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eMeg’s Money Pit, Maldo vs Pedro, Spin & Marty

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Wannabe Governor Meg Whitman tossed another $20 million into the pot like so much couch dust this week, leaving Republican primary rival Steve Poizner to whine about her per unit Return On Investment.

“Twenty million dollars bought Meg 45 percent of likely Republican voters in a January poll,” a Poizner flack sniped, pointing to the first $20 million personal check Her Megness wrote to her campaign. “That’s (sic) means Meg has so far spent $444,444.44 for every percentage point.”

Yeah, and…so what? It’s not like Republicans have something against rich people spending their own money.

Team Poizner also recycled the observation, by blogger Bill Bradley, that the $40 million eMeg  generously donated to herself, six months before the primary, already matches what Governor Al Checchi, the previous record holder, self-funded during his entire, miserably failed 1998 bid for the Democratic nomination.

True that, but again, what’s the point?

The bottom line is that Whitman’s lavish spending has bought her two, very valuable things in the race: 1) she’s clearly established herself as the front-runner, if not yet the GOP presumptive nominee, and; 2) she’s accomplished this largely with an under-the-radar radio campaign that has managed to avoid triggering a she’s-trying-to-buy-the-election backlash, at least outside of insider circles.

For Whitman, $40 million is chump change, a tiny sliver of her billionaire fortune; if it’s working, why not keep working it? Poizner made a brief splash last month by fronting a mere $15 Large of his own dough, but given his below-par outside fund-raising to date, Smokestack Steve will have to go to the wallet for a lot more than that to catch Monoxide Meg.

Brown-Coakley redux: With no exit polls from the big Massachusetts Senate race – who can afford them these days? – we’re unfortunately left with a wide-open bazaar of conflicting, unconfirmable  theories about what happened, none of them based on data.

That said, the most interesting take we’ve seen comes from Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who advances the case that Republican Scott Brown’s late surge past rival and erstwhile front-runner Martha Coakley coincided with the release and publication of two robo-polls (so-called IVR polls, which auto-dial respondents) and which apparently triggered the flood of web fund-raising that boosted Brown. Mellman, writing in The Hill (HT to Gale Kaufman for the link):

(W)ithout the close polls, the circumstances that made Republican victory possible would have been insufficient to bring it about. The polls were the spark that ignited the dry kindling on the forest floor. Without the spark provided by the polls, though, there would have been no conflagration.

Is there anything wrong with polls influencing elections? If the polls were accurate reflections of reality, it’s hard to complain. Though we will never know for sure, my own strong sense is that these two IVR auto-dial polls significantly overstated Brown’s support when they were completed.

Another chewy take-out: the Washpost’s Chris Cillizza at “The Fix” lists five “myths” about the Bay State election: 1) Brown didn’t win, Coakley lost it; 2) Brown’s win means health care is dead; 3) Dems are headed for oblivion in mid-terms; 4) Obama’s brand is dead; 5) Mass. Voters won’t elect a woman.  It’s here.

The daily fix for our T-Ridge jones: Anthony York, over at  “California Politics,” the online collaboration between the LAT and Capitol Weekly, posted a juicy little report on the spat between Lite Gov. Wannabe Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Pedro Nava over Calbuzz’s idée fixe, the Tranquillon Ridge offshore oil project.

Lobbying in print for his confirmation. state Senator Maldo reminded York of his past consistent opposition to the project,  insisting the offshore issue should not derail his appointment:

“I’ve voted against the proposal three times,” Maldonado said. “As lieutenant governor, I would take each issue as it comes before the commission, but I don’t know how much clearer I can be on that issue.”

Maldo also ripped Assemblyman and AG Wannabe Nava (D-Tree Hugger), who told Calbuzz earlier that he believes the Republican senator pledged support for T-Ridge before Schwarzmuscle nominated him for lite gov.

“It’s so crazy,” said Maldonado. “No deal has been cut.” Nava is “spreading stories that have absolutely no basis in fact.”

When asked about Maldonado’s comments, Nava said, “It’s hard for me to believe there wasn’t an agreement reached” between Schwarzenegger and Maldonado. “Let him sign a written public pledge that he will vote no on T-Ridge. Then I might feel some comfort.”

