Sunday, August 10, 2003

More Recall

I stand by my previous prediction that the recall will fail, despite some early polling showing it winning by 54%. But whether that prediction will turn out to be true will depend primarily on one thing: where Davis focuses his attacks in the coming months. The calculus on this is a simple one. If Davis were to garner only 49% of the vote, he would lose the governorship. But Arnold could then go on to win the governorship while getting only 20% of the vote. Davis with 49% loses. Arnold with 20% wins. Put those numbers before the voter and even many of those who don't like Davis will recoil at the blatant unfairness of a process like that. This is where it all comes down to what Davis does. Arnold, to win, has to make the election about Gray Davis and his alleged mismanagement. If the election comes down to a matter of personalities then Arnold will be the next governor. Davis, to win, has to make the recall ENTIRELY about the recall effort itself. He has to force people to consider the possibility that the whole effort is a joke and that they should be embarassed to allow it to run to completion. The biggest mistake Davis could make would be to start attacking Arnold, or any of the other candidates, directly. That would make the race one about personality and Davis WILL lose that race.

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