Meg Whitman lags behind Jerry Brown in Calif. governor race
Meg Whitman trails Jerry Brown in a new poll of likely California voters. The episode involving her illegal Mexican housekeeper is hurting her, especially among Latino voters.
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Democrat Barbara Boxer ahead too
In California’s other main statewide race – for US Senator – three-term incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer holds an eight-point lead (50-42 among likely voters) over GOP challenger Carly Fiorina.Skip to next paragraph
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But that race is far from over. Both candidates have high unfavorability ratings – 50 percent for Boxer, 43 percent for Fiorina.
“Any Republican running in California is facing an uphill battle. It’s hard for Republicans to win in California state-wide races, and it’s even more difficult for conservative Republicans in a state where nearly half of voters are registered as Democrats,” said Jane Junn, research director of the USC College/Los Angeles Times Poll and USC professor of political science.
As with all elections this volatile political season, voter turnout will be key. In California, according to this new poll, the “enthusiasm gap” between Republicans and Democrats appears to be closing.
So far, it seems, Whitman’s huge campaign advertising war chest is not as effective as she would have liked – a situation also true for other Republicans pouring large amounts of personal funds into their races.
Money can't buy you love
Together, Whitman, Rick Scott running for governor in Florida, and US Senate candidate Linda McMahon in Connecticut have spent nearly a quarter-billion dollars of their own money. Whitman's is the most expensive self-funded campaign in history.
“Now, Whitman, McMahon and Scott all find themselves on the edge of a general election vote that could effectively vaporize all their spending.
“In part, strategists say, that’s because no amount of campaign spending can compensate for flawed candidates: McMahon’s background in professional wrestling has likely crippled her appeal with many of the female, suburban and independent voters who make up Connecticut’s swing vote.
“Whitman’s problem could be more basic: She’s a Republican in a very Democratic state.
“Despite Florida’s rightward lean this year, Scott has been unable to break away from [Alex] Sink as the Democrat has hammered him on the air over his tenure at the Columbia/HCA hospital chain, which paid $1.7 billion in fines for Medicare fraud.”
The lesson: Money may buy you a lot of TV time. But it won't necessarily buy you voter love.