Friday, July 25, 2003

Ruminating on a Recall

You know, I'm beginning to think that the recall effort against Gray Davis may turn out to be a huge boondoggle for the Republicans. Why? Consider the numbers. Davis currently polls in the low 20s on approval rating. The most recent poll had the recall winning, barely, by 51-49. Not great, but pretty good considering Davis' popularity. People tend to be more radical in their response to polls on heated subjects, especially when it is not clear that it will really happen. But, when they walk into the voters booth and have to actually pull that lever they tend to be much more conservative (in the traditional sense of "don't rock the boat" conservatism). I come from Oregon, the most citizen initiative intense state in the country. Some years we have had as many as 25 measures on the ballot. The initial response to hot button issues may lean one way, but as the campaign progresses and people hear more sides and then finally cast their ballots they take it a lot more seriously and the measures often go down to defeat. I also think the whole image of Republicans being able to buy the Governorship, even if the winner on the replacement ballot only gets 20-30% of the vote, will just strike a lot of people as unfair. I think Davis has already reached the low point in the polls as far as the recall is concerned. I think the momentum will shift in the upward direction now that it has become a reality. My prediction: it will fail with numbers in low 40s (if that).

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