Speed Reads

2014 midterms

California Gov. Jerry Brown is spending more money on ballot measures ads than on his own campaign

Here's one strategy for the final weeks of your campaign: Do basically nothing.

A new poll released this week shows California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) leads his opponent, Republican Neel Kashkari, by a margin of 52 percent to 36 percent. That's all the more impressive considering Brown hasn't run a single TV campaign ad this year hyping his bid for a fourth term. In fact, The Washington Post reports that Brown's campaign expenditures amount to just $500,000, and those were for, "consultants, office space, insurance, and other necessities on his own behalf."

Where Brown has spent money is on advertisements urging voters to support two ballot measures. Propositions 1 and 2 would invest billions on projects such as water storage and recycling, and excess revenue catchalls for downturns in the state's economy, respectively. Brown has spent nearly seven times more — $3.3 million and counting — on ads informing voters about the measures.

While such actions could veer toward election hubris, Brown's game plan was probably helped by the fact that he has a "credible war chest" to fall back on — reportedly more than $20 million in the bank — although it looks like that money will be able to stay right where it is.