CA-Gov: Brown Beating Newsom; Foy May Get In

J. Moore Methods (D) (6/20-23, registered voters):

Jerry Brown (D): 46

Gavin Newsom (D): 26

(MoE: ±4.7%)

Here’s the first poll of the California governor’s primary on the Democratic side since LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa dropped out (although it’s a Democratic pollster, it’s not an internal). There aren’t any trendlines so we can’t see if AG Jerry Brown got a bump out of Villaraigosa’s disappearing act (Brown, the former governor, is better known in southern California than his rival, SF Mayor Gavin Newsom), but Brown now has a convincing lead. Brown leads even more among voters 60+ (i.e. those old enough to remember Brown’s first turn as Governor): 54-20. Newsom leads among the 18-to-39 set, 37-26.

There’s one other interesting new tidbit in the Governor’s race: Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy says he’s now “strongly” looking into the race and will decide within the next couple months. Your first response is probably: who? Well, Foy is coming from a small regional base (affluent suburbia west of Los Angeles), and is decidely money-impaired compared with mega-self-funders Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner. Here’s the rub, though: Foy is a pro-lifer, and a doctrinaire fiscal conservative who helped lead the fight against Proposition 1A. Currently, the conservative movement has absolutely no horse in the race, with the primary field containing three pro-choice business/establishment conservatives (Whitman, Poizner, and ex-Rep. Tom Campbell). If movement conservatives unite behind Foy while the moderate vote gets split three ways, Foy could suddenly be a force to be reckoned with.

RaceTracker: CA-Gov

SSP Daily Digest: 6/8

PA-Sen: Seems like Joe Sestak cleared his Senate run with his family, as now he only has to run it by the Almighty: “It would take an act of God for me to not get in now,” he said on Saturday. Meanwhile, the state’s political establishment, led by Ed Rendell, feted Arlen Specter at the state party’s quarterly meeting on Friday (with Sestak in attendance).

FL-Sen: From sitting Senator to punchline in a few short years: Bob Smith’s announcement that he’s running for Senate again seemed to generate mostly just shrugs and giggles. Of course, part of the problem is that he’s running in Florida instead of New Hampshire, where he looks to be barely a blip on the radar screen in the titanic Crist/Rubio faceoff. This may benefit Charlie Crist a bit by shaving off some of the die-hard conservative vote from Marco Rubio, but Smith in his announcement didn’t even seem to have any ammunition to use against Rubio, saying only that he offers “strong political leadership” in contrast to Rubio’s “wheeling and dealing.” Meanwhile, Crist got hammered in a St. Petersburg Times editorial for his role in gutting Florida’s growth management act, which damages his environmental credentials for the general.

NY-Sen-B: Kirsten Gillibrand snagged two more endorsements from her former colleagues in New York’s House delegation: Nydia Velazquez and Ed Towns. Rep. Carolyn Maloney continues to staff up for a potential challenge, though, and words comes that she’s looking to hire Joe Trippi as strategist, and Mark Penn’s polling firm (now there’s an odd combination).

IN-Sen: Indiana Republicans have located a challenger for Evan Bayh: 32-year-old state Senator Marlin Stutzman. While Stutzman probably doesn’t have Bayh shaking in his boots, it seems like a way for him to grow his statewide profile for future endeavors.

CA-Gov: Another California governor’s poll bubbled up last week, from Probolsky Research for Capitol Weekly. They look only at the primary fields: former Governor Jerry Brown continues to lead the field at 24, while SF mayor Gavin Newsom is at 16 and LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is at 15. On the GOP side, “undecided” is running away with it, with 64%. Among the human candidates, here’s a surprise: moderate ex-Rep. Tom Campbell leads at 13, leading the two more-highly-touted and richer candidates, ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman (10) and Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner (8).

