Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tom McClintock is close!

'McClintock Closes in as Garamendi Falters'

The Sacramento Bee headline says it all…

Two new polls released this week show John Garamendi losing support in the race for Lt. Governor. On Saturday, The Los Angeles Times reported that Tom McClintock had a one-point lead 42% to 41%. The prestigious Field Poll released today shows Garamendi has “lost traction with voters while support for McClintock…has held steady.”

Read for yourself...

McClintock closes in as Garamendi falters

By Judy Lin - Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Democrat John Garamendi and Republican Tom McClintock are locked in a tight race for the lieutenant governor's job, while attack ads have cut into Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's lead in the attorney general's race, according to the latest Field Poll released Monday.

Garamendi, a two-term state insurance commissioner, appears to have lost traction with voters while support for McClintock, a state senator known for his fiscal conservatism, has held steady. The latest survey shows 41 percent of likely voters supporting Garamendi, and 39 percent favoring McClintock.

In July, the same survey showed Garamendi had 48 percent support, compared to 38 percent for McClintock.

The numbers suggest that California's ever-growing camp of voters who decline to state a political party will play a pivotal role in deciding who becomes the next lieutenant governor -- a largely ceremonial job but one candidates often hope to use as a springboard for gubernatorial bids. While Democrats and Republicans largely fell in line with their party candidate, 23 percent of nonpartisan voters remained undecided.

"Those are the swing voters in play," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo.

"They're just playing a much greater role. They're undecided until they find out more about the candidates."

While the Garamendi camp has been trying to portray McClintock as a right-wing obstructionist, the state Republican Party has aired ads featuring a husband and wife who claim they lost their house and blame Garamendi for bungling the collapse of the Executive Life Insurance Co. during his first stint as insurance commissioner.

Negative campaign ads also appear to have cut into Brown's sizable early lead in the state attorney general race.

However, the survey results suggest the attacks haven't yet translated into votes for his challenger, DiCamillo said. Brown's lead is down to 15 points, compared to a 21-point advantage over Republican challenger Chuck Poochigian in July's Field Poll.

"That's good news for Brown and bad news for Poochigian because it hasn't yet moved to Poochigian's column," DiCamillo said.

In the current survey, 45 percent of likely voters supported Brown and 30 percent favored Poochigian. The undecided accounted for 18 percent.

Both men are enjoying the loyalty of their party members. Brown, a former two-term governor, has 70 percent support among Democratic voters. Poochigian, a state senator from Fresno running in his first statewide contest, has 60 percent. However, nonpartisan voters prefer Brown.

With just five weeks left to court voters, California is experiencing one of its quietest U.S. Senate races.

"It's almost below the radar screen," DiCamillo said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein retains a 2-1 margin lead over her Republican challenger, Richard Mountjoy. The current survey shows 57 percent of likely voters supporting the Democratic senator, while 29 percent favor Mountjoy.

The incumbent senator has commanding leads over Mountjoy, a former state senator, across all regions of the state except for the Southern California region outside of Los Angeles County.


And, over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times released a separate poll that showed Tom McClintock leading by one point.

“In the race for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) was virtually tied with Democratic state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, 42% to 41%.”
–The Los Angeles Times Poll

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