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New polls show Whitman holding lead over Poizner

May 24, 2010 |  4:17 pm
Two new polls in the race for governor show Meg Whitman holding on to her lead over Steve Poizner. But that's where the similarities end.

A Daily Kos poll from the publishers of the liberal Daily Kos blog, released over the weekend, showed the race within 10 points, with Whitman holding a 46-36 lead. That 10-point gap was similar to the poll from the Public Policy Institute of California released last week that showed Whtman with a 38-29 lead.

The Daily Kos poll surveyed voters from May 17 to 19. PPIC surveyed voters from May 9 to 16.

Two weeks ago, Steve Poizner's campaign was touting a SurveyUSA poll showing that the race between Poizner and Whitman was a statistical dead heat. But the latest poll has some not-so-good news for the Poizner campaign. The latest from SurveyUSA shows Whitman reopening her lead to 27 points with a  54%-27% advantage over Poizner -- a wild swing of 25 points in less than two weeks  that has raised suspicion among other pollsters.

SurveyUSA's results show far fewer undecided voters than PPIC or the Daily Kos poll. PPIC showed 31% of likely Republican voters still undecided. The Daily Kos poll, conducted three days after the PPIC survey finished, showed 18% undecided.

But SurveyUSA's methods vary slightly from some other well-established polls. Unlike other polls, SurveyUSA exclusively uses automated calls, known as "robocalls" to contact voters. Those call lists, by law, must exclude cellphone users because federal law prohibits unsolicited robocalls to cellphones. The poll also uses a random-digit dialing method and identifies likely voters based on the response of those being surveyed. Other polls, such as the Field Poll, use voter file information to determine likely voters.

Details of the latest SurveyUSA poll are not yet on its website. But they were released to local television stations that commissioned the poll.

Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said there would be another Field Poll released before election day but did not say exactly when. The joint USC/Los Angeles Times poll will also release a survey before the June 8 election

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

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