THE BLOG
05/24/2010 12:33 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Is Meg Whitman Melting? One Poll Says Yes!

Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz when water is spilled on the Wicked Witch and she melts? Is the same thing happening before our eyes with Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO Republican who is running for California governor against GOP opponent Steve Poizner in the primary election?

It sure looks that way based on the latest polling.

Was a time when Whitman commanded something like a 50 point lead against Poizner. But that has plummeted to just a single digits advantage, according to a poll last week by the Public Policy Institute of California and reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Perhaps even worse news for Whitman is the other poll finding -- that a third of those who say they are likely to vote on June 8 say they are undecided.

According to an L.A. Times article, many voters in the Central Valley, a mostly conservative stronghold that should have been highly receptive to Whitman's message, indicate that they may have actually been turned off by... Whitman's message, or, in this case, commercial messages.

She took to the airwaves earlier, but, by doing so, left herself wide open for extra scrutiny from her opponents and the public.

Despite this, we shouldn't take any one poll too much to heart. One of the reasons the L.A. Times quoted the Public Policy Institute is that the paper is not polling with the same vigor that was evident years ago. A byproduct, I'm sure, of the severe cutbacks there.

Since polls are only snaphots of one moment in time, the fewer polls taken, the more likely any one poll's predictions will prove faulty come election day as views shift and change, much like that luggage in the overhead bins on airliners we are always being warned about at the end of every flight.

Only a few weeks ago, the conventional wisdom (which, to be frank, is usually not worth all that much to begin with) was that Whitman would be the one to go up against Democrat Jerry Brown, the former California governor who wants to be the future California governor.

In light of the latest poll numbers, it is starting to look like there is a strong possibility that it will be a Poizner-Brown battle come November.

My guess is that the GOP contest is Poizner's to loose. The momentum appears to be on his side. This, while Whitman seems to be continuing to melt off in the corner.

Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menance of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle." He has covered police and politics in Los Angeles since 1995 and is a regular contributor of investigative reporting to KNX1070 Newsradio.