Almost three quarters of precincts are reporting
, so let's give some information.
Schwarzenegger has declared victory. Bustamante has declared that he will remain in his office of Lieutenant Governor. This means (a) office parties won't be quite as lively, (b) Sacramento is now twenty times more interesting than The West Wing can ever hope to be without Sorkin.
Eyeballing the figures, it doesn't look like there are any "spoilers." McClintock obviously hasn't hurt Schwarzenegger's chances; and currently, it doesn't look as if Bustamante could pull a win after consolidating the votes for the many smaller Democratic candidates. The Schwarzenegger camp was hoping for a majority, but the numbers have been slowly slipping. They do, however, look to beat the number of "No" votes for the recall.
I'm guessing that we'll find that Schwarzenegger pulled large numbers of young, otherwise Democrat voters. Although Los Angeles
is only reporting one fifth of its precincts, Schwarzenegger has a strong lead over Bustamante. Compare to San Francisco
, another traditionally Democrat-controlled city, where two thirds voted Bustamante.
Republican Tom McClintock
looks to be the winningest loser in the election. He's easily getting over 10% of the vote, and he's not stealing the election away from wimpy centrist Republican Schwarzenegger. He's gained a national audience among conservatives, earned a large number of votes despite losing all official party support during the campaign, and probably won't get much retaliation for not dropping out. Definitely someone to keep an eye on from now on.
Green Party candidate Peter Miguel Camejo
has earned 2.6% of the vote so far. That's still higher than withdrawn candidate Arianna Huffington (0.8%), but not as much as many thought they could get. In an open election like this, with Camejo working his way into the major debates, many had higher hopes for the party turnout. Perhaps there's still some backlash from the 2000 presidential election. Or perhaps Democrats were too scared of Schwarzenegger to vote anything other than Bustamante.
In fifth and sixth place, respectively, are non-candidates Arianna Huffington
and Peter V. Ueberroth
, both with adherents who either really believe in them or didn't get the memos. A local reporter said that she interviewed a teenage voter, casting a ballot for the first time, who'd been waiting for weeks to vote for Ueberroth. He was crestfallen when he discovered that Ueberroth had already left the race. Ah, our informed electorate.Larry Flynt
is taking seventh, and I'm glad. The prototypical example of the "joke" candidate who's not really joking. After the initial rush of coverage, Flynt was shunned by the major media, except when they wanted to use the words "porn king" in an article. And yet, he has deeply felt beliefs on civil liberties. "People who know me know that my primary concern is basic personal freedoms for all of us — and I will be diligent in securing those freedoms for all Californians."
But really, there's only one race that matters: Coleman v. Carey. Surprisingly, it looks like Gary Coleman
is going to take the day, currently holding slightly over a thousand votes over Mary "Carey" Cook
. I have to say that Coleman was surprised me on Who Wants to Be Governor of California?
. It would be interesting to see if he tries to again, he might be successful running for a city office.
In between those two is the mystery candidate George B. Schwartzman
. "I am a successful and compassionate businessman who is a fiscal realist," he says. Oh, well then that explains your popularity across the state. Or maybe it's that your name is directly below a name which is currently drawing 48.5% of the vote. There are a few other examples of this, like John Cristopher Burton
, Cheryl Bly-Chester
and Lawrence Steven Strauss
, but Schwartzman has a very, very similar name, which is his ticket to greatness.
Another non-candidate Bill Simon loses another gubernatorial race. This time, to Gary Coleman, Mary Carey and a guy whose name kind-of-sort-of looks like "Schwarzenegger." I am so glad I'm not him.
Of those currently listed as having at least 0.2% of the vote, the biggest surprise is Bruce Margolin
. It's likely that his success is due to his position as an attorney
fighting for the legalization of marijuana
. This probably had more influence than the opinion in his candidate statement: "We should teach basic criminal penalties and yoga in our schools."
My favorite underdog is moving up and down in the polls, but Georgina Russell
now stands in thirty-second place. Hopefully, she'll be able to take out Angelyne
And currently in last place, with 136 votes is Todd Richard Lewis aka the Bumhunter
. Finally, an outcome that makes sense.