Top of the ballot: Whitman leads in Calif., Reid challenger dubbed 'Palin of Neveda'

New polling in California shows Meg Whitman as a favorite for the GOP gubenatorial nomination while Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) holds a strong lead over a generic Republican candidate; and a Harry Reid challenger is dubbed the Sarah Palin of Nevada.

Whitman not just California Dreaming

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) investment into her California gubenatorial campaign has paid off. She's ahead of Democratic candidate Jerry Brown 44-41 in a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll. And it appears she won't have trouble getting through the June primary -- she leads fellow Republican Steve Poizner by 40-points. As of the end of March, Whitman had self-funded $39 million to her campaign.

For the GOP nod to face Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the same survey showed former Rep. Tom Campbell with a slim lead over Carly Fiorina, 29 to 25 percent, while state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore polled 9 percent.

Meanwhile, Boxer holds a 14-point lead over a generic Republican, according to the March 23-30 survey.

New York's gubernatorial race is about to get more interesting

Buffalo developer Carl Paladino is set to announce his run for governor Monday. But preempting that announcement is a story from the New York Daily News about how he fathered a child during an extramarital affair a decade ago. Paladino has three grown children with his wife, Cathy.

"The Paladinos consider this a private family matter and ask all media to respect their privacy," said Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo.

Paladino wants to win a spot on the Conservative and Republican ballots.

Guns and ammo

A Las Vegas Sun profile of casino executive Sue Lowden (R) calls her Nevada's answer to Sarah Palin. 

That said, Lowden, who's running for the GOP nod to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), continues to pick up endorsements, such as one over the weekend from the UNLV College Republicans. Moreover, it turns out one of her main primary rivals, investment banker John Chachas (R), donated to President Obama in 2007. That won't help with a GOP base angry at Washington.

Other updates

Ann McLane Kuster (D), a House candidate in New Hampshire's 2nd district, reported raising $285,000 last quarter. Her campaign is trumpeting the donor support she's getting in-state. One of Kuster's main rivals, Katrina Swett, has yet to report her first quarter numbers. 


Updated at 10:05 a.m.