Hmmm

By Matier & Ross
Updated 6:42 pm, Sunday, November 2, 2014

Here’s an eye-opener: With the election Tuesday, a whopping 4 out of 10 voters don’t even know Gov. Jerry Brown is running for another term.

“Isn’t that astonishing?” said David Metz of the polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates.

Metz included the question, “As far as you know, is Gov. Jerry Brown up for re-election this year?” on a statewide survey of 457 likely voters last week.

Metz said the question was prompted by several casual conversations he’d had with people not involved in politics. “I was struck by how many of them were totally unaware that Brown was up for re-election, so I decided to test it out,” he said.

The findings: Forty-two percent of likely voters didn’t know Brown was running — and only about 1 in 5 could name Republican Neel Kashkari as his opponent.

The lack of awareness cut across all voter groups and party lines.

More Republicans knew about Kashkari, but not many more: Fewer than 30 percent of Republicans could name him as Brown’s opponent.

“It’s difficult to imagine a similar lack of awareness at the end of the 2010 contest between Gov. Brown and Meg Whitman,” Metz said. “Or even in the 2006 election between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Phil Angelides, where Schwarzenegger led by a wide margin comparable to Brown’s lead today.”

“I believe it,” said Brown campaign consultant Sean Clegg, who noted that the governor has spent only about $6 million so far — almost all of it on TV ads promoting his pet initiatives, the $7.5 billion water-infrastructure bond Proposition 1 and a measure to beef up the state’s rainy-day reserve, Proposition 2.

“He’s not even asking for your vote in the ad,” Clegg said.

Kashkari will probably wind up spending about $7million, mostly for television commercials — but nowhere near the $150million spent by Republican Whitman when she ran against Brown in 2010.

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