Poll shows wide-open races for governor in 2010

Democrat Dianne Feinstein enjoys a comfortable lead over all comers in a hypothetical 2010 gubernatorial match-up, according to a new Capitol Weekly/Probolsky Research poll. On the Republican side, a wide-open race shows former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former Congressman Tom Campbell ahead in a very early measure of support.

Campbell and Whitman were out front with 15 and 14 percent of the Republican vote respectively, while Republican Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner trailed with just 4 percent of the vote. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed remain undecided.

Pollster Adam Probolsky cautioned against reading too much into the results, particularly on the Republican side. Probolsky noted that the survey used identifiers for the candidates that could not be used on an actual ballot. In the survey, Whitman was identified as a former eBay CEO, but she would not be allowed to use the name of the company on the ballot, according to state election rules.

"What we really see in this survey is that the eBay brand trumps the insurance brand," said Probolsky.

Campbell, the former congressman and Berkeley and Stanford professor, appears to enjoy higher name ID than the other Republican candidates. But that is sure to change as Whitman and Poizner open up their wallets and spend millions to introduce themselves to Republican voters.

On the Democratic side, Feinstein enjoys support among 36 percent of those who say they are likely to vote in a Democratic primary. Attorney General Jerry Brown is next with 14 percent of the vote. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa each have 9 percent, and 22 percent of the respondents were undecided.

Not surprisingly, the two mayors enjoy more support in their respective home towns. Villaraigosa enjoys about 20 percent support among Los Angeles voters, and among voters between the ages of 18-34.

Newsom's support in the San Francisco Bay Area is 23 percent.

The telephone survey of 752 registered voters was conducted Jan. 22 through Jan. 29. The margin of error is 3.7 percent. The full survey, the first Capitol Weekly/Probolsky Research Poll, is available on online at

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