I’m not usually a guy who pounds his chest and says, "I told you so." But there are others involved here, especially, the dedicated pollsters at M4 Strategies in Costa Mesa that produced a poll for the Small Business Action Committee at our request.
That poll found Meg Whitman leading Steve Poizner by 17 points in mid-May. It came out a couple of days before the Public Policy Institute poll, which had Whitman up by 9. While practically all the media was headlining a collapse of the Whitman campaign from the previous PPIC poll, our poll indicated a momentum shift back toward Whitman.
We did not dismiss the PPIC poll but pointed out ours was conducted for the most part after that poll and showed how Whitman was coming on fast at the end of the polling period.
Because SBAC had previously endorsed Whitman, the SBAC/M4 Strategies Poll was found suspect or out-right ridiculed. Calbuzz called our results "utterly lame."
Steve Harmon at the Contra Costa Times said our poll was intended to "alter the horse-race metrics" and the poll was not taken seriously by the press. William Bradley wrote in the Huffington Post that the lead our poll tallied for Whitman was way off the mark, or as he put it: "Fat chance."
Now that the USC/LA Times poll shows Whitman up by 24-points it confirms the work of the M4 Strategies people. The SBAC/M4 Poll caught the momentum shift toward Whitman as it was happening and she has built on that lead over the ensuing weeks to grow the lead over Poizner to 24 points.
The USC/Times poll shows Whitman has slipped in her face off with Jerry Brown, should she capture the nomination. Whitman led Brown in the last USC/Times poll by 3 points. She now trails the Attorney General by 6 points.
The political experts at USC say the poll indicates the rough Republican gubernatorial campaign has cost her support from independent voters because Whitman has veered to the right to counter Poizner’s conservative positions on certain issues.
Another factor could very well be that while Whitman sustained multiple attacks from Poizner, Brown was skating by unmarked by political combat.
Should Whitman hold her lead and prevail next week, Brown will begin to face the withering attacks that Whitman has had to deal with. The numbers on the November governor’s race could soon change again.