse than Boxer.)

Posted by: Lilycat11 | July 7, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. Whitman's last real job was as CEO of HP, where she literally brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy, and was then unceremoniously fired.

Sounds like the perfect Senator for a state mired in a desperate financial crisis. Of course, these rocket scientists did vote for Ahhnold as Governator and institutionalize hate speech with Prop 8, so...

Posted by: transorbital | July 7, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Whitman's unfavorable rating has soared in recent months due to a contentious primary battle and negative ads from a number of Democratic-aligned groups"

How about she's just a really really unpleasant person, totally unlikable, irritating, and has run a sloppy, incoherent campaign, despite spending $100 million to buy herself a seat?

Posted by: drindl | July 7, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Whitman has unloaded $90 million to get to this point. Brown has spent about $6.42.

I would say Brown has got the budgeting chops California needs.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 7, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tomtildrum | July 7, 2010 1:14 PM |

So, Whitman's unfavorables have soared to ... a statistical tie with Brown's?
☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝

the pivot would be that she has never been in politics... she has the same negatives and has governed nothing .

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | July 7, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

tomtildrum, put differently, it would seem that the more people get to know Meg Whitman, the less they like here. Brown, by comparison, has been around forever - people already have opinions of him; apparently more favorable than not; Whitman's numbers are the inverse - not good. The trend is the more worrisome piece of data for her, I think. Moving from 27 to 42 percent unfavorable in a matter of months is usually the result of a significant scandal, not a campaign.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 7, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So, Whitman's unfavorables have soared to ... a statistical tie with Brown's?

Posted by: tomtildrum | July 7, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Brown would be a Godsend for California... like bringing Steve Jobs back to Apple.

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | July 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

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