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Brown leads Newsom for governor; Republicans undecided, Field poll finds [Updated]

October 8, 2009 |  9:23 am

Jerry Brown has a solid lead against Gavin Newsom in the Democratic governor's race, but the race is much more wide open on the Republican side, according to a new Field Poll.

Brown, the former governor and current attorney general, had 47% support while Newsom, the San Francisco mayor had 27%, according to the poll.

On the Republican side, 49% of Field respondents were undecided, while 22% favored former EBay executive Meg Whitman, 20% backed former Rep. Tom Campbell 20% and 9% backed state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

"Each of the potential Democratic contenders are known to large majorities of this state’s voters, whereas only small proportions hold an opinion of the three Republicans," according to analysis by Field. "When voters are asked to choose between the Democrats and their lesser known GOP rivals in general election match-ups, both Brown and Newsom best each of the Republicans. Brown’s leads, however, are large and range from 21 to 25 points. By contrast, Newsom’s leads are in the single digits."

Older voters tended to favor Brown while younger voters tilted toward Newsom, the poll found.

Whitman was polling stronger in Southern California, while Campbell had a slight edge in Northern California. [Updated: Whitman and Campbell were essentially tied in Northern California once the poll's margin of error is taken into account.]

The Field Poll surveyed 1,005 registered voters in California between Sept. 18 and Oct. 5.

-- Shelby Grad

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