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WILSON HAS LEAD IN CALIFORNIA RACE, ACCORDING TO POLL

SHARE WILSON HAS LEAD IN CALIFORNIA RACE, ACCORDING TO POLL

Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who less than a year ago was running 17 points behind his Democratic challenger, has assumed the lead in the governor's race, according to a poll published Friday.

The Field Poll gave Wilson a modest lead of three points over state Treasurer Kathleen Brown among registered voters.Forty-six percent of the respondents supported Wilson, 43 percent backed Brown and 11 percent were undecided with less than two months before the November election.

Among voters most likely to vote, a subset of registered voters polled, Wilson's lead expanded further. Wilson found 48 percent support as compared to 41 percent for Brown, with 11 percent undecided.

The findings represent a dramatic about-face in Field Poll results. In four surveys taken last year, Brown led Wilson by margins ranging from 13 to 23 points among registered voters.

In the four previous 1994 surveys, the Field Poll put Brown ahead by between five and 11 points.

The results, however, confirm the findings of a new Los Angeles Times poll. Conducted earlier this month, the Times' survey put Wilson nine points ahead of Brown among likely voters and six points ahead among all registered voters.