GOP primary: Familiarity breeding contempt

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The previous time that Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman got together for a sort-of debate, it was a kid-gloves affair. But now that each has spent a boatload of money attacking the other on TV, it's become apparent that they're increasingly getting under each other's skin.

One suspects that when they get together for their second and, apparently, final debate on May 2 things won't be quite so gentile.

Consider these remarks from press releases issued today regarding Whitman's release of internal polling that shows her lead has slipped from 50 percent to 31 percent.

From Poizner Communications Director Jarrod Agen: "Meg Whitman's candidacy was always like one of those French souffl├ęs one of her private chefs would cook up on her private jet -- full of expensive air and destined to deflate."

From Whitman pollster John McGlaughlin: "Unless in the remaining few weeks Steve Poizner can make himself a likable person, there's no way he can win."

If Whitman wins, don't expect her to start chatting up Poizner for a U.S. Senate campaign in 2012, as her campaign staff did a couple months ago when they were trying to talk him into dropping out of the governor's race.

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Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at
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