Brown's campaign spokesman said Tuesday that the governor doesn't even plan to be the star of his own appeals to voters this year. Instead, he'll focus on urging them to pass a pair of bond measures.Neither bond measure has serious opposition running ads. They aren't highly partisan and aren't the type of measures to bring out the Democratic base. In fact, some Democrats will oppose the measures because they don't want money spent on water for the Central Valley and they'd rather the state spend money and not save it.
Jerry Brown's non-campaign isn't likely to help Jerry Brown that much. But it's no big deal. He doesn't need it. I doubt he'd care if he won 55%-45% instead of 60%-40%. Neel Kashkari is running an energetic campaign, but he has no money and many people don't know who he is.
The people who do care whether Brown runs a rigorous campaign, however, are legislative and congressional Democrats. They'll welcome all the help they can get. Yet Brown won't drive voters to the polls with ads and he sure isn't going to campaign for them if he's not bothering to campaign for himself. The good news for Democrats down ballot is that the state party likely won't be spending any money on statewide elections. The bad news is that a race for state assembly won't get people to the polls no matter how much you spend. You need top of the ticket to do that. Of course the Republicans won't have a vigorous statewide campaign either and the only statewide candidate who'll do a massive GOTV effort is Ashley Swearengin in the Central Valley. But then the GOP wasn't expecting Kashkari to help them win this election down ballot.