In just two short months, Whitman's lead has dwindled down to a near dead heat, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted just this last week, with Whitman holding a narrow 39%-37% lead among likely voters. So what could have caused a near-50% swing? I think more and more, even considering all of Steve Poizner's many faults, Meg Whitman is looking more and more like an Arnie clone. I think the last thing that California's Republican voters want is another squishy Republican in the state's Capitol, and that is exactly what Meg Whitman would be.
Don't get me wrong, Steve Poizner has been known to change his political positions on big issues like Abortion (from pro-abortion to pro-life), but just considering my personal feelings on the matter, I can think of two things that have improved the idea of Poizner in my own eyes, and I am confident that many other Republicans in California feel the same way.
First is the McClintock factor. California congressional representative Tom McClintock is a highly respected figure in conservative California politics. He recently and very publicly endorsed Steve Poizner. As a conservative voter, this endorsement carries a lot more weight than the endorsement that Whitman received from former California governor Pete Wilson.
The second factor would be the differing reactions from the two candidates to SB 1070, the illegal alien law recently passed in Arizona. Whitman opposes it, Poizner embraces it (even though he has only given it lukewarm support). I would say this kind of helps you decide which way the political winds are blowing.
The bottom line is that I really cannot stand either Whitman or Poizner. Each is a moderate to liberal Republican who seems to change positions based on which audience they are addressing. Whichever candidate ends up being the Republican nominee will be disappointing.
That being said, the idea of Edmund G. "Jerry Moonbeam" Brown, Jr. once again becoming our state's governor is enough to make me wretch. The pragmatist in me realizes that the only hope of defeating this loop-de-loop is to once again settle for an extremely imperfect Republican nominee; in this case, either Whitman or Poizner. If it is Poizner who is proving to be the more conservative candidate of the two, then I will be glad (albeit reluctant) to put my support behind Poizner if that means Jerry Brown does not become our governor (again).
Please God, not Jerry Brown.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson