October 08, 2003
HERE, VIA DAVE WINER, is an absolutely fascinating map of the counties Arnold carried. Bustamante won only a narrow coastal strip centered around the Bay Area. What's more, my earlier post saying that Schwarzenegger and McClintock together got nearly 60% is wrong. They got over 60%. Given how California has gone in the past, I suspect that this has a lot of California Democrats worried. The most positive spin you can put on it is that Gray Davis was horribly disastrous. But I think the problem goes deeper than that. Will they be smart enough to do some serious rethinking, or will they blame the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and try to continue as before? (I'll bet I know what Karl Rove is hoping they'll do . . . .)
UPDATE: Several readers point out that it's not just the Democrats who need to be thinking. Reader Ken Bascom notes:
Perhaps the California Republican Party should be worried about these results, as well. If there's 60% of the population willing to vote for a Republican candidate, why didn't they do so 11 months ago when they had the chance? What is there about the policies, practices or philosophies of the Republican Party that prevents them from fielding a candidate that can win? Why is it that only an outsider that in effect imposes himself on the party the only Republican that can win?
Reader Byron Matthews adds:
Part of the blame for the California mess must be assigned to the state's Republicans for their sheer political ineptness in recent years. The system doesn't work when there is no credible opposition party.
I think that's right. And reader Debbie Lundell questions the validity of the numbers:
Glenn, isn't the greater than 60% for Arnold and Tom a bit misleading/?? It is actually 60% of 54% that voted FOR the recall...not 60% of voters....still impressive but.......
But that's not right, is it? You didn't have to vote in favor of the recall to vote on the replacement election, and Bustamante was -- until last week or so, anyway -- telling people to vote "no on the recall, si on Bustamante."