Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

The latest Field Poll shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown leading Republican Meg Whitman by 10 points.

Likely voters prefer Brown over Whitman 49 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll, released today. Seven percent of respondents have yet to make up their mind and 5 percent support a candidate other than Brown or Whitman.

Brown's lead has widened considerably since a September Field Poll, which showed both Brown and Whitman with 41 percent support.

Likely voters' view of Whitman have become progressively more negative, with 51 percent now having an unfavorable image of her, compared to 45 percent last month. Brown's unfavorable rating was unchanged from last month at 47 percent.

The statewide poll of 1,501 registered voters, including 1,092 likely voters, was conducted between Oct. 14 and Oct. 26. The margin of error among the likely voter sample was 3.2 percentage points in each direction.

Bee colleague Jack Chang has more on the results and what they mean for the final campaign push in today's Bee. Click here for the full results and statistical tabulations produced for Capitol Alert.

Getting back to those 5 percent of likely voters who prefer a different candidate for governor:

Peace and Freedom Party candidate Carlos Alvarez, American Independent Party candidate Chelene Nightingale, Libertarian Party candidate Dale Ogden and Green Party candidate Laura Wells have agreed to participate in an afternoon debate at Sacramento State's University Union.

Free and Equal, the coalition organizing the debate, invited all ballot-qualified candidates to participate, including Brown and Whitman. Minor-party candidates have repeatedly cried foul that they were not invited to participate in the major gubernatorial debates televised statewide.

The 1 p.m. debate will stream live on the group's website.

VOTER GUIDE: The Bee's online voter guide allows you to create your own personalized ballot for the Nov. 2 election. See which races you'll vote in, research the candidates and build your sample ballot at www.sacbee.com/voterguide.

ELECTION QUIZ: The clock is running out to enter Capitol Alert's Election quiz. At stake: a $50 coffee shop gift card. Click here for more information.

CAKES AND CANDLES: Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, turns 65 today. Secretary of State Debra Bowen celebrated her 55th birthday yesterday. She told reporters that her present was seeing high participation in the mock elections held at high schools across the state.



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