Forget Dianne Feinstein. The real top of California’s Democratic ticket, at least according to the Field Poll released today, is attorney general candidate Jerry Brown.
The Oakland mayor holds a whopping 25 percentage-point lead over Republican challenger Chuck Poochigian. That’s a wider margin than Feinstein enjoys over her U.S. Senate race opponent, GOP state Sen. Richard Mountjoy. It’s also bigger than Democratic treasurer candidate Bill Lockyer’s lead over Claude Parrish, the Republican who’s run a notably stealthy campaign.
Brown’s support has jumped 11 points since July, thanks in part to TV ads portraying him as an experienced crime fighter. Poochigian hasn’t run a bad campaign. He’s raised a decent amount of money and hit Brown relentlessly for Oakland’s rising murder rate and a sexual harassment scandal involving the mayor’s former aide.
But Poochigian, like other state GOP candidates, has received no campaign help from fellow Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Poochigian’s poll numbers have barely moved in three months and despite some advertising, he’s still hardly known around the state. It’s always a bad sign when 51 percent of your own party’s members hold no opinion of you a week before the election. That’s the case with Poochigian.
Feinstein, Lockyer and Brown will spend election night together at a San Francisco party, no doubt eager to see who wins bragging rights as top vote-getter.
— Cheryl Miller