• Whitman is tied with Brown among women – a group that usually leans heavily Democratic. [Editor's note: The original version of this paragraph incorrectly called Meg Whitman the first female gubernatorial nominee in California.]
• Whitman is behind Brown among Latinos – another group that is traditionally heavily Democratic – by only 3 percentage points.
“Whitman is undercutting Brown by taking away his advantage among constituencies that are usually very clearly Democratic supporters,” says DiCamillo.
Whitman's money could be a factor. Her $119 million campaign, which recently surpassed New York Mayor Richard Bloomberg's campaign as the most expensive in US history – has spent heavily in Southern California and in the state’s Spanish-speaking media.
Despite this, Brown is holding his own because of his name recognition and California's Democratic bent, say analysts.
The Democratic advantage in party registration is 44.3 to 30.9 percent, with 20.2 percent declining to state. Moreover, Brown has the strongest name brand in California politics “and – aside from the Kennedys – the strongest name brand in any state,” says Jack Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College.