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Bradley Pulls Closer to Deukmejian in Poll

September 09, 1986

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Bradley is gaining ground on incumbent Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, although Deukmejian continues to attract significant support from Democrats, according to a statewide poll.

In a poll of 1,200 voters taken last weekend, Deukmejian's lead was cut to 6%--he had 45% to Bradley's 39%--said Steve Teichner, director of the poll for KABC television. Six percent said they support other candidates and 10% were undecided. In Teichner's last poll in May, Deukmejian led by 17 points.

Earlier Results

A poll completed in early August by Mervin D. Field showed Bradley 11 points behind, representing a gain of seven points from a Field poll taken in May.

The Los Angeles mayor is gaining most in the five Southern California counties, Teichner said, including Los Angeles County, where he pulled ahead of the governor 40% to 30%, since the poll in May, when he trailed 33% to 43%. In the five-county area overall, however, Bradley still trails Deukmejian by 4 percentage points.

"It appears that Democrats who had no reason to focus on the election in the spring have begun to focus on (the November election)," Teichner said. While only 45% of Democrats statewide supported Bradley in May, 60% support him now, the pollster added.

'Red Flag' Seen

But indications that 22% of Democrats polled are still supporting Deukmejian "should be a red flag to the Bradley organization," Teichner said. "The fact that they are Democrats and they continue to support Deukmejian means that special attention should be paid to these voters," he said, adding that the poll does not break down exactly who those voters are.

Bradley's GOP support was 13% in May and 11% now, suggesting "that Bradley may have reached the upper limits of Republican support," Teichner said. The Democratic and Republican undecided voters--rather than Democrats already supporting the governor--hold the greatest potential source of votes for Bradley, Teichner concluded.

The Teichner poll has a 2.9% margin of error.

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