By David Gura
Of all the articles in California's newspapers about the gubernatorial primaries there, the headline of a piece in The San Jose Mercury News probably describes them best: "California governor's race comes down to three things: Money, money, money."
With more than 60 percent of the vote, Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, won the Republican primary. Some 600,000 Californians voted for her.
Although those numbers are certainly significant, another set of figures will probably attract more attention:
"Whitman entered the race promising to spend as much as $150 million of her own money on her campaign," The Sacramento Bee reports. "By primary day, she had put in $71 million and raised an additional $16 million."
In the Mercury News, the analysis was as good as the headline:
Billionaire Republican hopeful Meg Whitman has more than anyone else and is willing to spend tons of it. Her GOP opponent, Steve Poizner, also has millions but chose to hold onto his wallet until the final weeks of the campaign. Meanwhile, the presumed Democratic nominee, Jerry Brown, is spending his campaign cash like a monk browsing at a Goodwill store.
(Needless to say, the reporters who penned that last sentence are finalists for The Two-Way's simile-of-the-day award.)
Whitman spent more than four times as much as Poizner.
In the general election, she'll face former Gov. Jerry Brown, winner of the California Democratic primary yesterday.
The Mercury News surveys the [gilded] road to November:
Will Whitman, the former eBay CEO, exceed her promise to spend $150 million of her fortune to try to buy herself, in essence, the headache of running a state with a budget gap almost 15 times her net worth?
Now that the long-trailing Poizner, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, is closing the point gap between himself and Whitman, will he write another huge check to his campaign in the belief he could actually win the June 8 primary?
Will Brown, the wily state attorney general and former governor, make his relative paucity of cash his campaign mantra, hoping to convince voters that, when it comes to the mother's milk of politics, less is more?