According to the executive director of Cal State University Sacramento’s Center for California Studies, the only way Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari can unseat Governor Jerry Brown is if an asteroid hits earth, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
Steve Boilard, formerly a senior analyst with the California State Legislature’s Office, made his asteroid quip while summarizing Kashkari’s “outside chance” at defeating the popular incumbent: an asteroid is “the best chance that those who want to see Jerry Brown leave would have,” the Mercury News notes.
Brown has been nicknamed “Moonbeam” since the 1970s.
The Mercury News‘ Josh Richman says that even in the event “of his [Jerry Brown’s] untimely demise,” state law permits a dead candidate, “who’s entitled to appear on the general election ballot [to] remain on the ballot” and that they “shall be considered elected to that office” if they receive the most votes.
Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, noted that this very scenario occurred when U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Missouri), lost his seat to Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan in 2000. Carnahan had died in a plane crash a few weeks before the election had taken place and still won.
Pitney also noted that while sudden scandals can destroy seemingly invincible candidates, that the chance of Brown, who is 76, facing “personal scandal is almost nonexistent” adding jestfully “at his age…other types of scandal seem unlikely.”
History, however, has shown that sometimes the polls and pundits get it wrong.