This just in: T-Ridge foes were caught by surprise when the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office recommended Thursday that the Legislature approve the project. While it’s a fairly tepid endorsement, coming after a laundry list of policy criticisms of the proposal, it’s an endorsement nonetheless, and from a very influential source:

While the Legislature will want to evaluate the proposal accounting for the policy concerns that have been raised, it should weigh these concerns against the opportunity to gain much-needed revenues for the General Fund. Analyzing the potential risks and trade-offs, we find, on balance, that the Tranquillon Ridge proposal merits legislative approval.

Jerry’s time warp: Crusty the General’s offhand reference to Mike Curb this week was just the latest evidence that he’s in danger of being stuck in a pre-1980s time warp. Here’s the Calbuzz Next Ten list of folks we look for Brown to reference in coming weeks:

1-Spin & Marty
2-S.I. Hayakawa
3-John Brodie
4-Gale Storm
5-Houston Flournoy
6-Willie Kirkland
7-Ozzie Nelson Dr. Irwin Corey
8-Caryl Chessman
9-Earl “The Pearl” Monroe
10-Wavy Gravy

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Weird hair showdown pits Donald Trump vs. Lady Gaga.


Press Clips: Shane & Snitch Meet Maureen, Mutter

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Earth to Burton, Earth to Burton: In comments to the By God LA Times, state Demo party chief John Burton joined in the piling on of Martha Coakley, the humiliated-in-defeat candidate who ingloriously kicked away Ted Kennedy’s Democratic seat – but JoBu draws a Calbuzz penalty flag for a bonehead comment in doing so.

Speaking to the redoubtable duo of Evan Halper and Shane Goldmacher, Burton referenced Coakley’s now-infamous mega-gaffe, in which she incomprehensibly referred to legendary former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling as a “Yankee fan,” freezing in an instant a public image of herself as a suburban matron utterly disconnected from the average concerns of those who follow the Sawx.

Having shot herself in only one foot, she soon finished the job by mocking GOP foe Scott Brown for showing up in the cold to shake hands with hockey fans headed for a Bruins game at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day, at a time when she was, um, on vacation. To wit Burton:

Democratic Party Chairman John Burton said the party’s Senate candidate in Massachusetts, state Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley, was just a bad campaigner.

“Nobody in California that is running for office would take off for a weeklong vacation before the general election after a tough primary, and they probably would be standing out in front of Dodger Stadium or Candlestick Park shaking hands,” he said, alluding to one of Coakley’s widely cited gaffes involving the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Memo to John: Baseball was last played at Candlestick Park on Sept. 30, 1999, when the dog-ass Dodgers hammered the hometown lads, 9-4. The Giants’ current facility, formerly known as PacBell Park, is now called ATT Park. We’re pretty sure you’ve been there, John, and just don’t remember. Time for your nappy, now.

Red Sox Nation: Amid the millions of trees sacrificed to the cause of explaining the victory of Republican Brown in Massachusetts, the Schilling incident stands out as the single most salient factor in the whole over-analyzed mess. Those inclined to more conventional, if not profound, analysis are directed to this swell four byline tic toc.

For our money though, Lisa Swan at The Faster Times nailed it in a well-reported take on how the Schilling Scandal became Coakley’s Snoopy-in-the-Tank defining moment, which included these comments from Schilling himself:

“It does reflect on an elected official’s relationship with her constituents. I don’t think that somebody who’s lived here their whole life, not understanding the importance of the prominence of the sports teams in this city, it’s a big deal to people,” he said.

“I think it’s another sign of her aloofness, and just the fact that she’s very out of touch, I think, with the people.”

(eMeg memo to staff: Why am I still waiting for that Power Point on the rosters of the Fresno Grizzlies and the Modesto Nuts?!?)

Heathcliff of San Francisco: Maureen Dowd’s kissy-poo column on SF Mayor Gavin Newsom stirred up a lot of cross-chatter about whether or not Prince Gavin had announced to MoDo his impending retirement from politics. Before we even get to that, though, one quick read of Dowd’s piece is all you need to know about why the Prince just couldn’t cut it in a tough, statewide race.

Self-important, self-regarding, self-absorbed and self-pitying, Newsom stops just short of taking to his fainting couch to comfort his sensitive soul from the cruel blows of an unfair world:

“I mean, oh, God,” he said, sipping green tea in his elegant office. “In a couple of years, you’ll see me as the clerk of a wine store.”

Oh, perish the thought. The overweening arrogance, condescension and utter contempt for working people found in that single sentence, and throughout the interview – “I mean, oh, God! ” – is difficult to overstate.

