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California and the West | CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS / GOVERNOR

Davis, Checchi Forge Ahead in Latest Field Poll

April 30, 1998| From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Lt. Gov. Gray Davis and businessman Al Checchi are neck and neck in the race for the Democratic nomination for California governor, while Rep. Jane Harman has slipped to third place, according to a Field Poll released Tuesday.

With the June primary only five weeks away, the poll found Davis with 19%, nearly doubling support among likely voters since last month's Field Poll.

Checchi received support from 17% of those polled. Three-term Congresswoman Harman won the backing of 11%, the poll showed.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In a head-to-head matchup, Davis was the only Democrat to edge out the likely GOP nominee, state Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren. Davis outpolled Lungren 43% to 39%, while Lungren bested Checchi 43% to 38% and Harman 45% to 37%.

Davis' surge followed a month in which Checchi blasted Harman on television with ads attacking her Democratic credentials and her congressional voting record.

Davis began his own advertising a week ago, highlighting a career in California government that spans two decades.

The poll conducted April 20-27 surveyed 1,312 California adults, including 931 registered voters.

The June primary will allow voters to cast ballots for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation.

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