Whitman Holding On

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Hotline OnCall's Jamie Shufflebarger has a good rundown of the state of the California gubernatorial race, with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman holding on and still expected to beat Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the GOP primary Tuesday.


Poizner has come on strong with some poignant ads depicting Whitman as a closet moderate; his campaign has pointed to her spotty voting record and previous support for Democrats; it has made immigration a focal point of the GOP primary. But Whitman has, as Shufflebarger reports, dropped tons of her own money into the race, blanketing the airwaves with ads.

This has been an interesting race, so far. It has featured two millionaires, but all millionaires are not created equal. Whitman has spent $80 million of her own money, while Poizner has spent $20 million of his, making it a hugely expensive primary. Poizner has picked his spots, and the two have exchanges some creative lines of attack (check out the ad in which he paints Whitman as a porn peddler, based on the stuff that gets sold on eBay) but it turns out a $40 million advantage goes a long way.

The race carries added significance because of California's abysmal state budget, which the next governor will have to work with the legislature to fix, and immigration; it's likely Congress will attempt comprehensive reform sometime in the near future, and Poizner's campaign has made it an issue in a high-profile contest.

Right now, Whitman polls in the 50% range, while Poizner polls in the low 20%'s. Both trail the Democratic candidate, Jerry Brown, in the high single-digit neighborhood.
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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