Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Will Jerry’s $30 million ever make a difference? Will Meg’s megaspending overshadow everything else? Is everybody tired of Meg’s ads? Will labor shift into overdrive for Jerry?  Will the turnout be good?  Bottom line: Who’s going to win?”

This race is neck-and-neck. We’re past the halfway mark but not yet in the home stretch. Meg has the younger stronger horse but she’s new to big races and prefers grass to mud. Jerry is a wily veteran jockey, but he needs to go to the whip soon or he’ll get smoked in the final quarter mile. Voters are starting to move from the grandstands to the rail in anticipation of an epic finish.

Jerry Brown.

As Jerry’s former chief of staff is fond of saying, can’t improve on my last answer: Beat cheeks to Reno and take Meg Witless and the spread.

Here’s the bottom line: 8.9 million voters cast ballots in 2006; 13.75 million voted in 2008. If the vote is around the 9 million to 10 million level, Meg is going to have her shot at running California “like a business” (good luck with that).  If the total vote is greater than 11.75 million, Jerry will be governor once again, but it won’t be “business as usual.” You can take these remarks to the bank!

Whitman wins after a tiresome brutal campaign that drains union political dollars.

If Jerry pulls this off after a rival spends $150 million to whack him, it will be the greatest upset since the Battle of Britain. But it ain’t going to happen.

Brown has the slightest of edges, if only because of the Democrats’ large advantage in party registration and identification.  But Whitman has the money and the GOP has the national winds at its back.  Moreover, Brown has not had a truly competitive statewide election since 1982, and he’s lost a step.  Or two. Or three.

Even when Brown starts spending, he will have thrown all of his money in the air. He has no ground operation or field organization, can’t afford to set one up, and probably wouldn’t think he needs one even if he did have the money. If the race is close at the end, Whitman will win because she will have an extensive GOTV apparatus, and Brown will be depending strictly on organized labor to turn out voters. In a non-presidential year with an unmotivated Democratic electorate, that’s a recipe for defeat.

Follow the money. Then follow Whitman’s political education should she succeed in buying the governorship. It’ll be an ugly lesson in checkbook ‘democracy.’

Meg Whitman is going to ride the tidal wave of Republicans and DTS voters to the corner office on the first floor.  Jerry Brown will move to Utah, become Mormon, and run for Congress there.  There is also a decent chance that he will attempt to play professional baseball like Michael Jordan or attempt to become an elementary school teacher in Arkansas.
This is the classic tortoise and hare story.  From the beginning this has been Jerry Brown’s race to lose with name ID and a Democrat state – he and his supporters fell asleep under the tree.  Meanwhile Meg continues to garner momentum as Jerry’s labor is hedging bets by cutting deals with Schwarzenegger.  I don’t know if there is enough time for Jerry to wake up and overcome the momentum shift.

It’ll be close but Brown will win. However,  the first time I was old enough to vote in a statewide election was 1966 when I confidently predicted a Pat Brown victory….

Turnout will be mediocre. It will be close enough to make Dems sweat, but in the end Meg’s spending works against her and Jerry edges her out. Cooley will be the only statewide Republican elected, to go with a gain of a seat or two per house for the GOP – who will then become even more hard line on taxes, if that’s possible.

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, and Garry South.


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