IA-03: Rep. Leonard Boswell may face a rematch with the guy he barely beat in the 1996 open seat race to take office: former state GOP chair Michael Mahaffey. IA-03 is a very different configuration now, though; it used to be a mostly rural district then, but now is centered on Des Moines (although Boswell still manages to find ways to get elected by narrow margins).

TX-23: Rep. Ciro Rodriguez may face a primary challenge in 2010, from lawyer and Iraq vet Miguel Ortiz. Rodriguez and Ortiz are both from San Antonio, so Ortiz doesn’t have the advantage of a geographical hook.

FL-AG: State Senator (and former U.S. Senate candidate) Dan Gelber confirmed that he’s running for Attorney General (against friend and fellow Senator Dave Aronberg). Gelber had also been considered for Lt. Gov., seemingly leaving Dems back at square one to fill that slot.

FL-16: Speaking of Aronberg, with him out, St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft seems to be DCCC’s person of interest to take on freshman Rep. Tom Rooney. They’ve also talked to Craft’s fellow Commissioner, Doug Coward.

VA-Legislature: Here’s another interesting look at our best chances of taking control of the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009, this time from our own diaries courtesy of Johnny Longtorso.

CA-Gov: Brown Leads Primary Field

Tulchin Research (3/31-4/2, likely voters, no trendlines):

Jerry Brown (D): 31

Gavin Newsom (D): 16

Antonio Villaraigosa (D): 12

John Garamendi (D): 11

Jack O’Connell (D): 6

Other: 4

(MoE: 4.5%)

The rehabilitation of AG and former governor Jerry Brown continues apace; a new-ish poll from Tulchin Research gives Brown a 15-point lead over his nearest competition, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. (I’ve never heard of Tulchin before, so although this has the trappings of a public poll, I’m wondering where it originated.) This is a slightly better showing for Brown than other recent polls of this race; two previous polls from February of Dianne Feinstein-free trials runs on the Dem primary gave Brown leads of 4 and 7 (from Field and Lake, respectively).

The poll has some interesting geographical and age crosstabs. The Bay Area and Central Valley are the only areas where Newson is competitive with Brown (Brown leads Newsom 30-26 in the SF market). You might expect LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to be competitive with Brown in the Los Angeles area, but he doesn’t seem too popular on his own turf (Brown leads him 36-19 there), which explains his low numbers overall.

Also, as other polls have noted, this is all about age, and who remembers Brown from his first go-round. The youthful Newsom is kicking ass among the 18-39 crowd, beating Brown 29-16 (with Villaraigosa in second at 19). But Brown wins this on the backs of the 65+ demographic, where Brown beats Newson 38-8 (with John Garamendi at 16 and Villaraigosa at 13). With Garamendi’s apparent withdrawal from the race, his relative strength among seniors suggests that his votes may migrate disproportionately to Brown too.

CA-Gov: Brown, Whitman Lead Primary Packs

Field Poll (2/20-3/1, registered voters):

Dianne Feinstein (D): 38

Jerry Brown (D): 16

Antonio Villaraigosa (D): 16

Gavin Newsom (D): 10

John Garamendi (D): 4

Steve Westly (D): 2

Bill Lockyer (D): 1

Jack O’Connell (D): 1

Jerry Brown (D): 26

Antonio Villaraigosa (D): 22

Gavin Newsom (D): 16

John Garamendi (D): 8

Steve Westly (D): 2

Bill Lockyer (D): 2

Jack O’Connell (D): 2

(MoE: ±5.5%)

Meg Whitman (R): 21

Tom Campbell (R): 18

Steve Poizner (R): 7

(MoE: ±5.8%)

Lake Research (D) (2/17-2-19, likely voters):

Jerry Brown (D): 27

Antonio Villaraigosa (D): 20

Gavin Newsom (D): 14

John Garamendi (D): 8

Steve Westly (D): 3

Jack O’Connell (D): 1

(MoE: ±5.7%)

