Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO running in the Republican primary for governor of California, has found a novel (and probably very expensive) method of getting her campaign message out: A 48-page glossy campaign magazine, mailed to 500,000 Republican households in the state.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Whitman’s campaign is not divulging how much this mailer cost, but campaign experts estimate that it must have been at least half a million dollars. They key here is that Whitman is self-financing her campaign — and has vowed to spend $150 million of her own money between the primary and general election.“It’s just incredible,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst at the University of Southern California, to the Mercury News. “You know that it cost a fortune, but if you have enough money to pay for everything, why not?”
Flipping through the digital copy, the very interesting thing about here is how the magazine focuses squarely on state-level fiscal issues, Whitman’s views on improving the state’s business climate, and her business background. Absent are hot-button social issues like abortion and gay marriage. Even the much-debated new federal health care reform law is only mentioned once — and this is in terms of demanding that Washington pay California its fair share for the new costs, not as fighting the law itself. Only one social issue is actively discussed, in a spread on fighting illegal immigration.
The TPM Poll Average gives Whitman a lead of 59.6%-18.0% in the Republican primary against state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. In the general election against state Attorney General Jerry Brown, himself a former governor, Whitman has an edge of 43.7%-41.5%.