The effects of the candidates’ debate here in California last week? A collapse of support for Gray Davis and Cruz Bustamante that has proven sweet and complete. It now appears likely that Davis will be recalled from office by a margin of nearly two-to-one, while support for Bustamante has fallen from the mid-30s to the mid-20s. Unless he stumbles badly, Arnold Schwarzenegger will win this race, even if Tom McClintock refuses to drop out. (For that matter, polls now show that if Arnold dropped out, McClintock himself would defeat Bustamante. See, for example, the USA Today poll.)
This means that the Tom-or-Arnold debate has gotten simple. All along, the argument against McClintock–indeed, as far as I’m concerned, the only argument against McClintock–has been that he would throw the race to Bustamante. (See the debate between Hugh Hewitt and yours truly elsewhere on this website.) Now we know that won’t happen, and conservatives may consider themselves at liberty to vote for the candidate who would make the best governor–and this time, it’s not a former actor.
Are you listening, Brother Hugh?