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Twelve days before the election, Jerry Brown may be pulling away from Meg Whitman, while Carly Fiorina is holding her own against Barbara Boxer. We hear what a respected poll shows about voter opinion. We also hear from Dave Jones, Democrat for Insurance Commissioner, whose Republican opponent Mike Villines pulled out (of this interview) at the last minute. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, this year's campaigns for governor range from most expensive to the most ridiculous.  We get a representative sample and hear how important state governors can be nationwide.

Banner image: Screen grab from a Dave Jones campaign video

Making News California Politics: The Polls and the Money 9 MIN, 59 SEC

The latest poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California shows that Jerry Brown is up eight points over Meg Whitman; they were tied just a month ago.  Barbara Boxer’s lead over Carly Fiorina has dropped from seven to five points. Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of the PPIC.

Mark Baldassare, Public Policy Institute of California (@ppicnotes)

Main Topic The Race for California Insurance Commissioner 9 MIN, 41 SEC

Ten years ago, California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush resigned in disgrace. He had taken campaign contributions from the insurance industry, and then gave the industry breaks after the Northridge Earthquake. Since then, candidates for the job have not accepted industry contributions. Monday on WWLA? we discussed independent campaign commercials produced for Republican candidate Mike Villines by JobsPac, run by the State Chamber of Commerce. JobsPac is financed in part by insurance industry money. After the program, Villines' campaign said he would appear tonight with his Democratic opponent, Dave Jones. But a few hours before the program was taped, Villines' campaign said he had a scheduling conflict. Jones joins us tonight.

Dave Jones, California Department of Insurance (@CA_DaveJones)

Reporter's Notebook Racial, Partisan Tensions on Display in Tran-Sanchez Race 5 MIN, 51 SEC

Fourteen years ago, Democrat Loretta Sanchez upset Republican Bob Dornan in California's 47th Congressional District. It was a sign of demographic and political change in Orange County. Now Sanchez faces a challenge from Republican Assemblyman Van Tran, part of the County's Vietnamese community. Doug Irving reports for the Orange County Register.

Doug Irving, Reporter, Orange County Register

Main Topic Governors Make a Difference 27 MIN, 1 SEC

Governorships are on the ballot in 37 states next month — including Ohio, California, Texas, Florida and New York — states that could be crucial in the 2012 presidential election.  The importance of these races is significant because of the influence governors can have, not just in their own states, but nationwide.

Jennifer Duffy, Cook Political Report (@jennifereduffy)
Walter Shapiro, Roll Call / Yale University (@MrWalterShapiro)
Carla Marinucci, Politico (@cmarinucci)
Wayne Slater, journalist and author (@WayneSlater)
Susan MacManus, University of South Florida (@DrMacManus)
Nicholas Confessore, New York Times (@nickconfessore)

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