We are five weeks away from Election Day and Tuesday night voters finally had their first chance to compare the styles and viewpoints of Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman beyond their campaign commercials.
According to an exclusive Action News Poll conducted by Survey USA, the first debate winner is Jerry Brown, by a nose.
Let’s examine some of the poll results. First, Survey USA asked 1525 adults if they heard or watched the debate. Just over a third - 33% - actually heard or saw the gubernatorial candidates square off for the first time.
The average debate watcher/listener was a black man, age 50 or older, and a Democrat. The poll shows the majority of those who watched or listened were here in the Central Valley.
Survey USA asked those debate watchers ... who won ... Meg Whitman? Jerry Brown? Or was there no clear winner?
The results: Whitman 37% Brown 40% No Clear Winner 23%
As you can imagine Republicans favored Whitman (53%) and Democrats favored Brown (51%). Independents gave Brown the edge in the debate: 41% to 37%. However, a quarter of all Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in the survey responded there was no clear winner.
Breaking down the regions: Only debate watchers in the Greater Los Angeles area gave Whitman a victory 40% to 35%. Even the Central Valley gave Brown the “win” at 37% to Whitman’s 34%, but 29% said “no clear winner”.
Final numbers to consider: Of those who watched/listened ... 12% of Brown supporters now plan to vote for Whitman. 12% of Whitman supporters now plan to vote for Brown.
All of these numbers add up to one thing: the second debate between Brown and Whitman takes on more importance with each candidate hoping to score a knockout with no gaffes.
That second of three planned debates between Brown and Whitman will take place on Saturday at Fresno State. It airs on Univision statewide at 4pm.
What will you be watching? Meg versus Jerry, college football, your children playing, nature, a movie or something else?