Americans love choice – just walk down a supermarket’s cereal aisle. In the June 2010 primary, however, Californians looking to vote for a democrat may find only one available box to check.
In a recent Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll, 65 percent of democrats said they want another democratic option in the primary, especially since San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom withdrew from the race on Oct. 30.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown has not officially announced his candidacy as a contender in the race to replace current California Governor Schwarzenegger, but his candidacy is assumed in the 2010 election. Brown is ahead in polls, with 44 percent of voters in favor of Brown over the current three Republican candidates.
“A lot of people were in support of Newsom,” said Brandon Craig, Davis College Democrats president and junior political science major. “But in policies, Brown is more friendly in the issues [DCD members] care about compared to Newsom or any of the republican candidates.”
The Republican side has three hopefuls for the primary: former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, former Rep. Tom Campbell and California State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. According to the LAT/USC poll, only 17 percent of voters see these candidates favorably.
“It doesn’t look like any Republican candidates have a strong edge,” Craig said. “They are the underdog.”
Brown is not new to the race for governor. From 1975 to 1983, Brown served two terms as California governor. He is eligible to run in 2010 because term limit laws changed in 1990 after his governorship.
“A lot of the people who support Brown value what he did as governor in the late ’70s,” Craig said.
Other Democrats, as indicated by poll results, may think Brown is old news for California because he has already served as governor, said Jeremia Kimelman, database director for the recent Students For Gavin Newsom campaign.
“I don’t think anyone who was excited for Newsom is excited for Brown,” Kimelman said.
Justin Patrizio, communication director for the Newsom campaign and senior political science and philosophy double major, said Newsom’s withdrawal could hurt Brown when it comes time to vote.
“Had Newsom stuck it out, there would have at least been young voters [in June 2010],” Patrizio said. “Voter turnout will go down.”
Newsom, known for his liberal policies concerning gay rights, publicly endured an extramarital affair, which brought controversy to the governor’s race. This controversy could have brought the election to the forefront of the media, bringing more voters to the polls in June regardless of the gubernatorial winner, Patrizio said.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.