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September 09, 2008

Brown Ahead In Race For Doolittle Seat

Two years ago, retired Air Force officer Charlie Brown came within three points of beating ethically embattled Republican Rep. John Doolittle in a northern California district. With Doolittle retiring, a poll for Brown's campaign shows the Democrat leading this time around.

The poll, conducted by Benensen Strategy Group, surveyed 500 likely voters between 8/21-24 for a margin of error of +/- 4.4%. Brown and state Senator Tom McClintock, the Republican nominee to replace Doolittle, were tested.

General Election Matchup

McClintock has inherent advantages in a district likely to go heavily for John McCain in November. President Bush won the district by 24 points in 2004, and McClintock is something of a known commodity in California political circles; in 2006, he was the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, and he's become the rising star of the Golden State GOP's conservative wing.

But don't count Brown out. Brown's campaign notes that a Benensen poll at about this time in 2006 showed the Democrat trailing Doolittle by two points, and this year he's going to have a lot more institutional support. A member of the Red to Blue program, Brown will also benefit from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee advertisements, which will hit McClintock on everything from issue positions to the fact that his legal residence in Thousand Oaks is still some 400 miles away.