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CA-Gov: Newsom Is Out



San Francisco Mayor Gavin newsom has ended his run for governor. REUTERS photo by Shaun Best

San Francisco MayorGavin Newsom (D) ended his campaign for governor today amid faltering fundraising and an inability to make up ground on frontrunning state Attorney General Jerry Brown.

"It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California," Newsom said in a statement. "With a young family and responsibilities at City Hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to -- and should be -- done."

Brown called Newsom a "talented public official" with a "bright future" in a statement in the wake of Newsom's announcement.

Newsom entered the race to much fanfare -- the handsome mayor who had become a national figure thanks to his championing of gay marriage in San Francisco.

But, Newsom struggled to turn that buzz into tangible results -- particularly on the fundraising side -- as his campaign got more attention for the departure of a top adviser than anything positive the mayor did on the stump.

The money was the most disappointing, however, and is ultimately what drove Newsom from the race as he barely cracked $1 million raised despite a helping hand from former President Bill Clinton who endorsed his candidacy.

"Money is the mother's milk of politics and no where is that more important than California," said Democratic strategist Chris Lehane. "For the Mayor having a young family and managing a city in challenging economic times translated into a real uphill battle when it came to raising dough."

Polling, too, showed Newsom falling further behind Brown in recent months; a Field Poll done earlier this month put Brown at 47 percent and Newsom at 27 percent.

With Newsom out of the race, Brown has the primary field to himself -- a major advantage given that Republicans are headed to a three way intraparty squabble between former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former Rep. Tom Campbell.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 30, 2009; 6:42 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

37thand0street: "Governor Moonbeam was right about alot of things - look them up for yourself, because I know you won't believe me."

Sorry, but being a GOP white-winger means never having to look up inconvenient things like facts.

Posted by: dkoelper | November 2, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Smart move for Newsom. He knew he couldn't win. Jerry Brown was too far ahead in terms of contacts, cash & polls. He has a bright future and it was smart for him to drop out and concentrate on that vs. putting alot of capital on the line in a Democratic primary loss to Jerry Brown.

Now the GE will be Brown vs. whom? Whitman, Poizner & Campbell are all still very much competing for this nomination. I'd say Whitman & Poizner have the edge, because of their deep pockets. What a primary there still is in California on the Republican side.

Posted by: reason5 | November 2, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Broadwayjoe, I'm 2 days late (possibly 2 dollars short), but your analysis is spot on about Virginia. I'm in DC for a long weekend with the kids and the museums, and watching the game last night (oh, my Phillies!) I saw plenty of McDonnell ads (also on WaPo on line).

They are excellent ads. There's McDonnell, fit 'n'trim, vigorous and clear voiced, smiling and looking sharp. The message is UP, full of promises for a bright future, short on details. No Mr. Scowly who wants to punish fornicators. No "more Regent U in your government." Just the promise of jobs, jobs and roads!

The only thing I've seen about Deeds? When he's slammed in McDonnell's ads. I have not seen a single Deeds ad the whole weekend.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 1, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@nodebris - I don't disagree with the notion that the characteristics of individual races are most important. For example, following the Gilmore debacle, an argument for well-managed government by a businessman (Warner) .

Deeds' candidacy seemed like a good idea from a tactical perspective. Jim Webb's victory was a template for this. Run a relatively conservative Democrat from down state, assuming that NoVa is in the bag. Not much happened over the summer until McD brought up his thesis. [Who knew anyone would ever read it?] Problem is that the thesis seemed to become the entire Deeds campaign. McD has run a disciplined campaign throughout

One particular race that interests me (and was my first VA vote) was Kaine/Kilgore. Kaine was running as a Lt.Gov. of a wildly popular and successful governor. This race should have been like Dukakis/Bush. Instead it was a nail-biter in which Kaine barely squeaked by Kilgore (and the other two statewide races were won by Republicans). I take this as evidence for a contrarian nature to VA voters.

