(CNN) - The latest poll by the Public Policy Institute of California has Attorney General Jerry Brown running 8 points ahead of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman among likely voters in the race to be the state's next governor, but a sizable number 16 percent remain undecided. The poll shows Brown with a 15 point lead among women and a 29 point lead among Latinos. Whitman has a one point advantage among independents with 19 percent undecided.
Brown's campaign manager Steven Glazer argues the polling demonstrates voters were unaffected by the "whore" story – when a member of Brown's staff was recorded using the word to describe Meg Whitman. And Glazer insists of the Brown campaign "we'll be more than competitive" in the final days. He says they set aside $12 million to spend in the last two weeks – to ensure Brown's message isn't drowned out by a late blitz of Whitman spending. With that money Brown plans to drop 10-15 million pieces of mail – at a cost of up to $5 million.
The Whitman campaign is prepared to spend, too. In a wry response to a question about finances leading up to Election Day, Whitman spokesperson Andrea Rivera tells CNN, "as far as the numbers go, we will be fully funded." So far Whitman has invested $140 million of her own fortune in this race.
A series of high profile California Democrats has publicly warned that the California Democratic Party is not prepared with a strong get out the vote effort. Democratic Party greybeard – and former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown – said neither the Brown nor the Boxer campaigns has a strong ground game adding: "apparently they are relying entirely on labor to deliver and labor doesn't always have the total interests of the Democratic Party at hand. Labor has labor's own personal interests."
If true, that could hurt Democrats this year, since the polling suggests there is an enthusiasm gap. It shows 42 percent of Republicans say they're following the race for governor closely but only 36 percent of Democrats are paying close attention – which could translate into a depressed Democratic voter turnout on Election Day.
That's not lost on the Whitman campaign which has been touting an aggressive get out the vote operation and a sophisticated micro-targeting effort – in which data analysts match the voter's file with consumer data, polling data and target voters with the policies that would be most appealing to them. Campaign spokesperson Andrea Rivera says "We have voter enthusiasm on our side and a coordinated effort with the state party."
But Glazer of the Brown campaign doesn't betray any concern. He points out the polling – in which Brown is ahead – already accounts for a depressed Democratic turnout. And insists they have a strong get out the vote operation with 85 offices around the state and 54 more on the way, about 25,000 volunteers, and 1.5 million voters targeted for their early voting campaign.
The same poll shows Senator Barbara Boxer leading former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina by 5 points with 13 percent undecided. Boxer has a 35 point lead among Latinos and a 16 point lead among women.
The Public Policy Institute of California poll was conducted Oct. 10-17, with 1,067 likely voters in California questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.