Brown more than doubles lead over Whitman in past month

After a month where both California gubernatorial candidates weathered their share of scandal, attorney general and former Gov. Jerry Brown has doubled his lead over former eBay chief Meg Whitman.

According to a Los Angeles Times/USC poll released Sunday, Brown leads Whitman 52 to 39 percent among likely voters. That's more than double his edge in September.

The poll also found Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) eight-point lead over Republican Carly Fiorina unchanged since September.

The poll found Latino support for Brown strengthening from a 20-point lead to a 34-point one. Whitman's former housekeeper, with attorney Gloria Allred, came out on Sept. 29 to say that she had been employed for nine years despite Whitman knowing she was an illegal immigrant. Whitman showed copies of falsified documents presented to her by the housekeeper and said she didn't know of her illegal work status until shortly before terminating her employment.

Fifty-two percent of voters surveyed said she had not handled the controversy well.

The poll also found Brown's lead among women voters expanding from 9 point to 21. This follows the release of a tape earlier this month left on the answering machine of the Los Angeles Police Protective League in which Brown and staffers discuss the strategy of calling Whitman a "whore." Brown's campaign claims that it wasn't the former governor who used the word.

Whitman's support among conservatives in the new poll dropped slightly from 77 percent to 70 percent. Brown had the support of 16 percent of conservatives and now has 21 percent.

The poll was conducted for The Los Angeles Times and the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences from Oct. 13 to 20 by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and the Republican firm American Viewpoint. It included a random sample of 1,501 California voters, including 922 likely voters.

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