Californians Respond to Discipline: Brown/Whitman Dead Heat, Fiorina Slipping


Call me nostradumbass.* Two days after I pronounced Carly Fiorina the more credible of the big-ticket Republican candidates in California—and one day after former Meg Whitman odd jobs gal Nicky Diaz revealed Whitman's involvement in the rendition, waterboarding and summary executions of illegal immigrants—Whitman has closed the gap in her race against former governor Jerry Brown, while Fiorina is trailing badly against Sen. Barbara Boxer.

That's the result of a new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California, which interviewed 2,004 adult residents in English and Spanish, via landline and cell. PPIC's results:

In the governor's race, Democrat Jerry Brown (37%) and Republican Meg Whitman (38%) are locked in a virtual tie among likely voters with 18 percent undecided. In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer (42%) leads Republican Carly Fiorina (35%) by 7 points, with 17 percent undecided.

Full survey report [pdf]. Nine out of every ten Californians say the state is still in a recession, 62 percent say jobs and the economy is the most important issue facing the Golden State. Four in 10 say they are "very concerned or somewhat concerned" about a personal or family-member job loss. Only 45 percent are satisfied with the choices in the governor's race.

Mixed news on ballot initiatives. Only Proposition 19, the legalization of cannabis or "Indian Boy" as it's called on the the street, has a majority rating. But Prop 25, which would remove the two-thirds vote requirement to pass a budget, has way more support (at 48 percent pro, with 35 percent con) than it deserves.

* Like every hack who writes up poll results, I'm telescoping for dramatic effect. The survey was conducted from September 19–26, 2010, before the most recent debates, the Nicky Diaz nonshell, and my own rush to judgment on Whitman.