Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman barely paused to take a breath after her landslide primary victory, saturating the airwaves with ads, raising money across the state, trying to woo traditionally Democratic voters and using her massive campaign machine to drive the conversation in her race against rival Jerry Brown.
Brown, meanwhile, is off the air, has yet to reach out to key voter blocs in any strategic way and has gotten more attention for gaffes than for policy proposals.
Part of the contrast is the result of the yawning funding gap between Whitman, a billionaire who has put $91 million of her own money into her effort, and Brown, who has had to scramble for donations in a stressed economy.
It’s also the byproduct of Brown’s campaign, which boasts a shoestring staff and a candidate who is proud of his frugality and last campaigned in a major election nearly two decades ago.
The combination of Whitman’s wealth and a distinct lack of energy by Brown is making California Democrats nervous about their candidate’s prospects in the fall.