October 8th, 2009
01:44 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Brown holds early lead over Newsom

The survey indicates Brown leads Newsom by 31 points in Southern California.
The survey indicates Brown leads Newsom by 31 points in Southern California.

(CNN) – Eight months before California's primary, a new poll suggests that Jerry Brown, the state's sitting attorney general and former governor, holds a 20-point lead over San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom in the battle for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

The survey, by Field Research Corporation, indicates that the fight for the GOP nomination is up in the air, with nearly half of Republican primary voters undecided.

According to the Field poll, 47 percent of Democratic primary voters support Brown, while 27 percent back Newsom, with just over one in four undecided. Brown, who served two terms as California governor from 1975 to 1983, has not formally declared his candidacy.

The survey indicates Brown leads Newsom by 31 points in Southern California, but by just 5 points in the northern part of the state, where Newsom is better known. The poll also suggests a generational divide, wtih the much-younger Newsom leading by nine points among voters 39 and younger. According to the survey, Brown holds a 30-point advantage among voters age 40 to 64, and he has a 45-point lead among those 65 and older.


The poll indicates that the three GOP candidates are far less well-known than Brown or Newsom - which makes it understandable that 49 percent of California's Republicans are undecided in the race for their own party's gubernatorial nomination. Twenty-two percent say they support former eBay head Meg Whitman, with 20 percent backing former Rep. Tom Campbell and 9 percent supporting wins the support of State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

According to the survey, Brown holds significant, double-digit leads over each Republican candidate in hypothetical general election matchups. Newson is also ahead of each GOP hopeful, though the survey suggests his leads register in the single digits.

Term limits prevent the state's current governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, from running for a third term in 2010.

The California Field Poll was conducted September 18-October 5, with 1,005 California registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.


Filed under: Gavin Newsom • Polls
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. http://twitter.com/whybs

    It'll be a close race but in the end, Newsom will be CA's next Governor!

    October 8, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. James

    Newsom should drop out. He is too inexperienced and has not been an actively involved mayor of San Francisco.

    His, "whether you like it or not" gay marriage stance and the commercials made were no help to him and his sexual indescretions with a campaign aides wife were no help. He just keeps shooting himself in the foot.

    October 8, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Obama Victim

    dumb.......................and dumber

    October 8, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. rr

    just what California needs: another spend happy liberal like the "republican" they have now!

    CA got into this mess because the solid democrat majority in its legislature, with the blessing of the governor spent like there was no tomorrow, but tomorrow arrived.

    Does anyone think Brown or Newsome will show fiscal restraint or try to make CA more business friendly?

    October 8, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Seems like Brown and Newson seem reasonable foes and I told you about Meg, don't got nothing against her but little is known about her. Even for Rep Campbell and talk about the State Insurance Commiss getting on the action. It'll be tough for them, that's for sure.

    I don't know if it matters who the GOP candidate will be or let alone, who is best suited but Cali is a Blue State. I think a Moderate can be more successful than a Conservative but I wouldn't bet on it. Is no surprise Newson is up in the North, is pretty Conservative while the South is more Moderate or Liberal, depends how you see it.

    But I don't think it matters who it will be but a I do think a Moderate can be better to get the balance of power in place. If the other 3 contestants wanna make a name for themsleves, then I do believe they gotta make themsleves known out in the public.

    October 8, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. yuri

    Newsom, an avid supporter of gay marriages, has to trail behind Brown, who was a two-time Gov. of CA. This is a transparent example of experience versus expediency.

    October 8, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Hillary 2012

    Nobody wants the pot clubs and sanctuary city policy of illegal aliens involved in crimes that Newsom has brought to San Francisco.

    Newsom is too weak. Typical Politician: Involved in a sex scandal then jumps to rehab as an alcoholic.

    October 8, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    I live in San Francisco and can almost guarantee that Newsom won't even carry the city in a primary vote. He is a terrible mayor and in no way shape or form deserves to be Governor.

    October 8, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Jay T.

    This is the only primary that matters. The Governor in California will be a Democrat. But, I bet the Neo-Cons aren't telling you about that party flip, given the Terminator is a Repug. It's all about spin and there is no one easier to spin than a Repug. Ask Limbaugh and all the Fox tools.

    October 8, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Librals make me want to puke

    Wow where is Mike Curb when you need him? Brown is just what CA does NOT need a namby-pamby feel good. They need someone who will try to save CA's economy and stand up to the special interst and union groups.

    October 8, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    Don't know if I want to go back to the future with Jerry but Newsom has way too many issues.

    The Republicans, on the other hand, are unelectable.

    October 8, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    Name recognition is important. That's how Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor.

    October 8, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Terry from West Texas

    Jerry Brown was a good governor. He's had time to think over how to do things better. If I were a Californian, I'd vote for him.

    I would not vote for a Conservative CEO type.

    October 8, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Voter from Northern California

    Can Brown be governonr again? He was already governor twice, isn't there a term limit? He would not be a good governor, but Newsom is too liberal. Poizner might be the best choice, but in the past, he has failed to win enough support.

    October 8, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Hugo

    California:

    The example of social experimentation and excellence gone awry brought to you by the Liberal Left Movement for America!

    Home of such polished leaders of the Left such as Nancy Pelosi, need I expand more?

    October 8, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    What a choice! Mr. Moonbeam... or Gavin Newsome???

    What else would you expect from the land of fruits and nuts.

    October 8, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. OldUncleTom

    National political considerations render it necessary that the California Governor be eligible to run for President.

    Sorry, Arnold, but you being in that chair created an odd balance; where the most populous state in the union has a governor who is politically inviable.

    On another note, people who have fond memories of times under Junior Brown should know that there are no times in California that any governor can take us back into. The past is past, and cannot be restored. Ask him what he can do for the California that exists in 2010 when the time comes. If he has a forward vision, then he is a viable candidate.

    October 8, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Peter

    Go Go Jerry Brown Californians have your back!!!

    October 8, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Bob in Pa

    Yeah, but anyone who knows Newsom, that is of righy mind, would vote for Brown.

    October 8, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. gt

    gavin is a total nut job ,,,anybody but him

    October 8, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Doug, New Jersey

    No reason for a republican to be governor, when the legislative branch is all lib. Just like at the national level, Bush wanted to rein in Fannie, Freddie, and Countrywide, but the libs controlled congress so he couldn't, that is what led to our economic meltdown. Our nation would be enjoying prosperity like never before if libs had no influence. I know that is a dream, but it is the truth, just like we would have hardly any crime or deadly auto accidents if this nation had no Democrats.

    October 8, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. LacrosseMom

    California has had EIGHT YEARS of GOP rule! They wont make the same mistake twice!

    October 8, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. Willy Brown

    Going to vote the loon back in.

    October 8, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Eric in Denver

    What a terrible choice. It is like choosing between being kicked or punched in the head. Both of these losers will fit in perfect to ruin California more than it already has been.

    October 8, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    The next Governor of the Great State of California wil be Governor Jerry Brown. He will spank Newsom in the primary. He will then handily beat any of the three moderate Republicans currently in the race, or any knuckle-dragging neanderthal that might still enter from the far right.

    And for those ill-informed, like many other states in the union right now, California has a revenue problem not a spending problem. When you take in $25 billion less and have a $25 billion deficit what else would you call it? Over the last 6 years, on average, spending hasn't even kept up with population increases and inflation!

    Thus endeth the lesson.

    October 8, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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