Brown delivers final pitch to Calif. voters

November 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The final push to get out the vote had the candidates for governor criss-crossing the state Monday. Democratic frontrunner Jerry Brown wrapped up his campaign in Oakland, while Republican Meg Whitman is discounting recent polls that show her trailing by double digits in what has become the most expensive governor's race in state history.

Hundreds of Brown supporters crowded into an outdoor restaurant in San Diego's Old Town to hear Brown say California will once more lead the nation. Ahead by as much as double digits in the latest polls, the current state attorney general seemed relaxed and confident on his last day of campaigning.

"We don't know what's going on in the rest of the country but after tomorrow when we win we're going to make the sun rise in the west and move over to the east," Brown said.

In Los Angeles he called for coming together.

"And if we think of ourselves as Californians first instead of Republican or Democrat then we can build up our state again," he said.

He then went onto Salinas before heading home to Oakland for a rally.

Whitman began in the Bay Area before spending most of her day in Southern California hoping her $141 investment of her own money in her campaign will pay off. At her first stop in Menlo Park, Whitman discounted polls that show her trailing.

"Well, our internal polls show this to be a dead heat and you can see even some of the public polls are narrowing over the last few days this is all going to depend on voter turnout," Whitman said.

Looking at the polling average since February, Whitman surged ahead in April, was tied in the middle of May and was ahead again on Sept. 15. But since then, pollster Nate Silver and his 538 team now give her just a 4 percent chance of winning.

ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain attributes the slide to several events. Mid September was when Brown launched his ad campaign, then Whitman's lackluster performance in the first debate and the next day Gloria Allred put Whitman's former housekeeper in front of the cameras.

"The three of these events together helped to define Meg Whitman in ways that seems to have moved Latino and women voters in particular," Cain said.

Cain says Whitman did not have a lot room to maneuver. If she had showed compassion to her undocumented housekeeper she would have had a problem with her base.

"And if they treated her the way they did, somewhat coldly, then they were going to have a problem with women and with Latinos and they chose their poison but it turned out to be a lethal one," he said.

There is a lot of talk that Democrats nationwide plan on staying home this election. If that holds up in California, that could help Whitman.


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