August 28 2003
RECALL: Recent polls have been all over the place on this
race, and they will likely continue to be as pollsters are going
to be more or less guessing at what turnout model is appropriate
for October's election. RCP sees little chance Bustamante will
be able to beat Arnold in a head to head match up, which is where
we think the second part of the recall election appears to be
heading. Simon's withdrawal on Saturday was a significant boost
for Schwarzenegger and it continues the process of focusing the
Republican vote. Expect Ueberroth to follow suit some time in
the next several weeks. This will leave McClintock and Schwarzenegger
as the sole GOP candidates left in the field, as we feel it is
unlikely McClintock will withdraw.
is going to attract the core Democratic vote, as well as a sizable
vote from the Latino community, which should give him around 35%.
His problem is where does he go for votes after that? As much
as Davis and many on the Democrats' side want to play up the recall
as a partisan power grab by the GOP, they are wrong to underestimate
the genuine level of disgust and frustration with the management
of the states' affairs in Sacramento by people all across the
political spectrum, not just Republicans. There are going to be
a significant number of moderate Democrats and independents who
would typically be predisposed to vote for the Democratic candidate,
but in this election they may take a pass, especially if they
see Bustamante as merely a continuation of the current failed
best chance is to hope McClintock can hang around and continue
to pick up support from the state's conservatives, siphoning votes
away form Arnold. With Schwarzenegger's liberal positions on most
social issues, and the potential for actions and comments from
his colorful past to blow up into a mini-scandal at any time,
this is not an unreasonable possibility. However, even if McClintock
stays strong until the very end we think Arnold will still be
able to pull out a victory, as we suspect he will attract a significant
number of non-typical voters, much like Jesse Ventura did in Minnesota.
If McClintock fades and the race becomes a clear two-way battle
between Cruz and Arnold, Schwarzenegger will win big and it is
even possible he will get over 50% of the vote.
all of the above is irrelevant if over 50% of the voters do not
vote to recall Governor Davis. All of the polls except one (the
LA Times) have shown 54%-69% majorities willing to vote for the
ouster of Gray Davis. Our current
RCP average which includes the very pro-Democratic LA Times
poll still shows support for recall running 57.3%-38.7%. While
the evidence continues to remain strong that Davis will indeed
be recalled, we think the Democrats have a better shot at getting
that pro-Davis recall number below 50.0% than they do of having
Cruz out duel Arnold. So expect the Clintonesque strategy of trying
to turn this into a partisan food fight to continue, especially
as we get closer to October 7 and the Democrats realize Davis,
and not Bustamante, might be their only shot to hold on to power.
barring some nugget from Arnold's past blowing up into a huge
scandal, it is highly likely that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be
the next Governor of California.
J. McIntyre 7:28 am
August 26 2003
AHNOLD, & THE POLLS: Right after John's segment last night,
Hugh Hewitt interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger on his radio program.
You can listen to the full interview
Weintraub reports on two private polls - one Democrat and
one Republican - in the California recall race. The Dem poll has
Bustamante up 8 points, while the Republican poll has Schwarzenegger
ahead - but only after Simon's votes are redistributed to the
voters' second choice.
Fund's advice this morning: it's smart to be very wary of
polls in this race. However, from everything I can gather
I think the RCP
average puts the race pretty darn close to where it realistically
is, which is to say I suspect Bustamante has about a 4-point lead
right now. Arnold should pick up two or three points from Simon
leaving him neck and neck with Cruz. McClintock & Ueberroth
are pulling around 10-15% combined.
and Ueberroth stay in the race it looks like it's going to
be very close, with Arnold perhaps coming up a little short in
the end. And at this point you can't count out Davis, who still
has a chance (albeit an improbable one) to spoil everybody's fun
by mustering up enough support to beat the recall. But this is
about as fluid a race as can be imagined and things will change
by the hour as we get down into crunch time. Very exciting stuff.
FOR BUSH: President Bush will
be at the national convention of the American Legion in St. Louis
today speaking about the situation in Iraq and the war on
terror. It will be a pivotal speech, and hopefully a spirited
defense of his administration's policy.
Co. really need to regain the momentum of the debate on Iraq,
something they've lost over the first few weeks of August. The
blaring headlines in this morning's Washington
Post (picked up by scored of other papers around the country,
by the way) continues the theme: "U.S.
