Poll: Schwarzenegger Leads Race for California Governor

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is leading state Treasurer Phil Angelides in the race for California governor, boosted by support from the heavily Democratic San Francisco Bay area, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Schwarzenegger had the support of 48 percent of likely voters polled, while 30 percent said they supported the Democrat, Angelides, according to the Public Policy Institute of California survey. Thirteen percent of voters, half of them Democrats, said they hadn't yet made up their minds.

One reason for Schwarzenegger's big lead is that he is polling better than Republican candidates typically do in traditionally Democratic areas. In the Bay area, he leads Angelides 40 percent to 34 percent.

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Angelides has a narrow lead in Los Angeles, where he has the support of a larger percentage of the city's Hispanics, who make up one in three voters in Los Angeles County.

But Angelides has been unable to capitalize on Hispanic disappointment with the governor. While 25 percent of Hispanics favored Schwarzenegger, just 52 percent said they plan to vote for Angelides. Usually, Democrats get more like two-thirds of the Hispanic vote.

Angelides blamed millions of dollars in negative advertising aimed at him for his low polling numbers.

"We're working against a tidal wave of corporate special interest money," he said Wednesday at a rally with firefighters in Sacramento. "There's no mystery here."

But Schwarzenegger strategist Matthew Dowd said that in the last six weeks, Angelides and the Democrats had outspent the governor on television advertising and that the numbers in the race had hardly changed.

"This race was set in the first 60 days," Dowd said, referring to the first two months after the primary, when the governor's campaign and the Republican Party poured millions into television advertising to undermine Angelides, who had almost no money to respond.

The institute's telephone survey of 1,076 likely voters was conducted Oct. 15-22 and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.