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Meg Whitman Surge?

11:17 AM, Oct 29, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Rasmussen reports:

With only a few days until Election Day, Democrat Jerry Brown holds a slightly smaller lead over Republican Meg Whitman in California’s gubernatorial race. 

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Brown picking up 49% support, while Whitman draws the vote from 45%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are still undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)  

These numbers move the race from Leans Democrat back to a Toss-Up in theRasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard

Last week, Brown held a 48% to 42% edge over Whitman. Support for Brown, a longtime Democratic figure in the state who previously served as governor from 1975 to 1983, has steadily risen from 40% in late August. Backing for Whitman, a former CEO of eBay, has fallen slightly from a high of 48% in the same period. 

Whitman's internal polls show that the race is a dead heat: 

With 5-days remaining before election-day, the race for governor of California has tightened to a dead heat between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. Two separate polls confirm that the race is too close to call. In a survey conducted by Hill Research Consultants among 604 likely voters on October 26th and 27th, the race for governor is tied 43% Whitman to 43% Brown with 4% voting for another candidate and 10% being undecided or refused to respond. In a separate McLaughlin & Associates survey conducted among 900 likely voters on October 25th, 26th and 27th (300 each night), Meg Whitman has a slight lead over Jerry Brown 44% to 43% with 6% voting for another candidate and 7% remaining undecided or refused to respond. This neck and neck race represents a marked improvement for Meg Whitman who trailed Jerry Brown from October 17th to 25th in Hill Research Consultant polling, by as much as 7 percentage points at one point.

Whitman trails Brown by 8 points in the RCP average of polls but, as Jeffrey H. Anderson points out, these polls may be oversampling Democrats. It's worth recalling that in 2008, Prop 8--the constitutional amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman--was down 5 points according to pollster.com, 50% to 45%, as voters headed to the polls. But on election day Prop 8 passed by 5 points--52.24% to 47.76%. Maybe in the privacy of the voting booth more California voters will feel free to vote for Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, even if some aren't comfortable acknowledging their conservative/Republican leanings to pollsters.

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