Brown leads in pair of polls

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Oct 25, 2010


SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - With just a week left until the general election, California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown still remains slightly ahead of his GOP opponent, Meg Whitman, according to the newest Rasmussen poll results.

The results of a Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of likely voters, released Saturday, shows the California Attorney General with 48 percent of the vote and Whitman with 42 percent.

According to the survey, 4 percent prefer some other candidate and 6 percent are undecided.

In a previous Rasmussen poll last week, Brown held a similar 50-44 edge over Whitman.

Support for Brown, a longtime Democratic figure in the state who previously served as governor from 1975-1983, has steadily risen from 40 percent in late August, the polling company said.

Backing for Whitman, a former eBay CEO, has declined slightly from a high of 48 percent in the same period, Rasmussen said.

The Rasmussen survey of 750 likely voters in California was conducted on Oct. 21. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Meanwhile, the results of a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll, released on Sunday, gave Brown a sizable 13 percentage point lead over Whitman.

According to the poll, Brown has 52 percent support, compared to 39 percent for Whitman among likely voters.

In the same poll a month ago, Brown had a 5 percentage point lead over Whitman.

The Times/USC poll, conducted Oct. 13-20, also showed Brown has a 36 percentage point lead over Whitman among Latino voters, up from 19 percent in September.

The survey was conducted among 1,500 people, including 922 likely voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for likely voters.

Whitman's camp said the Times/USC poll "assumes a completely irrational turnout mix," according to a memo on the Republican's website.

Her campaign said the poll was conducted by a Democrat polling firm and that it is "aged."

"The Times poll was in the field from 10/13-18; before a discernible Whitman uptick in other polls. In other words, it's old, statistically flawed, and in no way a current snapshot of the race," her campaign said in the memo.

Whitman pollster John McLaughlin said of the survey, "Statistically, given the clear average of multiple public and private polls fielded in a similar time frame, The LA Times poll should be categorized as an outlier poll and can be dismissed as simply inaccurate."

Her campaign said it is "certain" the race is "extremely close."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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