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Big drop in Meg Whitman poll numbers

May 19, 2010 |  9:21 pm

A new poll has bad news for Meg Whitman.

Whitman, the billionaire Republican candidate for governor, has plunged in polls as rapidly as she once ascended, dropping from a 50-point lead in March to single digits in a poll released Wednesday.

Whitman's rise earlier this year relied largely on a single overwhelming factor — a personal fortune she has tapped for $68 million so far, allowing her to flood the airwaves for months. But her decline stems from a host of factors, according to political analysts and strategists.

Her opponent Steve Poizner's attack on her as being too liberal on illegal immigration lacked traction for weeks, then found footing with the passage of a tough new Arizona law that Whitman opposed.

The business background that was an early advantage for the former EBay chief turned into a liability with publicity about her ties to a controversial Wall Street firm.

Read Cathleen Decker's full story here.

Keep in touch with California politics at The Times' blog, PolitiCal, and via Twitter feeds.

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