In 2002, Simon ran against Gray Davis. Simon was a fairly good guy. He spent about $2 million dollars on his campaign. The Republican party didn’t lift one finger from in-state or out.
Gray Davis spent around $12.5 million on that campaign.
Gray Davis flew around the state on corporate jets. He appeared at large venues. The Democrat party had famous Senators, Presidential candidates, and former Presidents fly in to the state. They got famous actors and others to appear with him. In short, they pulled out all the stops.
Simon toured the state in a bus. He appeared in small venues, explained his values, which were quite sound. One national figure showed up for him. In addition, Bush made one appearance, possibly two on one afternoon.
Davis appeared on the news at a rate from 100% to 400% more air time. At some point this makes the challenger look small, and outmatched.
On November 5th, 2002, these were the results of the election.
Governor Votes Percent
Gray Davis, DEM 3,533,490 47.30%
Bill Simon, REP 3,169,801 42.40%
Simone lost by 4.9%.
Less than twelve months later, Davis was recalled by a 10.8% margin.
Recall Governor Votes Percent
Yes 4,976,274 55.4%
No 4,007,783 44.6%
Votes Not Cast 429,431 4.6%
The point is, California is not that far out of reach. Had the Republican Party helped Simon, we would very likely have been spared the Schwarzenegger term in office, and possibly the Jerry Brown II administration.
If Simon had been voted in in 2002, California would have been more likely to go Republican in 2004, and possibly 2008 as well.
Yes California has gotten worse. It’s citizens are partly to blame for it. I don’t think they’re the only ones. It didn’t have to get worse.
It was in play, and it was ignored. We all pay for that now.
You can call the citizens of California anything you want. Just remember that while you’re pointing your finger at them, that the RNC has not been innocent in all this. Reserve some of your anger for it.
Well, we agree enough that I will cheerfully direct some anger toward the RNC. I was stationed at Edwards AFB from 2001-2004, although I remember more about the recall than the actual election. IIRC, the conservative lost to Arnold’s star power to challenge Davis.
But the trend has not been our friend. 10 years later, California is voting for more and more rats. A presidential candidate in a tough race cannot afford to waste time and uncounted millions contesting California.