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Blog Home Page --> Governor -- California

California Candidates Mobilizing For Senate, Gov Races

President Obama made his second trip to California on Barbara Boxer's behalf in as many months Tuesday, raising a total of $1.7 million for the senator's campaign and the DSCC at three stops in the Bay Area.

"I don't travel for just anybody," the president said at one of those events. "But when it comes to Barbara Boxer I'm a lot like you - when she calls and says she needs help, we're gonna give her some help."

Though she does not yet know who her Republican opponent will be, Boxer -- who also faces a primary challenge from liberal blogger Mickey Kaus -- knows this race will be one of her toughest yet. And given the cost of running a California campaign, particularly when one potential foe is capable of dipping into her personal fortune, Boxer is taking nothing for granted. Through the first quarter of 2010, she had nearly four times as much cash on hand as her potential foes.

"They have Sarah Palin," Boxer said, alluding to the former Alaska governor's endorsement of Carly Fiorina, but also the GOP as a whole. "We have the man I'm going to bring on stage right now. My friend, my pal. This is the second trip he's made for me."

Boxer's fate may prove to be indicative of just how deep the Democratic losses are in November. If she loses, Republicans are likely closing in on returning to parity in the Senate after being down 20 seats until this January. But if she wins, the GOP would have to run the table in every single other contest to even come close.

Continue reading "California Candidates Mobilizing For Senate, Gov Races" »

CA Gov Poll: Whitman Leads Primary, Trails Brown

A new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California finds former eBay CEO Meg Whitman leading the GOP gubernatorial primary field with the support of nearly one-third of Republicans, while former governor Jerry Brown (D) leads all of his potential general election foes. Other Republicans tested include former congressman Tom Campbell and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

GOP Primary
Whitman 32
Campbell 12
Poizner 8

General Election Matchups
Brown 43 - Whitman 37

Brown 46 - Campbell 34

Brown 47 - Poizner 31

Just 25% of Republicans and just 38% of Democrats said they were satisfied with their choice of candidates -- indicating a lack of enthusiasm among voters. "The lack of attention and enthusiasm suggests that people don't see this gubernatorial election as the answer to their problems," PPIC President and CEO Mark Baldassare said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "There's a huge undecided factor in the GOP primary, and these candidates aren't well-known at this point."

The survey of 2,004 California residents was conducted Dec. 1-8 with a margin of error of +/- 2%.

CA Gov Poll: Brown Poised For Comeback

A new Field Poll shows that state Attorney General Jerry Brown is well-positioned for a return to the governor's office, as he leads by double-digits in both the Democratic primary and in matchups with all three GOP opponents.

Democratic Primary Matchup
Brown 47 (+21 from last poll, March)
Newsom 27 (+11)
Undecided 26 (-32)

The March survey included several other potential Democratic candidates, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Now, Brown leads in all regions and age groups; Newsom scores best among women voters, but trails even there -- 40-31. A three-way race Sen. Dianne Feinstein is also tested. She would lead the field with 40 percent, followed by Brown (27 percent) and Newsom (16 percent).

Republican Primary Election Matchup
Whitman 22 (+1)
Campbell 20 (+2)
Poizner 9 (+2)
Undecided 49 (-5)

General Election Matchups
Brown 50 -- Whitman 29 -- Und 21
Brown 48 -- Campbell 27 -- Und 25
Brown 50 -- Poizner 25 -- Und 25
Newsom 40 -- Whitman 31 -- Und 29
Newsom 38 -- Campbell 33 -- Und 29
Newsom 39 -- Poizner 30 -- Und 31

Both Democrats have stronger name recognition, though San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is viewed less favorably.

Favorable Ratings
Brown 44 / 29
Newsom 30 / 40
Whitman 18 / 14
Campbell 20 / 21
Poizner 22 / 17

The overall sample was 1,005 registered voters (MoE +/- 3.2%), with primary subsamples of 496 Democrats (MoE +/- 4.5%) and 373 Republicans (MoE +/- 4.5%). The survey was conducted from September 18 to October 5.

