Sacramento bloggers and influence peddlers are buzzing like mad today over the new Field Poll (here's the San Diego Trib version) showing that Meg Whitman's massive $40 million radio and cable ad campaign for California governor 2010 has edged her three points past Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown.

The bigger news: the weird-looking Whitman, who sometimes has the visage of a wild-haired Amityville Horror victim, used to be a hottie.

Hard to believe, but check her out as a young woman at the 33-second mark on this official YouTube campaign video on the next page:

You can watch the Whitman video here (warning: turn down the sound so you don't have to hear the blather about how great she'll be as Governor Meg Whitman), and fast-forward to the 33-37 second range.

Clearly, Meg Whitman needs a Rose Bird-style makeover as she gears up her campaign with all kinds of populist plans described by Jack Chang at CapitolAlert (his report includes  Whitman's idea for a part-time legislature and tax credits for green industries).

Jerry Brown can look as bizarre as he likes, with his long, white, curly eyebrow hairs twisting all the way out to his temples. Voters won't judge him.

But women in politics still haven't attained visual parity with the men. The women still try like hell to look modern.

Even beady-eyed, pickled old pols like Nancy Pelosi still pull together a sharp, professional look.

Rose Bird, a beleagued California Supreme Court Justice from another era, pulled off the
most memorable makeover, ever, for a non-Hollywood public figure if you don't count Greta
Van Susteren.

Rose Bird went from prissy librarian to blow-dried Texan look.

Whitman looks scary much of the time. It's her really bad hairdo, a page boy that's circa
1973, and suitable only for young girls. It's gotta go.

Now, about the poll: Dan Walters at the Bee says the Field Poll results prove that we're in for a real slugfest between Whitman and Brown over the legislature's and Arnold's incompetence in failing to fix the California budget deficit.

And both Walters and Calbuzz (Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine)  — all experts on California's gubernatorial history — point out that Whitman's relentless advertising has attracted about half of the independents, a group that leans liberal in California.

Among independents, Jerry Brown has 42% and Whitman 43%.

The Field Poll shows that Steve Poizner, the Silicon Valley Republican, is all but out of the race, 49 whopping points behind Meg Whitman.

That prompted Calbuzz to ask why they shouldn't just stick a fork in Steve Poizner. A knife might be a better analogy, because Poizner has been sliced right out of this picture.

And Poizner has very nice hair.

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