Daily Kos/R2K Poll: Barbara Boxer Looking Stronger, Gavin Newsom Isn’t

Markos shared this poll with the California Caucus here at Netroots Nation before it went live, but now that it’s up on Daily Kos we can bring it to you:

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 8/9-12. Likely voters. MoE 4% (5% for primary samples)


Democratic Primary

Newsom 20

Brown 29

Undcided 51

There’s a bit of a gender gap, with Jerry Brown leading Gavin Newsom among women 32-16. Brown’s advantage is his favorabilities — he’s viewed favorably by 48 percent of respondents, versus 37 percent unfavorable. Newsom clocks in with a net-negative rating of 40-42. Among Democrats, Brown has a 71-17 favorability rating to Newsom’s 63-21.

At our caucus we took a straw poll on this race. Exactly 0% of us said we were supporting Brown. 0% said we were supporting Newsom. 100% enthusiastically said “none of the above.” That’s not because we’re waiting it out or being neutral. It was a rejection of what we have seen from both Brown and Newsom, and judging by the poll, at least half of likely California Democratic voters feel the same way.

GOP Primary

Whitman 24

Campbell 19

Poizner 9

Undecided 48

Whitman 27

Campbell 21

Undecided 52

I am really surprised that Campbell is polling so well. I wish Markos would have polled Whitman v. Poizner, which most of us expect to be the true GOP primary matchup, but we will see.

General election

Brown (D) 42

Whitman (R) 36

Brown (D) 43

Campbell (R) 35

Brown (D) 43

Poizner (R) 34

Newsom (D) 36

Whitman (R) 37

Newsom (D) 36

Campbell (R) 35

Newsom (D) 36

Poizner (R) 35

Ouch. Markos’s assessment was that 35% is Newsom’s base, the progressive/Democratic base, and he has serious trouble breaking out beyond that. Newsom has been worrying about his finances, but money alone isn’t going to fix this problem. Getting rid of Eric Jaye will probably not have helped him.

On to the US Senate race, where Markos and R2K find better results for Barbara Boxer than some recent polls, like Rasmussen, have found:


Republican Primary

Fiorina 29

DeVore 17

Undecided 54

General Election

Boxer (D) 52

Fiorina (R) 31

Boxer (D) 53

DeVore (R) 29

Check out the MASSIVE gender gap: Women break for Boxer 60-22 against Fiorina, and 63-19 against DeVore. Kind of hard to overtake that kind of gap. Boxer will be in the Senate for the foreseeable future.

What’s interesting here is how DeVore and Fiorina have about the same level of support here, showing that Fiorina isn’t yet breaking out beyond the GOP base. Of course, she hasn’t yet launched her campaign and will not be hurting for money to raise her profile.

I have always felt that the 2010 Senate race will resemble the 1994 Senate race between Dianne Feinstein and Michael Huffington, where DiFi won a close victory over a wealthy GOP opponent in a Republican-friendly year (both Charlie Cook and Nate Silver predicted Dems would lose at least 20 seats in the House in 2010, with Silver suggesting it could be even higher).

Still, there are some key differences. Boxer is a 3-term Senator; DiFi had only 2 years under her belt. Boxer has a broad range of support from the progressive community that will be motivated to fight for her; DiFi had no such base to rely on in 1994.

R2K polling is largely untested for state races here in California, so take this with however many grains of salt you feel is necessary. I would love to see a new Field Poll on these races to provide a comparison.

Carla Marinucci has a slightly different take on this poll, arguing that Newsom is “narrowing the gap” on Brown.

3 thoughts on “Daily Kos/R2K Poll: Barbara Boxer Looking Stronger, Gavin Newsom Isn’t”

  1. …it looks like others do also. I will be blunt, surprise, we don’t need the likes of Newsome.

    Brown has proven wherever he’s been that he is a very progressive guy who can get things done.

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