CA Gov Poll: Brown Runs Stronger Against GOP Candidates

A Rasmussen poll of potential matchups in the California gubernatorial race shows that state Attorney General and former Gov. Jerry Brown is a stronger Democratic nominee than San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, leading all potential Republican opponents at this stage.

General Election Matchups
Brown 44 - Whitman 35 - Und 18
Brown 45 - Poizner 32 - Und 18
Brown 44 - Campbell 34 - Und 16
Whitman 41 - Newsom 36 - Und 18
Poizner 40 - Newsom 36 - Und 18
Campbell 42 - Newsom 36 - Und 17

Primary matchups were not released yet.

Brown, seeking a comeback in the governor's office after more than two decades, is by far the best-known candidate in the field, and the only with a favorability rating above 50 percent. Newsom, who owes his statewide notoriety in part to his fight for same-sex marriage, is the only candidate with a net-negative rating. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman polls best among the Republican candidates. But the survey was conducted just as she enjoyed a post-announcement media blitz that included a story about her spotty voting record.

Favorability Ratings
Brown 53 / 37
Newsom 41 / 44

Whitman 45 / 28
Poizner 36 / 32
Campbell 42 / 32

The automated telephone survey of 500 likely voters was conducted September 24, and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.

Are Whitman and Fiorina California Dreamin'?

Two wealthy California businesswomen took steps toward running for office this week. Neither is a newcomer to politics, exactly, but Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina have never run for public office before.

Ms. Whitman, the billionaire former chief executive of eBay, formally announced her campaign Tuesday to replace outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The same day, Ms. Fiorina, a former Hewlett Packard CEO, launched her Senate campaign Web site as she aims to knock off Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, though Ms. Fiorina still hasn't officially announced her candidacy.

Both former CEOs are facing competitive primaries that both are currently favored to win. Ms. Whitman will have to beat out state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former Rep. Tom Campbell; Ms. Fiorina will likely face Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. Awaiting Ms. Whitman in the general election will be either Attorney General (and former Gov.) Jerry Brown or San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

In Orange County on Tuesday, Ms. Whitman said her goal was to create two million new jobs in the state by 2015, while cutting the state budget and trimming the state workforce by 40,000 employees. Both of her primary opponents criticized Ms. Whitman's lack of details; at the same time, Ms. Fiorina was criticized by Democrats for her Web site's lack of substance and odd messaging, including the tagline, "Carlyfornia Dreamin'."

Both women were outspoken supporters of John McCain's presidential campaign, which didn't perform well in the state. Barack Obama won by 24 points, after George W. Bush lost the state by 10 and 11 points in the previous two elections. Ms. Whitman brings considerable wealth to the table, but lacks the star power of the current governor. Ms. Fiorina has the added challenge of facing a three-term senator coming off a 20-point victory in 2004.

CA Gov, Sen: Brown, Boxer With Early Leads

Former governor of California Jerry Brown (D) and incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) currently lead their respective fields in the races for governor and senator of California, according to the latest survey from DailyKos/Research 2000 (Aug 9-12, 600 LV, MoE +/- 4%).

Brown leads San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the Democratic primary and former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman (R) in the general election. Boxer leads former HP CEO Carly Fiorina (R) by a wide margin.

Brown (whose campaign website features a timeline of his political career dating back to 1943) currently serves as state attorney general and was elected governor in 1974. His father, Pat, served two terms as governor of California. Boxer is the junior senator; she's running for her fourth term in the Senate after five terms in the House.

Governor
Dem Primary
Brown 29 - Newsom 20 - Und 51

GOP Primary
Whitman 24 - Campbell 19 - Poizner 9 - Und 48

General Election
Brown 42 - Whitman 36 - Und 22
Whitman 37 - Newsom 36 - Und 27

Senate
GOP Primary
Fiorina 29 - Devore 17 - Und 54

General Election
Boxer 52 - Fiorina 31 - Und 17

Villaraigosa Says No To CA Gov Bid

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced on CNN this hour that he would not run for governor of California in 2010. We suspected as much earlier.

