In a new PPIC poll, Attorney General Jerry Brown narrowly leads Meg Whitman for the governor’s race.
Whitman dominates with 32 percent support among Republican voters, leading former South Bay Rep. Tom Campbell by 20 points and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner by 24 points, according to the Public Policy Institute of California’s first survey on the 2010 governor’s race.
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Brown, a former mayor of Oakland, leads Whitman, who has never run for public office, by just six points, 43 to 37 percent. He holds more robust leads over Campbell, the former state finance director and dean of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, 46 to 34 percent, and wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur Poizner, 47 to 31 percent.(SF Chronicle)
The numbers are solidifying a bit, as the Republicans get to know their three candidates. The right-wing grassroots activists still aren’t all that excited with their candidates, but a consensus seems to be settling around Meg Whitman.
As for Jerry Brown, I still feel that despite Brown’s protestations, he should have announced his candidacy by now. I understand his desire to just do his job, but in the here and now of campaigning for such a high profile position, a robust campaign operation is nearly mandatory. I have faith that Brown can build a team to win as he starts spending money in the new year, but I would prefer to see a lot more groundwork being laid now. This race is a bit too close for comfort.
UPDATE by Robert: The crosstabs are even more damning about Brown’s weak standing with what should be his base. His favorability among Democrats is 52% favorable, 19% unfavorable, with 29% undecided. That’s actually pretty low for such a high-profile Dem. Among independents it’s much worse: 34-39, with 23% undecided.
Brown also has potentially big problems with younger voters. Voters under age 35 – who, ironically enough, were either born in the year Brown was first elected governor, 1974, or later – have a whopping 69% “no opinion” of the once and future governor.
This all proves the point I’ve been making often this fall, which is that unless Brown can excite progressives and younger voters, he is going to have an extremely difficult time winning this election. The canoe theory appears to have sprung a leak.