For those wondering how Rep. Ed Zschau (R-Los Altos) managed to overtake commentator Bruce Herschensohn and win the Republican U. S. Senate nomination, here is a major reason: Zschau spent $1 million in the final two weeks. That is what Herschensohn spent in the entire race.
Although Herschensohn held a slim lead in the polls going into the final two weeks, Zschau, with the help of television ads and direct mail, blew past him to win the nomination with 37% of the vote to Herschensohn's 30%.
Zschau aide Dane Anderson said the campaign's breakdown of its federal report shows that Zschau spent $1,045,000 in the final two weeks. He spent $3.4 million, in all, to win the primary.
The federal reports show that Herschensohn spent a total of $1,049,000 in the primary.
Zschau's campaign office reported that it raised $528,000 in the final two weeks of the primary, far short of the $1 million it spent. However, the campaign was able to make up some of the difference by drawing on a $300,000 personal line of credit that Zschau created by borrowing the money from his bank.
The Zschau campaign said that since the primary, it has raised $605,222 and spent $180,000. But when its debt, including the Zschau personal loan, is subtracted, the campaign entered July with only $30,000 in cash on hand.
Meanwhile, Zschau's opponent, Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston, entered July with $1.4 million on hand and virtually no debt. From May 15 until June 30, according to the federal reports, Cranston, one of the most successful fund raisers in Senate history, raised $914,000. In all, he has raised $6.2 million since he began gearing up for his reelection campaign in 1984.
Zschau, a former high-tech entrepreneur, has raised much of his money from venture capitalists, computer executives and other businessmen. That was expected to be a source of worry for Cranston, who has been very successful raising money from businessmen in his past elections.
But the latest federal reports show that so far, business people and business political action committees are giving to both men.
Cranston continues to raise most of his money from individuals who give him less than $200 each, the reports show, while the bulk of Zschau's contributors are pitching in at least $250 apiece, many of them giving $1,000, the maximum allowed by law in a federal race.
Zschau's latest report showed no names of celebrity contributors, but Cranston had a number of them, including actors Lloyd Bridges, Chevy Chase, Ed Asner, Jane Fonda and Barbra Streisand.
In another campaign development, Zschau has agreed to participate in two debates sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Cranston spokesman Kam Kuwata said that his candidate wants negotiators for both camps to meet and "evaluate all debate offers" before agreeing on a final schedule.