Speaking with Wolf Blitzer, the Democrat said that cities across America are on the front lines in dealing with the economic crisis and other challenges facing the country more broadly.

"I feel compelled to complete what I started out to do," he said. Villaraigosa starts his second term on July 1. "I can't leave this city in the middle of a crisis."

Asked if he couldn't do more for the city as governor than as mayor, he repeated that he felt compelled to follow through on his promise to the city. But he did say it was an "agonizing decision," and said that the situation in Sacramento is "an abomination." "The system is fundamentally flawed -- it's broken," he said.

Villaraigosa declined to state a preference for either of the candidates already running in the Democratic primary, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Jerry Brown.

"I'm not focused on that," he said. "Whoever is going to be the next governor of the state of California better talk turkey," he added, rattling off a list of structural problems he thinks should be addressed like term limits and the budget vote threshold.

CA Gov: Villaraigosa Plans Announcement Today

CNN reports that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will make an announcement about his political future today on "The Situation Room."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and former Governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown are already running in the Democratic primary for California governor. There has been speculation for years -- going back even to the 2006 gubernatorial race -- that Villaraigosa would likely run this year, though it has cooled somewhat of late.

The Los Angeles Times this weekend ran results of a poll showing that Villaraigosa's standing in the state's largest city is fairly strong. He begins a second term on July 1.

Villaraigosa Job Performance
Approve 55
Disapprove 37

Should He Run For Governor?
Yes 42
No 48

It would seem that that an announcement on national cable, rather than on local television, signals he may pass on the race. Then again, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced his candidacy in the 2003 recall on "The Tonight Show."

After the jump, see results of a three-way race among Democrat candidates in the city.

Continue reading "CA Gov: Villaraigosa Plans Announcement Today" »

On The Opposite Coast, No Respite For Schwarzenegger

With ballot measures he supports heading to defeat today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) might have thought he'd have an easier go of things in Washington today. As he addressed White House reporters, he claimed a large share of credit for the new fuel emissions accord that was promoted today.

"As the president said, if it wouldn't have been for the great leadership of our great state, this would have never happened," he said.

But the very first question he faced offered no additional opportunity to claim a political victory, as he was asked why he chose to be in Washington instead of at home.

"I did vote by absentee, and I'm looking forward to the outcome tonight," he said. "I will be back tomorrow morning to bring back the good news of what happened here today."

Californians are voting on a slate of initiatives meant to shore up the Golden State's troubled finances. According to the Los Angeles Times, the initiatives would boost the rainy day fund, invoke a spending cap and extend recent tax hikes, among other steps. Most are headed for defeat, according to polls, except for an initiative to ban pay increases for state lawmakers in lean budget times.

"We always respect the will of the people. ... We don't know what the outcome of the election - tomorrow we will analyze that - but today we are going to go and celebrate this great victory," he repeated.

President Obama did praise Schwarzenegger in his Rose Garden remarks, but even he seemed to pick on the former action star as he introduced the three governors in attendance.

"Let me take them in order of good looks -- sorry, Arnold," the president joked, listing him behind Govs. Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.) and Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) Payback, perhaps, after Schwarzenegger mocked Obama's "skinny legs" and "scrawny arms" during the presidential campaign.

CA Gov Poll: Brown Leads Dem primary

Former two-term governor Jerry Brown leads a potential Democratic primary field with 31% of the vote, according to a new poll by Tulchin Research. Brown currently serves as state attorney general, and also is a former secretary of state.

Tested against Brown were San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

Brown 31
Newsom 16
Villaraigosa 12
Garamendi 11
O'Connell 6
Undecided 20

Garamendi announced this week he is instead seeking a soon-to-be vacant U.S. House seat in California's 10th District, which Rep. Ellen Tauscher is vacating to serve in the State Department.