Caitlyn Jenner Is Running From Behind; Will the Former Olympic Decathlete Get Ahead?

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, file)

As I reported back in April, Caitlyn Jenner announced her candidacy for California Governor with the requisite splash, and the Kardashian-machine star power.

Four months later, Jenner is now running behind. The polls indicate Jenner is polling at one percent. Down from six percent in May:

Not a great look for a former Olympic gold-medal winning decathalete.

While Jenner may have been at this point had she stayed in the State to campaign, Jenner did herself no favors by choosing to leave California to film Big Brother Australia.

However, Jenner came back like gangbusters, and continues to rally her supporters, saying that it’s not over yet. Jenner is right: a lot could happen in 15 days until the September 14 special election, where, if Question 1 is settled with 50 percent + 1 “YES” votes, the plurality of votes on Question 2 is what wins the race. The entrance to the Recall gubernatorial race of Talk Radio Host and Political Pundit Larry Elder, and the legacy media’s fixation on finding an Elder scandal that has legs, have also blunted Jenner’s media appeal. People love watching an impending train wreck, even if it turns out to be just a clown car fender bender.

Earlier this month, POLITICO reported that Jenner’s campaign was already in debt, having spent more than it was taking in.

Caitlyn Jenner’s gubernatorial campaign has piled up debt, filings show, as the celebrity and former Olympian struggles to make headway in California’s recall race.

From the launch of Jenner’s candidacy through the end of July, the campaign raised about $747,000 and spent some $910,000, leaving her campaign with about $156,000 in unpaid bills and roughly $21,000 on hand for the race’s critical final stretch.

Jenner is not campaigning like someone with a deficit, as she made a high-profile visit to San Francisco to discuss homelessness, visit youth LGBTQ centers, and to hit up the Log Cabin Republicans (an LGBTQ-focused political group) for support. But, a lavish campaign dinner to continue to raise money would be a smart move, and according to Hollywood Life, this is exactly what Jenner chose to do.

The zine called it a “super secret” campaign fundraising dinner, replete with gift bags filled with expensive olive oil, chocolate, and scented candles, and high-profile guests in attendance that included Dr. Drew Pinsky. The Midas touch? Cloth napkins embroidered with Jenner’s campaign logo:

With celebrity guests such as Dr. Drew Pinsky and Caitlyn’s friend Sophia Hutchins in attendance, there were several special moments that stood out in the evening. “The most memorable moment was when the band asked for Caitlyn to request a song, and she said she wanted to hear the National Anthem,” Amanda said. “Everyone stood up, sang along, and used the linen ‘Caitlyn napkins’ to wave in the air. It was an exciting and very patriotic moment that really set the tone for the night.”

In its profile of the Recall candidates, The Los Angeles Times scathingly dismissed Jenner, causing her to post a rebuttal on Twitter:

But, one could argue the most serious candidates in the race are the ones that didn’t disrupt their campaigns for a vanity television series. Jenner also should have rethought attending those debates.

Just saying…

Jenner is using the final weeks of the Recall election to ramp up the campaigning. This weekend, she mounted a town hall event in Pasadena.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, and images, the “crowd” was less than 40 people (including media), and the “diversity” was a matter opinion:

With the state’s recall election just two weeks away, recall candidate Caitlyn Jenner emerged on Southern California campaign terrain on Saturday, Aug. 28, taking aim at Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose job hangs in the balance in the Sept. 14 recall election.

Jenner, 71, lags far behind in pre-recall polls, but her emergence in Pasadena marked the end of a week’s worth of appearances of some recall candidates in the Los Angeles area, where they took turns lambasting Newsom’s actions during the pandemic in the final sprint to the recall election.

About three dozen supporters came to the Pasadena Hilton’s California Ballroom on Saturday to take photos, hear Jenner speak and ask questions in what was billed as a town hall.

This is California, and it is a Special Recall election—so anything is possible. However, what this turn of fortunes for Jenner most confirms is that celebrity name recognition and media access alone does not guarantee you frontrunner status.

As I said in my “Mama Bear Recall, Part 3”  article,

What heartens me is that voters are not only motivated, but also getting informed. They are going to candidate websites; they are watching Kevin Paffrath’s videos, and paying attention to the debates. They are going to rallies, and sharing the research and information on the Question 2 candidates with friends and family, so that their “YES” on Question 1 will have the most impact.

One person who attended Jenner’s Pasadena townhall had this to say:

Christine Christopher, a Republican from Pasadena, said she came to hear what Jenner had to say, with hopes it would help her decide if she would vote for Jenner or one of the other candidates she was leaning toward.

“When she first jumped on board I was full blown Caitlyn,” Christopher said. “But then others jumped in, and I (thought) l have to take a good look at this.”

Proud of my fellow Californians who are making choices on who will do best for California, and not just being dazzled by the bright, shiny objects.