The new Public Policy Institute poll was released showing Meg Whitman eight points behind Jerry Brown in the race for governor. While this is the largest deficit Whitman has faced against her rival, this race is not over.

Whitman shows weaknesses in a couple of areas that could be corrected over the next two weeks and strengths in a couple of areas that are important to the voters.

The poll shows that one in ten Republicans is supporting Jerry Brown. In addition, there is a 15-point gap with Brown leading among women voters. Whitman needs to and can shrink these numbers.

Whitman could benefit from an enthusiastic Republican base coming to the polls, chopping down Republican support for Brown. In the poll, Whitman has about 7-percent of the Democratic voters in her corner. If she can lower the Republican vote for Brown to single digits that would be an important gain.

The female candidate has always struggled with securing a majority of women voters even in the primary. As the election nears, shrinking that gap will be a challenge but doable.

On the positive side, Whitman leads all voters in the two issues that have dominated this election cycle – jobs and budget/taxes. Voters think she will do a better job than Jerry Brown in both categories.

If these overriding issues motivate most voters, Whitman’s advantage could be telling on Election Day.

Finally, there is the question of turnout. Who will be voting? Will the enthusiasm detected in Republican voters nationally, and the less enthusiastic response from Democrats, hold in California?

Reportedly, some of Whitman’s money has gone to create a sophisticated get out the vote effort. On the other hand, former San Francisco mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown criticized the Democratic ground game and get out the vote efforts.

While there is no question that the Whitman campaign would prefer a lead in the polls at this point, there are signs that she can make up the distance in the last couple of weeks and prevail.