I'm not arguing that a bunch of Obama voters are suddenly switching their votes to McD. Turnout is down in non-presidential elections and even more so in odd year elections. Losers from the year before being more motivated? All speculative, but there is a pattern. If I could score dinner with Larry Sabato, I'd know more. Until then, I'll hold that the Republican started with an edge this year's election and it would have taken a strong campaign by any Democrat to win it.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 31, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals are going to try every spin in the book to wish away the rejection of democrats on Tuesday. The simple explanation is that liberals have demonstrated they are incapable of leadership and the centrist promises were fraud. The obvious reaction from any thinking voter is " I don't want those guys running anything". It extends all the way from the local level to Washington."

You know, every time I read a non-thinking, non-specific, non-factual screed such as the one above I am encouraged about the political future of we Democrats. It shows that our adversaries can't do much more than shout accusations innocent of any factual backing.

Posted by: chuckbarb23 | October 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are going to try every spin in the book to wish away the rejection of democrats on Tuesday. The simple explanation is that liberals have demonstrated they are incapable of leadership and the centrist promises were fraud. The obvious reaction from any thinking voter is " I don't want those guys running anything". It extends all the way from the local level to Washington.

Posted by: snowbama | October 31, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I've said this before Chris but I'll say it again. You pundits place far too much meaning in these off year elections. One of the reasons the losers the previous time around tend to do better in such elections is that the majority of the electorate just doesn't participate. It is quite likely that the real reason for what looks like an easy win for McDonnell has more to do with the fact that the losers the lst time in Virginia are more energized this time around and the combination that Obama was able to put together--younger voters, African-Americans, women and more urban voters are less enthusiastic.

Couple that with other factors--Deed's poor campaign and McDonnell running on moderate bread and butter issues that Virgianians are more concerned about--and you have a winning formula.

And in the NY 23rd district, please. Don't try to tell us this is fraught with implications for a right wing revival that will propel Sarah Palin into the White House. This is insulting to our intelligence. This district is one of the most conservati districts in that entire region. A GOP win would be expected there.

Posted by: jaxas | October 31, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

OK, BB, didn't make it to your last post. You're aware of causality, and you propose a theory that Virginians prefer divided government.

Of course, Virginia and the U.S. are two separate governments, so the idea that we are dividing government in a meaningful way by electing different parties to the state and federal level isn't entirely logical, even for us Virginians. In state-wide federal races, we just elected a Dem president to go with our two Dem Senators. At the State level, we're close to giving decisive control to the GOP.

The correlation you suggest would be a lot more compelling absent other more immediately obvious explanations. Such as, in the current case, Deeds has run a poorer, less disciplined campaign compared to McDonnell.

The more pertinent point about Virginia since the 70s, I think, is the GOP's flip to embracing Southern conservatism, challenging the Democrats' traditional hold; and the wild waves of demographic and economic change in Virginia -- the expansion of our suburbs being perhaps the largest of these. The result is that we have two very viable parties here.

My personal feeling is that the GOP may capture this election based on voter indifference and distraction; but in the longer term the trend towards GOP closed primaries prophecies decline.

Posted by: nodebris | October 31, 2009 2:15 AM | Report abuse

"Care to find another explanation for the fact that Virginia has voted against the party holding the presidency *every time* since the late 70s?"

Correlation does not imply causation.

What mechanism do you propose to explain this phenomenon? Something in the water?

Posted by: nodebris | October 31, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Bring it on boys. I'm well aware of the notion of false causality. There has been significant polling suggesting that the pubic at times has favored divided government. Only factor, hardly? A factor, likely.

G&T, it was *four* GOP nominees--Reagan, Bush 41, Dole, and McCain. That's every election but one from 1980 onwards, excluding those in which there was a Republican incumbent. [Pat Buchanan didn't win the 2000 nomination.] I would further note that Romney is a leading player for the 2012 nomination. Plaster doesn't last long enough to hide ancient runes.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 31, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Jerry Brown is why I got intp politics... had he been Governor when Enron shut off the electricity there would not be a terminator.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 31, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Chris.