Postwar Deaths Now Equal Iraq War Fatalities." This is
one of those media-fabricated milestones that's blown up to signal
something that's supposedly important, even though it really doesn't
mean anything other than we're still at war.
if the Bush administration wants to win the battle over public
opinion on Iraq, its members need to be out actively defending
the policy every single day. They can't skip days or get distracted
by other concerns for a week or more, otherwise the steady flow
of negative media stories and relentless partisan pounding from
Democrats will start to take effect and turn public opinion -
until election day next November the Bush administration is going
to be swimming upstream on Iraq. They're just going to have to
be disciplined enough to wake up every morning and swim as hard
as they can. - T. Bevan
August 25 2003
PACKAGE DEAL FOR THE UN:
So here's the situation: we would like to internationalize the
force occupying Iraq but we don't want to give up control. We
can continue to try
and internationalize the force on our own, getting dribs and
drabs of soldiers from various countries around the globe, or
we can go to the UN and get a resolution that will open the floodgates
(at least theoretically) and get some blue helmets on the streets
of Baghdad in fairly short order.
Just a few
hundred miles west, we're trying
to salvage what's left of the the road map and put the Israelis
and the Palestinians back on a path to peace. I've always thought
this was a task that would be made a whole lot easier by using
international peacekeeping forces, but given the rampant anti-Semitism
coming out of the UN in recent years I can certainly understand
Israel's misgivings about the real efficacy of such a force.
at a point now where success in Iraq and success on the Israeli-Palestinian
issue have become vital components of the overall war on terror.
Both carry massive practical and symbolic implications. The Bush
administration is well aware of the importance of both tasks,
which is why they didn't hesitate in throwing themselves headfirst
into trying to solve the Palestinian question and have been working
overtime to find a solution.
there is a chance. We need to leverage the leadership we've shown
on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the desire of the international
community to develop a workable solution there with our commitment
in Iraq. Why not go to the UN and say, "If you're truly serious
about solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about helping
the people of Iraq, then we'd like your help in both places."
And in return
for a U.N. commitment to put 50,000 peacekeeping troops in Baghdad
and 25,000 in Gaza and the West Bank as soon as possible, we should
be willing to barter away some of the control of both operations.
Let me reiterate, I say some control because there
are certain limits to what would be feasible. We certainly would
never relinquish command of any of our forces in Baghdad, nor
would Israel ever acquiesce to allowing the U.N. to have total
control over peacekeeping forces in Gaza and the West Bank.
I don't think
hammering out the details of a package deal with the United Nations
would be easy. But by linking the two issues and throwing them
back at the U.N., it could possibly help accomplish some very
vital objectives and usher in a new era of cooperation between
the U.S. and the U.N. in fighting the war on terror.
BUT GOODIES: The article is a week old, but I just happened
to read it over the weekend and couldn't let it pass. Garrison
Keillor, the man dubbed by the Powerline
boys as "Minnesota's Angry Humorist", tells readers
of Time magazine that politics is serious business not suitable
for uncivil celebrity loudmouths like Jesse Ventura or Arnold
isn't a story; it's a process. It's not about confrontation
and threat and revenge and triumph. It's mostly about civility,
starting with the driver's license bureau of the Commissariat
of Motor Vehicles and on up to the folks in the black robes.
Most men and women in politics are there because they genuinely
like people and want to do good things on their behalf. It's
hard work, and fury isn't the best motivation. You have to sit
through the meetings, listen to other people and say your piece
and be civil about it. Anger and loathing are losing hands in
of you who follow politics this may strike you, as it did me,
pretty interesting advice coming from a man who wrote two of the
most vile, vicious hit pieces in history against Norm Coleman
after last year's election.
taste of Keillor's "civility" from Salon
on November 7, 2002. After making a slimy, unsubstantiated
claim that Coleman was unfaithful to his wife, Keillor wrote:
was a dreadful low moment for the Minnesota voters. To choose
Coleman over Walter Mondale is one of those dumb low-rent mistakes,
like going to a great steakhouse and ordering the tuna sandwich.
But I don't envy someone who's sold his soul.
condemned to a life of small arrangements. There will be no
passion, no joy, no heroism, for him. He is a hollow man. The
next six years are not going to be kind to Norm."
this up with a
column one week later in the same venerable publication calling
Coleman "evil", an "empty suit", an "opportunist",
a "cheap fraud", a "cynic", a "false
knight", and a "contrivance." He also wrote that:
there should be a period of good feeling after an election,
of relief, or relaxation, when we join hands and become one
people again, but Norman Coleman doesn't deserve any Democrat's
hand. We had come together as one people already -- the precious
gift of 9/11 -- and he used that as a campaign ploy against
us, suggesting that Democrats are unpatriotic, and he is not
to be forgiven for it.
be sure to take it from one of the country's leading hypocrites
(Did I say that? I mean humorists...), politics isn't about "confrontation
and threat and revenge" it's about "civility."
- T. Bevan 9:03 am