Likely voters are closely divided between Democrat Jerry Brown (37%) and Republican Meg Whitman (34%), with 23 percent undecided. Of those saying that a candidate’s environmental positions are very important in determining their vote, 50 percent would vote for Brown and 16 percent would vote for Whitman. Among those who say a candidate’s environmental positions are somewhat important, Whitman is favored (42% to 33%). Preferences follow party lines, with independents split (30% Brown, 28% Whitman, 30% undecided). (The survey questionnaire lists results for all six candidates listed on the November ballot.)
Most likely voters (79%) also view the U.S. Senate candidates’ positions on the environment as at least somewhat important. Thirty-nine percent of likely voters support Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, 34 percent support Republican Carly Fiorina, and 22 percent are undecided. Those who view candidates’ positions on the environment as very important are three times as likely to support Boxer (54%) as Fiorina (18%). Among those who say candidates’ views on the environment are somewhat important, support is evenly divided (37% to 37%). Each candidate has the support of her party’s likely voters. Among independents, 35 percent support Boxer, 29 percent support Fiorina, and 25 percent are undecided.
Both of these races are winnable for the GOP, and I’m trying to think of the last time I saw a three-term Senate incumbent getting 39 percent. (Perhaps Harry Reid on one of his bad days.) But clearly, both Whitman and Fiorina have a lot of work ahead.