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Poll: Brown with slight edge in Calif. gov race

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Aug 10, 2010


SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - The race for California governor between Democrat and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman remains a nail-biter, according to recent poll results.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state found Brown with 43 percent support and Whitman, the former eBay CEO, with 41 percent of the vote. Six percent prefer another candidate and 10 percent remain undecided. The results were released Friday.

Both candidates, according to the poll results, have seen a drop in support over the past month. In July, Whitman was at 47 percent and Brown at 46.

The two candidates have been neck-and-neck since September. Brown bounced ahead, briefly, right after the state Democratic Convention in April. But the race tightened again in June after Whitman's GOP primary win.

According to the survey's results, 60 percent of California voters see Brown as a liberal, while 59 percent think Whitman is a conservative.

Forty-two percent think the attorney general's views are mainstream, but nearly as many -- 39 percent -- consider them extreme.

Whitman's views, on the other hand, are seen as mainstream by 44 percent of the state's likely voters and extreme by 33 percent.

According to the poll results, Whitman has 79 percent of the Republican vote, while 72 percent of Democrats support Brown. Rasmussen said those voters not affiliated with either party "give the edge to the Democrat."

Brown, a former governor, is viewed "very favorably" by 24 percent of likely voters and "very unfavorably" by 37 percent.

Meanwhile, 18 percent have a very favorable opinion of Whitman, while 28 percent regard her very unfavorably.

Rasmussen said they consider the number of people with strong opinions "to be more significant" than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

The survey of 750 likely voters was conducted on Aug. 3. The margin sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

All field work for Rasmussen surveys was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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