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Sunday, March 09, 2003

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Gray Davis gets sucked into a Black Hole.

Today's Los Angeles Times Poll is reporting that Governor Davis' favorable job rating has reached an all-time low of 27%, with 64% of Californian's disapproving.

Buried within the poll data is the fact that 39% support a recall drive, while 51% oppose it. Is that a glimmer of good news for Davis? Not really.

This question followed another question in the poll which asked whether the recall drive was motivated by Davis' mismanagement of the state or was a partisan Republican effort? (44% said mismanagement, 36% said partisan Republican effort, and 10% said both). Logically, the order of the questions should have been reversed, unless of course the Los Angeles Times (whose article contained comments from three people opposed to the recall and none in favor) deliberately wanted to skew the results in Davis' direction.

Support for the recall dropped off, from 39% to 27% (with another 2% undecided) , when people were informed about the $25 million cost to hold a special election. It's also noteworthy that only 37% of Californians said they'd been following news of the recall effort either "very closely" (8%) or "somewhat closely" (29%). 24% said they'd been following the news "not very closely" while 38% said "not closely at all".

I think recall supporters should be strongly encouraged by this poll:

  • Davis is enormously unpopular and will likely become more so as the budget crisis continues.
  • One major negative argument - the $25 million cost of a special election - is relevant only to the petition drive. Once enough signatures are gathered, the election will take place. So that's no longer a substantial reason to vote to keep Davis in office.
  • Another major negative argument - that Davis was just re-elected, so this is merely partisan Republican sour grapes - recedes with each passing month. By the time a special election is actually held, probably in the October or November 2003 time-frame, it will already have been a year since his re-election.
  • This Los Angeles Times poll represented registered voters, not likely voters. In a low-turnout special election, the likely voters can be expected to skew much more heavily against Davis.
Bottom line: Davis is in deep shit, and he knows it.







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