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California’s governor race shows signs of a Scott Brown-like victory for Poizner

With GOP Senator Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts as inspiration, Steve Poizner’s campaign has risen from the dead and pulled within 10 points of Meg Whitman in the Republican primary race for governor.

While the numbers come from internal polling, the outfit providing the intel is none other than Senator Scott Brown’s public polling firm. The numbers demonstrate “how fluid the race is,” said Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies.

The polling concluded on Tuesday and demonstrated that the 800 likely Republican voters were taking a second look at Poizner. Approximately 38 percent said they would vote for Whitman, while 28 percent favored Poizner and 30 percent were undecided. Just over a month ago Whitman led by nearly 50 points.
Newhouse said that outside the San Francisco Bay Area, Whitman’s lead is cut to five points, 35 to 30 percent with a month to go until the primary election. “This race is eerily similar to the Brown, Coakley race,” he said.

“Where we are running our messaging, we have closed from 48 points down to five points. Meg, the marketing expert, needs a refresher course because she probably could have spent less than $70 million to lose 43 points, but at least she provided a bailout for her political consultants who she needs to remind her of her deeply held beliefs,” said Team Poizner Communications Director Jarrod Agen. “We all know Meg went on a climate change cruise with Van Jones and Jimmy Carter, now she’s become the most expensive melting glacier in political history.”

The California Republican governor’s race has now shown signs of life and with 30 days until voters hit the booth, Poizner’s camp says the energy has shifted in their favor.

“Our poll shows that Meg Whitman’s lead over Steve Poizner, which we measured at 59%-11% in February, has closed to 38%-28%, with Whitman holding just a ten-point lead,” Agen explains. “Further, it’s important to note that even though Whitman has spent considerable resources in the area, Steve has not yet aggressively advertised in the San Francisco Bay Area market. “

Poizner’s camp explains that like the Scott Brown race in Massachusetts; ”this race has been largely misunderstood by the media. Campaigns, especially primary campaigns, and especially in large states like California, are seldom won three or four months out from election day.”

With the President discussing the immigration issue at a White House Cinco de Mayo event and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano saying the Democrats are “focused on the border like a laser,” a fair question for Poizner is the immigration issue that has exploded across the nation.

“The federal government has not done enough to end illegal immigration, leaving states like Arizona and California to take fend for themselves,” said Team Poizner’s Agen. “Like Meg Whitman, President Obama has called for an amnesty plan that allows illegal immigrants to pay a fine, go to the back of the line, and become citizens. Steve Poizner strongly opposes amnesty and he is the only candidate in this race that is willing to make ending illegal immigration a top priority.”

Since Arizona passed its tough new illegal immigration law, many California cities have decided to boycott or denounce Arizona. Poizner says he would ‘get tough’ on the issue in California if were governor.

“Steve supports Arizona’s new law, which takes a bold approach to dealing with illegal immigration while making it crystal clear that racial profiling is both illegal and wrong. Arizona has acted because the federal government has failed to secure our borders,” Agen said. “It is time for California to do the same and, as governor, Steve pledges to make stopping illegal immigration one of his highest priorities. He has detailed a bold plan to address the crisis, which includes cutting off taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal aliens, employing state resources to help secure our borders, ending sanctuary cities, and cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens”

Poizner points out while Whitman and her liberal allies in Congress want to reward illegal aliens with a ‘pathway to citizenship,’ he has just two words: ‘No Amnesty.’

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California’s governor hopeful Poizner – climbs in the polls

In what’s shaping up to be another Massachusetts-like race California governor-hopeful Steve Poizner’s poll numbers are rapidly rising late in the primary race. A month ago Poizner’s bleak poll numbers had him more than 50 points behind fellow Republican and former CEO of EBay Meg Whitman.

At a tea party event in Oceanside, California last week, Poizner said, “Meg Whitman has spent $50 million to win the governorship and she will peak too soon.” A week later the prediction appears to be true.

According to a recent Capitol Weekly Poll, Poizner trails Whitman 47-19 with one-third of voters still undecided. However, the most recent ABC poll has Poizner just 22 points behind Whitman.

While these numbers may seem daunting, one only needs to look at the Martha Coakley/Scott Brown Senatorial race in Massachusetts and how quickly the polls can change.

Meg Whitman’s free fall continues as Poizner has now shaved 28 points off of her lead in a matter of weeks. A new poll from SurveyUSA continues to demonstrate a strong shift in momentum for Poizner. In spite of spending more than $50 million on negative ads against Poizner, Whitman is beginning to lose support with each passing day, while Poizner begins his ascent with the grassroots voters.

“Meg Whitman has spent record amounts of her Wall Street billions to tell a record number of lies, but all of Goldman Sachs’ money and all the Queen’s men won’t be enough to put this rookie candidate back together again. Seven years ago, Republicans were fooled by marketing and a celebrity. It isn’t happening twice,” explained Jarrod Agen, the communications director for Poizner.

