Steve Poizner

As a fellow Californian, I can certainly understand T.A. Frank’s disgust with last night’s California gubernatorial debate, which featured a continued preoccupation with two recent candidate “gaffes” (Meg Whitman’s relations with a Latina domestic worker who was illegally in the country, and an overheard comment by a Brown campaign staffer, in his boss’ presence, calling Whitman a “whore”).

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Christine O’Donnell is not someone you’d expect to be a Republican nominee for a competitive U.S. Senate contest, particularly in the staid state of Delaware, and particularly as the choice of primary voters over Congressman Mike Castle, who up until yesterday had won twelve consecutive statewide races. O’Donnell is a recent newcomer to Delaware and, since arriving, has managed to get into trouble with her student loans, her taxes, her mortgage, and her job. She also unsuccessfully sued a conservative organization for gender discrimination.

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By and large, Republican candidates and their handlers hope that swing voters snooze through the primary season, and don’t notice those ads and speeches attacking intra-party opponents as godless RINOs who want to sell out our priceless heritage of freedom for earmarks and the affection of media elites.   We’ve certainly had examples this year of Republican candidates (e.g., Rand Paul and Sharron Angle) who’ve forgotten to change gears—and stop grinding their teeth--when transitioning from a primary to a general election audience.  But you sure can’t accuse California gubernatorial candidate

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There’s not much doubt that this primary season has set some new lows for intra-party civility, from the hundred-million-dollar hate fest put on by Californian Republicans Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner to the mutual-assured-destruction of Hawaii Democrats Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa that handed the GOP a U.S. House seat.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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It's obvious that the Golden State isn’t golden anymore. As a new transplant here, the first state political event I watched up close was a May 2009 special election, featuring six ballot initiatives designed to avert a titanic budget crisis. California’s voters responded with what can best be described as snarling apathy. Turnout was 20 percent, which beat the previous California record for low turnout in a statewide election. The five initiatives that dealt with spending and revenue—which needed to pass in order to implement a major fiscal comprom ise—all went down, hard.

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It's obvious that the Golden State isn’t golden anymore. As a new transplant here, the first state political event I watched up close was a May 2009 special election, featuring six ballot initiatives designed to avert a titanic budget crisis. California’s voters responded with what can best be described as snarling apathy. Turnout was 20 percent, which beat the previous California record for low turnout in a statewide election. The five initiatives that dealt with spending and revenue—which needed to pass in order to implement a major fiscal comprom ise—all went down, hard.

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