July 29th, 2010
10:29 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Close contests in California

Democrat Jerry Brown holds a small lead over Republican Meg Whitman in California’s gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.
Democrat Jerry Brown holds a small lead over Republican Meg Whitman in California’s gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.

(CNN) - A new poll suggests the California battles for governor and the Senate remain quite close.

A Public Policy Institute of California survey released late Wednesday indicates that Democratic nominee Jerry Brown leads Meg Whitman, the Republican nominee 37 to 34 percent, with a large 23 percent undecided. Brown's advantage is within the poll's sampling error.

Brown is the state's attorney general and a former two-term governor in the 1970's and 1980's. He has also served as Oakland mayor and California secretary of state. Whitman, the billionaire former eBay CEO who also was an adviser and surrogate for Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential bid, has spent more than $100 million of her own money so far on her bid for governor.

Brown led Whitman by one point in a Field Poll released earlier this month and by six points in a Reuters/Ipsos survey from June.

The winner in November will succeed Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who can't seek re-election because of term limits. Schwarzenegger has struggled to fix the Golden state's economy and has battled with state lawmakers over how to reduce California's massive budget deficit. The PPI poll indicates that only one in four Californians approve of the job Schwarzenegger's doing as governor.

In the fight for the Senate, the survey indicates that Sen. Barbara Boxer leads Republican challenger Carly Fiorina 39 to 34 percent, with more than one in five undecided.

Boxer, who is bidding for a fourth term in the Senate, led Fiorina by three points in the Field poll and by 4 points in the Reuters/Ipsos survey. Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO, who was also an economic adviser and surrogate for Sen. John McCain's White House bid, beat out two other rivals in the GOP primary in June.

The Public Policy Institute of California poll was conducted July 6-20, with 1,321 likely Golden State voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Barbara Boxer • California • Carly Fiorina • Jerry Brown • Meg Whitman
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Let California have Moonbeam and that hag Boxer.

    Just don't expect the rest of the country to bail you out of bankruptcy... okay?

    July 29, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Trouble is.......brown's previous two terms were a fiscal disaster, that Calif. has never been able to fully recover from.

    Additionally he is far too liberal to deal with the major illegal immigration problem in Calif.

    July 29, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Wisconsinite - Vote NO to the GOteaP in November & 2012

    Go Brown & Boxer! Come on California Democrats & (smart) Independents . . . get out there and VOTE!

    July 29, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. A keen observer

    Anyone who votes for Whitman or Fiorina is a fool. These two failed executives have nothing in common with average Californians and neither has the experience or wisdom to represent California. Both have engaged in unethical, if not illegal, conduct in their corporate and personal lives and are unfit for public office.

    Don't take my word for this; check out their history.

    July 29, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. Anonymous

    As if we need a billionaire trying to solve the average Californian's everyday problems. She didn't even vote for over 30 years. What kind of citizen is she. Plus, she is a phony.

    She can buy everything else, but not the California governorship.

    July 29, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Nancy, CA

    Dear Meg Whitman,

    I am sick and tired of seeing all of the television commercials you have constantly running in the past few months – bought and paid for out of your own personal wealth. We get it, you made lots of money running eBay. Now you think you can do the same thing for the State of California. Well, you will not buy my vote no matter how much you spend!!

    It is not always as easy as you think to turn the wheels of the politcal machine around. Just ask President Obama or our current governor.

    I can't help but think how much better the situation in California would be if you would drop your personal quest for political power and spend some of the millions you made at eBay in other ways that would better serve the needs of the people here. There are plenty of areas for you to pick from. Just look around you and you will easily see them.

