Poll: Whitman Besting Brown
A USC poll finds that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is leading Jerry Brown by 11 points among undecided voters. In the U.S. Senate
race, Senator Barbara Boxer is ahead of challenger Carly Fiorina by five points. And the female vote may be key, as more women remain undecided.A USC poll finds that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is leading Jerry Brown by 11 points among undecided voters. In the U.S. Senate
race, Senator Barbara Boxer is ahead of challenger Carly Fiorina by five points. And the female vote may be key, as more women remain undecided.
In the tight race for California governor, Meg Whitman has secured more support from the state’s undecided voters over the last few months than Jerry Brown has. This is a key finding of a poll conducted by the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Republican candidate Whitman leads Democratic candidate Brown by 11 points among registered voters who had not yet reached a decision during the primary election season, according to the USC UVote 2010 Poll.
The poll randomly sampled 286 California registered voters from a pool of 1,003 undecided voters who told the USC College/Los Angeles Times Poll in March or May 2010 that they were undecided about the gubernatorial or U.S. Senate races.
Among registered voters who were undecided just a few months ago, 43 percent now support former eBay CEO Whitman. Thirty-two percent now support Attorney General Brown. Twenty-two percent remain undecided.
“So there’s a bit of a twist from the decision-paralyzed electorate — they like Whitman better,” says Jane Junn, political science professor at USC and director of the poll.
In the race for U.S. Senate, undecided California voters are leaning toward the Democratic candidate, according to the USC UVote 2010 Poll. Republican Carly Fiorina trails Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer by five points among registered voters who made up their minds in the last few months. Thirty-nine percent of those voters now support Boxer, 34 percent support Fiorina, and 23 percent remain undecided.
“Among undecided voters, this race certainly isn’t over,” says Michel Angela Martinez, study director of the poll, which was conducted September 20-27.
“Undecided voters could be the deciders in California and play a pivotal role in deciding which direction California will head in the coming years,” adds study researcher Alexander Yebri.
The most recent USC College/Los Angeles Times Poll, conducted in September, found that 9 percent of California’s registered voters were undecided about the governor’s race, with another 9 percent leaning toward either Brown or Whitman. In the race for U.S. Senate, 7 percent of registered voters were still undecided, with another 7 percent leaning toward Boxer or Fiorina.
“A large proportion of undecided voters have simply not heard enough about the candidates to say who they think will do a better job in Washington,” says study researcher Nikolas Hulewsky.
Party registration among the undecided voters is 40 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican and 28 percent “decline to state.”
“The election isn’t just coming down to the undecided voters,” adds study researcher Vladimir Medenica. “It’s really coming down to the female vote, because most undecided voters are female.”
Additional significant findings of the USC UVote 2010 Poll:
- In comparison with registered voters overall, a disproportionate amount (63 percent) of undecided voters are women.
- Mirroring her overall advantage among undecided voters, Whitman leads Brown by 10 points among undecided voters who self-identify as “independent.” About one-third of all undecided voters surveyed self-identify as “independent” voters.
- This year’s group of California undecided voters has swung toward both Republican and Democratic candidates in the past — a majority of these undecided voters went for Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2008.
- Overall, approximately 17 percent of those polled made up their mind about the governor’s race less than two weeks earlier, 23 percent decided on the governor’s race between two weeks and two months earlier, and 51 percent made their choice more than two months earlier.
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