Governor Stepping up Campaigning Before Election Day

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 25, 2004
So far this campaign season, most of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s public efforts have gone toward defeating two ballot measures - Propositions 68 and 70 – that would affect casino gambling in California. Schwarzenegger rallied his troops last week in Sacramento. Cut: Arnold24 :24 …to make sure that we vote no on Propositions 68 and 70. That we make sure we fight and campaign against those two initiatives. That when everyone gets to the polls on November second that they terminate Propositions 68 and 70. Thank you very much. Thank you. (applause fade) As Californians know, Schwarzenegger’s power to sway opinion stems from his personality, charisma, and status as an international superstar. Candidates for offices ranging from county supervisor to President of the United States want him at their side. CUT: GarrySouth10 :10 At this stage of the game, if Arnold Schwarzenegger held up a kernel of corn and claimed it was an ear, a lot of people would think it’s a whole ear of corn. Democratic political consultant Garry South, who masterminded Gray Davis’ 1998 and 2002 gubernatorial election victories, says Republican Schwarzenegger currently has the magic touch. CUT: South15 :15 That’s a huge asset for any politician to have. Particularly one, in this state, where other elected office holders are not that well known at the statewide level, and the governor is not only well known, but well-liked, and has a lot of credibility with a large number of voters. Schwarzenegger’s popularity and power make it critical that he manage his campaign time efficiently. Republican political strategist Dan Schnur says the governor must remain focused. CUT: Schnur05 :05 The biggest danger for Schwarzenegger in this political season is spreading himself too thin. But in recent days the governor has broadened his effort, holding rallies for underdog G-O-P Assembly candidates, such as Paul Betancourt of Fresno. He’s also begun making public appearances in opposition to Proposition 66, which he says would weaken the state’s Three Strikes anti-crime law. Political analyst Tony Quinn says Schwarzenegger is not just standing up for sure winners. CUT: TonyQuinn14 :14 He has endorsed a lot of Republicans who are in somewhat long-shot races. He is not spending his time with the safe seats. He is actually involving himself very much in the handful of competitive seats. One exception may be the faltering campaign of Republican U S Senate nominee Bill Jones. Schwarzenegger has only lent his name and image to Jones for use on printed campaign material. Schwarzenegger is also preparing to campaign for President Bush in the critical battleground state of Ohio. The governor has longstanding ties to the city of Columbus where he owns property and holds an annual bodybuilding competition. Field Institute pollster Mark DiCamillo says a last minute visit to Columbus could sway thousands of Ohio voters. CUT: diCamillo12 :12 For the actual people at the event it’s hard to imagine that it has a direct impact, but again, because it becomes a media event it has a certain power to it. It gets rebroadcast and it becomes more than just a personal appearance. Republican consultant Dan Schnur says the governor’s greatest needs are here in California, but he says there’s little risk -- and much to gain -- from a quick trip to the Buckeye State. CUT: Schnur19 There’s a thousand reasons why George Bush may or may not win the state of Ohio. But if he does win and Arnold Schwarzenegger has devoted even a small amount of time and energy campaigning for him there, the legend of Arnold grows even larger. And the political force that he already is becomes an even greater and more forceful one. Schwarzenegger’s people have said consistently that his top political priorities this fall are in California. But power on the national scene means more power in California – something the Republican governor will need as he pushes the Democratic legislature to streamline the bureaucracy and cut spending next year. SOC