CA Update: Whitman, Fiorina, Poizner, and 2010.
From the Sacramento Bee:
Memo to would-be Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa:
In case you’re thinking the winner of the 2010 Democratic primary will coast to victory in the general election, you better check out some recent poll numbers on Meg Whitman.
According to a new poll out from Rasmussen Reports, the former eBay CEO wins in face-to-face match-ups with Villaraigosa and Newsom and puts some serious heat on Brown.
Whitman may be yet to announce her candidacy — or tap into her billions of dollars — for the governor’s race. But she runs ahead of Villaraigosa by a 41 percent to 34 percent margin in a hypothetical November 2010 match-up, and she also bests Newsom by 37 percent to 34 percent.
In a match-up against Brown, Whitman trails by just two percentage points, 40 percent to 38 percent, according to the Rasmussen survey of 500 California voters.
Another Silicon Valley figure and would-be Republican candidate might take exception to the poll. Mobile satellite technology tycoon and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner wasn’t included in any of the hypothetical general election contests.
Democrats who believe this next election is going to be a walk in the park are going to have to think twice. Schwarzenegger walks like a Democrat and talks like a Democrat. A charasmatic, conservative challeneger like Meg Whitman or Steve Poizner is going to put their chances in serious jeopardy especially if DiFi doesn’t run and their candidate is Brown, Newsom, or Villariagosa. All three were happy boosters of the “No on 8″ campaign, especially Brown and Newsom. Brown changed the bills language to make it sound bigoted and homphobic, while Newsom, now famously in this state, said, “Whether you like it or not, things are changing, it’s happening….” in regards to gay marriage.
And now comes word that Meg may be more conservative than we previously thought. She was publicly in favor in Proposition 8. Even Steve Poizner, who at the time was the only other state-wide elected Republican, didn’t take a position on the bill. She is pro-choice. In this state though, it’s hard to be a pro-life Republican with any shot whatsoever. Steve Poizner is also pro-choice. So when it comes to the race it’s difficult. They’re both fantastic when it comes to economic issues, it’s a wash on life to be honest and Whitman was in favor of Prop 8, it could either be a really great asset or a really big liability. An asset in that Californians handidly rejected the measure, a liability in that Californians tend to be a little more liberal and don’t like being called haters. If Whitman explained she did not like the CA Supreme Court legislating from the bench, that could be a way to do it.
The great thing about Whitman and Poizner? They’re both extremely clear and confident in economic issues, and both have a good grasp of what is needed in this state. Some say California is beyond the point of no return, but I don’t think so. I think it is going to be hard and it will take a long time, but I think we can climb back, we just need the right people in charge. Right now, California is not even self funded, by itself it isn’t even solvent. It will be a state funded by the federal government if change is not enacted quickly.
Meanwhile on the Senate front, there are several good candidates mulling a run. The most notable among them is former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, who would be a phenomenal spokesman for conservativism. She’s more conservative than either Whitman or Poizner, she’s articulate and very well spoken. She’s semi-gaffe prone, who could forget the remark about McCain or Palin “not being able to be a CEO.” While she was outsted at HP, many executives at the company agree that while her tenure was marked by making risky decisions, some of which seemed badly thought out in the short term, they have benefited the company in the long run.
Fiorina is also pro-life. (The link also cites an awkward gaffe Fiorina made.) Making her more conservative than either of the two candidates running for Governor. Fiorina has the same appeal as Mitt Romney, coming off as someone who knows what she is talking about with crystal clear percision when talking about the economy.
Right now, if you put a gun to my head, I’d say Meg Whitman for Govenor (and she’d probably win in the general too.) and Carly Fiorina for U.S. Senate. (She’d have the first real chance of taking out Boxer in a long, long time.) I think it would give California a strong Republican ticket in 2010 against an unusually weak string of Democratic candidates.