Suddenly, Meg Whitman has found her missing R.
Whitman has spent a record $83 million on her campaign — $500,000 a day — including an astonishing $48 million on radio and television ads. I steeled myself the other day and listened to and watched all the Whitman commercials I could find.
There are lots of them, more than 30 in all. On those 30- and 60-second spots, Whitman describes herself as a businesswoman, the former eBay chairwoman, a fiscal conservative and a devoted Californian.
Whitman promises to be tough on illegal immigrants and public employee unions, and magically slash spending, create jobs and improve schools.
Whitman neglected to mention one thing. I didn't hear her say a single time that she is a Republican.
The omission makes sense.
With GOP registration having shrunk to below 31 percent, partisan Republicans don't stand much chance of winning in California unless they attract some Democrats and many of the 20 percent of voters who decline to state a party preference.
Until recently, Whitman was trying to do just that – running as if she were in a general election. But before a general election, there's the small matter of the June 8 primary, a Republican primary at that.
Whitman's lead in public opinion polls once bulged at 50 percentage points. That was before her opponent, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, started talking to Republican voters about issues like illegal immigration.
Poizner has not been shy about making clear his affiliation. His latest television ad says he would be a governor "from the Republican wing of the Republican Party."
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