California Politics

Whitman Struggles Despite Record Spending

Meg Whitman has spent record levels of money—including $119 million of her own fortune—in her bid to become the next governor of California, but she’s still struggling in the polls. Republicans thought Whitman’s opponent, Jerry Brown, was the ideal candidate to run against, given his decades spent in the state’s dysfunctional government. But with only a month to go until Election Day, Whitman is polling even with Brown, despite Brown’s low-key campaign. She’s now fighting a story that she mistreated an illegal Mexican immigrant she hired as a housekeeper, after railing against employers who hire illegal aliens. Whitman tried to explain away the story, describing the woman as a close friend yet claiming she fired the housekeeper the minute she found out her immigration status. Whitman didn’t seem too upset about a supposedly close family friend potentially getting deported, either. Analysts say California is a Democratic state, so for a Republican to win, she must run a stellar campaign. So far, Whitman has failed to do that.