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Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 5/17-19. Likely voters. (3/8-10 results)

Republican Gubernatorial primary, likely Republican voters, MoE 5%

Meg Whitman (R) 46 (52)
Steve Poizner (R) 36 (19)
Undecided 18 (29)

Clearly, the avalanche of negative campaign ads in both directions has taken more luster off of Whitman than Poizner. Not only has he managed to drag Whitman back under the 50% threshold, but he has also, it would seem, mopped up most of those undecided voters.

Between the two of them, they could conceivably spend close to $100 million in the primary alone. Despite that, both Republicans continue to trail the all-but-certain Democratic nominee, former Governor Jerry Brown.

General Election--Governor, likely voters, MoE 4% (3/8-10 in parentheses)

Jerry Brown (D) 46 (45)
Meg Whitman (R) 42 (41)
Undecided 18 (29)

Jerry Brown (D) 47 (48)
Steve Poizner (R) 37 (33)
Undecided 16 (19)

Apparently, self-funding to the tune of eight figures, in a state like California, still cannot buy a Republican a lead, even against a campaign that seems like it has only spent about eight dollars.

Poizner has improved his primary and general position a little bit with his rather feisty campaign, but his favorabilities are scarcely different now than they were in March. Indeed, if there is an intriguing stat in the gubernatorial polling, it is the fact that the favorabilities for all three candidates have barely moved:

Favorable/Unfavorable (3/8-10 in parentheses)
Jerry Brown (D): 48/43 (52/40)
Meg Whitman (R): 47/38 (51/35)
Steve Poizner (R): 39/43 (37/40)
Whitman's dip can easily be attributed to the fact that Poizner has spent several million dollars attacking her since the last time we polled the race (Whitman had used some of her massive February ad buy to dump a pre-emptive strike on Poizner). Brown's sag can also be attributed to advertising--state buisness interests have run a smattering of ads jumping on Brown. Since Brown is not on the air (and not, it seems, doing much of anything), the attacks have been the only voice in the room about the Democratic frontrunner. Hence, the seven point drop in his net favorabilities.

Meanwhile, over on the Senate side, the DK/R2K poll has a different take on the GOP primary than most other polling we have seen this week. Most have the election as a toss-up, and one even had Carly Fiorina edging into the lead. Our poll, on the other hand, continues to show former Congressman Tom Campbell with a modest, but real, lead over Fiorina and teabagger favorite Chuck DeVore.

Republican Senate primary, likely Republican voters, MoE 5%

Tom Campbell (R) 37 (33)
Carly Fiorina (R) 22 (24)
Chuck DeVore (R) 14 (7)
Undecided 27 (36)

Fiorina's biggest liability appears to be with male voters, where she lags behind not only Campbell, but also DeVore. Fiorina runs stronger with female Republicans, but not decisively so (she holds down just 27% of the vote, still lagging behind Campbell's 33%).

Part of the problem for Fiorina is that the GOP gubernatorial tilt is sucking up an awful lot of the oxygen in the state. The incessant air war between Whitman and Poizner, especially when paired with the growing narrative that Whitman is stumbling towards the finish line, has relegated the Senate race to the back burner.

In potential general election trial heats with incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, the race has essentially been frozen since March. This is, all in all, pretty good news for the Senator, who holds leads of 7-9 points against all comers.

General Election--U.S. Senator, likely voters, MoE 4%

Barbara Boxer (D) 47 (47)
Tom Campbell (R) 40 (43)
Undecided 13 (10)

Barbara Boxer (D) 48 (49)
Carly Fiorina (R) 39 (40)

Barbara Boxer (D) 47 (49)
Chuck DeVore (R) 38 (39)

The primaries are now less than three weeks away, as the ballots will be cast on June 8th.
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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri May 21, 2010 at 09:25 AM PDT.

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