    Signed,
    A Concerned Californian

    July 29, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Meg Whitman, the Republican nominee BAD for California

    don't vote for Meg, she will do ZERO for California in terms of getting us out of this crisis

    July 29, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Ron in california

    We dn't need Jerry Brown as Gov of California. While many blame the Govinator for Calofornias economic woes, I can tell you that he California Assembly which is Democrat controlled is addicted to spending. They keep sending budgets to the Gov that are filled with programs we can't afford. I am concerned that Jerry Brown will rubber stamp the bdgets and we will sink even deeper into debt.. Also, California's imigration problem is worse than Arizona's the problem here is the State Assembly has no guts and will let that problem go on as well. Jerry Brwon won't try to do anythng about that either.

    July 29, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Sam

    Let's hope Californians do the Right thing and elect the two tough, smart, capable, fiscally concerned women that are Whitman and Fiorina to stand up to the merciless iron fist grip that pension plans and unions have held the state hostage with for the past five decades. California can lead the nation in a new era of prosperity – there's a reason it's called the Golden state – ONLY if they elect Whitman and Fiorina. Jerry Brown is PART of the problem that lead the state to where it is now. In the end, Jerry Brown will be held captive by liberal special interests, unions, outrageous pension plans and sky high spending. Only Whitman can stand up to them, and therefore only Whitman can turn the state around. And if California does well...so too may the rest of the country. It can be a Republican revolution from the west...and we need Whitman to engage it.

    July 29, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Linda

    Meg Whitman is nothing more than a GOP shill for the wealthy who doesn't give a rat's rump about anyone but her own gilded bretheren. Carly Fiorina is a failed businesswoman who wants a "do over" at the expense of the people of CA. They both should just GO AWAY!

    July 29, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Hilt

    Jerry Brown is perfect for the Republic of California. The last dagger to the heart of once great state.

    July 29, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Four and The Door

    Carly Fiorina is a strong favorite here in Southern California. She is a proven, excellent leader and manager and did a brilliant job at HP. The Democrats have been trying to make her work at HP look like less than a success but that's just political lies. CEO leave when their strategies don't math the Board and time has shown that Carly's strategic decisions set HP up for much of the success they enjoy now.

    We need intelligent representation from a great state like California, not someone who just blindly pushes Obama's spending agenda.

    July 29, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. larry

    It must be nice to be a billionaire paying next to nothing in tax. One who is able to spent boat loads of money to gain political power by fooling voters so the republicans can continue to rape the average American. Thanks Bushy boy.

    July 29, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. bennie new york

    Wow, maybe money doesn't always get you elected.

    July 29, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Jerry is the man. Turns out your rightie propeller-heads had it wrong all along. It really is about "moonbeam" technology and our whole society now uses satellites. As usual the Puritan Conservatives are always about 100 years behind the times.

    July 29, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. JR

    100 million dollars so far, Whitman is sure setting the price tag for buying the governor's office in California

    July 29, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. gt

    they must of legalized pot in california,,, why would any one vote for gov, moon bean and the wicked witch boxer.. these two need find real jobs and get off the public dole...boxer has been there way to long ....what is she doing trying to beat robert byrd record,,,,

    July 29, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Hugo

    California is a shining example of the cost of illegal immigration and what it does to the most prosperous State in the Union. I read a study not too long ago that attributed a tax cost expenditure per illegal family of $20,000 per year. If you assume 15 million illegals, assume 3 persons per family, that cost is somewhere around 100 billion dollars a year of Americas tax dollars spent on people that contribute little to the social entitlements that they receive and deplete the coffers that fund our schools, hospitals and a myriad of other well meant programs. Now, I am 110% for a logical and favorable to our Nation immigration policy, but if these numbers are even close, then I would like to know how our Fed can allow this to continue and put forth a spending agenda that imprisons OUR legal citizens into tax burdensome servitude for the next three generations..

    July 29, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Ted

    Who in their right mind would want to be governor of California?

    July 29, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. emma

    Brown is a skilled and accomplished professional. California needs him.
    It is telling that big bucks spent by his opponent are not presently translating to a lead for her.

    July 29, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. jeff in SF

    How can you call it close when every poll has the Democrats ahead, the Republicans are running weak candidates with no background or voting history, and California is a deep blue state?

    July 29, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |