Californians go to the polls in most expensive governors race ever - with 5 months to go before the general

He's also been lucky, in that the two younger, sexier Democratic stars that would be his competition self immolated over the past couple of years, with their testosterone part of the problem.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaragosa is very dynamic, but an affair with an anchorwoman a television reporter a year ago - two years after his affair with another local newscaster led to the break-up of his marriage - doomed his chances..  And San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome did the same thing, having an affair with the wife of his campaign manager.

And in the Senate race?

The most recent poll published over the weekend gives former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina with a 15% lead over former Congressman Tom Campbell, and a bigger lead against Tea Party favorite Chuck DeVore.  That will lead to a heavyweight battle between Fiorina and 18-year Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer this fall, and Fiorina never tires in saying she can't wait for that battle to begin.

The theory among some analysts (including yours truly, who covered Boxer's re-election campaign against Republican Matt Fong in 1998) is that Campbell, a moderate, would be a much better candidate for the GOP this fall against the liberal Boxer.  Fiorina is new to electoral politics, and has veered from being somewhat moderate when she began the race to finding herself competing against DeVore to win the hearts and minds of right leaning conservatives.

Campbell's stances, which includes being pro-choice and pro gay-marriage, would work against Boxer, who has perennially beat back weak candidates in her three previous Senate races.

Boxer is still vulnerable, but not nearly as much as she would against a much more experience politico.

Americans in 12 states will go to the polls on Tuesday.  Lots going on, but indulge me as CL looks at the high profile races out in California.

Like Florida, California voters are voting for governor and U.S. Senator this November, and the Golden State's primary election this Tuesday will consolidate the field for nearly the next five months.

Of all things that have happened in this campaign, one statistic blows this former Californian out of the water so far;

Former eBay Chair and the likely Republican party gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman, has spent $81 million so far in her fight against Steve Poizner, $71 million from her own pocket.

Are you kidding me? I know Mike Bloomberg in NYC spent an absurd amount for his third term last year, but with the general election against one of the ultimate politicians ever, Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown as he was referred to back in the 1970's, she will end up cracking $200 million to buy her way into Sacramento, no?

On paper, Whitman is the ideal candidate for what California might be said to want in 2010 - a business executive who can whip the state budget into shape and right the errant financial course the state has been on since Enron helped to do in Gray Davis back in the early aughts.

But in fact, as it is with so many non-career politicians, it's not as easy as it looks on TV.  Whitman, who will run in part as making history as the Golden State's first female governor, has some spots on her record that are hard to ignore.  Like the fact that she apparently has never given a rat's ass about politics until lately.  Last year it was reported that she had not voted at anytime in the last 28 years.

In the year of the Tea Party celebration, some might honor that lack of civic engagement.  And she is running against a definite career politician, the aforementioned Jerry Brown, who has done this job before, beginning 36 years ago.  I've written about Brown before in this space and will do so again, but seriously, he's one of the most engaging minds and public officials that the country has ever seen.  Of course he has his faults, but he's still very dynamic, and will have the backing of a lot of people in the state.

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