SIMON DROPPING OUT?
This contradicts this morning’s WaPo, which said that Simon was pressing ahead at least for a while.
Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped at a sidewalk cafe here in Surf City to chat today with a few local business owners, then strolled along Main Street. More than 1,000 people rushed to the scene to watch.
They climbed trees. They stood atop cars, lined balconies, stopped downtown traffic and nearly overwhelmed his security detail.
It was the first time Schwarzenegger took his celebrity gubernatorial campaign to the streets, and bedlam erupted.
Even before his appearance today, Republican leaders had begun pressuring other GOP candidates running in the state’s Oct. 7 recall election to drop out and clear the field for the actor. That campaign intensified after the response Schwarzenegger received here.
The Lincoln Club of Orange County, one of California’s most influential Republican groups, today endorsed Schwarzenegger and urged his three prominent GOP rivals — Bill Simon, Tom McClintock and Peter Ueberroth — to give up their campaigns.
While the exit of the main Republican alternative is indeed good news for Schwarzenegger (and I think makes it more likely the other Republicans will concede as well), Kevin points to this LA Times piece which would indicate that it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Gray Davis could survive.
California voters are closely divided over whether to recall Gov. Gray Davis and are concerned that the election might result in confusion and spawn future attempts at political payback, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll.
The survey, which ended Thursday night, finds a state nearly cleaved in half by partisan divisions. Democrats are overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of the recall process, while Republicans view the Oct. 7 vote in largely positive terms.
But in signs of danger for Davis, Republicans appear much more energized by the off-year election, meaning they are more likely to vote. At the same time, the governor has the support of just three in four of his fellow Democrats. Eighty-three percent of Republicans favor recalling him.
Overall, 50% of likely voters said they supported the effort to turn Davis out of office, while 45% were opposed. Most said their minds were firmly made up: Just 5% of those surveyed said they were still deciding how to cast their ballots.
Davis hasn’t mounted the negative political campaign he’s become famous for yet, so the polls could shift. But I agree with Kevin that anger against Davis will mobilize his opponents a lot more than the non-existent pro-Davis enthusiasm will get people out to defeat the recall.