Pollster Ben Tulchin of Capitol Weekly says the results could pose some trouble for Whitman. “She’s ahead, but compared to other polling that’s out there, her numbers have dropped,” Tulchin said. “She’s spent a lot of money and she’s under 50 percent.”

It is statements like this that keeps Poizner pushing and seeking key endorsements.

One such endorsement comes from Conservative stalwart Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA). During a conference call McClintock pointed to a few reasons why he will support Poizner for California’s governor. “We simply cannot afford anymore Republicans in name only in California. Meg is nothing more than a Schwarzenegger third term.”

If Whitman were to win the primary, McClintock said Californians would have two choices, a third term of the current governor or a third term of Jerry Brown.

“California’s recent history has the state with the largest deficits and largest tax increases all under Republican watch. California Republicans need to wake up,” McClintock said. “Voters need to fight for the soul of the Republican Party.”

This is where the grassroots tea party movement comes into play. In primary races throughout the country, establishment candidates are finding it tough to gain the trust of the voters. An example of this is the Florida Senatorial primary. Establishment Republican Governor, Charlie Crist, trails his Senate opponent Marco Rubio who has earned the support of tea party voters.

The tea party movement sets themselves apart from other groups in several key categories. According to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, tea party folks are better educated than most Americans; they make a higher than average salary and most describe themselves as conservative.

Congressman McClintock couldn’t agree more; “they (tea party) are one of the most sophisticated electorate and they know enormous damage has been done and they are looking for a candidate who is for smaller government, conservative spending and their political record.”

The Congressman explains that the country is seeing a 1994-like groundswell of unknown candidates beating incumbents or anti-establishment contenders coming forward.

Luckily for relative political newcomers it’s their record and values not the dollars in the bank that is resonating with angry voters. These discontented constituents are paying attention to details, researching candidates and watching debates.

This bodes well for the Poizner camp who claims the former EBay executive’s TV messaging simply isn’t resonating with Californians. Agen points to Whitman’s reluctance to embrace conservative Republican values as one of the reasons for her sliding poll numbers.

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Illegal immigration in California front and center

With the silly season in full swing, candidates are taking sides in an effort to wrangle enough votes to get or stay in office. California is ripe with many contentious races and the home to the largest Tea Party organization and illegal immigration population.

California’s budget has wallowed in the red the past two years, many tie the root-cause to benefits doled out to illegal aliens. Gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner, a Republican says he will put end to all taxpayer-funded services to undocumented immigrants, including denying their children public education and health care.

“We’re just out of money … and one of the reasons the state’s in trouble is because of illegal immigration,” said Poizner, who claimed California spends more than $10 billion annually on services for illegal immigrants, in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I’m going to be the truth teller in this campaign. As governor I’m going to stop illegal immigration once and for all,” Poizner, said at the California State GOP convention.

The tough talk didn’t sit well within the Latino community. Univision, the largest Spanish language network, said Poizner’s statements were the beginning of “a frontal war against our community.”

The budgetary talk didn’t get any easier from Digger’s Realm. In a story written by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, LA County could expect to pay more than $1 billion per year on illegal immigrations and their children.

“This number does not even include the costs of education.”

“LA County spent $50 million in January alone for food stamps and other welfare services. That’s per month. Lets calculate this… 50 x 12, $600 million, then add in the $500 million for the health care and the $350 million for public safety,” Antonovich explained.

He goes on to explain these staggering numbers do not include public school education. “And that’s just public spending through the government, imagine the private costs people are paying in terms of higher insurance rates to cover all the illegal alien drivers without insurance who get in accidents or the expense people are paying due to being victims of identity theft when an illegal steals their identity to get a job or housing and the depression that occurs when you get a tax notice from the IRS for monies you didn’t earn.”

LA County reported in April 2007 that illegal aliens were receiving as much as $35 million per month in CalWorks and food stamps. By August of the next year the program was handing out more than $37 million per month. Now the numbers have reached $50 million a month in benefits to illegal immigrants.

“If you’ve been hearing that illegal aliens are leaving the United States, you’re being lied to. The numbers prove out the truth,” Antonovich said. “This is all fraudulent monies obtained by illegal aliens and if there is a mass amnesty passed for illegal aliens this number is surely to triple or quadruple.”

Antonovich anticipates the money paid out to illegal immigrants to continue their uphill climb ($3-$4 billion per year) if nothing is done about the masses migrating to Los Angeles.

“Of course people who live there are not thinking logically or thinking ahead. Many of them are sympathetic supporters of illegal aliens. If they thought parts of Los Angeles were bad now, wait until a tripling of public service users hit their county,” he said.

According to Supervisor Antonovich illegal aliens cost Americans around $9 billion a year in education expenses as reported in the 2004 statement from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. A report from the same group in 2005 entitled “‘Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red,’ put the national costs without including free-and-low cost lunches or English as a Second Language (ESL) at $28.6 billion per year.”

As California’s unemployment edges past the 12 percent mark and the budget operating in the red, politicians will have to make bold decisions when it comes to solving the budget and illegal immigration quagmire the state is staring down.

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