CNN/USA Today Poll show Davis Out, Schwarzenegger in Lead, Camejo leads Huffington

Jon Flanders jonathan.flanders at
Sun Sep 28 13:34:24 MDT 2003

Poll: Davis in peril, Schwarzenegger strongman

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) --Voters in the California recall election
might be poised to kick Gov. Gray Davis out and vote Republican Arnold
Schwarznegger in, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released

When asked how they they would vote on recalling Davis, 63 percent of
probable voters said they would vote yes, compared with 35 percent who
would vote no.

In a separate vote to choose a replacement for Davis, Schwarzenegger was
the choice of 40 percent of respondents.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante was the choice for 25 percent of
voters polled, Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock received 18 percent.

The poll showed Green Party candidate Peter Camejo with 5 percent and
syndicated columnist and independent candidate Arianna Huffington with 2
percent of the respondents' support.

The poll of 787 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus
4 percentage points. It was conducted over three days from Thursday
through Saturday, following Wednesday night's debate among the five
leading replacement candidates.

The poll used a model for probable voters that assumes about half of the
state's voting age population will vote on Election Day.

If the poll is an indication of what will happen in the October 7
election, Schwarzenegger could win even if his remaining major
Republican rival, McClintock, stays in the race.

GOP leaders have been pressuring the senator to drop out to improve
Schwarzenegger's chances of beating Bustamante, the only major Democrat
in the field.

Sunday's results are the first CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll numbers in the
California recall campaign.

Earlier polls conducted by other organizations have shown a much closer
race between Schwarzenegger and Bustamante and less support for the

Schwarzenegger and Davis have been invited to debate on CNN's "Larry
King Live." Davis, a Democrat who formally challenged the Republican
actor-turned-politician to a debate Friday, accepted. The Schwarzenegger
campaign declined.

Davis and Schwarzenegger are not running against each other. Voters will
first be asked whether Davis should be recalled. They will then pick a
replacement from a list of 135 candidates, including Schwarzenegger, who
would take over if Davis were removed from office.

The recall was triggered by voter anger over the state's economic and
energy situation.

A recent budget agreement between Democratic and Republican legislators
in Sacramento eliminated the state's $38 billion deficit through cuts
and borrowing, but it created an expected shortfall of at least $8
billion for the next fiscal year.

A former candidate in the race, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California,
financed much of a successful petition campaign to allow the recall

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