GOVERNOR’S RACE: Davis Establishes ‘Commanding’ Lead
In a "dramatic shift," Democratic Lt. Gov. Gray Davis "has opened a commanding 14-point lead over Republican Attorney General Dan Lungren in the governor's race," the Sacramento Bee reports. News of Davis' surge ahead comes from a Field Poll of 1,012 registered voters completed "a week before next Tuesday's election." With a statistical error margin of plus/minus 4%, the poll showed Davis leading Lungren 53% to 39% "among likely voters, with 4% choosing other candidates and 4% undecided." Among "moderate" voters, Davis leads Lungren 64% to 24%. In the Central Valley "swing region," Davis leads 49% to 42% (Smith, 10/30). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Lungren retains his lead "in nine Southern California counties other than Los Angeles." The two candidates are still "splitting votes" of "white non-Hispanics," with minority voters strongly favoring Davis. Among women, Davis holds an 18% lead, and among men he leads 50% to 41% (Gunnison, 10/30).
More To The Middle
Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said the poll indicates "very bad news for Lungren. Nearly every group has gone over to Davis." DiCamillo added that Davis has "positioned himself in the middle of the spectrum much more successfully than Lungren," noting that there "was no scenario in the poll where we could get Lungren within the margin of error" (Bee, 10/30). DiCamillo said that Lungren "needed to close the gap and make it a toss-up election." He noted that Davis' gains show he has managed "to attract the middle-of-the road voters ... whom both candidates had their eyes on when the campaign started" (Chronicle, 10/30). Lungren press secretary Bob Brown said the poll was "not consistent with what our internal polls are telling us, which is that this race is too close to call, or within the margin or error." Davis campaign manager Garry South countered that the "voters were not buying the notion that this was about character or that this was all about crime and who was soft on crime" (Marelius, San Diego Union Tribune, 10/30).