September 27, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Opinion: Endorsement Trumps Big Money, Gets Cox into Runoff

Things began looking desperate in early May for Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign to become the next governor of California, as one poll after another showed Republican John Cox overtaking him for the second slot on the November ballot, to run against current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

One of those surveys put his support as low as 9 percent, which would have classed him as a second-tier candidate, quite a blow to the ego of any former mayor Los Angeles.

This was quite a change for Villaraigosa, who in a March interview displayed insouciant confidence that he would win the six-way race for a spot opposite Newsom, who led every public opinion poll in the primary race and easily won the most votes.

At that time, Newsom led Villaraigosa in fund-raising by more than $12 million, while Cox had just plunked 3 million of his own dollars into his campaign. Shortly after, Cox’s advertising propelled him to a narrow edge over Villaraigosa.

Yet, Villaraigosa was exuberant about his chances, several times repeating that “I am ascendant!” By then, he likely knew that several charter school backers were about to fund an independent expenditure committee backing him to the tune of about $15 million.

But then along came Donald Trump. The President may be the single least popular political figure in California, where he spends a little time as possible, but his influence among the 25 percent of the state’s voters who register Republican is enormous.

From the moment Trump pronounced Cox the man to “make California great again,” Cox moved well ahead of his lone significant GOP rival, Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen, who had all along presented himself as a kind of surrogate Trump.

At the same time, Newsom began saturating the state with television ads presenting Cox as a virtual Trump clone. Newsom wanted to pick his fall opponent and he has. For Villaraigosa never really had a chance at second place once counting of votes began. Never mind that he and his supporters spent at least twice as much money as Cox, who is now likely to draw much more support from other Republicans.

Newsom’s reasoning: If he got Cox as an opponent, he would likely attract November support from virtually everyone who voted in the primary for him, Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former state schools Supt. Delaine Eastin (a total of more than 55 percent of all votes cast). But if Villaraigosa (or any other Democrat) were his fall foe, those votes could splinter unpredictably. For Newsom, the easiest path to the governor’s chair appeared to be getting a Republican opponent. His ads attacked Cox as a Trumpist after the President’s endorsement essentially doomed Allen’s effort.

Newsom is well aware that no Republican not named Schwarzenegger has won a California statewide election in almost two decades.

The donations to Villaraigosa from big pro-charter school contributors like developer Eli Broad and Netflix founder Reed Hastings were in a way a reward for Villaraigosa’s help getting that movement started while he was state Assembly speaker in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, Newsom has long had strong support from the California Teachers Assn., the union which often opposes expansion of charters and the companies that run them.

The primary outcome, with a first-place Newsom finish, may take the November election focus away from the run for governor, where Newsom and Cox will differ over almost everything. But the Democrats’ vast voter registration advantage and Trump’s unpopularity with the full electorate removes most doubt about an eventual Newsom win.

That could place a bright spotlight on the fall race for the Senate between veteran U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and either fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon, the more extremely liberal former president of the state Senate, or Republican political neophyte James Bradley. Propositions will also deserve major attention, covering subjects from gasoline taxes to the liability of paint makers for damage done by lead in their past products to an attempt to divide California into three states.

One thing for sure: A single personality – Donald Trump – ended up trumping big money and dominating a primary election scene where he wasn’t even a candidate.

Related Posts

Framing Nearly Complete on Lincoln Blvd 47 Unit Mixed Use Building: Santa Monica Real Estate Report – September 26th, 2022

September 26, 2022

September 26, 2022

Property, Developments, and Listings on the Westside.* Framing Nearly Complete on Lincoln Blvd 47 Unit Mixed Use Building* City of...

Renderings Released for Santa Monica Library-Adjacent Affordable Housing

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

38 units planned to at 1333 7th Street By Dolores Quintana The Foundation For Affordable Housing has proposed a new...

Kim Kardashian Buys Cindy Crawford’s Former Malibu Estate for $70 Million

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

Sale priciest residential transfer in Malibu of 2022 and is also the year’s fourth-priciest sale in the state By Dolores...

Santa Monica Mayor and City Council Call for an End to Needle Exchange Program at Reed Park

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich has formally requested that Los Angeles County end the Harm Reduction Syringe...

City of Malibu Continues Opposition to County Action to Move Juvenile Prisoners to Santa Monica Mountains Near Malibu

September 23, 2022

September 23, 2022

By Matt Myerhoff, Media Information Officer for the City of Malibu   The City of Malibu continued its strong opposition to...

Student Hospitalized Following Fight Near Santa Monica High School

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

Olympic High School student taken, discharged from hospital following Monday fight in alley behind Samohi By Sam Catanzaro A student...

Film Review: “The Woman King”

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE WOMAN. KINGRated PG-13135 Minutes The Woman King is a drama and a superb action film based on the...

New Orleans Fried Chicken Institution Willie Mae’s Now Open for Delivery in LA With Venice Location Coming Soon

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

By Dolores Quintana While Willie Mae’s Scotch House Restaurant has not yet opened their sit-down restaurant in Venice, the company...

Santa Monica Hotel Hosting Monthly Drag Brunch

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

Drag Me to Brunch at Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel on the third Sunday of every month By Dolores Quintana...

Famous Italian Singer Zucchero to Play Beverly Hills Theatre on Sept. 30

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Zucchero will play at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre, one of several American stops on his World Wide Tour  By Susan...

‘Sameday Health’ Launches Monkeypox Testing at Venice Beach Location

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Get a same day appointments and 48 hour test results for covid-19, Flu, and Monkeypox testing now available at the...

Downbeat 720 Returns to In-Person Performances at the Virginia Avenue Park Teen Center

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Downbeat 720, the City’s long-running open-mic for high school performers, returns in-person beginning Tuesday, September 27, 2022. It will be...

Critically Endangered Frogs Raised at the Aquarium of the Pacific Released Back Into the Wild

September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

Tadpoles released into local mountains September 15  Critically endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs that were raised and cared for at the...

Assemblyman Richard Bloom Endorses Erin Darling for LA City Council!

September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

Former Santa Monica Mayor joins long list of elected officials backing the Venice local By Nick Antonicello Richard Bloom, the...