Tales from the Trail

Meg Whitman’s Facebook ad nets 20,000 clicks — and a message about jobs

August 3, 2010

USA/Republican Meg Whitman’s campaign says the results are in from her innovative Facebook “polling ads,” which asked Californians to choose the issue most important to them. The message came back loud and clear:  Jobs.

The Whitman campaign said its poll, which ran from July 27 to July 31, drew 20,000 Facebook respondents — with 42 percent of them saying that jobs were their number one priority in the 2010 governor’s race.  Not surprising at all in a state with double-digit unemployment.

Another 32 percent voted for fixing education in California, with 26 percent saying that cutting state spending was most critical.  Whitman, who has said that putting Californians back to work is the number one goal of her campaign, released the poll results in a Facebook video.

Whitman’s campaign says she is the first to use polling ads on Facebook, which engage users more than traditional TV or Internet spots and target those often elusive younger voters.

And while Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown slug it out in their race for governor in 2010, the blogosphere has been abuzz with rumors that at least one potential candidate, Representative Loretta Sanchez, is  already thinking about 2014.

The source of the speculation is a report in the Sacramento Bee newspaper that Sanchez, a Democrat representing the 47th congressional district, has filed paperwork that would allow her to raise money for a 2014 gubernatorial bid.

“With over 2 million unemployed Californians, even Rep. Loretta Sanchez knows that Jerry Brown doesn’t have a plan to turn around California and that it’s time to abandon his campaign,”  the Republican National Committee said in an emailed statement. “Rep. Sanchez has just reminded her constituents that she cares more about her own political ambitions than working to create jobs and improve the economy.”

But the move may be more about campaign housekeeping than gearing up for a campaign in four years. It turns out Sanchez had created an account for a possible run for California governor in 2010, and she would lose that money if she hadn’t  moved it into a new one.

“She’s completely focused on continuing to represent California’s 47th congressional district, a job she considers to be the best job in the world,” Adrienne Elrod, Sanchez chief of staff, told Reuters. “She fully supports Jerry Brown for governor and believes he will win in November.”

Photo Credit:  Reuters/ Mario Anzuoni (Meg Whitman at the opening of her campaign office in Orange County, California, in February)

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