Jerry Brown (D): 43

Meg Whitman (R): 27

Jerry Brown (D): 41

Steve Poizner (R): 30

Gavin Newsom (D): 40

Meg Whitman (R): 25

Gavin Newsom (D): 38

Steve Poizner (R): 29

(MoE: ±3.5%)

Two polls are out in the 2010 California governor’s race, the big enchilada of all the gubernatorial seats. One is from Field, the gold-standard of California pollsters; the other is from Democratic internal pollster Lake Research (which doesn’t have a candidate in the race). Field polls both primaries but not the general; Lake polls the Dem primary and some general head-to-heads. Taken cumulatively, the most likely result seems to be that Governor Moonbeam may well ride again, in one of politics’ most surprising second (or third or fourth) acts.

The Field Poll does two different runs on the Democratic primary, and finds that were Senator Dianne Feinstein to run, she’d mop up the rest of the field. While she has been occasionally linked to this race, she hasn’t made any visible moves toward running. Without Feinstein in the mix, AG Jerry Brown has a bit of an edge over Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. One interesting tidbit from the Field Poll is that young voters have no idea who Jerry Brown is (he was governor in the 70s, long enough ago that he’s grandfathered out of California’s term limits laws, allowing him to come back for more). Only 8% of 18-to-39 year-old voters support Brown, and 30% have no opinion of him.

On the Republican side, Field gives a small lead to former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who was a big McCain booster and seems to be staking out the party’s right flank. Ex-Rep. Tom Campbell (who lost the 2000 Senate race to DiFi and hasn’t sought office since then) does surprisingly well, considering how long he’s been out of the spotlight; apparently the moderate wing of the California GOP is still alive and kicking. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is a distant third, although he may shoot up once his free-spending ways kick in, especially given that more than half the GOP voters are undecided.

Lake puts up very similar numbers in the primary as the Feinstein-free Field poll. As for the general, they run head-to-heads involving Brown and Newsom, and find the Dems in pretty good shape, winning each matchup by double digits. Undecideds are still high (in the 30% ballpark), as would be expected at this point, but a Dem pickup is looking like a real possibility, assuming the primary doesn’t get too bloody.

SSP Daily Digest: 3/2

Time for the daily ganja break…

NY-20: Scott Murphy snagged the Independence Party line for the March 31 special election – a good get, even though it didn’t help Sandy Treadwell much last fall. Meanwhile, both Tedisco and the NRCC are up on the air with negative radio and TV ads. The DCCC also hits back with its first ad, attacking Tedisco for stimulus-related waffling while defending Murhpy against back taxes charges.

IL-Sen: Oh god – Roland Burris has rolled out a campaign website, complete with “Donate” link. Also, it should come as no surprise, but state treasurer (and Friend of Barack) Alexi Giannoulias made his interest official today, launching his exploratory committee. Meanwhile, Rep. Jan Schakowsky says she’ll jump in if there’s a special election, though she sounds leery about giving up her seat for a 2010 run.

DC Voting Rights: Steny Hoyer has promised a House vote this week on the DC Voting Rights Act. The bill should pass the House easily, given that a prior version sailed through in 2007. The real issue will be whether the conference committee settles on an at-large or traditional district for Utah. (D)

UT-Sen: Damn, Ken Jennings won’t run. Says Jennings: “I’ve decided to bow out of the election before even announcing, in order to spend more time with my family. (And when I say “with my family,” I mean, “screwing around on the Internet.”)” At least that’s an excuse we can all understand and accept. (D)

Polltopia: Public Policy Polling once again is letting readers decide which Senate race they’ll poll next. The choices: Connecticut, Delaware, and Kentucky. (J)

CA-Gov: Looks like John Garamendi, Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown, and Antonio Villaraigosa are all dead serious about running for governor in 2010; they all jointly appeared before the San Fernando Valley Democrats this weekend.

OR-Gov: As DeFazio, Kitzhaber, Bradbury, et al. try to figure out who’s running, a dark horse may be sneaking past them: Portland City Councilor Randy Leonard, who may be able to count on substantial backing from organized labor.