Sacramento, CA — Governor Schwarzenegger´s drubbing at the polls yesterday has left his political reputation in tatters, weakening his hand with the largely Democratic state Legislature and opening him to a competitive race for re-election in 2006.
So far, two Democrats, state Treasurer Phil Angelides and Controller Steve Westly have announced plans to challenge Schwarzenegger next year. Both campaigned actively against Schwarzenegger´s initiatives but have failed to ignite passion among voters or fellow Democrats.
Despite Schwarzenegger´s weakened state, analysts say he enters the race with some important advantages on his side. Republican consultant Bill Whalen of Stanford University´s Hoover Institution says the governor´s base “is still united and firmly behind him.”
Fabian Nunez says Democrats are willing to work with the Republican governor, but the two sides haven´t reached what the Assembly Speaker calls the “kumbaya stage” quite yet.
Nunez told a Sacramento news conference today: “We just spent $55 million of taxpayers money that didn´t prove a dang thing. I´m deeply disappointed in our governor.”