New Polls: Poizner Inching Up, Tom Beating Carly
It’s not much to bank on, but Steve “The Commish” Poizner appears to have knocked eMeg Whitman down below 50% of the vote in the race for the Republican nomination for governor, according to a new public poll.
Following surveys in March from the Field Poll and the Public Policy Institute of California, both of which showed Whitman with better than 60% of the vote, a public poll by Capitol Weekly – this time with Republican and Democratic pollsters collaborating – finds eMeg leading The Commish 47-to-19%.
In addition, the Capitol Weekly survey found Tom Campbell solidly leading the GOP race for U.S. Senate, with 31% of the vote, ahead of Hurricane Carly Fiorina at 17% and Chuck DeVore, R-Stonehenge, at 14%, by far the strongest showing to date by the Orange County legislator.
“The good news for Jerry (Brown) is that Meg’s going to have to sweat this out,” said Ben Tulchin, the Democratic consultant on the poll. “In the Senate race. Fiorina is going to have to start bashing Campbell – she’s running out of time.”
There’s also a Rasmussen Poll – which Calbuzz dislikes because they do robo-calling and don’t disclose their methods – that shows Democrat Crusty the General Brown running ahead of eMeg in a November contest. More intriguing was Rasmussen’s finding that seven in 10 voters like Brown’s idea for three-way pre-primary debates with Whitman and Poizner.
Now, those numbers in the GOP governor’s race might not be much to brag on. But that didn’t stop Team Poizner Communications Director Jarrod Agen:
“Meg Whitman’s candidacy was always like one of those French soufflés one of her private chefs would cook up on her private jet — full of expensive air and destined to deflate. All of Meg’s Goldman Sachs riches can’t convince California Republicans that we need a Barbara Boxer supporter as our nominee. The numbers are moving as we expected, which means in this year’s general election Republicans will finally get a chance to vote for a Republican for Governor.”
The Whitman people – claiming that their internal polling has the race 55-24% for eMeg — smell desperation wafting out of the Poizner camp.
“In February, Steve Poizner had a favorable rating of only 15% and an unfavorable rating of 10%. Now, Steve Poizner’s favorable to unfavorable rating is 26% to 30%. For every one Republican voter that became positive to Steve Poizner two Republicans became negative,” wrote Whitman pollster John McLaughlin in a survey analysis.
“The fact of the matter is that Republican primary voters personally like Meg Whitman and when they get to know Poizner, they just dislike him. For that reason alone winning the Republican primary for Steve Poizner is hopeless and pointless,” McLaughlin said.
Conservative pollster Adam Probolsky surveyed 751 registered voters with a past history of voting April 10-13. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3.7%. Democratic pollster Ben Tulchin of San Francisco consulted on the survey, ensuring a partisan balance.
While the survey – based on a projected June primary electorate — did not include November match-ups, the pollsters did ask this question:
“Thinking about the economy and jobs, which candidate for Governor do you think would do the best job?” Interestingly, Brown – a career politician — pulled 32.5%, compared to 30.5% for Whitman and 9.2% for Poizner – both of them Silicon Valley business veterans.
Predictably, 53% of the Democrats gave Brown the edge on the economy and jobs, compared to 14% for Whitman and 4% for Poizner. Among Republicans it was 54% for Whitman, 18% of Poizner and 7% for Brown.
But among independents and others it was 29% for Brown, 25% for Whitman and 6% for Poizner suggesting that — for whatever reason — when party is not a factor, voters appear to trust Brown more than the two business executives on the economy and jobs. At least for now.
Said Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford, with a touch of glee: “There’s only one candidate in the race who’s actually guided the state through a recessionary period and who, in eight years, helped create 1.9 million jobs.”
The only demographic that matters in these polls is “likely voters” because what does it matter what non-voters think; they won’t be voting or deciding the outcome. I’d be focused on likely voters in Nov matchups. It’s also hard to give Whitman an edge when she’s basically running unopposed by Brown now. If he’s close running essentially no campaign you have to think when he starts hammering in the Fall he will pull away given how close he is now with no efforts.
Poizner is within striking distance historically speaking. This race is goong to tighten mightily and it’s not time to call it yet.