Meg Whitman, Down in Polls, Calls California Governor Race an "Unhappy Choice"

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman talks to reporters in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Trailing her opponent in the California gubernatorial race by 13 points in the latest poll, Republican candidate Meg Whitman appears to acknowledge in her latest campaign ad that she is not popular with voters.

"I know many of you see this election as an unhappy choice betwen a longtime politician with no plan for the future and a billionaire with no government experience," Whitman says in the ad.

The Republican uses the ad to remind voters of her personal history as a longtime California resident and former chief executive of eBay. In spite of spending more than $160 million on her campaign so far -- including more than $140 million of her own fortune -- Whitman trails her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown in the latest Los Angeles Times poll, 52 percent to 39 percent.

Furthermore, while Brown only gets a 48 percent positive favorability rating in the L.A. Times poll, with 44 percent of voters saying they have an unfavorable view of him, Whitman is even more unpopular -- just 37 percent of voters said they viewed her favorably, while 52 percent said they had an unfavorable view of her. Whitman may have lost ground with voters, according to the L.A. Times, after her former housekeeper charged that Whitman kept her on as an employee, even after learning that the housekeeper was an illegal immigrant.

The L.A. Times poll also showed Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina trailing by 8 points behind incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer. However, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is spending another $3 million on television ads in California this week, indicating the GOP still sees the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive as a viable candidate.

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Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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