Can't Buy their love

Voters were supposed to fall for the rich folks in California's big race. So why is Gray Davis ahead?

In the nasty three-way race for California's Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Gray Davis was supposed to be the roadkill candidate: a bland career politician squashed by two glamorous multimillionaire opponents--airline tycoon Al Checchi and Representative Jane Harman. Davis, the state's solid but uninspiring lieutenant governor, was ignored by pundits and written off by insiders who are convinced that California has entered the age of the "virtual campaign," in which elections are won and lost solely in the ectoplasm of television ads. According to this theory, Californians don't follow politics, and the local news media barely cover it--so hiring hot consultants and buying...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!