The Sacramento Bee has an interesting piece today about the extreme rightward shift by Republican candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner in order to win conservative votes. The-I’m-more-conservative-than-you campaign could seriously backfire because both will have to pivot back to the center after the June Primary to attract independent, moderate voters. In fact, the move to the right by both candidates could provide Jerry Brown with a significant advantage in the fall, because he will be able to paint them as being too extreme by using their own words.
Poizner’s far-right shift may be the easiest for Brown to capitalize on. The insurance commissioner, for example, has wholeheartedly embraced Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration law in an effort to win-over conservatives who are wary of Whitman. And the good news for Democrats is that Poizner is closing ground on Whitman rapidly.
Whitman’s once huge lead is now down to single digits because of the Goldman Sachs scandal. Clearly, the anti-Wall Street fervor, popular both on the right and left, has turned out to be a big problem for the wealthy former CEO of eBay and Goldman Sachs board member.