Poizner and Whitman are also courting a more conservative Republican base this year, one that includes tea party activists and others seeking to vent their frustrations with elected leaders, said Corey Cook, an assistant professor of politics at the University of San Francisco.
A USC College/Los Angeles Times poll conducted last fall found that self-identified conservatives outnumber moderates 3-to-1 among California Republicans.
"It adds to the interest of the campaign that in addition to the need to appeal to voters on the right, you don't really have a candidate who's naturally a fit," Cook said.
Both Whitman and Poizner have spent much of their energy running away from résumés that reflect the socially moderate, fiscally conservative Silicon Valley Republicans they once were.
They've not been shy about noting that the other candidate, for example, has written campaign checks to Democrats – even though they both have.
Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/21/2766757/conservatives-still-trying-to.html#ixzz0ofw2gpe6