As I told ya all along.

Gavin is nowhere.

Brown is the next governor.

Got it now, sport?

Posted by: williambradley | October 30, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Chris.

As I told ya all along.

Gavin is nowhere.

Brown is the next governor.

Got it now, sport?

Posted by: williambradley | October 30, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

"Governor Moonbeam was right about alot of things - look them up for yourself, because I know you won't believe me."

Are you a flat-tax man?

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 30, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"In 2010 Jerry Brown comes back and takes over
as Governor of California...
but only after Arnold Schwarzenegger
tried and failed.

Can you imagine telling this story to someone in line next to you at a movie opening, back in 1984?"


Call it 1987, coming out of Predator. "Can you believe two of those guys are future governors?"


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 30, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Gavin's excuse of, having "a young family and managing a city," doesn't cover the fact he isn't popular enough outside San Francisco. If he was popular, he'd be rolling in the dough. So, why is he not popular? Is it his slickster-like personality? Maybe, it's his morals? Or, is it his city's ultra liberal leanings?

Posted by: 1234xyz | October 30, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

"OK. DDAWD, Broadwayjoe. I'm at ground zero as well. Care to find another explanation for the fact that Virginia has voted against the party holding the presidency *every time* since the late 70s? If you think this is a fake narrative invented by CC, you need to read a little more.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade"

Wow, where to start.

First, I'm not calling it a fake narrative invented by CC. It's a real phenomenon, I just think his explanation is wrong.

Yeah, this has been going on since the late 70s, but it's not like they have semiannual elections. We're only talking about the last seven governors. It could easily be a coincidence. Something that could be explained by seven sets of circumstances. It's not THAT many.

Think of this, since the 1930s, every Prez election following a Redskins, game. If the Skins lost, White House changed parties. If Skins won, party stayed the same. This has been true for every election since 1930s with 2004 being the only exception. You think people are voting in response to football results? Or perhaps the pattern of every Republican to win the primary was the loser of the previous primary (except Bush in 2000)

These things happen and I think there's a better explanation than saying that people are voting to separate powers between DC and Richmond. I don't know what the issues were in the past election, but I'm willing to bet that had more to do with it than the White House occupant.

I mean, I could be wrong. I can't get in their heads, but it just doesn't make sense as an explanation to me.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 30, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Governor Moonbeam was right about alot of things - look them up for yourself, because I know you won't believe me.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | October 30, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

G&T: Point well taken. Mac still believes the junk from his "Thesis."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 30, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

There's no explanation for the following historical coincidence either. :)

"For 18 straight U.S. presidential elections, the outcome of the Redskins' last home game before election day has predicted who would become the President-elect.

According to the "Redskins Curse," if the Redskins are victorious, the party with the most votes in the previous election will win. But if the Redskins lose, the party in the White House loses the presidency.

This has held true since 1937, when the Redskins moved from Boston to Washington, D.C.

The Redskins pulled out to a 6-0 lead Monday night against the Steelers, only to go into halftime down 10-6. In the second half the Steelers went on to score 13 unanswered points, beating the Redskins 23-6.

The Steelers victory therefore was a predictor that Democratic candidate Barack Obama would defeat the Republican candidate John McCain and succeed President George W. Bush."
_______

Mac is simply out-campaigning Deeds. More road signs, more ads, more endorsements, more outreach, more everything.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 30, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Mac is running a great campaign in which he avoids discussion of numerous extreme stances from his past

==

I think you could have left off the last three words and increased the accuracy .. what evidence is there that McDonnell is anything other than the extremist he was at 34?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 30, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

OK. DDAWD, Broadwayjoe. I'm at ground zero as well. Care to find another explanation for the fact that Virginia has voted against the party holding the presidency *every time* since the late 70s? If you think this is a fake narrative invented by CC, you need to read a little more.

==

And a few days ago you mentioned two cases where the runner-up in a previous GOP primary went on to be the nominee in the next one, and pronounced it a Pattern.

