Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Davis Descending XL: Ueberroth Gibt Raum Zum Atem Zu Schwarzenegger!

California gubernatorial recall candidate Peter Ueberroth is dropping out of the race. Ueberroth, a Republican business executive has been receiving support from about 5 percent of likely voters polled. It is unclear what effect his dropping out will have on Schwarzenegger's chances, but it is probably a good thing.

Many determinations, including of who is a "likely voter" in this election - and therefore the poll results - are much more questionable than in a typical race with many antecedents.

What about Tom McClintock?

His public perception seems to be improving, although he draws only 13% of polled likely voters (again, with that "likely voters" caveat). I have been wrong about Mr. McClintock before, but I will still make prediction:

Mr. McClintock has a good reason to stay in this race notwithstanding his 13% numbers. Specifically, Arnold Schwarzenegger may yet implode before the election.

For example, it is still unclear whether real or invented "dirt" will be produced against Mr. Schwarzenegger. Allegations of business or tax improprieties? People claiming he sold them illegal drugs - or caused them to be hooked on drugs? Even an attempt to associate him with the gay prostitution that pervades some of bodybuilding? As I have noted before, if such "dirt" is produced, it is likely to be produced just days before the election - not leaving time for it to be scrubbed off.

If Mr. McClintock is going to withdraw at all, he may therefore want to wait until just days before the election. The recent Harris poll apparently includes a question on what happens to Mr. Schwarzenegger's support if Mr. McClintock withdraws (The race without Tom McClintock: Arnold leads [Bustamante], 33-31.). But there seems to be no discussion in the media of what happens to Mr. McClintock's support if Mr. Schwarzenegger withdraws.

But it would be very interesting to know what happens to Mr. McClintock's support if Mr. Schwarzenegger withdraws - especially because he may have to, and also because Mr. McClintock would make by far the best governor out of the crowd now seeking the position.

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