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Poll numbers shift from Whitman to Brown

September 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's been a sudden and dramatic swing in the California governor's race in an exclusive Eyewitness News poll conducted by SurveyUSA.Meg Whitman was in Hollywood Wednesday for a town hall meeting.

The newest exclusive Eyewitness News poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, shows a significant shift in the allegiance of her voters to Jerry Brown. In just three weeks, she's seen him gain seven points.

Whitman attended the town hall meeting with New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie.

Just three weeks ago, an Eyewitness News poll showed Whitman, the former chief executive officer of EBay, seven points ahead of former California governor and current state attorney general Jerry Brown.

The latest poll shows Brown would get 46 percent of the vote to 43 percent of voters for Whitman. Eleven percent polled remain undecided.

The gap is within the margin of error, but it's a big shift in Whitman's support as the Nov. 2 election draws near.

"There's lots of people in California who think a Republican can't win the governor's race against the oldest name in California politics, Jerry Brown," said Whitman Wednesday. "But what are we going to show them? We're going to show them that we're going to take back Sacramento and we're going to turn California around."

Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for Brown, said the race is close "as we expect it will be through election day." Clifford says Whitman's unprecedented spending has failed because voters know her ads are not true.

Whitman has set a historic high for self-funding in a campaign: $119 million of her own money, and counting. She's spent around $100 million so far, and the billionaire is expected to spend much more.

Brown started his advertising late, and it appears to have had a positive effect.

But Whitman will keep hammering away, and doesn't believe one poll matters. She has plans to cut state spending and, she says, create jobs.

"I've outlined $15 billion of savings we can get by just being smart about how we run this government," said Whitman Wednesday. "And so let's get the government back down to where we were just four or five years ago, where we had 33,000 fewer employees."

Jerry Brown had no public events Wednesday. A spokesman said he's been preparing for the next scheduled debate on October 2.


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