Well, after a few weeks of up and down in the polls, Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown are now at a dead heat in the latest Field Poll. Each is sitting at 41 percent of likely voters (MoE +/- 4.1%) with 6 weeks to go. The numbers break down how you would generally expect these things to go, Whitman gets 75% of Republicans, Jerry Brown gets 69% of Democrats, and they split the DTS vote at 38% each. Now, what Meg Whitman has got for her $111 million is that split down the middle in DTS vote, which you wouldn’t normally see absent the unprecedented ad buy, as well as her capturing 15% of the Democratic vote compared to Brown’s 9% of the Republican vote.
But like everything else in California politics, it seems people don’t particularly like either of the candidates:
“This race is boiling down to a tough decision,” said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. “More voters hold negative than positive impressions of the candidates, and that contributes to the situation.”(SacBee)
Whitman has a minus 5 favorable (40/45) while Brown sports only a minus 3 (44/47). These aren’t numbers you would typically love to see an inspired electorate. But, with the barrage of ads from Whitman, and the smattering of efforts on the left, people know that they just shouldn’t like these candidates. They aren’t exactly why, but it’s what they’ve been told on the TeeVee, the radio, and on the internet. And so, shockingly enough, all that money is having an impact.
Over the next 5+ weeks, while surrogates and the campaigns continue to wail on each other in every media outlet available, the candidates themselves will be trying to give the state some reason to vote for them. In the end, however, the Field numbers indicate about half of all voters will be choosing the lesser of two evils rather than somebody they believe in. Only 49% of Whitman voters and 53% of Brown voters are voting for their candidate rather than against the other one. This is unfortunate on many levels, not the least of which is that the state needs a leader who has some political capital (read: not Whitman’s millions) to make something happen in Sacramento.
All things considered, Jerry Brown has to like where he is sitting right now. He’ll nearly match Whitman in ad spending the rest of the way, and will hope that Democrats start returning home when they hear a message from their candidate. At any rate, this is clearly shaping up to be one of the tightest elections in recent memory. Progressives will need to focus on turning out and getting their networks to turn out for the Democratic ticket this year, the idea of a Whitman/Fiorina victory party is too difficult to process.
Picture from PhotoBucket User Nonnie9999