Can Schwarzenegger Swing California to Bush?
Judy Keen has a piece in USA Today called “The Arnold factor” which argues that it is possible.
Although Kerry has double-digit leads in recent polls, Bush allies still think Schwarzenegger’s clout could turn things around. He’s the state’s most popular governor in almost 30 years with an approval rating of 65%, according to a Field Poll released Tuesday. “Nothing is more important to us in the Bush campaign than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s success. Nothing,” says Gerry Parsky, chairman of Bush’s California campaign.
The article, itself, though gives rather little evidence that the implausible could happen. It’s not so much that Schwarzenegger and Bush aren’t the best of buddies but that their brands of Republicanism are starkly different. Bush is a social conservative; Schwarzenegger isn’t. It is virtually inconceivable to me that Bush could carry the state. Indeed, if it gets to that point where Bush has a shot in California, it’ll be because the wheels have fallen off the Kerry campaign and we’ll see another 1984 or 1988-style blowout, with Bush winning everything but Massachussets and DC.
Somehow, I don’t see that happening.