Brown Leads Whitman by 13 Points in LA Times/USC Poll, Whitman Camp Says Poll is Skewed

As noted in Sunday's edition of Extra, Extra, gubernatorial candidate Democrat Jerry Brown is leading Republican opponent Meg Whitman 52% to 39%, according to the latest LA Times/USC poll, which was released this weekend. The poll, conducted by two firms — one Democrat and one Republican — surveyed 1,501 California voters, of which 922 were likely voters. The margin of error is 3.2 points, but widens when subgroups are examined.

Whitman, however, was quick to send out her own campaign analysis of the poll and cited something that's often brought up in comment sections of LAist posts about polls: it assumes too many Democrats will show up to vote.

"The Times poll obliterates the model from the last mid-term election and skews significantly toward a Democrat wave-like '08 turnout model," a statement from the former eBay CEO's camp read. "Specifically, The Times is assuming a +5% Democrat tilt over the '06 mid-term turnout. Obviously any rational observer and pollster would find that ignorant of what is occurring with the electorate."

Whitman also said since the poll was conducted between October 13th and the 18th, "it's old, statistically flawed, and in no way a current snapshot of the race." They said other polls taken since the 18th have shown a tighter race (October 21st/Rasmussen: Brown has a six-point lead; October 19th - 21st/internal poll: Brown has a three-point lead; October 18th - 21st/Voter Consumer Research: Brown has a 3.3-point lead).

Brown's lead appears to have widened after the controversy was stewed by Whitman's former housekeeper Nicky Diaz Santillan, the Times said. Santillan was fired when she came to Whitman and her husband to help with her immigration status, but accusations were flung that they had knowingly were employing an undocumented worker for years.