The questionable effect of California political ads


The race to be the next governor of California features a Republican primary in which a candidate who has kicked in $19M of his own money into his campaign is dwarfed on that count by his early-lead-holding opponent. But despite lavish spending by the leader, the underdog is gaining ground.

The leader is former eBay exec Meg Whitman, and her opponent is Steve Poizner, California’s state Insurance Commissioner. According to the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, a Poizner-distributed poll shows him closing from a 59%-11% margin to 38%-28%.

The situation is not a commentary on the ineffectiveness of advertising. Poizner has been hitting Whitman with ads of his own, and the state Democratic Party organization has also been running ads hitting her for her former seat on the board of Goldman-Sachs.

Voters go to the poll for primaries in the state next month.