Rasmussen: Whitman Takes Big Lead in Calif.

Thursday, 26 Aug 2010 12:06 PM

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The tie is broken for now, with Republican Meg Whitman, coming off last weekend’s state GOP Convention, moving out to her best showing yet in the race to be the next governor of California, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in California.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds Whitman earning 48 percent support, while Democrat Jerry Brown picks up 40 percent of the vote. Six percent prefer some other candidate in the race, and 6 percent are undecided.

These new numbers move California from a Toss-Up to Leans GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

Early this month, Brown was slightly ahead 43 percent to 41 percent in a contest that has been neck and neck since last September. Brown, currently the state’s attorney general, bounced briefly ahead immediately following the state Democratic Convention in April, but the race tightened again in June after Whitman's Republican primary win.

Prior to the latest numbers, Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, has earned 38-47 percent support in seven surveys back to February. Brown, in those same surveys, has captured 40-46 percent of the vote.

When leaners are included in the new totals, Whitman posts a 51-43 percent lead over Brown. Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning toward a particular candidate.

Early in any campaign, the numbers without leaners are generally more significant. Later in a campaign, the numbers with leaners matter more. After Labor Day, Rasmussen Reports will report the numbers with leaners as the primary indicators of the campaign.

Seventy-five percent of those who favor Whitman say they are already certain how they will vote in November. Eighty-two percent of Brown’s supporters say the same.

The survey of 750 Likely Voters in California was conducted on August 24, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4 percentage points.

Ninety percent of California Republicans support Whitman, while Brown gets 75 percent of the vote from Democrats in the state. Voters not affiliated with either party prefer the Republican by 10 points.

Whitman is viewed Very Favorably by 19 percent of California voters and Very Unfavorably by 25 percent.

Twenty-five percent have a Very Favorable view of Brown, a longtime political figure in the state and former governor. However, 38 percent regard him Very Unfavorably.

Both candidates are well-known in the state, but at this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

With California politicians still battling over one of the worst state budget problems in the country, just 26 percent of voters approve of the job GOP Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing. Sixty-nine percent disapprove. Schwarzenegger is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.



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