Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
The big winner from the Republican primary for Governor in California? It might be Jerry Brown. The likely Democratic nominee, benefiting from bad feelings between Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, has commanding double digit leads over both of them.
Brown is up 48-36 on Whitman and 48-32 on Poizner. There are almost no races in the country this year where Democratic voters are more unified than the Republicans- in almost every case there are more Democrats voting for GOP candidates than vice versa. That's not the case in California though where Brown takes 79% of the Democratic vote to Whitman's 72% of the Republican vote and 78% of the Democratic vote to Poizner's 67% of the Republican vote. Brown is bucking another overwhelming national trend by leading both of the GOP contenders with independents.
That's the biggest lead Brown has had over Whitman in any poll since September. Nonetheless, I still expect this is going to be very competitive race. It also could be quite volatile. California's problems are large enough that if the candidates are remotely intellectually honest in addressing them, they're going to have to say some very unpopular things.
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