Poll: Brown has double-digit lead over Whitman

California gubernatorial candidates Democrat Jerry Brown, right, and Republican Meg Whitman, left, shake hands on stage as Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger looks on during the Women's Conference Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
October 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
If the polls are accurate, the race for governor is all but over. The California Field Poll shows 10 points now separate Democrat Jerry Brown from Republican Meg Whitman -- a double digit lead analysts say is too much to overcome. It is a major shift in a race considered too close to call just last month.

Whitman started her day in Salinas, and then on to Stockton and Thursday night she was at Republican headquarters in Walnut Creek. And she is everywhere on the air with her advertising, but the numbers say she has a very slim chance.

"It's not what our polls show, our internal polls show we are surging right, now momentum is moving our way, this race is a dead heat," Whitman said.

Her campaign is touting a couple of polls they have paid for that show the race is still too close to call, but the independent Field Poll is showing Brown with a big lead among independent and decline to state voters, up 49 to 33 percent. Among Latino voters he has got an even bigger advantage with 57 to 34 percent.

The race was a dead heat in September.

"The past six weeks has been more about Whitman and it hasn't been good news for her," Field Poll Director Mark DeCamillo said.

DeCamillo suspects Latino voters were turned off by the way Whitman handled her former housekeeper. But Brown is also leading Whitman among women voters 51 to 35 percent.

"With respect to the women, I think the issue is likability, to be honest, I just don't think she's coming across in a way that's appealing to women," ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain said.

Cain admits it is perplexing why Whitman is not connecting more with women voters. She would be the first woman ever elected governor of California.

But the odds of that happening now are somewhere near 10 percent, says DeCamillo.

"To overcome a 10 point advantage you need a game changer, something's got to change," he said.

Time is running out for Whitman; 21 percent of voters have already voted by mail or in early voting and among those voters. Brown again holds a significant advantage.

"And last minute ads, which 20 or 30 years ago could've made a big difference, aren't going to make a difference if 20 percent of the votes are already cast," Cain said.

Brown is making no public campaign appearances, playing defense.

"He just needs to make sure that the ground game is working and that no mistakes are made over the next three or four days," Cain said.

Both Cain and DeCamillo say the race is coming down to personality and biography and is not so much about the issues.

Brown is planning a state wide tour in the final three days of the campaign that will begin this weekend.


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