Methinks you see ancient writing in the roughness of dried plaster.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 30, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Ahem, fellas, this is not about you.
California? Hello?

Sheeesh, this is another example of East Coast bias. Its is all because the sport's mother ship is in Bristol CT. Next you are going to say the Big East is better than the Pac 10. Am I right?

Posted by: shrink2 | October 30, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

guess he found out real quit that the majority of the fruitloops,wacko's,retards,pole dancers and bush bumpers reside in san francisco. ACORN couldn't help because they were busy helping the pedophiles look up recent ACORN tax deductions for a in-home follow-up.

Posted by: JWx2 | October 30, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

OK. DDAWD, Broadwayjoe. I'm at ground zero as well. Care to find another explanation for the fact that Virginia has voted against the party holding the presidency *every time* since the late 70s? If you think this is a fake narrative invented by CC, you need to read a little more.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 30, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris, RE: your chat, do you really think Virginians are consciously thinking that "uh oh, the Federal government is Democrat. We need to make Richmond Republican to balance power"?

I think the explanation of McDonnell downplaying his conservatism and the gawdawful Deeds campaign are a lot better explanations for this. I think sometimes we read too much into patterns that might just be coincidence. I buy that people might want to split power between legislature and the Presidency, but to split power between the Gov's party and the Prez's party?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 30, 2009 6:54 PM
___________
DD: I'm at ground zero here and I assure you that no Virginian is voting in a STATE governor's race based on concern that the FEDERAL legislature is the hands of the Dems. That makes NO sense. That is a manufactured fake narrative this space (renamed by one commenter "the Fox") is pushing. It's simple: Mac is running a great campaign in which he avoids discussion of numerous extreme stances from his past and which features great HD ads and strategic outreach. By contrast, Deeds's campaign is just plain awful.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 30, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

In 2010 Jerry Brown comes back and takes over
as Governor of California...
but only after Arnold Schwarzenegger
tried and failed.

Can you imagine telling this story to someone in line next to you at a movie opening, back in 1984?

Posted by: shrink2 | October 30, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

From a practical point-of-view, I agree that Brown having the field to himself is a plus;

Newsom's youth and 'freshness' would have been emotionally refreshing, but it's just as well that he wait in the wings a few cycles.

Let the collection of decidedly unattractive R. candidates battle it out. It's very unlikely--although this IS politics and we really should wait for the fat lady to sing before drawing conclusions--that CA will choose another R. Governor this time around.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 30, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

This is big news. Brown has no competition and the Rs will beat each other up (and bleed each other dry) for the next 6 months or so. Good news for the Ds in CA -- CA Gov. has to move up The Line next time.

Posted by: mnteng | October 30, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"Money is the mother's milk of politics."
___________________________

Just in case anyone had any doubt.

Money is free speech.

I don't think people realize this extraordinary American revelation.

Most places, speech is considered a collective of actual voices. But here, we have decided that no matter how the money was collected and who controls it, it represents the views of those from whence the money came.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 30, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Newson should be commended for his courage, even if expected in San Francisco, for supporting gay marriages. However, he has been criticized by some in the Bay area for being a "nanny" mayor more concerned with reducing consumption of doughnuts, paper bags and bottled water, while being, along with some other city officials, weak on crime. Not living in San Francisco, I do not know to what extent this is true, but these criticisms often expressed by many ordinary citizens in comments at a local media website, may have hindered his chances of becoming the Democratic nominee for governor.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 30, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Chris, RE: your chat, do you really think Virginians are consciously thinking that "uh oh, the Federal government is Democrat. We need to make Richmond Republican to balance power"?

I think the explanation of McDonnell downplaying his conservatism and the gawdawful Deeds campaign are a lot better explanations for this. I think sometimes we read too much into patterns that might just be coincidence. I buy that people might want to split power between legislature and the Presidency, but to split power between the Gov's party and the Prez's party?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 30, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

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