This is a guy who got carried by rich friends to some early success and now thinks the world owes him a ride in a sedan chair, an over-gelled poseur who screwed his best friend’s wife and now wants everyone to feel sorry for him cuz he didn’t have the stones to stick with a campaign he had no business starting in the first place.

We’re just sayin.’

As for the speculation that Newsom is getting out of politics:

“This is it. God bless. It was fun while it lasted,” he said of his career, with a rueful smile. “Guys like me don’t necessarily progress very far, which is fine.”

Yuck.  SF Weekly’s resourceful “Snitch” blog quickly squeezed a damage control quote out of Newsom’s mouthpiece, who insisted that, oh no, the Great Man is in it on behalf of the Little People for the long haul.

He was speaking tongue-in-cheek…He intends to have a very active career in public service after he completes his second term as mayor. … His point when he says things like that is that he isn’t dependent on politics in the next election, that he can stand on principle and doesn’t feel a need to compromise his beliefs. (Is it just us, or does that not dependent on politics claptrap remind you of Sarah Palin?)

The Chronicle once again dispatched the reliable Heather Knight, who got stuck cleaning up the mess the last time Newsom summoned a reporter for a national publication to share his thoughts on retirement. In a piece featuring exactly the same hed - “Newsom discusses his future” – she churned out a nice, all-you-need-to-know, 26-word lede:

Nobody seems to know what the future holds for Mayor Gavin Newsom after he’s termed out of office in January 2012 – least of all Newsom himself.

Calbuzz sez: Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, pal.

Must read of the week: In a piece fraught with significance for Bay Area news types, media analyst and occasional Calbuzzer Alan Mutter dissects the pending bankruptcy of Dean Singleton’s MediaNews empire.

Among other things, Mutter’s piece offers new evidence of Hearst Corp.’s blundering since its ill-fated acquisition of the long-lost Old Chron in 2000.

After plowing well over $1 billion into a decade-long effort to salvage its ill-starred purchase of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Hearst Corp. now stands to lose another $317 million in the upcoming bankruptcy of MediaNews Group.

Hearst improbably put money into MediaNews, its direct competitor in northern California, in the hopes of reversing the almost continuous loses it has suffered since stepping up to buy the Chronicle in 2000. Instead of fixing the long-festering problem, Hearst became not just the biggest loser among the equity investors in MediaNews. It will be the only one.

The other big news from Fifth and Mish this week: its new, modified limited hangout print wall plan to keep some of their best stuff – like the Sunday Matier and Ross column – off the web until after the paper is printed, a head-in-the-sand idea if there ever was one, as the Oracle of Cruickshank made perfectly clear.

Just breathe into the bag: Our pal Steve Maviglio is usually pretty well-informed, which is why we made a couple calls about his post suggesting that the Coakley debacle will somehow trigger DiFi’s entry into the California governor’s race.

All but picking out the campaign signs and bumper strips for Herself, Maviglio spun his scenario deep into the heavens, going so far as to suggest a reprise of Feinstein’s 1992 Thelma and Louise act with Barbara Boxer.

Sorry man, it ain’t happening.

Scoop of the week: Nice work by Greg Lucas of California’s Capitol in scoring a copy of the internal Power Point presentation being used to try to reach agreement on a package of government reforms among the members of the two-house Special Committee on Fixing Everything in Sacramento in a Jiffy. Lucas reports:

A hearing of the Senate and Assembly Select Committees on Improving State Government to discuss the proposals was canceled January 19, apparently because of a lack of agreement over items on the list.

Howz that whole consensus thing workin’ for ya?

eMeg Surges Ahead of Commish; Both Trail Crusty

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

On the strength of about $19 million spent in 2009, Meg Whitman has surged to a 45-17% lead over Steve Poizner in the Republican race for governor and picked up 11 points against Democrat Jerry Brown, who still leads her by 46-36% in a simulated general election match-up, according to the latest Field Poll.

Attorney Gen. Brown, who has not yet formally declared his candidacy for governor, also leads Insurance Commissioner Poizner 48-31% in a general election simulated by the Field Poll, the basic results of which were made available to Calbuzz.*

In the absence of a campaign, Crusty the General has lost some ground to both eMeg and the Commish. In October he led Whitman 50-29% and he was ahead of Poizner 50-25% in the Field Poll.

