Tags: Simon | Headed | For | Defeat | California | Analysts | Say

Simon Headed For Defeat in California, Analysts Say

Tuesday, 05 November 2002 12:00 AM

Despite the fact that incumbent Democrat Gray Davis remains unpopular with his electorate, analysts say Simon ran a bad campaign.

Even National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., recently described the Simon campaign as the "single worst-run race in the country."

"It looks like Davis will win," concluded Lawrence L. Giventer, California State University political scientist.

"The deciding part of that race is going to be Los Angeles," he said, the largest population center in the nation's largest state. "If Los Angeles has an even moderate voter turn out, Davis has a lead in the Los Angeles area that is more than enough to offset whatever goes on elsewhere in the state.

"This is a choice between lack and lackluster," said Giventer of the two candidates; but it's Davis who's had the upper hand all along.

Davis "handpicked his opponent," Giventer said, by running pre-primary attack ads against the more moderate former LA mayor, Richard Riordan. "He couldn't have asked for a better opponent in terms of a person to run against and win."

For one thing, the conservative Simon is pro-life in a Democratic state that is overwhelmingly pro-choice, says Giventer. But Davis didn't even have to "pull out the big guns" by talking abortion, he said, because "Simon tanked on his own."

Simon got bad publicity from an initial court ruling against his family-owned company, undermining his campaign theme that government ought to be run like a business. Davis then hammered away at Simon's reputation as a successful businessman with television ads blasting Simon's involvement with failed savings and loan Western Federal.

Then, Simon accused Davis of violating state law by accepting a campaign contribution in his state office while serving as lieutenant governor. But the alleged photographic evidence turned out to be a campaign event in a private home.

"Now he's got nothing more to say," said Giventer. "The poor guy - you almost feel sorry for him."

Simon has consistently trailed Davis by around seven to nine points in most opinion polls. A Field Poll of likely voters conducted Oct. 25 -30 found Davis with 41 percent support to Simon's 34 percent.

Nonetheless, the Simon campaign reports that its own internal polls have shown Simon ahead. And the California Republican Party is feeling "very optimistic," according to party spokesman Rob Stutzman.

"Simon has trailed throughout the campaign [but] polling indicates he's closed the gap, despite being outspent by a two-and-a-half to one margin," said Stutzman. "The Republican trend seems to be manifesting itself throughout the country, and we don't think California will be any different."

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato is predicting a Democratic "statewide sweep of epic proportions" in a state in which Democrats already control the executive offices, the state legislature and comprise most of the congressional delegation.

Democratic candidates are leading in races for lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer, with more closely fought contests for controller and secretary of state.

While pollsters predict a low turnout for California, Democrats and Republicans are promising a strong get-out-the-vote effort to turn out base voters.

"We have developed political plans with all ... our California parties and have helped fund their efforts to be out in the precincts tomorrow getting Republicans to the polls," said Stutzman. In addition, two million automated phone calls from President Bush to California Republicans are planned on Election Day.

California Democratic Party spokesman Bob Mulholland promised an election day filled with "armies of volunteers."

"We've tied up every phone in California, including pay phones," he boasted. "And in many parts of California, you're more likely to find an escaped elephant from a circus than a Republican volunteer."

Copyright

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
Despite the fact that incumbent Democrat Gray Davis remains unpopular with his electorate, analysts say Simon ran a bad campaign. Even National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., recently described the Simon campaign as the single...
Simon,Headed,For,Defeat,California,,Analysts,Say
612
2002-00-05
Tuesday, 05 November 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved