September 29, 2003


Poll: Calif. set to oust Davis (John Ritter, 9/29/03, USA TODAY)

California voters are ready to fire Gov. Gray Davis and replace him with actor and political novice Arnold Schwarzenegger, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll finds.

A week before the vote on recalling the two-term Democrat, 63% of probable voters say they will vote to remove him from office. Three-quarters are unhappy with his job performan

Schwarzenegger, a Republican who is making his first run for elective office, captures 40% of the vote in the poll. His closest pursuer, Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, receives 25%.

In a normal election you'd expect the supporters of the subsidiary candidates to come home to the two main parties on election day--in the same way Ralph Nader's support collapsed on Election Day 2000--but this is California and a Recall election, so it's anything but normal. Still, it does not seem possible that in such a heavily Democratic state the annointed candidate could possibly poll under about 40-45% in the actual election.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2003 7:58 AM

And yet you are still seeing articles/bloggers calling on Arnold to step aside for the real conservative McClintock. Some argue that Busty is weak enough that McClintock can take him if Arnold gets out.

Posted by: AWW at September 29, 2003 10:13 AM

I also agree that there is something very odd about this poll. According to it, it is not only Arnold who beats Bustamante, but also McClintock. And by comparable margins. Either California has just had it with Dems ot the poll is weighted too heavily with Reps.

Posted by: MG at September 29, 2003 11:03 AM

The only real oddity about the poll is that it was taken right after the debate. Arnold won that tussle convincingly, while Tom placed a very strong second. The left candidates - Cruz, Peter, the excruciating Arianna - all did badly.

Had Arnold and Tom bombed out in the debate, the natural Democratic tendencies in California would be showing up in the polling data. But even internal Democratic polls are showing the recall now winning by big margins, and Cruz in real trouble vs. Arnold. The Repubs just did too well in the Super Bowl, as Arnold dubbed it.

Posted by: Casey Abell at September 29, 2003 11:26 AM

If you check out some of the CA papers, you'll see that Bustamante is just getting pummeled over this fund raising stuff too.

Posted by: oj at September 29, 2003 11:29 AM


I think the trick here is figuring out who the "anointed" Dem candidate is: Bustamante or Davis?

Posted by: James Haney at September 29, 2003 12:38 PM

I wonder if Willie Brown is wishing he had entered the race. Feinstein would be over 50% now if she had.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 29, 2003 1:11 PM


Could you place a link to your contest with these articles concerning the recall? I want the opportunity to beat more people. (I'll be firing when I see the whites of their eyes.)

Also, if possible, a rerun of David's idea for Cal Reps to register Dem prior to the Cal primary in March. There is now no reason for a Rep to vote in March - except for a little fun. Think how excited the Dems will be to see their registration numbers jump.

Posted by: RDB at September 29, 2003 2:54 PM

RECALL! Why didn't I think of that before.

Oswald Booth Czolgosz

Posted by: Oswald B. Czolgosz at September 29, 2003 4:14 PM

Are the Dems sufficiently shocked about the prospect to lose this office that they could try pulling off a "Torricelli" with Feinstein, Brown, etc? (Please, no responses based on electoral law: I am sure they will find a way to subverse them with the complicity of their packed judiciary.)

Posted by: MG at September 29, 2003 5:19 PM

A Torch situation is simply not possible. If Davis resigns, Bust still has to win the recall to stay Gov.

McClintock would win if Arnold dropped out. But Arnold will win whether McClintock drops out or not. McClintock has a good shot at coming in second.

The interesting thing about this election is how the new people Arnold brought to the polls with effect Prop 54.

And if you didn't know it we have real State Justices, not some Florida or New Jersey freaks. 16 years of Law and Order Republican rule will do that. All of our Rose Birds are either dead or outnumbered. Even Davis knew better than to appoint freaks, another Rose Bird would have gotten him thrown out sooner.

Posted by: Vea Victis at September 29, 2003 6:23 PM

The Dems could have avoided this and Cruz would be mayor if Grayout would just step down. Cost a lot less, too.

If the dems can make him fall on his sword.....

However, it may be too late for that. If we're very, very lucky, the voters will remember all this in March/November and throw a lot of them out. Which is what really needs to be done.

Posted by: Sandy P. at September 29, 2003 6:39 PM

Vea Victus,

Who are these "new people" being brought to the polls? New registrations have an insignificant value. They are unlikely to become "new" voters.

I agree 100% with your characterization of the Cal Supremes. This is a conservative court. California is going to return to a Rebublican executive - I have no doubt. The heart of the state - the central valley's will remain Republican. The coastal enclaves will remain Dem - until at least 2012. Those are facts - not surmises. When you see the coastal counties shift then California has shifted.

The state exec has the power to sway the masses - Arnold has the ability to exercise that power. McClintock does not.

If your'e a Rep or a conservative - pray for Arnold. The potential for ripping LA or the Bay Area from Lib hands has a higher value than your purity standard.

Posted by: RDB at September 29, 2003 7:10 PM