Ex-Congressman Tom Campbell's decision to drop his bid for California governor and run for the Senate has given a boost to ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman's gubernatorial campaign, but hurt former HP CEO Carly Fiorina's run for the Senate. Whitman has increased her lead in the race for the GOP nomination, while dropping Fiorina into second in the Senate race. The primary election in California is scheduled for June 8.
Former California Congressman Tom Campbell's decision Jan. 14 to
drop his candidacy for the state's governor's office and instead vie
for the U.S. Senate seat has changed the face of both races, according
to recent polls.
The move has impacted the campaigns of two former CEOs
of major IT companies who are seeking election in California.
Campbell's decision has given ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman a huge boost
in her campaign for the GOP nomination in the gubernatorial race, while
knocking former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina into second place for
the Republican nomination for the Senate, The Field Poll found in
surveys Jan. 21 and 22.
Before leaving the campaign to replace Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Campbell trailed Whitman for the GOP nomination by 14 points, and led
State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner by 13 points.
With Campbell out of the way, Whitman opened up a 28 point advantage
over Poizner, with 45 percent of likely Republican voters surveyed
saying they favored Whitman, The Field Poll found Jan. 22.
"With the departure [of Campbell], businesswoman Meg Whitman has
opened up a substantial lead over her lone remaining GOP rival,"
pollsters Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field said in a statement.
By contrast, Campbell's move to the Senate race knocked Fiorina into
second place in the GOP primary campaign, where 30 percent of likely
Republican voters said they would vote for the former congressman, The
Field Poll said in a release Jan. 21.
Fiorina had 25 percent of those votes, with California Assemblyman garnering 6 percent.
However, in both races, there is still a large undecided population
of voters-with 38 percent in the gubernatorial race and 39 percent in
the Senate race.
News reports out of California suggested Campbell switched races in
part to reduce the number of multimillionaires he'll have to run
against from two to one. Both Whitman and Poizner have spent millions
of their own dollars in their campaigns.
Fiorina is the only millionaire in the race for the GOP nomination for Senate.
According to The Field Poll surveys, whoever wins the GOP nomination
in either race faces a tough challenge in the general election.
Incumbent Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer holds a 10-point lead over
Campbell and a 15-point lead over Fiorina. Boxer's lead over Fiorina
remains about the same as it was before Campbell entered the race,
according to The Field Poll.
The only Democrat running for governor is ex-Gov. Jerry Brown, who holds a 10-point lead over Whitman.
In both cases, name recognition is important, according to The Field
Poll. Boxer is much better known than anyone in the GOP field,
including Fiorina, and Brown has been a political figure in California
for more than 40 years.
The primary elections in California are scheduled for June 8.