California Gov. Poll: Brown 44%, Whitman 38%

Thursday, 22 Apr 2010 01:52 PM

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Following last weekend’s Democratic Convention in California, the party’s newly nominated gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown has gained little ground, but support for his top Republican opponent, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, has fallen off slightly.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds Brown earning 44 percent support to 38 percent for Whitman. Nine percent (9 percent) prefer some other candidate, and another nine percent (9 percent) are undecided.

A month ago, Brown and Whitman were tied at 40 percent each. The race between the two has been tied in three of the last four surveys, stretching back to November.

Brown now picks up 50 percent of the vote if State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is the Republican in the race. Poizner gets 32 percent support. Ten percent (10 percent) like another candidate, and eight percent (8 percent) are undecided.

In March, Brown posted a 42 percent to 27 percent lead over Poizner.
In previous surveys since November, the Democrat’s support has remained in the narrow range of 42 percent to 45 percent. Whitman in those same surveys has earned 39 percent to 41 percent of the vote, while Poizner has picked up 27 percent to 36 percent support.

Brown now holds a narrow lead over both Republicans among male voters. Among female voters, he edges Whitman but leads Poizner by 18 points. Voters not affiliated with either political party also prefer the Democrat.

At last weekend’s convention, Brown challenged his Republican opponents to a three-way debate prior to the state GOP’s June 8 primary when one of those candidates will be knocked out of the race. Seventy-one percent (71 percent) of California voters think a three-way debate is a good idea. Fifteen percent (15 percent) oppose it.

Whitman has called for an end in California to taxes on capital gains, while Poizner wants to cut that tax rate in half. Forty-one percent (41 percent) of voters in the state favor eliminating the capital gains tax, but 33 percent are opposed. Twenty-six percent (26 percent) are undecided.

Brown is viewed very favorably by 21 percent of California voters and very unfavorably 23 percent.

For Whitman, very favorables are 10 percent and very unfavorables 19 percent.

Eight percent (8 percent) view Poizner very favorably, while 18 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Brown’s numbers are little changed. Whitman’s unfavorables are up as she and Poizner batter each other with television ads in their heated primary contest. At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

In 2008, Rasmussen Reports projected nationally that Obama would defeat John McCain by a 52 percent to 46 percent margin. Obama won 53 percent to 46 percent. Four years earlier, Rasmussen Reports projected the national vote totals for both George W. Bush and John Kerry within half-a-percentage-point.

In California during the 2008 campaign, Rasmussen Reports polling showed Barack Obama winning the state by a 61 percent to 34 percent margin. Obama won 61 percent to 37 percent. Four years earlier, Rasmussen Reports polling showed John Kerry leading George W. Bush in California 53 percent to 43 percent. Kerry won 54 percent to 44 percent.

In the 2006 California governor’s race, Rasmussen polling showed Schwarzenegger defeating Phil Angelides 53 percent to 40 percent.

Schwarzenegger won 56 percent to 39 percent. In the 2006 race for U.S. Senate, Rasmussen polling showed Dianne Feinstein defeating Richard Mountjoy 58 percent to 35 percent. Feinstein won 60 percent to 35 percent.

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