Whitman, Fiorina pull ahead in Repub polls

LOS ANGELES Two wealthy businesswomen have surged into the leads in the California Republican race for governor and U.S. senator. Former EBay CEO /*Meg Whitman*/ and Hewlett-Packard CEO /*Carly Fiorina*/ have substantial leads in an exclusive Eyewitness News poll. Both candidates are making their first runs for public office.

Former EBay CEO Meg Whitman is leading state insurance commissioner /*Steve Poizner*/ with a two-to-one margin, a dramatic shift in the poll by Survey USA from two weeks ago.

Fiorina is also up sharply with nearly twice the support she had over fellow Republican Senate candidate /*Tom Campbell*/.

In the Republican governor's race, Whitman now gets 54 percent of the likely voters over Poizner, who gets 27 percent. "Other" candidates get 10 percent, 9 percent of those surveyed were undecided.

"There was a poll a few days ago that had me within single digits," said Poizner. "Another poll, just a couple points away. So the polls are all over the place. This is what you expect at this point in the campaign, when all the advertising -- there's a lot of confusion out there."

Poizner surged in the polls nearly two months ago after he started spending millions each week on attack ads. The focus on illegal immigration may be turning voters off.

Whitman's attacks on Poizner have been a little broader.

Sarah Pompei, campaign spokesperson for Meg Whitman, released a statement: "We're still running like we're 10 points behind, just like we have from the beginning. We're confident that on Election Day Californians will reject Sacramento politicians and choose Meg."

The news for Carly Fiorina also represents a major shift in her support. Fiorina now holds a 23-point lead over Tom Campbell. She's more than doubled support among women, seniors and Hispanics.

Former congressman and state finance director Tom Campbell doesn't believe it.

"Every poll that I've seen so far has had me ahead or within the margin of error," said Campbell. "And most importantly, that I do best against Senator Barbara Boxer."

Julie Soderlund, Fiorina campaign spokesperson, released a statement: "Today's poll confirms that hard work produces results, and we fully expect the momentum to continue building as we march toward victory on June 8th."

The campaigns for both the senate and governor in the Republican primaries promise to be the most expensive in state history. Especially for governor, with a billionaire and multi-millionaire spending their own money.

The primary election is on June 8, less than three weeks away.

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