Archive for March 17th, 2010
Back in the days of Dr. J and Moses Malone, the late Philadelphia 76ers announcer Dave Zinkoff had a most entertaining way of telling fans that someone had failed to turn off their car’s headlights.
After a couple of conventional pleas, Zinkoff would tell the Spectrum crowd: “Your lights are still on . . . but they’re growing dimmmmmm……errrrrr”.
And that’s the Meg Whitman-Steve Poizner contest in a nutshell. Whitman has widened her lead to 49 points in the latest Field Poll (now 63%-14%, compared to 45%-17% in January).
Is it still a race? The primary isn’t for another 75 days or so and Poizner has yet to unleash a full-throttle media blitz. That said, we’re getting late in the game. And the lights . . . for Poizner, they’re growing dimmer.
Which might explain why Team Whitman pivoted yesterday and, with an eye on November and an opponent other than Poizner, released a policy agenda.
48 pages in length, it will help dispel the perception that the former eBay’s chair is long on style and short on substance.
It’s also very glossy, so brace for lots of snarky media comments about a Whitman’s Sampler that was far more expensive to produce than a box of chocolates.
As you’ll see from reading it, the policy tome plays straight down the middle of the California political fairway. Nothing controversial – and nothing that makes it predictably easy for Jerry Brown and the Democratic IE hit squads to portray her as an ideological kook, or a dangerous neophyte.
Among her ideas:
Make the Legislature part-time (an idea headed for a ballot showdown);
Provide a $10,000 tax credit for purchasers of new and existing homes;
Tax credits for green-tech job creation;
A spending cap tied to growth in California’s GDP;
Merit pay raises for state workers;
A grand-jury style panel to look for fraud in state government;
Reinvest $1 billion in savings from welfare/reforms in the UC/CSU.
1) Which of these ideas would/will Jerry Brown second?
2) Which of these ideas would Whitman be willing to give up in a horse-trading deal with the Legislature;
3) Which ( if any) of these ideas is Whitman willing to take to the ballot assuming the same Legislature gives her agenda a two-word response?
Another sign of trouble ahead for Democrats: Republican candidates now have a 10-point lead in Rasmussen Reports’ Generic Congressional Ballot, the GOP’s biggest edge in three years of weekly tracking.
That’s the good news, for Republicans: a 45%-35% advantage in a hypothetical two-party match-up.
The bad news: toss in a Tea Party candidate and it’s a whole different ballgame — Democrats 34%, Republicans 27%, Tea Party 21%.
But even that can be spun in a positive way by the GOP.
Back in December, Rasmussen’s numbers read Democrats 36%, Tea Party 23%, Republicans 18%. By February, ”generic GOP” moved into second place with 25% of the vote, with the Tea Party dropping to 17%.
More results to crunch:
When President Obama took office, Democrats enjoyed a seven-point advantage on the Generic Ballot. That gap narrowed throughout the spring of last year, with the GOP pulling ahead in late June — perhaps not coincidentally, roughly the same time the President’s party began its health care push.
One group definitely not in love with the status quo: independents. According to Rasmussen, unaffiliated voters favor the GOP, 41%-22% — a margin that’s changed little this year.