The Field Poll released today further demonstrates how Meg Whitman put herself in position to claim the Republican nomination for governor on Tuesday: By making herself more popular than Steve Poizner among the strong conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts he aggressively courted – key players in the GOP nominating process but marginal, perhaps even detrimental to her in the general election.
Whitman enters the final weekend before Tuesday’s vote with a commanding 51-25% lead over Poizner, according to the non-partisan Field Poll. Poizner has cut Whitman’s lead to 26% compared to 49% in March (63-14%) to. But that’s still a landslide win for Whitman, who will, compared to Poizner, have spent three times the money to win twice the vote.
What may be worrisome for Team eMeg is that in the process of trashing Poizner – and Calbuzz really does not get why Whitman went up at the end with a new shoot-the-lifeboats ad against Poizner – Whitman’s unfavorable rating among Republicans rose 8 percentage points, although she does end the primary campaign with positive marks – 62-24% – at least among the GOP.
Unlike the PPIC poll released last week, the Field Poll did not immediately release all of its data, including the candidates’ favorability ratings across party lines which – as Calbuzz noted the other day – suggest that Whitman is on her way to winning the nomination at the cost of making herself unacceptable to independents, moderates and other swing voters.
Meanwhile, Capitol Weekly and Probolsky Research released a tracking poll showing Whitman leading Poizner 54-24% and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina leading former Congressman Tom Campbell 40-25% in the GOP contest for U.S. Senate.
Virtually every poll in the last week or so has found that while Poizner may have gotten close to Whitman in the middle of May, he failed to close the gap and she poured enough money into television and other campaign media to pull away from him.
The Field Poll, for example, showed that Poizner drove up Whitman’s negative ratings among Republican voters, from 16% in March to 24% by the end of May. And Poizner even increased his own favorable rating by a whopping 20 points – from 20% in March to 40% by early June.
But Poizner’s unfavorable rating also inched up – to 39% from 34% in March. In other words, of the eight in 10 GOP voters who have any opinion about him, about half view him favorably and half unfavorably. Having one’s own party split 50-50 on whether they even like you, does not a candidate make.
Whitman, meanwhile, has cemented her impression among Republicans and by a 3-1 ratio GOP voters believe she has a better chance of defeating Jerry Brown, the certain Democratic nominee, in November.
Whitman beats Poizner 52-26% among strong conservatives compared to 49-25% among all others and she wins 55-25% among Tea Party identifiers and 48-25% among all others. In other words, Whitman has beaten Poizner at his own game – trying to be the right-wing candidate in the race.
The question now is this: Having established her bona fides with the knuckle-dragging wing of the California Republican Party, can she credibly appeal to the moderates and independents who are the key to statewide elections in California?
The Field Poll surveyed 511 likely voters May 27-June 2, including registered Republicans and non-partisans who had already cast absentee ballots. Because the Field Poll has refused to allow Calbuzz to become a paid subscriber, Calbuzz had to obtain the survey results by other means.
Press Clips: Timm Herdt throws the flag on Das Williams over-the-line move against Susan Jordan in the fiercely fought 35th Assembly District Democratic primary, where Williams’s guy totally doctors a photograph to make Jordan look bad, and then defends it as just another day at the office:
“We took our poetic license with that,” said Josh Pulliam, strategist for the Williams campaign. “It’s a physical manifestation of what she probably looked like at the location.”
OK, so Calbuzz doesn’t exactly have the high ground in complaining about photoshopped images, but seriously, a champagne flute? Next up: Das puts a turban on Susan’s head, a grenade in one hand, an AK-47 in the other and wonders what all the fuss is about.
Michael Rothfeld channels Don Meredith: “Turn out the lights, the party’s over”…Tom Friedman used to be a helluva’ reporter so it’s sad to watch him turn into a parody of himself, as he did in using the first person pronoun 13 times while declaring sovereignty for the nation of Friedlandia in his column on Israel’s Gaza flotilla attack…Best take to date on digging into Jerry Brown’s papers from his first stint as governor comes from SacBee’s Marje Lundstrom, who teased out a terrific yarn about the political triangle of Jerry, father Pat and erstwhile chief of staff Gray Davis.
Why Newsweek is failing: 3,359 words, 7 bylines and not a single new fact…Why Newsweek is failing II: the insufferable Jon Meacham…Best evidence of why California needs a split roll property tax system comes from part-time Timesman Dan Weintraub…Nifty analysis by Robert Reich, the Barbara Boxer-sized former Secretary of Labor, shows how America’s great new wave of entrepreneurship is really just a bunch of despairing unemployed Boomers.