Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) has put another $20 million of her own money into her campaign to become the next governor of California. That brings her total self-financing thus far to an astonishing $59 million -- the latest in a long line of candidates who have spent lavishly on their campaigns, and who have sometimes done so quite successfully.
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Whitman's spending is paying off so far. The TPM Poll Average shows her with a huge lead in the Republican primary, ahead of state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner by 59.6%-18.0%. And in the general election, she has taken a narrow lead over state Attorney General Jerry Brown, himself a former governor and presidential candidate, by 43.7%-41.5%. Whitman's campaign has raised another $11.8 million from outside contributors, and her campaign has said she is willing to spend $150 million of her own money on the race.
So let's take a look at some other major self-financiers -- not simply people who spent $1 million, or $2 million, or $10 million, but tens and tens of millions of dollars, or have even crossed the $100 million line. After all, it's quite conceivable that between the June 8 primary and the November general election, Whitman could end up outdoing them all in one campaign, in the country's biggest state.