In the GOP race, Whitman and Poizner nearly evenly split most of the voters who would otherwise have supported former Congressman Tom Campbell, who jumped into the U.S. Senate race last week. In a three-way race for governor, the Field Poll had it 36% for Whitman, 22% for Campbell and 9% for Poizner.

Despite Whitman’s formidable lead in the GOP primary and her overwhelming spending, 38% of Republican voters remain undecided – giving Poizner hope that he can catch up and capture the nomination.

Now that the Republican contest is a two-way race, Poizner is free to go after Whitman without fear of giving a boost to a third candidate. But his verbal swipes at Whitman have thus far have not reverberated beyond the echo chamber of the political press corps.

Meanwhile Brown’s overall image rating — 44% favorable and 32% unfavorable — has remained basically unchanged since October when it was 44-29%. Brown has picked up some among Democrats: he’s now 64-17% compared to 57-18% in October. Among Republicans, however, his favorable has dipped to 20-57% from 26-27% in October.

Importantly, however, Brown’s favorable rating among independents is 20 points positive – 43-23% — compared to 44-26% in October. Still, nearly a quarter of all voters have no opinion about the former two-term governor, making him vulnerable to negative framing by either or both of his potential opponents.

A major challenge for Brown is introducing himself to younger voters who have no idea who he is from his previous incarnation as governor. According to the San Francisco Chronicle — a Field Poll subscriber with early access to survey data — 60 percent of respondents under 30 had no opinion of Brown.

Despite spending $19 million, Whitman remains unknown to a majority of voters, with a 25-20% favorable rating, up from 18-14% in October. Her favorable ratings are 16-31% negative among Democrats, a slide from her 15-18% in October; 34-8% positive among Republicans, an improvement from 29-10% in October; and 27-13% among independents, a big boost from 12-12% in October.

Poizner remains virtually unknown and not all that popular among those who have an opinion about him. His overall approval is 16-20% negative – 15-22% among Democrats, 18-19% among Republicans, and 27-13% among independents. In October, Poizner’s overall favorability rating was 22-17% positive; 20-20% among Democrats, 24-16% among Republicans, and 22-15% among independents.

The Field Poll surveyed 958 likely voters Jan. 5-17 by land line and cell phone, including 202 likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the overall sample is plus or minus 3.3% and for the GOP sample it is 7.1%.

* Calbuzz does not receive the Field Poll in advance from the Field Corp. We offered to pay for a subscription, but were rejected because Field executives fear the wrath of their MSM clients, some of whom have complained behind our backs about us getting the survey.

When we can find out more information — like how each of the candidates is doing among voters in different age, race, gender and geograhpic categories — Calbuzz will report it.


Meyer Debuts, Dr. H Returns, Jerry Time Travels

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

meyer cartoon 1.1-18colorToday we present the latest, irrefutable evidence that America’s most talented journalists are free flowing to the web (emphasis on “free”), with the Calbuzz debut of award-winning editorial cartoonist Tom Meyer.

Meyer, who says he aimed to “entertain and exasperate readers” during a 28-year stint at the SF Chronicle, has also been published in the NYT, the WashPost, New Republic and National Journal, plus a whole bushel full of other places through United Features Syndicate.

Recipient of a Fischetti Award, the big-deal editorial cartoon competition named after the late, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist John Fischetti, Meyer also has been honored with a James Madison Freedom of Information Act Award – not to mention a couple of particle board plaques from the Peninsula Press Club. In his spare time, he likes to bet on dachshund races.

He’s quite simply one of the best in the business, a point we think is sharply underscored by today’s take on televising the Prop. 8 trial. Please join us in welcoming Meyer to the Calbuzz ranks.

meyer cartoon 1-18color

__________________________________________________________

The Return of Dr. Hackenflack:

Dear Dr. Hdr-hackenflack
In analyzing the Massachusetts Senate race, do you think Scott Brown’s nude centerfold photos in Cosmo were a really big factor?
– Lady Gaga, Poker Face, Tex.

Dear Gaga,
There was a MASSI
VE gender gap on this issue: Men thought it a huge positive by +10, but women said it wasn’t that big a deal, only +4. Final length of victory = +5.

Herr Doktor,
I just heard Meg Whitman’s new statewide radio ad attacking people on welfare. Isn’t she a zillionaire or something – is this really the greatest good for the greatest number?
– Karl, Marxville

Dear Karl,
Please remember, the filthy rich are people, too. I’m sure she’s more than willing to give one of those welfare folks a good job grooming her horse or cleaning up behind it.

