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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Arnold Can't Crack 50 Percent in the Polls?

The California Majority Report
Why Can't Arnold Crack 50 Percent in the Polls?
October 26, 2006 @ 9:12 AM, by Steven Maviglio

You're known by 100 percent of the voters. Your job approval rating is in the mid-50's and you've run a near-perfect campaign. You've outspent your opponent by 3-1. And you're an incumbent that has swept just about every newspaper editorial endorsement in the state.

Wouldn't you think you would be able to poll 50 percent in a head-to-head matchup with your opponent two weeks before the election? You would, unless you were Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Today's PPIC numbers give the Governor a comfortable 48-30 percent lead over Phil Angelides. Zogby had Arnold up 9 a few days ago, and Rasmussen had him up by 7. Only one public poll ever has had Arnold over 50 percent,and that's the SurveyUSA poll, which most news outlets don't find credible. (Their new poll is due Thursday).

In all those polls, the race has remained basically unchanged during the past few weeks -- weeks where the Governor has been dominating the airwaves, drawing banks of cameras to his state-financed campaign events, and blitzing voters with direct mail (a Democratic woman friend of mine in Placer County has gotten 5 -- count 'em 5 -- mail pieces in the last week).

Certainly that's not great news for Angelides; he needs to close the gap. But there is a glimmer of hope, as the Governor can't seem to crack the 50 percent ceiling.

The pollsters and pundits I talked to today say there are a few reasons for that.

While Arnold has certainly recovered from last year's special election debacle, the 'trust' factor isn't there yet, they say. Voters are uneasy about their support for him. It's an inch deep and not even a mile wide.

They still don't know much about Angelides, and his negatives have been driven sky-high by the Governor's record-shattering negative ad campaign. Hence his failure to gain any bump (except for the PPIC's +12 percent movement from Latinos, no doubt the result of the Governor's "assimilation" comments about Mexican-Americans).

So while they aren't wild about Arnold, Angelides hasn't won their vote either. And time is running out.

Arnold has been acting like a green moderate, twitching about -- maybe he has gone off his meds. After all he is an actor.