Wa-a-a-y back when Election Day 2010 was a distant mirage, I predicted in the October 9, 2009 post titled “Moonbeam Shining Bright In Governor’s Race” that as crazy as his chances seemed, former Governor Jerry Brown would succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Today, poll results released by the Public Policy Institute of California, show Jerry Brown leading challenger Meg Whitman by eight percentage points. What’s more, support for Brown is rising among key voting blocs, including independents and Latinos. The poll was conducted among likely voters, an important distinct in election polling, and its margin of error is plus or minus 3.5%.
Poll numbers aside, I’m even more convinced I’ll be proved right on November 2. But like juries who get the right verdict for the wrong reasons, the reason I’m right has less to do with Jerry Brown and everything to do with Meg Whitman.
It’s not about Meg’s failure to vote, employing an illegal housekeeper, or flip flops on the issues.
It’s all about the money, honey.
Californians have an intense dislike for self-funded candidates. Meg is the all-time queen. She’s set a record by spending $140 million of her own money on the governor’s race. Californians are inherently suspicious and distrust a candidate who will spend that much money to get a job full of nothing but grief that pays a mere $212,179 (well, mere to Meg).
Meg joins a long list of well-to-do California candidates who’ve spent a boatload of their own money on campaigns for governor or senator since the early 1960s. The San Diego Union-Tribune compiled this list in May.
Now admit it – how many of those 18 names would you have been able to come up with before reading the list? Michael Huffington, sure. Darrell Issa, maybe. I felt mighty proud of myself to come up with Ron Unz and Jane Harman. I’d like to say I remembered Art Laffer or Al Checchi but I’d be a complete and utter liar. With the exception of Issa, the other 17 all went down in flames.