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“Our greatest advantage is our network of grass-roots activists across the state who are ready and eager to get to work and turn Democrats out to vote,” he said.

Ms. Whitman’s rival, state Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former governor, also has long-standing ties to Latino groups and is getting millions of dollars in financial backing from unions this year.

Kam Kuwata, a longtime Democratic strategist who is promoting a new website on the corporate records of Ms. Whitman and Ms. Fiorina, said the leading candidates are doing well, considering the spending by their opponents this year.

“I am one that believes summertime polls are a little overrated and I think once the campaign begins and it gets to gel and people know the real records of Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, they’ll reject them,” he said.