Advertising blitz begins as June Primary looms
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — In two weeks, absentee ballots go out and Californian’s will begin voting in the June Primary, which is just six weeks away.
While we haven’t heard much from the six candidates who want to replace Governor Brown, the advertising blitz has begun.
Only two of the six candidates for governor will advance to November.
There are three top-tier candidates, two Democrats and one Republican.
Republican John Cox has an outside chance to make the runoff and he’s moved up in the polls. His ad is about lobbyists running Sacramento.
“They roam the corridors buying influence and basically stick it to the middle class, corporate welfare, liberal causes and the public employee unions,” Cox says in his advertisement.
“Cox is independently wealthy and he’s been up on television actually before the Democrats were,” said Political Consultant Tom Shepard.
Democrat Gavin Newsom is the front-runner, a moderate mayor of San Francisco who will champion liberal causes as governor.
“He’s still in a very strong position. He’s raised more money. I would have to say right now he has to be considered the odds-on favorite,” Shepard said.
Not far behind is Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, who is moving to the middle.
“I think Villaraigosa’s strategy is to try to attract among others decline to state voters, independent voters and some Republicans,” Shepard said.
None of these candidates has said much about some of the big issues, such as sanctuary state, the gas tax and unfunded pensions.
Cox has the Republican Party. Gavin Newsom has the teachers and nurses unions, and Villaraigosa has the charter schools lobby.
It’s clear the Democrats have a registration advantage and Shepard says a Democrat is likely to win in November.
“What’s important to Republicans in this race is if they don’t end up with one of the two finalists in November then they’ve got no candidate at the top of the ticket and no reason for many Republicans to come out and vote in November,” he said.
That has never happened before and that has consequences not only for a weaker state party but the impact on the national party.
“We have these congressional districts where there’s the possibility of flipping from Republican to Democrat and that could happen, or that could be aided if the Republicans don’t have a gubernatorial candidate on the November ballot,” Shepard said.
2018 will be a big money ad war. For the primary alone, Newsom has more cash than the other candidates combined. But it’s the independent expenditure ads that are not from a candidate, that will dominate the ad war.