Patterico's Pontifications

9/30/2003

TOM SUPPORTERS SILENT ON THE

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 am

TOM SUPPORTERS SILENT ON THE POLL: I have been cruising the blogosphere, and there is uniform silence on the fact that I report immediately below: in a 2-way race against Mr. N-Word Cruz Bustamante, Arnold and Tom do almost exactly the same. I would like to know the thoughts of people who have expressed support for Tom in the past, like The Interocitor, Lex Communis, or The Angry Clam.

Meanwhile, the Arnold supporters are gliding over this inconvenient fact, and are using the poll numbers to rail against McClintock for staying in the race. For example, Hugh Hewitt complains that the poll numbers show that, by staying in, McClintock has “denied Arnold a pure majority” — but does not note that the numbers show the reverse to be true as well. Hewitt’s reaction to the poll is fairly representative of the reaction of the pro-Arnold camp as a whole.

Don’t get me wrong. There are reasons, which I discuss immediately below, which suggest that these numbers could be misleading. But we don’t know that to be true. And these poll numbers — by themselvesdon’t show Tom to be a spoiler any more than they show Arnold to be a spoiler. Yet the Arnold supporters are shouting from the rafters that these very poll results prove that McClintock’s campaign is “hopeless,” and that McClintock is basically a stubborn jerk who is spoiling everything for Republicans.

If you really love Arnold, more power to you. Personally, I don’t understand how true conservatives can be so rabidly in favor of a guy whose idea of “conservative principles” includes saying that he wants to insure “every child in California” (apparently including illegals). But I know a lot of people, including conservatives, really just like Arnold — and that’s fine. There are reasons to like him. I will discuss some in the days to come.

But — many are voting for Arnold mainly because he can win. I understand that. I have myself expressed support for the idea — if necessary — of voting for Arnold for practical reasons. But if that’s what you are doing, don’t forget that you are making a compromise. Even if you support Arnold, you don’t need to trash McClintock in the process. And these poll results do not really provide a basis to do so.

UPDATE: Some people are now beginning to take note of this story. Daniel Weintraub mentions it here but gives no analysis. The Interocitor says here that he is once again conflicted as to what his vote should be. And The Angry Clam lives up to his name with his unprintable reaction here. Lex Communis is still remaining mute.

FURTHER UPDATE: Blogosferics says the results mean there is justice in the world.

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