Last week we reported that Steve Poizner’s campaign claimed they’d closed the gap on Meg Whitman, whittling her lead from 50 points to just 5. The Whitman campaign dismissed this and many others were skeptical, waiting to see independent confirmation of Poizner’s big move.
Well, we’ve got it.
KABC/7 in Los Angeles reported this morning on the results of a new SurveyUSA poll they commissioned, which shows Whitman now leading Poizner by just two points – 39-37. SUSA doesn’t have the poll up on its website yet, but these numbers are themselves a massive shift from just two weeks ago, when on April 22 they found Whitman with a 22 point lead.
In short, assuming this and Poizner’s internal polling aren’t outliers, there has been a dramatic collapse in support for Meg Whitman among Republican voters. Whitman has spent over $60 million dollars only to find herself essentially tied with Steve Poizner with less than a month to go to the June 8 primary.
This would seem to validate the conclusion I made last week that Whitman’s support was extremely soft, and that she was vulnerable to attack. Poizner has exposed her fundamental weakness – her ties to Goldman Sachs and other big banks that are responsible for our economic crisis – and shown that Whitman isn’t invincible.
Of course, she also has time to react and right the ship. Having a big money advantage helps close the deal in the final weeks, and we can expect her to ramp up her ad blitz and outreach to GOP primary voters. Poizner may have her beat here too, however – Whitman cannot demagogue against immigrants too strongly or else she has no chance whatsoever of winning the fall election against Jerry Brown, since she’ll alienate moderates and Latinos. Poizner, fighting for survival, has no other choice.
Last week I said “pass the popcorn.” Looks like we’re gonna need the large bucket for this one.
UPDATE: The complete SurveyUSA poll is here. Among other things it shows Poizner now leads among men and in the Central Valley, though Whitman still leads in the Bay Area (where Poizner has spent less money on ads) and in the Inland Empire. Poizner also leads among younger Republicans, whereas Whitman leads among older Republicans. That helps Whitman, since the most likely GOP primary voter in CA is over age 50.
SUSA also polled the CA-Sen race for Republicans, showing Tom Campbell with 35%, Carly Fiorina with 24%, and Chuck DeVore at 15%, with 23% undecided.
SUSA’s poll included both party primaries for AG:
With Facebook users in mass revolt over the abuse of their personal information and loss of privacy, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly has likely peaked. His $10 million in spending won’t buy him a place as the Dem AG nominee when he can’t even protect the privacy of Facebook users.