ven if we get a final big twist and Ahnuld blows it and starts trailing Tom in polls, (10% probability), I suspect there will be a natural flow of Republicans and disaffecteds to one or other of all but 5% or so. Failing this, I predict that Ahnuld will throw Tom and conservatives a bone or two and Tom will pull out in about a week. A good reminder of why we have primaries, but I agree this game of chicken "primary" is the real primary we should have had last year.

Posted by: Lloyd at September 24, 2003 02:55 PM

It is reasonable for McClintock to stay in the race if any of the following is true:

1) He genuinely believes that Arnold would be a lousy governor, and therefore doesn't really care if Bustamante beats Arnold;

2) He genuinely believes that he would win the race if he was the only Republican in the race, meaning that one could just as reasonably ask Arnold why *he* doesn't drop out;

3) He genuinely believes that neither he nor Arnold will win even if one of them drops out (meaning he might as well have his day in the sun before the Dark Days of Cruz begin);

4) (obviously) He believes he can win regardless of what Arnold does.

If none of these is true, he's just being Ralph Nader with better taste in clothing, and will deserve the resentment of the heretics among his fellow Republicans who actually wanted to, you know, win.

(Obviously, the same arguments apply to Arnold, but I'd say that he can pretty honestly answer at least two of these questions in the affirmative).

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at September 24, 2003 08:17 PM

Geez, Matt, I tell ya: it might be a while until I make another prediction, because my picking Arnold's got me so goddamn invested in him right now -- and I barely agree with him half of the time! You know something's a little weird when you're sitting in front of the TV hoping some dude doesn't fall off the stage, all because you thought it'd be kinda cool to go out on a limb and say two months ago that the actor will run and will definitely win.

Posted by: Robert Tagorda at September 24, 2003 09:52 PM
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