To Dr. P.J. Hackenflack
From Ellen from Malcolmsburg
Re: Women and Whitman

I just stumbled across Meg Whitman’s campaign video with testimonials about her from prominent women in politics, like Jillian Hasner, Amisha Patel, Jessica Patterson, Sara Myers and Sarah Pompei. She sounds like such a generous person!

Dear Ellen,
Yes, since everyone in the video is on her payroll, we think of it as eMeg’s very own welfare queen program.

Jerry smashemike-curbs time-space continuum: Plenty of Calbuzzers, not yet eligible to pull money out of their 401(k)s, were scratching their heads  when California’s Acting Governor, Attorney General Jerry Brown, joked in Wednesday’s “Quicktake” that he planned to suspend AB32  and compared himself in the process to former Lite Gov. Mike Curb.

A Calbuzz stroll through the dustbin of history (mixed metaphor? –ed) brought back vivid memories of Curb, the cherubic-faced record* executive-turned-future-hope-of-the-Republican party. In 1979, his first year in office, Curb carried on a campaign of political performance art, purporting to seize control of the levers of power every time Brown left California to promote his nascent bid for president, which was pretty damned often.

Curb’s dumbass guerrilla effort crashed on the evening of Wednesday, May 16, when he tried once again to assert his disputed powers as acting governor, this time suspending state standards for the content of gasoline, and pretty much making a fool of himself to boot.

With Brown in D.C. , Curb with great ceremony signed a proclamation in San Francisco, rolling back tougher-than-national standards on lead and vapor pressure in gas. Not long after, an aide discovered that the word “consistent” had been substituted for the word “inconsistent” in the signed executive order, which would have given it exactly the opposite effect Curb intended.

So he made a mad, 90-mile dash to Sacramento, for a very informal meeting with then-Deputy Secretary of State Michael S. Gagan, a favorite of Sacramento’s crowded, after-work saloon crowd, who happened to live one floor below Brown’s famous “mattress on the floor” digs in an apartment near the Capitol.

Curb was met at the curb by a trio of tipped-off reporters when he pulled up to the apartment. The group included a future Calbuzzer, who provided this chronology for S.F.’s morning paper the following day:

6:59:30 – Curb hustles into the apartment house elevator accompanied by an aide and several reporters who showed up to greet him.

As the elevator door closes, a building security guard throws it open and asks, “Who let you in?’”

“You’re holding up state business,” says the aide, explaining that the deputy secretary of state is expecting the lieutenant governor.

7:00 – As the governor’s plane approaches California’s skies, the elevator slowly creaks up to the fifth floor and Curb mumbles, “There’s got to be an easier way to make a living…This is the last thing I needed this week.”

7:02:10 – Deputy Secretary of State Gagan calls the telephone recording that gives the time, as Curb signs his corrected executive order, sitting on a leather couch below a leaded glass lamp with the word “Budweiser” embossed on it.

7:03 – As Gagan, drinking a beer, completes the legal necessities of accepting the proclamation…Curb paces in the living room of the neatly furnished apartment and answers questions from reporters.

“Some people may not understand why we did this, but I think it’s a key issue,” Curb says. “I don’t think anyone with a brain doubts this is going to produce more gas.”

For the record, SF Chronicle night city editor Michael Taylor was told by the Federal Aviation Administration later that night that Brown’s plane entered California air space at the Colorado River on Jet Airway J-10 at 7:06 pm, PST. You could look it up.

* A disk designed to be played on a phonograph (an electronic device that reproduces sound by means of a stylus in contact with a grooved rotating disk).

iCarly dcarlyrightefies laws of arithmetic: In the wake of the Massachusetts Senate race, there are plenty of things a Republican Senate wannabe like Carly Fiorina could whack an incumbent Democrat like Barbara Boxer over – but one of them is not campaign fundraising, especially one larded with numbers that are backasswards.

“Barbara Boxer should be a very worried incumbent senator today,” sez a new press release from Hurricane Carly HQ. “Not only did Carly out-raise Boxer in just 60 days to the tune of 2 to 1, but the polls” etc. etc.

Well, not really. In fact, iCarly’s “2-to-1” claim about out raising Boxer turns out to be what Poor George W would call your fuzzy math.

