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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Whitman Fade Is For Real

Last week I did a post asking if it was actually possible that California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who’s on course to break every national record for spending in a state political race, could actually lose her primary. Now one of the more respected California polling outfits has weighed in, and yes, Whitman’s in some trouble, though still ahead.
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, Whitman’s 61-11 lead over Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in March has dropped to 38-29, with the undecided vote actually going up to 31%. With less than three weeks left to go until the June 8 primary, Whitman’s spending total for the cycle is now up to $68 million (!), and Poizner’s dropped $24 million himself in a much shorter period of time. It is very, very difficult to watch television in California right now without heavy exposure to constant back-and-forth attack ads from these two candidates.
I’ve written the contest up over at FiveThirtyEight for anyone who’s interested. The bottom line is that the Whitman-Poizner battle is good news for Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, and if Poizner’s immigrant-bashing message prevails or forces Whitman to emulate it, it could have long-term repercussions for party politics in the Golden State.

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