Tuesday, September 16, 2003
RECALL BLOCKED: Well, after two weeks of not much action in the California race, something big did change yesterday. We should know in less than a week whether the election will indeed be postponed until next year. My gut feeling is the election will still be held on October 7, but that is probably not much better than a 50-50 proposition at this point.

If the election is indeed put on hold until next March there is no question it benefits Governor Davis. That is not to say Davis would be a lock to survive the recall next year, just that his chances of survival would be significantly higher. If the election still proceeds this October it's hard to predict how this turn of events will affect the outcome. I suspect a lot will depend on how the decision is reversed. Let's see how this shakes out this week.

UPSETTING: Florida 2000, New Jersey 2002, California 2003. This trend is not a good omen for the future of elections in this country and elections, by the way, happen to be an important part of any successful democracy. The judges on these respective courts need to do some real soul searching and ask themselves whether the short-term political gain they may achieve by twisting and perverting the laws and the election rules is really in the long-term best interest of our nation. I'm not holding my breath.  J. McIntyre 6:50 am

Monday, September 15, 2003
THIS WEEK: Tom is on a well deserved vacation this week so the blog may be a little light.

CALIFORNIA: Little has changed in this race over the last two weeks; we still feel Schwarzenegger is likely to be the next governor of California. Ueberroth bowed out as expected, and if McClintock concedes to Arnold before election day, Schwarzenegger will win easily. However, right now the odds seem to favor McClintock going the distance.

McClintock's decision will truly decide whether this becomes a cakewalk coronation for Arnold or a late-night nail-biter, a toss-up between Davis, Bustamante and Schwarzenegger for who will be the Governor. While McClintock's remaining in the race certainly keeps Bustamente's chances alive, what it really does is give Governor Davis a legitimate hope that he might be able to survive the first question on the ballot.

Though we don't put a lot of stock in any one poll the trend in the same poll is valuable in monitoring which way the electorate is leaning. While we are skeptical of the raw numbers in the most recent LA Times poll, we feel the trend from their previous poll is an accurate reflection of the voters. Schwarzenegger gaining 3%, Bustamante losing 5%, McClintock gaining 6% and Davis picking up 2% all jives with where we think the race is heading.

Bustamente's decline and Davis' small uptick makes complete sense as Democrats and independents are starting to realize Bustamente would be a disaster as Governor and Davis ultimately has a better shot at surviving the recall than Bustamente does of squeaking out a victory. The odds of a Governor Bustamente appear very slim to us, as he needs three things to happen to win. First, McClintock has to stay in until the end, probably a 50-50 proposition. Second, Davis has to lose the recall vote, we'd actually give the edge to Davis surviving if Bustamente is looking strong right before the election. And third, he obviously has to beat Arnold which we feel is 50-50 at best, even with McClintock in the race. So, you put all these together and you see why we don't expect a Governor Bustamente next year.

McClintock obviously remains the wild card and the Democrats' fervent hope is he stays strong until the very end, allowing Bustamente the chance to squeak through. Though as we mentioned above, Davis would probably survive in this scenario. However, even if McClintock stays in we still feel the the most likely scenario is effectively a race between Schwarzenegger and Davis, as a general consensus emerges that Bustamente is a loser. And the prevailing disgust with the current economic and political situation in the state places Davis at a distinct disadvantage and is ultimately why it is likely Schwarzenegger will be the next Governor of California.   J. McIntyre 6:34 am

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