In her latest campaign finance filing, Fiorina in the 4th quarter of 2009 did, in fact, report receipts of $3.58 million, compared to $1.8 million for Boxer. Problem is, $2.5 million of the total – 70 per cent – came in the form of $2.5 million loan from Carly to herself.

In contributions, it was Boxer who out-raised Fiorina almost 2-to-1 – $1.8 million to $1.08 million.

More importantly, Babs has $7.2 million in the bank, compared to the iCarly’s $2.75 million – including the self-loan. Which helps explain how the Hurricane messed up the finances at HP so effectively during her tenure there.

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: TMZ sez Mo’Nique’s got a leg up on the competition.  (You wanna see it, you gotta follow the link.)

Boxer, Campbell Running Strong in New Field Poll

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

boxerangryAlthough a recent entrant to the contest, former Congressman Tom Campbell leads the Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate, with 30% of the vote, followed by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at 25% and Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore at 6%, a new Field Poll shows today.

Campbell also runs best in simulated match-ups against Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. She leads Campbell 48-38%, Fiorina 50-35% and DeVore 51-34%.

According to Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field: “Campbell’s lead over Fiorina is somewhat larger among GOP primary voters in Northern California, those who are moderates or moderately conservative, women and seniors. On the other hand, Fiorina is running about even with Campbell among GOP primary voters in Southern California, those who are strongly conservative, men and voters under age 65.”

As a Campbell supporter noted in an email we received curiously at 5:52 am (8 minutes before the embargo), Campbell is the only Republican candidate whose favorable rating is better than his unfavorable among general election voters.

He’s at 22-14%, Fiorina is at 16-18% and DeVore is at 6-9%. Of course, it’s also true that 64% of voters and 63% of Republicans have no opinion about Campbell; 66% of voters and 70% of Republicans have no clue about Fiorina, and a staggering 85% of voters and 81% of Republicans have no opinion about DeVore.

Boxer, on the other hand, has a 49-39% favorable rating among all voters: 71-17% among Democrats and the reverse, 15-74% among Republicans. Democrats love her; Republicans can’t stand her.

Here’s the best news for Babs: at the moment, her favorability is 55-27% among independents — a crucial voting bloc in the general election. If she keeps those numbers, she likely can’t be beaten. At the moment, Campbell’s favorability among independents is 17-10%, Fiorina’s is 18-15% and DeVore’s is 5-7%.

Because Calbuzz does not receive the Field Poll in advance (NB: we offered to pay for a subscription, but were rejected because Field executives fear the wrath of their MSM clients, some of whom have complained behind our backs about us getting the survey) we don’t have data to provide full analysis yet. [Update: We could see the basic release at 6 am and we're adding to this story now.]

But a few thoughts suggest themselves:

1 — We argued in an earlier post that based on the USC/LA Times poll, there appeared to be some overlap between Campbell and DeVore voters and we suggested – contra conventional wisdom – that Campbell might actually draw votes from the more conservative DeVore. These results suggest that may well be the case.

2 –-The gender card is not necessarily an asset for Fiorina in GOP primary. We suspect there’s not much difference in preferences of Republican women and men at this point. In fact, the data show, Campbell has a slightly larger lead over Fiorina among women 28-19% than he does among men 32-30%. This is probably due to the fact that  Republican women are more moderate than GOP men and are more likely to be swayed by ideology than gender. This is confirmed by the poll’s finding that Campbell leads Fiorina by 13 points (30-23%) among those who say they are moderate or moderately conservative and by just 2 points (29-27%) among those who say they’re strong conservatives.

3 –- Campbell hasn’t spent a dime compared to Fiorina, so his lead has got to be based on the fact that he’s been known to Republican voters for a long time – or at least he’s better known than his opponents.campbellnew

4 – With four in 10 Republicans still undecided and no serious media in play yet, these are little more than baseline numbers that should be expected to shift dramatically in the weeks and months to come.

The Field Poll surveyed 958 likely voters Jan. 5-17, including 202 likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the overall sample is plus or minus 3.3% and for the GOP sample it is 7.1%.

PS: Regarding the email we got at 5:52 am with the Field Poll results, our tipster writes: “I didn’t know what time the embargo was supposed to have lifted.  I woke up,  I refreshed the Field Poll public website, and saw the link.  I had time to read it and write that email before I sent it out, too.”

We also note with interest that the San Francisco Chronicle’s web page shows the Field Poll story was posted at 4 am. Here’s the screen capture: