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

Poll: Brown holds early lead over Newsom

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/08/art.brown.gi.jpg caption="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. Operation Replacement

    Jerry Brown won't make a formal announcement because he knows
    his record as governor can prove damaging. He wants us to forget how
    he appointed soft-on-crime judges, stood in the way of giving us
    affordable energy, sided with the Sierra Club and their agenda to
    limit our water supply, and did nothing to curtail the flow of millions
    of illegal aliens into California so as not to offend Mexico. Yes...
    we who are old enough remember Jerry who counts on the media
    to keep his mixed record a secret from younger voters.
    Look for him to delay a formal announcement as long as his poll
    numbers are up. He can use the time to out-raise his opponents
    and fill his pockets with big $$$ from his Hollywood buddies.

    October 8, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. jeff in California

    Ok. Wow. I never make comments on other states' politics because I don't live there. Some of you need to get up to speed. While a blue state, for some reason, we Californians like republican governors, we have a long history there. Remember CA gave the US Reagan and Nixon, who were governor and senator respectively. Since Jerry Brown was governor, all have been Republicans except Gray Davis, who we threw out of office for Republican Arnold. That means we have had 7 years, not 8, under Arnie. Don't put it past CA to make it 11. Brown can run again because we passed term limits AFTER he was governor, so he's allowed two more terms. He's extremely popular here so if he gets in he has an easy election ahead of him.

    October 8, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. gt

    one thing for sure jerry brown will run and run and run and run,,,,he is the... life long politican.... how sad to have a complusion of running for anything,,,

    October 8, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Bubble of Sanity

    It's really a catch-22. Anyone who really wants to be governor of this state is crazy enough that he/she should not be elected.

    October 8, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Art. 5, Sec. 2 of the California Constitution says that no governor may serve more than two terms. How are the supporters of Jerry Brown planning to get around the Constitution?

    October 8, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. DawnL,CA

    Is this it? Brown or Newsom? Mr. "whether you like it or not" Newsom, or Gov. Moonbeam? Is anyone old enough to remember Judge Rose Bird? We finally held a recall election due to her who was appointed by Brown. Illegals? Welcome, welcome...make yourself at home. Sierra Club....whatever you want.
    This has to be someone better than these two nutjobs.

    October 8, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Joe in CT - not Lieberman!!!

    Oh, No! The Return of Governor Moonbeam!

    October 8, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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