Villaraigosa has removed himself from the 2010 gubernatorial field citing the numerous issues that bedevil Los Angeles. His own issues involving any signature accomplishments, his inability to elect his own supporters to the city council, and his dating life were hobbling any effort to run for Governor. As such, Jerry gets a bump in the short term but Gavin could pull it out in the end.
Labor, which would have formed the backbone of the Villaraigosa race, is now free to choose and will probably go Brown for no other reason than they know him. Being progressive is one thing statewide labor has not been and Gavin may appear to be too progressive for them.
Many know Jerry and, because Gavin has yet to explode onto the consciousness of Californians, Brown has the edge. His fanatical followers are at the ready and his fundraising operation is beginning to gather steam. He has a fundraiser scheduled for San Diego with a number of the usual suspects hosting.
Gavin has been here a number of times already and has had lower level fundraisers with activists and Young Democrats. He can easily scoop up the remnants of the Obama campaign that are still engaged politically and present himself as the voice of the future.
This primary has shades of the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary in its generational casting and in typical Californian style, is more extreme. This is where Gavin can come from behind to pull it out. Brown will run on his experience but his campaigns have always felt like ad-hoc affairs. Newsom can put together a tight organization and build on what Steve Wesley left; targeting the Democrats who are quietly revolted at the farce that Sacramento has become.
We are a little under a year away and neither side has ramped up their election machines. These two should take this campaign to the mat. California needs a fighter and playing nice for the sake of victory is a surefire way to lose.