Alex's Outlook

Sunday, September 28, 2003

It seems like Arnold is running away with the recall. A Gallup poll shows 63 percent inclined to vote "yes" on the recall, compared to 35 percent who would vote "no." Arnold Schwarzenegger had the vote of 40 percent of respondents, compared to 25 percent for Bustamante and 18 percent for McClintock.

The poll is generating a buzz because earlier "polls" showed a much closer race, at least as far as Gray Davis was concerned. Those polls were done by the liberal LA Times. I never believed them; California would have to be collectively insane for the recall vote to be split 50-45 in favor, as the LA Times had said.

Anyway, it's surprising that Arnold has gotten such a bounce from The Debate. He got off a lot of funny one-liners and held his own in a somewhat free-for-all setting, but didn't give a clearer picture of how he would fix California. I guess a lot of it had to do with Bustamante's arrogance/airheadedness in the debate rather than anything Schw. did. McClintock got a bit of a bounce too, because he came across as very civil and smart in the debate.

Now that the Arnold campaign has declined Gray Davis' challenge to a debate, Davis will get desperate. He will barrage Arnold with negative advertising in the next nine days. I doubt it will do him any good.

If McClintock stays in the race at all, I think he will focus on attacking that oleaginous, dimwitted political hack Bustamante, not Schwarzenegger. McClintock won't win the race, but I think he has made a favorable impression upon Californians as an honest policy wonk. He will be well positioned to run against Barbara Boxer in 2004, as will Darrell Issa, "the man who started it all" by giving the recall effort over a million dollars of his own.

The recall could be the beginning of a renaissance for the California GOP.

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