Tracking poll shows Whitman, Fiorina pulling away

Former eBay executive Meg Whitman holds a commanding lead over Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the June 8 Republican gubernatorial primary. In the GOP Senate primary, former HP President Carly Fiorina has pulled away from rival Tom Campbell, according to the latest Capitol Weekly/Probolsky Research tracking poll.

Whitman, a billionaire, led Poizner 48.4 percent to 19.9 percent, while Fiorina led Campbell 36.5 percent to 22 percent. When those who are “leaning toward” either candidate are included, Whitman leads Poizner by 54.4 percent to 24 percent, while Fiorina leads Campbell by 40 percent to 24.5 percent. Republican Senate contender Chuck DeVore remained in a distant third with 12 points.

“Whitman has this sewn up. It’s done. She’s going to really embarrass Steve Poizner,” said pollster Adam Probolsky.

The survey of 750 likely Republican primary voters was conducted by telephone statewide from May 30 through June 1. The poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percent. The entire poll, conducted by Republican pollster  Probolsky in consultation with Democratic pollster Ben Tulchin, can be viewed here.


A tracking poll is slightly different than a full polling survey. A track is meant more to be a snapshot in time, and try to capture momentum and trends in a race. “The main point of a track is to monitor movement and impact of a paid media campaign,” said Tulchin. Tulchin said these numbers clearly show that Whitman and Fiorina’s poltiical ads have sealed the deal with Republican voters. 

The Senate side reflects a dramatic shift toward Fiorina over the past six weeks. An April 24 Capitol Weekly/Probolsky Research Poll showed Campbell with 31-17 point lead over Fiorina, and DeVore at 14 percent.

The change in the Senate campaign reflects the heavier spending by Fiorina.

Probolsky noted that two of the three survey days were over the Memorial Day weekend. But he did not expect that to alter the final results dramatically. “I’m sure there’s some variations based upon the holiday weekend. If someone was winning by a half a point, I’d say we’d have to compensate for it and make sure we’re on track. But these are big numbers. Both Whitman and Fiorina are winning big. The weekend is not going to make a difference here,” he said.

“These races are played out,” Tulchin.


Tulchin, who also works as a pollster for Democratic lieutenant governor hopeful Gavin Newsom, said more than 25% of those voting in this month’s primary have already cast their ballots.

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