With less than 48 hours to go until the polls open, the two California gubernatorial candidates are hitting the campaign trail hard in a last minute push to reach voters. Former California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown is hitting 13 different cities while his GOP challenger, Meg Whitman, is stumping in 16. Their focus has been reaching out to various subsets of the electorate like Latino, female and independent voters. Political analysts say it's those groups that could tip the scales one way or the other.
The latest field poll shows Brown with a 10-point lead while the most recent Rasmussen numbers suggest the gap is much more narrow, only about four points, favoring Brown. When I sat down with Meg Whitman this week and asked for her reaction on the polls, she told me they're just one marker along the way. The former chief executive officer of the online auction site Ebay says you have to trust your gut and her gut tells her the people of California will rally on Election Day and vote in her favor.
Jerry Brown has campaigned largely on his experience. He's the current state Attorney General, has served as the mayor of Oakland and has even held the office of Governor once before from 1975 to 1983. Brown says it's that experience that makes him right for the job. He's vowed to create more jobs and curtail what he characterizes as wasteful spending in Sacramento. When we caught up with Brown this week, he told me he has the "scar tissue" from political decisions he's made in the past which is something his opponent has never been forced to do.
Meg Whitman has been pushing her plan to jump start the economy, which includes lowering corporate taxes to make the Golden State more attractive for businesses to set-up shop. In addition, California has been struggling with a more than 20 billion dollar budget shortfall and Whitman says Sacramento needs to be run more like a business to reign in spending. The self-made billionaire says her successes at running Ebay should make her resume more attractive to voters.
A number of controversies have followed Meg Whitman throughout the course of her bid for Governor. Her voting record has been attacked, attorney Gloria Allred accused her of knowingly employing an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper, and people have suggested she's trying to "buy" the election by spending more than 140 million dollars of her own money on the campaign. During my sit-down interview with her, Whitman says the personal attacks hurt but she's confident the voters will see through the "political smokescreen" and elect her to get California back on track.
Casey Stegall joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 2007 and currently serves as a correspondent based in the Dallas bureau. He previously served as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.