Brown up against Whitman in Calif. governor race-poll

LOS ANGELES, Oct 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Democrat Jerry Brown has
widened his lead over Republican rival Meg Whitman to 13
percentage points in the California governor’s race, a Los
Angeles Times/USC poll showed on Sunday.

Brown, the state’s attorney general who served as
California governor from 1975 to 1983 and is seeking a second
crack at the job, leads former eBay CEO Whitman 52 percent to
39 percent, according to the survey.

In the same poll a month ago, Brown had a five percent lead
over Whitman. According to Sunday’s poll he has since picked up
wide support among California’s Latino voters following
revelations that Whitman employed, and later fired, an
undocumented Latina housekeeper.

The poll also found that with two weeks to go before the
Nov. 2 elections, three-term U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer has an
eight point lead over first-time Republican challenger Carly
Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO.

Whitman, a billionaire political novice making her first
run for office in a state with 2 million more registered
Democrats than Republicans, has poured some $140 million of her
own money into the race.

She hopes to beat Brown in a year when voters, angry over
the still-sluggish economy and high unemployment, are expected
to punish Democrats and incumbents at the ballot box.

California is considered a reliably blue state but has
elected a string of Republican governors since the 1960s,
including former President Ronald Reagan and current Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The next governor will inherit a state struggling with
double-digit unemployment, a budget deficit of tens of billions
of dollars and an unpopular, often gridlocked legislature.

The Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California
survey was conducted among 1,500 people, including 922 likely
voters, between Oct 13-20. The poll has a 2.5 percent plus or
minus margin of error.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Dan Whitcomb, Editing by
Sandra Maler)

Brown up against Whitman in Calif. governor race-poll