California Governor Election Forecast

The latest from Nate Silver at

Governor Forecast Update: Chafee’s Chances Wax; Whitman’s Wane

October 23, 2010, 10:52 am 

In California, Meg Whitman’s chances of defeating Jerry Brown are increasingly slim, as new surveys give Mr. Brown leads of 7 and 8 percentage points. Ms. Whitman’s internal polls also have her trailing, although by a smaller margin, according to KCBS’s Doug Sovern. The polling has been fairly consistent in this race for several weeks now, and I don’t know that it’s really all that hard a contest to read: Ms. Whitman’s campaign has encountered a few speed bumps, and she may have saturated the market with advertisements to the point that voters are tuning her out; moreover, she has lost ground even as the Senate candidate in California, Carly Fiorina, has held or somewhat improved her position. And a comeback is less likely in a state with significant early voting. Ms. Whitman’s winning chances are now down to 14 percent in the model, from 18 percent earlier this week.


Chance Each Candidate Wins The Seat

The chance that each candidate will win based on 100,000 simulations with random variation in the local and national political environment.

  • Brown 85.8%Whitman 14.2%

Projected Elections Results

  • Brown 51.4% moe 5%Whitman 46.1% moe 5%

Recent polling data since October 1, 2010:

Date Poll Sample Size 538 Poll Weight
Size of lead
Oct. 21 Rasmussen (Pulse Opinion Research) 750 LV NEW 48 42
Oct. 15-18 SurveyUSA 621 LV
47 40
Oct. 10-17 PPIC 1,067 LV
44 36
Oct. 16 Fox News (Pulse Opinion Research) 1,000 LV
48 43
Oct. 13-14 Wilson 800 LV
44 45
Oct. 12-14 Ipsos 448 LV
48 44
Oct. 12-14 Ipsos 601 RV 47 40
Oct. 13 Rasmussen (Pulse Opinion Research) 750 LV
50 44
Oct. 4-6 Angus Reid 501 RV
53 41
Oct. 2-4 Ipsos 600 RV 48 42
Oct. 2-4 Ipsos 448 LV
50 43
Oct. 3 Rasmussen (Pulse Opinion Research) 750 LV
49 44
Sept. 30-Oct. 3 SurveyUSA 670 LV
47 43



9 thoughts on “California Governor Election Forecast

  1. Thank our lucky stars for Californians.

    California is the state it is because it has a huge population concentrated in major metropolitan areas which makes people learn about each other and benefit from that learning with respect and tolerance for each other. It also vastly reduces the possibility that a single group within the overall can be successfully targeted and manipulated with lies and have it make a difference.

    Some people focus on our cities and say it’s because of minority concentration that they’re “blue”. That’s a crock. It’s because of the above. People just need a chance to learn that their neighbors are regular people.

    You can’t do that living on 10,000 acres out in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing wrong with that because you can learn a lot. But at the same time it leaves some gaping and probably unhealthy holes in your sense of self and of reality.

    We are increasingly in trouble in this contry because we increasingly have “people living on 10,000 acres” running things. If the 10,000 acres in my head and the 10,000 acres in your head don’t overlap in major ways we’re both pretty much screwed.

  2. This is from today’s LA Times  … 10/23/2010…

    Defections from Meg Whitman‘s ranks on the part of women, Latinos and nonpartisan voters have fueled a surge by Jerry Brown in the race for governor, according to a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll.


    Brown, the Democratic attorney general and former governor, led Whitman 52% to 39% among likely voters, the poll found. His advantage has more than doubled since a Times/USC poll in September.


    The poll was conducted for The Los Angeles Times and the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences from Oct. 13 to 20 by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and the Republican firm American Viewpoint. It included a random sample of 1,501 California voters, including 922 likely voters. Results for likely voters have a margin of sampling error of 3.2 points in either direction, with a larger margin for subgroups.

    The abrupt movement in the race for governor came as Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer held onto her 8-point margin over Republican Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate contest. Boxer’s 50% to 42% lead was statistically unchanged from September’s 51% to 43% edge.

    For both Democrats, the month between the two polls found the party’s strongest supporters rallying to the candidates’ sides: liberals, women and Latinos either solidified or expanded their backing for Brown and Boxer. Nonpartisan voters, whom Republicans had counted on to overcome the Democratic advantage in voter registration, moved away from the two Republican candidates, and moderate voters also tilted toward the Democrats.


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