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The 5 Things Jerry Needs To Do To Win: Part 5

Laura Cueva |
July 15, 2010 | 4:01 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Jerry Brown needs to buckle down if he wants to win this year's gubernatorial race. Creative Commons
Jerry Brown needs to buckle down if he wants to win this year's gubernatorial race. Creative Commons
There are two major players in California’s gubernatorial race: Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown. Though preliminary polls have shown Brown in the lead, Meg Whitman is not the type to give up without a fight. Slowly it seems Brown is falling by the wayside and Whitman’s marketing team continues to do a fantastic job. If Brown wants to maintain his lead and gather the votes he (desperately) needs, then he’s got to kick up his campaign and kick it up soon.

Here are some words of advice to the Brown camp on what he needs to do to win.

#1: Attack Meg Whitman’s past

#2: Face time, please!

#3: Explain your own past

#4: Tell us where you stand

#5: Appeal to young voters

It seems that for Jerry Brown, keeping his head above water is becoming harder and harder by the day. With each new poll that pops up, Whitman gains a bit of a lead (46 to 39 percent in the latest poll by SurveyUSA), and it seems she may already have the governorship in her back pocket.  

That’s why this last step may be one of the most crucial for Brown if he wants to win this year’s election: Rock the Vote!

Surprisingly, Brown has a larger following on social networking sites than Whitman does. He has 3,000 more followers on Facebook than Whitman and boasts a shocking one million followers on Twitter to Whitman’s 230,000. Even so, this isn’t translating to more young voters on Brown’s side.

According to a recent Field Poll, 41 percent of people under 40 have no opinion of Brown. None whatsoever. That means, and I may be wrong here, but that means they probably wouldn’t vote for him if the election were tomorrow. Sure, the election isn’t tomorrow, but Brown needs to treat it as if it were. It’s something Whitman’s been doing all along and that’s one of the reasons she’s in the lead. 

Young voters are a fickle bunch. If you don’t keep their attention, they’ll forget you’re even there. Though Whitman may not have as many followers, she’s definitely attracting the attention of her young constituents. She’s fresh-faced, she’s not a politician, and though she may be a billionaire, she’s promoting herself as a regular Joe Schmo, out to help the little guy. This is what now-President Barack Obama did during the 2008 elections, and it arguably won him the presidency.

So what can Brown do to attract the attention of young, hip, California sun-and-surf voters? While I wouldn’t condone imitation, Brown does need to take a page from Whitman’s book and become more relatable. He needs to figure out what young voters care about (I’d say education and future job stability in the state) and target those issues pronto. He also needs to put his face out there anyway he can: more YouTube, a sleeker website, fewer radio bits and more TV bits.

Annoying as they may be, Whitman’s constant ads on television have left an imprint on young voters’ minds. When I think about this year’s election, I immediately think of Whitman. Again, we all understand that the Brown camp doesn’t have the same resources as the Whitman camp, but Brown can’t let that stop him.

Just because you have more followers, Brown, doesn’t mean you’ve won. Young people aren’t eager to vote for a 72-year-old who’s spent his entire lifetime in politics. Freshen up and get out there and you just may win this thing after all.


Reach reporter Laura Cueva here.



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