A Battle of Wits on Strategy in the GOP Primary

In recent days, there’s been quite the hubub over in the Republican primary for governor.  Meg Whitman has been spending money like it’s going out of style, which it most definitely is not. She’s bought some pricey raido time, especially in the SoCal market. Meanwhile, Steve Poizner has been conserving his stash.  A few days ago, Team Poinzer wrote a letter on FlashReport explaining that decision. CalBuzz has been doing some looking into the decisions on both sides of the fight, and seems to like the Whitman strategy

Prime example: Whitman’s multi-million dollar investment in an ongoing, low-profile if costly, radio campaign – designed to boost her name ID and three-point platform of creating jobs, cutting spending and fixing education — has been a shrewd bit of communications strategy. (CalBuzz)

Of course their source for this opinion is “one of the best in the business, Bill Carrick.” For those of you who don’t recall that name, he’s the guy that did those awesome Phil Angelides ads. So, you know, for this opinion, caveat emptor.

That being said, the CalBuzz piece has a greater point about Whitman building a sense of inevitability within the GOP for Whitman.  While that might be true within the Sacto bubble and the OC politirati, there is still a lot of time left in the race, and most people won’t engange until the calendar flips over.  But, given the fact that Poizner hasn’t seemed to mind opening up his wallet for other elections early and often, why not put a couple hundred K into some sort of targeted ad buy now? Is he trying to limit his own investment in the race, or is he really intent on going big in the New year?

Either way, it seems that Poizner doesn’t plan on putting the kind of money into the race that Whitman seems willing to pay to win the race. At least the media companies can expect a big few months as they go toe to toe.