Al Checchi, $40 million-plus. Steve Westly, $40 million-plus. Michael Huffington, $28 million.
We mere mortals, those of us who don't have Goldman Sachs accounts or count our money in nine or 10 digits, are witnessing a fourth incredibly rich candidate fail. Take your pick, Steve Poizner or Meg Whitman.
Whitman, the former eBay chief executive, has spent roughly $70 million and finds herself on a downward spiral against Poizner, the wealthy entrepreneur whose spending is approaching $30 million. Most of their money has been used to mercilessly attack each other.
Whitman remains the favorite. But the latest poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California shows Whitman's once massive lead over Insurance Commissioner Poizner has taken a dive in the GOP primary race for governor.
In two months, her lead, once 50 percentage points, has tumbled to nine points, 38 percent to 29 percent. Her support was, as they say, a mile wide and an inch deep.
Whitman's campaign already has a set a new low standard in California politics for being aloof, imperious and ultimately cynical. If the trend depicted by the latest poll continues, Whitman's fall would be singular in American politics.
Perhaps the poll's most striking finding is how volatile the Republican electorate is, despite six months of campaigning and nearly $100 million spent by the two candidates.
Fully 31 percent of Republican voters have not picked a candidate. Their hesitation reflects their anger and distrust, reflected by the rise of tea party politics on the right.
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