Sunday, September 28, 2003

USA Today Poll: Calif. Set to Oust Davis

Truly shocking news:

One week before the vote to recall the two-term Democrat, 63% of probable voters say they'll vote to remove Davis from office. Three-quarters of the electorate is unhappy with his job performance, an approval rating that has been stagnant for months.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican making his first run for elective office, captures 40% of the vote in the poll. His closest pursuer, Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, gets 25%. A poll one week ago by the Public Policy Institute of California had the preferences reversed — Bustamante with 28%, Schwarzenegger 26%. That indicates that Schwarzenegger has gained support after last week's nationally televised debate in Sacramento.

The poll confirms two troublesome trends for Davis: 98% of probable voters have made up their minds, and 91% of them say they're certain or extremely likely to vote. Those numbers predict a high turnout on Oct. 7 and indicate that there are few voters left for Davis to sway. Earlier California polls had shown the percentage of voters favoring recall as low as 53%.

State Sen. Tom McClintock, a conservative Republican who has been under pressure to quit the race and allow the GOP to unite behind Schwarzenegger in this overwhelmingly Democratic state, drew 18% in the poll, up slightly from previous surveys.

McClintock has rebuffed calls to withdraw, but the poll suggests that Schwarzenegger may not need his votes to become the first entertainer to lead California since Ronald Reagan in 1966.

I wonder what the McClintock fanatics are thinking now? This may well turn out to be for the best; if Schwarzenegger does end up winning the governor's office, he won't owe the hard right a single thing. That's what one gets for worshipping at the altar of ideological purity.