Findings from the PPIC poll:
Politicos figure that Whitman was too smart to ever directly push Campbell out of the contest. But given that her political guru Mike Murphy sent that memo to Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner suggesting that Poizner instead run for Senate in 2012, it is evident that Whitman Inc. wanted to clear the field for governor. And Campbell had to be aware that the doors of GOP biggies supporting Whitman suddenly would swing open for him if he jumped to the Senate race. Whitman didn't need to push Campbell out. Her money did all the work.
So Campbell moved. And as fast as corn popping, former Secretary of State George Shultz became Camp Campbell's honorary chair, and Whitman fundraising dynamo Kristin Hueter added Campbell to her client list. (Said Hueter: "It's a lie if somebody says there was a deal cut for Tom to pull out of the race.")
- Meg Whitman has bolstered her lead over Steve Poizner by 20 points since January among likely voters in the Republican primary. Today, 61 percent favor her, compared to 11 percent for Poizner, whose level of support is unchanged from January (Whitman 41%, Poizner 11%)
- Meg Whitman leads Jerry Brown 44% to 39% among likely voters in the race for governor and Brown is favored over Poizner, 46% to 31%.
- The Republican primary race for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat has tightened since January, when Tom Campbell led both Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore among Republican likely voters (27% Campbell, 16% Fiorina, 8% DeVore). Today, Campbell and Fiorina are in a close race (24% Fiorina, 23% Campbell), and DeVore’s level of support is unchanged (8%). In this campaign—which has seen little advertising—the largest percentage of likely voters (44%) is undecided, similar to January (48%).
- Incumbent Barbara Boxer is in a close race with Carly Fiorina and Tom Campbell for her senate seat.
- Approval for the state legislature’s job performance drops to 9%.