Remember way back in 2003 — when almost no one had heard of Barack Obama! — the Los Angeles Times poll one month out from Election Day had Democrat Cruz Bustamante beating Arnold Schwarzenegger in the special election, 30 percent to 25 percent. The Times wrote quite a few pieces slamming Arnie, and there was a sense that the newspaper was hell-bent on keeping him out of office. Schwarzenegger went on to win by a wide margin, 48.6 percent to Bustamante’s 31 percent.
Fast forward to today: Republican Meg Whitman actually leads Democrat Jerry Brown, 44 percent to 41 percent. These results are in line with the PPIC poll and the Field poll, and it’s rather tough to argue that Californians need to get to know Brown better.