Meg Whitman holds a 17.5% point lead over Steve Poizner in the newest Small Business Action Committee poll conducted by M4 Strategies of Costa Mesa.

The poll was conducted May 12, 13, and 16, targeting 600 high propensity Republican voters. The poll’s margin of error is 4%.

Whitman leads Poizner 49% to 31.5% with nearly 20% undecided or refusing to respond.

Pollsters asked respondents if they viewed the candidates as favorable or unfavorable. Whitman registered 54.5% Favorable, 26.8% Unfavorable. Poizner stood at 38.5% Favorable, 33.8% Unfavorable.

44.3% of the respondents labeled themselves “very conservative.”

M4 Strategies conducted a poll for the Small Business Action Committee as the gubernatorial campaign got started in February. At that time, Whitman led Poizner 60% to 12%.

Based in Orange County, M4 Strategies is a full-service messaging and research firm. For more than 10 years, M4 Strategies has conducted messaging research for clients including Fortune 500 companies, national non-profit organizations and state and national political campaigns. M4 Strategies website can be found at