Poll: Meg Whitman Trails Jerry Brown — And Voters Don’t Like Self-Financed Campaigns

July 28, 2010 5:33 a.m.

The new survey of the California gubernatorial race by Public Policy Polling (D) shows Democratic state Attorney General and ex-Governor Jerry Brown leading Republican former eBay CEO Meg Whitman — with some possible resentment of Whitman’s heavy self-financing for the race.

The horserace: Brown 46%, Whitman 40%. The survey of registered voters has a ±3.95% margin of error. In the previous poll from late May, two weeks before Whitman won the Republican primary, Brown led by a healthier 48%-36%. The TPM Poll Average has Brown leading by 44.9%-42.4%.In a key follow-up question, respondents were asked: “Do you think there should be a legal limit on how much money a candidate can donate to his or her own campaign?” The answer was 52% yes, 33% no.

The next question: “Do you think a working-class person could successfully run for statewide or federal office in California today?” Here it is a nearly identical 53% no, to 31% yes.

Whitman, of course, has spent $90 million from her personal fortune on her gubernatorial campaign. Indeed, the former eBay head has stated that she could end up placing a maximum bid of $150 million for the office. But this poll suggests that at a certain point her spending could end up doing more harm than good.

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